Tiny, levitating 'nanocardboard' aircraft could explore Mars one day

Feb 6, 2020
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"The micro-channels in the "nanocardboard" plates are actually the secret behind their unique method of flight, according to the statement: The channels create a temperature gradient that pushes air through the hollow plates and allows them to float."

Love these breezy explanations that leave you with no visualizable model except something you construct for yourself from the keywords. How 'bout a crude pencil-sketch you take a picture of and upload into the text, in place of a taboola ad?
 
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Reactions: Lovethrust
Apr 23, 2020
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Why not experiment with a balloon? It could fly over entire planet. Seems to be more practical idea than the heli and the nanobots. If they want heli so much, nothing prevents them to put several mini experiments on board (including heli and the balloon) at once. Why wait 10 years before they send something else there. With all respect, only one vehicle type of experiment per mission is a waste of precious time.
 
Apr 7, 2020
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"The micro-channels in the "nanocardboard" plates are actually the secret behind their unique method of flight, according to the statement: The channels create a temperature gradient that pushes air through the hollow plates and allows them to float."

Love these breezy explanations that leave you with no visualizable model except something you construct for yourself from the keywords. How 'bout a crude pencil-sketch you take a picture of and upload into the text, in place of a taboola ad?
I searched and searched but could not find a diagram for it. However I did find an article which includes what Space.com edited out.
The flyers will be powered and steered from the lander using a laser to target parts of the plate to heat and thus direct thrust. I am butchering the explanation I’m sure but it seems as simple as heating air that will move through the tube and create thrust.
I agree a diagram would have been great!
 
Apr 7, 2020
159
28
110
Why not experiment with a balloon? It could fly over entire planet. Seems to be more practical idea than the heli and the nanobots. If they want heli so much, nothing prevents them to put several mini experiments on board (including heli and the balloon) at once. Why wait 10 years before they send something else there. With all respect, only one vehicle type of experiment per mission is a waste of precious time.
A balloon would be wonderful and there are all sorts of designs floating around (pun intended)!
But that would be a flagship mission in it’s self, not something you can add for next to nothing in weight and cost like these nanoflyers.
 

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