Development of a Venus Surface Wind Sensor

To better understand the atmospheric structure and dynamics on the Venus surface and provide input to climate models, there is a need to measure the wind velocity and direction on the surface and track changes over extended periods. A wind sensor based on a miniature drag-force anemometer is being developed to meet the challenges for wind measurements and operational requirements on the surface of Venus. The sensor materials are chosen to enhance durability and prevent reactivity with the Venus surface atmosphere. Advantages of this approach include that it is independent of variable heat transfer, has been matured in other harsh environment applications, and has a low mass and power requirement. Prototype drag-force anemometers were demonstrated, integrated with a high-temperature operational amplifier, recording transient effects in a simulated Venus surface environment. For multidirectional wind monitoring, the sensors are small enough to be deployed orthogonally as a three-dimensional array on a small arm or mast. This presentation describes the development and demonstration of this miniature drag-force anemometer integrated with high temperature electronics in a simulated Venus surface environment.

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