Rigid Partial Vacuum Airship for Venusian Atmosphere.
The goal is to develop, manufacture, launch, deploy, transfer and insert a lighter-than-air vehicle to the Venusian atmosphere as a technology demonstrator, a long-time scientific experimental base, and a valuable infrastructure platform. Preliminary analysis suggests that the most promising candidate for such an extended mission would be a rigid partial-vacuum airship where we reduce the pressure difference by accumulating in-situ available buoyancy gas molecules (e.g. N2) on the inside. We intend to achieve this by implementing an in-orbit deployed and rigidized CFRP-grid airship, able to withstand the outside pressure-induced buckling loads in the target environment.
The lightweight system shall feature integrated evacuation pumps and a membrane gas separation system that enable buoyancy over an extended period of time. An array of solar cells shall be implemented on the hull to provide sufficient power for the platform itself, hosted experiments, and a set of electrically driven propeller systems that provide general maneuverability next to variable buoyancy and aerodynamic surfaces. In addition, the aim is to introduce a disposable heat shield to allow for aerobraking and atmospheric reentry upon arrival at Venus.