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Viewings: 3887Engineers from Madrid University Carlos III (Spain) under the General guidance of Professor Luis Enrique Moreno has developed a brush-based alloys with shape memory for cleaning ultraviolet sensors of Curiosity Rover from dust.
Despite its low weight, the device would not be useful at this Rover too overloaded (compared to the plan) was 900-pound machine. And here is the new project MEIGA-metnet mission, which starts to Mars in 2014, "wipers" for sensors of the Rover were just right.
In Astronautics even a small problem can turn into enormous. Clean the dust on Mars vital: the dust storms contains iron and effectively blocks solar and UV sensors. Clean them difficult, and this was one of the reasons for Curiosity solar none at all. But there sensors of ultraviolet radiation, which, if they are even slightly preporuciti will show God knows what, for UV radiation easily absorbed even a thin layer of sand.
Why not put the wipers, as do cars? The problem is that they and their electromotoric, first, heavy, and secondly, just not work in the Martian conditions. There the dust has pretty abrasive action. Cleaning with compressed Martian "air" excluded: due to the low pressure energy costs are disproportionate. And the size and weight of such pneumatic devices?..
In General, Spaniards used to solve the base alloy of Nickel and titanium that is very effective in terms of a ratio of weight and the spin-off efforts. Scraping the surface, the thread section is less of a millimeter (driving brush) is developing such force that is able to move up to 4-5 kg, says a leading developer of Luis Enrique Moreno. During and after the dust storms such performance can be very useful.
Alas, there is a drawback. Yes, adding titanium makes the material shape memory lightweight yet strong, but because the alloy is based on the heating, the range of working temperatures (from -80 to 0 C) energy costs for heating alloy will be quite significant - more than in terrestrial conditions when using ordinary wipers, driven by an electric motor.
In addition to space, the new technology is planned inventors for use in the exoskeletons and robotics to create lung effective actuators. By the way, the alloys with shape memory already working wings BatBot, Drona, inspired by a bat...
Based on the materials of the Madrid University Carlos III.
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