Surface radar reflector as a Venus atmosphere control (monitoring) technique

This project is solving the Robots Robots Robots challenge.


Surface radar reflector as a Venus atmosphere control (monitoring) technique

  1. Mission objectives. The purpose of the proposed experiment is to acquire information on the key parameters of the surface layer of the Venus atmosphere, such as wind speed and direction, as well as temperature and pressure data, over a long time period. Unavailability of onboard equipment and the passive technique of reflected radar signal observation enable regular data exchange sessions over the entire active life of the orbiter with a high-resolution onboard radar. This means the changes of the atmospheric conditions at the boundary of Venerean day and night can be monitored. Acquisition of more precise information on Venus axial rotation velocity will be a bonus spin-off from this monitoring.

  2. Due to the high pressure and temperature levels, we elected not to use electronic components nor mechanical equipment, which may also be affected by thermal degradation in the course of the months-long observations.

  3. Upon detailed review of potential basic configurations, we have selected a unit of aerostatic balloons, connected by a cable wire system, as the most viable option. The apparatus design will feature a custom-built kit of spiral and ring inserts between the cables, which provides for an observable elongation-retraction coefficient in the event of temperature changes varying within a range of dozens of degrees centigrade.

A surface-based balloon will be used as a check mark to estimate the altitude of the flying balloon unit.

  1. The lander must touch down within the area accessible by the high-resolution radar survey; besides, the surface of the area must ensure dependable immobilization of the lander by anchor gear, and balloon containment integrity.

  2. The structural materials to be used, and the apparatus deployment mode must be further investigated in detail.

  3. The following issues are of particular importance and require in-depth review:

а) Identification accuracy of the representative echo signal б) Topographic snapping accuracy aimed to correlate the data acquired from different orbital flight phases of the radar satellite.

Project Information

License: Academic Free License 3.0 (AFL-3.0)

Source Code/Project URL:


Construction materials -
Aphrodite Mission -
Low-altitude Exploration of the Venus Atmosphere by Balloon -
High Temperature Fabric - -
Venus Flagship mission -


  • Raphael Hasikos
  • Michalis Charalambous
  • Nicholas Demetriou
  • Simos Michael
  • Dmitri Vinitski