-3D modeling: SolidWorks surfacing.
-Sci-fi concept development
Glider, a 17' long drone that has the capabilities of studying weather patterns in one of Saturn's moons, Titan.
Titan is Saturn’s largest moon and
second-largest natural satellite in the Solar
System. It is the only moon known to have a
dense atmosphere, and other than Earth, the only
known body in space where clear evidence of
stable bodies of surface liquid has been found.
-Titan is abundant in organic chemicals such as liquid
hydrocarbons, methane, ethane and others. These
gases would potentially allow us to fuel entire colonies.
-Titan has an atmosphere comprised of familiar
elements such as oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen and
methane, very similar to Earth’s.
-While the water in Titan is not drinkable, it can be
filtered while also producing oxygen for the atmosphere.
-Methane and ammonia in the atmosphere can be used
-Although Titan’s temperature is much colder than
Mars’, humans would still need less protection to
-Titan has more readily available materials for us to work
with throughout its surface.
-Titan is far from Earth and arguably the only reason why we are focusing into exploring Mars at the moment.
-Photosynthesis can be hard to achieve since there is barely any sunlight reaching Titan’s surface.
-Temperature averages -180˚c
-Titan’s density is low for its volume.
-Titan’s atmosphere is 2 times thicker than Earth’s
-A pressure suit would not be required on Titan
-Titan does not have a magnetosphere, but spends
most of its time within Saturn’s magnetosphere (95%
-Gravity: 1.352 M/S (0.14 G)
-Surface temperature: -179˚c - -290˚c
- 1% of sunlight reaches Titan’s surface
-Titan orbit is 1.2 million km in diameter, it takes 16
days to complete one orbit
Inspiration form and development came mainly from biomimicry. After understanding what the environment attributes are in Titan, it became ideal to implement features found in nature as they provide strong design opportunities.
Much like a leaf falling, the Glider drone should be able to possess a level of air resistance when falling, this should be feasible given that Titan has one 7th of the gravity force we experience on Earth.
Another form that has provided great opportunities is the biomimicry of a swallow. These birds are known for flying and gliding for prolonged periods of time. Glider celebrates these birds by embracing much of its form and structure through the body.
As a final touch, the drones surface inspiration came from modern sculpture Cloud Gate, also known as the Bean, which is located in Chicago. Like a conceptual speedform, the Bean in fact inspired the design process in a way that it led the design to possess very smooth surfaces on most of the body where necessary.
Initial ideas came to life after breaking down NASA's Dragonfly spacecraft into basic forms. The study allowed for insights on how the most important components could be arranged and what type of instruments should be considered as part of the concepts utility.
While initial sketch explorations were too abstract, more complex forms were later developed based on the ideal features the spacecraft should have and the insights gained from the biomimicry inspiration.
As illustrated by NASA above, Glider would ideally be transported through a shielding device that must enter Titan's atmosphere and subsequently deploy a parachute to survive landing impact. This device should have all the tools and instruments necessary to prepare Glider for its first lift-off when the time is appropriate.
SolidWorks model screenshots
Multi-view Keyshot renders of model
Springs for landing shock absorption and leveling
Instrument panel. All the sensors for weather data collection are located here.
Wing propellers are slightly angled forward
Slim reinforced tail section houses the bigger propeller
Some tools and monitoring devices are located underneath the spacecraft on the landing device. Ideally, these instruments monitor the drone from the moment it leaves Earth to the moment it is ready to lift off on Titan.
More updates coming soon...