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Published February 17, 2012 | Submitted
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Gone with the Wind ON_Mars (GOWON): A Wind-Driven Networked System of Mobile Sensors on Mars


We propose a revolutionary way of studying the sur-face of Mars using a wind-driven network of mobile sensors- Gone with the Wind ON_Mars (GOWON). GOWON is envisioned to be a scalable, 100% self energy-generating and distributed system that allows in-situ mapping of a wide range of phenomena in a much larger portion of the surface of Mars compared to earlier missions. It could radically improve the possibility of finding rare phenomena like bio signatures through random wind-driven search. It could explore difficult terrains that were beyond the reach of previous missions, such as regions with very steep slopes, cluttered surfaces and/or sand dunes; GOWON is envisioned as an on going mission with a long life span. It could achieve any of NASA's scientific objectives on Mars in a cost-effective way, leaving a long lasting sensing and searching infrastructure on Mars. GOWON is a 2012 Step B invitee for NASA Innovative Advanced Concept (NIAC). It addresses the challenge area of the Mars Surface System Capabilities area. We believe the challenge to be near-term, i.e., 2018-2024.

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