The aim of the challenge is to develop sensors useful for humanity on Mars.
The first step is to find the answer to the question: which is the greatest need in a mission on Mars?
The answer is: SURVIVE.
The second step is to think about which sensors would help humans to survive. In order to survive astronauts need settlements. How to find them?
The natural shelters that Mars offers are the Lava tube caves. Therefore we have designed a kit of sensors which helps astronauts to:
1) find entrances for the caves
2) 3D map the environment
3) check if the environment is safe in terms of radiations and hazard gases.
Our kit is based on a standard connection platform. The sensors we have chosen that will help astronauts to find and explore martian caves are:
1) IR camera: in order to find entrances of the caves by measuring the difference of temperature between the internal environment of the cave and the external one.
2) Lidar: used to perform the 3D mapping of the caves.
3) Laser Spectrometer: to analyze the composition of the atmosphere within the cave, in order to check if hazardous gases are present or not.
4) Radiometer: to evaluate the level of radiation within the cave.
Each sensor has been designed to fit a universal standard interface (like cubesat for sensors) in order to make them easily interchangeable and reusable.
SpaceApps is a NASA incubator innovation program.