Proposed application to space exploration




Swarms of smart dust might be packed into nose cones of planetary probes and subsequently ejected into the atmosphere of a planet where they would be carried by the wind. For a planet such as Mars smart dust motes would each be of the size of a grain of sand.


The same technique might be used for exploring distant solar systems around nearby stars. However, the idea would be to use solar sailing variants of smart dust that respond to the solar wind and radiation pressure.


For dense atmospheres such as Venus the motes might be quite large. They would have to be scaled-up to have the appropriate lift and drag properties.


In each application the swarms would explore their environment taking and storing sensor measurements and maintaining wireless communications with each other and their parent spacecraft.



Smart dust and smart specks

Proposed application to space exploration

Analogy with motion of blown sand

Shape changing smart dust

Algorithms for collective motion of smart dust




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