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Andy Klesh Colloquium Abstract (September 11, 2019)

Miniaturizing Exploration: Thinking Small to Investigate the Deep Ocean to Deep Space

In a world of cell phones, automobiles, and laptop computers, we demand our systems to be always working, always reliable, and always ready. Massive worldwide adoption has meant that miniaturized electronics are now readily available with high reliability. As we dive deeper into the oceans (and further into space), we have benefited from these commercial electronics, allowing us to reduce the size of our explorers. Now as our vehicles are smaller and lighter, we are able to take more risks, explore more locations, and obtain new measurements all at lower cost. In this talk, we’ll discuss how the impact of novel electronics and appropriate risk-taking has allowed us to fly by Mars (MarCO), dive deep into the oceans (Hadal Explorer), and even prepare for Europa (BRUIE). With brief overviews of each endeavor, we’ll talk about how keeping it small has enabled these novel exploration efforts, and specifically how MarCO’s triumphs and tribulations were a result of keeping it small.