NASA is experimenting with a notion for robotic gliding devices that could cruise in the atmospheres of other planets, including gas giants like Jupiter. These robotic devices will not have wings nor hot-air balloons to stay aloft. NASA are flirting with the idea of using air turbulence to produce influence to make the floating robots stay airborne. The airborne devices are to be called Windbots.
These new type of robotic probes might be something like space travelling Cubsats, but these particular Windbots will be designed to remain within the fringes of a planet’s stratosphere. This will enable all sorts of exploration and monitoring of planetary gases, gravity and so many other things.
Plants that Gas giants lie Jupiter and Saturn have no solid floor upon which to land and sometimes the gravity getting closer to the core would be enormous. This would crush most types of probe that descend too close to the inner regions of such planets.
NASA’s scientists are looking at things like certain plant seeds that start to rotate when they fall, thus creating lift and allowing the seed to stay airborne for long periods at a time. Such natural designs could be used on windbots. Finding a consistent and light source of energy seems paramount. For this; planetary winds, temperature change and planetary magnetic pull could be used. Maybe small copters with rudders or something akin to a fly.
Even planets like Venus might benefit from Windbots because the surface is too hot and trapped under cloud cover. One might imagine small windbots or even larger manned ones too. Perhaps windbot fleets on some planets with stations high in the sky.