Latest in Gear

Image credit:

NASA is crowdsourcing a sensor that can survive Venus

It would play a crucial role in a future rover.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
February 18, 2020
154 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

NASA

Venus is hostile to just about everything, including probes -- and while NASA thinks it has Venus-resistant electronics, that doesn't mean future rovers are ready to touch down on the planet's hellish surface. To that end, NASA wants your help. It's teaming with HeroX on a crowdsourced competition to develop an obstacle avoidance sensor that could survive on the Venus-bound AREE explorer. A total of $30,000 in prizes will go to the top three sensors that can navigate rough terrain while withstanding the extreme temperatures (over 800F) and pressure (92 times that of Earth) of the planet.

The competition is open to most people worldwide who are 18 or older, and submissions will be open until May 29th at 5PM Eastern. Judging will take place between June 1st and July 2nd, while the winners will be made public on July 6th. NASA is asking competitors to use the current AREE design (above) as their starting point.

While there's money involved, this is more likely to be a matter of pride for competitors given the cost of developing a sensor in such a short amount of time. NASA is effectively asking people to outperform past equipment that had the full weight of a government space agency behind it -- Russia's Venera landers never lasted more than two hours on Venus' surface. Modern technology and experience will certainly help, but it's still no small task.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
154 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

Engadget's 2020 Back-to-School Guide

Engadget's 2020 Back-to-School Guide

View
Space Force official logo and motto unveiled

Space Force official logo and motto unveiled

View
Our readers get real about their issues with the AirPods Pro

Our readers get real about their issues with the AirPods Pro

View
Watch AI-controlled virtual fighters take on an Air Force pilot August 18th

Watch AI-controlled virtual fighters take on an Air Force pilot August 18th

View
Nintendo 'gigaleak' reveals the classic games that never were

Nintendo 'gigaleak' reveals the classic games that never were

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr