Abstract

This paper briefly reviews the literature inherent of the design of airfoil and rotorcrafts for atmospheric flight on Mars. The interest toward the red planet exploration has considerably increased as result of the successful deployment of the Perseverance Rover and the continuous tests developed by SpaceX’s launch vehicle, Starship. While the Mars 2020 Mission is currently in progress, the first controlled flight on another planet have been proven in April 2021 with the Vertical Take-off and Landing of the Ingenuity rotorcraft in Mars. In addition, the rotorcraft Dragonfly is expected to achieve the same endeavor in Titan, the largest moon of Saturn, by 2036. Continuous efforts have been oriented to the development of new technologies and aircraft configurations to improve the current designs and performance. In this paper we summarize the different Mars drone design and configuration approaches carried out by several research groups in the last two decades. We also briefly layout the main challenges related to the lift generation problem for a Mas rotorcraft.

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