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The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is making significant strides in Martian exploration with its ambitious project, the Martian Boundary Layer Explorer (MARBLE). A key component of MARBLE is the development of a novel coaxial rotor system specifically designed to operate in the Martian atmosphere.

The Martian atmosphere poses a unique challenge for rotorcraft. It’s roughly 100 times thinner than Earth’s atmosphere, and with an average surface temperature of -63°C (210K), it presents a harsh environment for traditional helicopter designs.

To overcome these challenges, ISRO is developing a coaxial rotor system. This design features two sets of rotors, one above the other, rotating in opposite directions. This configuration offers several advantages:

Increased Lift: The coaxial design allows for a smaller rotor diameter while maintaining sufficient lift generation, crucial for the thin Martian air.

Reduced Rotor Stress: By distributing the lift generation across two rotors, the stress on each blade is reduced, mitigating the risks associated with high Mach number flow.

Aerodynamic Optimization: The blades are specifically designed for Martian atmospheric conditions, maximizing efficiency and thrust generation.

The development of the coaxial rotor system for MARBLE marks a significant milestone in ISRO’s Mars exploration endeavors. This innovative design has the potential to overcome the challenges of the Martian atmosphere and pave the way for future Martian helicopters capable of gathering crucial scientific data and exploring the Red Planet’s surface in unprecedented detail.