Drone Operations for
Martian Environment

The DOME project

The DOME Project (Drone Operations for Martian Environment) is a research group, built between universities and companies, which aims at developing new remote and autonomous operated aerial platforms to support operations on the martian surface. Aerial drone platforms have become a cutting-edge asset in a wide range of human operations such as medical, firefighting and military scenarios. In extraplanetary exploration, drones could bring both the high precision of surface rovers and the extensive area coverage capabilities of orbital spacecraft. Human exploration will need a reliable platform to cover large areas in a limited time, with the necessary precision and surface analysis capabilities.

In almost 60 years of exploration of Mars, humankind has tested a wide range of technologies to study its surface, using platforms such as rovers, probes and orbiters: Mars is the planet with the biggest robot population in the solar system.

Until now, less than the 1% of the martian surface has been explored in detail. New platforms are needed to rapidly increase our exploration capabilities if we want to seriously boost the first human missions to the Red Planet.


Aerial drone technology has considerably evolved in the past years, thanks to the increasing number of potential applications. Hardware miniaturization and deep-learning algorithms brought this technology to a fundamental role in high-risk scenarios. Mars, due to its geological and atmospheric properties, represents a totally new ground to expand the boundaries of this technology. Aerial drones can become a fundamental subsystem of human activities on Mars: logistics, safety inspections, search and rescue missions, and multispectral analysis can be safely left to swarms of autonomous flying drones.

The DOME project research background is focused on:

  • On-field testing of aerial platforms to explore and support human activities
  • Deep learning algorithms
  • Solar power management
  • Object tracking and obstacle avoidance
  • Human-Machine Interaction
  • Swarming
  • Flight attitude in Mars atmosphere
  • Remote sensing
  • Aerial mapping






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