MARS SOLESA (“SOLAR-ELECTRIC SURVEY AIRCRAFT”)
Bye Aerospace is developing a unique solar-electric aircraft to fill the gap between mapping and surveillance of Mars from orbital satellites and ground-based rovers. The aircraft, known as the “Mars SOLESA” (“solar electric survey aircraft”),” is a unique approach taken by Bye Aerospace that would allow for closer investigation of the Martian surface with greater resolution and flexibility than the orbital satellites currently operating above the surface, but with far greater range and perspective than rovers. In conjunction with solar power provided through solar cells mounted on its wings, the Mars SOLESA concept will enable the vehicle to fly through the Martian atmosphere, gathering pertinent data along the way. The solar cells enables day-time recharging of the SOLESA batteries. The fresh charge allows multiple series of flights. Special rugged landing gear, combined with cutting edge ground sensing technology enable landing autonomous landing site selection and short takeoff and landing distances. By flying at altitudes of a few hundred up to a few thousand feet above the Martian surface, the vehicle can cover more area in less time than the family of rovers currently employed on the surface, while maintaining greater resolution and perspective.