Author Information

Cody KohnFollow

Is this project an undergraduate, graduate, or faculty project?

Undergraduate

individual

Authors' Class Standing

Cody Kohn, Junior

Lead Presenter's Name

Cody Kohn

Faculty Mentor Name

Wesley F. Lewis

Abstract

With the quickly accelerating space exploration scene and the goal of having a Martian colony in the near future it is a requirement that navigation be a stable foothold for the astronauts to rely on. To study the manned navigation methods available on the Martian surface in depth research is done with heavy consideration of the environment and potential occurrences that appear on Mars. Taking current navigation that is used on Earth and applying it to Martian conditions each method is dissected to find the reliability, effectiveness and long-term utility for a growing Martian surface base. Older methods such as sextants and celestial navigation hold potential as they require no outside resources. Navigation by known paths will not work as sandstorms will cover paths not thoroughly marked with adequate means. Inertial navigation is useful for short expeditions, however, the error builds increasingly as time advances leading to limited usability. Radio brings ease, reliability, accuracy, precision, and durability but relies on a consistent electrical source and increased weight along with potential failures. Modern day solutions such as satellites and global positioning systems are the most reliable and consistent but require advanced set up and years of planning that can be halted with any sort of setback. The most reliable set of navigation would consist of multiple methods, preferably radio navigation for early excursions due to ease of use and transport, backed up by inertial, sextant and hand done navigation.

Did this research project receive funding support from the Office of Undergraduate Research.

Yes, Ignite Grant

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Potential Manned Navigation Methods on the Martian Surface

With the quickly accelerating space exploration scene and the goal of having a Martian colony in the near future it is a requirement that navigation be a stable foothold for the astronauts to rely on. To study the manned navigation methods available on the Martian surface in depth research is done with heavy consideration of the environment and potential occurrences that appear on Mars. Taking current navigation that is used on Earth and applying it to Martian conditions each method is dissected to find the reliability, effectiveness and long-term utility for a growing Martian surface base. Older methods such as sextants and celestial navigation hold potential as they require no outside resources. Navigation by known paths will not work as sandstorms will cover paths not thoroughly marked with adequate means. Inertial navigation is useful for short expeditions, however, the error builds increasingly as time advances leading to limited usability. Radio brings ease, reliability, accuracy, precision, and durability but relies on a consistent electrical source and increased weight along with potential failures. Modern day solutions such as satellites and global positioning systems are the most reliable and consistent but require advanced set up and years of planning that can be halted with any sort of setback. The most reliable set of navigation would consist of multiple methods, preferably radio navigation for early excursions due to ease of use and transport, backed up by inertial, sextant and hand done navigation.