NTRS - NASA Technical Reports Server

Back to Results
LILI (Long-term Ice-field Levitating Investigator): Mars Aerial and Ground Explorer for Martian Polar Regions Exploration of Mars is currently underway by use of a rover and helicopter team. A hybrid ground/aerial vehicle concept that marries the respective strengths of rovers and rotorcraft for Mars exploration is presented in this paper. LILI (Long-term Ice-field Levitating Investigator) is a novel hybrid ground- and aerial-mobility concept vehicle proposed for exploration of the Martian polar regions. LILI combines episodic rotary-wing flight with primary ground-mobility-mode of a propeller-driven sled via an arrangement of three skis/runners and tilting proprotors. In this manner, the best of both worlds can be achieved for Mars polar exploration: rapid, obstacle-bypassing flight with low-power, efficient, longer duration -- and range -- sledding. LILI’s propulsion system is based on solar-electric recharging of batteries. Consequently, periods of its air or ground movement are separated by periods of recharging. The overall project goal is to refine the vehicle and mission concept, while constrained within the current technology state of the art, and, leveraging the design heritage of the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter technology demonstrator. LILI’s aerodynamic performance, flow interactions, and design characteristics, as well as potential mission profiles are suggested.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Ames Research Center
Document Type
Conference Paper
Natasha Schatzman
(Ames Research Center Mountain View, California, United States)
Michelle Dominguez
(Ames Research Center Mountain View, California, United States)
Pascal Lee
(SETI Institute Mountain View, California, United States)
Larry Young
(Ames Research Center Mountain View, California, United States)
Date Acquired
December 30, 2021
Subject Category
Aircraft Propulsion And Power
Meeting Information
Meeting: Aeromechanics for Advanced Vertical Flight Technical Meeting, Transformative Vertical Flight 2022
Location: San Jose, CA
Country: US
Start Date: January 25, 2022
End Date: January 27, 2022
Sponsors: VFS - The Vertical Flight Society
Funding Number(s)
WBS: 664817
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
Technical Review
NASA Peer Committee
Long-term Ice-field Levitating Investigator
Polar Regions
No Preview Available