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Old 08-22-2009, 08:44 AM   #1
ryan
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Default Venus Rover

I found something on wikipedia on a possible Venus Rover that's being studied, it'll be cooled by a Stirling Engine cooler, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stirling_cooler
It's been studied at the Glenn Research Centre.
So i just wanted to know your guys opinions and or suggestions. For example the gains from this certain mission and such.

Thanks.
Ryan.
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Old 08-22-2009, 09:52 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by ryan View Post
 I found something on wikipedia on a possible Venus Rover that's being studied, it'll be cooled by a Stirling Engine cooler, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stirling_cooler
It's been studied at the Glenn Research Centre.
So i just wanted to know your guys opinions and or suggestions. For example the gains from this certain mission and such.

Thanks.
Ryan.
Hmmm, that's actually a really good idea I think. I'm curious to know how much energy (in watts) they believe can be generated by such an engine on Venus. However, you would still need an additional power source to cool down the "cold" end of the engine, but you could do that with a much smaller RTG then you would have needed to power the entire vehicle.

Of course, you still need to have the rest of the vehicle to be able to survive for an HTML clipboardappreciable length of time.
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Old 08-23-2009, 12:02 AM   #3
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Cooling it simply by the use of sterling engine would be impossible. More heat will always make it in, then the work extracted from the heat exchange. I don't know the max efficiency of the system cos I don't have any data, but a maximum of around 30% of energy is usually extracted... and also, then cooling process is also not without it's losses...


You would definitely need another power source, but a better solution then an RTG would be solar cells that exploit the IR range. That's plenty on Venus, right?

Also... the material that converts heat into electricity that's used for RTGs... anyone have any info on it's efficiency, it's working (by surface, by volume?) or even it's name?

Perhaps simply that material and IR solar cells would be enough to power the vehicle and keep it cool.
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Old 08-24-2009, 06:58 AM   #4
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Does IR reach the surface directly in plentiful enough amounts, or is it mostly absorbed by the air?

If we can design a nuclear reactor that can operate at around 1,000K (i.e. at least 1/3 hotter than the surrounding air on the Venusian surface) while dumping its heat into the 730K air, then it can be used to power a refrigerator to keep the electronics cool. A fan to force air over the cooling surfaces would be good too.
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Old 08-24-2009, 07:20 AM   #5
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I'm not a very science knowledgble person, so can someone give a small wrap up on what a rover would help to science on mars, and why should we even go there in the first place, it's not a sort of great holidaying spot.
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Old 08-24-2009, 08:15 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Piper View Post
 Hmmm, that's actually a really good idea I think. I'm curious to know how much energy (in watts) they believe can be generated by such an engine on Venus.
None. In this case, instead of evening out a heat differential across the engine to generate power, you're applying power to the engine to create a heat differential in order to keep the rover cool (hot end vents to the atmosphere, cold end keeps sensitive things from overheating). The stirling engine in question here is an air conditioner, not a generator.
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Old 08-24-2009, 08:30 AM   #7
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Still, you would need the "warm" end of the Stirling heat pump to be significant hotter than the Venus atmosphere, so you are emitting more heat radiation than you get from the atmosphere.
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Old 08-24-2009, 09:31 AM   #8
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Take the third largest asteroid(mostly ovaline), crumble it up into fine powder and disolve it into venus' atmosphere. Then we can all go there for vacations.

---------- Post added at 02:31 AM ---------- Previous post was at 01:49 AM ----------

Wait, it might be another one. In any case I remember running across the problem and remember an asteroid with enough mass that was thought to be mostly ovaline and doing rough comparisons of the amount of carbon dioxide on venus and thinking it could be enough. I'm not a scientist or anything close to that(crank if anything) but it's still an idea.
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Old 08-24-2009, 09:53 AM   #9
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What is ovaline?
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Old 08-24-2009, 11:07 AM   #10
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 What is ovaline?
I think he means Olivine, a mineral.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olivine
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Old 08-24-2009, 11:39 AM   #11
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 I'm not a very science knowledgble person, so can someone give a small wrap up on what a rover would help to science on mars, and why should we even go there in the first place, it's not a sort of great holidaying spot.
The rover here is designed to work on Venus, not on Mars. This is a new idea: so far, Mars is the only planet (besides Earth) where rovers have operated.

Mars and Venus are of scientific importance because they are so similar to Earth. By looking at the differences between them we can obtain a greater understanding of how planets 'work' than when we look at Earth alone.

Rovers can contribute to this by doing a bit of geology research. The amount of useful information doesn't come close to what scientists can do when investigating Earth, but so far they are one of the few instruments we have on other planets, and as such the information they return is of high value.
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Old 08-24-2009, 12:08 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Urwumpe View Post
 I think he means Olivine, a mineral.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olivine
Yes, my stupid spelling mistakes. Thank you.
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Old 08-24-2009, 01:47 PM   #13
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 and why should we even go there in the first place, it's not a sort of great holidaying spot.
And where is? It's not like we can survive on the Moon or Mars without specially designed protection. And certainly not for very long without specially designed shelters (ignore heat and pressure for a second, the lack of magnetic fields makes them treacherous places, and a thin or missing atmosphere doesn't help any either).

Venus is just the opposite problem of normal (instead of a cold vacuum, it's a hot pressure chamber). But it is closer to Earth grav, which is a good thing. And it's an enigma wrapped in a mystery (of clouds).

Why climb a mountain? Because it's there.
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Old 08-24-2009, 04:13 PM   #14
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This is a new idea: so far, Mars is the only planet (besides Earth) where rovers have operated.
Well, both manned and unmanned rovers have operated on the Moon (although it isn't a planet).

Quote:
Take the third largest asteroid(mostly ovaline), crumble it up into fine powder and disolve it into venus' atmosphere. Then we can all go there for vacations.
I've looked through many terraforming concepts (Mars and Venus), and of all of them yours makes the least sense- I don't see how dropping olivine onto Venus will sequester the CO2 atmosphere, improve rotation and generate sizable oceans.

Aside from the impracticalities of mining and moving entire asteroids, your concept does not seem to have any chemistry sense at all (Although, I'm not chemistry major, so I'm not sure.)

If humanity ever terraforms a planet (given the right engineering and big enough infrastructure I think it is indeed possible), it will be Mars (or Mars will be the first until technology improves or a suitable (extrasolar) candidate is found).

Mars should be far easier to terraform then Venus (the only problem is a severe lack of nitrogen).
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Old 08-24-2009, 06:40 PM   #15
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 Mars should be far easier to terraform then Venus (the only problem is a severe lack of nitrogen).
Mars is also unable to maintain an oxygen atmosphere, isn't it? At least at Earth-type temperatures.
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