Meteorological phenomena involving strong gusts, such as dust devils, occur frequently on Mars. The wind distribution on Mars is essential information for both scientific and engineering research fields. Although landers and rovers have performed weather observations near the surface, the wind has not been measured directly at high altitudes. In this research, a wind structure exploration mission using an airplane is proposed. The flight profiles and the algorithm to estimate the statistical parameters of an atmospheric turbulence model are shown. Additionally, the wind profile model of a dust devil is constructed and is employed for simulating the dynamics of the Mars airplane. The frequency of occurrence of dust devils is calculated from the observation data of past exploration missions. Flight feasibility studies were carried out, and it was revealed that the probability of success of a flight on Mars with an acceptable load factor of 5 is 89%.
2017 The Japan Society for Aeronautical and Space Sciences