WorldWideScience

Sample records for planetary exploration rover

  1. Planetary rovers robotic exploration of the solar system

    CERN Document Server

    Ellery, Alex

    2016-01-01

    The increasing adoption of terrain mobility – planetary rovers – for the investigation of planetary surfaces emphasises their central importance in space exploration. This imposes a completely new set of technologies and methodologies to the design of such spacecraft – and planetary rovers are indeed, first and foremost, spacecraft. This introduces vehicle engineering, mechatronics, robotics, artificial intelligence and associated technologies to the spacecraft engineer’s repertoire of skills. Planetary Rovers is the only book that comprehensively covers these aspects of planetary rover engineering and more. The book: • discusses relevant planetary environments to rover missions, stressing the Moon and Mars; • includes a brief survey of previous rover missions; • covers rover mobility, traction and control systems; • stresses the importance of robotic vision in rovers for both navigation and science; • comprehensively covers autonomous navigation, path planning and multi-rover formations on ...

  2. Ambler - An autonomous rover for planetary exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bares, John; Hebert, Martial; Kanade, Takeo; Krotkov, Eric; Mitchell, Tom

    1989-01-01

    The authors are building a prototype legged rover, called the Ambler (loosely an acronym for autonomous mobile exploration robot) and testing it on full-scale, rugged terrain of the sort that might be encountered on the Martian surface. They present an overview of their research program, focusing on locomotion, perception, planning, and control. They summarize some of the most important goals and requirements of a rover design and describe how locomotion, perception, and planning systems can satisfy these requirements. Since the program is relatively young (one year old at the time of writing) they identify issues and approaches and describe work in progress rather than report results. It is expected that many of the technologies developed will be applicable to other planetary bodies and to terrestrial concerns such as hazardous waste assessment and remediation, ocean floor exploration, and mining.

  3. Mission-directed path planning for planetary rover exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tompkins, Paul

    2005-07-01

    Robotic rovers uniquely benefit planetary exploration---they enable regional exploration with the precision of in-situ measurements, a combination impossible from an orbiting spacecraft or fixed lander. Mission planning for planetary rover exploration currently utilizes sophisticated software for activity planning and scheduling, but simplified path planning and execution approaches tailored for localized operations to individual targets. This approach is insufficient for the investigation of multiple, regionally distributed targets in a single command cycle. Path planning tailored for this task must consider the impact of large scale terrain on power, speed and regional access; the effect of route timing on resource availability; the limitations of finite resource capacity and other operational constraints on vehicle range and timing; and the mutual influence between traverses and upstream and downstream stationary activities. Encapsulating this reasoning in an efficient autonomous planner would allow a rover to continue operating rationally despite significant deviations from an initial plan. This research presents mission-directed path planning that enables an autonomous, strategic reasoning capability for robotic explorers. Planning operates in a space of position, time and energy. Unlike previous hierarchical approaches, it treats these dimensions simultaneously to enable globally-optimal solutions. The approach calls on a near incremental search algorithm designed for planning and re-planning under global constraints, in spaces of higher than two dimensions. Solutions under this method specify routes that avoid terrain obstacles, optimize the collection and use of rechargable energy, satisfy local and global mission constraints, and account for the time and energy of interleaved mission activities. Furthermore, the approach efficiently re-plans in response to updates in vehicle state and world models, and is well suited to online operation aboard a robot

  4. An Overview of Wind-Driven Rovers for Planetary Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hajos, Gregory A.; Jones, Jack A.; Behar, Alberto; Dodd, Micheal

    2005-01-01

    The use of in-situ propulsion is considered enabling technology for long duration planetary surface missions. Most studies have focused on stored energy from chemicals extracted from the soil or the use of soil chemicals to produce photovoltaic arrays. An older form of in-situ propulsion is the use of wind power. Recent studies have shown potential for wind driven craft for exploration of Mars, Titan and Venus. The power of the wind, used for centuries to power wind mills and sailing ships, is now being applied to modern land craft. Efforts are now underway to use the wind to push exploration vehicles on other planets and moons in extended survey missions. Tumbleweed rovers are emerging as a new type of wind-driven science platform concept. Recent investigations by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) indicate that these light-weight, mostly spherical or quasi-spherical devices have potential for long distance surface exploration missions. As a power boat has unique capabilities, but relies on stored energy (fuel) to move the vessel, the Tumbleweed, like the sailing ships of the early explorers on earth, uses an unlimited resource the wind to move around the surface of Mars. This has the potential to reduce the major mass drivers of robotic rovers as well as the power generation and storage systems. Jacques Blamont of JPL and the University of Paris conceived the first documented Mars wind-blown ball in 1977, shortly after the Viking landers discovered that Mars has a thin CO2 atmosphere with relatively strong winds. In 1995, Jack Jones, et al, of JPL conceived of a large wind-blown inflated ball for Mars that could also be driven and steered by means of a motorized mass hanging beneath the rolling axis of the ball. A team at NASA Langley Research Center started a biomimetic Tumbleweed design study in 1998. Wind tunnel and CFD analysis were applied to a variety of concepts to optimize the aerodynamic

  5. Design of Mobility System for Ground Model of Planetary Exploration Rover

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Younkyu Kim

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available In recent years, a number of missions have been planned and conducted worldwide on the planets such as Mars, which involves the unmanned robotic exploration with the use of rover. The rover is an important system for unmanned planetary exploration, performing the locomotion and sample collection and analysis at the exploration target of the planetary surface designated by the operator. This study investigates the development of mobility system for the rover ground model necessary to the planetary surface exploration for the benefit of future planetary exploration mission in Korea. First, the requirements for the rover mobility system are summarized and a new mechanism is proposed for a stable performance on rough terrain which consists of the passive suspension system with 8 wheeled double 4-bar linkage (DFBL, followed by the performance evaluation for the mechanism of the mobility system based on the shape design and simulation. The proposed mobility system DFBL was compared with the Rocker-Bogie suspension system of US space agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration and 8 wheeled mobility system CRAB8 developed in Switzerland, using the simulation to demonstrate the superiority with respect to the stability of locomotion. On the basis of the simulation results, a general system configuration was proposed and designed for the rover manufacture.

  6. The development of a virtual camera system for astronaut-rover planetary exploration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Platt, Donald W; Boy, Guy A

    2012-01-01

    A virtual assistant is being developed for use by astronauts as they use rovers to explore the surface of other planets. This interactive database, called the Virtual Camera (VC), is an interactive database that allows the user to have better situational awareness for exploration. It can be used for training, data analysis and augmentation of actual surface exploration. This paper describes the development efforts and Human-Computer Interaction considerations for implementing a first-generation VC on a tablet mobile computer device. Scenarios for use will be presented. Evaluation and success criteria such as efficiency in terms of processing time and precision situational awareness, learnability, usability, and robustness will also be presented. Initial testing and the impact of HCI design considerations of manipulation and improvement in situational awareness using a prototype VC will be discussed.

  7. Reconfigurable Autonomy for Future Planetary Rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burroughes, Guy

    Extra-terrestrial Planetary rover systems are uniquely remote, placing constraints in regard to communication, environmental uncertainty, and limited physical resources, and requiring a high level of fault tolerance and resistance to hardware degradation. This thesis presents a novel self-reconfiguring autonomous software architecture designed to meet the needs of extraterrestrial planetary environments. At runtime it can safely reconfigure low-level control systems, high-level decisional autonomy systems, and managed software architecture. The architecture can perform automatic Verification and Validation of self-reconfiguration at run-time, and enables a system to be self-optimising, self-protecting, and self-healing. A novel self-monitoring system, which is non-invasive, efficient, tunable, and autonomously deploying, is also presented. The architecture was validated through the use-case of a highly autonomous extra-terrestrial planetary exploration rover. Three major forms of reconfiguration were demonstrated and tested: first, high level adjustment of system internal architecture and goal; second, software module modification; and third, low level alteration of hardware control in response to degradation of hardware and environmental change. The architecture was demonstrated to be robust and effective in a Mars sample return mission use-case testing the operational aspects of a novel, reconfigurable guidance, navigation, and control system for a planetary rover, all operating in concert through a scenario that required reconfiguration of all elements of the system.

  8. Integrating the Teaching of Space Science, Planetary Exploration And Robotics In Elementary And Middle School with Mars Rover Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bering, E. A.; Ramsey, J.; Smith, H.; Boyko, B. S.; Peck, S.; Arcenaux, W. H.

    2005-05-01

    The present aerospace engineering and science workforce is ageing. It is not clear that the US education system will produce enough qualified replacements to meet the need in the near future. Unfortunately, by the time many students get to high school, it is often too late to get them pointed toward an engineering or science career. Since some college programs require 6 units of high school mathematics for admission, students need to begin consciously preparing for a science or engineering curriculum as early as 6th or 7th grade. The challenge for educators is to convince elementary school students that science and engineering are both exciting, relevant and accessible career paths. This paper describes a program designed to help provide some excitement and relevance. It is based on the task of developing a mobile robot or "Rover" to explore the surface of Mars. There are two components to the program, a curriculum unit and a contest. The curriculum unit is structured as a 6-week planetary science unit for elementary school (grades 3-5). It can also be used as a curriculum unit, enrichment program or extracurricular activity in grades 6-8 by increasing the expected level of scientific sophistication in the mission design. The second component is a citywide competition to select the most outstanding models that is held annually at a local college or University. Primary (Grades 3-5) and middle school (Grades 6-8) students interested in science and engineering will design and build of a model of a Mars Rover to carry out a specific science mission on the surface of Mars. The students will build the models as part of a 6-week Fall semester classroom-learning or homework project on Mars. The students will be given design criteria for a rover, and be required to do basic research on Mars that will determine the operational objectives and structural features of their rover. This module may be used as part of a class studying general science, earth science, solar system

  9. Mars Rover Model Celebration: Using Planetary Exploration To Enrich STEM Teaching In Elementary And Middle School

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bering, E. A.; Ramsey, J.; Dominey, W.; Kapral, A.; Carlson, C.; Konstantinidis, I.; James, J.; Sweaney, S.; Mendez, R.

    2011-12-01

    The present aerospace engineering and science workforce is ageing. It is not clear that the US education system will produce enough qualified replacements to meet the need in the near future. Unfortunately, by the time many students get to high school, it is often too late to get them pointed toward an engineering or science career. Since some college programs require 6 units of high school mathematics for admission, students need to begin consciously preparing for a science or engineering curriculum as early as 6th or 7th grade. The challenge for educators is to convince elementary school students that science and engineering are both exciting, relevant and accessible career paths. The recent NASA Mars Rover missions capture the imagination of children, as NASA missions have done for decades. The University of Houston is in the process of developing a prototype of a flexible program that offers children an in-depth educational experience culminating in the design and construction of their own model rover. The existing prototype program is called the Mars Rover Model Celebration. It focuses on students, teachers and parents in grades 3-8. Students will design and build a model of a Mars rover to carry out a student selected science mission on the surface of Mars. The model will be a mock-up, constructed at a minimal cost from art supplies. The students will build the models as part of a project on Mars. The students will be given design criteria for a rover and will do basic research on Mars that will determine the objectives and features of their rover. This project may be used either informally as an after school club or youth group activity or formally as part of a class studying general science, earth science, solar system astronomy or robotics, or as a multi-disciplinary unit for a gifted and talented program. The program culminates in a capstone event held at the University of Houston (or other central location in the other communities that will be involved

  10. Bringing Terramechanics to bear on Planetary Rover Design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richter, L.

    2007-08-01

    Thus far, planetary rovers have been successfully operated on the Earth's moon and on Mars. In particular, the two NASA Mars Exploration Rovers (MERs) ,Spirit' and ,Opportunity' are still in sustained daily operations at two sites on Mars more than 3 years after landing there. Currently, several new planetary rover missions are in development targeting Mars (the US Mars Science Lab vehicle for launch in 2009 and ESA's ExoMars rover for launch in 2013), with lunar rover missions under study by China and Japan for launches around 2012. Moreover, the US Constellation program is preparing pre-development of lunar rovers for initially unmanned and, subsequently, human missions to the Moon with a corresponding team dedicated to mobility system development having been set up at the NASA Glenn Research Center. Given this dynamic environment, it was found timely to establish an expert group on off-the-road mobility as relevant for robotic vehicles that would involve individuals representing the various on-going efforts on the different continents. This was realized through the International Society of Terrain-Vehicle Systems (ISTVS), a research organisation devoted to terramechanics and to the ,science' of off-the-road vehicle development which as a result is just now establishing a Technical Group on Terrestrial and Planetary Rovers. Members represent space-related as well as military research institutes and universities from the US, Germany, Italy, and Japan. The group's charter for 2007 is to define its objectives, functions, organizational structure and recommended research objectives to support planetary rover design and development. Expected areas of activity of the ISTVS-sponsored group include: the problem of terrain specification for planetary rovers; identification of limitations in modelling of rover mobility; a survey of existing rover mobility testbeds; the consolidation of mobility predictive models and their state of validation; sensing and real

  11. Microbiological cleanliness of the Mars Exploration Rover spacecraft

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newlin, L.; Barengoltz, J.; Chung, S.; Kirschner, L.; Koukol, R.; Morales, F.

    2002-01-01

    Planetary protection for Mars missions is described, and the approach being taken by the Mars Exploration Rover Project is discussed. Specific topics include alcohol wiping, dry heat microbial reduction, microbiological assays, and the Kennedy Space center's PHSF clean room.

  12. Automated Planning and Scheduling for Planetary Rover Distributed Operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Backes, Paul G.; Rabideau, Gregg; Tso, Kam S.; Chien, Steve

    1999-01-01

    Automated planning and Scheduling, including automated path planning, has been integrated with an Internet-based distributed operations system for planetary rover operations. The resulting prototype system enables faster generation of valid rover command sequences by a distributed planetary rover operations team. The Web Interface for Telescience (WITS) provides Internet-based distributed collaboration, the Automated Scheduling and Planning Environment (ASPEN) provides automated planning and scheduling, and an automated path planner provided path planning. The system was demonstrated on the Rocky 7 research rover at JPL.

  13. Robotic vehicles for planetary exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilcox, Brian; Matthies, Larry; Gennery, Donald; Cooper, Brian; Nguyen, Tam; Litwin, Todd; Mishkin, Andrew; Stone, Henry

    1992-01-01

    A program to develop planetary rover technology is underway at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) under sponsorship of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Developmental systems with the necessary sensing, computing, power, and mobility resources to demonstrate realistic forms of control for various missions have been developed, and initial testing has been completed. These testbed systems and the associated navigation techniques used are described. Particular emphasis is placed on three technologies: Computer-Aided Remote Driving (CARD), Semiautonomous Navigation (SAN), and behavior control. It is concluded that, through the development and evaluation of such technologies, research at JPL has expanded the set of viable planetary rover mission possibilities beyond the limits of remotely teleoperated systems such as Lunakhod. These are potentially applicable to exploration of all the solid planetary surfaces in the solar system, including Mars, Venus, and the moons of the gas giant planets.

  14. GIS Methodology for Planning Planetary-Rover Operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, Mark; Norris, Jeffrey; Fox, Jason; Rabe, Kenneth; Shu, I-Hsiang

    2007-01-01

    A document describes a methodology for utilizing image data downlinked from cameras aboard a robotic ground vehicle (rover) on a remote planet for analyzing and planning operations of the vehicle and of any associated spacecraft. Traditionally, the cataloging and presentation of large numbers of downlinked planetary-exploration images have been done by use of two organizational methods: temporal organization and correlation between activity plans and images. In contrast, the present methodology involves spatial indexing of image data by use of the computational discipline of geographic information systems (GIS), which has been maturing in terrestrial applications for decades, but, until now, has not been widely used in support of exploration of remote planets. The use of GIS to catalog data products for analysis is intended to increase efficiency and effectiveness in planning rover operations, just as GIS has proven to be a source of powerful computational tools in such terrestrial endeavors as law enforcement, military strategic planning, surveying, political science, and epidemiology. The use of GIS also satisfies the need for a map-based user interface that is intuitive to rover-activity planners, many of whom are deeply familiar with maps and know how to use them effectively in field geology.

  15. Autonomous navigation and mobility for a planetary rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, David P.; Mishkin, Andrew H.; Lambert, Kenneth E.; Bickler, Donald; Bernard, Douglas E.

    1989-01-01

    This paper presents an overview of the onboard subsystems that will be used in guiding a planetary rover. Particular emphasis is placed on the planning and sensing systems and their associated costs, particularly in computation. Issues that will be used in evaluating trades between the navigation system and mobility system are also presented.

  16. Absolute Navigation Information Estimation for Micro Planetary Rovers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muhammad Ilyas

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available This paper provides algorithms to estimate absolute navigation information, e.g., absolute attitude and position, by using low power, weight and volume Microelectromechanical Systems-type (MEMS sensors that are suitable for micro planetary rovers. Planetary rovers appear to be easily navigable robots due to their extreme slow speed and rotation but, unfortunately, the sensor suites available for terrestrial robots are not always available for planetary rover navigation. This makes them difficult to navigate in a completely unexplored, harsh and complex environment. Whereas the relative attitude and position can be tracked in a similar way as for ground robots, absolute navigation information, unlike in terrestrial applications, is difficult to obtain for a remote celestial body, such as Mars or the Moon. In this paper, an algorithm called the EASI algorithm (Estimation of Attitude using Sun sensor and Inclinometer is presented to estimate the absolute attitude using a MEMS-type sun sensor and inclinometer, only. Moreover, the output of the EASI algorithm is fused with MEMS gyros to produce more accurate and reliable attitude estimates. An absolute position estimation algorithm has also been presented based on these on-board sensors. Experimental results demonstrate the viability of the proposed algorithms and the sensor suite for low-cost and low-weight micro planetary rovers.

  17. Electrical power technology for robotic planetary rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bankston, C. P.; Shirbacheh, M.; Bents, D. J.; Bozek, J. M.

    1993-01-01

    Power technologies which will enable a range of robotic rover vehicle missions by the end of the 1990s and beyond are discussed. The electrical power system is the most critical system for reliability and life, since all other on board functions (mobility, navigation, command and data, communications, and the scientific payload instruments) require electrical power. The following are discussed: power generation, energy storage, power management and distribution, and thermal management.

  18. Autonomous planetary rover at Carnegie Mellon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whittaker, William; Kanade, Takeo; Mitchell, Tom

    1990-01-01

    This report describes progress in research on an autonomous robot for planetary exploration. In 1989, the year covered by this report, a six-legged walking robot, the Ambler, was configured, designed, and constructed. This configuration was used to overcome shortcomings exhibited by existing wheeled and walking robot mechanisms. The fundamental advantage of the Ambler is that the actuators for body support are independent of those for propulsion; a subset of the planar joints propel the body, and the vertical actuators support and level the body over terrain. Models of the Ambler's dynamics were developed and the leveling control was studied. An integrated system capable of walking with a single leg over rugged terrain was implemented and tested. A prototype of an Ambler leg is suspended below a carriage that slides along rails. To walk, the system uses a laser scanner to find a clear, flat foothold, positions the leg above the foothold, contacts the terrain with the foot, and applies force enough to advance the carriage along the rails. Walking both forward and backward, the system has traversed hundreds of meters of rugged terrain including obstacles too tall to step over, trenches too deep to step in, closely spaced rocks, and sand hills. In addition, preliminary experiments were conducted with concurrent planning and execution, and a leg recovery planner that generates time and power efficient 3D trajectories using 2D search was developed. A Hero robot was used to demonstrate mobile manipulation. Indoor tasks include collecting cups from the lab floor, retrieving printer output, and recharging when its battery gets low. The robot monitors its environment, and handles exceptional conditions in a robust fashion, using vision to track the appearance and disappearance of cups, onboard sonars to detect imminent collisions, and monitors to detect the battery level.

  19. Archiving Data From the 2003 Mars Exploration Rover Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arvidson, R. E.

    2002-12-01

    The two Mars Exploration Rovers will touch down on the red planet in January 2004 and each will operate for at least 90 sols, traversing hundreds of meters across the surface and acquiring data from the Athena Science Payload (mast-based multi-spectral, stereo-imaging data and emission spectra; arm-based in-situ Alpha Particle X-Ray (APXS) and Mössbauer Spectroscopy, microscopic imaging, coupled with use of a rock abrasion tool) at a number of locations. In addition, the rovers will acquire science and engineering data along traverses to characterize terrain properties and perhaps be used to dig trenches. An "Analyst's Notebook" concept has been developed to capture, organize, archive and distribute raw and derived data sets and documentation (http://wufs.wustl.edu/rover). The Notebooks will be implemented in ways that will allow users to "playback" the mission, using executed commands to drive animated views of rover activities, and pop-up windows to show why particular observations were acquired, along with displays of raw and derived data products. In addition, the archive will include standard Planetary Data System files and software for processing to higher-level products. The Notebooks will exist both as an online system and as a set of distributable Digital Video Discs or other appropriate media. The Notebooks will be made available through the Planetary Data System within six months after the end of observations for the relevant rovers.

  20. A Battery Health Monitoring Framework for Planetary Rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daigle, Matthew J.; Kulkarni, Chetan Shrikant

    2014-01-01

    Batteries have seen an increased use in electric ground and air vehicles for commercial, military, and space applications as the primary energy source. An important aspect of using batteries in such contexts is battery health monitoring. Batteries must be carefully monitored such that the battery health can be determined, and end of discharge and end of usable life events may be accurately predicted. For planetary rovers, battery health estimation and prediction is critical to mission planning and decision-making. We develop a model-based approach utilizing computaitonally efficient and accurate electrochemistry models of batteries. An unscented Kalman filter yields state estimates, which are then used to predict the future behavior of the batteries and, specifically, end of discharge. The prediction algorithm accounts for possible future power demands on the rover batteries in order to provide meaningful results and an accurate representation of prediction uncertainty. The framework is demonstrated on a set of lithium-ion batteries powering a rover at NASA.

  1. Automation and Robotics for space operation and planetary exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montemerlo, Melvin D.

    1990-01-01

    This paper presents a perspective of Automation and Robotics (A&R) research and developments at NASA in terms of its history, its current status, and its future. It covers artificial intelligence, telerobotics and planetary rovers, and it encompasses ground operations, operations in earth orbit, and planetary exploration.

  2. Mars Exploration Rover Heat Shield Recontact Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raiszadeh, Behzad; Desai, Prasun N.; Michelltree, Robert

    2011-01-01

    The twin Mars Exploration Rover missions landed successfully on Mars surface in January of 2004. Both missions used a parachute system to slow the rover s descent rate from supersonic to subsonic speeds. Shortly after parachute deployment, the heat shield, which protected the rover during the hypersonic entry phase of the mission, was jettisoned using push-off springs. Mission designers were concerned about the heat shield recontacting the lander after separation, so a separation analysis was conducted to quantify risks. This analysis was used to choose a proper heat shield ballast mass to ensure successful separation with low probability of recontact. This paper presents the details of such an analysis, its assumptions, and the results. During both landings, the radar was able to lock on to the heat shield, measuring its distance, as it descended away from the lander. This data is presented and is used to validate the heat shield separation/recontact analysis.

  3. An Analog Rover Exploration Mission for Education and Outreach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moores, John; Campbell, Charissa L.; Smith, Christina L.; Cooper, Brittney A.

    2017-10-01

    This abstract describes an analog rover exploration mission designed as an outreach program for high school and undergraduate students. This program is used to teach them about basic mission control operations, how to manage a rover as if it were on another planetary body, and employing the rover remotely to complete mission objectives. One iteration of this program has been completed and another is underway. In both trials, participants were shown the different operation processes involved in a real-life mission. Modifications were made to these processes to decrease complexity and better simulate a mission control environment in a short time period (three 20-minute-long mission “days”). In the first run of the program, participants selected a landing site, what instruments would be on the rover - subject to cost, size, and weight limitations - and were randomly assigned one of six different mission operations roles, each with specific responsibilities. For example, a Science Planner/Integrator (SPI) would plan science activities whilst a Rover Engineer (RE) would keep on top of rover constraints. Planning consisted of a series of four meetings to develop and verify the current plan, pre-plan the next day's activities and uplink the activities to the “rover” (a human colleague). Participants were required to attend certain meetings depending upon their assigned role. To conclude the mission, students viewed the site to understand any differences between remote viewing and reality in relation to the rover. Another mission is currently in progress with revisions from the earlier run to improve the experience. This includes broader roles and meetings and pre-selecting the landing site and rover. The new roles are: Mission Lead, Rover Engineer and Science Planner. The SPI role was previously popular so most of the students were placed in this category. The meetings were reduced to three but extended in length. We are also planning to integrate this program

  4. Using Wind Driven Tumbleweed Rovers to Explore Martian Gully Features

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antol, Jeffrey; Woodard, Stanley E.; Hajos, Gregory A.; Heldmann, Jennifer L.; Taylor, Bryant D.

    2005-01-01

    Gully features have been observed on the slopes of numerous Martian crater walls, valleys, pits, and graben. Several mechanisms for gully formation have been proposed, including: liquid water aquifers (shallow and deep), melting ground ice, snow melt, CO2 aquifers, and dry debris flow. Remote sensing observations indicate that the most likely erosional agent is liquid water. Debate concerns the source of this water. Observations favor a liquid water aquifer as the primary candidate. The current strategy in the search for life on Mars is to "follow the water." A new vehicle known as a Tumbleweed rover may be able to conduct in-situ investigations in the gullies, which are currently inaccessible by conventional rovers. Deriving mobility through use of the surface winds on Mars, Tumbleweed rovers would be lightweight and relatively inexpensive thus allowing multiple rovers to be deployed in a single mission to survey areas for future exploration. NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC) is developing deployable structure Tumbleweed concepts. An extremely lightweight measurement acquisition system and sensors are proposed for the Tumbleweed rover that greatly increases the number of measurements performed while having negligible mass increase. The key to this method is the use of magnetic field response sensors designed as passive inductor-capacitor circuits that produce magnetic field responses whose attributes correspond to values of physical properties for which the sensors measure. The sensors do not need a physical connection to a power source or to data acquisition equipment resulting in additional weight reduction. Many of the sensors and interrogating antennae can be directly placed on the Tumbleweed using film deposition methods such as photolithography thus providing further weight reduction. Concepts are presented herein for methods to measure subsurface water, subsurface metals, planetary winds and environmental gases.

  5. Improving Planetary Rover Attitude Estimation via MEMS Sensor Characterization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hidalgo, Javier; Poulakis, Pantelis; Köhler, Johan; Del-Cerro, Jaime; Barrientos, Antonio

    2012-01-01

    Micro Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) are currently being considered in the space sector due to its suitable level of performance for spacecrafts in terms of mechanical robustness with low power consumption, small mass and size, and significant advantage in system design and accommodation. However, there is still a lack of understanding regarding the performance and testing of these new sensors, especially in planetary robotics. This paper presents what is missing in the field: a complete methodology regarding the characterization and modeling of MEMS sensors with direct application. A reproducible and complete approach including all the intermediate steps, tools and laboratory equipment is described. The process of sensor error characterization and modeling through to the final integration in the sensor fusion scheme is explained with detail. Although the concept of fusion is relatively easy to comprehend, carefully characterizing and filtering sensor information is not an easy task and is essential for good performance. The strength of the approach has been verified with representative tests of novel high-grade MEMS inertia sensors and exemplary planetary rover platforms with promising results. PMID:22438761

  6. Risk-Aware Planetary Rover Operation: Autonomous Terrain Classification and Path Planning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ono, Masahiro; Fuchs, Thoams J.; Steffy, Amanda; Maimone, Mark; Yen, Jeng

    2015-01-01

    Identifying and avoiding terrain hazards (e.g., soft soil and pointy embedded rocks) are crucial for the safety of planetary rovers. This paper presents a newly developed groundbased Mars rover operation tool that mitigates risks from terrain by automatically identifying hazards on the terrain, evaluating their risks, and suggesting operators safe paths options that avoids potential risks while achieving specified goals. The tool will bring benefits to rover operations by reducing operation cost, by reducing cognitive load of rover operators, by preventing human errors, and most importantly, by significantly reducing the risk of the loss of rovers.

  7. Mission Operations of the Mars Exploration Rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bass, Deborah; Lauback, Sharon; Mishkin, Andrew; Limonadi, Daniel

    2007-01-01

    A document describes a system of processes involved in planning, commanding, and monitoring operations of the rovers Spirit and Opportunity of the Mars Exploration Rover mission. The system is designed to minimize command turnaround time, given that inherent uncertainties in terrain conditions and in successful completion of planned landed spacecraft motions preclude planning of some spacecraft activities until the results of prior activities are known by the ground-based operations team. The processes are partitioned into those (designated as tactical) that must be tied to the Martian clock and those (designated strategic) that can, without loss, be completed in a more leisurely fashion. The tactical processes include assessment of downlinked data, refinement and validation of activity plans, sequencing of commands, and integration and validation of sequences. Strategic processes include communications planning and generation of long-term activity plans. The primary benefit of this partition is to enable the tactical portion of the team to focus solely on tasks that contribute directly to meeting the deadlines for commanding the rover s each sol (1 sol = 1 Martian day) - achieving a turnaround time of 18 hours or less, while facilitating strategic team interactions with other organizations that do not work on a Mars time schedule.

  8. TU Berlin Rover Family for Terrestrial Testing of Complex Planetary Mission Scenarios

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kryza, L.; Brieß, K.

    2018-04-01

    The TU Berlin has developed a family of planetary rovers for educational use and research activities. The paper will introduce these cost-effective systems, which can be used for analogue mission demonstration on Earth.

  9. Mars Exploration Rovers Propulsive Maneuver Design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potts, Christopher L.; Raofi, Behzad; Kangas, Julie A.

    2004-01-01

    The Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity successfully landed respectively at Gusev Crater and Meridiani Planum in January 2004. The rovers are essentially robotic geologists, sent on a mission to search for evidence in the rocks and soil pertaining to the historical presence of water and the ability to possibly sustain life. In order to conduct NASA's 'follow the water' strategy on opposite sides of the planet Mars, an interplanetary journey of over 300 million miles culminated with historic navigation precision. Rigorous trajectory targeting and control was necessary to achieve the atmospheric entry requirements for the selected landing sites. The propulsive maneuver design challenge was to meet or exceed these requirements while preserving the necessary design margin to accommodate additional project concerns. Landing site flexibility was maintained for both missions after launch, and even after the first trajectory correction maneuver for Spirit. The final targeting strategy was modified to improve delivery performance and reduce risk after revealing constraining trajectory control characteristics. Flight results are examined and summarized for the six trajectory correction maneuvers that were planned for each mission.

  10. A Lab-on-Chip Design for Miniature Autonomous Bio-Chemoprospecting Planetary Rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santoli, S.

    The performance of the so-called ` Lab-on-Chip ' devices, featuring micrometre size components and employed at present for carrying out in a very fast and economic way the extremely high number of sequence determinations required in genomic analyses, can be largely improved as to further size reduction, decrease of power consumption and reaction efficiency through development of nanofluidics and of nano-to-micro inte- grated systems. As is shown, such new technologies would lead to robotic, fully autonomous, microwatt consumption and complete ` laboratory on a chip ' units for accurate, fast and cost-effective astrobiological and planetary exploration missions. The theory and the manufacturing technologies for the ` active chip ' of a miniature bio/chemoprospecting planetary rover working on micro- and nanofluidics are investigated. The chip would include micro- and nanoreactors, integrated MEMS (MicroElectroMechanical System) components, nanoelectronics and an intracavity nanolaser for highly accurate and fast chemical analysis as an application of such recently introduced solid state devices. Nano-reactors would be able to strongly speed up reaction kinetics as a result of increased frequency of reactive collisions. The reaction dynamics may also be altered with respect to standard macroscopic reactors. A built-in miniature telemetering unit would connect a network of other similar rovers and a central, ground-based or orbiting control unit for data collection and transmission to an Earth-based unit through a powerful antenna. The development of the ` Lab-on-Chip ' concept for space applications would affect the economy of space exploration missions, as the rover's ` Lab-on-Chip ' development would link space missions with the ever growing terrestrial market and business concerning such devices, largely employed in modern genomics and bioinformatics, so that it would allow the recoupment of space mission costs.

  11. Data Management for Mars Exploration Rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snyder, Joseph F.; Smyth, David E.

    2004-01-01

    Data Management for the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) project is a comprehensive system addressing the needs of development, test, and operations phases of the mission. During development of flight software, including the science software, the data management system can be simulated using any POSIX file system. During testing, the on-board file system can be bit compared with files on the ground to verify proper behavior and end-to-end data flows. During mission operations, end-to-end accountability of data products is supported, from science observation concept to data products within the permanent ground repository. Automated and human-in-the-loop ground tools allow decisions regarding retransmitting, re-prioritizing, and deleting data products to be made using higher level information than is available to a protocol-stack approach such as the CCSDS File Delivery Protocol (CFDP).

  12. China's roadmap for planetary exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Yong; Yao, Zhonghua; Wan, Weixing

    2018-05-01

    China has approved or planned a string of several space exploration missions to be launched over the next decade. A new generation of planetary scientists in China is playing an important role in determining the scientific goals of future missions.

  13. Slip Validation and Prediction for Mars Exploration Rovers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeng Yen

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a novel technique to validate and predict the rover slips on Martian surface for NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover mission (MER. Different from the traditional approach, the proposed method uses the actual velocity profile of the wheels and the digital elevation map (DEM from the stereo images of the terrain to formulate the equations of motion. The six wheel speed from the empirical encoder data comprises the vehicle's velocity, and the rover motion can be estimated using mixed differential and algebraic equations. Applying the discretization operator to these equations, the full kinematics state of the rover is then resolved by the configuration kinematics solution in the Rover Sequencing and Visualization Program (RSVP. This method, with the proper wheel slip and sliding factors, produces accurate simulation of the Mars Exploration rovers, which have been validated with the earth-testing vehicle. This computational technique has been deployed to the operation of the MER rovers in the extended mission period. Particularly, it yields high quality prediction of the rover motion on high slope areas. The simulated path of the rovers has been validated using the telemetry from the onboard Visual Odometry (VisOdom. Preliminary results indicate that the proposed simulation is very effective in planning the path of the rovers on the high-slope areas.

  14. Fast Optical Hazard Detection for Planetary Rovers Using Multiple Spot Laser Triangulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthies, L.; Balch, T.; Wilcox, B.

    1997-01-01

    A new laser-based optical sensor system that provides hazard detection for planetary rovers is presented. It is anticipated that the sensor can support safe travel at speeds up to 6cm/second for large (1m) rovers in full sunlight on Earth or Mars. The system overcomes limitations in an older design that require image differencing ot detect a laser stripe in full sun.

  15. Mars Exploration Rovers Landing Dispersion Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knocke, Philip C.; Wawrzyniak, Geoffrey G.; Kennedy, Brian M.; Desai, Prasun N.; Parker, TImothy J.; Golombek, Matthew P.; Duxbury, Thomas C.; Kass, David M.

    2004-01-01

    Landing dispersion estimates for the Mars Exploration Rover missions were key elements in the site targeting process and in the evaluation of landing risk. This paper addresses the process and results of the landing dispersion analyses performed for both Spirit and Opportunity. The several contributors to landing dispersions (navigation and atmospheric uncertainties, spacecraft modeling, winds, and margins) are discussed, as are the analysis tools used. JPL's MarsLS program, a MATLAB-based landing dispersion visualization and statistical analysis tool, was used to calculate the probability of landing within hazardous areas. By convolving this with the probability of landing within flight system limits (in-spec landing) for each hazard area, a single overall measure of landing risk was calculated for each landing ellipse. In-spec probability contours were also generated, allowing a more synoptic view of site risks, illustrating the sensitivity to changes in landing location, and quantifying the possible consequences of anomalies such as incomplete maneuvers. Data and products required to support these analyses are described, including the landing footprints calculated by NASA Langley's POST program and JPL's AEPL program, cartographically registered base maps and hazard maps, and flight system estimates of in-spec landing probabilities for each hazard terrain type. Various factors encountered during operations, including evolving navigation estimates and changing atmospheric models, are discussed and final landing points are compared with approach estimates.

  16. Rover Technologies

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Develop and mature rover technologies supporting robotic exploration including rover design, controlling rovers over time delay and for exploring . Technology...

  17. Virtual reality and planetary exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGreevy, Michael W.

    Exploring planetary environments is central to NASA's missions and goals. A new computing technology called Virtual Reality has much to offer in support of planetary exploration. This technology augments and extends human presence within computer-generated and remote spatial environments. Historically, NASA has been a leader in many of the fundamental concepts and technologies that comprise Virtual Reality. Indeed, Ames Research Center has a central role in the development of this rapidly emerging approach to using computers. This ground breaking work has inspired researchers in academia, industry, and the military. Further, NASA's leadership in this technology has spun off new businesses, has caught the attention of the international business community, and has generated several years of positive international media coverage. In the future, Virtual Reality technology will enable greatly improved human-machine interactions for more productive planetary surface exploration. Perhaps more importantly, Virtual Reality technology will democratize the experience of planetary exploration and thereby broaden understanding of, and support for, this historic enterprise.

  18. Virtual reality and planetary exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mcgreevy, Michael W.

    1992-01-01

    Exploring planetary environments is central to NASA's missions and goals. A new computing technology called Virtual Reality has much to offer in support of planetary exploration. This technology augments and extends human presence within computer-generated and remote spatial environments. Historically, NASA has been a leader in many of the fundamental concepts and technologies that comprise Virtual Reality. Indeed, Ames Research Center has a central role in the development of this rapidly emerging approach to using computers. This ground breaking work has inspired researchers in academia, industry, and the military. Further, NASA's leadership in this technology has spun off new businesses, has caught the attention of the international business community, and has generated several years of positive international media coverage. In the future, Virtual Reality technology will enable greatly improved human-machine interactions for more productive planetary surface exploration. Perhaps more importantly, Virtual Reality technology will democratize the experience of planetary exploration and thereby broaden understanding of, and support for, this historic enterprise.

  19. a Performance Comparison of Feature Detectors for Planetary Rover Mapping and Localization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wan, W.; Peng, M.; Xing, Y.; Wang, Y.; Liu, Z.; Di, K.; Teng, B.; Mao, X.; Zhao, Q.; Xin, X.; Jia, M.

    2017-07-01

    Feature detection and matching are key techniques in computer vision and robotics, and have been successfully implemented in many fields. So far there is no performance comparison of feature detectors and matching methods for planetary mapping and rover localization using rover stereo images. In this research, we present a comprehensive evaluation and comparison of six feature detectors, including Moravec, Förstner, Harris, FAST, SIFT and SURF, aiming for optimal implementation of feature-based matching in planetary surface environment. To facilitate quantitative analysis, a series of evaluation criteria, including distribution evenness of matched points, coverage of detected points, and feature matching accuracy, are developed in the research. In order to perform exhaustive evaluation, stereo images, simulated under different baseline, pitch angle, and interval of adjacent rover locations, are taken as experimental data source. The comparison results show that SIFT offers the best overall performance, especially it is less sensitive to changes of image taken at adjacent locations.

  20. A PERFORMANCE COMPARISON OF FEATURE DETECTORS FOR PLANETARY ROVER MAPPING AND LOCALIZATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W. Wan

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Feature detection and matching are key techniques in computer vision and robotics, and have been successfully implemented in many fields. So far there is no performance comparison of feature detectors and matching methods for planetary mapping and rover localization using rover stereo images. In this research, we present a comprehensive evaluation and comparison of six feature detectors, including Moravec, Förstner, Harris, FAST, SIFT and SURF, aiming for optimal implementation of feature-based matching in planetary surface environment. To facilitate quantitative analysis, a series of evaluation criteria, including distribution evenness of matched points, coverage of detected points, and feature matching accuracy, are developed in the research. In order to perform exhaustive evaluation, stereo images, simulated under different baseline, pitch angle, and interval of adjacent rover locations, are taken as experimental data source. The comparison results show that SIFT offers the best overall performance, especially it is less sensitive to changes of image taken at adjacent locations.

  1. Reasoning with inaccurate spatial knowledge. [for Planetary Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doshi, Rajkumar S.; White, James E.; Lam, Raymond; Atkinson, David J.

    1988-01-01

    This paper describes work in progress on spatial planning for a semiautonomous mobile robot vehicle. The overall objective is to design a semiautonomous rover to plan routes in unknown, natural terrains. The approach to spatial planning involves deduction of common-sense spatial knowledge using geographical information, natural terrain representations, and assimilation of new and possibly conflicting terrain information. This report describes the ongoing research and implementation.

  2. Planetary rover robotics experiment in education: carbonate rock collecting experiment of the Husar-5 rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Szalay, Kristóf; Lang, Ágota; Horváth, Tamás; Prajczer, Péter; Bérczi, Szaniszló

    2013-04-01

    Introduction: The new experiment for the Husar-5 educational space probe rover consists of steps of the technology of procedure of finding carbonate speci-mens among the rocks on the field. 3 main steps were robotized: 1) identification of carbonate by acid test, 2) measuring the gases liberated by acid, and 3) magnetic test. Construction of the experiment: The basis of the robotic realization of the experiment is a romote-controlled rover which can move on the field. Onto this rover the mechanism of the experiments were built from Technics LEGO elements and we used LEGO-motors for making move these experiments. The operation was coordinated by an NXT-brick which was suitable to programming. Fort he acetic-test the drops should be passed to the selected area. Passing a drop to a locality: From the small holder of the acid using densified gas we pump some drop onto the selected rock. We promote this process by pumpig the atmospheric gas into another small gas-container, so we have another higher pressure gas there. This is pumped into the acid-holder. The effect of the reaction is observed by a wireless onboard camera In the next step we can identify the the liberated gas by the gas sensor. Using it we can confirm the liberation of the CO2 gas without outer observer. The third step is the controll of the paramagnetic properties.. In measuring this feature a LEGO-compass is our instrumentation. We use a electric current gener-ated magnet. During the measurements both the coil and the gas-sensor should be positioned to be near to the surface. This means, that a lowering and an uplifting machinery should be constructed. Summary: The sequence of the measurement is the following. 1) the camera - after giving panorama images - turns toward the soil surface, 2) the dropping onto the rock surface 3) at the same time the gas-sensor starts to move down above the rock 4) the compass sensor also moves down on the arm which holds both the gas-sensor and the compass-sensor 5

  3. Evolution of space drones for planetary exploration: A review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hassanalian, M.; Rice, D.; Abdelkefi, A.

    2018-02-01

    In the past decade, there has been a tendency to design and fabricate drones which can perform planetary exploration. Generally, there are various ways to study space objects, such as the application of telescopes and satellites, launching robots and rovers, and sending astronauts to the targeted solar bodies. However, due to the advantages of drones compared to other approaches in planetary exploration, ample research has been carried out by different space agencies in the world, including NASA to apply drones in other solar bodies. In this review paper, several studies which have been performed on space drones for planetary exploration are consolidated and discussed. Design and fabrication challenges of space drones, existing methods for their flight tests, different methods for deployment and planet entry, and various navigation and control approaches are reviewed and discussed elaborately. Limitations of applying space drones, proposed solutions for future space drones, and recommendations are also presented and discussed.

  4. The real-time control of planetary rovers through behavior modification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, David P.

    1991-01-01

    It is not yet clear of what type, and how much, intelligence is needed for a planetary rover to function semi-autonomously on a planetary surface. Current designs assume an advanced AI system that maintains a detailed map of its journeys and the surroundings, and that carefully calculates and tests every move in advance. To achieve these abilities, and because of the limitations of space-qualified electronics, the supporting rover is quite sizable, massing a large fraction of a ton, and requiring technology advances in everything from power to ground operations. An alternative approach is to use a behavior driven control scheme. Recent research has shown that many complex tasks may be achieved by programming a robot with a set of behaviors and activation or deactivating a subset of those behaviors as required by the specific situation in which the robot finds itself. Behavior control requires much less computation than is required by tradition AI planning techniques. The reduced computation requirements allows the entire rover to be scaled down as appropriate (only down-link communications and payload do not scale under these circumstances). The missions that can be handled by the real-time control and operation of a set of small, semi-autonomous, interacting, behavior-controlled planetary rovers are discussed.

  5. Teaching, learning, and planetary exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Robert A.

    1992-01-01

    The progress accomplished in the first five months of the three-year grant period of Teaching, Learning, and Planetary Exploration is presented. The objectives of this project are to discover new education products and services based on space science, particularly planetary exploration. An Exploration in Education is the umbrella name for the education projects as they are seen by teachers and the interested public. As described in the proposal, our approach consists of: (1) increasing practical understanding of the potential role and capabilities of the research community to contribute to basic education using new discoveries; (2) developing an intellectual framework for these contributions by supplying criteria and templates for the teacher's stories; (3) attracting astronomers, engineers, and technical staff to the project and helping them form productive education partnerships for the future, (4) exploring relevant technologies and networks for authoring and communicating the teacher's stories; (5) enlisting the participation of potential user's of the teacher's stories in defining the products; (6) actually producing and delivering many educationally useful teacher's stories; and (7) reporting the pilot study results with critical evaluation. Technical progress was made by assembling our electronic publishing stations, designing electronic publications based on space science, and developing distribution approaches for electronic products. Progress was made addressing critical issues by developing policies and procedures for securing intellectual property rights and assembling a focus group of teachers to test our ideas and assure the quality of our products. The following useful materials are being produced: the TOPS report; three electronic 'PictureBooks'; one 'ElectronicArticle'; three 'ElectronicReports'; ten 'PrinterPosters'; and the 'FaxForum' with an initial complement of printed materials. We have coordinated with planetary scientists and astronomers

  6. SPEX: The spectropolarimeter for planetary EXploration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Snik, F.; Rietjens, J.H.H.; Harten, G. van; Stam, D.M.; Keller, C.U.; Smit, J.M.; Laan, E.C.; Verlaan, A.L.; Horst, R. ter; Navarro, R.; Wielinga, K.; Moon, S.G.; Voors, R.

    2010-01-01

    SPEX (Spectropolarimeter for Planetary EXploration) is an innovative, compact instrument for spectropolarimetry, and in particular for detecting and characterizing aerosols in planetary atmospheres. With its ∼1-liter volume it is capable of full linear spectropolarimetry, without moving parts. The

  7. Mars Rover Model Celebration: Developing Inquiry Based Lesson Plans to Teach Planetary Science In Elementary And Middle School

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bering, E. A.; Slagle, E.; Nieser, K.; Carlson, C.; Kapral, A.; Dominey, W.; Ramsey, J.; Konstantinidis, I.; James, J.; Sweaney, S.; Mendez, R.

    2012-12-01

    support this project as a classroom activity. The challenge of developing interactive learning activities for planetary science will be explored. These lesson plans incorporate state of the art interactive pedagogy and current NASA Planetary Science materials.

  8. Simulations of the magnetic properties experiment on Mars Exploration Rovers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gunnlaugsson, H. P.; Worm, E. S.; Bertelsen, P.; Goetz, W.; Kinch, K.; Madsen, M. B.; Merrison, J. P.; Nornberg, P.

    2005-01-01

    We present some of the main findings from simulation studies of the Magnetic Properties Experiment on the Mars Exploration Rovers. The results suggest that the dust has formed via mechanical breakdown of surface rocks through the geological history of the planet, and that liquid water need not have played any significant role in the dust formation processes.

  9. Red rover: inside the story of robotic space exploration, from genesis to the mars rover curiosity

    CERN Document Server

    Wiens, Roger

    2013-01-01

    In its eerie likeness to Earth, Mars has long captured our imaginations—both as a destination for humankind and as a possible home to extraterrestrial life. It is our twenty-first century New World; its explorers robots, shipped 350 million miles from Earth to uncover the distant planet’s secrets.Its most recent scout is Curiosity—a one-ton, Jeep-sized nuclear-powered space laboratory—which is now roving the Martian surface to determine whether the red planet has ever been physically capable of supporting life. In Red Rover, geochemist Roger Wiens, the principal investigator for the ChemCam laser instrument on the rover and veteran of numerous robotic NASA missions, tells the unlikely story of his involvement in sending sophisticated hardware into space, culminating in the Curiosity rover's amazing journey to Mars.In so doing, Wiens paints the portrait of one of the most exciting scientific stories of our time: the new era of robotic space exploration. Starting with NASA’s introduction of the Discovery...

  10. Planetary explorer liquid propulsion study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mckevitt, F. X.; Eggers, R. F.; Bolz, C. W.

    1971-01-01

    An analytical evaluation of several candidate monopropellant hydrazine propulsion system approaches is conducted in order to define the most suitable configuration for the combined velocity and attitude control system for the Planetary Explorer spacecraft. Both orbiter and probe-type missions to the planet Venus are considered. The spacecraft concept is that of a Delta launched spin-stabilized vehicle. Velocity control is obtained through preprogrammed pulse-mode firing of the thrusters in synchronism with the spacecraft spin rate. Configuration selection is found to be strongly influenced by the possible error torques induced by uncertainties in thruster operation and installation. The propulsion systems defined are based on maximum use of existing, qualified components. Ground support equipment requirements are defined and system development testing outlined.

  11. Reducing Risk and Increasing Exploration Payoff with Symbiotic Rover Pairs

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Planetary explorations missions avoid the destinations that offer the greatest scientific payout because these destinations come with a risk too great for a primary...

  12. Exploration of Mars with the ChemCam LIBS Instrument and the Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newsom, Horton E.

    2016-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover landed on Mars in August 2012, and has been exploring the planet ever since. Dr. Horton E. Newsom will discuss the MSL's design and main goal, which is to characterize past environments that may have been conducive to the evolution and sustainability of life. He will also discuss Curiosity's science payload, and remote sensing, analytical capabilities, and direct discoveries of the Chemistry & Camera (ChemCam) instrument, which is the first Laser Induced Breakdown Spectrometer (LIBS) to operate on another planetary surface and determine the chemistry of the rocks and soils.

  13. The Athena Science Payload for the 2003 Mars Exploration Rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Squyres, S. W.; Arvidson, R. E.; Bell, J. F., III; Carr, M.; Christensen, P.; DesMarais, D.; Economou, T.; Gorevan, S.; Haskin, L.; Herkenhoff, K.

    2001-01-01

    The Athena Mars rover payload is a suite of scientific instruments and tools for geologic exploration of the martian surface. It is designed to: (1) Provide color stereo imaging of martian surface environments, and remotely-sensed point discrimination of mineralogical composition. (2) Determine the elemental and mineralogical composition of martian surface materials, including soils, rock surfaces, and rock interiors. (3) Determine the fine-scale textural properties of these materials. Two identical copies of the Athena payload will be flown in 2003 on the two Mars Exploration Rovers. The payload is at a high state of maturity, and first copies of several of the instruments have already been built and tested for flight.

  14. PDS MSL Analyst's Notebook: Supporting Active Rover Missions and Adding Value to Planetary Data Archives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stein, Thomas

    Planetary data archives of surface missions contain data from numerous hosted instruments. Because of the nondeterministic nature of surface missions, it is not possible to assess the data without understanding the context in which they were collected. The PDS Analyst’s Notebook (http://an.rsl.wustl.edu) provides access to Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) data archives by integrating sequence information, engineering and science data, observation planning and targeting, and documentation into web-accessible pages to facilitate “mission replay.” In addition, Mars Exploration Rover (MER), Mars Phoenix Lander, Lunar Apollo surface mission, and LCROSS mission data are available in the Analyst’s Notebook concept, and a Notebook is planned for the Insight mission. The MSL Analyst’s Notebook contains data, documentation, and support files for the Curiosity rovers. The inputs are incorporated on a daily basis into a science team version of the Notebook. The public version of the Analyst’s Notebook is comprised of peer-reviewed, released data and is updated coincident with PDS data releases as defined in mission archive plans. The data are provided by the instrument teams and are supported by documentation describing data format, content, and calibration. Both operations and science data products are included. The operations versions are generated to support mission planning and operations on a daily basis. They are geared toward researchers working on machine vision and engineering operations. Science versions of observations from some instruments are provided for those interested in radiometric and photometric analyses. Both data set documentation and sol (i.e., Mars day) documents are included in the Notebook. The sol documents are the mission manager and documentarian reports that provide a view into science operations—insight into why and how particular observations were made. Data set documents contain detailed information regarding the mission, spacecraft

  15. Measuring planetary field parameters by scattered "SSSS" from the Husar-5 Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lang, A.; Kocsis, A.; Balaskó, D.; Csóka, B.; Molnar, B.; Sztojka, A.; Bejó, M.; Joób, Z.

    2017-09-01

    HUSAR-5 Rover reloaded: 2 years ago the Hunveyor-Husar Team in our school made yet a similar project. The ground idea was, we try to keep step with the main trends in the space research, in our recent case with the so called MSSM (Micro Sized Space- Mothership) and NPSDR (Nano, Pico Space Devices and Robots). [1]Of course, we do not want to scatter the smaller probe-cubes from a mothership, but from the Husar rover, and to do it on the planetary surface after landing. We have fabricated the rover with the ejecting tower and we have shown it on the EPSC 2015.The word "reloaded" means not only a new shape of the bullets, but a new mission with a new team. There are more pupils working in this project. The new bullets "SSSS" will be printed by a 3D printer.The microcontroller in bullets can be programmed with Arduino, so the "new generation" is able to do it.

  16. Fault-Tolerant Control Strategy for Steering Failures in Wheeled Planetary Rovers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandre Carvalho Leite

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Fault-tolerant control design of wheeled planetary rovers is described. This paper covers all steps of the design process, from modeling/simulation to experimentation. A simplified contact model is used with a multibody simulation model and tuned to fit the experimental data. The nominal mode controller is designed to be stable and has its parameters optimized to improve tracking performance and cope with physical boundaries and actuator saturations. This controller was implemented in the real rover and validated experimentally. An impact analysis defines the repertory of faults to be handled. Failures in steering joints are chosen as fault modes; they combined six fault modes and a total of 63 possible configurations of these faults. The fault-tolerant controller is designed as a two-step procedure to provide alternative steering and reuse the nominal controller in a way that resembles a crab-like driving mode. Three fault modes are injected (one, two, and three failed steering joints in the real rover to evaluate the response of the nonreconfigured and reconfigured control systems in face of these faults. The experimental results justify our proposed fault-tolerant controller very satisfactorily. Additional concluding comments and an outlook summarize the lessons learned during the whole design process and foresee the next steps of the research.

  17. Mars Exploration Rover Spirit End of Mission Report

    Science.gov (United States)

    Callas, John L.

    2015-01-01

    The Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Spirit landed in Gusev crater on Mars on January 4, 2004, for a prime mission designed to last three months (90 sols). After more than six years operating on the surface of Mars, the last communication received from Spirit occurred on Sol 2210 (March 22, 2010). Following the loss of signal, the Mars Exploration Rover Project radiated over 1400 commands to Mars in an attempt to elicit a response from the rover. Attempts were made utilizing Deep Space Network X-Band and UHF relay via both Mars Odyssey and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Search and recovery efforts concluded on July 13, 2011. It is the MER project's assessment that Spirit succumbed to the extreme environmental conditions experienced during its fourth winter on Mars. Focusing on the time period from the end of the third Martian winter through the fourth winter and end of recovery activities, this report describes possible explanations for the loss of the vehicle and the extent of recovery efforts that were performed. It offers lessons learned and provides an overall mission summary.

  18. Mars Exploration Rovers Launch Performance and TCM-1 Maneuver Design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kangas, Julie A.; Potts, Christopher L.; Raofi, Behzad

    2004-01-01

    The Mars Exploration Rover (MER) project successfully landed two identical rovers on Mars in order to remotely conduct geologic investigations, including characterization of rocks and soils that may hold clues to past water activity. Two landing sites, Gusev crater and Meridiani Planum, were selected out of nearly 200 candidate sites after balancing science returns and flight system engineering and safety. Precise trajectory targeting and control was necessary to achieve the atmospheric entry requirements for the selected landing sites within the flight system constraints. This paper discusses the expected and achieved launch vehicle performance and the impacts of that performance on the first Trajectory Correction Maneuver (TCM-1) while maintaining targeting flexibility in accommodating additional project concerns about landing site safety and possible in-flight retargeting to alternate landing sites.

  19. A New Vehicle for Planetary Surface Exploration: The Mars Tumbleweed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antol, Jeffrey

    2005-01-01

    The surface of Mars is currently being explored with a combination of orbiting spacecraft, stationary landers and wheeled rovers. However, only a small portion of the Martian surface has undergone in-situ examination. Landing sites must be chosen to insure the safety of the vehicles (and human explorers) and provide the greatest opportunity for mission success. While wheeled rovers provide the ability to move beyond the landing sites, they are also limited in their ability to traverse rough terrain; therefore, many scientifically interesting sites are inaccessible by current vehicles. In order to access these sites, a capability is needed that can transport scientific instruments across varied Martian terrain. A new "rover" concept for exploring the Martian surface, known as the Mars Tumbleweed, will derive mobility through use of the surface winds on Mars, much like the Tumbleweed plant does here on Earth. Using the winds on Mars, a Tumbleweed rover could conceivably travel great distances and cover broad areas of the planetary surface. Tumbleweed vehicles would be designed to withstand repeated bouncing and rolling on the rock covered Martian surface and may be durable enough to explore areas on Mars such as gullies and canyons that are currently inaccessible by conventional rovers. Achieving Mars wind-driven mobility; however, is not a minor task. The density of the atmosphere on Mars is approximately 60-80 times less than that on Earth and wind speeds are typically around 2-5 m/s during the day, with periodic winds of 10 m/s to 20 m/s (in excess of 25 m/s during seasonal dust storms). However, because of the Martian atmosphere#s low density, even the strongest winds on Mars equate to only a gentle breeze on Earth. Tumbleweed rovers therefore need to be relatively large (4-6 m in diameter), very lightweight (10-20 kg), and equipped with lightweight, low-power instruments. This paper provides an overview of the Tumbleweed concept, presents several notional design

  20. Rover exploration on the lunar surface; a science proposal for SELENE-B mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sasaki, S.; Kubota, T.; Akiyama, H.; Hirata, N.; Kunii, Y.; Matsumoto, K.; Okada, T.; Otake, M.; Saiki, K.; Sugihara, T.

    LUNARSURFACE:ASCIENCES. Sasaki (1), T. Kubota (2) , H. Akiyama (1) , N. Hirata (3), Y. Kunii (4), K. Matsumoto (5), T. Okada (2), M. Otake (3), K. Saiki (6), T. Sugihara (3) (1) Department of Earth and Planetary Science, Univ. Tokyo, (2) Institute of Space and Astronautical Sciences, (3) National Space Development Agency of Japan, (4) Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Chuo Univ., (5) National Aerospace Laboratory of Japan, (6) Research Institute of Materials and Resources, Akita Univ. sho@eps.s.u -tokyo.ac.jp/Fax:+81-3-5841-4569 A new lunar landing mission (SELENE-B) is now in consideration in Japan. Scientific investigation plans using a rover are proposed. To clarify the origin and evolution of the moon, the early crustal formation and later mare volcanic processes are still unveiled. We proposed two geological investigation plans: exploration of a crater central peak to discover subsurface materials and exploration of dome-cone structures on young mare region. We propose multi-band macro/micro camera using AOTF, X-ray spectrometer/diffractometer and gamma ray spectrometer. Since observation of rock fragments in brecciaed rocks is necessary, the rover should have cutting or scraping mechanism of rocks. In our current scenario, landing should be performed about 500m from the main target (foot of a crater central peak or a cone/dome). After the spectral survey by multi-band camera on the lander, the rover should be deployed for geological investigation. The rover should make a short (a few tens meter) round trip at first, then it should perform traverse observation toward the main target. Some technological investigations on SELENE-B project will be also presented.

  1. Accessing Information on the Mars Exploration Rovers Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walton, J. D.; Schreiner, J. A.

    2005-12-01

    In January 2004, the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) mission successfully deployed two robotic geologists - Spirit and Opportunity - to opposite sides of the red planet. Onboard each rover is an array of cameras and scientific instruments that send data back to Earth, where ground-based systems process and store the information. During the height of the mission, a team of about 250 scientists and engineers worked around the clock to analyze the collected data, determine a strategy and activities for the next day and then carefully compose the command sequences that would instruct the rovers in how to perform their tasks. The scientists and engineers had to work closely together to balance the science objectives with the engineering constraints so that the mission achieved its goals safely and quickly. To accomplish this coordinated effort, they adhered to a tightly orchestrated schedule of meetings and processes. To keep on time, it was critical that all team members were aware of what was happening, knew how much time they had to complete their tasks, and could easily access the information they need to do their jobs. Computer scientists and software engineers at NASA Ames Research Center worked closely with the mission managers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) to create applications that support the mission. One such application, the Collaborative Information Portal (CIP), helps mission personnel perform their daily tasks, whether they work inside mission control or the science areas at JPL, or in their homes, schools, or offices. With a three-tiered, service-oriented architecture (SOA) - client, middleware, and data repository - built using Java and commercial software, CIP provides secure access to mission schedules and to data and images transmitted from the Mars rovers. This services-based approach proved highly effective for building distributed, flexible applications, and is forming the basis for the design of future mission software systems. Almost two

  2. Robots and humans: synergy in planetary exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.

    2004-01-01

    How will humans and robots cooperate in future planetary exploration? Are humans and robots fundamentally separate modes of exploration, or can humans and robots work together to synergistically explore the solar system? It is proposed that humans and robots can work together in exploring the planets by use of telerobotic operation to expand the function and usefulness of human explorers, and to extend the range of human exploration to hostile environments. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  3. Recent Accomplishments in Mars Exploration: The Rover Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLennan, S. M.; McSween, H. Y.

    2018-04-01

    Mobile rovers have revolutionized our understanding of Mars geology by identifying habitable environments and addressing critical questions related to Mars science. Both the advances and limitations of rovers set the scene for Mars Sample Return.

  4. An online planetary exploration tool: ;Country Movers;

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gede, Mátyás; Hargitai, Henrik

    2017-08-01

    Results in astrogeologic investigations are rarely communicated towards the general public by maps despite the new advances in planetary spatial informatics and new spatial datasets in high resolution and more complete coverage. Planetary maps are typically produced by astrogeologists for other professionals, and not by cartographers for the general public. We report on an application designed for students, which uses cartography as framework to aid the virtual exploration of other planets and moons, using the concepts of size comparison and travel time calculation. We also describe educational activities that build on geographic knowledge and expand it to planetary surfaces.

  5. Scientific Results of the Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banerdt, W. B.

    2006-08-01

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover project launched two robotic geologists, Spirit and Opportunity, toward Mars in June and July of 2003, reaching Mars the following January. The science objectives for this mission are focused on delineating the geologic history for two locations on Mars, with an emphasis on the history of water. Although they were designed for a 90-day mission, both rovers have lasted more than two years on the surface and each has covered more than four miles while investigating Martian geology. Spirit was targeted to Gusev Crater, a 300-km diameter impact basin that was suspected to be the site of an ancient lake. Initial investigations of the plains in the vicinity of the landing site found no evidence of such a lake, but were instead consistent with unaltered (by water) basaltic plains. But after a 3-km trek to an adjacent range of hills it found a quite different situation, with abundant chemical and morphological evidence for a complex geological history. Opportunity has been exploring Meridiani Planum, which was known from orbital data to contain the mineral hematite, which generally forms in the presence of water. The rocks exposed in Meridiani are highly chemically altered, and appear to have been exposed to significant amounts of water. By descending into the 130-m diameter Endurance Crater, Opportunity was able to analyze a 10-m vertical section of this rock unit, which showed significant gradations in chemistry and morphology.

  6. Developing Science Operations Concepts for the Future of Planetary Surface Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, K. E.; Bleacher, J. E.; Rogers, A. D.; McAdam, A.; Evans, C. A.; Graff, T. G.; Garry, W. B.; Whelley,; Scheidt, S.; Carter, L.; hide

    2017-01-01

    Through fly-by, orbiter, rover, and even crewed missions, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has been extremely successful in exploring planetary bodies throughout our Solar System. The focus on increasingly complex Mars orbiter and rover missions has helped us understand how Mars has evolved over time and whether life has ever existed on the red planet. However, large strategic knowledge gaps (SKGs) still exist in our understanding of the evolution of the Solar System (e.g. the Lunar Exploration Analysis Group, Small Bodies Analysis Group, and Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group). Sending humans to these bodies is a critical part of addressing these SKGs in order to transition to a new era of planetary exploration by 2050.

  7. Planetary Protection Issues in the Human Exploration of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Criswell, Marvin E.; Race, M. S.; Rummel, J. D.; Baker, A.

    2005-01-01

    This workshop report, long delayed, is the first 21st century contribution to what will likely be a series of reports examining the effects of human exploration on the overall scientific study of Mars. The considerations of human-associated microbial contamination were last studied in a 1990 workshop ("Planetary Protection Issues and Future Mars Missions," NASA CP-10086, 1991), but the timing of that workshop allowed neither a careful examination of the full range of issues, nor an appreciation for the Mars that has been revealed by the Mars Global Surveyor and Mars Pathfinder missions. Future workshops will also have the advantage of Mars Odyssey, the Mars Exploration Rover missions, and ESA's Mars Express, but the Pingree Park workshop reported here had both the NCR's (1992) concern that "Missions carrying humans to Mars will contaminate the planet" and over a decade of careful study of human exploration objectives to guide them and to reconcile. A daunting challenge, and one that is not going to be simple (as the working title of this meeting, "When Ecologies Collide?" might suggest), it is clear that the planetary protection issues will have to be addressed to enable human explorers to safely and competently extend out knowledge about Mars, and its potential as a home for life whether martian or human.

  8. Conceptual Design and Architecture of Mars Exploration Rover (MER) for Seismic Experiments Over Martian Surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garg, Akshay; Singh, Amit

    2012-07-01

    Keywords: MER, Mars, Rover, Seismometer Mars has been a subject of human interest for exploration missions for quite some time now. Both rover as well as orbiter missions have been employed to suit mission objectives. Rovers have been preferentially deployed for close range reconnaissance and detailed experimentation with highest accuracy. However, it is essential to strike a balance between the chosen science objectives and the rover operations as a whole. The objective of this proposed mechanism is to design a vehicle (MER) to carry out seismic studies over Martian surface. The conceptual design consists of three units i.e. Mother Rover as a Surrogate (Carrier) and Baby Rovers (two) as seeders for several MEMS-based accelerometer / seismometer units (Nodes). Mother Rover can carry these Baby Rovers, having individual power supply with solar cells and with individual data transmission capabilities, to suitable sites such as Chasma associated with Valles Marineris, Craters or Sand Dunes. Mother rover deploys these rovers in two opposite direction and these rovers follow a triangulation pattern to study shock waves generated through firing tungsten carbide shells into the ground. Till the time of active experiments Mother Rover would act as a guiding unit to control spatial spread of detection instruments. After active shock experimentation, the babies can still act as passive seismometer units to study and record passive shocks from thermal quakes, impact cratering & landslides. Further other experiments / payloads (XPS / GAP / APXS) can also be carried by Mother Rover. Secondary power system consisting of batteries can also be utilized for carrying out further experiments over shallow valley surfaces. The whole arrangement is conceptually expected to increase the accuracy of measurements (through concurrent readings) and prolong life cycle of overall experimentation. The proposed rover can be customised according to the associated scientific objectives and further

  9. The New Planetary Science Archive (PSA): Exploration and Discovery of Scientific Datasets from ESA's Planetary Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heather, David; Besse, Sebastien; Vallat, Claire; Barbarisi, Isa; Arviset, Christophe; De Marchi, Guido; Barthelemy, Maud; Coia, Daniela; Costa, Marc; Docasal, Ruben; Fraga, Diego; Grotheer, Emmanuel; Lim, Tanya; MacFarlane, Alan; Martinez, Santa; Rios, Carlos; Vallejo, Fran; Saiz, Jaime

    2017-04-01

    The Planetary Science Archive (PSA) is the European Space Agency's (ESA) repository of science data from all planetary science and exploration missions. The PSA provides access to scientific datasets through various interfaces at http://psa.esa.int. All datasets are scientifically peer-reviewed by independent scientists, and are compliant with the Planetary Data System (PDS) standards. The PSA is currently implementing a number of significant improvements, mostly driven by the evolution of the PDS standard, and the growing need for better interfaces and advanced applications to support science exploitation. As of the end of 2016, the PSA is hosting data from all of ESA's planetary missions. This includes ESA's first planetary mission Giotto that encountered comet 1P/Halley in 1986 with a flyby at 800km. Science data from Venus Express, Mars Express, Huygens and the SMART-1 mission are also all available at the PSA. The PSA also contains all science data from Rosetta, which explored comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and asteroids Steins and Lutetia. The year 2016 has seen the arrival of the ExoMars 2016 data in the archive. In the upcoming years, at least three new projects are foreseen to be fully archived at the PSA. The BepiColombo mission is scheduled for launch in 2018. Following that, the ExoMars Rover Surface Platform (RSP) in 2020, and then the JUpiter ICy moon Explorer (JUICE). All of these will archive their data in the PSA. In addition, a few ground-based support programmes are also available, especially for the Venus Express and Rosetta missions. The newly designed PSA will enhance the user experience and will significantly reduce the complexity for users to find their data promoting one-click access to the scientific datasets with more customized views when needed. This includes a better integration with Planetary GIS analysis tools and Planetary interoperability services (search and retrieve data, supporting e.g. PDAP, EPN-TAP). It will also be up

  10. Communication System Architecture for Planetary Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braham, Stephen P.; Alena, Richard; Gilbaugh, Bruce; Glass, Brian; Norvig, Peter (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Future human missions to Mars will require effective communications supporting exploration activities and scientific field data collection. Constraints on cost, size, weight and power consumption for all communications equipment make optimization of these systems very important. These information and communication systems connect people and systems together into coherent teams performing the difficult and hazardous tasks inherent in planetary exploration. The communication network supporting vehicle telemetry data, mission operations, and scientific collaboration must have excellent reliability, and flexibility.

  11. Information architecture for a planetary 'exploration web'

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lamarra, N.; McVittie, T.

    2002-01-01

    'Web services' is a common way of deploying distributed applications whose software components and data sources may be in different locations, formats, languages, etc. Although such collaboration is not utilized significantly in planetary exploration, we believe there is significant benefit in developing an architecture in which missions could leverage each others capabilities. We believe that an incremental deployment of such an architecture could significantly contribute to the evolution of increasingly capable, efficient, and even autonomous remote exploration.

  12. Miniaturisation of imaging spectrometer for planetary exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drossart, Pierre; Sémery, Alain; Réess, Jean-Michel; Combes, Michel

    2017-11-01

    Future planetary exploration on telluric or giant planets will need a new kind of instrumentation combining imaging and spectroscopy at high spectral resolution to achieve new scientific measurements, in particular for atmospheric studies in nadir configuration. We present here a study of a Fourier Transform heterodyne spectrometer, which can achieve these objectives, in the visible or infrared. The system is composed of a Michelson interferometer, whose mirrors have been replaced by gratings, a configuration studied in the early days of Fourier Transform spectroscopy, but only recently reused for space instrumentation, with the availability of large infrared mosaics. A complete study of an instrument is underway, with optical and electronic tests, as well as data processing analysis. This instrument will be proposed for future planetary missions, including ESA/Bepi Colombo Mercury Planetary Orbiter or Earth orbiting platforms.

  13. Dynamic Reconfiguration in Planetary Exploration

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cohn, Marisa

    2014-01-01

    In taking into account the ways in which material and social realms are constitutively entangled within organizations, it is rhetorically tempting to say that technologies and social structures reconfigure each other. But what does it mean to reconfigure? How does one "figure" the other and how do...... we fully embrace a mutually constitutive relationship when examining fluid relations? This paper delves into these questions by exploring how physical, social, material, technological, and organizational arrangements dynamically reconfigure each other in the duration of organizational practice. Using...... be gained by focusing attention on the dynamic reconfigurations between social and material realms. In so doing, we call attention to the ways in which current sociomaterial perspectives have difficulty articulating the shifting, figural, asymmetric and dynamic negotiations between people, social structures...

  14. Integrated Navigation System Design for Micro Planetary Rovers: Comparison of Absolute Heading Estimation Algorithms and Nonlinear Filtering

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ilyas, Muhammad; Hong, Beomjin; Cho, Kuk; Baeg, Seung-Ho; Park, Sangdeok

    2016-01-01

    This paper provides algorithms to fuse relative and absolute microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) navigation sensors, suitable for micro planetary rovers, to provide a more accurate estimation of navigation information, specifically, attitude and position. Planetary rovers have extremely slow speed (~1 cm/s) and lack conventional navigation sensors/systems, hence the general methods of terrestrial navigation may not be applicable to these applications. While relative attitude and position can be tracked in a way similar to those for ground robots, absolute navigation information is hard to achieve on a remote celestial body, like Moon or Mars, in contrast to terrestrial applications. In this study, two absolute attitude estimation algorithms were developed and compared for accuracy and robustness. The estimated absolute attitude was fused with the relative attitude sensors in a framework of nonlinear filters. The nonlinear Extended Kalman filter (EKF) and Unscented Kalman filter (UKF) were compared in pursuit of better accuracy and reliability in this nonlinear estimation problem, using only on-board low cost MEMS sensors. Experimental results confirmed the viability of the proposed algorithms and the sensor suite, for low cost and low weight micro planetary rovers. It is demonstrated that integrating the relative and absolute navigation MEMS sensors reduces the navigation errors to the desired level. PMID:27223293

  15. An obstacle detection system using binocular stereo fisheye lenses for planetary rover navigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, L.; Jia, J.; Li, L.

    In this paper we present an implementation of an obstacle detection system using binocular stereo fisheye lenses for planetary rover navigation The fisheye lenses can improve image acquisition efficiency and handle minimal clearance recovery problem because they provide a large field of view However the fisheye lens introduces significant distortion in the image and this will make it much more difficult to find a one-to-one correspondence In addition we have to improve the system accuracy and efficiency for robot navigation To compute dense depth maps accurately in real time the following five key issues are considered 1 using lookup tables for a tradeoff between time and space in fisheye distortion correction and correspondence matching 2 using an improved incremental calculation scheme for algorithmic optimization 3 multimedia instruction set MMX implementation 4 consistency check to remove wrong stereo matching problems suffering from occlusions or mismatches 5 constraints of the recovery space To realize obstacle detection robustly we use the following three steps 1 extracting the ground plane parameters using Randomized Hough Transform 2 filtering the ground and background 3 locating the obstacles by using connected region detection Experimental results show the system can run at 3 2fps in 2 0GHz PC with 640X480 pixels

  16. Assessment of Mars Exploration Rover Landing Site Predictions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golombek, M. P.

    2005-05-01

    Comprehensive analyses of remote sensing data during the 3-year effort to select the Mars Exploration Rover landing sites at Gusev crater and Meridiani Planum correctly predicted the safe and trafficable surfaces explored by the two rovers. Gusev crater was predicted to be a relatively low relief surface that was comparably dusty, but less rocky than the Viking landing sites. Available data for Meridiani Planum indicated a very flat plain composed of basaltic sand to granules and hematite that would look completely unlike any of the existing landing sites with a dark, low albedo surface, little dust and very few rocks. Orbital thermal inertia measurements of 315 J m-2 s-0.5 K-1 at Gusev suggested surfaces dominated by duricrust to cemented soil-like materials or cohesionless sand or granules, which is consistent with observed soil characteristics and measured thermal inertias from the surface. THEMIS thermal inertias along the traverse at Gusev vary from 285 at the landing site to 330 around Bonneville rim and show systematic variations that can be related to the observed increase in rock abundance (5-30%). Meridiani has an orbital bulk inertia of ~200, similar to measured surface inertias that correspond to observed surfaces dominated by 0.2 mm sand size particles. Rock abundance derived from orbital thermal differencing techniques suggested that Meridiani Planum would have very low rock abundance, consistent with the rock free plain traversed by Opportunity. Spirit landed in an 8% orbital rock abundance pixel, consistent with the measured 7% of the surface covered by rocks >0.04 m diameter at the landing site, which is representative of the plains away from craters. The orbital albedo of the Spirit traverse varies from 0.19 to 0.30, consistent with surface measurements in and out of dust devil tracks. Opportunity is the first landing in a low albedo portion of Mars as seen from orbit, which is consistent with the dark, dust-free surface and measured albedos. The

  17. RAT magnet experiment on the Mars Exploration Rovers: Spirit and Opportunity beyond sol 500

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Leer, Kristoffer; Goetz, Walter; Chan, Marjorie A.

    2011-01-01

    The Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) magnet experiment on the Mars Exploration Rovers was designed to collect dust from rocks ground by the RAT of the two rovers on the surface of Mars. The dust collected on the magnets is now a mixture of dust from many grindings. Here the new data from the experiment...

  18. SPEX: the Spectropolarimeter for Planetary Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rietjens, J. H. H.; Snik, F.; Stam, D. M.; Smit, J. M.; van Harten, G.; Keller, C. U.; Verlaan, A. L.; Laan, E. C.; ter Horst, R.; Navarro, R.; Wielinga, K.; Moon, S. G.; Voors, R.

    2017-11-01

    We present SPEX, the Spectropolarimeter for Planetary Exploration, which is a compact, robust and low-mass spectropolarimeter designed to operate from an orbiting or in situ platform. Its purpose is to simultaneously measure the radiance and the state (degree and angle) of linear polarization of sunlight that has been scattered in a planetary atmosphere and/or reflected by a planetary surface with high accuracy. The degree of linear polarization is extremely sensitive to the microphysical properties of atmospheric or surface particles (such as size, shape, and composition), and to the vertical distribution of atmospheric particles, such as cloud top altitudes. Measurements as those performed by SPEX are therefore crucial and often the only tool for disentangling the many parameters that describe planetary atmospheres and surfaces. SPEX uses a novel, passive method for its radiance and polarization observations that is based on a carefully selected combination of polarization optics. This method, called spectral modulation, is the modulation of the radiance spectrum in both amplitude and phase by the degree and angle of linear polarization, respectively. The polarization optics consists of an achromatic quarter-wave retarder, an athermal multiple-order retarder, and a polarizing beam splitter. We will show first results obtained with the recently developed prototype of the SPEX instrument, and present a performance analysis based on a dedicated vector radiative transport model together with a recently developed SPEX instrument simulator.

  19. The University Rover Challenge: A competition highlighting Human and Robotic partnerships for exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Heather; Duncan, Andrew

    2016-07-01

    The University Rover Challenge began in 2006 with 4 American college teams competing, now in it's 10th year there are 63 teams from 12 countries registered to compete for the top rover designed to assist humans in the exploration of Mars. The Rovers compete aided by the University teams in four tasks (3 engineering and 1 science) in the Mars analog environment of the Utah Southern Desert in the United States. In this presentation we show amazing rover designs with videos demonstrating the incredible ingenuity, skill and determination of the world's most talented college students. We describe the purpose and results of each of the tasks: Astronaut Assistant, Rover Dexterity, Terrain maneuvering, and Science. We explain the evolution of the competition and common challenges faced by the robotic explorers

  20. Russian Planetary Exploration History, Development, Legacy, Prospects

    CERN Document Server

    Harvey, Brian

    2007-01-01

    Russia’s accomplishments in planetary space exploration were not achieved easily. Formerly, the USSR experienced frustration in trying to tame unreliable Molniya and Proton upper stages and in tracking spacecraft over long distances. This book will assess the scientific haul of data from the Venus and Mars missions and look at the engineering approaches. The USSR developed several generations of planetary probes: from MV and Zond to the Phobos type. The engineering techniques used and the science packages are examined, as well as the nature of the difficulties encountered which ruined several missions. The programme’s scientific and engineering legacy is also addressed, as well as its role within the Soviet space programme as a whole. Brian Harvey concludes by looking forward to future Russian planetary exploration (e.g Phobos Grunt sample return mission). Several plans have been considered and may, with a restoration of funding, come to fruition. Soviet studies of deep space and Mars missions (e.g. TMK, ...

  1. Planetary Science Training for NASA's Astronauts: Preparing for Future Human Planetary Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bleacher, J. E.; Evans, C. A.; Graff, T. G.; Young, K. E.; Zeigler, R.

    2017-02-01

    Astronauts selected in 2017 and in future years will carry out in situ planetary science research during exploration of the solar system. Training to enable this goal is underway and is flexible to accommodate an evolving planetary science vision.

  2. Propulsive maneuver design for the Mars Exploration Rover mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potts, Christopher L.; Kangas, Julie A.; Raofi, Behzad

    2006-01-01

    Starting from approximately 150 candidate Martian landing sites, two distinct sites have been selected for further investigation by sophisticated rovers. The two rovers, named 'Spirit' and 'Opportunity', begin the surface mission respectively to Gusec Crater and Meridiani Planum in January 2004. the rovers are essentially robotic geologists, sent on a mission to research for evidence in the rocks and soil pertaining to the historical presence of water and the ability to possibly sustain life. Before this scientific search can commence, precise trajectory targeting and control is necessary to achieve the entry requirements for the selected landing sites within the constraints of the flight system. The maneuver design challenge is to meet or exceed these requirements while maintaining the necessary design flexibility to accommodate additional project concerns. Opportunities to improve performance and reduce risk based on trajectory control characteristics are also evaluated.

  3. Critical Spacecraft-to-Earth Communications for Mars Exploration Rover (MER) entry, descent and landing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hurd, William J.; Estabrook, Polly; Racho, Caroline S.; Satorius, Edgar H.

    2002-01-01

    For planetary lander missions, the most challenging phase of the spacecraft to ground communications is during the entry, descent, and landing (EDL). As each 2003 Mars Exploration Rover (MER) enters the Martian atmosphere, it slows dramatically. The extreme acceleration and jerk cause extreme Doppler dynamics on the X-band signal received on Earth. When the vehicle slows sufficiently, the parachute is deployed, causing almost a step in deceleration. After parachute deployment, the lander is lowered beneath the parachute on a bridle. The swinging motion of the lander imparts high Doppler dynamics on the signal and causes the received signal strength to vary widely, due to changing antenna pointing angles. All this time, the vehicle transmits important health and status information that is especially critical if the landing is not successful. Even using the largest Deep Space Network antennas, the weak signal and high dynamics render it impossible to conduct reliable phase coherent communications. Therefore, a specialized form of frequency-shift-keying will be used. This paper describes the EDL scenario, the signal conditions, the methods used to detect and frequency-track the carrier and to detect the data modulation, and the resulting performance estimates.

  4. Dynamic Modeling and Soil Mechanics for Path Planning of the Mars Exploration Rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trease, Brian; Arvidson, Raymond; Lindemann, Randel; Bennett, Keith; Zhou, Feng; Iagnemma, Karl; Senatore, Carmine; Van Dyke, Lauren

    2011-01-01

    To help minimize risk of high sinkage and slippage during drives and to better understand soil properties and rover terramechanics from drive data, a multidisciplinary team was formed under the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) project to develop and utilize dynamic computer-based models for rover drives over realistic terrains. The resulting tool, named ARTEMIS (Adams-based Rover Terramechanics and Mobility Interaction Simulator), consists of the dynamic model, a library of terramechanics subroutines, and the high-resolution digital elevation maps of the Mars surface. A 200-element model of the rovers was developed and validated for drop tests before launch, using MSC-Adams dynamic modeling software. Newly modeled terrain-rover interactions include the rut-formation effect of deformable soils, using the classical Bekker-Wong implementation of compaction resistances and bull-dozing effects. The paper presents the details and implementation of the model with two case studies based on actual MER telemetry data. In its final form, ARTEMIS will be used in a predictive manner to assess terrain navigability and will become part of the overall effort in path planning and navigation for both Martian and lunar rovers.

  5. The History of Planetary Exploration Using Mass Spectrometers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaffy, Paul R.

    2012-01-01

    At the Planetary Probe Workshop Dr. Paul Mahaffy will give a tutorial on the history of planetary exploration using mass spectrometers. He will give an introduction to the problems and solutions that arise in making in situ measurements at planetary targets using this instrument class.

  6. Planetary protection in the framework of the Aurora exploration program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kminek, G.

    The Aurora Exploration Program will give ESA new responsibilities in the field of planetary protection. Until now, ESA had only limited exposure to planetary protection from its own missions. With the proposed ExoMars and MSR missions, however, ESA will enter the realm of the highest planetary protection categories. As a consequence, the Aurora Exploration Program has initiated a number of activities in the field of planetary protection. The first and most important step was to establish a Planetary Protection Working Group (PPWG) that is advising the Exploration Program Advisory Committee (EPAC) on all matters concerning planetary protection. The main task of the PPWG is to provide recommendations regarding: Planetary protection for robotic missions to Mars; Planetary protection for a potential human mission to Mars; Review/evaluate standards & procedures for planetary protection; Identify research needs in the field of planetary protection. As a result of the PPWG deliberations, a number of activities have been initiated: Evaluation of the Microbial Diversity in SC Facilities; Working paper on legal issues of planetary protection and astrobiology; Feasibility study on a Mars Sample Return Containment Facility; Research activities on sterilization procedures; Training course on planetary protection (May, 2004); Workshop on sterilization techniques (fall 2004). In parallel to the PPWG, the Aurora Exploration Program has established an Ethical Working Group (EWG). This working group will address ethical issues related to astrobiology, planetary protection, and manned interplanetary missions. The recommendations of the working groups and the results of the R&D activities form the basis for defining planetary protection specification for Aurora mission studies, and for proposing modification and new inputs to the COSPAR planetary protection policy. Close cooperation and free exchange of relevant information with the NASA planetary protection program is strongly

  7. Human-Robot Planetary Exploration Teams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tyree, Kimberly

    2004-01-01

    The EVA Robotic Assistant (ERA) project at NASA Johnson Space Center studies human-robot interaction and robotic assistance for future human planetary exploration. Over the past four years, the ERA project has been performing field tests with one or more four-wheeled robotic platforms and one or more space-suited humans. These tests have provided experience in how robots can assist humans, how robots and humans can communicate in remote environments, and what combination of humans and robots works best for different scenarios. The most efficient way to understand what tasks human explorers will actually perform, and how robots can best assist them, is to have human explorers and scientists go and explore in an outdoor, planetary-relevant environment, with robots to demonstrate what they are capable of, and roboticists to observe the results. It can be difficult to have a human expert itemize all the needed tasks required for exploration while sitting in a lab: humans do not always remember all the details, and experts in one arena may not even recognize that the lower level tasks they take for granted may be essential for a roboticist to know about. Field tests thus create conditions that more accurately reveal missing components and invalid assumptions, as well as allow tests and comparisons of new approaches and demonstrations of working systems. We have performed field tests in our local rock yard, in several locations in the Arizona desert, and in the Utah desert. We have tested multiple exploration scenarios, such as geological traverses, cable or solar panel deployments, and science instrument deployments. The configuration of our robot can be changed, based on what equipment is needed for a given scenario, and the sensor mast can even be placed on one of two robot bases, each with different motion capabilities. The software architecture of our robot is also designed to be as modular as possible, to allow for hardware and configuration changes. Two focus

  8. Robotic Tool Changer for Planetary Exploration, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Future planetary exploration missions will require compact, lightweight robotic manipulators for handling a variety of tools & instruments without increasing the...

  9. Parallel Architectures for Planetary Exploration Requirements (PAPER)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cezzar, Ruknet

    1993-01-01

    The project's main contributions have been in the area of student support. Throughout the project, at least one, in some cases two, undergraduate students have been supported. By working with the project, these students gained valuable knowledge involving the scientific research project, including the not-so-pleasant reporting requirements to the funding agencies. The other important contribution was towards the establishment of a graduate program in computer science at Hampton University. Primarily, the PAPER project has served as the main research basis in seeking funds from other agencies, such as the National Science Foundation, for establishing a research infrastructure in the department. In technical areas, especially in the first phase, we believe the trip to Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and gathering together all the pertinent information involving experimental computer architectures aimed for planetary explorations was very helpful. Indeed, if this effort is to be revived in the future due to congressional funding for planetary explorations, say an unmanned mission to Mars, our interim report will be an important starting point. In other technical areas, our simulator has pinpointed and highlighted several important performance issues related to the design of operating system kernels for MIMD machines. In particular, the critical issue of how the kernel itself will run in parallel on a multiple-processor system has been addressed through the various ready list organization and access policies. In the area of neural computing, our main contribution was an introductory tutorial package to familiarize the researchers at NASA with this new and promising field zone axes (20). Finally, we have introduced the notion of reversibility in programming systems which may find applications in various areas of space research.

  10. Scientific field training for human planetary exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lim, D. S. S.; Warman, G. L.; Gernhardt, M. L.; McKay, C. P.; Fong, T.; Marinova, M. M.; Davila, A. F.; Andersen, D.; Brady, A. L.; Cardman, Z.; Cowie, B.; Delaney, M. D.; Fairén, A. G.; Forrest, A. L.; Heaton, J.; Laval, B. E.; Arnold, R.; Nuytten, P.; Osinski, G.; Reay, M.; Reid, D.; Schulze-Makuch, D.; Shepard, R.; Slater, G. F.; Williams, D.

    2010-05-01

    Forthcoming human planetary exploration will require increased scientific return (both in real time and post-mission), longer surface stays, greater geographical coverage, longer and more frequent EVAs, and more operational complexities than during the Apollo missions. As such, there is a need to shift the nature of astronauts' scientific capabilities to something akin to an experienced terrestrial field scientist. To achieve this aim, the authors present a case that astronaut training should include an Apollo-style curriculum based on traditional field school experiences, as well as full immersion in field science programs. Herein we propose four Learning Design Principles (LDPs) focused on optimizing astronaut learning in field science settings. The LDPs are as follows: LDP#1: Provide multiple experiences: varied field science activities will hone astronauts' abilities to adapt to novel scientific opportunities LDP#2: Focus on the learner: fostering intrinsic motivation will orient astronauts towards continuous informal learning and a quest for mastery LDP#3: Provide a relevant experience - the field site: field sites that share features with future planetary missions will increase the likelihood that astronauts will successfully transfer learning LDP#4: Provide a social learning experience - the field science team and their activities: ensuring the field team includes members of varying levels of experience engaged in opportunities for discourse and joint problem solving will facilitate astronauts' abilities to think and perform like a field scientist. The proposed training program focuses on the intellectual and technical aspects of field science, as well as the cognitive manner in which field scientists experience, observe and synthesize their environment. The goal of the latter is to help astronauts develop the thought patterns and mechanics of an effective field scientist, thereby providing a broader base of experience and expertise than could be achieved

  11. Cerebellum Augmented Rover Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Matthew

    2005-01-01

    Bio-Inspired Technologies and Systems (BITS) are a very natural result of thinking about Nature's way of solving problems. Knowledge of animal behaviors an be used in developing robotic behaviors intended for planetary exploration. This is the expertise of the JFL BITS Group and has served as a philosophical model for NMSU RioRobolab. Navigation is a vital function for any autonomous system. Systems must have the ability to determine a safe path between their current location and some target location. The MER mission, as well as other JPL rover missions, uses a method known as dead-reckoning to determine position information. Dead-reckoning uses wheel encoders to sense the wheel's rotation. In a sandy environment such as Mars, this method is highly inaccurate because the wheels will slip in the sand. Improving positioning error will allow the speed of an autonomous navigating rover to be greatly increased. Therefore, local navigation based upon landmark tracking is desirable in planetary exploration. The BITS Group is developing navigation technology based upon landmark tracking. Integration of the current rover architecture with a cerebellar neural network tracking algorithm will demonstrate that this approach to navigation is feasible and should be implemented in future rover and spacecraft missions.

  12. Photometric Observations of Soils and Rocks at the Mars Exploration Rover Landing Sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, J. R.; Arvidson, R. A.; Bell, J. F., III; Farrand, W.; Guinness, E.; Johnson, M.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Lemmon, M.; Morris, R. V.; Seelos, F., IV

    2005-01-01

    The Panoramic Cameras (Pancam) on the Spirit and Opportunity Mars Exploration Rovers have acquired multispectral reflectance observations of rocks and soils at different incidence, emission, and phase angles that will be used for photometric modeling of surface materials. Phase angle coverage at both sites extends from approx. 0 deg. to approx. 155 deg.

  13. Sensor Array Analyzer for Planetary Exploration, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Future planetary exploration missions such as those planned by NASA and other space agencies over the next few decades require advanced chemical and biological...

  14. Adaptive bio-inspired navigation for planetary exploration, Phase II

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Exploration of planetary environments with current robotic technologies relies on human control and power-hungry active sensors to perform even the most elementary...

  15. Exploration of Extreme Terrain Using a Polyhedral Rover

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Exploring celestial bodies with extreme terrains in our solar system, like Mars, Europa, Enceladus, and asteroids, are of great importance to NASA because these...

  16. Planetary sciences and exploration: An Indian perspective

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Studies of impact craters records in the Indian shield have also been pursued and led to ... and emission of X-rays from planets as well as analytical modelling of martian ionosphere and ... Meteorite; moon; solar activity; solar system; martian atmosphere; planetary .... face layers of any meteorite reaching the earth, one.

  17. Application of radioactive sources in analytical instruments for planetary exploration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Economou, T.E.

    2008-01-01

    Full text: In the past 50 years or so, many types of radioactive sources have been used in space exploration. 238 Pu is often used in space missions in Radioactive Heater Units (RHU) and Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTG) for heat and power generation, respectively. In 1960's, 2 ' 42 Cm alpha radioactive sources have been used for the first time in space applications on 3 Surveyor spacecrafts to obtain the chemical composition of the lunar surface with an instrument based on the Rutherford backscatterring of the alpha particles from nuclei in the analyzed sample. 242 Cm is an alpha emitter of 6.1 MeV alpha particles. Its half-life time, 163 days, is short enough to allow sources to be prepared with the necessary high intensity per unit area ( up to 470 mCi and FWHM of about 1.5% in the lunar instruments) that results in narrow energy distribution, yet long enough that the sources have adequate lifetimes for short duration missions. 242 Cm is readily prepared in curie quantities by irradiation of 241 Am by neutrons in nuclear reactors, followed by chemical separation of the curium from the americium and fission products. For long duration missions, like for example missions to Mars, comets, and asteroids, the isotope 244 Cm (T 1/2 =18.1 y, E α =5.8 MeV) is a better source because of its much longer half-life time. Both of these isotopes are also excellent x-ray excitation sources and have been used for that purpose on several planetary missions. For the light elements the excitation is caused mainly by the alpha particles, while for the heavier elements (> Ca) the excitation is mainly due to the x-rays from the Pu L-lines (E x =14-18 keV). 244 Cm has been used in several variations of the Alpha Proton Xray Spectrometer (APXS): PHOBOS 1 and 2 Pathfinder, Russian Mars-96 mission, Mars Exploration Rover (MER) and Rosetta. Other sources used in X-ray fluorescence instruments in space are 55 Fe and 109 Cd (Viking1,2, Beagle 2) and 57 Co is used in Moessbauer

  18. Microbial Ecology of a Crewed Rover Traverse in the Arctic: Low Microbial Dispersal and Implications for Planetary Protection on Human Mars Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuerger, Andrew C.; Lee, Pascal

    2015-01-01

    Between April 2009 and July 2011, the NASA Haughton-Mars Project (HMP) led the Northwest Passage Drive Expedition (NWPDX), a multi-staged long-distance crewed rover traverse along the Northwest Passage in the Arctic. In April 2009, the HMP Okarian rover was driven 496 km over sea ice along the Northwest Passage, from Kugluktuk to Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, Canada. During the traverse, crew members collected samples from within the rover and from undisturbed snow-covered surfaces around the rover at three locations. The rover samples and snow samples were stored at subzero conditions (-20C to -1C) until processed for microbial diversity in labs at the NASA Kennedy Space Center, Florida. The objective was to determine the extent of microbial dispersal away from the rover and onto undisturbed snow. Interior surfaces of the rover were found to be associated with a wide range of bacteria (69 unique taxa) and fungi (16 unique taxa). In contrast, snow samples from the upwind, downwind, uptrack, and downtrack sample sites exterior to the rover were negative for both bacteria and fungi except for two colony-forming units (cfus) recovered from one downwind (1 cfu; site A4) and one uptrack (1 cfu; site B6) sample location. The fungus, Aspergillus fumigatus (GenBank JX517279), and closely related bacteria in the genus Brevibacillus were recovered from both snow (B. agri, GenBank JX517278) and interior rover surfaces. However, it is unknown whether the microorganisms were deposited onto snow surfaces at the time of sample collection (i.e., from the clothing or skin of the human operator) or via airborne dispersal from the rover during the 12-18 h layovers at the sites prior to collection. Results support the conclusion that a crewed rover traveling over previously undisturbed terrain may not significantly contaminate the local terrain via airborne dispersal of propagules from the vehicle. Key Words: Planetary protection-Contamination-Habitability-Haughton Crater-Mars. Astrobiology

  19. Exploring the planetary boundary for chemical pollution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Diamond, Miriam L.; de Wit, Cynthia A.; Molander, Sverker

    2015-01-01

    Rockström et al. (2009a, 2009b) have warned that humanity must reduce anthropogenic impacts defined by nine planetary boundaries if "unacceptable global change" is to be avoided. Chemical pollution was identified as one of those boundaries for which continued impacts could erode the resilience...... of ecosystems and humanity. The central concept of the planetary boundary (or boundaries) for chemical pollution (PBCP or PBCPs) is that the Earth has a finite assimilative capacity for chemical pollution, which includes persistent, as well as readily degradable chemicals released at local to regional scales......, which in aggregate threaten ecosystem and human viability. The PBCP allows humanity to explicitly address the increasingly global aspects of chemical pollution throughout a chemical's life cycle and the need for a global response of internationally coordinated control measures. We submit that sufficient...

  20. The Planetary Science Archive (PSA): Exploration and discovery of scientific datasets from ESA's planetary missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vallat, C.; Besse, S.; Barbarisi, I.; Arviset, C.; De Marchi, G.; Barthelemy, M.; Coia, D.; Costa, M.; Docasal, R.; Fraga, D.; Heather, D. J.; Lim, T.; Macfarlane, A.; Martinez, S.; Rios, C.; Vallejo, F.; Said, J.

    2017-09-01

    The Planetary Science Archive (PSA) is the European Space Agency's (ESA) repository of science data from all planetary science and exploration missions. The PSA provides access to scientific datasets through various interfaces at http://psa.esa.int. All datasets are scientifically peer-reviewed by independent scientists, and are compliant with the Planetary Data System (PDS) standards. The PSA has started to implement a number of significant improvements, mostly driven by the evolution of the PDS standards, and the growing need for better interfaces and advanced applications to support science exploitation.

  1. Robots and Humans in Planetary Exploration: Working Together?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.; Lyons, Valerie (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    Today's approach to human-robotic cooperation in planetary exploration focuses on using robotic probes as precursors to human exploration. A large portion of current NASA planetary surface exploration is focussed on Mars, and robotic probes are seen as precursors to human exploration in: Learning about operation and mobility on Mars; Learning about the environment of Mars; Mapping the planet and selecting landing sites for human mission; Demonstration of critical technology; Manufacture fuel before human presence, and emplace elements of human-support infrastructure

  2. Volatiles and Isotopes and the Exploration of Ancient and Modern Martian Habitability with the Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mhaffy, P. R.

    2015-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory Mission was designed to pave the way for the study of life beyond Earth through a search for a habitable environment in a carefully selected landing site on Mars. Its ongoing exploration of Gale Crater with the Curiosity Rover has provided a rich data set that revealed such an environment in an ancient lakebed [1]. Volatile and isotope measurements of both the atmosphere and solids contribute to our growing understanding of both modern and ancient environments.

  3. Solar discrepancies: Mars exploration and the curious problem of inter-planetary time

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mirmalek, Zara Lenora

    The inter-planetary work system for the NASA's Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) mission entailed coordinating work between two corporally diverse workgroups, human beings and solar-powered robots, and between two planets with asynchronous axial rotations. The rotation of Mars takes approximately 24 hours and 40 minutes while for Earth the duration is 24 hours, a differential that was synchronized on Earth by setting a clock forward forty minutes every day. The hours of the day during which the solar-powered rovers were operational constituted the central consideration in the relationship between time and work around which the schedule of MER science operations were organized. And, the operational hours for the rovers were precarious for at least two reasons: on the one hand, the possibility of a sudden and inexplicable malfunction was always present; on the other, the rovers were powered by solar-charged batteries that could simply (and would eventually) fail. Thus, the timetable for the inter-planetary work system was scheduled according to the daily cycle of the sun on Mars and a version of clock time called Mars time was used to keep track of the movement of the sun on Mars. While the MER mission was a success, it does not necessarily follow that all aspects of mission operations were successful. One of the central problems that plagued the organization of mission operations was precisely this construct called "Mars time" even while it appeared that the use of Mars time was unproblematic and central to the success of the mission. In this dissertation, Zara Mirmalek looks at the construction of Mars time as a tool and as a social process. Of particular interest are the consequences of certain (ostensibly foundational) assumptions about the relationship between clock time and the conduct of work that contributed to making the relationship between Mars time and work on Earth appear operational. Drawing on specific examples of breakdowns of Mars time as a support

  4. Exploring the planetary boundary for chemical pollution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diamond, Miriam L; de Wit, Cynthia A; Molander, Sverker; Scheringer, Martin; Backhaus, Thomas; Lohmann, Rainer; Arvidsson, Rickard; Bergman, Åke; Hauschild, Michael; Holoubek, Ivan; Persson, Linn; Suzuki, Noriyuki; Vighi, Marco; Zetzsch, Cornelius

    2015-05-01

    Rockström et al. (2009a, 2009b) have warned that humanity must reduce anthropogenic impacts defined by nine planetary boundaries if "unacceptable global change" is to be avoided. Chemical pollution was identified as one of those boundaries for which continued impacts could erode the resilience of ecosystems and humanity. The central concept of the planetary boundary (or boundaries) for chemical pollution (PBCP or PBCPs) is that the Earth has a finite assimilative capacity for chemical pollution, which includes persistent, as well as readily degradable chemicals released at local to regional scales, which in aggregate threaten ecosystem and human viability. The PBCP allows humanity to explicitly address the increasingly global aspects of chemical pollution throughout a chemical's life cycle and the need for a global response of internationally coordinated control measures. We submit that sufficient evidence shows stresses on ecosystem and human health at local to global scales, suggesting that conditions are transgressing the safe operating space delimited by a PBCP. As such, current local to global pollution control measures are insufficient. However, while the PBCP is an important conceptual step forward, at this point single or multiple PBCPs are challenging to operationalize due to the extremely large number of commercial chemicals or mixtures of chemicals that cause myriad adverse effects to innumerable species and ecosystems, and the complex linkages between emissions, environmental concentrations, exposures and adverse effects. As well, the normative nature of a PBCP presents challenges of negotiating pollution limits amongst societal groups with differing viewpoints. Thus, a combination of approaches is recommended as follows: develop indicators of chemical pollution, for both control and response variables, that will aid in quantifying a PBCP(s) and gauging progress towards reducing chemical pollution; develop new technologies and technical and social

  5. Real-time Accurate Surface Reconstruction Pipeline for Vision Guided Planetary Exploration Using Unmanned Ground and Aerial Vehicles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almeida, Eduardo DeBrito

    2012-01-01

    This report discusses work completed over the summer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology. A system is presented to guide ground or aerial unmanned robots using computer vision. The system performs accurate camera calibration, camera pose refinement and surface extraction from images collected by a camera mounted on the vehicle. The application motivating the research is planetary exploration and the vehicles are typically rovers or unmanned aerial vehicles. The information extracted from imagery is used primarily for navigation, as robot location is the same as the camera location and the surfaces represent the terrain that rovers traverse. The processed information must be very accurate and acquired very fast in order to be useful in practice. The main challenge being addressed by this project is to achieve high estimation accuracy and high computation speed simultaneously, a difficult task due to many technical reasons.

  6. Brake Failure from Residual Magnetism in the Mars Exploration Rover Lander Petal Actuator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jandura, Louise

    2004-01-01

    In January 2004, two Mars Exploration Rover spacecraft arrived at Mars. Each safely delivered an identical rover to the Martian surface in a tetrahedral lander encased in airbags. Upon landing, the airbags deflated and three Lander Petal Actuators opened the three deployable Lander side petals enabling the rover to exit the Lander. Approximately nine weeks prior to the scheduled launch of the first spacecraft, one of these mission-critical Lander Petal Actuators exhibited a brake stuck-open failure during its final flight stow at Kennedy Space Center. Residual magnetism was the definitive conclusion from the failure investigation. Although residual magnetism was recognized as an issue in the design, the lack of an appropriately specified lower bound on brake drop-out voltage inhibited the discovery of this problem earlier in the program. In addition, the brakes had more unit-to-unit variation in drop-out voltage than expected, likely due to a larger than expected variation in the magnetic properties of the 15-5 PH stainless steel brake plates. Failure analysis and subsequent rework of two other Lander Petal Actuators with marginal brakes was completed in three weeks, causing no impact to the launch date.

  7. The Scale of Exploration: Planetary Missions Set in the Context of Tourist Destinations on Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garry, W. B.; Bleacher, L. V.; Bleacher, J. E.; Petro, N. E.; Mest, S. C.; Williams, S. H.

    2012-03-01

    What if the Apollo astronauts explored Washington, DC, or the Mars Exploration Rovers explored Disney World? We present educational versions of the traverse maps for Apollo and MER missions set in the context of popular tourist destinations on Earth.

  8. Cavehopping Exploration of Planetary Skylights and Tunnels

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The robots that venture into caves must leap, fly, or rappel into voids, traverse rubble, navigate safely in the dark, self-power, and explore autonomously with...

  9. Ground Truthing Orbital Clay Mineral Observations with the APXS Onboard Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schroeder, C.; Gellert, R.; VanBommel, S.; Clark, B. C.; Ming, D. W.; Mittlefehldt, D. S.; Yen, A. S.

    2016-01-01

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has been exploring approximately 22 km diameter Endeavour crater since 2011. Its rim segments predate the Hesperian-age Burns formation and expose Noachian-age material, which is associated with orbital Fe3+-Mg-rich clay mineral observations [1,2]. Moving to an orders of magnitude smaller instrumental field of view on the ground, the clay minerals were challenging to pinpoint on the basis of geochemical data because they appear to be the result of near-isochemical weathering of the local bedrock [3,4]. However, the APXS revealed a more complex mineral story as fracture fills and so-called red zones appear to contain more Al-rich clay minerals [5,6], which had not been observed from orbit. These observations are important to constrain clay mineral formation processes. More detail will be added as Opportunity is heading into her 10th extended mission, during which she will investigate Noachian bedrock that predates Endeavour crater, study sedimentary rocks inside Endeavour crater, and explore a fluid-carved gully. ESA's ExoMars rover will land on Noachian-age Oxia Planum where abundant Fe3+-Mg-rich clay minerals have been observed from orbit, but the story will undoubtedly become more complex once seen from the ground.

  10. Planetary exploration and science recent results and advances

    CERN Document Server

    Jin, Shuanggen; Ip, Wing-Huen

    2014-01-01

    This contributed monograph is the first work to present the latest results and findings on the new topic and hot field of planetary exploration and sciences, e.g., lunar surface iron content and mare orientale basalts, Earth's gravity field, Martian radar exploration, crater recognition, ionosphere and astrobiology, Comet ionosphere, exoplanetary atmospheres and planet formation in binaries. By providing detailed theory and examples, this book helps readers to quickly familiarize themselves with the field. In addition, it offers a special section on next-generation planetary exploration, which opens a new landscape for future exploration plans and missions. Prof. Shuanggen Jin works at the Shanghai Astronomical Observatory, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China. Dr. Nader Haghighipour works at the University of Hawaii-Manoa, USA. Prof. Wing-Huen Ip works at the National Central University, Taiwan.

  11. Distant Worlds Milestones in Planetary Exploration

    CERN Document Server

    Bond, Peter

    2007-01-01

    Peter Bond provides an overview of key, unmanned missions, chapter by chapter, to planets in the twentieth century. He tells the story of the mission planners and engineers who, working mostly in the background, made these unprecedented achievements in scientific exploration possible. Bond’s perspective provides a much-needed overview, but it also details the very human feelings that animated the intense rivalries between the Soviet Union and the United States, and most recently the difficulties that arose in collaborations between NASA and ESA on the Rosetta and Halley's Comet missions.

  12. Hybrid Mobile Communication Networks for Planetary Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alena, Richard; Lee, Charles; Walker, Edward; Osenfort, John; Stone, Thom

    2007-01-01

    A paper discusses the continuing work of the Mobile Exploration System Project, which has been performing studies toward the design of hybrid communication networks for future exploratory missions to remote planets. A typical network could include stationary radio transceivers on a remote planet, mobile radio transceivers carried by humans and robots on the planet, terrestrial units connected via the Internet to an interplanetary communication system, and radio relay transceivers aboard spacecraft in orbit about the planet. Prior studies have included tests on prototypes of these networks deployed in Arctic and desert regions chosen to approximate environmental conditions on Mars. Starting from the findings of the prior studies, the paper discusses methods of analysis, design, and testing of the hybrid communication networks. It identifies key radio-frequency (RF) and network engineering issues. Notable among these issues is the study of wireless LAN throughput loss due to repeater use, RF signal strength, and network latency variations. Another major issue is that of using RF-link analysis to ensure adequate link margin in the face of statistical variations in signal strengths.

  13. Collecting, Managing, and Visualizing Data during Planetary Surface Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, K. E.; Graff, T. G.; Bleacher, J. E.; Whelley, P.; Garry, W. B.; Rogers, A. D.; Glotch, T. D.; Coan, D.; Reagan, M.; Evans, C. A.; Garrison, D. H.

    2017-12-01

    While the Apollo lunar surface missions were highly successful in collecting valuable samples to help us understand the history and evolution of the Moon, technological advancements since 1969 point us toward a new generation of planetary surface exploration characterized by large volumes of data being collected and used to inform traverse execution real-time. Specifically, the advent of field portable technologies mean that future planetary explorers will have vast quantities of in situ geochemical and geophysical data that can be used to inform sample collection and curation as well as strategic and tactical decision making that will impact mission planning real-time. The RIS4E SSERVI (Remote, In Situ and Synchrotron Studies for Science and Exploration; Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute) team has been working for several years to deploy a variety of in situ instrumentation in relevant analog environments. RIS4E seeks both to determine ideal instrumentation suites for planetary surface exploration as well as to develop a framework for EVA (extravehicular activity) mission planning that incorporates this new generation of technology. Results from the last several field campaigns will be discussed, as will recommendations for how to rapidly mine in situ datasets for tactical and strategic planning. Initial thoughts about autonomy in mining field data will also be presented. The NASA Extreme Environments Mission Operations (NEEMO) missions focus on a combination of Science, Science Operations, and Technology objectives in a planetary analog environment. Recently, the increase of high-fidelity marine science objectives during NEEMO EVAs have led to the ability to evaluate how real-time data collection and visualization can influence tactical and strategic planning for traverse execution and mission planning. Results of the last few NEEMO missions will be discussed in the context of data visualization strategies for real-time operations.

  14. The new Athena alpha particle X-ray spectrometer for the Mars Exploration Rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rieder, R.; Gellert, R.; Brückner, J.; Klingelhöfer, G.; Dreibus, G.; Yen, A.; Squyres, S. W.

    2003-11-01

    The new alpha particle X-ray spectrometer (APXS) is part of the Athena payload of the two Mars Exploration Rovers (MER). The APXS sensor head is attached to the turret of the instrument deployment device (IDD) of the rover. The APXS is a very light-weight instrument for determining the major and minor elemental composition of Martian soils, rocks, and other geological materials at the MER landing sites. The sensor head has simply to be docked by the IDD on the surface of the selected sample. X-ray radiation, excited by alpha particles and X rays of the radioactive sources, is recorded by a high-resolution X-ray detector. The X-ray spectra show elements starting from sodium up to yttrium, depending on their concentrations. The backscattered alpha spectra, measured by a ring of detectors, provide additional data on carbon and oxygen. By means of a proper calibration, the elemental concentrations are derived. Together with data from the two other Athena instruments mounted on the IDD, the samples under investigation can be fully characterized. Key APXS objectives are the determination of the chemistry of crustal rocks and soils and the examination of water-related deposits, sediments, or evaporates. Using the rock abrasion tool attached to the IDD, issues of weathering can be addressed by measuring natural and abraded surfaces of rocks.

  15. Galileo Avionica's technologies and instruments for planetary exploration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Battistelli, E; Falciani, P; Magnani, P; Midollini, B; Preti, G; Re, E

    2006-12-01

    Several missions for planetary exploration, including comets and asteroids, are ongoing or planned by the European Space Agencies: Rosetta, Venus Express, Bepi Colombo, Dawn, Aurora and all Mars Programme (in its past and next missions) are good examples. The satisfaction of the scientific request for the mentioned programmes calls for the development of new instruments and facilities devoted to investigate the body (planet, asteroid or comet) both remotely and by in situ measurements. The paper is an overview of some instruments for remote sensing and in situ planetary exploration already developed or under study by Galileo Avionica Space & Electro-Optics B.U. (in the following shortened as Galileo Avionica) for both the Italian Space Agency (ASI) and for the European Space Agency (ESA). Main technologies and specifications are outlined; for more detailed information please refer to Galileo Avionica's web-site at: http://www.galileoavionica.com .

  16. Overview of the magnetic properties experiments on the Mars Exploration Rovers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Madsen, M. B.; Goetz, W.; Bertelsen, P.

    2009-01-01

    , while the weakly magnetic one is bright red. Images returned by the Microscopic Imager reveal the formation of magnetic chains diagnostic of magnetite-rich grains with substantial magnetization (>8 Am-2 kg(-1)). On the basis of Mossbauer spectra the dust contains magnetite, olivine, pyroxene......The Mars Exploration Rovers have accumulated airborne dust on different types of permanent magnets. Images of these magnets document the dynamics of dust capture and removal over time. The strongly magnetic subset of airborne dust appears dark brown to black in Panoramic Camera (Pancam) images......, and nanophase oxides in varying proportions, depending on wind regime and landing site. The dust contains a larger amount of ferric iron (Fe3+/Fe-tot similar to 0.6) than rocks in the Gusev plains (similar to 0.1-0.2) or average Gusev soil (similar to 0.3). Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer data of the dust...

  17. Middleware and Web Services for the Collaborative Information Portal of NASA's Mars Exploration Rovers Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinderson, Elias; Magapu, Vish; Mak, Ronald

    2004-01-01

    We describe the design and deployment of the middleware for the Collaborative Information Portal (CIP), a mission critical J2EE application developed for NASA's 2003 Mars Exploration Rover mission. CIP enabled mission personnel to access data and images sent back from Mars, staff and event schedules, broadcast messages and clocks displaying various Earth and Mars time zones. We developed the CIP middleware in less than two years time usins cutting-edge technologies, including EJBs, servlets, JDBC, JNDI and JMS. The middleware was designed as a collection of independent, hot-deployable web services, providing secure access to back end file systems and databases. Throughout the middleware we enabled crosscutting capabilities such as runtime service configuration, security, logging and remote monitoring. This paper presents our approach to mitigating the challenges we faced, concluding with a review of the lessons we learned from this project and noting what we'd do differently and why.

  18. Processing of Mars Exploration Rover Imagery for Science and Operations Planning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexander, Douglass A.; Deen, Robert G.; Andres, Paul M.; Zamani, Payam; Mortensen, Helen B.; Chen, Amy C.; Cayanan, Michael K.; Hall, Jeffrey R.; Klochko, Vadim S.; Pariser, Oleg; hide

    2006-01-01

    The twin Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) delivered an unprecedented array of image sensors to the Mars surface. These cameras were essential for operations, science, and public engagement. The Multimission Image Processing Laboratory (MIPL) at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory was responsible for the first-order processing of all of the images returned by these cameras. This processing included reconstruction of the original images, systematic and ad hoc generation of a wide variety of products derived from those images, and delivery of the data to a variety of customers, within tight time constraints. A combination of automated and manual processes was developed to meet these requirements, with significant inheritance from prior missions. This paper describes the image products generated by MIPL for MER and the processes used to produce and deliver them.

  19. A multitasking behavioral control system for the Robotic All Terrain Lunar Exploration Rover (RATLER)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klarer, P.

    1994-01-01

    An alternative methodology for designing an autonomous navigation and control system is discussed. This generalized hybrid system is based on a less sequential and less anthropomorphic approach than that used in the more traditional artificial intelligence (AI) technique. The architecture is designed to allow both synchronous and asynchronous operations between various behavior modules. This is accomplished by intertask communications channels which implement each behavior module and each interconnection node as a stand-alone task. The proposed design architecture allows for construction of hybrid systems which employ both subsumption and traditional AI techniques as well as providing for a teleoperator's interface. Implementation of the architecture is planned for the prototype Robotic All Terrain Lunar Explorer Rover (RATLER) which is described briefly.

  20. A multitasking behavioral control system for the Robotic All-Terrain Lunar Exploration Rover (RATLER)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klarer, Paul

    1993-01-01

    An approach for a robotic control system which implements so called 'behavioral' control within a realtime multitasking architecture is proposed. The proposed system would attempt to ameliorate some of the problems noted by some researchers when implementing subsumptive or behavioral control systems, particularly with regard to multiple processor systems and realtime operations. The architecture is designed to allow synchronous operations between various behavior modules by taking advantage of a realtime multitasking system's intertask communications channels, and by implementing each behavior module and each interconnection node as a stand-alone task. The potential advantages of this approach over those previously described in the field are discussed. An implementation of the architecture is planned for a prototype Robotic All Terrain Lunar Exploration Rover (RATLER) currently under development and is briefly described.

  1. Design of Hybrid Mobile Communication Networks for Planetary Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alena, Richard L.; Ossenfort, John; Lee, Charles; Walker, Edward; Stone, Thom

    2004-01-01

    The Mobile Exploration System Project (MEX) at NASA Ames Research Center has been conducting studies into hybrid communication networks for future planetary missions. These networks consist of space-based communication assets connected to ground-based Internets and planetary surface-based mobile wireless networks. These hybrid mobile networks have been deployed in rugged field locations in the American desert and the Canadian arctic for support of science and simulation activities on at least six occasions. This work has been conducted over the past five years resulting in evolving architectural complexity, improved component characteristics and better analysis and test methods. A rich set of data and techniques have resulted from the development and field testing of the communication network during field expeditions such as the Haughton Mars Project and NASA Mobile Agents Project.

  2. An Antarctic research outpost as a model for planetary exploration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersen, D T; McKay, C P; Wharton, R A; Rummel, J D

    1990-01-01

    During the next 50 years, human civilization may well begin expanding into the solar system. This colonization of extraterrestrial bodies will most likely begin with the establishment of small research outposts on the Moon and/or Mars. In all probability these facilities, designed primarily for conducting exploration and basic science, will have international participation in their crews, logistical support and funding. High fidelity Earth-based simulations of planetary exploration could help prepare for these expensive and complex operations. Antarctica provides one possible venue for such a simulation. The hostile and remote dry valleys of southern Victoria Land offer a valid analog to the Martian environment but are sufficiently accessible to allow routine logistical support and to assure the relative safety of their inhabitants. An Antarctic research outpost designed as a planetary exploration simulation facility would have great potential as a testbed and training site for the operation of future Mars bases and represents a near-term, relatively low-cost alternative to other precursor activities. Antarctica already enjoys an international dimension, an aspect that is more than symbolically appropriate to an international endeavor of unprecedented scientific and social significance--planetary exploration by humans. Potential uses of such a facility include: 1) studying human factors in an isolated environment (including long-term interactions among an international crew); 2) testing emerging technologies (e.g., advanced life support facilities such as a partial bioregenerative life support system, advanced analytical and sample acquisition instrumentation and equipment, etc.); and 3) conducting basic scientific research similar to the research that will be conducted on Mars, while contributing to the planning for human exploration. (Research of this type is already ongoing in Antarctica).

  3. Introduction of JAXA Lunar and Planetary Exploration Data Analysis Group: Landing Site Analysis for Future Lunar Polar Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otake, H.; Ohtake, M.; Ishihara, Y.; Masuda, K.; Sato, H.; Inoue, H.; Yamamoto, M.; Hoshino, T.; Wakabayashi, S.; Hashimoto, T.

    2018-04-01

    JAXA established JAXA Lunar and Planetary Exploration Data Analysis Group (JLPEDA) at 2016. Our group has been analyzing lunar and planetary data for various missions. Here, we introduce one of our activities.

  4. Lunar planetary exploration of Japan; Nippon no tsuki wakusei tansa

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Haruyama, J. [Research Development Corporation of Japan, Tokyo (Japan)

    1996-05-01

    This paper describes lunar planetary exploration of Japan as a result of success in launching the H-II rocket. Under the cooperation between the Space Chemistry Research Institute (ISAS) of the Ministry of Education and the National Aerospace Development Association (NASDA), discussions have begun on launching an orbital satellite for lunar planetary exploration early in the 2000`s. The objective includes a study on origin and evolution of the moon, feasibility study on moon utilization, and learning the moon surface soft landing technology. Explorations on objects other than moon may be conceived by using such a large rocket as H-II. Exploration on living organisms on Mars may be one of them. Light emitting monitors that operate on the living organism dying identification method could be used on places where living organisms are likely to exist on Mars. Then, samples may be brought back, and it might be possible to pursue the mystery of life origin. A comet has no internal melting by heat as in planets, and keeps composing substances as they have been generated. In other words, it could be said a fossil in the solar system that retains initial substances in the solar system. Samples, if they can be brought back, could be keys to solve the mystery of the solar system formation. The Halley comet is said covered with organic substances. There is a theory that life originating substances on the earth were made on a comet, which were supplied to the earth as a result of collision.

  5. Paleo-environmental Setting of the Murray Formation of Aeolis Mons, Gale Crater, Mars, as Explored by the Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, K. W.; Fedo, C.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Gupta, S.; Stein, N.; Rivera-Hernandez, F.; Watkins, J. A.; Banham, S.; Edgett, K. S.; Minitti, M. E.; Schieber, J.; Edgar, L. A.; Siebach, K. L.; Stack, K.; Newsom, H. E.; House, C. H.; Sumner, D. Y.; Vasavada, A. R.

    2017-12-01

    Since landing, the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover climbed 300 meters in elevation from the floor of north Gale crater up the lower northwest flank of Aeolis Mons ("Mount Sharp"). Nearly 200 meters of this ascent was accomplished in the 1.5 years alone, as the rover was driven up-section through the sedimentary rocks of the informally designated "Murray" formation. This unit comprises a large fraction of the lower strata of Mt. Sharp along the rover traverse. Our exploration of the Murray formation reveals a diverse suite of fine-grained facies. Grain sizes range from finer grains than can be resolved by the MAHLI imager (particles bearing Vera Rubin Ridge, continues to reveal the complex and long-lived depositional history of the Gale crater basin.

  6. Mars Exploration Rover Pancam Photometric Data QUBs: Definition and Example Uses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soderblom, J. M.; Bell, J. F.; Arvidson, R. E.; Johnson, J. R.; Johnson, M. J.; Seelos, F. P.

    2004-12-01

    Pancam multi-spectral observations acquired at the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit and Opportunity landing sites are being assembled into a multi-layer format know as a QUB. For any given pixel in a Pancam image the QUB will contain values for the radiance factor, incidence (i), emission (e), and phase (g) angles, X, Y, and Z distance in a rover-based coordinate system, disparity in number of pixels between the left and right eye images and range data. Good range data is required for the generation of a Pancam QUB. The radiance factor (I/F, where I is the measured scene radiance on sensor and π F is the incident solar irradiance) is calculated using a combination of preflight calibration data and information obtained from near-simultaneous observations of an onboard reflectance calibration target. The range, X, Y, Z and disparity data, and i, e, and g are calculated using routines developed by JPL's MIPL and Cornell. When possible, these data have been interpolated to maximize parameter coverage; a map of non-interpolated data is also included in each QUB. QUBs should prove very useful in photometric studies (e.g., Johnson et al.; Seelos, et al., this conference), detailed spectral analyses (e.g., Bell et al., this conference), and detailed topographic/DTM studies. Here we present two examples of the utilization of the information contained in Pancam QUBs. In one example we remove the photometric variability from spectra collected from multiple facets of a rock using knowledge of i, e, g and derived photometric functions. This is necessary if one wishes to conduct comparative studies of observations acquired under varying geometries and lighting conditions. In another example we present an analysis using the discrete ordinate multiple scattering radiative transfer code DISORT where we separate the atmosphere and surface contributions of the surface reflectance.

  7. The US planetary exploration program opportunities for international cooperation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briggs, G. A.

    1984-01-01

    Opportunities for international participation in US-sponsored interplanetary missions are discussed on the basis of the recommendations of the Committee on Planetary and Lunar Exploration of the National Academy of Sciences Space Science Board. The initial core missions suggested are a Venus radar mapper, a Mars geoscience/climatology orbiter, a comet-rendezvous/asteroid-flyby mission, and a Titan probe/radar mapper. Subsequent core missions are listed, and the need for cooperation in planning and development stages to facilitate international participation is indicated.

  8. The Design of Two Nano-Rovers for Lunar Surface Exploration in the Context of the Google Lunar X Prize

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gill, E.; Honfi Camilo, L.; Kuystermans, P.; Maas, A. S. B. B.; Buutfeld, B. A. M.; van der Pols, R. H.

    2008-09-01

    This paper summarizes a study performed by ten students at the Delft University of Technology on a lunar exploration vehicle suited for competing in the Google Lunar X Prize1. The design philosophy aimed at a quick and simple design process, to comply with the mission constraints. This is achieved by using conventional technology and performing the mission with two identical rovers, increasing reliability and simplicity of systems. Both rovers are however capable of operating independently. The required subsystems have been designed for survival and operation on the lunar surface for an estimated mission lifetime of five days. This preliminary study shows that it is possible for two nano-rovers to perform the basic exploration tasks. The mission has been devised such that after launch the rovers endure a 160 hour voyage to the Moon after which they will land on Sinus Medii with a dedicated lunar transfer/lander vehicle. The mission outline itself has the two nano-rovers travelling in the same direction, moving simultaneously. This mission characteristic allows a quick take-over of the required tasks by the second rover in case of one rover breakdown. The main structure of the rovers will consist of Aluminium 2219 T851, due to its good thermal properties and high hardness. Because of the small dimensions of the rovers, the vehicles will use rigid caterpillar tracks as locomotion system. The track systems are sealed from lunar dust using closed track to prevent interference with the mechanisms. This also prevents any damage to the electronics inside the tracks. For the movement speed a velocity of 0.055 m/s has been determined. This is about 90% of the maximum rover velocity, allowing direct control from Earth. The rovers are operated by a direct control loop, involving the mission control center. In order to direct the rovers safely, a continuous video link with the Earth is necessary to assess its immediate surroundings. Two forward pointing navigational cameras

  9. Long-Life, Lightweight, Multi-Roller Traction Drives for Planetary Vehicle Surface Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, Richard C.; Fusaro, Robert L.; Dimofte, Florin

    2012-01-01

    NASA s initiative for Lunar and Martian exploration will require long lived, robust drive systems for manned vehicles that must operate in hostile environments. The operation of these mechanical drives will pose a problem because of the existing extreme operating conditions. Some of these extreme conditions include operating at a very high or very cold temperature, operating over a wide range of temperatures, operating in very dusty environments, operating in a very high radiation environment, and operating in possibly corrosive environments. Current drive systems use gears with various configurations of teeth. These gears must be lubricated with oil (or grease) and must have some sort of a lubricant resupply system. For drive systems, oil poses problems such as evaporation, becoming too viscous and eventually freezing at cold temperatures, being too thin to lubricate at high temperatures, being degraded by the radiation environment, being contaminated by the regolith (soil), and if vaporized (and not sealed), it will contaminate the regolith. Thus, it may not be advisable or even possible to use oil because of these limitations. An oil-less, compact traction vehicle drive is a drive designed for use in hostile environments like those that will be encountered on planetary surfaces. Initially, traction roller tests in vacuum were conducted to obtain traction and endurance data needed for designing the drives. From that data, a traction drive was designed that would fit into a prototype lunar rover vehicle, and this design data was used to construct several traction drives. These drives were then tested in air to determine their performance characteristics, and if any final corrections to the designs were necessary. A limitation with current speed reducer systems such as planetary gears and harmonic drives is the high-contact stresses that occur at tooth engagement and in the harmonic drive wave generator interface. These high stresses induce high wear of solid

  10. Exploration of the Moon to Enable Lunar and Planetary Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neal, C. R.

    2014-12-01

    The Moon represents an enabling Solar System exploration asset because of its proximity, resources, and size. Its location has facilitated robotic missions from 5 different space agencies this century. The proximity of the Moon has stimulated commercial space activity, which is critical for sustainable space exploration. Since 2000, a new view of the Moon is coming into focus, which is very different from that of the 20th century. The documented presence of volatiles on the lunar surface, coupled with mature ilmenite-rich regolith locations, represent known resources that could be used for life support on the lunar surface for extended human stays, as well as fuel for robotic and human exploration deeper into the Solar System. The Moon also represents a natural laboratory to explore the terrestrial planets and Solar System processes. For example, it is an end-member in terrestrial planetary body differentiation. Ever since the return of the first lunar samples by Apollo 11, the magma ocean concept was developed and has been applied to both Earth and Mars. Because of the small size of the Moon, planetary differentiation was halted at an early (primary?) stage. However, we still know very little about the lunar interior, despite the Apollo Lunar Surface Experiments, and to understand the structure of the Moon will require establishing a global lunar geophysical network, something Apollo did not achieve. Also, constraining the impact chronology of the Moon allows the surfaces of other terrestrial planets to be dated and the cratering history of the inner Solar System to be constrained. The Moon also represents a natural laboratory to study space weathering of airless bodies. It is apparent, then, that human and robotic missions to the Moon will enable both science and exploration. For example, the next step in resource exploration is prospecting on the surface those deposits identified from orbit to understand the yield that can be expected. Such prospecting will also

  11. Dust Accumulation and Solar Panel Array Performance on the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turgay, Eren H.

    2004-01-01

    One of the most fundamental design considerations for any space vehicle is its power supply system. Many options exist, including batteries, fuel cells, nuclear reactors, radioisotopic thermal generators (RTGs), and solar panel arrays. Solar arrays have many advantages over other types of power generation. They are lightweight and relatively inexpensive, allowing more mass and funding to be allocated for other important devices, such as scientific instruments. For Mars applications, solar power is an excellent option, especially for long missions. One might think that dust storms would be a problem; however, while dust blocks some solar energy, it also scatters it, making it diffuse rather than beamed. Solar cells are still able to capture this diffuse energy and convert it into substantial electrical power. For these reasons, solar power was chosen to be used on the 1997 Mars Pathfinder mission. The success of this mission set a precedent, as NASA engineers have selected solar power as the energy system of choice for all future Mars missions, including the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Project. Solar sells have their drawbacks, however. They are difficult to manufacture and are relatively fragile. In addition, solar cells are highly sensitive to different parts of the solar spectrum, and finding the correct balance is crucial to the success of space missions. Another drawback is that the power generated is not a constant with respect to time, but rather changes with the relative angle to the sun. On Mars, dust accumulation also becomes a factor. Over time, dust settles out of the atmosphere and onto solar panels. This dust blocks and shifts the frequency of the incoming light, degrading solar cell performance. My goal is to analyze solar panel telemetry data from the two MERs (Spirit and Opportunity) in an effort to accurately model the effect of dust accumulation on solar panels. This is no easy process due to the large number of factors involved. Changing solar

  12. Design of a nuclear-powered rover for lunar or Martian exploration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Trellue, H.R.; Trautner, R.; Houts, M.G.; Poston, D.I.; Giovig, K.; Baca, J.A.; Lipinski, R.J.

    1998-08-01

    To perform more advanced studies on the surface of the moon or Mars, a rover must provide long-term power (≥10 kW e ). However, a majority of rovers in the past have been designed for much lower power levels (i.e., on the order of watts) or for shorter operating periods using stored power. Thus, more advanced systems are required to generate additional power. One possible design for a more highly powered rover involves using a nuclear reactor to supply energy to the rover and material from the surface of the moon or Mars to shield the electronics from high neutron fluxes and gamma doses. Typically, one of the main disadvantages of using a nuclear-powered rover is that the required shielding would be heavy and expensive to include as part of the payload on a mission. Obtaining most of the required shielding material from the surface of the moon or Mars would reduce the cost of the mission and still provide the necessary power. This paper describes the basic design of a rover that uses the Heatpipe Power System (HPS) as an energy source, including the shielding and reactor control issues associated with the design. It also discusses briefly the amount of power that can be produced by other power methods (solar/photovoltaic cells, radioisotope power supplies, dynamic radioisotope power systems, and the production of methane or acetylene fuel from the surface of Mars) as a comparison to the HPS

  13. (Nearly) Seven Years on Mars: Adventure, Adversity, and Achievements with the NASA Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, J. F.; Mars Exploration Rover Science; Engineering Teams

    2010-12-01

    NASA successfully landed twin rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, on Mars in January 2004, in the most ambitious mission of robotic exploration attempted to that time. Each rover is outfitted as a robot field geologist with an impressive array of scientific instruments--cameras, spectrometers, other sensors--designed to investigate the composition and geologic history of two distinctly-different landing sites. The sites were chosen because of their potential to reveal clues about the past history of water and climate on Mars, and thus to provide tests of the hypothesis that the planet may once have been an abode for life. In this presentation I will review the images, spectra, and chemical/mineralogic information that the rover team has been acquiring from the landing sites and along the rovers' 7.7 and 22.7 km traverse paths, respectively. The data and interpretations have been widely shared with the public and the scientific community through web sites, frequent press releases, and scientific publications, and they provide quantitative evidence that liquid water has played a role in the modification of the Martian surface during the earliest part of the planet's history. At the Spirit site in Gusev Crater, the role of water appears to have been relatively minor in general, although the recent discovery of enigmatic hydrated sulfate salt and amorphous silica deposits suggests that locally there may have been significant water-rock interactions, and perhaps even sustained hydrothermal activity. At the Opportunity site in Meridiani Planum, geologic and mineralogic evidence suggests that liquid water was stable at the surface and shallow subsurface for significant periods of early Martian geologic history. An exciting implication from both missions is that localized environments on early Mars may have been "habitable" by some terrestrial standards. As of early September 2010, the rovers had operated for 2210 and 2347 Martian days (sols), respectively, with the Spirit

  14. Exploring the Largest Mass Fraction of the Solar System: the Case for Planetary Interiors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Danielson, L. R.; Draper, D.; Righter, K.; McCubbin, F.; Boyce, J.

    2017-01-01

    Why explore planetary interiors: The typical image that comes to mind for planetary science is that of a planet surface. And while surface data drive our exploration of evolved geologic processes, it is the interiors of planets that hold the key to planetary origins via accretionary and early differentiation processes. It is that initial setting of the bulk planet composition that sets the stage for all geologic processes that follow. But nearly all of the mass of planets is inaccessible to direct examination, making experimentation an absolute necessity for full planetary exploration.

  15. The Geologic Exploration of the Bagnold Dune Field at Gale Crater by the Curiosity Rover.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chojnacki, Matthew; Fenton, Lori K

    2017-11-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity engaged in a monthlong campaign investigating the Bagnold dune field in Gale crater. What represents the first in situ investigation of a dune field on another planet has resulted in a number of discoveries. Collectively, the Curiosity rover team has compiled the most comprehensive survey of any extraterrestrial aeolian system visited to date with results that yield important insights into a number of processes, including sediment transport, bed form morphology and structure, chemical and physical composition of aeolian sand, and wind regime characteristics. These findings and more are provided in detail by the JGR-Planets Special Issue Curiosity's Bagnold Dunes Campaign, Phase I.

  16. The Mars Astrobiology Explorer-Cacher (MAX-C): a potential rover mission for 2018. Final report of the Mars Mid-Range Rover Science Analysis Group (MRR-SAG) October 14, 2009.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-03-01

    This report documents the work of the Mid-Range Rover Science Analysis Group (MRR-SAG), which was assigned to formulate a concept for a potential rover mission that could be launched to Mars in 2018. Based on programmatic and engineering considerations as of April 2009, our deliberations assumed that the potential mission would use the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) sky-crane landing system and include a single solar-powered rover. The mission would also have a targeting accuracy of approximately 7 km (semimajor axis landing ellipse), a mobility range of at least 10 km, and a lifetime on the martian surface of at least 1 Earth year. An additional key consideration, given recently declining budgets and cost growth issues with MSL, is that the proposed rover must have lower cost and cost risk than those of MSL--this is an essential consideration for the Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group (MEPAG). The MRR-SAG was asked to formulate a mission concept that would address two general objectives: (1) conduct high priority in situ science and (2) make concrete steps toward the potential return of samples to Earth. The proposed means of achieving these two goals while balancing the trade-offs between them are described here in detail. We propose the name Mars Astrobiology Explorer-Cacher(MAX-C) to reflect the dual purpose of this potential 2018 rover mission.

  17. Planetary boundaries: exploring the safe operating space for humanity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johan Rockström; Will Steffen; Kevin Noone; Asa Persson; F. Stuart Chapin; Eric Lambin; Timothy M. Lenton; Marten Scheffer; Carl Folke; Hans Joachim Schellnhuber; Björn Nykvist; Cynthia A. de Wit; Terry Hughes; Sander van der Leeuw; Henning Rodhe; Sverker Sörlin; Peter K. Snyder; Robert Costanza; Uno Svedin; Malin Falkenmark; Louise Karlberg; Robert W. Corell; Victoria J. Fabry; James Hansen; Brian Walker; Diana Liverman; Katherine Richardson; Paul Crutzen; Jonathan Foley

    2009-01-01

    Anthropogenic pressures on the Earth System have reached a scale where abrupt global environmental change can no longer be excluded. We propose a new approach to global sustainability in which we define planetary boundaries within which we expect that humanity can operate safely. Transgressing one or more planetary boundaries may be deleterious or even catastrophic due...

  18. Autonomous Trans-Antartic expeditions: an initiative for advancing planetary mobility system technology while addressing Earth science objectives in Antartica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carsey, F.; Schenker, P.; Blamont, J.

    2001-01-01

    A workshop on Antartic Autonomous Scientific Vehicles and Traverses met at the National Geographic Society in February to discuss scientific objectives and benefits of the use of rovers such as are being developed for use in planetary exploration.

  19. Planetary Boundaries: Exploring the Safe Operating Space for Humanity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Richardson, Katherine; Rockström, Johan; Steffen, Will

    2009-01-01

    boundaries are rough, first estimates only, surrounded by large uncertainties and knowledge gaps. Filling these gaps will require major advancements in Earth System and resilience science. The proposed concept of "planetary boundaries" lays the groundwork for shifting our approach to governance...... and management, away from the essentially sectoral analyses of limits to growth aimed at minimizing negative externalities, toward the estimation of the safe space for human development. Planetary boundaries define, as it were, the boundaries of the "planetary playing field" for humanity if we want to be sure...

  20. MOMA and other next-generation ion trap mass spectrometers for planetary exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arevalo, R. D., Jr.; Brinckerhoff, W. B.; Getty, S.; Mahaffy, P. R.; van Amerom, F. H. W.; Danell, R.; Pinnick, V. T.; Li, X.; Grubisic, A.; Southard, A. E.; Hovmand, L.; Cottin, H.; Makarov, A.

    2016-12-01

    Since the 1970's, quadrupole mass spectrometer (QMS) systems have served as low-risk, cost-efficient means to explore the inner and outer reaches of the solar system. These legacy instruments have interrogated the compositions of the lunar exosphere (LADEE), surface materials on Mars (MSL), and the atmospheres of Venus (Pioneer Venus), Mars (MAVEN) and outer planets (Galileo and Cassini-Huygens). However, the in situ detection of organic compounds on Mars and Titan, coupled with ground-based measurements of amino acids in meteorites and a variety of organics in comets, has underlined the importance of molecular disambiguation in the characterization of high-priority planetary environments. The Mars Organic Molecule Analyzer (MOMA) flight instrument, centered on a linear ion trap, enables the in situ detection of volatile and non-volatile organics, but also the characterization of molecular structures through SWIFT ion isolation/excitation and tandem mass spectrometry (MSn). Like the SAM instrument on MSL, the MOMA investigation also includes a gas chromatograph (GC), thereby enabling the chemical separation of potential isobaric interferences based on retention times. The Linear Ion Trap Mass Spectrometer (LITMS; PI: William Brinckerhoff), developed to TRL 6 via the ROSES MatISSE Program, augments the core MOMA design and adds: expanded mass range (from 20 - 2000 Da); high-temperature evolved gas analysis (up to 1300°C); and, dual polarity detector assemblies (supporting the measurement of negative ions). The LITMS instrument will be tested in the field in 2017 through the Atacama Rover Astrobiology Drilling Studies (ARADS; PI: Brian Glass) ROSES PSTAR award. Following on these advancements, the Advanced Resolution Organic Molecule Analyzer (AROMA; PI: Ricardo Arevalo Jr.), supported through the ROSES PICASSO Program, combines a highly capable MOMA/LITMS-like linear ion trap and the ultrahigh resolution CosmOrbitrap mass analyzer developed by a consortium of five

  1. A Lunar L2-Farside Exploration and Science Mission Concept with the ORion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle and a Teleoperated Lander/Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burns, Jack O.; Kring, David; Norris, Scott; Hopkins, Josh; Lazio, Joseph; Kasper, Justin

    2012-01-01

    A novel concept is presented in this paper for a human mission to the lunar L2 (Lagrange) point that would be a proving ground for future exploration missions to deep space while also overseeing scientifically important investigations. In an L2 halo orbit above the lunar farside, the astronauts would travel 15% farther from Earth than did the Apollo astronauts and spend almost three times longer in deep space. Such missions would validate the Orion MPCV's life support systems, would demonstrate the high-speed re-entry capability needed for return from deep space, and would measure astronauts' radiation dose from cosmic rays and solar flares to verify that Orion would provide sufficient protection, as it is designed to do. On this proposed mission, the astronauts would teleoperate landers and rovers on the unexplored lunar farside, which would obtain samples from the geologically interesting farside and deploy a low radio frequency telescope. Sampling the South Pole-Aitkin basin (one of the oldest impact basins in the solar system) is a key science objective of the 2011 Planetary Science Decadal Survey. Observations of the Universe's first stars/galaxies at low radio frequencies are a priority of the 2010 Astronomy & Astrophysics Decadal Survey. Such telerobotic oversight would also demonstrate capability for human and robotic cooperation on future, more complex deep space missions.

  2. Highly Efficient Compact Laser for Planetary Exploration, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — In response to the solicitation for advances in critical components of instruments for enhanced scientific investigations on future planetary mission, Q-Peak...

  3. Novel Space Exploration Technique for Analysing Planetary Atmospheres

    OpenAIRE

    Dekoulis, George

    2010-01-01

    The chapter presents a new reconfigurable wide-beam radio interferometer system for analysing planetary atmospheres. The system operates at frequencies, where the ionisation of the planetary plasma regions induces strong attenuation. For Earth, the attenuation is undistinguishable from the CMB at frequencies over 50 MHz. The system introduces a set of advanced specifications to this field of science, previously unseen in similar suborbital experiments. The reprogrammable dynamic range of the ...

  4. Reports and recommendations from COSPAR Planetary Exploration Committee (PEX) & International Lunar Exploration Working Group (ILEWG)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ehrenfreund, Pascale; Foing, Bernard

    2014-05-01

    In response to the growing importance of space exploration, the objectives of the COSPAR Panel on Exploration (PEX) are to provide high quality, independent science input to support the development of a global space exploration program while working to safeguard the scientific assets of solar system bodies. PEX engages with COSPAR Commissions and Panels, science foundations, IAA, IAF, UN bodies, and IISL to support in particular national and international space exploration working groups and the new era of planetary exploration. COSPAR's input, as gathered by PEX, is intended to express the consensus view of the international scientific community and should ultimately provide a series of guidelines to support future space exploration activities and cooperative efforts, leading to outstanding scientific discoveries, opportunities for innovation, strategic partnerships, technology progression, and inspiration for people of all ages and cultures worldwide. We shall focus on the lunar exploration aspects, where the COSPAR PEX is building on previous COSPAR, ILEWG and community conferences. An updated COSPAR PEX report is published and available online (Ehrenfreund P. et al, COSPAR planetary exploration panel report, http://www.gwu.edu/~spi/assets/COSPAR_PEX2012.pdf). We celebrate 20 years after the 1st International Conference on Exploration and Utilisation of the Moon at Beatenberg in June 1994. The International Lunar Exploration Working Group (ILEWG) was established the year after in April 1995 at an EGS meeting in Hamburg, Germany. As established in its charter, this working group reports to COSPAR and is charged with developing an international strategy for the exploration of the Moon (http://sci.esa.int/ilewg/ ). It discusses coordination between missions, and a road map for future international lunar exploration and utilisation. It fosters information exchange or potential and real future lunar robotic and human missions, as well as for new scientific and

  5. Scout Rover Applications for Forward Acquisition of Soil and Terrain Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sonsalla, R.; Ahmed, M.; Fritsche, M.; Akpo, J.; Voegele, T.

    2014-04-01

    As opposed to the present mars exploration missions future mission concepts ask for a fast and safe traverse through vast and varied expanses of terrain. As seen during the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission the rovers suffered a lack of detailed soil and terrain information which caused Spirit to get permanently stuck in soft soil. The goal of the FASTER1 EU-FP7 project is to improve the mission safety and the effective traverse speed for planetary rover exploration by determining the traversability of the terrain and lowering the risk to enter hazardous areas. To achieve these goals, a scout rover will be used for soil and terrain sensing ahead of the main rover. This paper describes a highly mobile, and versatile micro scout rover that is used for soil and terrain sensing and is able to co-operate with a primary rover as part of the FASTER approach. The general reference mission idea and concept is addressed within this paper along with top-level requirements derived from the proposed ESA/NASA Mars Sample Return mission (MSR) [4]. Following the mission concept and requirements [3], a concept study for scout rover design and operations has been performed [5]. Based on this study the baseline for the Coyote II rover was designed and built as shown in Figure 1. Coyote II is equipped with a novel locomotion concept, providing high all terrain mobility and allowing to perform side-to-side steering maneuvers which reduce the soil disturbance as compared to common skid steering [6]. The rover serves as test platform for various scout rover application tests ranging from locomotion testing to dual rover operations. From the lessons learned from Coyote II and for an enhanced design, a second generation rover (namely Coyote III) as shown in Figure 2 is being built. This rover serves as scout rover platform for the envisaged FASTER proof of concept field trials. The rover design is based on the test results gained by the Coyote II trials. Coyote III is equipped with two

  6. Assessment of Proficiency During Simulated Rover Operations Following Long-Duration Spaceflight

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, S. J.; Dean, S. L.; De Dios, Y. E.; MacDougall, H. G.; Moore, S. T.

    2011-01-01

    Following long-duration space travel, pressurized rovers will enhance crew mobility to explore Mars and other planetary surfaces. Adaptive changes in sensorimotor function may limit the crew s proficiency when performing some rover operations shortly after transition to the new gravitoinertial environment. The primary goal of this investigation is to quantify postflight decrements in operational proficiency in a motion-based rover simulation after International Space Station (ISS) expeditions. Given that postflight performance will also be influenced by the level of preflight proficiency attained, a ground-based normative study was conducted to characterize the acquisition of skills over multiple sessions.

  7. The Mars 2020 Rover Mission: EISD Participation in Mission Science and Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fries, M.; Bhartia, R.; Beegle, L.; Burton, A. S.; Ross, A.

    2014-01-01

    The Mars 2020 Rover mission will search for potential biosignatures on the martian surface, use new techniques to search for and identify tracelevel organics, and prepare a cache of samples for potential return to Earth. Identifying trace organic compounds is an important tenet of searching for potential biosignatures. Previous landed missions have experienced difficulty identifying unambiguously martian, unaltered organic compounds, possibly because any organic species have been destroyed on heating in the presence of martian perchlorates and/or other oxidants. The SHERLOC instrument on Mars 2020 will use ultraviolet (UV) fluorescence and Raman spectroscopy to identify trace organic compounds without heating the samples.

  8. High Measurement Channel Density Sensor Array Impedance Analyzer for Planetary Exploration, Phase II

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Planetary exploration missions, such as those planned by NASA and other space agencies over the next few decades, require advanced chemical and biological marker...

  9. Microbial Ecology of a Crewed Rover Traverse in the Arctic: Low Microbial Dispersal and Implications for Planetary Protection on Human Mars Missions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuerger, Andrew C; Lee, Pascal

    2015-06-01

    Between April 2009 and July 2011, the NASA Haughton-Mars Project (HMP) led the Northwest Passage Drive Expedition (NWPDX), a multi-staged long-distance crewed rover traverse along the Northwest Passage in the Arctic. In April 2009, the HMP Okarian rover was driven 496 km over sea ice along the Northwest Passage, from Kugluktuk to Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, Canada. During the traverse, crew members collected samples from within the rover and from undisturbed snow-covered surfaces around the rover at three locations. The rover samples and snow samples were stored at subzero conditions (-20°C to -1°C) until processed for microbial diversity in labs at the NASA Kennedy Space Center, Florida. The objective was to determine the extent of microbial dispersal away from the rover and onto undisturbed snow. Interior surfaces of the rover were found to be associated with a wide range of bacteria (69 unique taxa) and fungi (16 unique taxa). In contrast, snow samples from the upwind, downwind, uptrack, and downtrack sample sites exterior to the rover were negative for both bacteria and fungi except for two colony-forming units (cfus) recovered from one downwind (1 cfu; site A4) and one uptrack (1 cfu; site B6) sample location. The fungus, Aspergillus fumigatus (GenBank JX517279), and closely related bacteria in the genus Brevibacillus were recovered from both snow (B. agri, GenBank JX517278) and interior rover surfaces. However, it is unknown whether the microorganisms were deposited onto snow surfaces at the time of sample collection (i.e., from the clothing or skin of the human operator) or via airborne dispersal from the rover during the 12-18 h layovers at the sites prior to collection. Results support the conclusion that a crewed rover traveling over previously undisturbed terrain may not significantly contaminate the local terrain via airborne dispersal of propagules from the vehicle.

  10. Ultra-Compact Raman Spectrometer for Planetary Explorations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Derek; Hornef, James; Lucas, John; Elsayed-Ali, Hani; Abedin, M. Nurul

    2016-01-01

    To develop a compact Raman spectroscopy system with features that will make it suitable for future space missions which require surface landing. Specifically, this system will be appropriate for any mission in which planetary surface samples need to be measured and analyzed.

  11. An Extended Kalman filter (EKF) for Mars Exploration Rover (MER) entry, descent, and landing reconstruction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lisano, M. E.

    2003-01-01

    This paper describes the design and initial test results of an extended Kalman filter that has been developed at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for post-flight reconstruction of the trajectory and attitude history of a spacecraft entering a planetary atmosphere and descending upon a parachute.

  12. NASA Mars 2020 Rover Mission: New Frontiers in Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calle, Carlos I.

    2014-01-01

    The Mars 2020 rover mission is the next step in NASAs robotic exploration of the red planet. The rover, based on the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover now on Mars, will address key questions about the potential for life on Mars. The mission would also provide opportunities to gather knowledge and demonstrate technologies that address the challenges of future human expeditions to Mars.Like the Mars Science Laboratory rover, which has been exploring Mars since 2012, the Mars 2020 spacecraft will use a guided entry, descent, and landing system which includes a parachute, descent vehicle, and, during the provides the ability to land a very large, heavy rover on the surface of Mars in a more precise landing area. The Mars 2020 mission is designed to accomplish several high-priority planetary science goals and will be an important step toward meeting NASAs challenge to send humans to Mars in the 2030s. The mission will conduct geological assessments of the rover's landing site, determine the habitability of the environment, search for signs of ancient Martian life, and assess natural resources and hazards for future human explorers. The science instruments aboard the rover also will enable scientists to identify and select a collection of rock and soil samples that will be stored for potential return to Earth in the future. The rover also may help designers of a human expedition understand the hazards posed by Martian dust and demonstrate how to collect carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, which could be a valuable resource for producing oxygen and rocket fuel.

  13. Exploring Planetary Analogs With an Ultracompact Near-Infrared Reflectance Instrument

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sobron, P.; Wang, A.

    2017-12-01

    Orbital reflectance spectrometers provide unique measurements of mineralogical features globally and repeatedly on planets and moons of our solar system. Mounted on landed spacecraft, reflectance sensors enable fine-scale investigations and can provide ground truth analyses to assess the validity of spectral remote sensing. We have developed a miniaturized, field-ready, active source NIR (1.14-4.76 μm) reflectance spectrometer (WIR) WIR enables in-situ, near real-time identification of water (structural or adsorbed), carbonates, sulfates, hydrated silicates, as well as C-H & N-H bonds in organic species. WIR is suited for lander/rover deployment in two modes: 1) In Traverse Survey Mode WIR is integrated into a rover wheel and performs nonstop synchronized data collection with every revolution of the wheel; large amounts of data points can be collected during a rover traverse that inform the spatial distribution of mineral phases; 2) In Point-Check Mode WIR is mounted on a robotic arm of a rover/lander and deployed on selected targets at planetary surfaces, or installed inside an analytical lab where samples from a drill/scoop are delivered for detailed analysis. Over the past 10 years we have deployed WIR in planetary analog settings, including hydrothermal springs in Svalbard (Norway) and High Andes (Chile); Arctic volcanoes in Svalbard; Arctic springs and permafrost in Axel Heiberg (Canada); Antarctic ice-covered lakes; saline playas in hyperarid deserts in the Tibetan Plateau (China) and the Atacama; high elevation ore deposits in the Andes and the Abitibi gold belt region (Canada); lava tubes in California; and acidic waters in Rio Tinto (Spain). We have recorded in-situ NIR reflectance spectra from these analogues and used improved spectral unmixing algorithms to determine the mineralogical composition at these sites. We have observed minerals consistent with sedimentary, mineralogical, morphological, and geochemical processes, some of which have been

  14. Features of Ground Penetrating Radars for the exploration of planetary subsurface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burghignoli, P.; Cereti, A.; Fiore, E.; Galli, A.; Pajewski, L.; Pettinelli, E.; Pisani, A.; Schettini, G.; Ticconi, F.

    2003-04-01

    Among the various applications of Surface or Ground Penetrating Radars (GPRs), the possibility of achieving useful information about the characterization of planetary soils represents a topic which has deserved particular interest in recent times [1]. The present work intends to analyze various critical aspects related to the GPR capability of properly investigating the subsurface structure, also emphasizing what kind of practical solutions seem to be more suitable to this purpose. Some basic aspects have to be considered, which are peculiar of this type of problem, e.g.: i) the poor information achievable up to now on both the composition and the stratigraphy of planet soils; ii) the typical bulk and weight limitations for instruments when used in onboard rovers for in-situ measurements. As regards the first aspect, additional knowledge should generally be required on the electromagnetic parameters (permittivity, permeability, and conductivity) of the upper subsoil layers in order to extract useful information from the GPR data. The use of different types of sensors, which can be integrated in an overall "sounding package" [1], is a useful way of characterizing more precisely such electromagnetic parameters. Consequently, GPR can primarily be used to get data on the unknown stratigraphy. The second aspect implies fundamental constraints in the design of GPR, involving the choice of the type of radar, the relevant electronic equipment for signal processing, the antenna design, etc. In addition to standard types of "pulsed" GPR, a specific study has been performed on "step-frequency" GPRs, which appear to be attractive due to their low-cost and simple electronic circuitry. As concerns the choice of the radiating elements, the most suitable configurations of GPR antennas have been investigated and compared in terms of dimensions and radiation parameters. New specific antenna configurations have been proposed, designed, and tested. Finally, numerical simulations have

  15. Mesoscale modeling of the water vapor cycle at Mawrth Vallis: a Mars2020 and ExoMars exploration rovers high-priority landing site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pla-García, Jorge

    2017-04-01

    . During this transition, there is surface convergence into the rising branch (similar to the inter-tropical convergence zone on Earth), and dual Hadley cells with one circulation in each hemisphere. At this time, the mean surface winds flow from the high latitudes to equator in both hemispheres, providing the possibility for a direct vapor connection [5, 6]. It is likely that transient waves (e.g., storm systems) as well as boundary currents associated with planetary-scale stationary waves could advect and mix water equatorward, along the surface, in opposition to the Hadley Cell. Conclusion: We are studying whether moist air in northern spring/summer makes it to the surface of Mawrth at Ls 90, Ls 140 and Ls 180, three periods with high column abundance of water vapor at mid/high latitudes. The objective is to determine if the circulation (mean or regional) is favorable for the transport of water vapor from the north polar cap to MV where it might activate hygroscopic salts and/or chlorides [7]. Relative humidity at those different seasons is estimated to test for consistency with column abundances derived from orbit observations. If moist air makes it to MV during Ls90, 140 and/or 180, it should be a go-to site due to enhanced habitability implications. References: [1] Pla-García, J., & Rafkin, S. C., 2015: Meteorological predictions for Mars 2020 Exploration Rov-er high-priority landing sites throug MRAMS Mesoscale Modeling. In EGU General Assembly Conference Abstracts (Vol. 17, p. 12605). [2] Rafkin, S. C. R., Haberle, R. M., and T. I. Michaels, 2001: The Mars Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (MRAMS): Model description and selected simulations. Icarus, 151, 228-256. [3] Rafkin, S. C. R., M. R. V. Sta. Maria, and T. I. Michaels, 2002: Simulation of the atmospheric thermal circulation of a martian volcano using a mesoscale numerical model. Nature, 419, 697-699. [4] Jakosky, B.M., and C.B. Farmer, 1982: The seasonal and global behavior of water vapor in the Mars

  16. Horses for courses: analytical tools to explore planetary boundaries

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Vuuren, Detlef P.; Lucas, Paul L.; Häyhä, Tiina; Cornell, Sarah E.; Stafford-Smith, Mark

    2016-03-01

    There is a need for more integrated research on sustainable development and global environmental change. In this paper, we focus on the planetary boundaries framework to provide a systematic categorization of key research questions in relation to avoiding severe global environmental degradation. The four categories of key questions are those that relate to (1) the underlying processes and selection of key indicators for planetary boundaries, (2) understanding the impacts of environmental pressure and connections between different types of impacts, (3) better understanding of different response strategies to avoid further degradation, and (4) the available instruments to implement such strategies. Clearly, different categories of scientific disciplines and associated model types exist that can accommodate answering these questions. We identify the strength and weaknesses of different research areas in relation to the question categories, focusing specifically on different types of models. We discuss that more interdisciplinary research is need to increase our understanding by better linking human drivers and social and biophysical impacts. This requires better collaboration between relevant disciplines (associated with the model types), either by exchanging information or by fully linking or integrating them. As fully integrated models can become too complex, the appropriate type of model (the racehorse) should be applied for answering the target research question (the race course).

  17. Full Field X-Ray Fluorescence Imaging Using Micro Pore Optics for Planetary Surface Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarrazin, P.; Blake, D. F.; Gailhanou, M.; Walter, P.; Schyns, E.; Marchis, F.; Thompson, K.; Bristow, T.

    2016-01-01

    Many planetary surface processes leave evidence as small features in the sub-millimetre scale. Current planetary X-ray fluorescence spectrometers lack the spatial resolution to analyse such small features as they only provide global analyses of areas greater than 100 mm(exp 2). A micro-XRF spectrometer will be deployed on the NASA Mars 2020 rover to analyse spots as small as 120m. When using its line-scanning capacity combined to perpendicular scanning by the rover arm, elemental maps can be generated. We present a new instrument that provides full-field XRF imaging, alleviating the need for precise positioning and scanning mechanisms. The Mapping X-ray Fluorescence Spectrometer - "Map-X" - will allow elemental imaging with approximately 100µm spatial resolution and simultaneously provide elemental chemistry at the scale where many relict physical, chemical and biological features can be imaged in ancient rocks. The arm-mounted Map-X instrument is placed directly on the surface of an object and held in a fixed position during measurements. A 25x25 mm(exp 2) surface area is uniformly illuminated with X-rays or alpha-particles and gamma-rays. A novel Micro Pore Optic focusses a fraction of the emitted X-ray fluorescence onto a CCD operated at a few frames per second. On board processing allows measuring the energy and coordinates of each X-ray photon collected. Large sets of frames are reduced into 2d histograms used to compute higher level data products such as elemental maps and XRF spectra from selected regions of interest. XRF spectra are processed on the ground to further determine quantitative elemental compositions. The instrument development will be presented with an emphasis on the characterization and modelling of the X-ray focussing Micro Pore Optic. An outlook on possible alternative XRF imaging applications will be discussed.

  18. Use of Geochemistry Data Collected by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit in Gusev Crater to Teach Geomorphic Zonation through Principal Components Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodrigue, Christine M.

    2011-01-01

    This paper presents a laboratory exercise used to teach principal components analysis (PCA) as a means of surface zonation. The lab was built around abundance data for 16 oxides and elements collected by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit in Gusev Crater between Sol 14 and Sol 470. Students used PCA to reduce 15 of these into 3 components, which,…

  19. In Situ Visible to Short Wavelength Imaging Spectroscopy with the Ultra Compact Imaging Spectrometer (UCIS): Case Studies from the Mars Exploration Rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blaney, D.; Mouroulis, P.; Green, R.; Rodriguez, J.; Sellar, G.; Van Gorp, B.; Wilson, D.

    2011-01-01

    In Situ imaging spectroscopy provides a way to address complex questions of geological evolution for both aqueous and igneous processes by mapping mineral composition at the spatial scale of rocks and outcrops. Examination of locations studied by the Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity can provide examples of the potential utility and define the needed measurement requirements. A compact instrument is needed to be able to adequately address these science questions from a rover platform. The Ultra Compact Imaging Spectrometer (UCIS) is an instrument designed to address the science need and implementation constraints.

  20. A Path to Planetary Protection Requirements for Human Exploration: A Literature Review and Systems Engineering Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, James E.; Conley, Cassie; Siegel, Bette

    2015-01-01

    As systems, technologies, and plans for the human exploration of Mars and other destinations beyond low Earth orbit begin to coalesce, it is imperative that frequent and early consideration is given to how planetary protection practices and policy will be upheld. While the development of formal planetary protection requirements for future human space systems and operations may still be a few years from fruition, guidance to appropriately influence mission and system design will be needed soon to avoid costly design and operational changes. The path to constructing such requirements is a journey that espouses key systems engineering practices of understanding shared goals, objectives and concerns, identifying key stakeholders, and iterating a draft requirement set to gain community consensus. This paper traces through each of these practices, beginning with a literature review of nearly three decades of publications addressing planetary protection concerns with respect to human exploration. Key goals, objectives and concerns, particularly with respect to notional requirements, required studies and research, and technology development needs have been compiled and categorized to provide a current 'state of knowledge'. This information, combined with the identification of key stakeholders in upholding planetary protection concerns for human missions, has yielded a draft requirement set that might feed future iteration among space system designers, exploration scientists, and the mission operations community. Combining the information collected with a proposed forward path will hopefully yield a mutually agreeable set of timely, verifiable, and practical requirements for human space exploration that will uphold international commitment to planetary protection.

  1. Maps of the Martian Landing Sites and Rover Traverses: Viking 1 and 2, Mars Pathfinder, and Phoenix Landers, and the Mars Exploration Rovers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parker, T. J.; Calef, F. J., III; Deen, R. G.; Gengl, H.

    2016-12-01

    The traverse maps produced tactically for the MER and MSL rover missions are the first step in placing the observations made by each vehicle into a local and regional geologic context. For the MER, Phoenix and MSL missions, 25cm/pixel HiRISE data is available for accurately localizing the vehicles. Viking and Mars Pathfinder, however, relied on Viking Orbiter images of several tens of m/pixel to triangulate to horizon features visible both from the ground and from orbit. After Pathfinder, MGS MOC images became available for these landing sites, enabling much better correlations to horizon features and localization predictions to be made, that were then corroborated with HiRISE images beginning 9 years ago. By combining topography data from MGS, Mars Express, and stereo processing of MRO CTX and HiRISE images into orthomosaics (ORRs) and digital elevation models (DEMs), it is possible to localize all the landers and rover positions to an accuracy of a few tens of meters with respect to the Mars global control net, and to better than half a meter with respect to other features within a HiRISE orthomosaic. JPL's MIPL produces point clouds of the MER Navcam stereo images that can be processed into 1cm/pixel ORR/DEMs that are then georeferenced to a HiRISE/CTX base map and DEM. This allows compilation of seamless mosaics of the lander and rover camera-based ORR/DEMs with the HiRISE ORR/DEM that can be viewed in 3 dimensions with GIS programs with that capability. We are re-processing the Viking Lander, Mars Pathfinder, and Phoenix lander data to allow similar ORR/DEM products to be made for those missions. For the fixed landers and Spirit, we will compile merged surface/CTX/HiRISE ORR/DEMs, that will enable accurate local and regional mapping of these landing sites, and allow comparisons of the results from these missions to be made with current and future surface missions.

  2. Development and Testing of Compression Technologies Using Advanced Materials for Mechanical Counter-Pressure Planetary Exploration Suits

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Mechanical counterpressure (MCP) space suits have the potential to greatly improve the mobility of astronauts as they conduct planetary exploration activities. MCP...

  3. Initial Results on the Mineralogy and Geochemistry of the Mar Exploration Rover Gusev Landing Site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christensen, P. R.

    2004-05-01

    The Spirit rover has investigated the geochemistry and mineralogy of the Gusev crater site using in situ Alpha Proton X-Ray, Mossbauer, visible, and infrared spectroscopy. The Gusev site is covered with angular to sub-rounded rocks that are typically less than 1 m in maximum dimension. More than 90 percent of these rocks are dark-toned, with the remainder being lighter-toned rocks that may predominantly be dark rocks with a thin (10's of microns) coating of easily removed fines. APXS analysis has been obtained of a rock (Adirondack) following the removal by grinding of the surface dust and the upper few mm of the rock surface. These data give a modal mineralogy corresponding to olivine basalt. High quality Mini-TES data have not been obtained of a completely dust-free rock surface. The Mini-TES data of Adirondack do show long wavelength (15-25 microns) absorptions due to olivine of composition ~Fo60. All of the rocks observed are very compositionally homogeneous in the Mini-TES spectra. These findings are consistent with the detection of olivine-bearing basalt at this site from orbital TES infrared spectroscopy. Mossbauer spectra of Adirondack show the presence of forsteritic olivine and magnetite, with possible pyroxene. The soils at Gusev are a mixture of reddish fine-grained to sandy materials, granular-sized particles that occur in ripple forms, and minor pebbles. Mini-TES spectra of the soil show an excellent match to the TES spectra of high-albedo, fine-grained material found in regional bright regions that is interpreted to be windblown dust. This agreement suggests at least the uppermost layer of the soil at Gusev has been accumulated from airfall dust. By analogy with prior analysis of TES data these materials contain several percent carbonate, minor bound water, and a framework silicate interpreted to be either feldspar or zeolite. APXS spectra show similar oxide abundances to those determined for the Pathfinder site, except for higher MgO, and lower

  4. CRAFT: Collaborative Rover and Astronauts Future Technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Da-Poian, V. D. P.; Koryanov, V. V. K.

    2018-02-01

    Our project is focusing on the relationship between astronauts and rovers to best work together during surface explorations. Robots will help and assist astronauts, and will also work autonomously. Our project is to develop this type of rover.

  5. The Proposed Mars Astrobiology Explorer - Cacher [MAX-C] Rover: First Step in a Potential Sample Return Campaign

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Carlton C.; Beaty, David W.

    2010-01-01

    Sample return from Mars has been advocated by numerous scientific advisory panels for over 30 years, most prominently beginning with the National Research Council s [1] strategy for the exploration of the inner solar system, and most recently by the Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group (MEPAG s) Next Decade Science Analysis Group [2]. Analysis of samples here on Earth would have enormous advantages over in situ analyses in producing the data quality needed to address many of the complex scientific questions the community has posed about Mars. Instead of a small, predetermined set of analytical techniques, state of the art preparative and instrumental resources of the entire scientific community could be applied to the samples. The analytical emphasis could shift as the meaning of each result becomes better appreciated. These arguments apply both to igneous rocks and to layered sedimentary materials, either of which could contain water and other volatile constituents. In 2009 MEPAG formed the Mid-Range Rover Science Analysis Group (MRR-SAG) to formulate a mission concept that would address two general objectives: (1) conduct high-priority in situ science and (2) make concrete steps towards the potential return of samples to Earth. This analysis resulted in a mission concept named the Mars Astrobiology Explorer-Cacher (MAX-C), which was envisioned for launch in the 2018 opportunity. After extensive discussion, this group concluded that by far the most definitive contribution to sample return by this mission would be to collect and cache, in an accessible location, a suite of compelling samples that could potentially be recovered and returned by a subsequent mission. This would have the effect of separating two of the essential functions of MSR, the acquisition of the sample collection and its delivery to martian orbit, into two missions.

  6. A fundamental parameters approach to calibration of the Mars Exploration Rover Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, J. L.; Lee, M.; Jones, B. N.; Andrushenko, S. M.; Holmes, N. G.; Maxwell, J. A.; Taylor, S. M.

    2009-04-01

    The detection sensitivities of the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) instruments on the Mars Exploration Rovers for a wide range of elements were experimentally determined in 2002 using spectra of geochemical reference materials. A flight spare instrument was similarly calibrated, and the calibration exercise was then continued for this unit with an extended set of geochemical reference materials together with pure elements and simple chemical compounds. The flight spare instrument data are examined in detail here using a newly developed fundamental parameters approach which takes precise account of all the physics inherent in the two X-ray generation techniques involved, namely, X-ray fluorescence and particle-induced X-ray emission. The objectives are to characterize the instrument as fully as possible, to test this new approach, and to determine the accuracy of calibration for major, minor, and trace elements. For some of the lightest elements the resulting calibration exhibits a dependence upon the mineral assemblage of the geological reference material; explanations are suggested for these observations. The results will assist in designing the overall calibration approach for the APXS on the Mars Science Laboratory mission.

  7. TOMOX : An X-rays tomographer for planetary exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marinangeli, Lucia; Pompilio, Loredana; Chiara Tangari, Anna; Baliva, Antonio; Alvaro, Matteo; Chiara Domeneghetti, Maria; Frau, Franco; Melis, Maria Teresa; Bonanno, Giovanni; Consolata Rapisarda, Maria; Petrinca, Paolo; Menozzi, Oliva; Lasalvia, Vasco; Pirrotta, Simone

    2017-04-01

    The TOMOX instrument has recently been founded under the ASI DC-EOS-2014-309 call. The TOMOX objective is to acquire both X-ray fluorescence and diffraction measurements from a sample in order to: a) achieve its chemical and mineralogical composition; b) reconstruct a 3D tomography of the sample exposed surface; c) give hints regarding the sample age. Nevertheless, this technique has applicability in several disciplines other than planetary geology, especially archaeology. The word 'tomography' is nowadays used for many 3D imaging methods, not just for those based on radiographic projections, but also for a wider range of techniques that yield 3D images. Fluorescence tomography is based on the signal produced on an energy-sensitive detector, generally placed in the horizontal plane at some angle with respect to the incident beam caused by photons coming from fluorescence emission. So far, a number of setups have been designed in order to acquire X-rays fluorescence tomograms of several different sample types. The proposed instrument is based on the MARS-XRD heritage, an ultra miniaturised XRD and XRF instrument developed for the ESA ExoMars mission. The general idea of TOMOX is to distribute both sources and detectors along a moving hemispherical support around the target sample. As a result, both sources move integrally with the detectors while the sample is observed from a fixed position, thus preserving the geometry of observation. In that way, the whole sample surface is imagined and XRD and XRF measurements are acquired continuously along all the scans. We plan to irradiate the target sample with X-rays emitted from 55Fe and 109Cd radioactive sources. 55Fe and 109Cd radioisotopes are commonly used as X-ray sources for analysis of metals in soils and rocks. The excitation energies of 55Fe and 109Cd are 5.9 keV, and 22.1 and 87.9 keV, respectively. Therefore, the elemental analysis ranges are Al to Mn with K lines excited with 55Fe; Ca to Rh, with K lines

  8. Planetary exploration with nanosatellites: a space campus for future technology development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drossart, P.; Mosser, B.; Segret, B.

    2017-09-01

    Planetary exploration is at the eve of a revolution through nanosatellites accompanying larger missions, or freely cruising in the solar system, providing a man-made cosmic web for in situ or remote sensing exploration of the Solar System. A first step is to build a specific place dedicated to nanosatellite development. The context of the CCERES PSL space campus presents an environment for nanosatellite testing and integration, a concurrent engineering facility room for project analysis and science environment dedicated to this task.

  9. International cooperation in planetary exploration - Past success and future prospects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosendhal, Jeffrey D.

    1987-01-01

    A review is given of the ways in which the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has participated in international efforts to explore the solar system. Past examples of successful international cooperative programs are described. Prospects for future cooperative efforts are discussed with emphasis placed on current events, issues, and trends which are likely to affect possibilities for cooperation over the next 5 to 10 years. Key factors which will play a major role in shaping future prospects for cooperation include the move towards balancing the budget in the United States and the impact of the Challenger accident on the NASA program.

  10. Characterization of Fillite as a planetary soil simulant in support of rover mobility assessment in high-sinkage/high-slip environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, Michael

    This thesis presents the results of a research program characterizing a soil simulant called Fillite, which is composed of alumino-silicate hollow microspheres harvested from the pulverized fuel ash of coal-fired power plants. Fillite is available in large quantities at a reasonable cost and it is chemically inert. Fillite has been selected by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Glenn Research Center to simulate high-sinkage/high-slip environment in a large test bed such as the ones encountered by the Spirit rover on Mars in 2009 when it became entrapped in a pocket of soft, loose regolith on Mars. The terms high-sinkage and high-slip used here describe the interaction of soils with typical rover wheels. High-sinkage refers to a wheel sinking with little to no applied force while high-slip refers to a spinning wheel with minimal traction. Standard material properties (density, specific gravity, compression index, Young's modulus, and Poisson's ratio) of Fillite were determined from a series of laboratory tests conducted in general accordance with ASTM standards. Tests were also performed to determine some less standard material properties of Fillite such as the small strain shear wave velocity, maximum shear modulus, and several pressure-sinkage parameters for use in pressure-sinkage models. The experiments include an extensive series of triaxial compression tests, bender element tests, and normal and shear bevameter tests. The unit weight of Fillite on Earth ranges between 3.9 and 4.8 kN/m 3, which is similar to that of Martian regolith (about 3.7 -- 5.6 kN/m3) on Mars and close to the range of the unit weight of lunar regolith (about 1.4 -- 2.9 kN/m3) on the Moon. The data presented here support that Fillite has many physical and mechanical properties that are similar to what is known about Martian regolith. These properties are also comparable to lunar regolith. Fillite is quite dilatant; its peak and critical angles of internal friction are

  11. Searching for Life with Rovers: Exploration Methods & Science Results from the 2004 Field Campaign of the "Life in the Atacama" Project and Applications to Future Mars Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabrol, N. A.a; Wettergreen, D. S.; Whittaker, R.; Grin, E. A.; Moersch, J.; Diaz, G. Chong; Cockell, C.; Coppin, P.; Dohm, J. M.; Fisher, G.

    2005-01-01

    The Life In The Atacama (LITA) project develops and field tests a long-range, solarpowered, automated rover platform (Zo ) and a science payload assembled to search for microbial life in the Atacama desert. Life is barely detectable over most of the driest desert on Earth. Its unique geological, climatic, and biological evolution have created a unique training site for designing and testing exploration strategies and life detection methods for the robotic search for life on Mars.

  12. Development of miniaturized instrumentation for Planetary Exploration and its application to the Mars MetNet Precursor Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guerrero, Hector

    2010-05-01

    In this communication is presented the current development of some miniaturized instruments developed for Lander and Rovers for Planetary exploration. In particular, we present a magnetometer with resolution below 10 nT and mass in the range of 45 g; a sun irradiance spectral sensor with 10 bands (UV-VIS-near IR) and a mass in the range of 75 g. These are being developed for the Finnish, Russian and Spanish MetNet Mars Precursor Mission, to be launched in 2011 within the Phobos Grunt (Sample Return). The magnetometer (at present at EQM level) has two triaxial magnetometers (based on commercial AMR technologies) that operate in gradiometer configuration. Moreover has inside the box there a triaxial accelerometer to get the gravitational orientation of the magnetometer after its deployment. This unit is being designed to operate under the Mars severe conditions (at night) without any thermal conditioning. The sun irradiance spectral irradiance sensor is composed by individual silicon photodiodes with interference filters on each, and collimators to prevent wavelength shifts due to oblique incidence. In order allow discrimination between direct and diffuse ambient light, the photodiodes are deployed on the top and lateral sides of this unit. The instrument is being optimized for deep UV detection, dust optical depth and Phobos transits. The accuracy for detecting some atmospheric gases traces is under study. Besides, INTA is developing optical wireless link technologies modules for operating on Mars at distances over 1 m, to minimize harness, reduce weight and improve Assembly Integration and Test (AIT) tasks. Actual emitter/receiver modules are below 10 g allowing data transmission rates over 1 Mbps.

  13. Combining Open-Source Packages for Planetary Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Albrecht; Grieger, Björn; Völk, Stefan

    2015-04-01

    The science planning of the ESA Rosetta mission has presented challenges which were addressed with combining various open-source software packages, such as the SPICE toolkit, the Python language and the Web graphics library three.js. The challenge was to compute certain parameters from a pool of trajectories and (possible) attitudes to describe the behaviour of the spacecraft. To be able to do this declaratively and efficiently, a C library was implemented that allows to interface the SPICE toolkit for geometrical computations from the Python language and process as much data as possible during one subroutine call. To minimise the lines of code one has to write special care was taken to ensure that the bindings were idiomatic and thus integrate well into the Python language and ecosystem. When done well, this very much simplifies the structure of the code and facilitates the testing for correctness by automatic test suites and visual inspections. For rapid visualisation and confirmation of correctness of results, the geometries were visualised with the three.js library, a popular Javascript library for displaying three-dimensional graphics in a Web browser. Programmatically, this was achieved by generating data files from SPICE sources that were included into templated HTML and displayed by a browser, thus made easily accessible to interested parties at large. As feedback came and new ideas were to be explored, the authors benefited greatly from the design of the Python-to-SPICE library which allowed the expression of algorithms to be concise and easier to communicate. In summary, by combining several well-established open-source tools, we were able to put together a flexible computation and visualisation environment that helped communicate and build confidence in planning ideas.

  14. AN AUTONOMOUS GPS-DENIED UNMANNED VEHICLE PLATFORM BASED ON BINOCULAR VISION FOR PLANETARY EXPLORATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Qin

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Vision-based navigation has become an attractive solution for autonomous navigation for planetary exploration. This paper presents our work of designing and building an autonomous vision-based GPS-denied unmanned vehicle and developing an ARFM (Adaptive Robust Feature Matching based VO (Visual Odometry software for its autonomous navigation. The hardware system is mainly composed of binocular stereo camera, a pan-and tilt, a master machine, a tracked chassis. And the ARFM-based VO software system contains four modules: camera calibration, ARFM-based 3D reconstruction, position and attitude calculation, BA (Bundle Adjustment modules. Two VO experiments were carried out using both outdoor images from open dataset and indoor images captured by our vehicle, the results demonstrate that our vision-based unmanned vehicle is able to achieve autonomous localization and has the potential for future planetary exploration.

  15. An Autonomous Gps-Denied Unmanned Vehicle Platform Based on Binocular Vision for Planetary Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qin, M.; Wan, X.; Shao, Y. Y.; Li, S. Y.

    2018-04-01

    Vision-based navigation has become an attractive solution for autonomous navigation for planetary exploration. This paper presents our work of designing and building an autonomous vision-based GPS-denied unmanned vehicle and developing an ARFM (Adaptive Robust Feature Matching) based VO (Visual Odometry) software for its autonomous navigation. The hardware system is mainly composed of binocular stereo camera, a pan-and tilt, a master machine, a tracked chassis. And the ARFM-based VO software system contains four modules: camera calibration, ARFM-based 3D reconstruction, position and attitude calculation, BA (Bundle Adjustment) modules. Two VO experiments were carried out using both outdoor images from open dataset and indoor images captured by our vehicle, the results demonstrate that our vision-based unmanned vehicle is able to achieve autonomous localization and has the potential for future planetary exploration.

  16. Autonomous Rover Traverse and Precise Arm Placement on Remotely Designated Targets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Felder, Michael; Nesnas, Issa A.; Pivtoraiko, Mihail; Kelly, Alonzo; Volpe, Richard

    2011-01-01

    Exploring planetary surfaces typically involves traversing challenging and unknown terrain and acquiring in-situ measurements at designated locations using arm-mounted instruments. We present field results for a new implementation of an autonomous capability that enables a rover to traverse and precisely place an arm-mounted instrument on remote targets. Using point-and-click mouse commands, a scientist designates targets in the initial imagery acquired from the rover's mast cameras. The rover then autonomously traverse the rocky terrain for a distance of 10 - 15 m, tracks the target(s) of interest during the traverse, positions itself for approaching the target, and then precisely places an arm-mounted instrument within 2-3 cm from the originally designated target. The rover proceeds to acquire science measurements with the instrument. This work advances what has been previously developed and integrated on the Mars Exploration Rovers by using algorithms that are capable of traversing more rock-dense terrains, enabling tight thread-the-needle maneuvers. We integrated these algorithms on the newly refurbished Athena Mars research rover and fielded them in the JPL Mars Yard. We conducted 43 runs with targets at distances ranging from 5 m to 15 m and achieved a success rate of 93% for placement of the instrument within 2-3 cm.

  17. The new Planetary Science Archive: A tool for exploration and discovery of scientific datasets from ESA's planetary missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heather, David

    2016-07-01

    Introduction: The Planetary Science Archive (PSA) is the European Space Agency's (ESA) repository of science data from all planetary science and exploration missions. The PSA provides access to scientific datasets through various interfaces (e.g. FTP browser, Map based, Advanced search, and Machine interface): http://archives.esac.esa.int/psa All datasets are scientifically peer-reviewed by independent scientists, and are compliant with the Planetary Data System (PDS) standards. Updating the PSA: The PSA is currently implementing a number of significant changes, both to its web-based interface to the scientific community, and to its database structure. The new PSA will be up-to-date with versions 3 and 4 of the PDS standards, as PDS4 will be used for ESA's upcoming ExoMars and BepiColombo missions. The newly designed PSA homepage will provide direct access to scientific datasets via a text search for targets or missions. This will significantly reduce the complexity for users to find their data and will promote one-click access to the datasets. Additionally, the homepage will provide direct access to advanced views and searches of the datasets. Users will have direct access to documentation, information and tools that are relevant to the scientific use of the dataset, including ancillary datasets, Software Interface Specification (SIS) documents, and any tools/help that the PSA team can provide. A login mechanism will provide additional functionalities to the users to aid / ease their searches (e.g. saving queries, managing default views). Queries to the PSA database will be possible either via the homepage (for simple searches of missions or targets), or through a filter menu for more tailored queries. The filter menu will offer multiple options to search for a particular dataset or product, and will manage queries for both in-situ and remote sensing instruments. Parameters such as start-time, phase angle, and heliocentric distance will be emphasized. A further

  18. A Four-Wheel-Rhombus-Arranged Mobility System for a New Lunar Robotic Rover

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guilin Wen

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Different from traditional ground vehicles, planetary robotic rovers with limited weight and power need to travel in unfamiliar and extremely arduous environments. In this paper, a newly developed four-wheel-rhombus-arranged (FWRA mobility system is presented as a lunar robotic rover with high mobility and a low-weight structure. The mobility system integrates independent active suspensions with a passive rotary link structure. The active suspension with swing arms improves the rover's capacity to escape from a trapped environment whereas the passive rotary link structure guarantees continuous contact between the four wheels and the terrain. The four-wheel-three-axis rhombus configuration of the mobility system gives a high degree of lightweight structure because it has a simple mechanism with the minimum number of wheels among wheeled rovers with three-axis off-road mobility. The performance evaluation of the lightweight nature of the structure, manoeuvrability and the mobility required in a planetary exploring environment are illustrated by theoretical analysis and partly shown by experiments on the developed rover prototype.

  19. The development of the human exploration demonstration project (HEDP), a planetary systems testbed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chevers, Edward S.; Korsmeyer, David J.

    1993-01-01

    The Human Exploration Demonstration Project (HEDP) is an ongoing task at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Ames Research Center to address the advanced technology requirements necessary to implement an integrated working and living environment for a planetary surface habitat. The integrated environment will consist of life support systems, physiological monitoring of project crew, a virtual environment workstation, and centralized data acquisition and habitat systems health monitoring. There will be several robotic systems on a simulated planetary landscape external to the habitat environment to provide representative work loads for the crew. This paper describes the status of the HEDP after one year, the major facilities composing the HEDP, the project's role as an Ames Research Center testbed, and the types of demonstration scenarios that will be run to showcase the technologies.

  20. Highly Sensitive Tunable Diode Laser Spectrometers for In Situ Planetary Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasudev, Ram; Mansour, Kamjou; Webster, Christopher R.

    2013-01-01

    This paper describes highly sensitive tunable diode laser spectrometers suitable for in situ planetary exploration. The technology developed at JPL is based on wavelength modulated cavity enhanced absorption spectroscopy. It is capable of sensitively detecting chemical signatures of life through the abundance of biogenic molecules and their isotopic composition, and chemicals such as water necessary for habitats of life. The technology would be suitable for searching for biomarkers, extinct life, potential habitats of extant life, and signatures of ancient climates on Mars; and for detecting biomarkers, prebiotic chemicals and habitats of life in the outer Solar System. It would be useful for prospecting for water on the Moon and asteroids, and characterizing its isotopic composition. Deployment on the Moon could provide ground truth to the recent remote measurements and help to uncover precious records of the early bombardment history of the inner Solar System buried at the shadowed poles, and elucidate the mechanism for the generation of near-surface water in the illuminated regions. The technology would also be useful for detecting other volatile molecules in planetary atmospheres and subsurface reservoirs, isotopic characterization of planetary materials, and searching for signatures of extinct life preserved in solid matrices.

  1. Planetary Simulation Chambers bring Mars to laboratory studies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mateo-Marti, E.

    2016-07-01

    Although space missions provide fundamental and unique knowledge for planetary exploration, they are always costly and extremely time-consuming. Due to the obvious technical and economical limitations of in-situ planetary exploration, laboratory simulations are among the most feasible research options for making advances in planetary exploration. Therefore, laboratory simulations of planetary environments are a necessary and complementary option to expensive space missions. Simulation chambers are economical, more versatile, and allow for a higher number of experiments than space missions. Laboratory-based facilities are able to mimic the conditions found in the atmospheres and on the surfaces of a majority of planetary objects. Number of relevant applications in Mars planetary exploration will be described in order to provide an understanding about the potential and flexibility of planetary simulation chambers systems: mainly, stability and presence of certain minerals on Mars surface; and microorganisms potential habitability under planetary environmental conditions would be studied. Therefore, simulation chambers will be a promising tools and necessary platform to design future planetary space mission and to validate in-situ measurements from orbital or rover observations. (Author)

  2. International Ultraviolet Explorer satellite observations of seven high-excitation planetary nebulae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aller, L H; Keyes, C D

    1980-03-01

    Observations of seven high-excitation planetary nebulae secured with the International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE) satellite were combined with extensive ground-based data to obtain electron densities, gas kinetic temperatures, and ionic concentrations. We then employed a network of theoretical model nebulae to estimate the factors by which observed ionic concentrations must be multiplied to obtain elemental abundances. Comparison with a large sample of nebulae for which extensive ground-based observations have been obtained shows nitrogen to be markedly enhanced in some of these objects. Possibly most, if not all, high-excitation nebulae evolve from stars that have higher masses than progenitors of nebulae of low-to-moderate excitation.

  3. Human Expeditions to Near-Earth Asteroids: Implications for Exploration, Resource Utilization, Science, and Planetary Defense

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abell, Paul; Mazanek, Dan; Barbee, Brent; Landis, Rob; Johnson, Lindley; Yeomans, Don; Friedensen, Victoria

    2013-01-01

    Over the past several years, much attention has been focused on human exploration of near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) and planetary defence. Two independent NASA studies examined the feasibility of sending piloted missions to NEAs, and in 2009, the Augustine Commission identified NEAs as high profile destinations for human exploration missions beyond the Earth-Moon system as part of the Flexible Path. More recently the current U.S. presidential administration directed NASA to include NEAs as destinations for future human exploration with the goal of sending astronauts to a NEA in the mid to late 2020s. This directive became part of the official National Space Policy of the United States of America as of June 28, 2010. With respect to planetary defence, in 2005 the U.S. Congress directed NASA to implement a survey program to detect, track, and characterize NEAs equal or greater than 140 m in diameter in order to access the threat from such objects to the Earth. The current goal of this survey is to achieve 90% completion of objects equal or greater than 140 m in diameter by 2020.

  4. Considering the Ethical Implications of Space Exploration and Potential Impacts on Planetary Environments and Possible Indigenous Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    Race, Margaret

    Since the early days of the Outer Space Treaty, a primary concern of planetary protection policy has been to avoid contamination of planetary environments by terrestrial microbes that could compromise current or subsequent scientific investigations, particularly those searching for indigenous life. Over the past decade robotic missions and astrobiological research have greatly increased our understanding of diverse planetary landscapes and altered our views about the survivability of terrestrial organisms in extreme environments. They have also expanded notions about the prospect for finding evidence of extraterrestrial life. Recently a number of different groups, including the COSPAR Planetary Protection Workshop in Montreal (January 2008), have questioned whether it is advisable to re-examine current biological planetary protection policy in light of the ethical implications and responsibilities to preserve planetary environments and possible indigenous life. This paper discusses the issues and concerns that have led to recent recommendations for convening an international workshop specifically to discuss planetary protection policy and practices within a broader ethical and practical framework, and to consider whether revisions to policy and practices should be made. In addition to including various international scientific and legal organizations and experts in such a workshop, it will be important to find ways to involve the public in these discussions about ethical aspects of planetary exploration.

  5. A Modular Re-configurable Rover System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouloubasis, A.; McKee, G.; Active Robotics Lab

    In this paper we present the novel concepts incorporated in a planetary surface exploration rover design that is currently under development. The Multitasking Rover (MTR) aims to demonstrate functionality that will cover many of the current and future needs such as rough-terrain mobility, modularity and upgradeability [1]. The rover system has enhanced mobility characteristics. It operates in conjunction with Science Packs (SPs) and Tool Packs (TPs) - modules attached to the main frame of the rover, which are either special tools or science instruments and alter the operation capabilities of the system. To date, each rover system design is very much task driven for example, the scenario of cooperative transportation of extended payloads [2], comprises two rovers each equipped with a manipulator dedicated to the task [3]. The MTR approach focuses mostly on modularity and upgradeability presenting at the same time a fair amount of internal re-configurability for the sake of rough terrain stability. The rover itself does not carry any scientific instruments or tools. To carry out the scenario mentioned above, the MTR would have to locate and pick-up a TP with the associated manipulator. After the completion of the task the TP could be put away to a storage location enabling the rover to utilize a different Pack. The rover will not only offer mobility to these modules, but also use them as tools, transforming its role and functionality. The advantage of this approach is that instead of sending a large number of rovers to perform a variety of tasks, a smaller number of MTRs could be deployed with a large number of SPs/TPs, offering multiples of the functionality at a reduced payload. Two SPs or TPs (or a combination of) can be carried and deployed. One of the key elements in the design of the four wheeled rover, lies within its suspension system. It comprises a linear actuator located within each leg and also an active differential linking the two shoulders. This novel

  6. Correlating multispectral imaging and compositional data from the Mars Exploration Rovers and implications for Mars Science Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Ryan B.; Bell, James F.

    2013-03-01

    In an effort to infer compositional information about distant targets based on multispectral imaging data, we investigated methods of relating Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Pancam multispectral remote sensing observations to in situ alpha particle X-ray spectrometer (APXS)-derived elemental abundances and Mössbauer (MB)-derived abundances of Fe-bearing phases at the MER field sites in Gusev crater and Meridiani Planum. The majority of the partial correlation coefficients between these data sets were not statistically significant. Restricting the targets to those that were abraded by the rock abrasion tool (RAT) led to improved Pearson’s correlations, most notably between the red-blue ratio (673 nm/434 nm) and Fe3+-bearing phases, but partial correlations were not statistically significant. Partial Least Squares (PLS) calculations relating Pancam 11-color visible to near-IR (VNIR; ∼400-1000 nm) “spectra” to APXS and Mössbauer element or mineral abundances showed generally poor performance, although the presence of compositional outliers led to improved PLS results for data from Meridiani. When the Meridiani PLS model for pyroxene was tested by predicting the pyroxene content of Gusev targets, the results were poor, indicating that the PLS models for Meridiani are not applicable to data from other sites. Soft Independent Modeling of Class Analogy (SIMCA) classification of Gusev crater data showed mixed results. Of the 24 Gusev test regions of interest (ROIs) with known classes, 11 had >30% of the pixels in the ROI classified correctly, while others were mis-classified or unclassified. k-Means clustering of APXS and Mössbauer data was used to assign Meridiani targets to compositional classes. The clustering-derived classes corresponded to meaningful geologic and/or color unit differences, and SIMCA classification using these classes was somewhat successful, with >30% of pixels correctly classified in 9 of the 11 ROIs with known classes. This work shows that

  7. Chromatographic, Spectroscopic and Mass Spectrometric Approaches for Exploring the Habitability of Mars in 2012 and Beyond with the Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaffy, Paul

    2012-01-01

    The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) suite of instruments on the Curiosity Rover of Mars Science Laboratory Mission is designed to provide chemical and isotopic analysis of organic and inorganic volatiles for both atmospheric and solid samples. The goals of the science investigation enabled by the gas chromatograph mass spectrometer and tunable laser spectrometer instruments of SAM are to work together with the other MSL investigations is to quantitatively assess habitability through a series of chemical and geological measurements. We describe the multi-column gas chromatograph system employed on SAM and the approach to extraction and analysis of organic compounds that might be preserved in ancient martian rocks.

  8. Soft-Robotic Rover with Electrodynamic Power Scavenging

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — We propose a rover architecture for Europa and other planetary environments where soft robotics enables scientific investigation or human-precursor missions that...

  9. Assessment of Spatial Navigation and Docking Performance During Simulated Rover Tasks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, S. J.; Dean, S. L.; De Dios, Y. E.; Moore, S. T.

    2010-01-01

    INTRODUCTION: Following long-duration exploration transits, pressurized rovers will enhance surface mobility to explore multiple sites across Mars and other planetary bodies. Multiple rovers with docking capabilities are envisioned to expand the range of exploration. However, adaptive changes in sensorimotor and cognitive function may impair the crew s ability to safely navigate and perform docking tasks shortly after transition to the new gravitoinertial environment. The primary goal of this investigation is to quantify post-flight decrements in spatial navigation and docking performance during a rover simulation. METHODS: Eight crewmembers returning from the International Space Station will be tested on a motion simulator during four pre-flight and three post-flight sessions over the first 8 days following landing. The rover simulation consists of a serial presentation of discrete tasks to be completed within a scheduled 10 min block. The tasks are based on navigating around a Martian outpost spread over a 970 sq m terrain. Each task is subdivided into three components to be performed as quickly and accurately as possible: (1) Perspective taking: Subjects use a joystick to indicate direction of target after presentation of a map detailing current orientation and location of the rover with the task to be performed. (2) Navigation: Subjects drive the rover to the desired location while avoiding obstacles. (3) Docking: Fine positioning of the rover is required to dock with another object or align a camera view. Overall operator proficiency will be based on how many tasks the crewmember can complete during the 10 min time block. EXPECTED RESULTS: Functionally relevant testing early post-flight will develop evidence regarding the limitations to early surface operations and what countermeasures are needed. This approach can be easily adapted to a wide variety of simulated vehicle designs to provide sensorimotor assessments for other operational and civilian populations.

  10. Lunar and Planetary Robotic Exploration Missions in the 20th Century

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huntress, W. T., Jr.; Moroz, V. I.; Shevalev, I. L.

    2003-07-01

    The prospect of traveling to the planets was science fiction at the beginning of the 20th Century and science fact at its end. The space age was born of the Cold War in the 1950s and throughout most of the remainder of the century it provided not just an adventure in the exploration of space but a suspenseful drama as the US and USSR competed to be first and best. It is a tale of patience to overcome obstacles, courage to try the previously impossible and persistence to overcome failure, a tale of both fantastic accomplishment and debilitating loss. We briefly describe the history of robotic lunar and planetary exploration in the 20th Century, the missions attempted, their goals and their fate. We describe how this enterprise developed and evolved step by step from a politically driven competition to intense scientific investigations and international cooperation.

  11. Robotic Missions to Small Bodies and Their Potential Contributions to Human Exploration and Planetary Defense

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abell, Paul A.; Rivkin, Andrew S.

    2015-01-01

    Introduction: Robotic missions to small bodies will directly address aspects of NASA's Asteroid Initiative and will contribute to future human exploration and planetary defense. The NASA Asteroid Initiative is comprised of two major components: the Grand Challenge and the Asteroid Mission. The first component, the Grand Challenge, focuses on protecting Earth's population from asteroid impacts by detecting potentially hazardous objects with enough warning time to either prevent them from impacting the planet, or to implement civil defense procedures. The Asteroid Mission involves sending astronauts to study and sample a near-Earth asteroid (NEA) prior to conducting exploration missions of the Martian system, which includes Phobos and Deimos. The science and technical data obtained from robotic precursor missions that investigate the surface and interior physical characteristics of an object will help identify the pertinent physical properties that will maximize operational efficiency and reduce mission risk for both robotic assets and crew operating in close proximity to, or at the surface of, a small body. These data will help fill crucial strategic knowledge gaps (SKGs) concerning asteroid physical characteristics that are relevant for human exploration considerations at similar small body destinations. These data can also be applied for gaining an understanding of pertinent small body physical characteristics that would also be beneficial for formulating future impact mitigation procedures. Small Body Strategic Knowledge Gaps: For the past several years NASA has been interested in identifying the key SKGs related to future human destinations. These SKGs highlight the various unknowns and/or data gaps of targets that the science and engineering communities would like to have filled in prior to committing crews to explore the Solar System. An action team from the Small Bodies Assessment Group (SBAG) was formed specifically to identify the small body SKGs under the

  12. Real‐Time Measurement of Wheel Performance on a Rover

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Wind-blown sand on Mars produces a high risk of entrapment for Mars rovers. This was evident when the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit was immobilized in a wind blown...

  13. Planetary Science Exploration Through 2050: Strategic Gaps in Commercial and International Partnerships

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghosh, A.

    2017-02-01

    Planetary science will see greater participation from the commercial sector and international space agencies. It is critical to understand how these entities can partner with NASA through 2050 and help realize NASA's goals in planetary science.

  14. Planetary Exploration Education: As Seen From the Point of View of Subject Matter Experts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milazzo, M. P.; Anderson, R. B.; Gaither, T. A.; Vaughan, R. G.

    2016-12-01

    Planetary Learning that Advances the Nexus of Engineering, Technology, and Science (PLANETS) was selected as one of 27 new projects to support the NASA Science Mission Directorate's Science Education Cooperative Agreement Notice. Our goal is to develop and disseminate out-of-school time (OST) curricular and related educator professional development modules that integrate planetary science, technology, and engineering. We are a partnership between planetary science Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), curriculum developers, science and engineering teacher professional development experts and OST teacher networks. The PLANETS team includes the Center for Science Teaching and Learning (CSTL) at Northern Arizona University (NAU); the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Astrogeology Science Center (Astrogeology), and the Boston Museum of Science (MOS). Here, we present the work and approach by the SMEs at Astrogeology. As part of this overarching project, we will create a model for improved integration of SMEs, curriculum developers, professional development experts, and educators. For the 2016 and 2017 Fiscal Years, our focus is on creating science material for two OST modules designed for middle school students. We will begin development of a third module for elementary school students in the latter part of FY2017. The first module focuses on water conservation and treatment as applied on Earth, the International Space Station, and at a fictional Mars base. This unit involves the science and engineering of finding accessible water, evaluating it for quality, treating it for impurities (i.e., dissolved and suspended), initial use, a cycle of greywater treatment and re-use, and final treatment of blackwater. The second module involves the science and engineering of remote sensing as it is related to Earth and planetary exploration. This includes discussion and activities related to the electromagnetic spectrum, spectroscopy and various remote sensing systems and techniques. In

  15. The TMT International Observatory: A quick overview of future opportunities for planetary science exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dumas, Christophe; Dawson, Sandra; Otarola, Angel; Skidmore, Warren; Squires, Gordon; Travouillon, Tony; Greathouse, Thomas K.; Li, Jian-Yang; Lu, Junjun; Marchis, Frank; Meech, Karen J.; Wong, Michael H.

    2015-11-01

    The construction of the Thirty-Meter-Telescope International Observatory (TIO) is scheduled to take about eight years, with first-light currently planned for the horizon 2023/24, and start of science operations soon after. Its innovative design, the unequalled astronomical quality of its location, and the scientific capabilities that will be offered by its suite of instruments, all contribute to position TIO as a major ground-based facility of the next decade.In this talk, we will review the expected observing performances of the facility, which will combine adaptive-optics corrected wavefronts with powerful imaging and spectroscopic capabilities. TMT will enable ground-based exploration of our solar system - and planetary systems at large - at a dramatically enhanced sensitivity and spatial resolution across the visible and near-/thermal- infrared regimes. This sharpened vision, spanning the study of planetary atmospheres, ring systems, (cryo-)volcanic activity, small body populations (asteroids, comets, trans-Neptunian objects), and exoplanets, will shed new lights on the processes involved in the formation and evolution of our solar system, including the search for life outside the Earth, and will expand our understanding of the physical and chemical properties of extra-solar planets, complementing TIO's direct studies of planetary systems around other stars.TIO operations will meet a wide range of observing needs. Observing support associated with "classical" and "queue" modes will be offered (including some flavors of remote observing). The TIO schedule will integrate observing programs so as to optimize scientific outputs and take into account the stringent observing time constraints often encountered for observations of our solar system such as, for instance, the scheduling of target-of-oportunity observations, the implementation of short observing runs, or the support of long-term "key-science" programmes.Complementary information about TIO, and the

  16. Super Ball Bot - Structures for Planetary Landing and Exploration, NIAC Phase 2 Final Report

    Science.gov (United States)

    SunSpiral, Vytas; Agogino, Adrian; Atkinson, David

    2015-01-01

    Small, light-weight and low-cost missions will become increasingly important to NASA's exploration goals. Ideally teams of small, collapsible, light weight robots, will be conveniently packed during launch and would reliably separate and unpack at their destination. Such robots will allow rapid, reliable in-situ exploration of hazardous destination such as Titan, where imprecise terrain knowledge and unstable precipitation cycles make single-robot exploration problematic. Unfortunately landing lightweight conventional robots is difficult with current technology. Current robot designs are delicate, requiring a complex combination of devices such as parachutes, retrorockets and impact balloons to minimize impact forces and to place a robot in a proper orientation. Instead we are developing a radically different robot based on a "tensegrity" structure and built purely with tensile and compression elements. Such robots can be both a landing and a mobility platform allowing for dramatically simpler mission profile and reduced costs. These multi-purpose robots can be light-weight, compactly stored and deployed, absorb strong impacts, are redundant against single-point failures, can recover from different landing orientations and can provide surface mobility. These properties allow for unique mission profiles that can be carried out with low cost and high reliability and which minimizes the inefficient dependance on "use once and discard" mass associated with traditional landing systems. We believe tensegrity robot technology can play a critical role in future planetary exploration.

  17. A micro seismometer based on molecular electronic transducer technology for planetary exploration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Huang, Hai; Tang, Rui; Carande, Bryce; Oiler, Jonathan; Zaitsev, Dmitri; Agafonov, Vadim; Yu, Hongyu

    2013-01-01

    This letter describes an implementation of micromachined seismometer based on molecular electronic transducer (MET) technology. As opposed to a solid inertial mass, MET seismometer senses the movement of liquid electrolyte relative to fixed electrodes. The employment of micro-electro-mechanical systems techniques reduces the internal size of the sensing cell to 1μm and improves the reproducibility of the device. For operating bias of 600 mV, a sensitivity of 809 V/(m/s 2 ) was measured under acceleration of 400μg(g≡9.81m/s 2 ) at 0.32 Hz. A −115 dB (relative to (m/s 2 )/√(Hz)) noise level at 1 Hz was achieved. This work develops an alternative paradigm of seismic sensing device with small size, high sensitivity, low noise floor, high shock tolerance, and independence of installation angle, which is promising for next generation seismometers for planetary exploration.

  18. Compact Neutron Generators for Medical, Home Land Security, and Planetary Exploration

    CERN Document Server

    Reijonen, Jani

    2005-01-01

    The Plasma and Ion Source Technology Group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has developed various types of advanced D-D (neutron energy 2.5 MeV), D-T (14 MeV) and T-T (0 - 9 MeV) neutron generators for wide range of applications. These applications include medical (Boron Neutron Capture Therapy), homeland security (Prompt Gamma Activation Analysis, Fast Neutron Activation Analysis and Pulsed Fast Neutron Transmission Spectroscopy) and planetary exploration in form of neutron based, sub-surface hydrogen detection systems. These neutron generators utilize RF induction discharge to ionize the deuterium/tritium gas. This discharge method provides high plasma density for high output current, high atomic species from molecular gases, long life operation and versatility for various discharge chamber geometries. Three main neutron generator developments are discussed here: high neutron output co-axial neutron generator for BNCT applications, point neutron generator for security applications, compact and sub-c...

  19. Temperature dependence of the hyperfine parameters of the iron bearing phases in the Moessbauer spectra collected by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Van Cromphaut, Caroline; Resende, Valdirene G. de; De Grave, Eddy; Vandenberghe, Robert E.

    2009-01-01

    This contribution focuses on the Moessbauer spectra acquired by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit which carried a MIMOS II Moessbauer spectrometer. Only those spectra which present a reasonable statistical quality were selected to for this study. Twenty five Moessbauer spectra have been considered. Common phases identified from the temperature dependent hyperfine parameters are olivine, pyroxene, hematite and magnetite. It is believed that the applied analysis method has provided accurate values for the various hyperfine data averaged over single 10 K temperature intervals in the range 210-260 K. The obtained results, to some extent forced to evolve consistently over the various ΔT intervals considered for a given soil/rock target, are in many cases different from previously published data. Possible reasons for these differences will be discussed.

  20. Simultaneous Localization and Mapping for Planetary Surface Mobility, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — ProtoInnovations, LLC and Carnegie Mellon University have formed a partnership to commercially develop localization and mapping technologies for planetary rovers....

  1. Enabling All-Access Mobility for Planetary Exploration Vehicles via Transformative Reconfiguration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferguson, Scott; Mazzoleni, Andre

    2016-01-01

    Effective large-scale exploration of planetary surfaces requires robotic vehicles capable of mobility across chaotic terrain. Characterized by a combination of ridges, cracks and valleys, the demands of this environment can cause spacecraft to experience significant reductions in operating footprint, performance, or even result in total system loss. Significantly increasing the scientific return of an interplanetary mission is facilitated by architectures capable of real-time configuration changes that go beyond that of active suspensions while concurrently meeting system, mass, power, and cost constraints. This Phase 1 report systematically explores how in-service architecture changes can expand system capabilities and mission opportunities. A foundation for concept generation is supplied by four Martian mission profiles spanning chasms, ice fields, craters and rocky terrain. A fifth mission profile centered on Near Earth Object exploration is also introduced. Concept generation is directed using four transformation principles - a taxonomy developed by the engineering design community to explain the cause of an architecture change and existing brainstorming techniques. This allowed early conceptual sketches of architecture changes to be organized by the principle driving the greatest increase in mission performance capability.

  2. Pulsed neutron generator system for astrobiological and geochemical exploration of planetary bodies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Akkurt, Hatice; Groves, Joel L.; Trombka, Jacob; Starr, Richard; Evans, Larry; Floyd, Samuel; Hoover, Richard; Lim, Lucy; McClanahan, Timothy; James, Ralph; McCoy, Timothy; Schweitzer, Jeffrey

    2005-01-01

    A pulsed neutron/gamma-ray detection system for use on rovers to survey the elemental concentrations of Martian and Lunar surface and subsurface materials is evaluated. A robotic survey system combining a pulsed neutron generator (PNG) and detectors (gamma ray and neutron) can measure the major constituents to a depth of about 30 cm. Scanning mode measurements can give the major elemental concentrations while the rover is moving; analyzing mode measurements can give a detailed elemental analysis of the adjacent material when the rover is stationary. A detailed map of the subsurface elemental concentrations will provide invaluable information relevant to some of the most fundamental astrobiological questions including the presence of water, biogenic activity, life habitability and deposition processes

  3. Water in the Solar System: The Development of Science Education Curriculum Focused on Planetary Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edgar, L. A.; Anderson, R. B.; Gaither, T. A.; Milazzo, M. P.; Vaughan, R. G.; Rubino-Hare, L.; Clark, J.; Ryan, S.

    2017-12-01

    "Water in the Solar System" is an out-of-school time (OST) science education activity for middle school students that was developed as part of the Planetary Learning that Advances the Nexus of Engineering, Technology, and Science (PLANETS) project. The PLANETS project was selected in support of the NASA Science Mission Directorate's Science Education Cooperative Agreement Notice, with the goal of developing and disseminating OST curriculum and related professional development modules that integrate planetary science, technology, and engineering. "Water in the Solar System" is a science activity that addresses the abundance and availability of water in the solar system. The activity consists of three exercises based on the following guiding questions: 1) How much water is there on the Earth? 2) Where can you find water in the solar system? and 3) What properties affect whether or not water can be used by astronauts? The three exercises involve a scaling relationship demonstration about the abundance of useable water on Earth, a card game to explore where water is found in the solar system, and a hands-on exercise to investigate pH and salinity. Through these activities students learn that although there is a lot of water on Earth, most of it is not in a form that is accessible for humans to use. They also learn that most water in the solar system is actually farther from the sun, and that properties such as salinity and pH affect whether water can be used by humans. In addition to content for students, the activity includes background information for educators, and links to in-depth descriptions of the science content. "Water in the Solar System" was developed through collaboration between subject matter experts at the USGS Astrogeology Science Center, and curriculum and professional development experts in the Center for Science Teaching and Learning at Northern Arizona University. Here we describe our process of curriculum development, education objectives of

  4. An ultrasonic corer for planetary rock sample retrieval

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Harkness, P; Cardoni, A; Lucas, M

    2009-01-01

    Several recent and planned space projects have been focussed on surface rovers for planetary missions, such as the U.S. Mars Exploration Rovers and the European ExoMars. The main functions of similar extraterrestrial vehicles in the future will be moving across planetary surfaces and retrieving rock samples. This paper presents a novel ultrasonic rock sampling tool tuned in a longitudinal-torsional mode along with the conceptual design of a full coring apparatus for preload delivery and core removal. Drilling and coring bits have been designed so that a portion of the longitudinal motion supplied by the ultrasonic transducer is converted into torsional motion. Results of drilling/coring trials are also presented.

  5. Immersive environment technologies for planetary exploration with applications for mixed reality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, J.; Hartman, F.; Cooper, B.

    2002-01-01

    Immersive environments are successfully being used to support mission operations at JPL. This technology contributed to the Mars Pathfinder Mission in planning sorties for the Sojourner rover. Results and operational experiences with these tools are being incorporated into the development of the second generation of mission planning tools.

  6. Hybrid Aerial/Rover Vehicle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bachelder, Aaron

    2003-01-01

    A proposed instrumented robotic vehicle called an "aerover" would fly, roll along the ground, and/or float on bodies of liquid, as needed. The aerover would combine features of an aerobot (a robotic lighter-than-air balloon) and a wheeled robot of the "rover" class. An aerover would also look very much like a variant of the "beach-ball" rovers. Although the aerover was conceived for use in scientific exploration of Titan (the largest moon of the planet Saturn), the aerover concept could readily be adapted to similar uses on Earth.

  7. What We Might Know About Gusev Crater if the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit Mission were Coupled with a Mars Sample Return Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, Richard V.

    2008-01-01

    The science instruments on the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Spirit have provided an enormous amount of chemical and mineralogical data during more than 1450 sols of exploration at Gusev crater. The Moessbauer (MB) instrument identified 10 Fe-bearing phases at Gusev Crater: olivine, pyroxene, ilmenite, chromite, and magnetite as primary igneous phases and nanophase ferric oxide (npOx), goethite, hematite, a ferric sulfate, and pyrite/marcusite as secondary phases. The Miniature Thermal Emission Spectrometer (Mini-TES) identified some of these Fe-bearing phases (olivine and pyroxene), non- Fe-bearing phases (e.g., feldspar), and an amorphous high-SiO2 phase near Home Plate. Chemical data from the Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) provided the framework for rock classification, chemical weathering/alteration, and mineralogical constraints. APXS-based mineralogical constraints include normative calculations (with Fe(3+)/FeT from MB), elemental associations, and stoichiometry (e.g., 90% SiO2 implicates opalline silica). If Spirit had cached a set of representative samples and if those samples were returned to the Earth for laboratory analysis, what value is added by Mars Sample return (MSR) over and above the mineralogical and chemical data provided by MER?

  8. Nanobiomimetic Active Shape Control - Fluidic and Swarm-Intelligence Embodiments for Planetary Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santoli, S.

    The concepts of Active Shape Control ( ASC ) and of Generalized Quantum Holography ( GQH ), respectively embodying a closer approach to biomimicry than the current macrophysics-based attempts at bioinspired robotic systems, and realizing a non-connectionistic, life-like kind of information processing that allows increasingly depths of mimicking of the biological structure-function solidarity, which have been formulated in physical terms in previous papers, are here further investigated for application to bioinspired flying or swimming robots for planetary exploration. It is shown that nano-to-micro integration would give the deepest level of biomimicry, and that both low and very low Reynolds number ( Re ) fluidics would involve GQH and Fiber Bundle Topology ( FBT ) for processing information at the various levels of ASC bioinspired robotics. While very low Re flows lend themselves to geometrization of microrobot dynamics and to FBT design, the general design problem is geometrized through GQH , i.e. made independent of dynamic considerations, thus allowing possible problems of semantic dyscrasias in highly complex hierarchical dynamical chains of sensing information processing actuating to be overcome. A roadmap to near- and medium-term nanostructured and nano-to-micro integration realizations is suggested.

  9. Design and Dynamics Analysis of a Bio-Inspired Intermittent Hopping Robot for Planetary Surface Exploration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Long Bai

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available A small, bio-inspired and minimally actuated intermittent hopping robot for planetary surface exploration is proposed in this paper. The robot uses a combined-geared six-bar linkage/spring mechanism, which has a possible rich trajectory and metamorphic characteristics and, due to this, the robot is able to recharge, lock/release and jump by using just a micro-power motor as the actuator. Since the robotic system has a closed-chain structure and employs underactuated redundant motion, the constrained multi-body dynamics are derived with time-varying driving parameters and ground unilateral constraint both taken into consideration. In addition, the established dynamics equations, mixed of higher order differential and algebraic expressions, are solved by the immediate integration algorithm. A prototype is implemented and experiments are carried out. The results show that the robot, using a micro-power motor as the actuator and solar cells as the power supply, can achieve a biomimetic multi-body hopping stance and a nonlinearly increasing driving force. Typically, the robot can jump a horizontal distance of about 1 m and a vertical height of about 0.3 m, with its trunk and foot moving stably during takeoff. In addition, the computational and experimental results are consistent as regards the hopping performance of the robot, which suggests that the proposed dynamics model and its solution have general applicability to motion prediction and the performance analysis of intermittent hopping robots.

  10. Compact Neutron Generators for Medical Home Land Security and Planetary Exploration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reijonen, J.

    2005-01-01

    The Plasma and Ion Source Technology Group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has developed various types of advanced D-D (neutron energy 2.5 MeV), D-T (14 MeV) and T-T (0-9 MeV) neutron generators for wide range of applications. These applications include medical (Boron Neutron Capture Therapy), homeland security (Prompt Gamma Activation Analysis, Fast Neutron Activation Analysis and Pulsed Fast Neutron Transmission Spectroscopy) and planetary exploration with a sub-surface material characterization on Mars. These neutron generators utilize RF induction discharge to ionize the deuterium/tritium gas. This discharge method provides high plasma density for high output current, high atomic species from molecular gases, long life operation and versatility for various discharge chamber geometries. Four main neutron generator developments are discussed here: high neutron output co-axial neutron generator for BNCT applications, point neutron generator for security applications, compact and sub-compact axial neutron generator for elemental analysis applications. Current status of the neutron generator development with experimental data will be presented

  11. The radiometric performances of the Planetary Fourier Spectrometer for Mars exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palomba, E.; Colangeli, L.; Formisano, V.; Piccioni, G.; Cafaro, N.; Moroz, V.

    1999-04-01

    The Planetary Fourier Spectrometer (PFS) is a Fourier transform interferometer, operating in the range 1.2-45 μm. The instrument, previously included in the payload of the failed mission Mars ‧96, is proposed for the future space mission Mars Express, under study by ESA. The present paper is aimed at presenting the radiometric performances of PFS. The two channels (LW and SW) forming PFS were analysed and characterised in terms of sensitivity and noise equivalent brightness. To cover the wide spectral range of PFS, different blackbodies were used for calibration. The built-in blackbodies, needed for the in-flight calibrations, were also characterised. The results show that the LW channel is comparable with IRIS Mariner 9 in terms of noise equivalent brightness. The SW channel performances, while satisfactorily, could be improved by lowering the sensor operative temperature. A simple model of the Mars radiance is used in order to calculate the signal-to-noise ratio on the spectra in typical observation conditions. The computed signal-to-noise ratio for the LW channel varies between 430 and 40, while for the SW channel it ranges from 150 to 30. The radiometric analyses confirm that PFS performances are compliant with the design requirements of the instrument. PFS is fully validated for future remote exploration of the atmosphere and the surface of Mars.

  12. Exomars 2018 Rover Pasteur Payload

    Science.gov (United States)

    Debus, Andre; Bacher, M.; Ball, A.; Barcos, O.; Bethge, B.; Gaubert, F.; Haldemann, A.; Lindner, R.; Pacros, A.; Trautner, R.; Vag, J.

    ars programme is a joint ESA-NASA program having exobiology as one of the key science objectives. It is divided into 2 missions: the first mission is ESA-led with an ESA orbiter and an ESA Entry, Descent and Landing (EDL) demonstrator, launched in 2016 by NASA, and the second mission is NASA-led, launched in 2018 by NASA carrying an ESA rover and a NASA rover both deployed by a single NASA EDL system. For ESA, the ExoMars programme will demonstrate key flight and in situ enabling technologies in support of the European ambitions for future exploration missions, as outlined in the Aurora Declaration. While the ExoMars 2016 mission will accomplish a technological objective (Entry, Descent and Landing of a payload on the surface) and a Scientific objective (investigation of Martian atmospheric trace gases and their sources, focussing particularly on methane), the ExoMars 2018 ESA Rover will carry a comprehensive and coherent suite of analytical instruments dedicated to exobiology and geology research: the Pasteur Payload (PPL). This payload includes a selection of complementary instruments, having the following goals: to search for signs of past and present life on Mars and to investigate the water/geochemical environment as a function of depth in the shallow subsurface. The ExoMars Rover includes a drill for accessing underground materials, and a Sample Preparation and Distribution System. The Rover will travel several kilometres looking for sites warranting further investigation, where it will collect and analyse samples from within outcrops and from the subsurface for traces of complex organic molecules. In addition to further details on this Exomars 2018 rover mission, this presentation will focus on the scientific objectives and the instruments needed to achieve them, including details of how the Pasteur Payload as a whole addresses Mars research objectives.

  13. Adaptive Bio-Inspired Wireless Network Routing for Planetary Surface Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alena, Richard I.; Lee, Charles

    2004-01-01

    Wireless mobile networks suffer connectivity loss when used in a terrain that has hills, and valleys when line of sight is interrupted or range is exceeded. To resolve this problem and achieve acceptable network performance, we have designed an adaptive, configurable, hybrid system to automatically route network packets along the best path between multiple geographically dispersed modules. This is very useful in planetary surface exploration, especially for ad-hoc mobile networks, where computational devices take an active part in creating a network infrastructure, and can actually be used to route data dynamically and even store data for later transmission between networks. Using inspiration from biological systems, this research proposes to use ant trail algorithms with multi-layered information maps (topographic maps, RF coverage maps) to determine the best route through ad-hoc network at real time. The determination of best route is a complex one, and requires research into the appropriate metrics, best method to identify the best path, optimizing traffic capacity, network performance, reliability, processing capabilities and cost. Real ants are capable of finding the shortest path from their nest to a food source without visual sensing through the use of pheromones. They are also able to adapt to changes in the environment using subtle clues. To use ant trail algorithms, we need to define the probability function. The artificial ant is, in this case, a software agent that moves from node to node on a network graph. The function to calculate the fitness (evaluate the better path) includes: length of the network edge, the coverage index, topology graph index, and pheromone trail left behind by other ant agents. Each agent modifies the environment in two different ways: 1) Local trail updating: As the ant moves between nodes it updates the amount of pheromone on the edge; and 2) Global trail updating: When all ants have completed a tour the ant that found the

  14. Missions to Near-Earth Asteroids: Implications for Exploration, Science, Resource Utilization, and Planetary Defense

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abell, P. A.; Sanders, G. B.; Mazanek, D. D.; Barbee, B. W.; Mink, R. G.; Landis, R. R.; Adamo, D. R.; Johnson, L. N.; Yeomans, D. K.; Reeves, D. M.; Drake, B. G.; Friedensen, V. P.

    2012-12-01

    Considerations: These missions would be the first human expeditions to interplanetary bodies beyond the Earth-Moon system and would prove useful for testing technologies required for human missions to Mars, Phobos and Deimos, and other Solar System destinations. Current analyses of operational concepts suggest that stay times of 15 to 30 days may be possible at a NEA with total mission duration limits of 180 days or less. Hence, these missions would undoubtedly provide a great deal of technical and engineering data on spacecraft operations for future human space exploration while simultaneously conducting detailed investigations of these primitive objects with instruments and equipment that exceed the mass and power capabilities delivered by robotic spacecraft. All of these activities will be vital for refinement of resource characterization/identification and development of extraction/utilization technologies to be used on airless bodies under low- or micro-gravity conditions. In addition, gaining enhanced understanding of a NEA's geotechnical properties and its gross internal structure will assist the development of hazard mitigation techniques for planetary defense. Conclusions: The scientific, resource utilization, and hazard mitigation benefits, along with the programmatic and operational benefits of a human venture beyond the Earth-Moon system, make a piloted sample return mission to a NEA using NASA's proposed human exploration systems a compelling endeavor.

  15. Exploration of Icy Moons in the Outer Solar System: Updated Planetary Protection Requirements for Missions to Enceladus and Europa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rummel, J. D.; Race, M. S.

    2016-12-01

    Enceladus and Europa are bodies with icy/watery environments and potential habitable conditions for life, making both of great interest in astrobiological studies of chemical evolution and /or origin of life. They are also of significant planetary protection concern for spacecraft missions because of the potential for harmful contamination during exploration. At a 2015 COSPAR colloquium in Bern Switzerland, international scientists identified an urgent need to establish planetary protection requirements for missions proposing to return samples to Earth from Saturn's moon Enceladus. Deliberations at the meeting resulted in recommended policy updates for both forward and back contamination requirements for missions to Europa and Enceladus, including missions sampling plumes originating from those bodies. These recently recommended COSPAR policy revisions and biological contamination requirements will be applied to future missions to Europa and Encealadus, particularly noticeable in those with plans for in situ life detection and sample return capabilities. Included in the COSPAR policy are requirementsto `break the chain of contact' with Europa or Enceladus, to keep pristine returned materials contained, and to complete required biohazard analyses, testing and/or sterilization upon return to Earth. Subsequent to the Bern meeting, additional discussions of Planetary Protection of Outer Solar System bodies (PPOSS) are underway in a 3-year study coordinated by the European Science Foundation and involving multiple international partners, including Japan, China and Russia, along with a US observer. This presentation will provide science and policy updates for those whose research or activities will involve icy moon missions and exploration.

  16. Cross-Coupled Control for All-Terrain Rovers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giulio Reina

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Mobile robots are increasingly being used in challenging outdoor environments for applications that include construction, mining, agriculture, military and planetary exploration. In order to accomplish the planned task, it is critical that the motion control system ensure accuracy and robustness. The achievement of high performance on rough terrain is tightly connected with the minimization of vehicle-terrain dynamics effects such as slipping and skidding. This paper presents a cross-coupled controller for a 4-wheel-drive/4-wheel-steer robot, which optimizes the wheel motors’ control algorithm to reduce synchronization errors that would otherwise result in wheel slip with conventional controllers. Experimental results, obtained with an all-terrain rover operating on agricultural terrain, are presented to validate the system. It is shown that the proposed approach is effective in reducing slippage and vehicle posture errors.

  17. Conformal Ablative Thermal Protection System for Planetary and Human Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beck, R.; Arnold, J.; Gasch, M.; Stackpole, M.; Wercinski, R.; Venkatapathy, E.; Fan, W.; Thornton, J; Szalai, C.

    2012-01-01

    The Office of Chief Technologist (OCT), NASA has identified the need for research and technology development in part from NASAs Strategic Goal 3.3 of the NASA Strategic Plan to develop and demonstrate the critical technologies that will make NASAs exploration, science, and discovery missions more affordable and more capable. Furthermore, the Game Changing Development Program (GCDP) is a primary avenue to achieve the Agencys 2011 strategic goal to Create the innovative new space technologies for our exploration, science, and economic future. In addition, recently released NASA Space Technology Roadmaps and Priorities, by the National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academy of Sciences stresses the need for NASA to invest in the very near term in specific EDL technologies. The report points out the following challenges (Page 2-38 of the pre-publication copy released on February 1, 2012): Mass to Surface: Develop the ability to deliver more payload to the destination. NASA's future missions will require ever-greater mass delivery capability in order to place scientifically significant instrument packages on distant bodies of interest, to facilitate sample returns from bodies of interest, and to enable human exploration of planets such as Mars. As the maximum mass that can be delivered to an entry interface is fixed for a given launch system and trajectory design, the mass delivered to the surface will require reductions in spacecraft structural mass more efficient, lighter thermal protection systems more efficient lighter propulsion systems and lighter, more efficient deceleration systems. Surface Access: Increase the ability to land at a variety of planetary locales and at a variety of times. Access to specific sites can be achieved via landing at a specific location(s) or transit from a single designated landing location, but it is currently infeasible to transit long distances and through extremely rugged terrain, requiring landing close to the site of

  18. Rover deployment system for lunar landing mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutoh, Masataku; Hoshino, Takeshi; Wakabayashi, Sachiko

    2017-09-01

    For lunar surface exploration, a deployment system is necessary to allow a rover to leave the lander. The system should be as lightweight as possible and stored retracted when launched. In this paper, two types of retractable deployment systems for lunar landing missions, telescopic- and fold-type ramps, are discussed. In the telescopic-type system, a ramp is stored with the sections overlapping and slides out during deployment. In the fold-type system, it is stored folded and unfolds for the deployment. For the development of these ramps, a design concept study and structural analysis were conducted first. Subsequently, ramp deployment and rover release tests were performed using the developed ramp prototypes. Through these tests, the validity of their design concepts and functions have been confirmed. In the rover release test, it was observed that the developed lightweight ramp was sufficiently strong for a 50-kg rover to descend. This result suggests that this ramp system is suitable for the deployment of a 300-kg-class rover on the Moon, where the gravity is about one-sixth that on Earth. The lightweight and sturdy ramp developed in this study will contribute to both safe rover deployment and increase of lander/rover payload.

  19. Mission Implementation Constraints on Planetary Muon Radiography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Cathleen E.; Kedar, Sharon; Naudet, Charles; Webb, Frank

    2011-01-01

    Cost: Use heritage hardware, especially use a tested landing system to reduce cost (Phoenix or MSL EDL stage). The sky crane technology delivers higher mass to the surface and enables reaching targets at higher elevation, but at a higher mission cost. Rover vs. Stationary Lander: Rover-mounted instrument enables tomography, but the increased weight of the rover reduces the allowable payload weight. Mass is the critical design constraint for an instrument for a planetary mission. Many factors that are minor factors or do not enter into design considerations for terrestrial operation are important for a planetary application. (Landing site, diurnal temperature variation, instrument portability, shock/vibration)

  20. APXS on board Chandrayaan-2 Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shanmugam, M.; Sripada, V. S. Murty; Acharya, Y. B.; Goyal, S. K.

    2012-07-01

    Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) is a well proven instrument for quantitative in situ elemental analysis of the planetary surfaces and has been successfully employed for Mars surface exploration. Chandrayaan-2, ISRO's second lunar mission having an Orbiter, Lander and Rover has provided an opportunity to explore the lunar surface with superior detectors such as Silicon Drift Detector (SDD) with energy resolution of about 150eV @ 5.9keV. The objective of the APXS instrument is to analyse several soil/rock samples along the rover traverse for the major elements with characteristic X-rays in 1 to 25keV range. The working principle of APXS involves measuring the intensity of characteristic X-rays emitted from the sample due to Alpha Particle Induced X-ray Emission (PIXE) and X-ray florescence (XRF) processes using suitable radioactive sources, allowing the determination of elements from Na to Br, spanning the energy range of 0.9 to 16keV. For this experiment ^{244}Cm radioactive source has been chosen which emits both Alpha particles (5.8MeV) and X-rays (14.1keV, 18keV). APXS uses six Alpha sources, each about 5mCi activity. Unlike Mars, lunar environment poses additional challenges due to the regolith and extreme surface temperature changes, to operate the APXS. Our APXS instrument consists of two packages namely APXS sensor head and APXS signal electronics. The sensor head assembly contains SDD, six alpha sources and front end electronic circuits such as preamplifier and shaper circuits and will be mounted on a robotic arm which on command brings the sensor head close to the lunar surface at a height of 35±10mm. SDD module to be used in the experiment has 30mm ^{2} active detector area with in-built peltier cooler and heat sink to maintain the detector at about -35°C. The detector is covered with 8 micron thick Be window which results in the low energy threshold of about 1keV. The size of the APXS sensor head is 70x70x70mm ^{3} (approx). APXS signal

  1. Pressurized Lunar Rover (PLR)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Creel, Kenneth; Frampton, Jeffrey; Honaker, David; McClure, Kerry; Zeinali, Mazyar; Bhardwaj, Manoj; Bulsara, Vatsal; Kokan, David; Shariff, Shaun; Svarverud, Eric

    The objective of this project was to design a manned pressurized lunar rover (PLR) for long-range transportation and for exploration of the lunar surface. The vehicle must be capable of operating on a 14-day mission, traveling within a radius of 500 km during a lunar day or within a 50-km radius during a lunar night. The vehicle must accommodate a nominal crew of four, support two 28-hour EVA's, and in case of emergency, support a crew of six when near the lunar base. A nominal speed of ten km/hr and capability of towing a trailer with a mass of two mt are required. Two preliminary designs have been developed by two independent student teams. The PLR 1 design proposes a seven meter long cylindrical main vehicle and a trailer which houses the power and heat rejection systems. The main vehicle carries the astronauts, life support systems, navigation and communication systems, lighting, robotic arms, tools, and equipment for exploratory experiments. The rover uses a simple mobility system with six wheels on the main vehicle and two on the trailer. The nonpressurized trailer contains a modular radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) supplying 6.5 kW continuous power. A secondary energy storage for short-term peak power needs is provided by a bank of lithium-sulfur dioxide batteries. The life support system is partly a regenerative system with air and hygiene water being recycled. A layer of water inside the composite shell surrounds the command center allowing the center to be used as a safe haven during solar flares. The PLR 1 has a total mass of 6197 kg. It has a top speed of 18 km/hr and is capable of towing three metric tons, in addition to the RTG trailer. The PLR 2 configuration consists of two four-meter diameter, cylindrical hulls which are passively connected by a flexible passageway, resulting in the overall vehicle length of 11 m. The vehicle is driven by eight independently suspended wheels. The dual-cylinder concept allows articulated as well as double

  2. Mars Exploration Rover: surface operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erickson, J. K.; Adler, M.; Crisp, J.; Mishkin, A.; Welch, R.

    2002-01-01

    This paper will provide an overview of the planned mission, and also focus on the different operations challenges inherent in operating these two very off road vehicles, and the solutions adopted to enable the best utilization of their capabilities for high science return and responsiveness to scientific discovery.

  3. Mars rover local navigation and hazard avoidance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilcox, B. H.; Gennery, D. B.; Mishkin, A. H.

    1989-01-01

    A Mars rover sample return mission has been proposed for the late 1990's. Due to the long speed-of-light delays between earth and Mars, some autonomy on the rover is highly desirable. JPL has been conducting research in two possible modes of rover operation, Computer-Aided Remote Driving and Semiautonomous Navigation. A recently-completed research program used a half-scale testbed vehicle to explore several of the concepts in semiautonomous navigation. A new, full-scale vehicle with all computational and power resources on-board will be used in the coming year to demonstrate relatively fast semiautonomous navigation. The computational and power requirements for Mars rover local navigation and hazard avoidance are discussed.

  4. Frost on Mars Rover Opportunity

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    Frost can form on surfaces if enough water is present and the temperature is sufficiently low. On each of NASA's Mars Exploration Rovers, the calibration target for the panoramic camera provides a good place to look for such events. A thin frost was observed by Opportunity's panoramic camera on the rover's 257th sol (Oct. 13, 2004) 11 minutes after sunrise (left image). The presence of the frost is most clearly seen on the post in the center of the target, particularly when compared with the unsegmented outer ring of the target, which is white. The post is normally black. For comparison, note the difference in appearance in the image on the right, taken about three hours later, after the frost had dissipated. Frost has not been observed at Spirit, where the amount of atmospheric water vapor is observed to be appreciably lower. Both images were taken through a filter centered at a wavelength of 440 nanometers (blue).

  5. An IFU-view of Planetary Nebulae: Exploring NGC 6720 (Ring Nebula) with KCWI

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoadley, Keri; Matuszewski, Matt; Hamden, Erika; Martin, Christopher; Neill, Don; Kyne, Gillian

    2018-01-01

    Studying the interaction between the ejected stellar material and interstellar clouds is important for understanding how stellar deaths influences the pollution of matter that will later form other stars. Planetary nebulae provide ideal laboratories to study such interactions. I will present on a case study of one close-by planetary nebula, the Ring Nebula (M 57, NGC 6720), to infer the abundances, temperatures, structures, and dynamics of important atomic and ionic species in two distinct regions of the nebula using a newly-commissioned integral field spectrograph (IFS) on Keck: the Keck Cosmic Web Imager (KCWI). The advantage of an IFS over traditional filter-imaging techniques is the ability to simultaneously observe the spectrum of any given pixel in the imaging area, which provides crucial information about the dynamics of the observed region. This technique is powerful for diffuse or extended astrophysical objects, and I will demonstrate the different imaging and spectral modes of KCWI used to observe the Ring Nebula.KCWI observations of the Ring Nebula focused mainly on the innermost region of the nebula, with a little coverage of the Inner Ring. We also observed the length of the Ring in one set of observations, for which we will estimate the elemental abundances, temperatures, and dynamics of the region. KCWI observations also capture an inner arc and blob that have distinctly difference characteristics than the Ring itself and may be a direct observation of either the planetary nebula ramming into an interstellar cloud projected onto the sightline or a dense interstellar cloud being illuminated by the stellar continuum from the hot central white dwarf.

  6. A Rover Mobility Platform with Autonomous Capability to Enable Mars Sample Return

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fulford, P.; Langley, C.; Shaw, A.

    2018-04-01

    The next step in understanding Mars is sample return. In Fall 2016, the CSA conducted an analogue deployment using the Mars Exploration Science Rover. An objective was to demonstrate the maturity of the rover's guidance, navigation, and control.

  7. Development of a bio-chip dedicated to planetary exploration. First step: resistance studies to space conditions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Le Postollec, A.; Dobrijevic, M.; Incerti, S.; Moretto, Ph.; Seznec, H.; Desorgher, L.; Santin, G.; Nieminen, P.; Dartnell, L.; Vandenabeele-Trambouze, O.; Coussot, G.

    2008-02-01

    For upcoming exploration missions, space agencies advocate the development of a new promising technique to search for traces of extent or extinct life: the bio-chip use. A bio-chip is a miniaturized device composed of biological sensitive systems fixed on a solid substrate. As space is a hazardous environment, a main concern relies on the resistance of a bio-chip to a panel of harsh constraints among which the resistance to radiations. Within the framework of the BiOMAS (Bio-chip for Organic Matter Analysis in Space) project, our team is currently developing a bio-chip especially designed for planetary exploration. We present here the methodology adopted and the beginning experiments to select the best constituents, to determine resistance levels and to define well-adapted protection for the bio-chip

  8. Night Rover Challenge

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The objective of the Night Rover Challenge was to foster innovations in energy storage technology. Specifically, this challenge asked competitors to create an energy...

  9. Using art and story to explore how primary school students in rural Tanzania understand planetary health: a qualitative analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth VanWormer, PhD

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Background: The global planetary health community increasingly recognises the need to prepare students to investigate and address connections between environmental change and human health. As we strive to support education on planetary health themes for students of all ages, understanding students' concepts of linkages between the health of people and animals, and their shared environments might advance educational approaches. Children living in villages bordering Ruaha National Park in Iringa Region, Tanzania, have direct experience of these connections as they share a water-stressed but biodiverse environment with domestic animals and wildlife. Livelihoods in these villages depend predominantly on crop and livestock production, including extensive pastoralist livestock keeping. Through qualitative research, we aim to explore and describe Tanzanian primary school students' understanding of connections between human health and the environment. Methods: Working with 26 village primary schools in Iringa Rural District, Tanzania, we adapted an art and story outreach activity to explore student perceptions of planetary health concepts. Following a standardised training session, a lead teacher at each primary school helped students aged 12–15 years form small teams to independently develop and illustrate a story centred on themes of how human health depends on water sources, wildlife, livestock, climate, and forest or grassland resources. Students were encouraged to discuss these themes with their teachers, peers, and families while developing their stories to gain broader as well as historical perspectives. The students generated stories that incorporated solutions to challenges within these themes. Written materials and illustrations were collected from each school along with data on sex and tribe of the group members. We translated all stories from Swahili to English for analysis. The primary outcomes of interest in analysing the students

  10. Vision and Voyages: Lessons Learned from the Planetary Decadal Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Squyres, S. W.

    2015-12-01

    The most recent planetary decadal survey, entitled Vision and Voyages for Planetary Science in the Decade 2013-2022, provided a detailed set of priorities for solar system exploration. Those priorities drew on broad input from the U.S. and international planetary science community. Using white papers, town hall meetings, and open meetings of the decadal committees, community views were solicited and a consensus began to emerge. The final report summarized that consensus. Like many past decadal reports, the centerpiece of Vision and Voyages was a set of priorities for future space flight projects. Two things distinguished this report from some previous decadals. First, conservative and independent cost estimates were obtained for all of the projects that were considered. These independent cost estimates, rather than estimates generated by project advocates, were used to judge each project's expected science return per dollar. Second, rather than simply accepting NASA's ten-year projection of expected funding for planetary exploration, decision rules were provided to guide program adjustments if actual funding did not follow projections. To date, NASA has closely followed decadal recommendations. In particular, the two highest priority "flagship" missions, a Mars rover to collect samples for return to Earth and a mission to investigate a possible ocean on Europa, are both underway. The talk will describe the planetary decadal process in detail, and provide a more comprehensive assessment of NASA's response to it.

  11. The Phobos Atlas and Geo-portal: geodesy and cartography approach for planetary exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karachevtseva, Irina; Kozlova, Natalia; Kokhanov, Alexander; Oberst, Jürgen; Zubarev, Anatoliy; Nadezhdina, Irina; Patraty, Vyacheslav; Konopikhin, Anatoliy; Garov, Andrey

    New Phobos mapping. Methods of image processing and modern GIS technologies provide the opportunity for high quality planetary mapping. The new Phobos DTM and global orthomosaic have been used for developing a geodatabase (Karachevtseva et al., 2012) which provides data for various surface spatial analyses: statistics of crater density, as well as studies of gravity field, geomorphology, and photometry. As mapping is the best way to visualize results of research based on spatial context we created the Phobos atlas. The new Phobos atlas includes: control points network which were calculated during photogrammetry processing of SRC images (Zubarev et al., 2012) and fundamental body parameters as a reference basis for Phobos research as well as GIS analyses of surface objects and geomorphologic studies. According to the structure of the atlas we used various scales and projections based on different coordinate system, including three-axial ellipsoid which parameters (a=13.24 km, b=11.49 km, c=9.48 km) derived from new Phobos shape model (Nadezhdina and Zubarev, 2014). The new Phobos atlas includes about 30 thematic original maps that illustrate the surface of the small body based on Mars Express data (Oberst et al., 2008) and illustrates results of various studies of Phobos:, geomorphology parameters of craters (Basilevsky et al., 2014), morphometry studies (Koknanov et al., 2012), statistics of crater size-frequency distributions based on multi-fractal approach (Uchaev Dm. et al., 2012). Phobos Geo-portal. The spatial data products which used for preparing maps for the Phobos atlas are available at the planetary data storage with access via Geo-portal (http://cartsrv.mexlab.ru/geoportal/), based on modern spatial and web-based technologies (Karachevtseva et al., 2013). Now we are developing Geodesy and Cartography node which can integrate various types of information not only for Phobos data, but other planets and their satellites, and it can be used for geo

  12. Automation Rover for Extreme Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sauder, Jonathan; Hilgemann, Evan; Johnson, Michael; Parness, Aaron; Hall, Jeffrey; Kawata, Jessie; Stack, Kathryn

    2017-01-01

    Almost 2,300 years ago the ancient Greeks built the Antikythera automaton. This purely mechanical computer accurately predicted past and future astronomical events long before electronics existed1. Automata have been credibly used for hundreds of years as computers, art pieces, and clocks. However, in the past several decades automata have become less popular as the capabilities of electronics increased, leaving them an unexplored solution for robotic spacecraft. The Automaton Rover for Extreme Environments (AREE) proposes an exciting paradigm shift from electronics to a fully mechanical system, enabling longitudinal exploration of the most extreme environments within the solar system.

  13. Solar System Exploration Augmented by In-Situ Resource Utilization: Human Planetary Base Issues for Mercury and Saturn

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palaszewski, Bryan A.

    2017-01-01

    Human and robotic missions to Mercury and Saturn are presented and analyzed with a range of propulsion options. Historical studies of space exploration, planetary spacecraft, and astronomy, in-situ resource utilization (ISRU), and industrialization all point to the vastness of natural resources in the solar system. Advanced propulsion benefitted from these resources in many ways. While advanced propulsion systems were proposed in these historical studies, further investigation of nuclear options using high power nuclear thermal and nuclear pulse propulsion as well as advanced chemical propulsion can significantly enhance these scenarios. Updated analyses based on these historical visions are presented. Nuclear thermal propulsion and ISRU enhanced chemical propulsion landers are assessed for Mercury missions. At Saturn, nuclear pulse propulsion with alternate propellant feed systems and Saturn moon exploration with chemical propulsion and nuclear electric propulsion options are discussed. Issues with using in-situ resource utilization on Mercury missions are discussed. At Saturn, the best locations for exploration and the use of the moons Titan and Enceladus as central locations for Saturn moon exploration is assessed.

  14. MapX: 2D XRF for Planetary Exploration - Image Formation and Optic Characterization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarrazin, P.; Blake, D.; Gailhanou, M.; Marchis, F.; Chalumeau, C.; Webb, S.; Walter, P.; Schyns, E.; Thompson, K.; Bristow, T.

    2018-04-01

    Map-X is a planetary instrument concept for 2D X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) spectroscopy. The instrument is placed directly on the surface of an object and held in a fixed position during the measurement. The formation of XRF images on the CCD detector relies on a multichannel optic configured for 1:1 imaging and can be analyzed through the point spread function (PSF) of the optic. The PSF can be directly measured using a micron-sized monochromatic X-ray source in place of the sample. Such PSF measurements were carried out at the Stanford Synchrotron and are compared with ray tracing simulations. It is shown that artifacts are introduced by the periodicity of the PSF at the channel scale and the proximity of the CCD pixel size and the optic channel size. A strategy of sub-channel random moves was used to cancel out these artifacts and provide a clean experimental PSF directly usable for XRF image deconvolution.

  15. Martian Surface Mineralogy from Rovers with Spirit, Opportunity, and Curiosity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, Richard V.

    2016-01-01

    Beginning in 2004, NASA has landed three well-instrumented rovers on the equatorial martian surface. The Spirit rover landed in Gusev crater in early January, 2004, and the Opportunity rover landed on the opposite side of Mars at Meridian Planum 21 days later. The Curiosity rover landed in Gale crater to the west of Gusev crater in August, 2012. Both Opportunity and Curiosity are currently operational. The twin rovers Spirit and Opportunity carried Mossbauer spectrometers to determine the oxidation state of iron and its mineralogical composition. The Curiosity rover has an X-ray diffraction instrument for identification and quantification of crystalline materials including clay minerals. Instrument suites on all three rovers are capable of distinguishing primary rock-forming minerals like olivine, pyroxene and magnetite and products of aqueous alteration in including amorphous iron oxides, hematite, goethite, sulfates, and clay minerals. The oxidation state of iron ranges from that typical for unweathered rocks and soils to nearly completely oxidized (weathered) rocks and soils as products of aqueous and acid-sulfate alteration. The in situ rover mineralogy also serves as ground-truth for orbital observations, and orbital mineralogical inferences are used for evaluating and planning rover exploration.

  16. Rover waste assay system

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Akers, D.W.; Stoots, C.M.; Kraft, N.C.; Marts, D.J. [Idaho National Engineering Lab., Idaho Falls, ID (United States)

    1997-11-01

    The Rover Waste Assay System (RWAS) is a nondestructive assay system designed for the rapid assay of highly-enriched {sup 235}U contaminated piping, tank sections, and debris from the Rover nuclear rocket fuel processing facility at the Idaho Chemical Processing Plant. A scanning system translates a NaI(Tl) detector/collimator system over the structural components where both relative and calibrated measurements for {sup 137}Cs are made. Uranium-235 concentrations are in operation and is sufficiently automated that most functions are performed by the computer system. These functions include system calibration, problem identification, collimator control, data analysis, and reporting. Calibration of the system was done through a combination of measurements on calibration standards and benchmarked modeling. A description of the system is presented along with the methods and uncertainties associated with the calibration and analysis of the system for components from the Rover facility. 4 refs., 2 figs., 4 tabs.

  17. Rover waste assay system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Akers, D.W.; Stoots, C.M.; Kraft, N.C.; Marts, D.J.

    1997-01-01

    The Rover Waste Assay System (RWAS) is a nondestructive assay system designed for the rapid assay of highly-enriched 235 U contaminated piping, tank sections, and debris from the Rover nuclear rocket fuel processing facility at the Idaho Chemical Processing Plant. A scanning system translates a NaI(Tl) detector/collimator system over the structural components where both relative and calibrated measurements for 137 Cs are made. Uranium-235 concentrations are in operation and is sufficiently automated that most functions are performed by the computer system. These functions include system calibration, problem identification, collimator control, data analysis, and reporting. Calibration of the system was done through a combination of measurements on calibration standards and benchmarked modeling. A description of the system is presented along with the methods and uncertainties associated with the calibration and analysis of the system for components from the Rover facility. 4 refs., 2 figs., 4 tabs

  18. Conducting Planetary Field Geology on EVA: Lessons from the 2010 DRATS Geologist Crewmembers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Kelsey E.; Bleacher, J. E.; Hurtado, J. M., Jr.; Rice, J.; Garry, W. B.; Eppler, D.

    2011-01-01

    In order to prepare for the next phase of planetary surface exploration, the Desert Research and Technology Studies (DRATS) field program seeks to test the next generation of technology needed to explore other surfaces. The 2010 DRATS 14-day field campaign focused on the simultaneous operation of two habitatable rovers, or Space Exploration Vehicles (SEVs). Each rover was crewed by one astronaut/commander and one geologist, with a change in crews on day seven of the mission. This shift change allowed for eight crew members to test the DRATS technology and operational protocols [1,2]. The insights presented in this abstract represent the crew s thoughts on lessons learned from this field season, as well as potential future testing concepts.

  19. Mars 2020 Rover SHERLOC Calibration Target

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graff, Trevor; Fries, Marc; Burton, Aaron; Ross, Amy; Larson, Kristine; Garrison, Dan; Calaway, Mike; Tran, Vinh; Bhartia, Roh; Beegle, Luther

    2016-01-01

    The Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman & Luminescence for Organics & Chemicals (SHERLOC) instrument is a deep ultraviolet (UV) Raman Fluorescence instrument selected as part of the Mars 2020 rover instrument suite. SHERLOC will be mounted on the rover arm and its primary role is to identify carbonaceous species in martian samples. The SHERLOC instrument requires a calibration target which is being designed and fabricated at JSC as part of our continued science participation in Mars robotic missions. The SHERLOC calibration target will address a wide range of NASA goals to include basic science of interest to both the Science Mission Directorate and Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate.

  20. Curiosity rover LEGO® version could land soon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Showstack, Randy

    2012-09-01

    Now that NASA's Curiosity rover has landed on Mars, a smaller LEGO® plastic brick construction version could be landing in toy stores. Less than 2 weeks after Curiosity set down on 5 August, a LEGO® set concept model designed by a mechanical and aerospace engineer who worked on the real rover garnered its 10,000th supporter on the Web site of CUUSOO, a Japanese partner of the LEGO® group. That milestone triggered a company review that began in September 2012 to test the model's “playability, safety, and ft with the LEGO® brand,” according to a congratulatory statement from the company to designer Stephen Pakbaz. Pakbaz told Eos that he has been an avid LEGO® and space exploration fan for most of his life. “For me, creating a LEGO® model of Curiosity using my firsthand knowledge of the rover was inevitable. What I enjoyed most was being able to faithfully replicate and subsequently demonstrate the rocker-bogie suspension system to friends, family, and coworkers,” he noted, referring to the suspension system that allows the rover to climb over obstacles while keeping its wheels on the ground. Pakbaz, who is currently with Orbital Sciences Corporation, was involved with aspects of the rover while working at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory from 2007 to 2011 as a mechanical engineer.

  1. Low-latency Science Exploration of Planetary Bodies: a Demonstration Using ISS in Support of Mars Human Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thronson, Harley A.; Valinia, Azita; Bleacher, Jacob; Eigenbrode, Jennifer; Garvin, Jim; Petro, Noah

    2014-01-01

    We summarize a proposed experiment to use the International Space Station to formally examine the application and validation of low-latency telepresence for surface exploration from space as an alternative, precursor, or potentially as an adjunct to astronaut "boots on the ground." The approach is to develop and propose controlled experiments, which build upon previous field studies and which will assess the effects of different latencies (0 to 500 msec), task complexity, and alternate forms of feedback to the operator. These experiments serve as an example of a pathfinder for NASA's roadmap of missions to Mars with low-latency telerobotic exploration as a precursor to astronaut's landing on the surface to conduct geological tasks.

  2. Planetary Society

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murdin, P.

    2000-11-01

    Carl Sagan, Bruce Murray and Louis Friedman founded the non-profit Planetary Society in 1979 to advance the exploration of the solar system and to continue the search for extraterrestrial life. The Society has its headquarters in Pasadena, California, but is international in scope, with 100 000 members worldwide, making it the largest space interest group in the world. The Society funds a var...

  3. Potential of Probing the Lunar Regolith using Rover-Mounted Ground Penetrating Radar: Moses Lake Dune Field Analog Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horz, F.; Heggy, E.; Fong, T.; Kring, D.; Deans, M.; Anglade, A.; Mahiouz, K.; Bualat, M.; Lee, P.; Bluethmann, W.

    2009-01-01

    Probing radars have been widely recognized by the science community to be an efficient tool to explore lunar subsurface providing a unique capability to address several scientific and operational issues. A wideband (200 to 1200 MHz) Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) mounted on a surface rover can provide high vertical resolution and probing depth from few tens of centimeters to few tens of meters depending on the sounding frequency and the ground conductivity. This in term can provide a better understand regolith thickness, elemental iron concentration (including ilmenite), volatile presence, structural anomalies and fracturing. All those objectives are of important significance for understanding the local geology and potential sustainable resources for future landing sites in particular exploring the thickness, structural heterogeneity and potential volatiles presence in the lunar regolith. While the operation and data collection of GPR is a straightforward case for most terrestrial surveys, it is a challenging task for remote planetary study especially on robotic platforms due to the complexity of remote operation in rough terrains and the data collection constrains imposed by the mechanical motion of the rover and limitation in data transfer. Nevertheless, Rover mounted GPR can be of great support to perform systematic subsurface surveys for a given landing site as it can provide scientific and operational support in exploring subsurface resources and sample collections which can increase the efficiency of the EVA activities for potential human crews as part of the NASA Constellation Program. In this study we attempt to explore the operational challenges and their impact on the EVA scientific return for operating a rover mounted GPR in support of potential human activity on the moon. In this first field study, we mainly focused on the ability of GPR to support subsurface sample collection and explore shallow subsurface volatiles.

  4. Engineering planetary exploration systems : Integrating novel technologies and the human element using work domain analysis

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Baker, C.; Naikar, N.; Neerincx, M.

    2008-01-01

    The realisation of sustainable space exploration and utilisation requires not only the development of novel concepts and technologies, but also their successful integration. Hardware, software, and the human element must be integrated effectively to make the dream for which these technologies were

  5. Preparing to Test Rover Mobility

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-01-01

    Rover engineers prepare a mixture of sandy and powdery materials to simulate some difficult Mars driving conditions inside a facility at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. The tests in early May 2005 were designed to help plan the best way for the rover Opportunity to drive off of a soft-sand dune that the rover dug itself into the previous week.

  6. Exploring Sulfur & Argon Abundances in Planetary Nebulae as Metallicity- Indicator Surrogates for Iron in the Interstellar Medium

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwitter, Karen B.; Henry, Richard C.

    1999-02-01

    Our primary motivation for studying S and Ar distributions in planetary nebulae (PNe) across the Galactic disk is to explore the possibility of a surrogacy between (S+Ar)/O and Fe/O for use as a metallicity indicator in the interstellar medium. The chemical history of the Galaxy is usually studied through O and Fe distributions among objects of different ages. Historically, though, Fe and O have not been measured in the same systems: Fe is easily seen in stars but hard to detect in nebulae; the reverse is true for O. We know that S and Ar abundances are not affected by PN progenitor evolution, and we therefore seek to exploit both their unaltered abundances and ease of detectability in PNe to explore their surrogacy for Fe. If proven valid, this surrogacy carries broad and important ramifications for bridging the gap between stellar and interstellar abundances in the Galaxy, and potentially beyond. Observed S/O and Ar/O gradients will also provide constraints on theoretical stellar yields of S and Ar, since they can be compared with chemical evolution models (which incorporate theoretically-predicted stellar yields, an initial mass function, and rates of star formation and infall) to help place constraints on model parameters.

  7. Geodesy and cartography methods of exploration of the outer planetary systems: Galilean satellites and Enceladus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zubarev, Anatoliy; Kozlova, Natalia; Kokhanov, Alexander; Oberst, Jürgen; Nadezhdina, Irina; Patraty, Vyacheslav; Karachevtseva, Irina

    elements of external orientation, provides new image processing of previous missions to outer planetary system. Using Photomod software (http://www.racurs.ru/) we have generated a new control point network in 3-D and orthomosaics for Io, Ganymede and Enceladus. Based on improved orbit data for Galileo we have used larger numbers of images than were available before, resulting in a more rigid network for Ganymede. The obtained results will be used for further processing and improvement of the various parameters: body shape parameters and shape modeling, libration, as well as for studying of the surface interesting geomorphological phenomena, for example, distribution of bright and dark surface materials on Ganymede and their correlations with topography and slopes [6]. Acknowledgments: The Ganymede study was partly supported by ROSKOSMOS and Space Research Institute under agreement No. 36/13 “Preliminary assessment of the required coordinate and navigation support for selection of landing sites for lander mission “Laplace” and partly funding by agreement No. 11-05-91323 for “Geodesy, cartography and research satellites Phobos and Deimos” References: [1] Nadezhdina et al. Vol. 14, EGU2012-11210, 2012. [2] Zhukov et al. International Colloquium and Workshop "Ganymede Lander: scientific goals and experiments", Space Research Institute, Moscow, Russia, 4-8 March, 2013. [3] Zubarev et al. International Colloquium and Workshop "Ganymede Lander: scientific goals and experiments", Space Research Institute, Moscow, Russia, 4-8 March, 2013. [4] Lazarev et al. Izvestia VUZov. 2012, No 6, pp. 9-11 http://miigaik.ru/journal.miigaik.ru/2012/20130129120215-2593.pdf (in Russian). [5] Kokhanov et al. Current problems in remote sensing of the Earth from space. 2013. Vol. 10. No 4. pp. 136-153. http://d33.infospace.ru/d33_conf/sb2013t4/136-153.pdf (in Russian). [6] Oberst et al., 2013 International Colloquium and Workshop "Ganymede Lander: scientific goals and experiments", Space

  8. Requirements and Designs for Mars Rover RTGs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schock, Alfred; Shirbacheh, M; Sankarankandath, V

    2012-01-19

    The current-generation RTGs (both GPHS and MOD) are designed for operation in a vacuum environment. The multifoil thermal insulation used in those RTGs only functions well in a good vacuum. Current RTGs are designed to operate with an inert cover gas before launch, and to be vented to space vacuum after launch. Both RTGs are sealed with a large number of metallic C-rings. Those seals are adequate for retaining the inert-gas overpressure during short-term launch operations, but would not be adequate to prevent intrusion of the Martian atmospheric gases during long-term operations there. Therefore, for the Mars Rover application, those RTGs just be modified to prevent the buildup of significant pressures of Mars atmosphere or of helium (from alpha decay of the fuel). In addition, a Mars Rover RTG needs to withstand a long-term dynamic environment that is much more severe than that seen by an RTG on an orbiting spacecraft or on a stationary planetary lander. This paper describes a typical Rover mission, its requirements, the environment it imposes on the RTG, and a design approach for making the RTG operable in such an environment. Specific RTG designs for various thermoelectric element alternatives are presented.; Reference CID #9268 and CID #9276.

  9. Space Applications of the FLUKA Monte-Carlo Code: Lunar and Planetary Exploration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, Kerry; Wilson, Thomas; Zapp, Neal; Pinsky, Lawrence

    2007-01-01

    NASA has recognized the need for making additional heavy-ion collision measurements at the U.S. Brookhaven National Laboratory in order to support further improvement of several particle physics transport-code models for space exploration applications. FLUKA has been identified as one of these codes and we will review the nature and status of this investigation as it relates to high-energy heavy-ion physics

  10. Laser-powered Martian rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harries, W. L.; Meador, W. E.; Miner, G. A.; Schuster, Gregory L.; Walker, G. H.; Williams, M. D.

    1989-01-01

    Two rover concepts were considered: an unpressurized skeleton vehicle having available 4.5 kW of electrical power and limited to a range of about 10 km from a temporary Martian base and a much larger surface exploration vehicle (SEV) operating on a maximum 75-kW power level and essentially unrestricted in range or mission. The only baseline reference system was a battery-operated skeleton vehicle with very limited mission capability and range and which would repeatedly return to its temporary base for battery recharging. It was quickly concluded that laser powering would be an uneconomical overkill for this concept. The SEV, on the other hand, is a new rover concept that is especially suited for powering by orbiting solar or electrically pumped lasers. Such vehicles are visualized as mobile habitats with full life-support systems onboard, having unlimited range over the Martian surface, and having extensive mission capability (e.g., core drilling and sampling, construction of shelters for protection from solar flares and dust storms, etc.). Laser power beaming to SEV's was shown to have the following advantages: (1) continuous energy supply by three orbiting lasers at 2000 km (no storage requirements as during Martian night with direct solar powering); (2) long-term supply without replacement; (3) very high power available (MW level possible); and (4) greatly enhanced mission enabling capability beyond anything currently conceived.

  11. Autonomous Vision-Based Tethered-Assisted Rover Docking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Dorian; Nesnas, Issa A.D.; Zarzhitsky, Dimitri

    2013-01-01

    Many intriguing science discoveries on planetary surfaces, such as the seasonal flows on crater walls and skylight entrances to lava tubes, are at sites that are currently inaccessible to state-of-the-art rovers. The in situ exploration of such sites is likely to require a tethered platform both for mechanical support and for providing power and communication. Mother/daughter architectures have been investigated where a mother deploys a tethered daughter into extreme terrains. Deploying and retracting a tethered daughter requires undocking and re-docking of the daughter to the mother, with the latter being the challenging part. In this paper, we describe a vision-based tether-assisted algorithm for the autonomous re-docking of a daughter to its mother following an extreme terrain excursion. The algorithm uses fiducials mounted on the mother to improve the reliability and accuracy of estimating the pose of the mother relative to the daughter. The tether that is anchored by the mother helps the docking process and increases the system's tolerance to pose uncertainties by mechanically aligning the mating parts in the final docking phase. A preliminary version of the algorithm was developed and field-tested on the Axel rover in the JPL Mars Yard. The algorithm achieved an 80% success rate in 40 experiments in both firm and loose soils and starting from up to 6 m away at up to 40 deg radial angle and 20 deg relative heading. The algorithm does not rely on an initial estimate of the relative pose. The preliminary results are promising and help retire the risk associated with the autonomous docking process enabling consideration in future martian and lunar missions.

  12. Exomars 2018 Rover Pasteur Payload Sample Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Debus, Andre; Bacher, M.; Ball, A.; Barcos, O.; Bethge, B.; Gaubert, F.; Haldemann, A.; Kminek, G.; Lindner, R.; Pacros, A.; Rohr, T.; Trautner, R.; Vago, J.

    The ExoMars programme is a joint ESA-NASA program having exobiology as one of the key science objectives. It is divided into 2 missions: the first mission is ESA-led with an ESA orbiter and an ESA Entry, Descent and Landing (EDL) demonstrator, launched in 2016 by NASA, and the second mission is NASA-led, launched in 2018 by NASA including an ESA rover and a NASA rover both deployed by a single NASA EDL system. For ESA, the ExoMars programme will demonstrate key flight and in situ enabling technologies in support of the European ambitions for future exploration missions, as outlined in the Aurora Declaration. The ExoMars 2018 ESA Rover will carry a comprehensive and coherent suite of analytical instruments dedicated to exobiology and geology research: the Pasteur Payload (PPL). This payload includes a selection of complementary instruments, having the following goals: to search for signs of past and present life on Mars and to investigate the water/geochemical environment as a function of depth in the shallow subsurface. The ExoMars Rover will travel several kilometres searching for sites warranting further investigation. The Rover includes a drill and a Sample Preparation and Distribution System which will be used to collect and analyse samples from within outcrops and from the subsurface. The Rover systems and instruments, in particular those located inside the Analytical Laboratory Drawer must meet many stringent requirements to be compatible with exobiologic investigations: the samples must be maintained in a cold and uncontaminated environment, requiring sterile and ultraclean preparation of the instruments, to preserve volatile materials and to avoid false positive results. The value of the coordinated observations suggests that a significant return on investment is to be expected from this complex development. We will present the challenges facing the ExoMars PPL, and the plans for sending a robust exobiology laboratory to Mars in 2018.

  13. The Explorer's Guide to the Universe: A Reading List for Planetary and Space Science. Revised

    Science.gov (United States)

    French, Bevan M. (Compiler); McDonagh, Mark S. (Compiler)

    1984-01-01

    During the last decade, both scientists and the public have been engulfed by a flood of discoveries and information from outer space. Distant worlds have become familiar landscapes. Instruments in space have shown us a different Sun by the "light" of ultraviolet radiation and X-rays. Beyond the solar system, we have detected a strange universe of unsuspected violence, unexplained objects, and unimaginable energies. We are completely remarking our picture of the universe around us, and scientists and the general public alike are curious and excited about what we see. The public has participated in this period of exploration and discovery to an extent never possible before. In real time, TV screens show moonwalks, the sands of Mars, the volcanoes of Io, and the rings of Saturn. But after the initial excitement, it is hard for the curious non-scientist to learn more details or even to stay in touch with what is going on. Each space mission or new discovery is quickly skimmed over by newspapers and TV and then preserved in technical journals that are neither accessible nor easily read by the average reader. This reading list is an attempt to bridge the gap between the people who make discoveries in space and the people who would like to read about them. The aim has been to provide to many different people--teachers, students, scientists, other professionals, and curious citizens of all kinds--a list of readings where they can find out what the universe is like and what we have learned about it. We have included sections on the objects that seem to be of general interest--the Moon, the planets, the Sun, comets, and the universe beyond. We have also included material on related subjects that people are interested in--the history of space exploration, space habitats, extraterrestrial life, and U F O ' s . The list is intended to be self-contained; it includes both general references to supply background and more specific sources for new discoveries. Although the list can

  14. Visualisation of very high resolution Martian topographic data and its application on landing site selection and rover route navigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, J.; Lin, S.; Hong, J.; Park, D.; Yoon, S.; Kim, Y.

    2010-12-01

    High resolution satellite imagery acquired from orbiters are able to provide detailed topographic information and therefore are recognised as an important tool for investigating planetary and terrestrial topography. The heritage of in-orbit high resolution imaging technology is now implemented in a series of Martian Missions, such as HiRISE (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) and CTX (Context Camera) onboard the MRO (Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter). In order to fully utilise the data derived from image systems carried on various Mars orbiters, the generalised algorithms of image processing and photogrammetric Mars DTM extraction have been developed and implemented by Kim and Muller (2009), in which non-rigorous sensor model and hierarchical geomatics control were employed. Due to the successful “from medium to high” control strategy performed during processing, stable horizontal and vertical photogrammetric accuracy of resultant Mars DTM was achievable when compared with MOLA (Mars Obiter Laser Altimeter) DTM. Recently, the algorithms developed in Kim and Muller (2009) were further updated by employing advanced image matcher and improved sensor model. As the photogrammetric qualities of the updated topographic products are verified and the spatial solution can be up to sub-meter scale, they are of great value to be exploited for Martian rover landing site selection and rover route navigation. To this purpose, the DTMs and ortho-rectified imagery obtained from CTX and HiRISE covering potential future rovers and existing MER (Mars Exploration Rover) landing sites were firstly processed. For landing site selection, the engineering constraints such as slope and surface roughness were computed from DTMs. In addition, the combination of virtual topography and the estimated rover location was able to produce a sophisticated environment simulation of rover’s landing site. Regarding the rover navigation, the orbital DTMs and the images taken from cameras

  15. Mimicking Martian dust: An in-vacuum dust deposition system for testing the ultraviolet sensors on the Curiosity rover

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sobrado, J. M.; Martín-Soler, J.; Martín-Gago, J. A.

    2015-01-01

    We have designed and developed an in-vacuum dust deposition system specifically conceived to simulate and study the effect of accumulation of Martian dust on the electronic instruments of scientific planetary exploration missions. We have used this device to characterize the dust effect on the UV sensor of the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station in the Mars science Laboratory mission of NASA in similar conditions to those found on Mars surface. The UV sensor includes six photodiodes for measuring the radiation in all UV wavelengths (direct incidence and reflected); it is placed on the body of Curiosity rover and it is severely affected by the dust deposited on it. Our experimental setup can help to estimate the duration of reliable reading of this instrument during operation. We have used an analogous of the Martian dust in chemical composition (magnetic species), color, and density, which has been characterized by X-ray spectroscopy. To ensure a Brownian motion of the dust during its fall and a homogeneous coverage on the instrumentation, the operating conditions of the vacuum vessel, determined by partial pressures and temperature, have to be modified to account for the different gravities of Mars with respect to Earth. We propose that our designed device and operational protocol can be of interest to test optoelectronic instrumentation affected by the opacity of dust, as can be the degradation of UV photodiodes in planetary exploration

  16. Mimicking Martian dust: An in-vacuum dust deposition system for testing the ultraviolet sensors on the Curiosity rover

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sobrado, J. M., E-mail: sobradovj@inta.es; Martín-Soler, J. [Centro de Astrobiología (CAB), INTA-CSIC, Torrejón de Ardoz, 28850 Madrid (Spain); Martín-Gago, J. A. [Centro de Astrobiología (CAB), INTA-CSIC, Torrejón de Ardoz, 28850 Madrid (Spain); Instituto de Ciencias de Materiales de Madrid (ICMM–CSIC), Cantoblanco, 28049 Madrid (Spain)

    2015-10-15

    We have designed and developed an in-vacuum dust deposition system specifically conceived to simulate and study the effect of accumulation of Martian dust on the electronic instruments of scientific planetary exploration missions. We have used this device to characterize the dust effect on the UV sensor of the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station in the Mars science Laboratory mission of NASA in similar conditions to those found on Mars surface. The UV sensor includes six photodiodes for measuring the radiation in all UV wavelengths (direct incidence and reflected); it is placed on the body of Curiosity rover and it is severely affected by the dust deposited on it. Our experimental setup can help to estimate the duration of reliable reading of this instrument during operation. We have used an analogous of the Martian dust in chemical composition (magnetic species), color, and density, which has been characterized by X-ray spectroscopy. To ensure a Brownian motion of the dust during its fall and a homogeneous coverage on the instrumentation, the operating conditions of the vacuum vessel, determined by partial pressures and temperature, have to be modified to account for the different gravities of Mars with respect to Earth. We propose that our designed device and operational protocol can be of interest to test optoelectronic instrumentation affected by the opacity of dust, as can be the degradation of UV photodiodes in planetary exploration.

  17. Mothership - Affordable Exploration of Planetary Bodies through Individual Nano-Sats and Swarms

    Science.gov (United States)

    DiCorcia, James D.; Ernst, Sebastian M.; Grace, J. Mike; Gump, David P.; Lewis, John S.; Foulds, Craig F.; Faber, Daniel R.

    2015-04-01

    One concept to enable broad participation in the scientific exploration of small bodies is the Mothership mission architecture which delivers third-party nano-sats, experiments, and sensors to a near Earth asteroid or comet. Deep Space Industries' Mothership service includes delivery of nano-sats, communication to Earth, and visuals of the asteroid surface and surrounding area. It allows researchers to house their instruments in a low-cost nano-sat platform that does not require the high-performance propulsion or deep space communication capabilities that otherwise would be required for a solo asteroid mission. This enables organizations with relatively low operating budgets to closely examine an asteroid with highly specialized sensors of their own choosing, while the nano-sats can be built or commissioned by a variety of smaller institutions, companies, or agencies. In addition, the Mothership and its deployed nano-sats can offer a platform for instruments which need to be distributed over multiple spacecraft. The Mothership is designed to carry 10 to 12 nano-sats, based upon a variation of the Cubesat standard, with some flexibility on the specific geometry. The Deep Space Nano-Sat reference design is a 14.5 cm cube, which accomodates the same volume as a traditional 3U Cubesat. This design was found to be more favorable for deep space due to its thermal characteristics. The CubeSat standard was originally designed with operations in low Earth orbit in mind. By deliberately breaking the standard, Deep Space Nano-Sats offer better performance with less chance of a critical malfunction in the more hostile deep space environment. The first mission can launch as early as Q4 2017, with subsequent, regular launches through the 2020's.

  18. Planetary Data Systems (PDS) Imaging Node Atlas II

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanboli, Alice; McAuley, James M.

    2013-01-01

    The Planetary Image Atlas (PIA) is a Rich Internet Application (RIA) that serves planetary imaging data to the science community and the general public. PIA also utilizes the USGS Unified Planetary Coordinate system (UPC) and the on-Mars map server. The Atlas was designed to provide the ability to search and filter through greater than 8 million planetary image files. This software is a three-tier Web application that contains a search engine backend (MySQL, JAVA), Web service interface (SOAP) between server and client, and a GWT Google Maps API client front end. This application allows for the search, retrieval, and download of planetary images and associated meta-data from the following missions: 2001 Mars Odyssey, Cassini, Galileo, LCROSS, Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, Mars Exploration Rover, Mars Express, Magellan, Mars Global Surveyor, Mars Pathfinder, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, MESSENGER, Phoe nix, Viking Lander, Viking Orbiter, and Voyager. The Atlas utilizes the UPC to translate mission-specific coordinate systems into a unified coordinate system, allowing the end user to query across missions of similar targets. If desired, the end user can also use a mission-specific view of the Atlas. The mission-specific views rely on the same code base. This application is a major improvement over the initial version of the Planetary Image Atlas. It is a multi-mission search engine. This tool includes both basic and advanced search capabilities, providing a product search tool to interrogate the collection of planetary images. This tool lets the end user query information about each image, and ignores the data that the user has no interest in. Users can reduce the number of images to look at by defining an area of interest with latitude and longitude ranges.

  19. Exploring the Solar System Activities Outline: Hands-On Planetary Science for Formal Education K-14 and Informal Settings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, J. S.; Tobola, K. W.; Lindstrom, M. L.

    2003-01-01

    Activities by NASA scientists and teachers focus on integrating Planetary Science activities with existing Earth science, math, and language arts curriculum. The wealth of activities that highlight missions and research pertaining to the exploring the solar system allows educators to choose activities that fit a particular concept or theme within their curriculum. Most of the activities use simple, inexpensive techniques that help students understand the how and why of what scientists are learning about comets, asteroids, meteorites, moons and planets. With these NASA developed activities students experience recent mission information about our solar system such as Mars geology and the search for life using Mars meteorites and robotic data. The Johnson Space Center ARES Education team has compiled a variety of NASA solar system activities to produce an annotated thematic outline useful to classroom educators and informal educators as they teach space science. An important aspect of the outline annotation is that it highlights appropriate science content information and key science and math concepts so educators can easily identify activities that will enhance curriculum development. The outline contains URLs for the activities and NASA educator guides as well as links to NASA mission science and technology. In the informal setting educators can use solar system exploration activities to reinforce learning in association with thematic displays, planetarium programs, youth group gatherings, or community events. Within formal education at the primary level some of the activities are appropriately designed to excite interest and arouse curiosity. Middle school educators will find activities that enhance thematic science and encourage students to think about the scientific process of investigation. Some of the activities offered are appropriate for the upper levels of high school and early college in that they require students to use and analyze data.

  20. Field Exploration and Life Detection Sampling for Planetary Analogue Research (FELDSPAR)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gentry, D.; Stockton, A. M.; Amador, E. S.; Cable, M. L.; Cantrell, T.; Chaudry, N.; Cullen, T.; Duca, Z. A.; Jacobsen, M. B.; Kirby, J.; McCaig, H. C.; Murukesan, G.; Rennie, V.; Rader, E.; Schwieterman, E. W.; Stevens, A. H.; Sutton, S. A.; Tan, G.; Yin, C.; Cullen, D.; Geppert, W.

    2017-12-01

    Extraterrestrial studies are typically conducted on mg samples from cm-scale features, while landing sites are selected based on m to km-scale features. It is therefore critical to understand spatial distribution of organic molecules over scales from cm to the km, particularly in geological features that appear homogenous at m to km scales. This is addressed by FELDSPAR, a NASA-funded project that conducts field operations analogous to Mars sample return in its science, operations, and technology [1]. Here, we present recent findings from a 2016 and a 2017 campaign to multiple Martian analogue sites in Iceland. Icelandic volcanic regions are Mars analogues due to desiccation, low nutrient availability, temperature extremes [2], and are relatively young and isolated from anthropogenic contamination [3]. Operationally, many Icelandic analogue sites are remote enough to require that field expeditions address several sampling constraints that are also faced by robotic exploration [1, 2]. Four field sites were evaluated in this study. The Fimmvörðuháls lava field was formed by a basaltic effusive eruption associated with the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruption. Mælifellssandur is a recently deglaciated plain to the north of the Myrdalsjökull glacier. Holuhraun is a basaltic spatter and cinder cone formed by 2014 fissure eruptions just north of the Vatnajökull glacier. Dyngjusandur is a plain kept barren by repeated aeolian mechanical weathering. Samples were collected in nested triangular grids from 10 cm to the 1 km scale. We obtained overhead imagery at 1 m to 200 m elevation to create digital elevation models. In-field reflectance spectroscopy was obtained with an ASD spectrometer and chemical composition was measured by a Bruker handheld XRF. All sites chosen were homogeneous in apparent color, morphology, moisture, grain size, and reflectance spectra at all scales greater than 10 cm. Field lab ATP assays were conducted to monitor microbial habitation, and home

  1. Mineral Composition and Abundance of the Rocks and Soils at Gusev and Meridiani from the Mars Exploration Rover Mini-TES Instruments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christensen, P. R.; Wyatt, M. B.; Glotch, T. D.; Rogers, A. D.; Anwar, S.; Arvidson, R. E.; Bandfield, J. L.; Blaney, D. L.; Budney, C.; Calvin, W. M.

    2005-01-01

    The Miniature Thermal Emission Spectrometer (Mini-TES) has provided remote measurements of mineralogy, thermophysical properties, and atmospheric temperature profile and composition of the outcrops, rocks, spherules, and soils surrounding the Spirit and Opportunity Rovers. The mineralogy of volcanic rocks provides insights into the composition of the source regions and the nature of martian igneous processes. Carbonates, sulfates, evaporites, and oxides provide information on the role of water in the surface evolution. Oxides, such as crystalline hematite, provide insight into aqueous weathering processes, as would the occurrence of clay minerals and other weathering products. Diurnal temperature measurements can be used to determine particle size and search for the effects of sub-surface layering, which in turn provide clues to the origin of surficial materials through rock disintegration, aeolian transport, atmospheric fallout, or induration. In addition to studying the surface properties, Mini-TES spectra have also been used to determine the temperature profile in the lower boundary layer, providing evidence for convective activity, and have determined the seasonal trends in atmospheric temperature and dust and cloud opacity.

  2. Dynamic modeling and mobility analysis of the transforming roving-rolling explorer (TRREx) as it Traverses Rugged Martian Terrain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwin, Lionel E.; Mazzoleni, Andre P.

    2016-03-01

    All planetary surface exploration missions thus far have employed traditional rovers with a rocker-bogie suspension. These rovers can navigate moderately rough and flat terrain, but are not designed to traverse rugged terrain with steep slopes. The fact is, however, that the most scientifically interesting missions require exploration platforms with capabilities for navigating such types of rugged terrain. This issue motivates the development of new kinds of rovers that take advantage of the latest advances in robotic technologies to traverse rugged terrain efficiently. This work analyzes one such rover concept called the Transforming Roving-Rolling Explorer (TRREx) that is principally aimed at addressing the above issue. Biologically inspired by the way the armadillo curls up into a ball when threatened, and the way the golden wheel spider uses the dynamic advantages of a sphere to roll down hills when escaping danger, the TRREx rover can traverse like a traditional 6-wheeled rover over conventional terrain, but can also transform itself into a sphere, when necessary, to travel down steep inclines, or navigate rough terrain. This paper investigates the mobility of the TRREx when it is in its rolling mode, i.e. when it is a sphere and can steer itself through actuations that shift its center of mass to achieve the desired direction of roll. A mathematical model describing the dynamics of the rover in this spherical configuration is presented, and actuated rolling is demonstrated through computer simulation. Parametric analyzes that investigate the rover's mobility as a function of its design parameters are also presented. This work highlights the contribution of the spherical rolling mode to the enhanced mobility of the TRREx rover and how it could enable challenging surface exploration missions in the future.

  3. Comparative Field Tests of Pressurised Rover Prototypes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mann, G. A.; Wood, N. B.; Clarke, J. D.; Piechochinski, S.; Bamsey, M.; Laing, J. H.

    The conceptual designs, interior layouts and operational performances of three pressurised rover prototypes - Aonia, ARES and Everest - were field tested during a recent simulation at the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah. A human factors experiment, in which the same crew of three executed the same simulated science mission in each of the three vehicles, yielded comparative data on the capacity of each vehicle to safely and comfortably carry explorers away from the main base, enter and exit the vehicle in spacesuits, perform science tasks in the field, and manage geological and biological samples. As well as offering recommendations for design improvements for specific vehicles, the results suggest that a conventional Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) would not be suitable for analog field work; that a pressurised docking tunnel to the main habitat is essential; that better provisions for spacesuit storage are required; and that a crew consisting of one driver/navigator and two field science crew specialists may be optimal. From a field operations viewpoint, a recurring conflict between rover and habitat crews at the time of return to the habitat was observed. An analysis of these incidents leads to proposed refinements of operational protocols, specific crew training for rover returns and again points to the need for a pressurised docking tunnel. Sound field testing, circulating of results, and building the lessons learned into new vehicles is advocated as a way of producing ever higher fidelity rover analogues.

  4. Planetary exploration. Chapter 7

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hunt, G.E.

    1980-01-01

    Recent knowledge of the planets, particularly that gained through spacecraft missions, is discussed. Sections are headed: Mercury; Venus (atmospheric composition, surface properties, meteorology, atmospheric structure); Mars (atmospheric properties, meteorology, climate change, Phobos and Deimos); Jupiter (magnetosphere and environment, atmospheric properties, meteorology, ring properties, inner satellites). (U.K.)

  5. Environmental Control and Life Support Systems for Mars Exploration: Issues and Concerns for Planetary Protection and the Protection of Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barta, Daniel J.; Lange, Kevin; Anderson, Molly; Vonau, Walter

    2016-07-01

    Planetary protection represents an additional set of requirements that generally have not been considered by developers of technologies for Environmental Control and Life Support Systems (ECLSS). Forward contamination concerns will affect release of gases and discharge of liquids and solids, including what may be left behind after planetary vehicles are abandoned upon return to Earth. A crew of four using a state of the art ECLSS could generate as much as 4.3 metric tons of gaseous, liquid and solid wastes and trash during a 500-day surface stay. These may present issues and concerns for both planetary protection and planetary science. Certainly, further closure of ECLSS systems will be of benefit by greater reuse of consumable products and reduced generation of waste products. It can be presumed that planetary protection will affect technology development by constraining how technologies can operate: limiting or prohibiting certain kinds of operations or processes (e.g. venting); necessitating that other kinds of operations be performed (e.g. sterilization; filtration of vent lines); prohibiting what can be brought on a mission (e.g. extremophiles); creating needs for new capabilities/ technologies (e.g. containment). Although any planned venting could include filtration to eliminate micro-organisms from inadvertently exiting the spacecraft, it may be impossible to eliminate or filter habitat structural leakage. Filtration will add pressure drops impacting size of lines and ducts, affect fan size and energy requirements, and add consumable mass. Technologies that may be employed to remove biomarkers and microbial contamination from liquid and solid wastes prior to storage or release may include mineralization technologies such as incineration, super critical wet oxidation and pyrolysis. These technologies, however, come with significant penalties for mass, power and consumables. This paper will estimate the nature and amounts of materials generated during Mars

  6. Nuclear Energy in Space Exploration

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Seaborg, Glenn T.

    1968-01-01

    Nuclear space programs under development by the Atomic Energy Commission are reviewed including the Rover Program, systems for nuclear rocket propulsion and, the SNAP Program, systems for generating electric power in space. The letters S-N-A-P stands for Systems for Nuclear Auxiliary Power. Some of the projected uses of nuclear systems in space are briefly discussed including lunar orbit, lunar transportation from lunar orbit to lunar surface and base stations; planetary exploration, and longer space missions. The limitations of other sources of energy such as solar, fuel cells, and electric batteries are discussed. The excitement and visionary possibilities of the Age of Space are discussed.

  7. Nomad rover field experiment, Atacama Desert, Chile 1. Science results overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabrol, N. A.; Thomas, G.; Witzke, B.

    2001-04-01

    Nomad was deployed for a 45 day traverse in the Atacama Desert, Chile, during the summer of 1997. During this traverse, 1 week was devoted to science experiments. The goal of the science experiments was to test different planetary surface exploration strategies that included (1) a Mars mission simulation, (2) a science on the fly experiment, where the rover was kept moving 75% of the operation time. (The goal of this operation was to determine whether or not successful interpretation of the environment is related to the time spent on a target. The role of mobility in helping the interpretation was also assessed.) (3) a meteorite search using visual and instrumental methods to remotely identify meteorites in extreme environments, and (4) a time-delay experiment with and without using the panospheric camera. The results were as follow: the remote science team positively identified the main characteristics of the test site geological environment. The science on the fly experiment showed that the selection of appropriate targets might be even more critical than the time spent on a study area to reconstruct the history of a site. During the same operation the science team members identified and sampled a rock from a Jurassic outcrop that they proposed to be a fossil. The presence of paleolife indicators in this rock was confirmed later by laboratory analysis. Both visual and instrumental modes demonstrated the feasibility, in at least some conditions, of carrying out a field search for meteorites by using remote-controlled vehicles. Finally, metrics collected from the observation of the science team operations, and the use team members made of mission data, provided critical information on what operation sequences could be automated on board rovers in future planetary surface explorations.

  8. Preparing Graduate Students for Solar System Science and Exploration Careers: Internships and Field Training Courses led by the Lunar and Planetary Institute

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaner, A. J.; Kring, D. A.

    2015-12-01

    To be competitive in 21st century science and exploration careers, graduate students in planetary science and related disciplines need mentorship and need to develop skills not always available at their home university, including fieldwork, mission planning, and communicating with others in the scientific and engineering communities in the U.S. and internationally. Programs offered by the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) address these needs through summer internships and field training programs. From 2008-2012, LPI hosted the Lunar Exploration Summer Intern Program. This special summer intern program evaluated possible landing sites for robotic and human exploration missions to the lunar surface. By the end of the 2012 program, a series of scientifically-rich landing sites emerged, some of which had never been considered before. Beginning in 2015 and building on the success of the lunar exploration program, a new Exploration Science Summer Intern Program is being implemented with a broader scope that includes both the Moon and near-Earth asteroids. Like its predecessor, the Exploration Science Summer Intern Program offers graduate students a unique opportunity to integrate scientific input with exploration activities in a way that mission architects and spacecraft engineers can use. The program's activities may involve assessments and traverse plans for a particular destination or a more general assessment of a class of possible exploration targets. Details of the results of these programs will be discussed. Since 2010 graduate students have participated in field training and research programs at Barringer (Meteor) Crater and the Sudbury Impact Structure. Skills developed during these programs prepare students for their own thesis studies in impact-cratered terrains, whether they are on the Earth, the Moon, Mars, or other solar system planetary surface. Future field excursions will take place at these sites as well as the Zuni-Bandera Volcanic Field. Skills

  9. NASA's Planetary Science Missions and Participations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daou, Doris; Green, James L.

    2017-04-01

    NASA's Planetary Science Division (PSD) and space agencies around the world are collaborating on an extensive array of missions exploring our solar system. Planetary science missions are conducted by some of the most sophisticated robots ever built. International collaboration is an essential part of what we do. NASA has always encouraged international participation on our missions both strategic (ie: Mars 2020) and competitive (ie: Discovery and New Frontiers) and other Space Agencies have reciprocated and invited NASA investigators to participate in their missions. NASA PSD has partnerships with virtually every major space agency. For example, NASA has had a long and very fruitful collaboration with ESA. ESA has been involved in the Cassini mission and, currently, NASA funded scientists are involved in the Rosetta mission (3 full instruments, part of another), BepiColombo mission (1 instrument in the Italian Space Agency's instrument suite), and the Jupiter Icy Moon Explorer mission (1 instrument and parts of two others). In concert with ESA's Mars missions NASA has an instrument on the Mars Express mission, the orbit-ground communications package on the Trace Gas Orbiter (launched in March 2016) and part of the DLR/Mars Organic Molecule Analyzer instruments going onboard the ExoMars Rover (to be launched in 2018). NASA's Planetary Science Division has continuously provided its U.S. planetary science community with opportunities to include international participation on NASA missions too. For example, NASA's Discovery and New Frontiers Programs provide U.S. scientists the opportunity to assemble international teams and design exciting, focused planetary science investigations that would deepen the knowledge of our Solar System. The PSD put out an international call for instruments on the Mars 2020 mission. This procurement led to the selection of Spain and Norway scientist leading two instruments and French scientists providing a significant portion of another

  10. Applying FastSLAM to Articulated Rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hewitt, Robert Alexander

    This thesis presents the navigation algorithms designed for use on Kapvik, a 30 kg planetary micro-rover built for the Canadian Space Agency; the simulations used to test the algorithm; and novel techniques for terrain classification using Kapvik's LIDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) sensor. Kapvik implements a six-wheeled, skid-steered, rocker-bogie mobility system. This warrants a more complicated kinematic model for navigation than a typical 4-wheel differential drive system. The design of a 3D navigation algorithm is presented that includes nonlinear Kalman filtering and Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM). A neural network for terrain classification is used to improve navigation performance. Simulation is used to train the neural network and validate the navigation algorithms. Real world tests of the terrain classification algorithm validate the use of simulation for training and the improvement to SLAM through the reduction of extraneous LIDAR measurements in each scan.

  11. Antarctic Exploration Parallels for Future Human Planetary Exploration: Science Operations Lessons Learned, Planning, and Equipment Capabilities for Long Range, Long Duration Traverses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffman, Stephen J.

    2012-01-01

    The purpose for this workshop can be summed up by the question: Are there relevant analogs to planetary (meaning the Moon and Mars) to be found in polar exploration on Earth? The answer in my opinion is yes or else there would be no reason for this workshop. However, I think some background information would be useful to provide a context for my opinion on this matter. As all of you are probably aware, NASA has been set on a path that, in its current form, will eventually lead to putting human crews on the surface of the Moon and Mars for extended (months to years) in duration. For the past 50 V 60 years, starting not long after the end of World War II, exploration of the Antarctic has accumulated a significant body of experience that is highly analogous to our anticipated activities on the Moon and Mars. This relevant experience base includes: h Long duration (1 year and 2 year) continuous deployments by single crews, h Established a substantial outpost with a single deployment event to support these crews, h Carried out long distance (100 to 1000 kilometer) traverses, with and without intermediate support h Equipment and processes evolved based on lessons learned h International cooperative missions This is not a new or original thought; many people within NASA, including the most recent two NASA Administrators, have commented on the recognizable parallels between exploration in the Antarctic and on the Moon or Mars. But given that level of recognition, relatively little has been done, that I am aware of, to encourage these two exploration communities to collaborate in a significant way. [Slide 4] I will return to NASA s plans and the parallels with Antarctic traverses in a moment, but I want to spend a moment to explain the objective of this workshop and the anticipated products. We have two full days set aside for this workshop. This first day will be taken up with a series of presentations prepared by individuals with experience that extends back as far as the

  12. Autonomously Generating Operations Sequences for a Mars Rover Using Artificial Intelligence-Based Planning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherwood, R.; Mutz, D.; Estlin, T.; Chien, S.; Backes, P.; Norris, J.; Tran, D.; Cooper, B.; Rabideau, G.; Mishkin, A.; Maxwell, S.

    2001-07-01

    This article discusses a proof-of-concept prototype for ground-based automatic generation of validated rover command sequences from high-level science and engineering activities. This prototype is based on ASPEN, the Automated Scheduling and Planning Environment. This artificial intelligence (AI)-based planning and scheduling system will automatically generate a command sequence that will execute within resource constraints and satisfy flight rules. An automated planning and scheduling system encodes rover design knowledge and uses search and reasoning techniques to automatically generate low-level command sequences while respecting rover operability constraints, science and engineering preferences, environmental predictions, and also adhering to hard temporal constraints. This prototype planning system has been field-tested using the Rocky 7 rover at JPL and will be field-tested on more complex rovers to prove its effectiveness before transferring the technology to flight operations for an upcoming NASA mission. Enabling goal-driven commanding of planetary rovers greatly reduces the requirements for highly skilled rover engineering personnel. This in turn greatly reduces mission operations costs. In addition, goal-driven commanding permits a faster response to changes in rover state (e.g., faults) or science discoveries by removing the time-consuming manual sequence validation process, allowing rapid "what-if" analyses, and thus reducing overall cycle times.

  13. Circolo enogastronomico "Della Rovere" = The Della Rovere Club

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    2012-01-01

    Della Rovere Klubist, mis on Itaalia Önogastronoomiliste Ühenduste Föderatsiooni ja Euroopa Önogastronoomia Vennaskondade Nõukogu liige ja mille missiooniks on kohalike traditsioonide säilitamine, erinevate toiduainete omaduste tutvustamine, veinikultuuri õpetamine jne

  14. Planetary nebulae

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Amnuehl', P.R.

    1985-01-01

    The history of planetary nebulae discovery and their origin and evolution studies is discussed in a popular way. The problem of planetary nebulae central star is considered. The connection between the white-draft star and the planetary nebulae formulation is shown. The experimental data available acknowledge the hypothesis of red giant - planetary nebula nucleus - white-draft star transition process. Masses of planetary nebulae white-draft stars and central stars are distributed practically similarly: the medium mass is close to 0.6Msub(Sun) (Msub(Sun) - is the mass of the Sun)

  15. Planetary Image Geometry Library

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deen, Robert C.; Pariser, Oleg

    2010-01-01

    The Planetary Image Geometry (PIG) library is a multi-mission library used for projecting images (EDRs, or Experiment Data Records) and managing their geometry for in-situ missions. A collection of models describes cameras and their articulation, allowing application programs such as mosaickers, terrain generators, and pointing correction tools to be written in a multi-mission manner, without any knowledge of parameters specific to the supported missions. Camera model objects allow transformation of image coordinates to and from view vectors in XYZ space. Pointing models, specific to each mission, describe how to orient the camera models based on telemetry or other information. Surface models describe the surface in general terms. Coordinate system objects manage the various coordinate systems involved in most missions. File objects manage access to metadata (labels, including telemetry information) in the input EDRs and RDRs (Reduced Data Records). Label models manage metadata information in output files. Site objects keep track of different locations where the spacecraft might be at a given time. Radiometry models allow correction of radiometry for an image. Mission objects contain basic mission parameters. Pointing adjustment ("nav") files allow pointing to be corrected. The object-oriented structure (C++) makes it easy to subclass just the pieces of the library that are truly mission-specific. Typically, this involves just the pointing model and coordinate systems, and parts of the file model. Once the library was developed (initially for Mars Polar Lander, MPL), adding new missions ranged from two days to a few months, resulting in significant cost savings as compared to rewriting all the application programs for each mission. Currently supported missions include Mars Pathfinder (MPF), MPL, Mars Exploration Rover (MER), Phoenix, and Mars Science Lab (MSL). Applications based on this library create the majority of operational image RDRs for those missions. A

  16. Positive-Buoyancy Rover for Under Ice Mobility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leichty, John M.; Klesh, Andrew T.; Berisford, Daniel F.; Matthews, Jaret B.; Hand, Kevin P.

    2013-01-01

    A buoyant rover has been developed to traverse the underside of ice-covered lakes and seas. The rover operates at the ice/water interface and permits direct observation and measurement of processes affecting freeze- over and thaw events in lake and marine environments. Operating along the 2- D ice-water interface simplifies many aspects of underwater exploration, especially when compared to submersibles, which have difficulty in station-keeping and precision mobility. The buoyant rover consists of an all aluminum body with two aluminum sawtooth wheels. The two independent body segments are sandwiched between four actuators that permit isolation of wheel movement from movement of the central tether spool. For normal operations, the wheels move while the tether spool feeds out line and the cameras on each segment maintain a user-controlled fixed position. Typically one camera targets the ice/water interface and one camera looks down to the lake floor to identify seep sources. Each wheel can be operated independently for precision turning and adjustments. The rover is controlled by a touch- tablet interface and wireless goggles enable real-time viewing of video streamed from the rover cameras. The buoyant rover was successfully deployed and tested during an October 2012 field campaign to investigate methane trapped in ice in lakes along the North Slope of Alaska.

  17. Onboard autonomous mineral detectors for Mars rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilmore, M. S.; Bornstein, B.; Castano, R.; Merrill, M.; Greenwood, J.

    2005-12-01

    Mars rovers and orbiters currently collect far more data than can be downlinked to Earth, which reduces mission science return; this problem will be exacerbated by future rovers of enhanced capabilities and lifetimes. We are developing onboard intelligence sufficient to extract geologically meaningful data from spectrometer measurements of soil and rock samples, and thus to guide the selection, measurement and return of these data from significant targets at Mars. Here we report on techniques to construct mineral detectors capable of running on current and future rover and orbital hardware. We focus on carbonate and sulfate minerals which are of particular geologic importance because they can signal the presence of water and possibly life. Sulfates have also been discovered at the Eagle and Endurance craters in Meridiani Planum by the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Opportunity and at other regions on Mars by the OMEGA instrument aboard Mars Express. We have developed highly accurate artificial neural network (ANN) and Support Vector Machine (SVM) based detectors capable of identifying calcite (CaCO3) and jarosite (KFe3(SO4)2(OH)6) in the visible/NIR (350-2500 nm) spectra of both laboratory specimens and rocks in Mars analogue field environments. To train the detectors, we used a generative model to create 1000s of linear mixtures of library end-member spectra in geologically realistic percentages. We have also augmented the model to include nonlinear mixing based on Hapke's models of bidirectional reflectance spectroscopy. Both detectors perform well on the spectra of real rocks that contain intimate mixtures of minerals, rocks in natural field environments, calcite covered by Mars analogue dust, and AVIRIS hyperspectral cubes. We will discuss the comparison of ANN and SVM classifiers for this task, technical challenges (weathering rinds, atmospheric compositions, and computational complexity), and plans for integration of these detectors into both the Coupled Layer

  18. Lunar Surface Scenarios: Habitation and Life Support Systems for a Pressurized Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Molly; Hanford, Anthony; Howard, Robert; Toups, Larry

    2006-01-01

    Pressurized rovers will be a critical component of successful lunar exploration to enable safe investigation of sites distant from the outpost location. A pressurized rover is a complex system with the same functions as any other crewed vehicle. Designs for a pressurized rover need to take into account significant constraints, a multitude of tasks to be performed inside and out, and the complexity of life support systems to support the crew. In future studies, pressurized rovers should be given the same level of consideration as any other vehicle occupied by the crew.

  19. NASA Lunar and Planetary Mapping and Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Day, B. H.; Law, E.

    2016-12-01

    NASA's Lunar and Planetary Mapping and Modeling Portals provide web-based suites of interactive visualization and analysis tools to enable mission planners, planetary scientists, students, and the general public to access mapped lunar data products from past and current missions for the Moon, Mars, and Vesta. New portals for additional planetary bodies are being planned. This presentation will recap significant enhancements to these toolsets during the past year and look forward to the results of the exciting work currently being undertaken. Additional data products and tools continue to be added to the Lunar Mapping and Modeling Portal (LMMP). These include both generalized products as well as polar data products specifically targeting potential sites for the Resource Prospector mission. Current development work on LMMP also includes facilitating mission planning and data management for lunar CubeSat missions, and working with the NASA Astromaterials Acquisition and Curation Office's Lunar Apollo Sample database in order to help better visualize the geographic contexts from which samples were retrieved. A new user interface provides, among other improvements, significantly enhanced 3D visualizations and navigation. Mars Trek, the project's Mars portal, has now been assigned by NASA's Planetary Science Division to support site selection and analysis for the Mars 2020 Rover mission as well as for the Mars Human Landing Exploration Zone Sites. This effort is concentrating on enhancing Mars Trek with data products and analysis tools specifically requested by the proposing teams for the various sites. Also being given very high priority by NASA Headquarters is Mars Trek's use as a means to directly involve the public in these upcoming missions, letting them explore the areas the agency is focusing upon, understand what makes these sites so fascinating, follow the selection process, and get caught up in the excitement of exploring Mars. The portals also serve as

  20. AIAA Educator Academy - Mars Rover Curriculum: A 6 week multidisciplinary space science based curriculum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henriquez, E.; Bering, E. A.; Slagle, E.; Nieser, K.; Carlson, C.; Kapral, A.

    2013-12-01

    learning activities for planetary science will be explored. These lesson plans incorporate state of the art interactive pedagogy and current NASA Planetary Science materials.

  1. A New Radio Spectral Line Survey of Planetary Nebulae: Exploring Radiatively Driven Heating and Chemistry of Molecular Gas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bublitz, Jesse

    Planetary nebulae contain shells of cold gas and dust whose heating and chemistry is likely driven by UV and X-ray emission from their central stars and from wind-collision-generated shocks. We present the results of a survey of molecular line emissions in the 88 - 235 GHz range from nine nearby (Radioastronomie Millimetrique. Rotational transitions of nine molecules, including the well-studied CO isotopologues and chemically important trace species, were observed and the results compared with and augmented by previous studies of molecular gas in PNe. Lines of the molecules HCO+, HNC, HCN, and CN, which were detected in most objects, represent new detections for five planetary nebulae in our study. Flux ratios were analyzed to identify correlations between the central star and/or nebular ultraviolet/X-ray luminosities and the molecular chemistries of the nebulae. Analysis reveals the apparent dependence of the HNC/HCN line ratio on PN central star UV luminosity. There exists no such clear correlation between PN X-rays and various diagnostics of PN molecular chemistry. The correlation between HNC/HCN ratio and central star UV luminosity hints at the potential of molecular emission line studies of PNe for improving our understanding of the role that high-energy radiation plays in the heating and chemistry of photodissociation regions.

  2. Exploration of Venus with the Venera-15 IR Fourier spectrometer and the Venus Express planetary Fourier spectrometer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zasova, L. V.; Moroz, V. I.; Formisano, V.; Ignatiev, N. I.; Khatuntsev, I. V.

    2006-07-01

    The infrared spectrometry of Venus in the range 6-45 μm allows one to sound the middle atmosphere of Venus in the altitude range 55-100 km and its cloud layer. This experiment was carried out onboard the Soviet automatic interplanetary Venera-15 station, where the Fourier spectrometer for this spectral range was installed. The measurements have shown that the main component of the cloud layer at all measured latitudes in the northern hemisphere is concentrated sulfuric acid (75-85%). The vertical profiles of temperature and aerosol were reconstructed in a self-consistent manner: the three-dimensional fields of temperature and zonal wind in the altitude range 55-100 km and aerosol at altitudes 55-70 km have been obtained, as well as vertical SO2 profiles and H2O concentration in the upper cloud layer. The solar-related waves at isobaric levels in the fields of temperature, zonal wind, and aerosol were investigated. This experiment has shown the efficiency of the method for investigation of the Venusian atmosphere. The Planetary Fourier Spectrometer has the spectral interval 0.9-45 μm and a spectral resolution of 1.8 cm-1. It will allow one to sound the middle atmosphere (55-100 km) of Venus and its cloud layer on the dayside, as well as the lower atmosphere and the planetary surface on the night side.

  3. Field Exploration and Life Detection Sampling for Planetary Analogue Research (FELDSPAR): Variability and Correlation in Biomarker and Mineralogy Measurements from Icelandic Mars Analogues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gentry, D.; Amador, E.; Cable, M. L.; Cantrell, T.; Chaudry, N.; Cullen, T.; Duca, Z.; Jacobsen, M.; Kirby, J.; McCaig, H.; hide

    2018-01-01

    In situ exploration of planetary environments allows biochemical analysis of sub-centimeter-scale samples; however, landing sites are selected a priori based on measurable meter- to kilometer-scale geological features. Optimizing life detection mission science return requires both understanding the expected biomarker distributions across sample sites at different scales and efficiently using first-stage in situ geochemical instruments to justify later-stage biological or chemical analysis. Icelandic volcanic regions have an extensive history as Mars analogue sites due to desiccation, low nutrient availability, and temperature extremes, in addition to the advantages of geological youth and isolation from anthropogenic contamination. Many Icelandic analogue sites are also rugged and remote enough to create the same type of instrumentation and sampling constraints typically faced by robotic exploration.

  4. Planetary Radar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neish, Catherine D.; Carter, Lynn M.

    2015-01-01

    This chapter describes the principles of planetary radar, and the primary scientific discoveries that have been made using this technique. The chapter starts by describing the different types of radar systems and how they are used to acquire images and accurate topography of planetary surfaces and probe their subsurface structure. It then explains how these products can be used to understand the properties of the target being investigated. Several examples of discoveries made with planetary radar are then summarized, covering solar system objects from Mercury to Saturn. Finally, opportunities for future discoveries in planetary radar are outlined and discussed.

  5. Quantitative Potassium Measurements with Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy Using Low-Energy Lasers: Application to In Situ K-Ar Geochronology for Planetary Exploration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Yuichiro; Horiuchi, Misa; Shibasaki, Kazuo; Kameda, Shingo; Sugita, Seiji

    2017-08-01

    In situ radiogenic isotope measurements to obtain the absolute age of geologic events on planets are of great scientific value. In particular, K-Ar isochrons are useful because of their relatively high technical readiness and high accuracy. Because this isochron method involves spot-by-spot K measurements using laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) and simultaneous Ar measurements with mass spectrometry, LIBS measurements are conducted under a high vacuum condition in which emission intensity decreases significantly. Furthermore, using a laser power used in previous planetary missions is preferable to examine the technical feasibility of this approach. However, there have been few LIBS measurements for K under such conditions. In this study, we measured K contents in rock samples using 30 mJ and 15 mJ energy lasers under a vacuum condition (10 -3  Pa) to assess the feasibility of in situ K-Ar dating with lasers comparable to those used in NASA's Curiosity and Mars 2020 missions. We obtained various calibration curves for K using internal normalization with the oxygen line at 777 nm and continuum emission from the laser-induced plasma. Experimental results indicate that when K 2 O laser energy, with a detection limit of 88 ppm and 20% of error at 2400 ppm of K 2 O. Futhermore, the calibration curve based on the K 769 nm line intensity normalized with continuum emission yielded the best result for the 15 mJ laser, giving a detection limit of 140 ppm and 20% error at 3400 ppm K 2 O. Error assessments using obtained calibration models indicate that a 4 Ga rock with 3000 ppm K 2 O would be measured with 8% (30 mJ) and 10% (15 mJ) of precision in age when combined with mass spectrometry of 40 Ar with 10% of uncertainty. These results strongly suggest that high precision in situ isochron K-Ar dating is feasible with a laser used in previous and upcoming Mars rover missions.

  6. Active Electromechanical Suspension System for Planetary Rovers, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Balcones Technologies, LLC proposes to adapt actively controlled suspension technology developed by The University of Texas at Austin Center for Electromechanics...

  7. Ambler: Performance of a six-legged planetary rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krotkov, E. P.; Simmons, R. G.; Whittaker, W. L.

    1995-01-01

    In this paper we quantify several performance metrics for the Ambler, a six-legged robot configured for autonomous traversal of Mars-like terrain. We present power consumption measures for walking on sandy terrain and for vertical lifts at different velocities. We document the performance of a novel dead-reckoning approach, and analyze its accuracy. We describe the results of autonomous walking experiments in terms of terrain traversed, walking speed and endurance.

  8. Ambler - Performance of a six-legged planetary rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krotkov, E. P.; Simmons, R. G.; Whittaker, W. L.

    1992-08-01

    In this paper, several performance metrics are quantified for the Ambler, a six-legged robot configured for autonomous traversal of Mars-like terrain. Power consumption measures are presented for walking on sandy terrain and for vertical lifts at different velocities. The performance of a novel dead reckoning approach is documented, and its accuracy is analyzed. The results of autonomous walking experiments are described in terms of terrain traversed, walking speed, and endurance.

  9. Development of "Remotely Operated Vehicles for Education and Research" (ROVERs)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaines, J. E.; Bland, G.; Bydlowski, D.

    2017-12-01

    The University of South Florida is a team member for the AREN project which develops educational technologies for data acquisition. "Remotely Operated Vehicles for Education and Research" (ROVERs) are floatable data acquisition systems used for Earth science measurements. The USF partnership was productive in the first year, resulting in new autonomous ROVER platforms being developed and used during a 5 week STEM summer camp by middle school youth. ROVERs were outfitted with GPS and temperature sensors and programmed to move forward, backwards, and to turn autonomously using the National Instruments myRIO embedded system. GLOBE protocols were used to collect data. The outreach program's structure lended itself to accomplishing an essential development effort for the AREN project towards the use of the ROVER platform in informal educational settings. A primary objective of the partnership is curriculum development to integrate GLOBE protocols and NASA technology and hardware/ROVER development wher new ROVER platforms are explored. The USF partnership resulted in two design prototypes for ROVERs, both of which can be created from recyclable materials for flotation and either 3D printed or laser cut components. In addition, both use the National Instruments myRIO for autonomous control. We will present two prototypes designed for use during the USF outreach program, the structure of the program, and details on the fabrication of prototype Z during the program by middle school students. Considering the 5-year objective of the AREN project is to "develop approaches, learning plans, and specific tools that can be affordably implemented nationwide (globally)", the USF partnership is key as it contributes to each part of the objective in a unique and impactful way.

  10. Planetary magnetospheres

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hill, T.W.; Michel, F.C.

    1975-01-01

    Recent planetary probes have resulted in the realization of the generality of magnetospheric interactions between the solar wind and the planets. The three categories of planetary magnetospheres are discussed: intrinsic slowly rotating magnetospheres, intrinsic rapidly rotating magnetospheres, and induced magnetospheres. (BJG)

  11. Robust Path Planning for Space Exploration Rovers

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Motion planning considers the problem of moving a system from a starting position to a desired goal position. This problem has been shown to be a computationally...

  12. Zeppelin NT - Measurement Platform for the Exploration of Atmospheric Chemistry and Dynamics in the Planetary Boundary Layer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofzumahaus, Andreas; Holland, Frank; Oebel, Andreas; Rohrer, Franz; Mentel, Thomas; Kiendler-Scharr, Astrid; Wahner, Andreas; Brauchle, Artur; Steinlein, Klaus; Gritzbach, Robert

    2014-05-01

    The planetary boundary layer (PBL) is the chemically most active and complex part of the atmosphere where freshly emitted reactive trace gases, tropospheric radicals, atmospheric oxidation products and aerosols exhibit a large variability and spatial gradients. In order to investigate the chemical degradation of trace gases and the formation of secondary pollutants in the PBL, a commercial Zeppelin NT was modified to be used as an airborne measurement platform for chemical and physical observations with high spatial resolution. The Zeppelin NT was developed by Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik (ZLT) and is operated by Deutsche Zeppelin Reederei (DZR) in Friedrichshafen, Germany. The modification was performed in cooperation between Forschungszentrum Jülich and ZLT. The airship has a length of 75 m, can lift about 1 ton of scientific payload and can be manoeuvered with high precision by propeller engines. The modified Zeppelin can carry measurement instruments mounted on a platform on top of the Zeppelin, or inside the gondola beneath the airship. Three different instrument packages were developed to investigate a. gas-phase oxidation processes involving free radicals (OH, HO2) b. formation of secondary organic aerosols (SOA) c. new particle formation (nucleation) The presentation will describe the modified airship and provide an overview of its technical performance. Examples of its application during the recent PEGASOS flight campaigns in Europe will be given.

  13. Instrumented Moles for Planetary Subsurface Regolith Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richter, L. O.; Coste, P. A.; Grzesik, A.; Knollenberg, J.; Magnani, P.; Nadalini, R.; Re, E.; Romstedt, J.; Sohl, F.; Spohn, T.

    2006-12-01

    Soil-like materials, or regolith, on solar system objects provide a record of physical and/or chemical weathering processes on the object in question and as such possess significant scientific relevance for study by landed planetary missions. In the case of Mars, a complex interplay has been at work between impact gardening, aeolian as well as possibly fluvial processes. This resulted in regolith that is texturally as well as compositionally layered as hinted at by results from the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) missions which are capable of accessing shallow subsurface soils by wheel trenching. Significant subsurface soil access on Mars, i.e. to depths of a meter or more, remains to be accomplished on future missions. This has been one of the objectives of the unsuccessful Beagle 2 landed element of the ESA Mars Express mission having been equipped with the Planetary Underground Tool (PLUTO) subsurface soil sampling Mole system capable of self-penetration into regolith due to an internal electro-mechanical hammering mechanism. This lightweight device of less than 900 g mass was designed to repeatedly obtain and deliver to the lander regolith samples from depths down to 2 m which would have been analysed for organic matter and, specifically, organic carbon from potential extinct microbial activity. With funding from the ESA technology programme, an evolved Mole system - the Instrumented Mole System (IMS) - has now been developed to a readiness level of TRL 6. The IMS is to serve as a carrier for in situ instruments for measurements in planetary subsurface soils. This could complement or even eliminate the need to recover samples to the surface. The Engineering Model hardware having been developed within this effort is designed for accommodating a geophysical instrument package (Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package, HP3) that would be capable of measuring regolith physical properties and planetary heat flow. The chosen design encompasses a two-body Mole

  14. Planetary Magnetism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connerney, J. E. P.

    2007-01-01

    The chapter on Planetary Magnetism by Connerney describes the magnetic fields of the planets, from Mercury to Neptune, including the large satellites (Moon, Ganymede) that have or once had active dynamos. The chapter describes the spacecraft missions and observations that, along with select remote observations, form the basis of our knowledge of planetary magnetic fields. Connerney describes the methods of analysis used to characterize planetary magnetic fields, and the models used to represent the main field (due to dynamo action in the planet's interior) and/or remnant magnetic fields locked in the planet's crust, where appropriate. These observations provide valuable insights into dynamo generation of magnetic fields, the structure and composition of planetary interiors, and the evolution of planets.

  15. Planetary Defense

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-05-01

    4 Abstract Planetary defense against asteroids should be a major concern for every government in the world . Millions of asteroids and...helps make Planetary Defense viable because defending the Earth against asteroids benefits from all the above technologies. So if our planet security...information about their physical characteristics so we can employ the right strategies. It is a crucial difference if asteroids are made up of metal

  16. Mars Science Laboratory Rover System Thermal Test

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novak, Keith S.; Kempenaar, Joshua E.; Liu, Yuanming; Bhandari, Pradeep; Dudik, Brenda A.

    2012-01-01

    On November 26, 2011, NASA launched a large (900 kg) rover as part of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission to Mars. The MSL rover is scheduled to land on Mars on August 5, 2012. Prior to launch, the Rover was successfully operated in simulated mission extreme environments during a 16-day long Rover System Thermal Test (STT). This paper describes the MSL Rover STT, test planning, test execution, test results, thermal model correlation and flight predictions. The rover was tested in the JPL 25-Foot Diameter Space Simulator Facility at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). The Rover operated in simulated Cruise (vacuum) and Mars Surface environments (8 Torr nitrogen gas) with mission extreme hot and cold boundary conditions. A Xenon lamp solar simulator was used to impose simulated solar loads on the rover during a bounding hot case and during a simulated Mars diurnal test case. All thermal hardware was exercised and performed nominally. The Rover Heat Rejection System, a liquid-phase fluid loop used to transport heat in and out of the electronics boxes inside the rover chassis, performed better than predicted. Steady state and transient data were collected to allow correlation of analytical thermal models. These thermal models were subsequently used to predict rover thermal performance for the MSL Gale Crater landing site. Models predict that critical hardware temperatures will be maintained within allowable flight limits over the entire 669 Sol surface mission.

  17. Europlanet Research Infrastructure: Planetary Simulation Facilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davies, G. R.; Mason, N. J.; Green, S.; Gómez, F.; Prieto, O.; Helbert, J.; Colangeli, L.; Srama, R.; Grande, M.; Merrison, J.

    2008-09-01

    pressures and temperatures and through provision of external UV light and or electrical discharge can be used to form the well known Titan Aerosol species, which can subsequently be analysed using one of several analytical techniques (UV-Vis, FTIR and mass spectrometry). Simulated surfaces can be produced (icy surfaces down to 15K) and subjected to a variety of light and particles (electron and ion) sources. Chemical and physical changes in the surface may be explored using remote spectroscopy. Planetary Simulation chamber for low density atmospheres INTA-CAB The planetary simulation chamber-ultra-high vacuum equipment (PSC-UHV) has been designed to study planetary surfaces and low dense atmospheres, space environments or any other hypothetic environment at UHV. Total pressure ranges from 7 mbar (Martian conditions) to 5x10-9 mbar. A residual gas analyzer regulates gas compositions to ppm precision. Temperature ranges from 4K to 325K and most operations are computer controlled. Radiation levels are simulated using a deuterium UV lamp, and ionization sources. 5 KV electron and noble-gas discharge UV allows measurement of IR and UV spectra and chemical compositions are determined by mass spectroscopy. Planetary Simulation chamber for high density planetary atmospheres at INTA-CAB The facility allows experimental study of planetary environments under high pressure, and was designed to include underground, seafloor and dense atmosphere environments. Analytical capabilities include Raman spectra, physicochemical properties of materials, e.a. thermal conductivity. P-T can be controlled as independent variables to allow monitoring of the tolerance of microorganisms and the stability of materials and their phase changes. Planetary Simulation chamber for icy surfaces at INTA-CAB This chamber is being developed to the growth of ice samples to simulate the chemical and physical properties of ices found on both planetary bodies and their moons. The goal is to allow measurement of the

  18. Implementing planetary protection measures on the Mars Science Laboratory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benardini, James N; La Duc, Myron T; Beaudet, Robert A; Koukol, Robert

    2014-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), comprising a cruise stage; an aeroshell; an entry, descent, and landing system; and the radioisotope thermoelectric generator-powered Curiosity rover, made history with its unprecedented sky crane landing on Mars on August 6, 2012. The mission's primary science objective has been to explore the area surrounding Gale Crater and assess its habitability for past life. Because microbial contamination could profoundly impact the integrity of the mission and compliance with international treaty was required, planetary protection measures were implemented on MSL hardware to verify that bioburden levels complied with NASA regulations. By applying the proper antimicrobial countermeasures throughout all phases of assembly, the total bacterial endospore burden of MSL at the time of launch was kept to 2.78×10⁵ spores, well within the required specification of less than 5.0×10⁵ spores. The total spore burden of the exposed surfaces of the landed MSL hardware was 5.64×10⁴, well below the allowed limit of 3.0×10⁵ spores. At the time of launch, the MSL spacecraft was burdened with an average of 22 spores/m², which included both planned landed and planned impacted hardware. Here, we report the results of a campaign to implement and verify planetary protection measures on the MSL flight system.

  19. Technology transfer from the space exploration initiative

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buden, D.

    1991-01-01

    Space exploration has demonstrated that it stimulates the national economy by creating new and improved products, increased employment, and provides a stimulus to education. The exploration of the Moon and Mars under the Space Exploration Initiative has the potential of accelerating this stimulates to the economy. It is difficult to identify all of the concrete ways this will be accomplished. However, many areas can be identified. The space exploration building blocks of power, propulsion, spacecraft, robotics, rovers, mining and manufacturing, communications, navigation, habitats, life support and infrastructures are reviewed to identify possible technology areas. For example, better means for working in hazardous areas and handling hazardous waste are potential outcomes of this initiative. Methods to produce higher quality goods and improve America's competitiveness in manufacturing will undoubtedly evolve from the need to produce products that must last many years in the harsh environments of space and planetary surfaces. Some ideas for technology transfer are covered in this paper

  20. Polarimetry of stars and planetary systems

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Kolokolova, Ludmilla; Hough, James; Levasseur-Regourd, Anny-Chantal

    2015-01-01

    ... fields of polarimetric exploration, including proto-planetary and debris discs, icy satellites, transneptunian objects, exoplanets and the search for extraterrestrial life -- unique results produced...

  1. NEWTON - NEW portable multi-sensor scienTific instrument for non-invasive ON-site characterization of rock from planetary surface and sub-surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díaz-Michelena, M.; de Frutos, J.; Ordóñez, A. A.; Rivero, M. A.; Mesa, J. L.; González, L.; Lavín, C.; Aroca, C.; Sanz, M.; Maicas, M.; Prieto, J. L.; Cobos, P.; Pérez, M.; Kilian, R.; Baeza, O.; Langlais, B.; Thébault, E.; Grösser, J.; Pappusch, M.

    2017-09-01

    In space instrumentation, there is currently no instrument dedicated to susceptibly or complete magnetization measurements of rocks. Magnetic field instrument suites are generally vector (or scalar) magnetometers, which locally measure the magnetic field. When mounted on board rovers, the electromagnetic perturbations associated with motors and other elements make it difficult to reap the benefits from the inclusion of such instruments. However, magnetic characterization is essential to understand key aspects of the present and past history of planetary objects. The work presented here overcomes the limitations currently existing in space instrumentation by developing a new portable and compact multi-sensor instrument for ground breaking high-resolution magnetic characterization of planetary surfaces and sub-surfaces. This new technology introduces for the first time magnetic susceptometry (real and imaginary parts) as a complement to existing compact vector magnetometers for planetary exploration. This work aims to solve the limitations currently existing in space instrumentation by means of providing a new portable and compact multi-sensor instrument for use in space, science and planetary exploration to solve some of the open questions on the crustal and more generally planetary evolution within the Solar System.

  2. The Use of Terrestrial Analogs in Preparing for Planetary Surface Exploration: Sampling and Radioisotopic Dating of Impactites and Deployment of In Situ Analytical Technologies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Kelsey

    Impact cratering has played a crucial role in the surface development of the inner planets. Constraining the timing of this bombardment history is important in understanding the origins of life and our planet's evolution. Plate tectonics, active volcanism, and vegetation hinder the preservation and identification of existing impact craters on Earth. Providing age constraints on these elusive structures will provide a deeper understanding of our planet's development. To do this, (U-Th)/He thermochronology and in situ 40 Ar/39Ar laser microprobe geochronology are used to provide ages for the Haughton and Mistastin Lake impact structures, both located in northern Canada. While terrestrial impact structures provide accessible laboratories for deciphering Earth's impact history, the ultimate goal for understanding the history of the reachable inner Solar System is to acquire robust, quantitative age constraints for the large lunar impact basins. The oldest of these is the South Pole-Aitken basin (SPA), located on the lunar farside. While it is known that this basin is stratigraphically the oldest on the Moon, its absolute age has yet to be determined. Several reports released in the last decade have highlighted sampling and dating SPA as a top priority for inner Solar System exploration. This is no easy task as the SPA structure has been modified by four billion subsequent years of impact events. Informed by studies at Mistastin---which has target lithologies analogous to those at SPA---sampling strategies are discussed that are designed to optimize the probability of a high science return with regard to robust geochronology of the SPA basin. Planetary surface missions, like one designed to explore and sample SPA, require the integration of engineering constraints with scientific goals and traverse planning. The inclusion of in situ geochemical technology, such as the handheld X-ray fluorescence spectrometer (hXRF), into these missions will provide human crews with the

  3. Nuclear power systems for Lunar and Mars exploration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sovie, R.J.; Bozek, J.M.

    1994-01-01

    Initial studies of a variety of mission scenarios for the new Space Exploration Initiative, and the technologies necessary to enable or significantly enhance them, have identified the development of advanced space power systems - whether solar, chemical or nuclear - to be of prime importance. Lightweight, compact, reliable power systems for planetary rovers and a variety of surface vehicles, utility surface power, and power for advanced propulsion systems were identified as critical needs for these missions. This paper discusses these mission scenarios, the concomitant power system requirements; the power system options considered and identifies the significant potential benefits of nuclear power for meeting the power needs of the above applications

  4. Lunar and Planetary Science XXXV: Engaging K-12 Educators, Students, and the General Public in Space Science Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    The session "Engaging K-12 Educators, Students, and the General Public in Space Science Exploration" included the following reports:Training Informal Educators Provides Leverage for Space Science Education and Public Outreach; Teacher Leaders in Research Based Science Education: K-12 Teacher Retention, Renewal, and Involvement in Professional Science; Telling the Tale of Two Deserts: Teacher Training and Utilization of a New Standards-based, Bilingual E/PO Product; Lindstrom M. M. Tobola K. W. Stocco K. Henry M. Allen J. S. McReynolds J. Porter T. T. Veile J. Space Rocks Tell Their Secrets: Space Science Applications of Physics and Chemistry for High School and College Classes -- Update; Utilizing Mars Data in Education: Delivering Standards-based Content by Exposing Educators and Students to Authentic Scientific Opportunities and Curriculum; K. E. Little Elementary School and the Young Astronaut Robotics Program; Integrated Solar System Exploration Education and Public Outreach: Theme, Products and Activities; and Online Access to the NEAR Image Collection: A Resource for Educators and Scientists.

  5. Planetary Magnetism

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Russell, C.T.

    1980-01-01

    Planetary spacecraft have now probed the magnetic fields of all the terrestrial planets, the moon, Jupiter, and Saturn. These measurements reveal that dynamos are active in at least four of the planets, Mercury, the earth, Jupiter, and Saturn but that Venus and Mars appear to have at most only very weak planetary magnetic fields. The moon may have once possessed an internal dynamo, for the surface rocks are magnetized. The large satellites of the outer solar system are candidates for dynamo action in addition to the large planets themselves. Of these satellites the one most likely to generate its own internal magnetic field is Io

  6. Rover's Wheel Churns Up Bright Martian Soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit acquired this mosaic on the mission's 1,202nd Martian day, or sol (May 21, 2007), while investigating the area east of the elevated plateau known as 'Home Plate' in the 'Columbia Hills.' The mosaic shows an area of disturbed soil, nicknamed 'Gertrude Weise' by scientists, made by Spirit's stuck right front wheel. The trench exposed a patch of nearly pure silica, with the composition of opal. It could have come from either a hot-spring environment or an environment called a fumarole, in which acidic, volcanic steam rises through cracks. Either way, its formation involved water, and on Earth, both of these types of settings teem with microbial life. Spirit acquired this mosaic with the panoramic camera's 753-nanometer, 535-nanometer, and 432-nanometer filters. The view presented here is an approximately true-color rendering.

  7. Low-Latency Science Exploration of Planetary Bodies: How ISS Might Be Used as Part of a Low-Latency Analog Campaign for Human Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thronson, Harley; Valinia, Azita; Bleacher, Jacob; Eigenbrode, Jennifer; Garvin, Jim; Petro, Noah

    2014-01-01

    We suggest that the International Space Station be used to examine the application and validation of low-latency telepresence for surface exploration from space as an alternative, precursor, or potentially as an adjunct to astronaut "boots on the ground." To this end, controlled experiments that build upon and complement ground-based analog field studies will be critical for assessing the effects of different latencies (0 to 500 milliseconds), task complexity, and alternate forms of feedback to the operator. These experiments serve as an example of a pathfinder for NASA's roadmap of missions to Mars with low-latency telerobotic exploration as a precursor to astronaut's landing on the surface to conduct geological tasks.

  8. The Athena Mars Rover Science Payload

    Science.gov (United States)

    Squyes, S. W.; Arvidson, R.; Bell, J. F., III; Carr, M.; Christensen, P.; DesMarais, D.; Economou, T.; Gorevan, S.; Klingelhoefer, G.; Haskin, L.

    1998-01-01

    The Mars Surveyor missions that will be launched in April of 2001 will include a highly capable rover that is a successor to the Mars Pathfinder mission's Sojourner rover. The design goals for this rover are a total traverse distance of at least 10 km and a total lifetime of at least one Earth year. The rover's job will be to explore a site in Mars' ancient terrain, searching for materials likely to preserve a record of ancient martian water, climate, and possibly biology. The rover will collect rock and soil samples, and will store them for return to Earth by a subsequent Mars Surveyor mission in 2005. The Athena Mars rover science payload is the suite of scientific instruments and sample collection tools that will be used to perform this job. The specific science objectives that NASA has identified for the '01 rover payload are to: (1) Provide color stereo imaging of martian surface environments, and remotely-sensed point discrimination of mineralogical composition. (2) Determine the elemental and mineralogical composition of martian surface materials. (3) Determine the fine-scale textural properties of these materials. (4) Collect and store samples. The Athena payload has been designed to meet these objectives. The focus of the design is on field operations: making sure the rover can locate, characterize, and collect scientifically important samples in a dusty, dirty, real-world environment. The topography, morphology, and mineralogy of the scene around the rover will be revealed by Pancam/Mini-TES, an integrated imager and IR spectrometer. Pancam views the surface around the rover in stereo and color. It uses two high-resolution cameras that are identical in most respects to the rover's navigation cameras. The detectors are low-power, low-mass active pixel sensors with on-chip 12-bit analog-to-digital conversion. Filters provide 8-12 color spectral bandpasses over the spectral region from 0.4 to 1.1 micron Narrow-angle optics provide an angular resolution of 0

  9. A Raman Spectrometer for the ExoMars 2020 Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moral, A. G.; Rull, F.; Maurice, S.; Hutchinson, I.; Canora, C. P.; Seoane, L.; Rodríguez, P.; Canchal, R.; Gallego, P.; Ramos, G.; López, G.; Prieto, J. A. R.; Santiago, A.; Santamaría, P.; Colombo, M.; Belenguer, T.; Forni, O.

    2017-09-01

    The Raman project is devoted to the development of a Raman spectrometer and the support science associated for the rover EXOMARS mission to be launched in 2020. ExoMars is a double mission with two different launch opportunities, first one launched in March 2016 allowed to put in orbit the TGO with the communication system for the next mission. And the second one in 2020, deploying a rover which includes for the first time in the robotic exploration of Mars, a drill capable to obtain samples from the subsurface up to 2 meters depth. These samples will be crushed into a fine powder and delivered to the analytical instruments suite inside the rover by means of a dosing station. The EQM has been already qualified under a very demanding thermo mechanical environment, and under EMC tests, finally achieving required scientific performances. The RLS Engineering and Qualification Model has been manufactured and is expected to be delivered by May 2017, after a full qualification testing campaign developed during 2016 Q4, and 2017 Q1. It will finally delivered to ESA, by July 2017. December 2017 at TAS-I premises will do RLS FM delivery to ESA, for its final integration on the ExoMars 2020 Rover.

  10. Planetary Geomorphology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, Victor R.

    1984-01-01

    Discusses various topics related to planetary geomorphology, including: research techniques; such geomorphic processes as impact, volcanic, degradational, eolian, and hillslope/mass movement processes; and channels and valleys. Indicates that the subject should be taught as a series of scientific questions rather than scientific results of…

  11. Conformal Ablative Thermal Protection System for Planetary and Human Exploration Missions:An Overview of the Technology Maturation Effort

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beck, Robin A S.; Arnold, James O.; Gasch, Matthew J.; Stackpoole, Margaret M.; Prabhu, Dinesh K.; Szalai, Christine E.; Wercinski, Paul F.; Venkatapathy, Ethiraj

    2013-01-01

    The Office of Chief Technologist, NASA identified the need for research and technology development in part from NASAs Strategic Goal 3.3 of the NASA Strategic Plan to develop and demonstrate the critical technologies that will make NASAs exploration, science, and discovery missions more affordable and more capable. Furthermore, the Game Changing Development Program is a primary avenue to achieve the Agencys 2011 strategic goal to Create the innovative new space technologies for our exploration, science, and economic future. The National Research Council (NRC) Space Technology Roadmaps and Priorities report highlights six challenges and they are: Mass to Surface, Surface Access, Precision Landing, Surface Hazard Detection and Avoidance, Safety and Mission Assurance, and Affordability. In order for NASA to meet these challenges, the report recommends immediate focus on Rigid and Flexible Thermal Protection Systems. Rigid TPS systems such as Avcoat or SLA are honeycomb based and PICA is in the form of tiles. The honeycomb systems are manufactured using techniques that require filling of each (38 cell) by hand, and in a limited amount of time all of the cells must be filled and the heatshield must be cured. The tile systems such as PICA pose a different challenge as the low strain-to-failure and manufacturing size limitations require large number of small tiles with gap-fillers between the tiles. Recent investments in flexible ablative systems have given rise to the potential for conformal ablative TPS. A conformal TPS over a rigid aeroshell has the potential to solve a number of challenges faced by traditional rigid TPS materials. The high strain-to-failure nature of the conformal ablative materials will allow integration of the TPS with the underlying aeroshell structure much easier and enable monolithic-like configuration and larger segments (or parts) to be used. By reducing the overall part count, the cost of installation (based on cost comparisons between blanket

  12. Augmented Virtuality: A Real-time Process for Presenting Real-world Visual Sensory Information in an Immersive Virtual Environment for Planetary Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    McFadden, D.; Tavakkoli, A.; Regenbrecht, J.; Wilson, B.

    2017-12-01

    Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) applications have recently seen an impressive growth, thanks to the advent of commercial Head Mounted Displays (HMDs). This new visualization era has opened the possibility of presenting researchers from multiple disciplines with data visualization techniques not possible via traditional 2D screens. In a purely VR environment researchers are presented with the visual data in a virtual environment, whereas in a purely AR application, a piece of virtual object is projected into the real world with which researchers could interact. There are several limitations to the purely VR or AR application when taken within the context of remote planetary exploration. For example, in a purely VR environment, contents of the planet surface (e.g. rocks, terrain, or other features) should be created off-line from a multitude of images using image processing techniques to generate 3D mesh data that will populate the virtual surface of the planet. This process usually takes a tremendous amount of computational resources and cannot be delivered in real-time. As an alternative, video frames may be superimposed on the virtual environment to save processing time. However, such rendered video frames will lack 3D visual information -i.e. depth information. In this paper, we present a technique to utilize a remotely situated robot's stereoscopic cameras to provide a live visual feed from the real world into the virtual environment in which planetary scientists are immersed. Moreover, the proposed technique will blend the virtual environment with the real world in such a way as to preserve both the depth and visual information from the real world while allowing for the sensation of immersion when the entire sequence is viewed via an HMD such as Oculus Rift. The figure shows the virtual environment with an overlay of the real-world stereoscopic video being presented in real-time into the virtual environment. Notice the preservation of the object

  13. Survey for Life-related Species During a Planetary Surface Exploration; System Type I - UV Stimulated Fluorescent Sensor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Alian; Haskin, L. A.; Gillis, J. J.

    2003-01-01

    The widely accepted minimum requirements for life on Earth include the presence of water and accessible sources of carbon. We assume that the same criteria must hold for putative life on past or present Mars. The evidence for CO2 and H2O at or near the Martian surface, carbon in Martian meteorites, aqueous alteration, and probable hydrothermal activity suggest that conditions conducive to the origin and evolution of life on Mars may have existed for long periods of time and may still obtain at present. Surface exploration on Mars that enables the direct detection of water in minerals and of organic carbon (including not just organic and biogenic materials but their degradation products such as kerogen-like hydrocarbons and graphitized carbon) that might be products or residues of biologic activity, is crucial. The search for evidence of life, past or present, will nevertheless be difficult. The lack of direct evidence for organic carbon and the low amounts of water found in the soils at the Viking sites demonstrated the difficulties. Recent results of GRS experiment of Odyssey mission indicated the existence of abundant water ice beneath the Mars surface. Mineralogical evidence for the presence of carbonate, sulfates, or clay minerals, products of weathering and aqueous deposition, have not been identified unambiguously on Mars. Rocks such as shales and, more particularly, limestones, which we associate with moist and benign environments on Earth, are evidently not abundant. Presumably, then, neither were the photosynthetic organisms that might have produced them. In addition, the harsh present environment on Mars (e.g., dryness, low temperatures, large temperature cycles, high level of UV light on the surface, frequent dust storms, etc.) can both destroy carbon- and water-bearing materials and hide them. Therefore, directly detecting life-related materials on Mars was likened to seeking and examining proverbial needles in haystacks. We argue that survey type

  14. Mars Technology Program Planetary Protection Technology Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Ying

    2006-01-01

    The objectives of the NASA Planetary Protection program are to preserve biological and organic conditions of solar-system bodies for future scientific exploration and to protect the Earth from potential hazardous extraterrestrial contamination. As the exploration of solar system continues, NASA remains committed to the implementation of planetary protection policy and regulations. To fulfill this commitment, the Mars Technology Program (MTP) has invested in a portfolio of tasks for developing necessary technologies to meet planetary protection requirements for the next decade missions.

  15. Planetary engineering

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollack, James B.; Sagan, Carl

    1991-01-01

    Assuming commercial fusion power, heavy lift vehicles and major advances in genetic engineering, the authors survey possible late-21st century methods of working major transformations in planetary environments. Much more Earthlike climates may be produced on Mars by generating low freezing point greenhouse gases from indigenous materials; on Venus by biological conversion of CO2 to graphite, by canceling the greenhouse effect with high-altitude absorbing fine particles, or by a sunshield at the first Lagrangian point; and on Titan by greenhouses and/or fusion warming. However, in our present state of ignorance we cannot guarantee a stable endstate or exclude unanticipated climatic feedbacks or other unintended consequences. Moreover, as the authors illustrate by several examples, many conceivable modes of planetary engineering are so wasteful of scarce solar system resources and so destructive of important scientific information as to raise profound ethical issues, even if they were economically feasible, which they are not. Global warming on Earth may lead to calls for mitigation by planetary engineering, e.g., emplacement and replenishment of anti-greenhouse layers at high altitudes, or sunshields in space. But here especially we must be concerned about precision, stability, and inadvertent side-effects. The safest and most cost-effective means of countering global warming - beyond, e.g., improved energy efficiency, CFC bans and alternative energy sources - is the continuing reforestation of approximately 2 times 107 sq km of the Earth's surface. This can be accomplished with present technology and probably at the least cost.

  16. Planetary engineering

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollack, James B.; Sagan, Carl

    Assuming commercial fusion power, heavy lift vehicles and major advances in genetic engineering, the authors survey possible late-21st century methods of working major transformations in planetary environments. Much more Earthlike climates may be produced on Mars by generating low freezing point greenhouse gases from indigenous materials; on Venus by biological conversion of CO2 to graphite, by canceling the greenhouse effect with high-altitude absorbing fine particles, or by a sunshield at the first Lagrangian point; and on Titan by greenhouses and/or fusion warming. However, in our present state of ignorance we cannot guarantee a stable endstate or exclude unanticipated climatic feedbacks or other unintended consequences. Moreover, as the authors illustrate by several examples, many conceivable modes of planetary engineering are so wasteful of scarce solar system resources and so destructive of important scientific information as to raise profound ethical issues, even if they were economically feasible, which they are not. Global warming on Earth may lead to calls for mitigation by planetary engineering, e.g., emplacement and replenishment of anti-greenhouse layers at high altitudes, or sunshields in space. But here especially we must be concerned about precision, stability, and inadvertent side-effects. The safest and most cost-effective means of countering global warming - beyond, e.g., improved energy efficiency, CFC bans and alternative energy sources - is the continuing reforestation of approximately 2 times 107 sq km of the Earth's surface. This can be accomplished with present technology and probably at the least cost.

  17. Conformal Ablative Thermal Protection System for Planetary and Human Exploration Missions: Overview of the Technology Maturation Efforts Funded by NASA's Game Changing Development Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beck, Robin A.; Arnold, James O.; Gasch, Matthew J.; Stackpoole, Margaret M.; Fan, Wendy; Szalai, Christine E.; Wercinski, Paul F.; Venkatapathy, Ethiraj

    2012-01-01

    The Office of Chief Technologist (OCT), NASA has identified the need for research and technology development in part from NASA's Strategic Goal 3.3 of the NASA Strategic Plan to develop and demonstrate the critical technologies that will make NASA's exploration, science, and discovery missions more affordable and more capable. Furthermore, the Game Changing Development Program (GCDP) is a primary avenue to achieve the Agency's 2011 strategic goal to "Create the innovative new space technologies for our exploration, science, and economic future." In addition, recently released "NASA space Technology Roadmaps and Priorities," by the National Research Council (NRC) of the National Academy of Sciences stresses the need for NASA to invest in the very near term in specific EDL technologies. The report points out the following challenges (Page 2-38 of the pre-publication copy released on February 1, 2012): Mass to Surface: Develop the ability to deliver more payload to the destination. NASA's future missions will require ever-greater mass delivery capability in order to place scientifically significant instrument packages on distant bodies of interest, to facilitate sample returns from bodies of interest, and to enable human exploration of planets such as Mars. As the maximum mass that can be delivered to an entry interface is fixed for a given launch system and trajectory design, the mass delivered to the surface will require reduction in spacecraft structural mass; more efficient, lighter thermal protection systems; more efficient lighter propulsion systems; and lighter, more efficient deceleration systems. Surface Access: Increase the ability to land at a variety of planetary locales and at a variety of times. Access to specific sites can be achieved via landing at a specific location (s) or transit from a single designated landing location, but it is currently infeasible to transit long distances and through extremely rugged terrain, requiring landing close to the

  18. International testing of a Mars rover prototype

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kemurjian, Alexsandr Leonovich; Linkin, V.; Friedman, L.

    1993-03-01

    Tests on a prototype engineering model of the Russian Mars 96 Rover were conducted by an international team in and near Death Valley in the United States in late May, 1992. These tests were part of a comprehensive design and testing program initiated by the three Russian groups responsible for the rover development. The specific objectives of the May tests were: (1) evaluate rover performance over different Mars-like terrains; (2) evaluate state-of-the-art teleoperation and autonomy development for Mars rover command, control and navigation; and (3) organize an international team to contribute expertise and capability on the rover development for the flight project. The range and performance that can be planned for the Mars mission is dependent on the degree of autonomy that will be possible to implement on the mission. Current plans are for limited autonomy, with Earth-based teleoperation for the nominal navigation system. Several types of television systems are being investigated for inclusion in the navigation system including panoramic camera, stereo, and framing cameras. The tests used each of these in teleoperation experiments. Experiments were included to consider use of such TV data in autonomy algorithms. Image processing and some aspects of closed-loop control software were also tested. A micro-rover was tested to help consider the value of such a device as a payload supplement to the main rover. The concept is for the micro-rover to serve like a mobile hand, with its own sensors including a television camera.

  19. Planetary Data Archiving Activities of ISRO

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gopala Krishna, Barla; D, Rao J.; Thakkar, Navita; Prashar, Ajay; Manthira Moorthi, S.

    composition & mineralogy of mars, Mars Exospheric Neutral Composition Analyser (MENCA) to study the composition and density of the Martian neutral atmosphere and Lyman Alpha Photometer (LAP) to investigate the loss process of water in Martian atmosphere, towards fulfilling the mission objectives. Active archive created in PDS for some of the instrument data during the earth phase of the mission is being analysed by the PIs. The Mars science data from the onboard instruments is expected during September 2014. The next planetary mission planned to moon is Chandrayaan-2 which consists of an orbiter having five instruments (http://www.isro.org) viz, (i) Imaging IR Spectrometer (IIRS) for mineral mapping, (ii) TMC-2 for topographic mapping, (iii) MiniSAR to detect water ice in the permanently shadowed regions on the Lunar poles, up to a depth of a few meters, (iv) Large Area Soft X-ray spectrometer (CLASS) & Solar X-ray Monitor (XSM) for mapping the major elements present on the lunar surface and (v)Neutral Mass Spectrometer (ChACE2) to carry out a detailed study of the lunar exosphere towards moon exploration; a rover for some specific experiments and a Lander for technology experiment and demonstration. The data is planned to be archived in PDS standards.

  20. Planetary Sciences and Exploration Programme

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    ture; recent five publications relevant to the proposed work; budget break up including amount required towards fellowship, equipment, consumables, components, travel contingencies. After suitable reviews, selected proposals will be considered for financial support by ISRO. Two copies of the proposals may be submitted ...

  1. Robotic exploration of the solar system

    CERN Document Server

    Ulivi, Paolo

    In Robotic Exploration of the Solar System, Paolo Ulivi and David Harland provide a comprehensive account of the design and managment of deep-space missions, the spacecraft involved - some flown, others not - their instruments, and their scientific results. This third volume in the series covers launches in the period 1997 to 2003 and features: - a chapter entirely devoted to the Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn; - coverage of planetary missions of the period, including the Deep Space 1 mission and the Stardust and Hayabusa sample returns from comets and asteroids; - extensive coverage of Mars exploration, the failed 1999 missions, Mars Odyssey, Mars Express, and the twin rovers Spirit and Opportunity. The story will continue in Part 4.

  2. Planetary Habitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasting, James F.

    1997-01-01

    This grant was entitled 'Planetary Habitability' and the work performed under it related to elucidating the conditions that lead to habitable, i.e. Earth-like, planets. Below are listed publications for the past two and a half years that came out of this work. The main thrusts of the research involved: (1) showing under what conditions atmospheric O2 and O3 can be considered as evidence for life on a planet's surface; (2) determining whether CH4 may have played a role in warming early Mars; (3) studying the effect of varying UV levels on Earth-like planets around different types of stars to see whether this would pose a threat to habitability; and (4) studying the effect of chaotic obliquity variations on planetary climates and determining whether planets that experienced such variations might still be habitable. Several of these topics involve ongoing research that has been carried out under a new grant number, but which continues to be funded by NASA's Exobiology program.

  3. Planetary geology

    CERN Document Server

    Gasselt, Stephan

    2018-01-01

    This book provides an up-to-date interdisciplinary geoscience-focused overview of solid solar system bodies and their evolution, based on the comparative description of processes acting on them. Planetary research today is a strongly multidisciplinary endeavor with efforts coming from engineering and natural sciences. Key focal areas of study are the solid surfaces found in our Solar System. Some have a direct interaction with the interplanetary medium and others have dynamic atmospheres. In any of those cases, the geological records of those surfaces (and sub-surfaces) are key to understanding the Solar System as a whole: its evolution and the planetary perspective of our own planet. This book has a modular structure and is divided into 4 sections comprising 15 chapters in total. Each section builds upon the previous one but is also self-standing. The sections are:  Methods and tools Processes and Sources  Integration and Geological Syntheses Frontiers The latter covers the far-reaching broad topics of exo...

  4. Extraction of compositional and hydration information of sulfates from laser-induced plasma spectra recorded under Mars atmospheric conditions - Implications for ChemCam investigations on Curiosity rover

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sobron, Pablo, E-mail: pablo.sobron@asc-csa.gc.ca [Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences and McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63130 (United States); Wang, Alian [Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences and McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63130 (United States); Sobron, Francisco [Unidad Asociada UVa-CSIC a traves del Centro de Astrobiologia, Parque Tecnologico de Boecillo, Parcela 203, Boecillo (Valladolid), 47151 (Spain)

    2012-02-15

    Given the volume of spectral data required for providing accurate compositional information and thereby insight in mineralogy and petrology from laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) measurements, fast data processing tools are a must. This is particularly true during the tactical operations of rover-based planetary exploration missions such as the Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity, which will carry a remote LIBS spectrometer in its science payload. We have developed: an automated fast pre-processing sequence of algorithms for converting a series of LIBS spectra (typically 125) recorded from a single target into a reliable SNR-enhanced spectrum; a dedicated routine to quantify its spectral features; and a set of calibration curves using standard hydrous and multi-cation sulfates. These calibration curves allow deriving the elemental compositions and the degrees of hydration of various hydrous sulfates, one of the two major types of secondary minerals found on Mars. Our quantitative tools are built upon calibration-curve modeling, through the correlation of the elemental concentrations and the peak areas of the atomic emission lines observed in the LIBS spectra of standard samples. At present, we can derive the elemental concentrations of K, Na, Ca, Mg, Fe, Al, S, O, and H in sulfates, as well as the hydration degrees of Ca- and Mg-sulfates, from LIBS spectra obtained in both Earth atmosphere and Mars atmospheric conditions in a Planetary Environment and Analysis Chamber (PEACh). In addition, structural information can be potentially obtained for various Fe-sulfates. - Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Routines for LIBS spectral data fast automated processing. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Identification of elements and determination of the elemental composition. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Calibration curves for sulfate samples in Earth and Mars atmospheric conditions. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Fe curves probably related to the crystalline

  5. Non-planetary Science from Planetary Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elvis, M.; Rabe, K.; Daniels, K.

    2015-12-01

    Planetary science is naturally focussed on the issues of the origin and history of solar systems, especially our own. The implications of an early turbulent history of our solar system reach into many areas including the origin of Earth's oceans, of ores in the Earth's crust and possibly the seeding of life. There are however other areas of science that stand to be developed greatly by planetary missions, primarily to small solar system bodies. The physics of granular materials has been well-studied in Earth's gravity, but lacks a general theory. Because of the compacting effects of gravity, some experiments desired for testing these theories remain impossible on Earth. Studying the behavior of a micro-gravity rubble pile -- such as many asteroids are believed to be -- could provide a new route towards exploring general principles of granular physics. These same studies would also prove valuable for planning missions to sample these same bodies, as techniques for anchoring and deep sampling are difficult to plan in the absence of such knowledge. In materials physics, first-principles total-energy calculations for compounds of a given stoichiometry have identified metastable, or even stable, structures distinct from known structures obtained by synthesis under laboratory conditions. The conditions in the proto-planetary nebula, in the slowly cooling cores of planetesimals, and in the high speed collisions of planetesimals and their derivatives, are all conditions that cannot be achieved in the laboratory. Large samples from comets and asteroids offer the chance to find crystals with these as-yet unobserved structures as well as more exotic materials. Some of these could have unusual properties important for materials science. Meteorites give us a glimpse of these exotic materials, several dozen of which are known that are unique to meteorites. But samples retrieved directly from small bodies in space will not have been affected by atmospheric entry, warmth or

  6. A New Capability for Automated Target Selection and Sampling for use with Remote Sensing Instruments on the MER Rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castano, R.; Estlin, T.; Anderson, R. C.; Gaines, D.; Bornstein, B.; de Granville, C.; Tang, B.; Thompson, D.; Judd, M.

    2008-12-01

    The Onboard Autonomous Science Investigation System (OASIS) evaluates geologic data gathered by a planetary rover. The system is designed to operate onboard a rover identifying and reacting to serendipitous science opportunities, such as rocks with novel properties. OASIS operates by analyzing data the rover gathers, and then using machine learning techniques, prioritizing the data based on criteria set by the science team. This prioritization can be used to organize data for transmission back to Earth and it can be used to search for specific targets it has been told to find by the science team. If one of these targets is found, it is identified as a new science opportunity and a "science alert" is sent to a planning and scheduling system. After reviewing the rover's current operational status to ensure that it has enough resources to complete its traverse and act on the new science opportunity, OASIS can change the command sequence of the rover in order to obtain additional science measurements. Currently, OASIS is being applied on a new front. OASIS is providing a new rover mission technology that enables targeted remote-sensing science in an automated fashion during or after rover traverses. Currently, targets for remote sensing instruments, especially narrow field-of-view instruments (such as the MER Mini- TES spectrometer or the 2009 MSL ChemCam spectrometer) must be selected manually based on imagery already on the ground with the operations team. OASIS will enable the rover flight software to analyze imagery onboard in order to autonomously select and sequence targeted remote-sensing observations in an opportunistic fashion. We are in the process of scheduling an onboard MER experiment to demonstrate the OASIS capability in early 2009.

  7. Shaping of planetary nebulae

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Balick, B.

    1987-01-01

    The phases of stellar evolution and the development of planetary nebulae are examined. The relation between planetary nebulae and red giants is studied. Spherical and nonspherical cases of shaping planetaries with stellar winds are described. CCD images of nebulae are analyzed, and it is determined that the shape of planetary nebulae depends on ionization levels. Consideration is given to calculating the distances of planetaries using radio images, and molecular hydrogen envelopes which support the wind-shaping model of planetary nebulae

  8. Automation &robotics for future Mars exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulte, W.; von Richter, A.; Bertrand, R.

    2003-04-01

    Automation and Robotics (A&R) are currently considered as a key technology for Mars exploration. initiatives in this field aim at developing new A&R systems and technologies for planetary surface exploration. Kayser-Threde led the study AROMA (Automation &Robotics for Human Mars Exploration) under ESA contract in order to define a reference architecture of A&R elements in support of a human Mars exploration program. One of the goals was to define new developments and to maintain the competitiveness of European industry within this field. We present a summary of the A&R study in respect to a particular system: The Autonomous Research Island (ARI). In the Mars exploration scenario initially a robotic outpost system lands at pre-selected sites in order to search for life forms and water and to analyze the surface, geology and atmosphere. A&R systems, i.e. rovers and autonomous instrument packages, perform a number of missions with scientific and technology development objectives on the surface of Mars as part of preparations for a human exploration mission. In the Robotic Outpost Phase ARI is conceived as an automated lander which can perform in-situ analysis. It consists of a service module and a micro-rover system for local investigations. Such a system is already under investigation and development in other TRP activities. The micro-rover system provides local mobility for in-situ scientific investigations at a given landing or deployment site. In the long run ARI supports also human Mars missions. An astronaut crew would travel larger distances in a pressurized rover on Mars. Whenever interesting features on the surface are identified, the crew would interrupt the travel and perform local investigations. In order to save crew time ARI could be deployed by the astronauts to perform time-consuming investigations as for example in-situ geochemistry analysis of rocks/soil. Later, the crew could recover the research island for refurbishment and deployment at another

  9. ALI (Autonomous Lunar Investigator): Revolutionary Approach to Exploring the Moon with Addressable Reconfigurable Technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, P. E.; Curtis, S. A.; Rilee, M. L.; Floyd, S. R.

    2005-01-01

    Addressable Reconfigurable Technology (ART) based structures: Mission Concepts based on Addressable Reconfigurable Technology (ART), originally studied for future ANTS (Autonomous Nanotechnology Swarm) Space Architectures, are now being developed as rovers for nearer term use in lunar and planetary surface exploration. The architecture is based on the reconfigurable tetrahedron as a building block. Tetrahedra are combined to form space-filling networks, shaped for the required function. Basic structural components are highly modular, addressable arrays of robust nodes (tetrahedral apices) from which highly reconfigurable struts (tetrahedral edges), acting as supports or tethers, are efficiently reversibly deployed/stowed, transforming and reshaping the structures as required.

  10. Researches on hazard avoidance cameras calibration of Lunar Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Chunyan; Wang, Li; Lu, Xin; Chen, Jihua; Fan, Shenghong

    2017-11-01

    Lunar Lander and Rover of China will be launched in 2013. It will finish the mission targets of lunar soft landing and patrol exploration. Lunar Rover has forward facing stereo camera pair (Hazcams) for hazard avoidance. Hazcams calibration is essential for stereo vision. The Hazcam optics are f-theta fish-eye lenses with a 120°×120° horizontal/vertical field of view (FOV) and a 170° diagonal FOV. They introduce significant distortion in images and the acquired images are quite warped, which makes conventional camera calibration algorithms no longer work well. A photogrammetric calibration method of geometric model for the type of optical fish-eye constructions is investigated in this paper. In the method, Hazcams model is represented by collinearity equations with interior orientation and exterior orientation parameters [1] [2]. For high-precision applications, the accurate calibration model is formulated with the radial symmetric distortion and the decentering distortion as well as parameters to model affinity and shear based on the fisheye deformation model [3] [4]. The proposed method has been applied to the stereo camera calibration system for Lunar Rover.

  11. Planetary Rings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicholson, P. D.

    2001-11-01

    A revolution in the studies in planetary rings studies occurred in the period 1977--1981, with the serendipitous discovery of the narrow, dark rings of Uranus, the first Voyager images of the tenuous jovian ring system, and the many spectacular images returned during the twin Voyager flybys of Saturn. In subsequent years, ground-based stellar occultations, HST observations, and the Voyager flybys of Uranus (1986) and Neptune (1989), as well as a handful of Galileo images, provided much additional information. Along with the completely unsuspected wealth of detail these observations revealed came an unwelcome problem: are the rings ancient or are we privileged to live at a special time in history? The answer to this still-vexing question may lie in the complex gravitational interactions recent studies have revealed between the rings and their retinues of attendant satellites. Among the four known ring systems, we see elegant examples of Lindblad and corotation resonances (first invoked in the context of galactic disks), electromagnetic resonances, spiral density waves and bending waves, narrow ringlets which exhibit internal modes due to collective instabilities, sharp-edged gaps maintained via tidal torques from embedded moonlets, and tenuous dust belts created by meteoroid impact onto parent bodies. Perhaps most puzzling is Saturn's multi-stranded, clumpy F ring, which continues to defy a simple explanation 20 years after it was first glimpsed in grainy images taken by Pioneer 11. Voyager and HST images reveal a complex, probably chaotic, dynamical interaction between unseen parent bodies within this ring and its two shepherd satellites, Pandora and Prometheus. The work described here reflects contributions by Joe Burns, Jeff Cuzzi, Luke Dones, Dick French, Peter Goldreich, Colleen McGhee, Carolyn Porco, Mark Showalter, and Bruno Sicardy, as well as those of the author. This research has been supported by NASA's Planetary Geology and Geophysics program and the

  12. Electrostatic Spectrometer for Mars Rover Wheel

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Develop a simple electrostatic spectrometer that can be mounted on the wheels of a Mars rover to continuously and unobtrusively determine the mineral composition and...

  13. Radiation protection for human interplanetary spaceflight and planetary surface operations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Clark, B.C. [Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Inst., Bethesda, MD (United States)]|[DLR Inst. of Aerospace Medicine, Cologne (Germany)]|[NASA, Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD (United States)

    1993-12-31

    Radiation protection issues are reviewed for five categories of radiation exposure during human missions to the moon and Mars: trapped radiation belts, galactic cosmic rays, solar flare particle events, planetary surface emissions, and on-board radiation sources. Relative hazards are dependent upon spacecraft and vehicle configurations, flight trajectories, human susceptibility, shielding effectiveness, monitoring and warning systems, and other factors. Crew cabins, interplanetary mission modules, surface habitats, planetary rovers, and extravehicular mobility units (spacesuits) provide various degrees of protection. Countermeasures that may be taken are reviewed relative to added complexity and risks that they could entail, with suggestions for future research and analysis.

  14. Technological innovations for human outposts on planetary bodies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Benton C.

    1988-01-01

    Technology developments which have applications for establishing man-tended outposts on the moon and Mars are reviewed. The development of pressurized rovers and computer-aided control, repair, and manufacturing is discussed. The possibility of utilizing aerodynamic drag by optimizing dynamic pressure to accomplish the necessary spacecraft velocity reduction for planetary orbital capture is considered and research in the development of artificial gravity is examined.

  15. Planetary Geologic Mapping Handbook - 2009

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanaka, K. L.; Skinner, J. A.; Hare, T. M.

    2009-01-01

    Geologic maps present, in an historical context, fundamental syntheses of interpretations of the materials, landforms, structures, and processes that characterize planetary surfaces and shallow subsurfaces (e.g., Varnes, 1974). Such maps also provide a contextual framework for summarizing and evaluating thematic research for a given region or body. In planetary exploration, for example, geologic maps are used for specialized investigations such as targeting regions of interest for data collection and for characterizing sites for landed missions. Whereas most modern terrestrial geologic maps are constructed from regional views provided by remote sensing data and supplemented in detail by field-based observations and measurements, planetary maps have been largely based on analyses of orbital photography. For planetary bodies in particular, geologic maps commonly represent a snapshot of a surface, because they are based on available information at a time when new data are still being acquired. Thus the field of planetary geologic mapping has been evolving rapidly to embrace the use of new data and modern technology and to accommodate the growing needs of planetary exploration. Planetary geologic maps have been published by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) since 1962 (Hackman, 1962). Over this time, numerous maps of several planetary bodies have been prepared at a variety of scales and projections using the best available image and topographic bases. Early geologic map bases commonly consisted of hand-mosaicked photographs or airbrushed shaded-relief views and geologic linework was manually drafted using mylar bases and ink drafting pens. Map publishing required a tedious process of scribing, color peel-coat preparation, typesetting, and photo-laboratory work. Beginning in the 1990s, inexpensive computing, display capability and user-friendly illustration software allowed maps to be drawn using digital tools rather than pen and ink, and mylar bases became obsolete

  16. Interoperability in the Planetary Science Archive (PSA)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rios Diaz, C.

    2017-09-01

    The protocols and standards currently being supported by the recently released new version of the Planetary Science Archive at this time are the Planetary Data Access Protocol (PDAP), the EuroPlanet- Table Access Protocol (EPN-TAP) and Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) standards. We explore these protocols in more detail providing scientifically useful examples of their usage within the PSA.

  17. Electrostatic Phenomena on Planetary Surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calle, Carlos I.

    2017-02-01

    The diverse planetary environments in the solar system react in somewhat different ways to the encompassing influence of the Sun. These different interactions define the electrostatic phenomena that take place on and near planetary surfaces. The desire to understand the electrostatic environments of planetary surfaces goes beyond scientific inquiry. These environments have enormous implications for both human and robotic exploration of the solar system. This book describes in some detail what is known about the electrostatic environment of the solar system from early and current experiments on Earth as well as what is being learned from the instrumentation on the space exploration missions (NASA, European Space Agency, and the Japanese Space Agency) of the last few decades. It begins with a brief review of the basic principles of electrostatics.

  18. Crosslink Radio Occultation for the Remote Sensing of Planetary Atmospheres

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mannucci, A. J.; Ao, C. O.; Asmar, S.; Edwards, C. D.; Kahan, D. S.; Paik, M.; Pi, X.; Williamson, W.

    2015-12-01

    Radio occultation utilizing deep space telecommunication signals has been used with great success in the profiling of planetary atmospheres and ionospheres since the 1960s. A shortcoming of this technique, however, is the limited temporal and spatial sampling that it provides. We consider a different approach where radio occultation measurements are taken between two spacecraft orbiting an extra-terrestrial body. Such "crosslink" radio occultations between the Global Positioning System satellites and low-earth orbiting spacecraft have been routinely acquired to provide global observations of the Earth's atmosphere and ionosphere that are used for weather forecast, climate analysis, and space weather applications. The feasibility of applying this concept to other planets has recently been demonstrated for the first time, where crosslink occultation measurements have been acquired between the Mars Odyssey and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft. These measurements leverage the proximity link telecommunication payloads on each orbiter, which are nominally used to provide relay communication and navigation services to Mars landers and rovers. In this presentation, we will describe the Mars crosslink experiments and the corresponding data analysis in detail. In addition, we will discuss how the crosslink occultation concepts can be effectively applied in future space exploration missions.

  19. Planetary Airplane Extraction System Development and Subscale Testing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teter, John E., Jr.

    2006-01-01

    The Aerial Regional-scale Environmental Survey (ARES) project will employ an airplane as the science platform from which to collect science data in the previously inaccessible, thin atmosphere of Mars. In order for the airplane to arrive safely in the Martian atmosphere, a number of sequences must occur. A critical element in the entry sequence at Mars is an extraction maneuver to separate the airplane quickly (in less than a second) from its protective backshell to reduce the possibility of re-contact, potentially leading to mission failure. This paper describes the development, testing, and lessons learned from building a 1/3 scale model of this airplane extraction system. This design, based on the successful Mars Exploration Rover (MER) extraction mechanism, employs a series of trucks rolling along tracks located on the surface of the central parachute can. Numerous tests using high speed video were conducted at the Langley Research Center to validate this concept. One area of concern was that that although the airplane released cleanly, a pitching moment could be introduced. While targeted for a Mars mission, this concept will enable environmental surveys by aircraft in other planetary bodies with a sensible atmosphere such as Venus or Saturn's moon, Titan.

  20. Applied design methodology for lunar rover elastic wheel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardile, Diego; Viola, Nicole; Chiesa, Sergio; Rougier, Alessandro

    2012-12-01

    In recent years an increasing interest in the Moon surface operations has been experienced. In the future robotic and manned missions of Moon surface exploration will be fundamental in order to lay the groundwork for more ambitious space exploration programs. Surface mobility systems will be the key elements to ensure an efficient and safe Moon exploration. Future lunar rovers are likely to be heavier and able to travel longer distances than the previously developed Moon rover systems. The Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV) is the only manned rover, which has so far been launched and used on the Moon surface. Its mobility system included flexible wheels that cannot be scaled to the heavier and longer range vehicles. Thus the previously developed wheels are likely not to be suitable for the new larger vehicles. Taking all these considerations into account, on the basis of the system requirements and assumptions, several wheel concepts have been discussed and evaluated through a trade-off analysis. Semi-empirical equations have been utilized to predict the wheel geometrical characteristics, as well as to estimate the motion resistances and the ability of the system to generate thrust. A numerical model has also been implemented, in order to define more into the details the whole wheel design, in terms of wheel geometry and physical properties. As a result of the trade-off analysis, the ellipse wheel concept has shown the best behavior in terms of stiffness, mass budget and dynamic performance. The results presented in the paper have been obtained in cooperation with Thales Alenia Space-Italy and Sicme motori, in the framework of a regional program called STEPS . STEPS-Sistemi e Tecnologie per l'EsPlorazione Spaziale is a research project co-financed by Piedmont Region and firms and universities of the Piedmont Aerospace District in the ambit of the P.O.R-F.E.S.R. 2007-2013 program.

  1. Tools and Technologies Needed for Conducting Planetary Field Geology While On EVA: Insights from the 2010 Desert RATS Geologist Crewmembers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Kelsey; Hurtado, Jose M., Jr.; Bleacher, Jacob E.; Garry, W. Brent; Bleisath, Scott; Buffington, Jesse; Rice, James W., Jr.

    2011-01-01

    Observation is the primary role of all field geologists, and geologic observations put into an evolving conceptual context will be the most important data stream that will be relayed to Earth during a planetary exploration mission. Sample collection is also an important planetary field activity, and its success is closely tied to the quality of contextual observations. To test protocols for doing effective planetary geologic fieldwork, the Desert RATS (Research and Technology Studies) project deployed two prototype rovers for two weeks of simulated exploratory traverses in the San Francisco volcanic field of northern Arizona. The authors of this paper represent the geologist crewmembers who participated in the 2010 field test. We document the procedures adopted for Desert RATS 2010 and report on our experiences regarding these protocols. Careful consideration must be made of various issues that impact the interplay between field geologic observations and sample collection, including time management; strategies related to duplication of samples and observations; logistical constraints on the volume and mass of samples and the volume/transfer of data collected; and paradigms for evaluation of mission success. We find that the 2010 field protocols brought to light important aspects of each of these issues, and we recommend best practices and modifications to training and operational protocols to address them. Underlying our recommendations is the recognition that the capacity of the crew to "flexibly execute" their activities is paramount. Careful design of mission parameters, especially field geologic protocols, is critical for enabling the crews to successfully meet their science objectives.

  2. Using Planning, Scheduling and Execution for Autonomous Mars Rover Operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estlin, Tara A.; Gaines, Daniel M.; Chouinard, Caroline M.; Fisher, Forest W.; Castano, Rebecca; Judd, Michele J.; Nesnas, Issa A.

    2006-01-01

    With each new rover mission to Mars, rovers are traveling significantly longer distances. This distance increase raises not only the opportunities for science data collection, but also amplifies the amount of environment and rover state uncertainty that must be handled in rover operations. This paper describes how planning, scheduling and execution techniques can be used onboard a rover to autonomously generate and execute rover activities and in particular to handle new science opportunities that have been identified dynamically. We also discuss some of the particular challenges we face in supporting autonomous rover decision-making. These include interaction with rover navigation and path-planning software and handling large amounts of uncertainty in state and resource estimations. Finally, we describe our experiences in testing this work using several Mars rover prototypes in a realistic environment.

  3. A Polar Rover for Large-Scale Scientific Surveys: Design, Implementation and Field Test Results

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuqing He

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Exploration of polar regions is of great importance to scientific research. Unfortunately, due to the harsh environment, most of the regions on the Antarctic continent are still unreachable for humankind. Therefore, in 2011, the Chinese National Antarctic Research Expedition (CHINARE launched a project to design a rover to conduct large-scale scientific surveys on the Antarctic. The main challenges for the rover are twofold: one is the mobility, i.e., how to make a rover that could survive the harsh environment and safely move on the uneven, icy and snowy terrain; the other is the autonomy, in that the robot should be able to move at a relatively high speed with little or no human intervention so that it can explore a large region in a limit time interval under the communication constraints. In this paper, the corresponding techniques, especially the polar rover's design and autonomous navigation algorithms, are introduced in detail. Subsequently, an experimental report of the fields tests on the Antarctic is given to show some preliminary evaluation of the rover. Finally, experiences and existing challenging problems are summarized.

  4. Detection of Soluble and Fixed NH4+ in Clay Minerals by DTA and IR Reflectance Spectroscopy : A Potential Tool for Planetary Surface Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janice, Bishop; Banin, A.; Mancinelli, R. L.; Klovstad, M. R.; DeVincenzi, Donald L. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Nitrogen is an essential element for life. It is the only element among the six major biogenic elements, C, O, S, O, P, H, whose presence in the Martian soil has not been positively and directly established. We describe here a study assessing the ability to detect NH4 in soils by two methods: differential thermal analysis (DTA) and infrared (IR) reflectance spectroscopy. Four standard clay minerals (kaolinite, montmorillonite, illite and attapulgite) and an altered tephra sample from Mauna Kea were treated with NH4 in this study. Samples of the NH4-treated and leached clays were analyzed by DTA and infrared (IR) reflectance spectroscopy to quantify the delectability of soluble and sorbed/fixed NH4. An exotherm at 270-280 C was clearly detected in the DTA curves of NH4-treated (non-leached) samples. This feature is assigned to the thermal decomposition reaction of NH4. Spectral bands observed at 1.56, 2.05, 2.12, 3.06, 3.3, 3.5, 5.7 and 7.0 microns in the reflectance spectra of NH4-treated and leached samples are assigned to the sorbed/fixed ammonium in the clays. The montmorillonite has shown the most intense absorbance due to fixed ammonium among the leached samples in this study, as a result of its high cation sorption capacity. It is concluded that the presence of sorbed or fixed NH4 in clays may be detected by infrared (IR) reflectance or emission spectroscopy. Distinction between soluble and sorbed NH4 may be achieved through the presence or absence of several spectral features assigned to the sorbed NH4 moietyi and, specifically, by use of the 4.2 micrometer feature assigned to solution NH4. Thermal analyses furnish supporting evidence of ammonia in our study through detection of N released at temperatures of 270-330 C. Based on these results it is estimated that IR spectra measured from a rover should be able to detect ammonia if present above 20 mg NH4/g sample in the surface layers. Orbital IR spectra and thermal analyses measured on a rover may be able to

  5. Space and Planetary Resources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abbud-Madrid, Angel

    2018-02-01

    The space and multitude of celestial bodies surrounding Earth hold a vast wealth of resources for a variety of space and terrestrial applications. The unlimited solar energy, vacuum, and low gravity in space, as well as the minerals, metals, water, atmospheric gases, and volatile elements on the Moon, asteroids, comets, and the inner and outer planets of the Solar System and their moons, constitute potential valuable resources for robotic and human space missions and for future use in our own planet. In the short term, these resources could be transformed into useful materials at the site where they are found to extend mission duration and to reduce the costly dependence from materials sent from Earth. Making propellants and human consumables from local resources can significantly reduce mission mass and cost, enabling longer stays and fueling transportation systems for use within and beyond the planetary surface. Use of finely grained soils and rocks can serve for habitat construction, radiation protection, solar cell fabrication, and food growth. The same material could also be used to develop repair and replacement capabilities using advanced manufacturing technologies. Following similar mining practices utilized for centuries on Earth, identifying, extracting, and utilizing extraterrestrial resources will enable further space exploration, while increasing commercial activities beyond our planet. In the long term, planetary resources and solar energy could also be brought to Earth if obtaining these resources locally prove to be no longer economically or environmentally acceptable. Throughout human history, resources have been the driving force for the exploration and settling of our planet. Similarly, extraterrestrial resources will make space the next destination in the quest for further exploration and expansion of our species. However, just like on Earth, not all challenges are scientific and technological. As private companies start working toward

  6. VNIR Multispectral Observations of Rocks at Spirit of St. Louis Crater and Marathon Valley on Th Rim of Endeavour Crater Made by the Opportunity Rover Pancam

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farrand, W. H.; Johnson, J. R.; Bell, J. F., III; Mittlefehldt, D.W.

    2016-01-01

    The Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has been exploring the western rim of the 22 km diameter Endeavour crater since August, 2011. Recently, Opportunity has reached a break in the Endeavour rim that the rover team has named Mara-thon Valley. This is the site where orbital observations from the MRO CRISM imaging spectrometer indicated the presence of iron smectites. On the outer western portion of Marathon Valley, Opportunity explored the crater-form feature dubbed Spirit of St. Louis (SoSL) crater. This presentation describes the 430 to 1009 nm (VNIR) reflectance, measured by the rover's Pancam, of rock units present both at Spirit of St. Louis and within Marathon Valley.

  7. ExoGeoLab Pilot Project for Landers, Rovers and Instruments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foing, Bernard

    2010-05-01

    We have developed a pilot facility with a Robotic Test Bench (ExoGeoLab) and a Mobile Lab Habitat (ExoHab). They can be used to validate concepts and external instruments from partner institutes. The ExoGeoLab research incubator project, has started in the frame of a collaboration between ILEWG (International Lunar Exploration working Group http://sci.esa.int/ilewg), ESTEC, NASA and academic partners, supported by a design and control desk in the European Space Incubator (ESI), as well as infrastructure. ExoGeoLab includes a sequence of technology and research pilot project activities: - Data analysis and interpretation of remote sensing and in-situ data, and merging of multi-scale data sets - Procurement and integration of geophysical, geo-chemical and astrobiological breadboard instruments on a surface station and rovers - Integration of cameras, environment and solar sensors, Visible and near IR spectrometer, Raman spectrometer, sample handling, cooperative rovers - Delivery of a generic small planetary lander demonstrator (ExoGeoLab lander, Sept 2009) as a platform for multi-instruments tests - Research operations and exploitation of ExoGeoLab test bench for various conceptual configurations, and support for definition and design of science surface packages (Moon, Mars, NEOs, outer moons) - Field tests of lander, rovers and instruments in analogue sites (Utah MDRS 2009 & 2010, Eifel volcanic park in Sept 2009, and future campaigns). Co-authors, ILEWG ExoGeoLab & ExoHab Team: B.H. Foing(1,11)*#, C. Stoker(2,11)*, P. Ehrenfreund(10,11), L. Boche-Sauvan(1,11)*, L. Wendt(8)*, C. Gross(8, 11)*, C. Thiel(9)*, S. Peters(1,6)*, A. Borst(1,6)*, J. Zavaleta(2)*, P. Sarrazin(2)*, D. Blake(2), J. Page(1,4,11), V. Pletser(5,11)*, E. Monaghan(1)*, P. Mahapatra(1)#, A. Noroozi(3), P. Giannopoulos(1,11) , A. Calzada(1,6,11), R. Walker(7), T. Zegers(1, 15) #, G. Groemer(12)# , W. Stumptner(12)#, B. Foing(2,5), J. K. Blom(3)#, A. Perrin(14)#, M. Mikolajczak(14)#, S. Chevrier(14

  8. Non-Flow-Through Fuel Cell System Test Results and Demonstration on the SCARAB Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheidegger, Brianne, T.; Burke, Kenneth A.; Jakupca, Ian J.

    2012-01-01

    This paper describes the results of the demonstration of a non-flow-through PEM fuel cell as part of a power system on the SCARAB rover. A 16-cell non-flow-through fuel cell stack from Infinity Fuel Cell and Hydrogen, Inc. was incorporated into a power system designed to act as a range extender by providing power to the rover s hotel loads. This work represents the first attempt at a ground demonstration of this new technology aboard a mobile test platform. Development and demonstration were supported by the Office of the Chief Technologist s Space Power Systems Project and the Advanced Exploration System Modular Power Systems Project.

  9. SEI power source alternatives for rovers and other multi-kWe distributed surface applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bents, David J.; Kohout, L. L.; Mckissock, Barbara I.; Rodriguez, C. D.; Withrow, C. A.; Colozza, A.; Hanlon, James C.; Schmitz, Paul C.

    1991-01-01

    To support the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI), a study was performed to investigate power system alternatives for the rover vehicles and servicers that were subsequently generated for each of these rovers and servicers, candidate power sources incorporating various power generation and energy storage technologies were identified. The technologies were those believed most appropriate to the SEI missions, and included solar, electrochemical, and isotope systems. The candidates were characterized with respect to system mass, deployed area, and volume. For each of the missions a preliminary selection was made. Results of this study depict the available power sources in light of mission requirements as they are currently defined.

  10. Lunar and Planetary Geology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basilevsky, Alexander T.

    2018-05-01

    Lunar and planetary geology can be described using examples such as the geology of Earth (as the reference case) and geologies of the Earth's satellite the Moon; the planets Mercury, Mars and Venus; the satellite of Saturn Enceladus; the small stony asteroid Eros; and the nucleus of the comet 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Each body considered is illustrated by its global view, with information given as to its position in the solar system, size, surface, environment including gravity acceleration and properties of its atmosphere if it is present, typical landforms and processes forming them, materials composing these landforms, information on internal structure of the body, stages of its geologic evolution in the form of stratigraphic scale, and estimates of the absolute ages of the stratigraphic units. Information about one body may be applied to another body and this, in particular, has led to the discovery of the existence of heavy "meteoritic" bombardment in the early history of the solar system, which should also significantly affect Earth. It has been shown that volcanism and large-scale tectonics may have not only been an internal source of energy in the form of radiogenic decay of potassium, uranium and thorium, but also an external source in the form of gravity tugging caused by attractions of the neighboring bodies. The knowledge gained by lunar and planetary geology is important for planning and managing space missions and for the practical exploration of other bodies of the solar system and establishing manned outposts on them.

  11. Planetary Data System (PDS)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Planetary Data System (PDS) is an archive of data products from NASA planetary missions, which is sponsored by NASA's Science Mission Directorate. We actively...

  12. Magnetically Attached Multifunction Maintenance Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bar-Cohen, Yoseph; Joffe, Benjamin

    2005-01-01

    A versatile mobile telerobot, denoted the magnetically attached multifunction maintenance rover (MAGMER), has been proposed for use in the inspection and maintenance of the surfaces of ships, tanks containing petrochemicals, and other large ferromagnetic structures. As its name suggests, this robot would utilize magnetic attraction to adhere to a structure. As it moved along the surface of the structure, the MAGMER would perform tasks that could include close-up visual inspection by use of video cameras, various sensors, and/or removal of paint by water-jet blasting, laser heating, or induction heating. The water-jet nozzles would be mounted coaxially within compressed-air-powered venturi nozzles that would collect the paint debris dislodged by the jets. The MAGMER would be deployed, powered, and controlled from a truck, to which it would be connected by hoses for water, compressed air, and collection of debris and by cables for electric power and communication (see Figure 1). The operation of the MAGMER on a typical large structure would necessitate the use of long cables and hoses, which can be heavy. To reduce the load of the hoses and cables on the MAGMER and thereby ensure its ability to adhere to vertical and overhanging surfaces, the hoses and cables would be paid out through telescopic booms that would be parts of a MAGMER support system. The MAGMER would move by use of four motorized, steerable wheels, each of which would be mounted in an assembly that would include permanent magnets and four pole pieces (see Figure 2). The wheels would protrude from between the pole pieces by only about 3 mm, so that the gap between the pole pieces and the ferromagnetic surface would be just large enough to permit motion along the surface but not so large as to reduce the magnetic attraction excessively. In addition to the wheel assemblies, the MAGMER would include magnetic adherence enhancement fixtures, which would comprise arrays of permanent magnets and pole pieces

  13. Rover-Based Instrumentation and Scientific Investigations During the 2012 Analog Field Test on Mauna Kea Volcano, Hawaii

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, L. D.; Graff, T. G.

    2013-01-01

    Rover-based 2012 Moon and Mars Analog Mission Activities (MMAMA) were recently completed on Mauna Kea Volcano, Hawaii. Scientific investigations, scientific input, and operational constraints were tested in the context of existing project and protocols for the field activities designed to help NASA achieve the Vision for Space Exploration [1]. Several investigations were conducted by the rover mounted instruments to determine key geophysical and geochemical properties of the site, as well as capture the geological context of the area and the samples investigated. The rover traverse and associated science investigations were conducted over a three day period on the southeast flank of the Mauna Kea Volcano, Hawaii. The test area was at an elevation of 11,500 feet and is known as "Apollo Valley" (Fig. 1). Here we report the integration and operation of the rover-mounted instruments, as well as the scientific investigations that were conducted.

  14. The Curiosity Mars Rover's Fault Protection Engine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benowitz, Ed

    2014-01-01

    The Curiosity Rover, currently operating on Mars, contains flight software onboard to autonomously handle aspects of system fault protection. Over 1000 monitors and 39 responses are present in the flight software. Orchestrating these behaviors is the flight software's fault protection engine. In this paper, we discuss the engine's design, responsibilities, and present some lessons learned for future missions.

  15. "Where On Mars?": An Open Planetary Mapping Platform for Researchers, Educators, and the General Public

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manaud, Nicolas; Carter, John; Boix, Oriol

    2016-10-01

    The "Where On Mars?" project is essentially the evolution of an existing outreach product developed in collaboration between ESA and CartoDB; an interactive map visualisation of the ESA's ExoMars Rover candidate landing sites (whereonmars.co). Planetary imagery data and maps are increasingly produced by the scientific community, and shared typically as images, in scientific publications, presentations or public outreach websites. However, this media lacks of interactivity and contextual information available for further exploration, making it difficult for any audience to relate one location-based information to another. We believe that interactive web maps are a powerful way of telling stories, engaging with and educating people who, over the last decade, have become familiar with tools such as Google Maps. A few planetary web maps exist but they are either too complex for non-experts, or are closed-systems that do not allows anyone to publish and share content. The long-term vision for the project is to provide researchers, communicators, educators and a worldwide public with an open planetary mapping and social platform enabling them to create, share, communicate and consume research-based content. We aim for this platform to become the reference website everyone will go to learn about Mars and other planets in our Solar System; just like people head to Google Maps to find their bearings or any location-based information. The driver is clearly to create for people an emotional connection with Mars. The short-term objectives for the project are (1) to produce and curate an open repository of basemaps, geospatial data sets, map visualisations, and story maps; (2) to develop a beautifully crafted and engaging interactive map of Mars. Based on user-generated content, the underlying framework should (3) make it easy to create and share additional interactive maps telling specific stories.

  16. Extraction of compositional and hydration information of sulfates from laser-induced plasma spectra recorded under Mars atmospheric conditions — Implications for ChemCam investigations on Curiosity rover

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sobron, Pablo; Wang, Alian; Sobron, Francisco

    2012-01-01

    Given the volume of spectral data required for providing accurate compositional information and thereby insight in mineralogy and petrology from laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) measurements, fast data processing tools are a must. This is particularly true during the tactical operations of rover-based planetary exploration missions such as the Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity, which will carry a remote LIBS spectrometer in its science payload. We have developed: an automated fast pre-processing sequence of algorithms for converting a series of LIBS spectra (typically 125) recorded from a single target into a reliable SNR-enhanced spectrum; a dedicated routine to quantify its spectral features; and a set of calibration curves using standard hydrous and multi-cation sulfates. These calibration curves allow deriving the elemental compositions and the degrees of hydration of various hydrous sulfates, one of the two major types of secondary minerals found on Mars. Our quantitative tools are built upon calibration-curve modeling, through the correlation of the elemental concentrations and the peak areas of the atomic emission lines observed in the LIBS spectra of standard samples. At present, we can derive the elemental concentrations of K, Na, Ca, Mg, Fe, Al, S, O, and H in sulfates, as well as the hydration degrees of Ca- and Mg-sulfates, from LIBS spectra obtained in both Earth atmosphere and Mars atmospheric conditions in a Planetary Environment and Analysis Chamber (PEACh). In addition, structural information can be potentially obtained for various Fe-sulfates. - Highlights: ► Routines for LIBS spectral data fast automated processing. ► Identification of elements and determination of the elemental composition. ► Calibration curves for sulfate samples in Earth and Mars atmospheric conditions. ► Fe curves probably related to the crystalline structure of Fe-sulfates. ► Extraction of degree of hydration in hydrous Mg-, Ca-, and Fe-sulfates.

  17. Planetary Protection Bioburden Analysis Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beaudet, Robert A.

    2013-01-01

    This program is a Microsoft Access program that performed statistical analysis of the colony counts from assays performed on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) spacecraft to determine the bioburden density, 3-sigma biodensity, and the total bioburdens required for the MSL prelaunch reports. It also contains numerous tools that report the data in various ways to simplify the reports required. The program performs all the calculations directly in the MS Access program. Prior to this development, the data was exported to large Excel files that had to be cut and pasted to provide the desired results. The program contains a main menu and a number of submenus. Analyses can be performed by using either all the assays, or only the accountable assays that will be used in the final analysis. There are three options on the first menu: either calculate using (1) the old MER (Mars Exploration Rover) statistics, (2) the MSL statistics for all the assays, or This software implements penetration limit equations for common micrometeoroid and orbital debris (MMOD) shield configurations, windows, and thermal protection systems. Allowable MMOD risk is formulated in terms of the probability of penetration (PNP) of the spacecraft pressure hull. For calculating the risk, spacecraft geometry models, mission profiles, debris environment models, and penetration limit equations for installed shielding configurations are required. Risk assessment software such as NASA's BUMPERII is used to calculate mission PNP; however, they are unsuitable for use in shield design and preliminary analysis studies. The software defines a single equation for the design and performance evaluation of common MMOD shielding configurations, windows, and thermal protection systems, along with a description of their validity range and guidelines for their application. Recommendations are based on preliminary reviews of fundamental assumptions, and accuracy in predicting experimental impact test results. The software

  18. A vision system for a Mars rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilcox, Brian H.; Gennery, Donald B.; Mishkin, Andrew H.; Cooper, Brian K.; Lawton, Teri B.; Lay, N. Keith; Katzmann, Steven P.

    1988-01-01

    A Mars rover must be able to sense its local environment with sufficient resolution and accuracy to avoid local obstacles and hazards while moving a significant distance each day. Power efficiency and reliability are extremely important considerations, making stereo correlation an attractive method of range sensing compared to laser scanning, if the computational load and correspondence errors can be handled. Techniques for treatment of these problems, including the use of more than two cameras to reduce correspondence errors and possibly to limit the computational burden of stereo processing, have been tested at JPL. Once a reliable range map is obtained, it must be transformed to a plan view and compared to a stored terrain database, in order to refine the estimated position of the rover and to improve the database. The slope and roughness of each terrain region are computed, which form the basis for a traversability map allowing local path planning. Ongoing research and field testing of such a system is described.

  19. Real-Time Science Operations to Support a Lunar Polar Volatiles Rover Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heldmann, Jennifer L.; Colaprete, Anthony; Elphic, Richard C.; Mattes, Greg; Ennico, Kimberly; Fritzler, Erin; Marinova, Margarita M.; McMurray, Robert; Morse, Stephanie; Roush, Ted L.; hide

    2014-01-01

    Future human exploration of the Moon will likely rely on in situ resource utilization (ISRU) to enable long duration lunar missions. Prior to utilizing ISRU on the Moon, the natural resources (in this case lunar volatiles) must be identified and characterized, and ISRU demonstrated on the lunar surface. To enable future uses of ISRU, NASA and the CSA are developing a lunar rover payload that can (1) locate near subsurface volatiles, (2) excavate and analyze samples of the volatile-bearing regolith, and (3) demonstrate the form, extractability and usefulness of the materials. Such investigations are important both for ISRU purposes and for understanding the scientific nature of these intriguing lunar volatile deposits. Temperature models and orbital data suggest near surface volatile concentrations may exist at briefly lit lunar polar locations outside persistently shadowed regions. A lunar rover could be remotely operated at some of these locations for the approx. 2-14 days of expected sunlight at relatively low cost. Due to the limited operational time available, both science and rover operations decisions must be made in real time, requiring immediate situational awareness, data analysis, and decision support tools. Given these constraints, such a mission requires a new concept of operations. In this paper we outline the results and lessons learned from an analog field campaign in July 2012 which tested operations for a lunar polar rover concept. A rover was operated in the analog environment of Hawaii by an off-site Flight Control Center, a rover navigation center in Canada, a Science Backroom at NASA Ames Research Center in California, and support teams at NASA Johnson Space Center in Texas and NASA Kennedy Space Center in Florida. We find that this type of mission requires highly efficient, real time, remotely operated rover operations to enable low cost, scientifically relevant exploration of the distribution and nature of lunar polar volatiles. The field

  20. Autonomous Warplanes: NASA Rovers Lead the Way

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-04-01

    Warplanes NASA Rovers Lead the Way Michael R. Schroer Major, Air National Guard Wright Flyer No. 54 Air University Press Air Force Research Institute...between most airports across the continent proved an excellent further education in aviation. Piloting a business jet on a weeklong, 11- hop trek across...Research con- ducted by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration ( NASA ) offers useful lessons for the development of future military RPAs

  1. Construction of the Hunveyor-Husar space probe model system for planetary science education and analog studies and simulations in universities and colleges of Hungary.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bérczi, Sz.; Hegyi, S.; Hudoba, Gy.; Hargitai, H.; Kokiny, A.; Drommer, B.; Gucsik, A.; Pintér, A.; Kovács, Zs.

    Several teachers and students had the possibility to visit International Space Camp in the vicinity of the MSFC NASA in Huntsville Alabama USA where they learned the success of simulators in space science education To apply these results in universities and colleges in Hungary we began a unified complex modelling in planetary geology robotics electronics and complex environmental analysis by constructing an experimental space probe model system First a university experimental lander HUNVEYOR Hungarian UNiversity surVEYOR then a rover named HUSAR Hungarian University Surface Analyser Rover has been built For Hunveyor the idea and example was the historical Surveyor program of NASA in the 1960-ies for the Husar the idea and example was the Pathfinder s rover Sojouner rover The first step was the construction of the lander a year later the rover followed The main goals are 1 to build the lander structure and basic electronics from cheap everyday PC compatible elements 2 to construct basic experiments and their instruments 3 to use the system as a space activity simulator 4 this simulator contains lander with on board computer for works on a test planetary surface and a terrestrial control computer 5 to harmonize the assemblage of the electronic system and instruments in various levels of autonomy from the power and communication circuits 6 to use the complex system in education for in situ understanding complex planetary environmental problems 7 to build various planetary environments for application of the

  2. Proto-planetary nebulae

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zuckerman, B.

    1978-01-01

    A 'proto-planetary nebula' or a 'planetary nebula progenitor' is the term used to describe those objects that are losing mass at a rate >approximately 10 -5 Msolar masses/year (i.e. comparable to mass loss rates in planetary nebulae with ionized masses >approximately 0.2 Msolar masses) and which, it is believed, will become planetary nebulae themselves within 5 years. It is shown that most proto-planetary nebulae appear as very red objects although a few have been 'caught' near the middle of the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram. The precursors of these proto-planetaries are the general red giant population, more specifically probably Mira and semi-regular variables. (Auth.)end

  3. Automaton Rover for Extreme Environments, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Venus, with its sulfuric acid clouds, temperatures of over 450', and surface pressure of 92 bar, is one of the most hostile planetary environments in the solar...

  4. Low Cost Mars Surface Exploration: The Mars Tumbleweed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antol, Jeffrey; Calhoun, Philip; Flick, John; Hajos, Gregory; Kolacinski, Richard; Minton, David; Owens, Rachel; Parker, Jennifer

    2003-01-01

    The "Mars Tumbleweed," a rover concept that would utilize surface winds for mobility, is being examined as a low cost complement to the current Mars exploration efforts. Tumbleweeds carrying microinstruments would be driven across the Martian landscape by wind, searching for areas of scientific interest. These rovers, relatively simple, inexpensive, and deployed in large numbers to maximize coverage of the Martian surface, would provide a broad scouting capability to identify specific sites for exploration by more complex rover and lander missions.

  5. Conformal Ablative Thermal Protection System for Small and Large Scale Missions: Approaching TRL 6 for Planetary and Human Exploration Missions and TRL 9 for Small Probe Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beck, R. A. S.; Gasch, M. J.; Milos, F. S.; Stackpoole, M. M.; Smith, B. P.; Switzer, M. R.; Venkatapathy, E.; Wilder, M. C.; Boghhozian, T.; Chavez-Garcia, J. F.

    2015-01-01

    In 2011, NASAs Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate (ARMD) funded an effort to develop an ablative thermal protection system (TPS) material that would have improved properties when compared to Phenolic Impregnated Carbon Ablator (PICA) and AVCOAT. Their goal was a conformal material, processed with a flexible reinforcement that would result in similar or better thermal characteristics and higher strain-to-failure characteristics that would allow for easier integration on flight aeroshells than then-current rigid ablative TPS materials. In 2012, NASAs Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) began funding the maturation of the best formulation of the game changing conformal ablator, C-PICA. Progress has been reported at IPPW over the past three years, describing C-PICA with a density and recession rates similar to PICA, but with a higher strain-to-failure which allows for direct bonding and no gap fillers, and even more important, with thermal characteristics resulting in half the temperature rise of PICA. Overall, C-PICA should be able to replace PICA with a thinner, lighter weight, less complicated design. These characteristics should be particularly attractive for use as backshell TPS on high energy planetary entry vehicles. At the end of this year, the material should be ready for missions to consider including in their design, in fact, NASAs Science Mission Directorate (SMD) is considering incentivizing the use of C-PICA in the next Discovery Proposal call. This year both scale up of the material to large (1-m) sized pieces and the design and build of small probe heatshields for flight tests will be completed. NASA, with an industry partner, will build a 1-m long manufacturing demonstration unit (MDU) with a shape based on a mid LD lifting body. In addition, in an effort to fly as you test and test as you fly, NASA, with a second industry partner, will build a small probe to test in the Interactive Heating Facility (IHF) arc jet and, using nearly the

  6. Extravehicular Activity and Planetary Protection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buffington, J. A.; Mary, N. A.

    2015-01-01

    The first human mission to Mars will be the farthest distance that humans have traveled from Earth and the first human boots on Martian soil in the Exploration EVA Suit. The primary functions of the Exploration EVA Suit are to provide a habitable, anthropometric, pressurized environment for up to eight hours that allows crewmembers to perform autonomous and robotically assisted extravehicular exploration, science/research, construction, servicing, and repair operations on the exterior of the vehicle, in hazardous external conditions of the Mars local environment. The Exploration EVA Suit has the capability to structurally interface with exploration vehicles via next generation ingress/egress systems. Operational concepts and requirements are dependent on the mission profile, surface assets, and the Mars environment. This paper will discuss the effects and dependencies of the EVA system design with the local Mars environment and Planetary Protection. Of the three study areas listed for the workshop, EVA identifies most strongly with technology and operations for contamination control.

  7. Rover's Wheel Churns Up Bright Martian Soil (False Color)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit acquired this mosaic on the mission's 1,202nd Martian day, or sol (May 21, 2007), while investigating the area east of the elevated plateau known as 'Home Plate' in the 'Columbia Hills.' The mosaic shows an area of disturbed soil, nicknamed 'Gertrude Weise' by scientists, made by Spirit's stuck right front wheel. The trench exposed a patch of nearly pure silica, with the composition of opal. It could have come from either a hot-spring environment or an environment called a fumarole, in which acidic, volcanic steam rises through cracks. Either way, its formation involved water, and on Earth, both of these types of settings teem with microbial life. The image is presented here in false color that is used to bring out subtle differences in color.

  8. Rover's Wheel Churns Up Bright Martian Soil (Stereo)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit acquired this mosaic on the mission's 1,202nd Martian day, or sol (May 21, 2007), while investigating the area east of the elevated plateau known as 'Home Plate' in the 'Columbia Hills.' The mosaic shows an area of disturbed soil, nicknamed 'Gertrude Weise' by scientists, made by Spirit's stuck right front wheel. The trench exposed a patch of nearly pure silica, with the composition of opal. It could have come from either a hot-spring environment or an environment called a fumarole, in which acidic, volcanic steam rises through cracks. Either way, its formation involved water, and on Earth, both of these types of settings teem with microbial life. Multiple images taken with Spirit's panoramic camera are combined here into a stereo view that appears three-dimensional when seen through red-blue glasses, with the red lens on the left.

  9. Rover's Wheel Churns Up Bright Martian Soil (Vertical)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit acquired this mosaic on the mission's 1,202nd Martian day, or sol (May 21, 2007), while investigating the area east of the elevated plateau known as 'Home Plate' in the 'Columbia Hills.' The mosaic shows an area of disturbed soil, nicknamed 'Gertrude Weise' by scientists, made by Spirit's stuck right front wheel. The trench exposed a patch of nearly pure silica, with the composition of opal. It could have come from either a hot-spring environment or an environment called a fumarole, in which acidic, volcanic steam rises through cracks. Either way, its formation involved water, and on Earth, both of these types of settings teem with microbial life. The image is presented here as a vertical projection, as if looking straight down, and in false color, which brings out subtle color differences.

  10. Interdisciplinary Research Produces Results in the Understanding of Planetary Dunes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Titus, Timothy N.; Hayward, Rosalyn Kay; Bourke, Mary C.

    2010-08-01

    Second International Planetary Dunes Workshop: Planetary Analogs—Integrating Models, Remote Sensing, and Field Data; Alamosa, Colorado, 18-21 May 2010; Dunes and other eolian bed forms are prominent on several planetary bodies in our solar system. Despite 4 decades of study, many questions remain regarding the composition, age, and origins of these features, as well as the climatic conditions under which they formed. Recently acquired data from orbiters and rovers, together with terrestrial analogs and numerical models, are providing new insights into Martian sand dunes, as well as eolian bed forms on other terrestrial planetary bodies (e.g., Titan). As a means of bringing together terrestrial and planetary researchers from diverse backgrounds with the goal of fostering collaborative interdisciplinary research, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the Carl Sagan Center for the Study of Life in the Universe, the Desert Research Institute, and the U.S. National Park Service held a workshop in Colorado. The small group setting facilitated intensive discussion of problems and issues associated with eolian processes on Earth, Mars, and Titan.

  11. Precise Chemical Analyses of Planetary Surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kring, David; Schweitzer, Jeffrey; Meyer, Charles; Trombka, Jacob; Freund, Friedemann; Economou, Thanasis; Yen, Albert; Kim, Soon Sam; Treiman, Allan H.; Blake, David; hide

    1996-01-01

    We identify the chemical elements and element ratios that should be analyzed to address many of the issues identified by the Committee on Planetary and Lunar Exploration (COMPLEX). We determined that most of these issues require two sensitive instruments to analyze the necessary complement of elements. In addition, it is useful in many cases to use one instrument to analyze the outermost planetary surface (e.g. to determine weathering effects), while a second is used to analyze a subsurface volume of material (e.g., to determine the composition of unaltered planetary surface material). This dual approach to chemical analyses will also facilitate the calibration of orbital and/or Earth-based spectral observations of the planetary body. We determined that in many cases the scientific issues defined by COMPLEX can only be fully addressed with combined packages of instruments that would supplement the chemical data with mineralogic or visual information.

  12. An ecological compass for planetary engineering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haqq-Misra, Jacob

    2012-10-01

    Proposals to address present-day global warming through the large-scale application of technology to the climate system, known as geoengineering, raise questions of environmental ethics relevant to the broader issue of planetary engineering. These questions have also arisen in the scientific literature as discussions of how to terraform a planet such as Mars or Venus in order to make it more Earth-like and habitable. Here we draw on insights from terraforming and environmental ethics to develop a two-axis comparative tool for ethical frameworks that considers the intrinsic or instrumental value placed upon organisms, environments, planetary systems, or space. We apply this analysis to the realm of planetary engineering, such as terraforming on Mars or geoengineering on present-day Earth, as well as to questions of planetary protection and space exploration.

  13. Advances in Autonomous Systems for Missions of Space Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gross, A. R.; Smith, B. D.; Briggs, G. A.; Hieronymus, J.; Clancy, D. J.

    applications. One notable example of such missions are those to explore for the existence of water on planets such as Mars and the moons of Jupiter. It is clear that water does not exist on the surfaces of such bodies, but may well be located at some considerable depth below the surface, thus requiring a subsurface drilling capability. Subsurface drilling on planetary surfaces will require a robust autonomous control and analysis system, currently a major challenge, but within conceivable reach of planned technology developments. This paper will focus on new and innovative software for remote, autonomous, space systems flight operations, including flight test results, lessons learned, and implications for the future. An additional focus will be on technologies for planetary exploration using autonomous systems and astronaut-assistance systems that employ new spoken language technology. Topics to be presented will include a description of key autonomous control concepts, illustrated by the Remote Agent program that commanded the Deep Space 1 spacecraft to new levels of system autonomy, recent advances in distributed autonomous system capabilities, and concepts for autonomous vehicle health management systems. A brief description of teaming spacecraft and rovers for complex exploration missions will also be provided. New software for autonomous science data acquisition for planetary exploration will also be described, as well as advanced systems for safe planetary landings. Current results of autonomous planetary drilling system research will be presented. A key thrust within NASA is to develop technologies that will leverage the capabilities of human astronauts during planetary surface explorations. One such technology is spoken dialogue interfaces, which would allow collaboration with semi-autonomous agents that are engaged in activities that are normally accomplished using language, e.g., astronauts in space suits interacting with groups of semi-autonomous rovers and other

  14. The Challenges in Applying Magnetroesistive Sensors on the 'Curiosity' Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Michael R.

    2013-01-01

    Magnetoresistive Sensors were selected for use on the motor encoders throughout the Curiosity Rover for motor position feedback devices. The Rover contains 28 acuators with a corresponding number of encoder assemblies. The environment on Mars provides opportunities for challenges to any hardware design. The encoder assemblies presented several barriers that had to be vaulted in order to say the rover was ready to fly. The environment and encoder specific design features provided challenges that had to be solved in time to fly.

  15. Human Exploration using Real-Time Robotic Operations (HERRO): A space exploration strategy for the 21st century

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, George R.; Landis, Geoffrey A.; Oleson, Steven R.

    2012-11-01

    This paper presents an exploration strategy for human missions beyond Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and the Moon that combines the best features of human and robotic spaceflight. This "Human Exploration using Real-time Robotic Operations" (HERRO) strategy refrains from placing humans on the surfaces of the Moon and Mars in the near-term. Rather, it focuses on sending piloted spacecraft and crews into orbit around Mars and other exploration targets of interest, and conducting astronaut exploration of the surfaces using telerobots and remotely-controlled systems. By eliminating the significant communications delay or "latency" with Earth due to the speed of light limit, teleoperation provides scientists real-time control of rovers and other sophisticated instruments. This in effect gives them a "virtual presence" on planetary surfaces, and thus expands the scientific return at these destinations. HERRO mitigates several of the major issues that have hindered the progress of human spaceflight beyond Low Earth Orbit (LEO) by: (1) broadening the range of destinations for near-term human missions; (2) reducing cost and risk through less complexity and fewer man-rated elements; (3) offering benefits of human-equivalent in-situ cognition, decision-making and field-work on planetary bodies; (4) providing a simpler approach to returning samples from Mars and planetary surfaces; and (5) facilitating opportunities for international collaboration through contribution of diverse robotic systems. HERRO provides a firm justification for human spaceflight—one that expands the near-term capabilities of scientific exploration while providing the space transportation infrastructure needed for eventual human landings in the future.

  16. The Role of NASA's Planetary Data System in the Planetary Spatial Data Infrastructure Initiative

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arvidson, R. E.; Gaddis, L. R.

    2017-12-01

    An effort underway in NASA's planetary science community is the Mapping and Planetary Spatial Infrastructure Team (MAPSIT, http://www.lpi.usra.edu/mapsit/). MAPSIT is a community assessment group organized to address a lack of strategic spatial data planning for space science and exploration. Working with MAPSIT, a new initiative of NASA and USGS is the development of a Planetary Spatial Data Infrastructure (PSDI) that builds on extensive knowledge on storing, accessing, and working with terrestrial spatial data. PSDI is a knowledge and technology framework that enables the efficient discovery, access, and exploitation of planetary spatial data to facilitate data analysis, knowledge synthesis, and decision-making. NASA's Planetary Data System (PDS) archives >1.2 petabytes of digital data resulting from decades of planetary exploration and research. The PDS charter focuses on the efficient collection, archiving, and accessibility of these data. The PDS emphasis on data preservation and archiving is complementary to that of the PSDI initiative because the latter utilizes and extends available data to address user needs in the areas of emerging technologies, rapid development of tailored delivery systems, and development of online collaborative research environments. The PDS plays an essential PSDI role because it provides expertise to help NASA missions and other data providers to organize and document their planetary data, to collect and maintain the archives with complete, well-documented and peer-reviewed planetary data, to make planetary data accessible by providing online data delivery tools and search services, and ultimately to ensure the long-term preservation and usability of planetary data. The current PDS4 information model extends and expands PDS metadata and relationships between and among elements of the collections. The PDS supports data delivery through several node services, including the Planetary Image Atlas (https

  17. Mars Exploration Rover Terminal Descent Mission Modeling and Simulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raiszadeh, Behzad; Queen, Eric M.

    2004-01-01

    Because of NASA's added reliance on simulation for successful interplanetary missions, the MER mission has developed a detailed EDL trajectory modeling and simulation. This paper summarizes how the MER EDL sequence of events are modeled, verification of the methods used, and the inputs. This simulation is built upon a multibody parachute trajectory simulation tool that has been developed in POST I1 that accurately simulates the trajectory of multiple vehicles in flight with interacting forces. In this model the parachute and the suspended bodies are treated as 6 Degree-of-Freedom (6 DOF) bodies. The terminal descent phase of the mission consists of several Entry, Descent, Landing (EDL) events, such as parachute deployment, heatshield separation, deployment of the lander from the backshell, deployment of the airbags, RAD firings, TIRS firings, etc. For an accurate, reliable simulation these events need to be modeled seamlessly and robustly so that the simulations will remain numerically stable during Monte-Carlo simulations. This paper also summarizes how the events have been modeled, the numerical issues, and modeling challenges.

  18. Dust in planetary nebulae

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kwok, S.

    1980-01-01

    A two-component dust model is suggested to explain the infrared emission from planetary nebulae. A cold dust component located in the extensive remnant of the red-giant envelope exterior to the visible nebula is responsible for the far-infrared emission. A ward dust component, which is condensed after the formation of the planetary nebula and confined within the ionized gas shell, emits most of the near- and mid-infrared radiation. The observations of NGC 7027 are shown to be consisten with such a model. The correlation of silicate emission in several planetary nebulae with an approximately +1 spectral index at low radio frequencies suggests that both the silicate and radio emissions originate from the remnant of the circumstellar envelope of th precursor star and are observable only while the planetary nebula is young. It is argued that oxygen-rich stars as well as carbon-rich stars can be progenitors of planetary nebulae

  19. Exploration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lohrenz, J.

    1992-01-01

    Oil and gas exploration is a unique kind of business. Businesses providing a vast and ever-changing panoply of products to markets are a focus of several disciplines' energetic study and analysis. The product inventory problem is robust, pertinent, and meaningful, and it merits the voluminous and protracted attention received from keen business practitioners. Prototypical business practitioners, be they trained by years of business hurly-burly, or sophisticated MBAs with arrays of mathematical algorithms and computers, are not normally prepared, however, to recognize the unique nature of exploration's inventories. Put together such a business practitioner with an explorationist and misunderstandings, hidden and open, are inevitable and predictably rife. The first purpose of this paper is to articulate the inherited inventory handling paradigms of business practitioners in relation to exploration's inventories. To do so, standard pedagogy in business administration is used and a case study of an exploration venture is presented. A second purpose is to show the burdens that the misunderstandings create. The result is not just business plans that go awry, but public policies that have effects opposite from those intended

  20. First results from the Mojave Volatiles Prospector (MVP) Field Campaign, a Lunar Polar Rover Mission Analog

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heldmann, J. L.; Colaprete, A.; Cook, A.; Deans, M. C.; Elphic, R. C.; Lim, D. S. S.; Skok, J. R.

    2014-12-01

    The Mojave Volatiles Prospector (MVP) project is a science-driven field program with the goal to produce critical knowledge for conducting robotic exploration of the Moon. MVP will feed science, payload, and operational lessons learned to the development of a real-time, short-duration lunar polar volatiles prospecting mission. MVP achieves these goals through a simulated lunar rover mission to investigate the composition and distribution of surface and subsurface volatiles in a natural and a priori unknown environment within the Mojave Desert, improving our understanding of how to find, characterize, and access volatiles on the Moon. The MVP field site is the Mojave Desert, selected for its low, naturally occurring water abundance. The Mojave typically has on the order of 2-6% water, making it a suitable lunar analog for this field test. MVP uses the Near Infrared and Visible Spectrometer Subsystem (NIRVSS), Neutron Spectrometer Subsystem (NSS), and a downward facing GroundCam camera on the KREX-2 rover to investigate the relationship between the distribution of volatiles and soil crust variation. Through this investigation, we mature robotic in situ instruments and concepts of instrument operations, improve ground software tools for real time science, and carry out publishable research on the water cycle and its connection to geomorphology and mineralogy in desert environments. A lunar polar rover mission is unlike prior space missions and requires a new concept of operations. The rover must navigate 3-5 km of terrain and examine multiple sites in in just ~6 days. Operational decisions must be made in real time, requiring constant situational awareness, data analysis and rapid turnaround decision support tools. This presentation will focus on the first science results and operational architecture findings from the MVP field deployment relevant to a lunar polar rover mission.

  1. Earth and planetary sciences

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wetherill, G.W.; Drake, C.L.

    1980-01-01

    The earth is a dynamic body. The major surface manifestation of this dynamism has been fragmentation of the earth's outer shell and subsequent relative movement of the pieces on a large scale. Evidence for continental movement came from studies of geomagnetism. As the sea floor spreads and new crust is formed, it is magnetized with the polarity of the field at the time of its formation. The plate tectonics model explains the history, nature, and topography of the oceanic crust. When a lithospheric plate surmounted by continental crust collides with an oceanic lithosphere, it is the denser oceanic lithosphere that is subducted. Hence the ancient oceans have vanished and the knowledge of ancient earth will require deciphering the complex continental geological record. Geochemical investigation shows that the source region of continental rocks is not simply the depleted mantle that is characteristic of the source region of basalts produced at the oceanic ridges. The driving force of plate tectonics is convection within the earth, but much remains to be learned about the convection and interior of the earth. A brief discussion of planetary exploration is given

  2. Electromagnetic signal penetration in a planetary soil simulant: Estimated attenuation rates using GPR and TDR in volcanic deposits on Mount Etna

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lauro, S. E.; Mattei, E.; Cosciotti, B.; Di Paolo, F.; Arcone, S. A.; Viccaro, M.; Pettinelli, E.

    2017-07-01

    Ground-penetrating radar (GPR) is a well-established geophysical terrestrial exploration method and has recently become one of the most promising for planetary subsurface exploration. Several future landing vehicles like EXOMARS, 2020 NASA ROVER, and Chang'e-4, to mention a few, will host GPR. A GPR survey has been conducted on volcanic deposits on Mount Etna (Italy), considered a good analogue for Martian and Lunar volcanic terrains, to test a novel methodology for subsoil dielectric properties estimation. The stratigraphy of the volcanic deposits was investigated using 500 MHz and 1 GHz antennas in two different configurations: transverse electric and transverse magnetic. Sloping discontinuities have been used to estimate the loss tangents of the upper layer of such deposits by applying the amplitude-decay and frequency shift methods and approximating the GPR transmitted signal by Gaussian and Ricker wavelets. The loss tangent values, estimated using these two methodologies, were compared and validated with those retrieved from time domain reflectometry measurements acquired along the radar profiles. The results show that the proposed analysis, together with typical GPR methods for the estimation of the real part of permittivity, can be successfully used to characterize the electrical properties of planetary subsurface and to define some constraints on its lithology of the subsurface.

  3. Mauna Kea, Hawaii as an Analogue Site for Future Planetary Resource Exploration: Results from the 2010 ILSO-ISRU Field-Testing Campaign

    Science.gov (United States)

    ten Kate, I. L.; Armstrong, R.; Bernhardt, B.; Blummers, M.; Boucher, D.; Caillibot, E.; Captain, J.; Deleuterio, G.; Farmer, J. D.; Glavin, D. P.; hide

    2010-01-01

    Within the framework of the International Lunar Surface Operation - In-Situ Resource Utilization Analogue Test held on January 27 - February 11, 2010 on the Mauna Kea volcano in Hawaii, a number of scientific instrument teams collaborated to characterize the field site and test instrument capabilities outside laboratory environments. In this paper, we provide a geological setting for this new field-test site, a description of the instruments that were tested during the 2010 ILSO-ISRU field campaign, and a short discussion for each instrument about the validity and use of the results obtained during the test. These results will form a catalogue that may serve as reference for future test campaigns. In this paper we provide a description and regional geological setting for a new field analogue test site for lunar resource exploration, and discuss results obtained from the 2010 ILSO-ISRU field campaign as a reference for future field-testing at this site. The following instruments were tested: a multispectral microscopic imager, MMI, a Mossbauer spectrometer, an evolved gas analyzer, VAPoR, and an oxygen and volatile extractor called RESOLVE. Preliminary results show that the sediments change from dry, organic-poor, poorly-sorted volcaniclastic sand on the surface, containing basalt, iron oxides and clays, to more water- and organic-rich, fine grained, well-sorted volcaniclastic sand, primarily consisting of iron oxides and depleted of basalt and clays. Furthermore, drilling experiments showed a very close correlation between drilling on the Moon and drilling at the test site. The ILSO-ISRU test site was an ideal location for testing strategies for in situ resource exploration at the lunar or martian surface.

  4. Planetary Geologic Mapping Handbook - 2010. Appendix

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tanaka, K. L.; Skinner, J. A., Jr.; Hare, T. M.

    2010-01-01

    Geologic maps present, in an historical context, fundamental syntheses of interpretations of the materials, landforms, structures, and processes that characterize planetary surfaces and shallow subsurfaces. Such maps also provide a contextual framework for summarizing and evaluating thematic research for a given region or body. In planetary exploration, for example, geologic maps are used for specialized investigations such as targeting regions of interest for data collection and for characterizing sites for landed missions. Whereas most modern terrestrial geologic maps are constructed from regional views provided by remote sensing data and supplemented in detail by field-based observations and measurements, planetary maps have been largely based on analyses of orbital photography. For planetary bodies in particular, geologic maps commonly represent a snapshot of a surface, because they are based on available information at a time when new data are still being acquired. Thus the field of planetary geologic mapping has been evolving rapidly to embrace the use of new data and modern technology and to accommodate the growing needs of planetary exploration. Planetary geologic maps have been published by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) since 1962. Over this time, numerous maps of several planetary bodies have been prepared at a variety of scales and projections using the best available image and topographic bases. Early geologic map bases commonly consisted of hand-mosaicked photographs or airbrushed shaded-relief views and geologic linework was manually drafted using mylar bases and ink drafting pens. Map publishing required a tedious process of scribing, color peel-coat preparation, typesetting, and photo-laboratory work. Beginning in the 1990s, inexpensive computing, display capability and user-friendly illustration software allowed maps to be drawn using digital tools rather than pen and ink, and mylar bases became obsolete. Terrestrial geologic maps published by

  5. Advances in Planetary Protection at the Deep Space Gateway

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spry, J. A.; Siegel, B.; Race, M.; Rummel, J. D.; Pugel, D. E.; Groen, F. J.; Kminek, G.; Conley, C. A.; Carosso, N. J.

    2018-02-01

    Planetary protection knowledge gaps that can be addressed by science performed at the Deep Space Gateway in the areas of human health and performance, space biology, and planetary sciences that enable future exploration in deep space, at Mars, and other targets.

  6. Planetary Landscape Geography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hargitai, H.

    building Lunar or Martian bases. Factors of this category are the presence of water, 24 h communication oppor- tunity with Earth, radio noise free sky, radiation, temperature etc conditions. Since the emergence of the discipline of astrobiology, potentially habitable niches - and espe- cially the so far undiscovered de facto inhabited niches - make very high value of a given landscape. CONCLUSION As we have closer touch with planetary surfaces other than our, and as human (and manned) exploration of the Solar System will again be in the agenda, in addition to physical geographic or geologic factors, new ones: economical, cultural, aesthetic and geofactors together will determine the value of a certain landscape in a given area. Its study will be more geographic than geologic. The above listed ele- ments can be important when chosing a base or landing site on any planetary body. The landscape values can be merged in a GIS system and this way we can more ea- sity determine not only landcape types but also the optimal landing sites for future missions. References [1] Mezõsi , G.: A földrajzi táj (geographic landscape), in: Általános ter- mészerföldrajz, Budapest, 1993. pp 807-818. [2] Baker, V. R.: Extraterrestrial Geo- morphology: An Introduction. Geomorphology 37 (2001) pp 175-178. [3] Jakucs, L.: A földrajzi burok kozmogén és endogén dinamikája (Endogenic and Cosmogenic Dy- namics of the Geospheres). JATEPress, 1997. 3

  7. Conceptual Design and Dynamics Testing and Modeling of a Mars Tumbleweed Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calhoun Philip C.; Harris, Steven B.; Raiszadeh, Behzad; Zaleski, Kristina D.

    2005-01-01

    The NASA Langley Research Center has been developing a novel concept for a Mars planetary rover called the Mars Tumbleweed. This concept utilizes the wind to propel the rover along the Mars surface, bringing it the potential to cover vast distances not possible with current Mars rover technology. This vehicle, in its deployed configuration, must be large and lightweight to provide the ratio of drag force to rolling resistance necessary to initiate motion from rest on the Mars surface. One Tumbleweed design concept that satisfies these considerations is called the Eggbeater-Dandelion. This paper describes the basic design considerations and a proposed dynamics model of the concept for use in simulation studies. It includes a summary of rolling/bouncing dynamics tests that used videogrammetry to better understand, characterize, and validate the dynamics model assumptions, especially the effective rolling resistance in bouncing/rolling dynamic conditions. The dynamics test used cameras to capture the motion of 32 targets affixed to a test article s outer structure. Proper placement of the cameras and alignment of their respective fields of view provided adequate image resolution of multiple targets along the trajectory as the test article proceeded down the ramp. Image processing of the frames from multiple cameras was used to determine the target positions. Position data from a set of these test runs was compared with results of a three dimensional, flexible dynamics model. Model input parameters were adjusted to match the test data for runs conducted. This process presented herein provided the means to characterize the dynamics and validate the simulation of the Eggbeater-Dandelion concept. The simulation model was used to demonstrate full scale Tumbleweed motion from a stationary condition on a flat-sloped terrain using representative Mars environment parameters.

  8. The Planetary Data System Web Catalog Interface--Another Use of the Planetary Data System Data Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, S.; Bernath, A.

    1995-01-01

    The Planetary Data System Data Model consists of a set of standardized descriptions of entities within the Planetary Science Community. These can be real entities in the space exploration domain such as spacecraft, instruments, and targets; conceptual entities such as data sets, archive volumes, and data dictionaries; or the archive data products such as individual images, spectrum, series, and qubes.

  9. Criticality safety for deactivation of the Rover dry headend process

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Henrikson, D.J.

    1995-01-01

    The Rover dry headend process combusted Rover graphite fuels in preparation for dissolution and solvent extraction for the recovery of 235 U. At the end of the Rover processing campaign, significant quantities of 235 U were left in the dry system. The Rover Dry Headend Process Deactivation Project goal is to remove the remaining uranium bearing material (UBM) from the dry system and then decontaminate the cells. Criticality safety issues associated with the Rover Deactivation Project have been influenced by project design refinement and schedule acceleration initiatives. The uranium ash composition used for calculations must envelope a wide range of material compositions, and yet result in cost effective final packaging and storage. Innovative thinking must be used to provide a timely safety authorization basis while the project design continues to be refined

  10. MISSION PROFILE AND DESIGN CHALLENGES FOR MARS LANDING EXPLORATION

    OpenAIRE

    J. Dong; Z. Sun; W. Rao; Y. Jia; L. Meng; C. Wang; B. Chen

    2017-01-01

    An orbiter and a descent module will be delivered to Mars in the Chinese first Mars exploration mission. The descent module is composed of a landing platform and a rover. The module will be released into the atmosphere by the orbiter and make a controlled landing on Martian surface. After landing, the rover will egress from the platform to start its science mission. The rover payloads mainly include the subsurface radar, terrain camera, multispectral camera, magnetometer, anemometer to achiev...

  11. Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Planetary nomenclature, like terrestrial nomenclature, is used to uniquely identify a feature on the surface of a planet or satellite so that the feature can be...

  12. New NASA Technologies for Space Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calle, Carlos I.

    2015-01-01

    NASA is developing new technologies to enable planetary exploration. NASA's Space Launch System is an advance vehicle for exploration beyond LEO. Robotic explorers like the Mars Science Laboratory are exploring Mars, making discoveries that will make possible the future human exploration of the planet. In this presentation, we report on technologies being developed at NASA KSC for planetary exploration.

  13. The new V8-Diesel engine for Land Rover; Der neue V8-Dieselmotor fuer Land Rover

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ernst, Roland [Ford Sued-Amerika (Brazil); Gruenert, Thomas; Turner, Paul [Ford Motor Company, Dagenham (United Kingdom)

    2007-04-15

    After the launch of the 2.7-l TDV6 diesel engine for Jaguar, Land Rover and PSA in the spring of 2004, here is a new member of the engine family. The new 3.6-l TDV8 Diesel engine was developed for Land Rover's Range Rover and Range Rover Sport models. The premium market segment positioning demands the best possible attributes from the engine, particularly torque as well as engine acoustics. According to the Land Rover specific requirements, the engine is fully off road capable and can be used in all world markets. The engine fulfills the Euro 4 emissions requirements and will be available with a regulated particle filter. (orig.)

  14. Preliminary Dynamic Feasibility and Analysis of a Spherical, Wind-Driven (Tumbleweed), Martian Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flick, John J.; Toniolo, Matthew D.

    2005-01-01

    The process and findings are presented from a preliminary feasibility study examining the dynamics characteristics of a spherical wind-driven (or Tumbleweed) rover, which is intended for exploration of the Martian surface. The results of an initial feasibility study involving several worst-case mobility situations that a Tumbleweed rover might encounter on the surface of Mars are discussed. Additional topics include the evaluation of several commercially available analysis software packages that were examined as possible platforms for the development of a Monte Carlo Tumbleweed mission simulation tool. This evaluation lead to the development of the Mars Tumbleweed Monte Carlo Simulator (or Tumbleweed Simulator) using the Vortex physics software package from CM-Labs, Inc. Discussions regarding the development and evaluation of the Tumbleweed Simulator, as well as the results of a preliminary analysis using the tool are also presented. Finally, a brief conclusions section is presented.

  15. Martian methane plume models for defining Mars rover methane source search strategies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicol, Christopher; Ellery, Alex; Lynch, Brian; Cloutis, Ed

    2018-07-01

    The detection of atmospheric methane on Mars implies an active methane source. This introduces the possibility of a biotic source with the implied need to determine whether the methane is indeed biotic in nature or geologically generated. There is a clear need for robotic algorithms which are capable of manoeuvring a rover through a methane plume on Mars to locate its source. We explore aspects of Mars methane plume modelling to reveal complex dynamics characterized by advection and diffusion. A statistical analysis of the plume model has been performed and compared to analyses of terrestrial plume models. Finally, we consider a robotic search strategy to find a methane plume source. We find that gradient-based techniques are ineffective, but that more sophisticated model-based search strategies are unlikely to be available in near-term rover missions.

  16. The activities and prospect of planetary protection research in China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Ming

    2016-07-01

    Planetary protection is an important activities and responsibilities for space exploration. In Chinese manned missions, micro-organism research and protection has been developed in Shenzhou-9, Shenzhou-10 and Tiangong-2 missions. In the experiment facility of Lunar Palace-1, the micro-organism pollution and protection/control technology has been studied. In the lunar sample recovery mission and China Mars mission, the planetary protection has become an important issue. This paper introduced the research about planetary protection in China. The planetary protection activities, strategy and procedures have been suggested for future space exploration program to meet the requirement for planetary protection, such as cabin pollution isolation, pollutant detection, and so on.

  17. Life Support and Habitation and Planetary Protection Workshop

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hogan, John A. (Editor); Race, Margaret S. (Editor); Fisher, John W. (Editor); Joshi, Jitendra A. (Editor); Rummel, John D. (Editor)

    2006-01-01

    A workshop entitled "Life Support and Habitation and Planetary Protection Workshop" was held in Houston, Texas on April 27-29, 2005 to facilitate the development of planetary protection guidelines for future human Mars exploration missions and to identify the potential effects of these guidelines on the design and selection of related human life support, extravehicular activity and monitoring and control systems. This report provides a summary of the workshop organization, starting assumptions, working group results and recommendations. Specific result topics include the identification of research and technology development gaps, potential forward and back contaminants and pathways, mitigation alternatives, and planetary protection requirements definition needs. Participants concluded that planetary protection and science-based requirements potentially affect system design, technology trade options, development costs and mission architecture. Therefore early and regular coordination between the planetary protection, scientific, planning, engineering, operations and medical communities is needed to develop workable and effective designs for human exploration of Mars.

  18. Performance of a six-legged planetary rover - Power, positioning, and autonomous walking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krotkov, Eric; Simmons, Reid

    The authors quantify several performance metrics for the Ambler, a six-legged robot configured for autonomous traversal of Mars-like terrain. They present power consumption measures for walking on sandy terrain and for vertical lifts at different velocities. They document the accuracy of a novel dead reckoning approach, and analyze the accuracy. They describe the results of autonomous walking experiments in terms of terrain traversed, walking speed, number of instructions executed and endurance.

  19. Design and Laboratory Implementation of Autonomous Optimal Motion Planning for Non-Holonomic Planetary Rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-12-01

    still have a human in the loop. The driver controls the gas and the brake pedal while computed inputs to the car assist in guiding the vehicle into the...22 1. Turning Angle and Steering ......................................................22 2...of a Front-Wheel Steering Vehicle. ......................................................21 Figure 22. Evaluating the Angle

  20. Potential Applications for Radioisotope Power Systems in Support of Human Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cataldo, Robert L.; Colozza, Anthony J.; Schmitz, Paul C.

    2013-01-01

    Radioisotope power systems (RPS) for space applications have powered over 27 U.S. space systems, starting with Transit 4A and 4B in 1961, and more recently with the successful landing of the Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity in August 2012. RPS enable missions with destinations far from the Sun with faint solar flux, on planetary surfaces with dense or dusty atmospheres, and at places with long eclipse periods where solar array sizes and energy storage mass become impractical. RPS could also provide an enabling capability in support of human exploration activities. It is envisioned that with the higher power needs of most human mission concepts, a high efficiency thermal-to-electric technology would be required such as the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope generator (ASRG). The ASRG should be capable of a four-fold improvement in efficiency over traditional thermoelectric RPS. While it may be impractical to use RPS as a main power source, many other applications could be considered, such as crewed pressurized rovers, in-situ resource production of propellants, back-up habitat power, drilling, any mobile or remote activity from the main base habitat, etc. This paper will identify potential applications and provide concepts that could be a practical extension of the current ASRG design in providing for robust and flexible use of RPS on human exploration missions.

  1. Planetary Cartography - Activities and Current Challenges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nass, Andrea; Di, Kaichang; Elgner, Stephan; van Gasselt, Stephan; Hare, Trent; Hargitai, Henrik; Karachevtseva, Irina; Kereszturi, Akos; Kersten, Elke; Kokhanov, Alexander; Manaud, Nicolas; Roatsch, Thomas; Rossi, Angelo Pio; Skinner, James, Jr.; Wählisch, Marita

    2018-05-01

    Maps are one of the most important tools for communicating geospatial information between producers and receivers. Geospatial data, tools, contributions in geospatial sciences, and the communication of information and transmission of knowledge are matter of ongoing cartographic research. This applies to all topics and objects located on Earth or on any other body in our Solar System. In planetary science, cartography and mapping have a history dating back to the roots of telescopic space exploration and are now facing new technological and organizational challenges with the rise of new missions, new global initiatives, organizations and opening research markets. The focus of this contribution is to introduce the community to the field of planetary cartography and its historic foundation, to highlight some of the organizations involved and to emphasize challenges that Planetary Cartography has to face today and in the near future.

  2. Using Multi-Core Systems for Rover Autonomy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clement, Brad; Estlin, Tara; Bornstein, Benjamin; Springer, Paul; Anderson, Robert C.

    2010-01-01

    Task Objectives are: (1) Develop and demonstrate key capabilities for rover long-range science operations using multi-core computing, (a) Adapt three rover technologies to execute on SOA multi-core processor (b) Illustrate performance improvements achieved (c) Demonstrate adapted capabilities with rover hardware, (2) Targeting three high-level autonomy technologies (a) Two for onboard data analysis (b) One for onboard command sequencing/planning, (3) Technologies identified as enabling for future missions, (4)Benefits will be measured along several metrics: (a) Execution time / Power requirements (b) Number of data products processed per unit time (c) Solution quality

  3. Autonomous navigation and control of a Mars rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, D. P.; Atkinson, D. J.; Wilcox, B. H.; Mishkin, A. H.

    1990-01-01

    A Mars rover will need to be able to navigate autonomously kilometers at a time. This paper outlines the sensing, perception, planning, and execution monitoring systems that are currently being designed for the rover. The sensing is based around stereo vision. The interpretation of the images use a registration of the depth map with a global height map provided by an orbiting spacecraft. Safe, low energy paths are then planned through the map, and expectations of what the rover's articulation sensors should sense are generated. These expectations are then used to ensure that the planned path is correctly being executed.

  4. Planetary mass function and planetary systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dominik, M.

    2011-02-01

    With planets orbiting stars, a planetary mass function should not be seen as a low-mass extension of the stellar mass function, but a proper formalism needs to take care of the fact that the statistical properties of planet populations are linked to the properties of their respective host stars. This can be accounted for by describing planet populations by means of a differential planetary mass-radius-orbit function, which together with the fraction of stars with given properties that are orbited by planets and the stellar mass function allows the derivation of all statistics for any considered sample. These fundamental functions provide a framework for comparing statistics that result from different observing techniques and campaigns which all have their very specific selection procedures and detection efficiencies. Moreover, recent results both from gravitational microlensing campaigns and radial-velocity surveys of stars indicate that planets tend to cluster in systems rather than being the lonely child of their respective parent star. While planetary multiplicity in an observed system becomes obvious with the detection of several planets, its quantitative assessment however comes with the challenge to exclude the presence of further planets. Current exoplanet samples begin to give us first hints at the population statistics, whereas pictures of planet parameter space in its full complexity call for samples that are 2-4 orders of magnitude larger. In order to derive meaningful statistics, however, planet detection campaigns need to be designed in such a way that well-defined fully deterministic target selection, monitoring and detection criteria are applied. The probabilistic nature of gravitational microlensing makes this technique an illustrative example of all the encountered challenges and uncertainties.

  5. The ChemCam Instrument Suite on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Rover: Body Unit and Combined System Tests

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wiens, Roger C.; Barraclough, Bruce; Barkley, Walter C.; Bender, Steve; Bernardin, John; Bultman, Nathan; Clanton, Robert C.; Clegg, Samuel; Delapp, Dorothea; Dingler, Robert; Enemark, Don; Flores, Mike; Hale, Thomas; Lanza, Nina; Lasue, Jeremie; Latino, Joseph; Little, Cynthia; Morrison, Leland; Nelson, Tony; Romero, Frank; Salazar, Steven; Stiglich, Ralph; Storms, Steven; Trujillo, Tanner; Ulibarri, Mike; Vaniman, David; Whitaker, Robert; Witt, James; Maurice, Sylvestre; Bouye, Marc; Cousin, Agnes; Cros, Alain; D'Uston, Claude; Forni, Olivier; Gasnault, Olivier; Kouach, Driss; Lasue, Jeremie; Pares, Laurent; Poitrasson, Franck; Striebig, Nicolas; Thocaven, Jean-Jacques; Saccoccio, Muriel; Perez, Rene; Bell, James F. III; Hays, Charles; Blaney, Diana; DeFlores, Lauren; Elliott, Tom; Kan, Ed; Limonadi, Daniel; Lindensmith, Chris; Miller, Ed; Reiter, Joseph W.; Roberts, Tom; Simmonds, John J.; Warner, Noah; Blank, Jennifer; Bridges, Nathan; Cais, Phillippe; Clark, Benton; Cremers, David; Dyar, M. Darby; Fabre, Cecile; Herkenhoff, Ken; Kirkland, Laurel; Landis, David; Langevin, Yves; Lanza, Nina; Newsom, Horton; Ollila, Ann; LaRocca, Frank; Ott, Melanie; Mangold, Nicolas; Manhes, Gerard; Mauchien, Patrick; Blank, Jennifer; McKay, Christopher; Mooney, Joe; Provost, Cheryl; Morris, Richard V.; Sautter, Violaine; Sautter, Violaine; Waterbury, Rob; Wong-Swanson, Belinda; Barraclough, Bruce; Bender, Steve; Vaniman, David

    2012-01-01

    The ChemCam instrument suite on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover Curiosity provides remote compositional information using the first laser-induced breakdown spectrometer (LIBS) on a planetary mission, and provides sample texture and morphology data using a remote micro-imager (RMI). Overall, ChemCam supports MSL with five capabilities: remote classification of rock and soil characteristics; quantitative elemental compositions including light elements like hydrogen and some elements to which LIBS is uniquely sensitive (e.g., Li, Be, Rb, Sr, Ba); remote removal of surface dust and depth profiling through surface coatings; context imaging; and passive spectroscopy over the 240-905 nm range. ChemCam is built in two sections: The mast unit, consisting of a laser, telescope, RMI, and associated electronics, resides on the rover's mast, and is described in a companion paper. ChemCam's body unit, which is mounted in the body of the rover, comprises an optical de-multiplexer, three spectrometers, detectors, their coolers, and associated electronics and data handling logic. Additional instrument components include a 6 m optical fiber which transfers the LIBS light from the telescope to the body unit, and a set of onboard calibration targets. ChemCam was integrated and tested at Los Alamos National Laboratory where it also underwent LIBS calibration with 69 geological standards prior to integration with the rover. Post-integration testing used coordinated mast and instrument commands, including LIBS line scans on rock targets during system-level thermal-vacuum tests. In this paper we describe the body unit, optical fiber, and calibration targets, and the assembly, testing, and verification of the instrument prior to launch. (authors)

  6. Improving accessibility and discovery of ESA planetary data through the new planetary science archive

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macfarlane, A. J.; Docasal, R.; Rios, C.; Barbarisi, I.; Saiz, J.; Vallejo, F.; Besse, S.; Arviset, C.; Barthelemy, M.; De Marchi, G.; Fraga, D.; Grotheer, E.; Heather, D.; Lim, T.; Martinez, S.; Vallat, C.

    2018-01-01

    The Planetary Science Archive (PSA) is the European Space Agency's (ESA) repository of science data from all planetary science and exploration missions. The PSA provides access to scientific data sets through various interfaces at http://psa.esa.int. Mostly driven by the evolution of the PDS standards which all new ESA planetary missions shall follow and the need to update the interfaces to the archive, the PSA has undergone an important re-engineering. In order to maximise the scientific exploitation of ESA's planetary data holdings, significant improvements have been made by utilising the latest technologies and implementing widely recognised open standards. To facilitate users in handling and visualising the many products stored in the archive which have spatial data associated, the new PSA supports Geographical Information Systems (GIS) by implementing the standards approved by the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC). The modernised PSA also attempts to increase interoperability with the international community by implementing recognised planetary science specific protocols such as the PDAP (Planetary Data Access Protocol) and EPN-TAP (EuroPlanet-Table Access Protocol). In this paper we describe some of the methods by which the archive may be accessed and present the challenges that are being faced in consolidating data sets of the older PDS3 version of the standards with the new PDS4 deliveries into a single data model mapping to ensure transparent access to the data for users and services whilst maintaining a high performance.

  7. MSR Fetch Rover Capability Development at the Canadian Space Agency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Picard, M.; Hipkin, V.; Gingras, D.; Allard, P.; Lamarche, T.; Rocheleau, S. G.; Gemme, S.

    2018-04-01

    Describes Fetch Rover technology testing during CSA's 2016 Mars Sample Return Analogue Deployment which demonstrated autonomous navigation to 'cache depots' of M-2020-like sample tubes, acquisition of six such tubes, and transfer to a MAV mock up.

  8. Pilot-plant development of a Rover waste calcination flowsheet

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Birrer, S.A.

    1978-04-01

    Results of eight runs, six using the 10-cm dia and two using the 30-cm dia pilot-plant calciners, in which simulated first-cycle Rover waste was calcined, are described. Results of the tests showed that a feed blend consisting of one volume simulated first-cycle Rover waste and one or two volumes simulated first-cycle zirconium waste could not be successfully calcined. 5 figs., 8 tables

  9. (abstract) Telecommunications for Mars Rovers and Robotic Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cesarone, Robert J.; Hastrup, Rolf C.; Horne, William; McOmber, Robert

    1997-01-01

    Telecommunications plays a key role in all rover and robotic missions to Mars both as a conduit for command information to the mission and for scientific data from the mission. Telecommunications to the Earth may be accomplished using direct-to-Earth links via the Deep Space Network (DSN) or by relay links supported by other missions at Mars. This paper reviews current plans for missions to Mars through the 2005 launch opportunity and their capabilities in support of rover and robotic telecommunications.

  10. Multi-rover navigation on the lunar surface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dabrowski, Borys; Banaszkiewicz, Marek

    2008-07-01

    The paper presents a method of determination an accurate position of a target (rover, immobile sensor, astronaut) on surface of the Moon or other celestial body devoid of navigation infrastructure (like Global Positioning System), by using a group of self-calibrating rovers, which serves as mobile reference points. The rovers are equipped with low-precision clocks synchronized by external broadcasting signal, to measure the moments of receiving radio signals sent by localized target. Based on the registered times, distances between transmitter and receivers installed on beacons are calculated. Each rover determines and corrects its own absolute position and orientation by using odometry navigation and measurements of relative distances and angles to other mobile reference points. Accuracy of navigation has been improved by the use of a calibration algorithm based on the extended Kalman filter, which uses internal encoder readings as inputs and relative measurements of distances and orientations between beacons as feedback information. The key idea in obtaining reliable values of absolute position and orientation of beacons is to first calibrate one of the rovers, using the remaining ones as reference points and then allow the whole group to move together and calibrate all the rovers in-motion. We consider a number of cases, in which basic modeling parameters such as terrain roughness, formation size and shape as well as availability of distance and angle measurements are varied.

  11. Acquisition of Skill Proficiency Over Multiple Sessions of a Novel Rover Simulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dean, S. L.; DeDios,Y. E.; MacDougall, H. G.; Moore, S. T.; Wood, S. J.

    2011-01-01

    Following long-duration exploration transits, adaptive changes in sensorimotor function may impair the crew's ability to safely perform manual control tasks such as operating pressurized rovers. Postflight performance will also be influenced by the level of preflight skill proficiency they have attained. The purpose of this study was to characterize the acquisition of skills in a motion-based rover simulation over multiple sessions, and to investigate the effects of varying the simulation scenarios. METHODS: Twenty healthy subjects were tested in 5 sessions, with 1-3 days between sessions. Each session consisted of a serial presentation of 8 discrete tasks to be completed as quickly and accurately as possible. Each task consisted of 1) perspective-taking, using a map that defined a docking target, 2) navigation toward the target around a Martian outpost, and 3) docking a side hatch of the rover to a visually guided target. The simulator utilized a Stewart-type motion base (CKAS, Australia), single-seat cabin with triple scene projection covering 150 deg horizontal by 50 deg vertical, and joystick controller. Subjects were randomly assigned to a control group (tasks identical in the first 4 sessions) or a varied-practice group. The dependent variables for each task included accuracy toward the target and time to completion. RESULTS: The greatest improvements in time to completion occurred during the docking phase. The varied-practice group showed more improvement in perspective-taking accuracy. Perspective-taking accuracy was also affected by the relative orientation of the rover to the docking target. Skill acquisition was correlated with self-ratings of previous gaming experience. DISCUSSION: Varying task selection and difficulty will optimize the preflight acquisition of skills when performing novel operational tasks. Simulation of operational manual control will provide functionally relevant evidence regarding the impact of sensorimotor adaptation on early

  12. New and misclassified planetary nebulae

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kohoutek, L.

    1978-01-01

    Since the 'Catalogue of Galactic Planetary Nebulae' 226 new objects have been classified as planetary nebulae. They are summarized in the form of designations, names, coordinates and the references to the discovery. Further 9 new objects have been added and called 'proto-planetary nebulae', but their status is still uncertain. Only 34 objects have been included in the present list of misclassified planetary nebulae although the number of doubtful cases is much larger. (Auth.)

  13. Dust in planetary nebulae

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mathis, J.S.

    1978-01-01

    The author's review concentrates on theoretical aspects of dust in planetary nebulae (PN). He considers the questions: how much dust is there is PN; what is its composition; what effects does it have on the ionization structure, on the dynamics of the nebula. (Auth.)

  14. The planetary scientist's companion

    CERN Document Server

    Lodders, Katharina

    1998-01-01

    A comprehensive and practical book of facts and data about the Sun, planets, asteroids, comets, meteorites, the Kuiper belt and Centaur objects in our solar system. Also covered are properties of nearby stars, the interstellar medium, and extra-solar planetary systems.

  15. Small Spacecraft for Planetary Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, John; Castillo-Rogez, Julie; Bousquet, Pierre-W.; Vane, Gregg; Komarek, Tomas; Klesh, Andrew

    2016-07-01

    As planetary science continues to explore new and remote regions of the Solar system with comprehensive and more sophisticated payloads, small spacecraft offer the possibility for focused and more affordable science investigations. These small spacecraft or micro spacecraft (attitude control and determination, capable computer and data handling, and navigation are being met by technologies currently under development to be flown on CubeSats within the next five years. This paper will discuss how micro spacecraft offer an attractive alternative to accomplish specific science and technology goals and what relevant technologies are needed for these these types of spacecraft. Acknowledgements: Part of this work is being carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology under contract to NASA. Government sponsorship acknowledged.

  16. In-motion initial alignment and positioning with INS/CNS/ODO integrated navigation system for lunar rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Jiazhen; Lei, Chaohua; Yang, Yanqiang; Liu, Ming

    2017-06-01

    Many countries have been paying great attention to space exploration, especially about the Moon and the Mars. Autonomous and high-accuracy navigation systems are needed for probers and rovers to accomplish missions. Inertial navigation system (INS)/celestial navigation system (CNS) based navigation system has been used widely on the lunar rovers. Initialization is a particularly important step for navigation. This paper presents an in-motion alignment and positioning method for lunar rovers by INS/CNS/odometer integrated navigation. The method can estimate not only the position and attitude errors, but also the biases of the accelerometers and gyros using the standard Kalman filter. The differences between the platform star azimuth, elevation angles and the computed star azimuth, elevation angles, and the difference between the velocity measured by odometer and the velocity measured by inertial sensors are taken as measurements. The semi-physical experiments are implemented to demonstrate that the position error can reduce to 10 m and attitude error is within 2″ during 5 min. The experiment results prove that it is an effective and attractive initialization approach for lunar rovers.

  17. Astrobiology, Mars Exploration and Lassen Volcanic National Park

    Science.gov (United States)

    Des Marais, David J.

    2015-01-01

    The search for evidence of life beyond Earth illustrates how the charters of NASA and the National Park Service share common ground. The mission of NPS is to preserve unimpaired the natural and cultural resources of the National Park System for the enjoyment, education and inspiration of this and future generations. NASA's Astrobiology program seeks to understand the origins, evolution and distribution of life in the universe, and it abides by the principles of planetary stewardship, public outreach, and education. We cannot subject planetary exploration destinations to Earthly biological contamination both for ethical reasons and to preserve their scientific value for astrobiology. We respond to the public's interest in the mysteries of life and the cosmos by honoring their desire to participate in the process of discovery. We involve youth in order to motivate career choices in science and technology and to perpetuate space exploration. The search for evidence of past life on Mars illustrates how the missions of NASA and NPS can become synergistic. Volcanic activity occurs on all rocky planets in our Solar System and beyond, and it frequently interacts with water to create hydrothermal systems. On Earth these systems are oases for microbial life. The Mars Exploration Rover Spirit has found evidence of extinct hydrothermal system in Gusev crater, Mars. Lassen Volcanic National Park provides a pristine laboratory for investigating how microorganisms can both thrive and leave evidence of their former presence in hydrothermal systems. NASA scientists, NPS interpretation personnel and teachers can collaborate on field-oriented programs that enhance Mars mission planning, engage students and the public in science and technology, and emphasize the ethics of responsible exploration.

  18. Planetary Sample Caching System Design Options

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collins, Curtis; Younse, Paulo; Backes, Paul

    2009-01-01

    Potential Mars Sample Return missions would aspire to collect small core and regolith samples using a rover with a sample acquisition tool and sample caching system. Samples would need to be stored in individual sealed tubes in a canister that could be transfered to a Mars ascent vehicle and returned to Earth. A sample handling, encapsulation and containerization system (SHEC) has been developed as part of an integrated system for acquiring and storing core samples for application to future potential MSR and other potential sample return missions. Requirements and design options for the SHEC system were studied and a recommended design concept developed. Two families of solutions were explored: 1)transfer of a raw sample from the tool to the SHEC subsystem and 2)transfer of a tube containing the sample to the SHEC subsystem. The recommended design utilizes sample tool bit change out as the mechanism for transferring tubes to and samples in tubes from the tool. The SHEC subsystem design, called the Bit Changeout Caching(BiCC) design, is intended for operations on a MER class rover.

  19. The Calibration Target for the Mars 2020 SHERLOC Instrument: Multiple Science Roles for Future Manned and Unmanned Mars Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fries, M.; Bhartia, R.; Beegle, L.; Burton, A.; Ross, A.; Shahar, A.

    2014-01-01

    The Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman & Luminescence for Organics & Chemicals (SHERLOC) instrument is a deep ultraviolet (UV) Raman/fluorescence instrument selected as part of the Mars 2020 rover instrument suite. SHERLOC will be mounted on the rover arm and its primary role is to identify carbonaceous species in martian samples, which may be selected for inclusion into a returnable sample cache. The SHERLOC instrument will require the use of a calibration target, and by design, multiple science roles will be addressed in the design of the target. Samples of materials used in NASA Extravehicular Mobility unit (EMU, or "space suit") manufacture have been included in the target to serve as both solid polymer calibration targets for SHERLOC instrument function, as well as for testing the resiliency of those materials under martian ambient conditions. A martian meteorite will also be included in the target to serve as a well-characterized example of a martian rock that contains trace carbonaceous material. This rock will be the first rock that we know of that has completed a round trip between planets and will therefore serve an EPO role to attract public attention to science and planetary exploration. The SHERLOC calibration target will address a wide range of NASA goals to include basic science of interest to both the Science Mission Directorate (SMD) and Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD).

  20. Rim Structure, Stratigraphy, and Aqueous Alteration Exposures Along Opportunity Rover's Traverse of the Noachian Endeavour Crater

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crumpler, L.S.; Arvidson, R. E.; Golombek, M.; Grant, J. A.; Jolliff, B. L.; Mittlefehldt, D. W.

    2017-01-01

    The Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has traversed 10.2 kilometers along segments of the west rim of the 22-kilometer-diameter Noachian Endeavour impact crater as of sol 4608 (01/09/17). The stratigraphy, attitude of units, lithology, and degradation state of bedrock outcrops exposed on the crater rim have been examined in situ and placed in geologic context. Structures within the rim and differences in physical properties of the identified lithologies have played important roles in localizing outcrops bearing evidence of aqueous alteration.

  1. A Mars orbiter/rover/penetrator mission for the 1984 opportunity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hastrup, R.; Driver, J.; Nagorski, R.

    1977-01-01

    A point design mission is described that utilizes the 1984 opportunity to extend the exploration of Mars after the successful Viking operations and provide the additional scientific information needed before conducting a sample return mission. Two identical multi-element spacecraft are employed, each consisting of (1) an orbiter, (2) a Viking-derived landing system that delivers a heavily instrumented, semi-autonomous rover, and (3) three penetrators deployed from the approach trajectory. Selection of the orbit profiles requires consideration of several important factors in order to satisfy all of the mission goals.

  2. Laser Mass Spectrometry in Planetary Science

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wurz, P.; Whitby, J. A.; Managadze, G. G.

    2009-01-01

    Knowing the chemical, elemental, and isotopic composition of planetary objects allows the study of their origin and evolution within the context of our solar system. Exploration plans in planetary research of several space agencies consider landing spacecraft for future missions. Although there have been successful landers in the past, more landers are foreseen for Mars and its moons, Venus, the jovian moons, and asteroids. Furthermore, a mass spectrometer on a landed spacecraft can assist in the sample selection in a sample-return mission and provide mineralogical context, or identify possible toxic soils on Mars for manned Mars exploration. Given the resources available on landed spacecraft mass spectrometers, as well as any other instrument, have to be highly miniaturised.

  3. Three-Dimensional Planetary Surface Tracking Based on a Simple Ultra-Wideband Impulse-Radio Infrastructure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barton, Richard J.; Ni, David; Ngo, Phong

    2010-01-01

    Several prototype ultra-wideband (UWB) impulse-radio (IR) tracking systems are currently under development at NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC). These systems are being studied for use in tracking of Lunar/Mars rovers and astronauts during early exploration missions when satellite navigation systems (such as GPS) are not available. To date, the systems that have been designed and tested are intended only for two-dimensional location and tracking, but these designs can all be extended to three-dimensional tracking with only minor modifications and increases in complexity. In this presentation, we will briefly review the design and performance of two of the current 2-D systems: one designed specifically for short-range, extremely high-precision tracking (approximately 1-2 cm resolution) and the other designed specifically for much longer range tracking with less stringent precision requirements (1-2 m resolution). We will then discuss a new multi-purpose system design based on a simple UWB-IR architecture that can be deployed easily on a planetary surface to support arbitrary three-dimensional localization and tracking applications. We will discuss utilization of this system as an infrastructure to provide both short-range and long-range tracking and analyze the localization performance of the system in several different configurations. We will give theoretical performance bounds for some canonical system configurations and compare these performance bounds with both numerical simulations of the system as well as actual experimental system performance evaluations.

  4. Learning from the Mars Rover Mission: Scientific Discovery, Learning and Memory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linde, Charlotte

    2005-01-01

    Purpose: Knowledge management for space exploration is part of a multi-generational effort. Each mission builds on knowledge from prior missions, and learning is the first step in knowledge production. This paper uses the Mars Exploration Rover mission as a site to explore this process. Approach: Observational study and analysis of the work of the MER science and engineering team during rover operations, to investigate how learning occurs, how it is recorded, and how these representations might be made available for subsequent missions. Findings: Learning occurred in many areas: planning science strategy, using instrumen?s within the constraints of the martian environment, the Deep Space Network, and the mission requirements; using software tools effectively; and running two teams on Mars time for three months. This learning is preserved in many ways. Primarily it resides in individual s memories. It is also encoded in stories, procedures, programming sequences, published reports, and lessons learned databases. Research implications: Shows the earliest stages of knowledge creation in a scientific mission, and demonstrates that knowledge management must begin with an understanding of knowledge creation. Practical implications: Shows that studying learning and knowledge creation suggests proactive ways to capture and use knowledge across multiple missions and generations. Value: This paper provides a unique analysis of the learning process of a scientific space mission, relevant for knowledge management researchers and designers, as well as demonstrating in detail how new learning occurs in a learning organization.

  5. Formation of planetary systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brahic, A.

    1982-01-01

    It seemed appropriate to devote the 1980 School to the origin of the solar system and more particularly to the formation of planetary systems (dynamic accretion processes, small bodies, planetary rings, etc...) and to the physics and chemistry of planetary interiors, surface and atmospheres (physical and chemical constraints associated with their formation). This Summer School enabled both young researchers and hard-nosed scientists, gathered together in idyllic surroundings, to hold numerous discussions, to lay the foundations for future cooperation, to acquire an excellent basic understanding, and to make many useful contacts. This volume reflects the lectures and presentations that were delivered in this Summer School setting. It is aimed at both advanced students and research workers wishing to specialize in planetology. Every effort has been made to give an overview of the basic knowledge required in order to gain a better understanding of the origin of the solar system. Each article has been revised by one or two referees whom I would like to thank for their assistance. Between the end of the School in August 1980 and the publication of this volume in 1982, the Voyager probes have returned a wealth of useful information. Some preliminary results have been included for completeness

  6. Major accomplishments of America's nuclear rocket program (ROVER)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Finseth, J.L.

    1991-01-01

    The United States embarked on a program to develop nuclear rocket engines in 1955. This program was known as project Rover. Initially nuclear rockets were considered as a potential backup for intercontinental ballistic missile propulsion but later proposed applications included both a lunar second stage as well as use in manned-Mars flights. Under the Rover program, 19 different reactors were built and tested during the period of 1959-1969. Additionally, several cold flow (non-fuelled) reactors were tested as well as a nuclear fuels test cell. The Rover program was terminated in 1973, due to budget constraints and an evolving political climate. The Rover program would have led to the development of a flight engine had the program continued through a logical continuation. The Rover program was responsible for a number of technological achievements. The successful operation of nuclear rocket engines on a system level represents the pinnacle of accomplishment. This paper will discuss the engine test program as well as several subsystems

  7. Public Outreach with NASA Lunar and Planetary Mapping and Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Law, E.; Day, B.

    2017-09-01

    NASA's Trek family of online portals is an exceptional collection of resources making it easy for students and the public to explore surfaces of planetary bodies using real data from real missions. Exotic landforms on other worlds and our plans to explore them provide inspiring context for science and technology lessons in classrooms, museums, and at home. These portals can be of great value to formal and informal educators, as well as to scientists working to share the excitement of the latest developments in planetary science, and can significantly enhance visibility and public engagement in missions of exploration.

  8. Content Based Image Matching for Planetary Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deans, M. C.; Meyer, C.

    2006-12-01

    Planetary missions generate large volumes of data. With the MER rovers still functioning on Mars, PDS contains over 7200 released images from the Microscopic Imagers alone. These data products are only searchable by keys such as the Sol, spacecraft clock, or rover motion counter index, with little connection to the semantic content of the images. We have developed a method for matching images based on the visual textures in images. For every image in a database, a series of filters compute the image response to localized frequencies and orientations. Filter responses are turned into a low dimensional descriptor vector, generating a 37 dimensional fingerprint. For images such as the MER MI, this represents a compression ratio of 99.9965% (the fingerprint is approximately 0.0035% the size of the original image). At query time, fingerprints are quickly matched to find images with similar appearance. Image databases containing several thousand images are preprocessed offline in a matter of hours. Image matches from the database are found in a matter of seconds. We have demonstrated this image matching technique using three sources of data. The first database consists of 7200 images from the MER Microscopic Imager. The second database consists of 3500 images from the Narrow Angle Mars Orbital Camera (MOC-NA), which were cropped into 1024×1024 sub-images for consistency. The third database consists of 7500 scanned archival photos from the Apollo Metric Camera. Example query results from all three data sources are shown. We have also carried out user tests to evaluate matching performance by hand labeling results. User tests verify approximately 20% false positive rate for the top 14 results for MOC NA and MER MI data. This means typically 10 to 12 results out of 14 match the query image sufficiently. This represents a powerful search tool for databases of thousands of images where the a priori match probability for an image might be less than 1%. Qualitatively, correct

  9. The International Planetary Data Alliance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stein, T.; Arviset, C.; Crichton, D. J.

    2017-12-01

    The International Planetary Data Alliance (IPDA) is an association of partners with the aim of improving the quality of planetary science data and services to the end users of space based instrumentation. The specific mission of the IPDA is to facilitate global access to, and exchange of, high quality scientific data products managed across international boundaries. Ensuring proper capture, accessibility and availability of the data is the task of the individual member space agencies. The IPDA was formed in 2006 with the purpose of adopting standards and developing collaborations across agencies to ensure data is captured in common formats. Member agencies include: Armenian Astronomical Society, China National Space Agency (CNSA), European Space Agency (ESA), German Aerospace Center (DLR), Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), Italian Space Agency (ASI), Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), National Air and Space Administration (NASA), National Centre for Space Studies (CNES), Space Research Institute (IKI), UAE Space Agency, and UK Space Agency. The IPDA Steering Committee oversees the execution of projects and coordinates international collaboration. The IPDA conducts a number of focused projects to enable interoperability, construction of compatible archives, and the operation of the IPDA as a whole. These projects have helped to establish the IPDA and to move the collaboration forward. A key project that is currently underway is the implementation of the PDS4 data standard. Given the international focus, it has been critical that the PDS and the IPDA collaborate on its development. Also, other projects have been conducted successfully, including developing the IPDA architecture and corresponding requirements, developing shared registries for data and tools across international boundaries, and common templates for supporting agreements for archiving and sharing data for international missions. Several projects demonstrating interoperability across

  10. Exploring Mars for Evidence of Habitable Environments and Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    DesMarais, David J.

    2014-01-01

    The climate of Mars has been more similar to that of Earth than has the climate of any other planet in our Solar System. But Mars still provides a valuable alternative example of how planetary processes and environments can affect the potential presence of life elsewhere. For example, although Mars also differentiated very early into a core, mantle and crust, it then evolved mostly if not completely without plate tectonics and has lost most of its early atmosphere. The Martian crust has been more stable than that of Earth, thus it has probably preserved a more complete record of its earliest history. Orbital observations determined that near-surface water was once pervasive. Orbiters have identified the following diverse aqueous sedimentary deposits: layered phyllosilicates, phyllosilicates in intracrater fans, plains sediments potentially harboring evaporitic minerals, deep phyllosilicates, carbonate-bearing deposits, intracrater clay-sulfate deposits, Meridiani-type layered deposits, valles-type layered deposits, hydrated silica-bearing deposits, and gypsum plains. These features, together with evidence of more vigorous past geologic activity, indicate that early climates were wetter and perhaps also somewhat warmer. The denser atmosphere that was required for liquid water to be stable on the surface also provided more substantial protection from radiation. Whereas ancient climates might have favored habitable environments at least in some localities, clearly much of the Martian surface for most of its history has been markedly less favorable for life. The combination of dry conditions, oxidizing surface environments and typically low rates of sedimentation are not conducive to the preservation of evidence of ancient environments and any biota. Thus a strategy is required whereby candidate sites are first identified and then characterized for their potential to preserve evidence of past habitable environments. Rovers are then sent to explore the most promising

  11. The Development of the Chemin Mineralogy Instrument and Its Deployment on Mars (and Latest Results from the Mars Science Laboratory Rover Curiosity)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blake, David F.

    2014-01-01

    The CheMin instrument (short for "Chemistry and Mineralogy") on the Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity is one of two "laboratory quality" instruments on board the Curiosity rover that is exploring Gale crater, Mars. CheMin is an X-ray diffractometer that has for the first time returned definitive and fully quantitative mineral identifications of Mars soil and drilled rock. I will describe CheMin's 23-year development from an idea to a spacecraft qualified instrument, and report on some of the discoveries that Curiosity has made since its entry, descent and landing on Aug. 6, 2012, including the discovery and characterization of the first habitable environment on Mars.

  12. An update on Lab Rover: A hospital material transporter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mattaboni, Paul

    1994-01-01

    The development of a hospital material transporter, 'Lab Rover', is described. Conventional material transport now utilizes people power, push carts, pneumatic tubes and tracked vehicles. Hospitals are faced with enormous pressure to reduce operating costs. Cyberotics, Inc. developed an Autonomous Intelligent Vehicle (AIV). This battery operated service robot was designed specifically for health care institutions. Applications for the AIV include distribution of clinical lab samples, pharmacy drugs, administrative records, x-ray distribution, meal tray delivery, and certain emergency room applications. The first AIV was installed at Lahey Clinic in Burlington, Mass. Lab Rover was beta tested for one year and has been 'on line' for an additional 2 years.

  13. Nuclear thermal rocket workshop reference system Rover/NERVA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Borowski, S.K.

    1991-01-01

    The Rover/NERVA engine system is to be used as a reference, against which each of the other concepts presented in the workshop will be compared. The following topics are reviewed: the operational characteristics of the nuclear thermal rocket (NTR); the accomplishments of the Rover/NERVA programs; and performance characteristics of the NERVA-type systems for both Mars and lunar mission applications. Also, the issues of ground testing, NTR safety, NASA's nuclear propulsion project plans, and NTR development cost estimates are briefly discussed

  14. Ultraviolet spectroscopy of planetary nebulae in the Magellanic Clouds

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Maran, S.P.; Aller, L.H.; Gull, T.R.; Stecher, T.P.

    1982-01-01

    Ultraviolet spectra of three high excitation planetary nebulae in the Magellanic Clouds (LMC P40, SMC N2, SMC N5) were obtained with the International Ultraviolet Explorer. The results are analyzed together with new visual wavelength spectrophotometry of LMC P40 and published data on SMC N2 and SMC N5 to investigate chemical composition and in particular to make the first reliable estimates of the carbon abundance in extragalactic planetary nebulae. Although carbon is at most only slightly less abundant in the LMC and SMC planetary nebulae than in galactic planetaries, it is almost 40 times more abundant in the SMC planetaries than in the SMC interstellar medium, and is about 6 times more abundant in the LMC planetary than in the LMC interstellar medium. According to our limited sample, the net result of carbon synthesis and convective dredgeup in the progenitors of planetary nebulae, as reflected in the nebular carbon abundance, is roughly the same in the Galaxy, the LMC, and the SMC

  15. Lay and Expert Perceptions of Planetary Protection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Race, Margaret S.; MacGregor, Donald G.; Slovic, Paul

    2000-01-01

    As space scientists and engineers plan new missions to Mars and other planets in our solar system, they will face critical questions about the potential for biological contamination of planetary surfaces. In a society that places ever-increasing importance on the role of public involvement in science and technology policy, questions about risks of biological contamination will be examined and debated in the media, and will lead to the formation of public perceptions of planetary-contamination risks. These perceptions will, over time, form an important input to the development of space policy. Previous research in public and expert perceptions of technological risks and hazards has shown that many of the problems faced by risk-management organizations are the result of differing perceptions of risk (and risk management) between the general public and scientific and technical experts. These differences manifest themselves both as disagreements about the definition (and level) of risk associated with a scientific, technological or industrial enterprise, and as distrust about the ability of risk-management organizations (both public and private) to adequately protect people's health and safety. This report presents the results of a set of survey studies designed to reveal perceptions of planetary exploration and protection from a wide range of respondents, including both members of the general public and experts in the life sciences. The potential value of this research lies in what it reveals about perceptions of risk and benefit that could improve risk-management policies and practices. For example, efforts to communicate with the public about Mars sample return missions could benefit from an understanding of the specific concerns that nonscientists have about such a mission by suggesting areas of potential improvement in public education and information. Assessment of both public and expert perceptions of risk can also be used to provide an advanced signal of

  16. The Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover Mastcam instruments: Preflight and in-flight calibration, validation, and data archiving

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, James F.; Godber, A.; McNair, S.; Caplinger, M.A.; Maki, J.N.; Lemmon, M.T.; Van Beek, J.; Malin, M.C.; Wellington, D.; Kinch, K.M.; Madsen, M.B.; Hardgrove, C.; Ravine, M.A.; Jensen, E.; Harker, D.; Anderson, Ryan; Herkenhoff, Kenneth E.; Morris, R.V.; Cisneros, E.; Deen, R.G.

    2017-01-01

    The NASA Curiosity rover Mast Camera (Mastcam) system is a pair of fixed-focal length, multispectral, color CCD imagers mounted ~2 m above the surface on the rover's remote sensing mast, along with associated electronics and an onboard calibration target. The left Mastcam (M-34) has a 34 mm focal length, an instantaneous field of view (IFOV) of 0.22 mrad, and a FOV of 20° × 15° over the full 1648 × 1200 pixel span of its Kodak KAI-2020 CCD. The right Mastcam (M-100) has a 100 mm focal length, an IFOV of 0.074 mrad, and a FOV of 6.8° × 5.1° using the same detector. The cameras are separated by 24.2 cm on the mast, allowing stereo images to be obtained at the resolution of the M-34 camera. Each camera has an eight-position filter wheel, enabling it to take Bayer pattern red, green, and blue (RGB) “true color” images, multispectral images in nine additional bands spanning ~400–1100 nm, and images of the Sun in two colors through neutral density-coated filters. An associated Digital Electronics Assembly provides command and data interfaces to the rover, 8 Gb of image storage per camera, 11 bit to 8 bit companding, JPEG compression, and acquisition of high-definition video. Here we describe the preflight and in-flight calibration of Mastcam images, the ways that they are being archived in the NASA Planetary Data System, and the ways that calibration refinements are being developed as the investigation progresses on Mars. We also provide some examples of data sets and analyses that help to validate the accuracy and precision of the calibration

  17. The Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover Mastcam instruments: Preflight and in-flight calibration, validation, and data archiving

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, J. F.; Godber, A.; McNair, S.; Caplinger, M. A.; Maki, J. N.; Lemmon, M. T.; Van Beek, J.; Malin, M. C.; Wellington, D.; Kinch, K. M.; Madsen, M. B.; Hardgrove, C.; Ravine, M. A.; Jensen, E.; Harker, D.; Anderson, R. B.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Morris, R. V.; Cisneros, E.; Deen, R. G.

    2017-07-01

    The NASA Curiosity rover Mast Camera (Mastcam) system is a pair of fixed-focal length, multispectral, color CCD imagers mounted 2 m above the surface on the rover's remote sensing mast, along with associated electronics and an onboard calibration target. The left Mastcam (M-34) has a 34 mm focal length, an instantaneous field of view (IFOV) of 0.22 mrad, and a FOV of 20° × 15° over the full 1648 × 1200 pixel span of its Kodak KAI-2020 CCD. The right Mastcam (M-100) has a 100 mm focal length, an IFOV of 0.074 mrad, and a FOV of 6.8° × 5.1° using the same detector. The cameras are separated by 24.2 cm on the mast, allowing stereo images to be obtained at the resolution of the M-34 camera. Each camera has an eight-position filter wheel, enabling it to take Bayer pattern red, green, and blue (RGB) "true color" images, multispectral images in nine additional bands spanning 400-1100 nm, and images of the Sun in two colors through neutral density-coated filters. An associated Digital Electronics Assembly provides command and data interfaces to the rover, 8 Gb of image storage per camera, 11 bit to 8 bit companding, JPEG compression, and acquisition of high-definition video. Here we describe the preflight and in-flight calibration of Mastcam images, the ways that they are being archived in the NASA Planetary Data System, and the ways that calibration refinements are being developed as the investigation progresses on Mars. We also provide some examples of data sets and analyses that help to validate the accuracy and precision of the calibration.

  18. The European standard on planetary protection requirements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Debus, André

    2006-01-01

    Since the beginning of solar system exploration, numerous spacecrafts have been sent towards others worlds, and one of the main goals of such missions is the search for extraterrestrial forms of life. It is known that, under certain conditions, some terrestrial entities are able to survive during cruises in space and that they may contaminate other planets (forward contamination). At another level, possible extraterrestrial life forms are unknown and their ability to contaminate the Earth's biosphere (back contamination) in the frame of sample return missions cannot be excluded. Article IX of the Outer Space Treaty (London/Washington, January 27, 1967) requires the preservation of planets and the Earth from contamination. All nations taking part in this Treaty must prevent forward and back contamination during missions exploring our solar system. Consequently, the United Nations (UN-COPUOS) has delegated COSPAR (Committee of Space Research) to take charge of planetary protection and, at present, all space-faring nations must comply with COSPAR policy and consequently with COSPAR planetary protection recommendations. Starting from these recommendations and the "CNES Planetary Protection Standard" document, a working group has been set up in the framework of the "European Cooperation for Space Standardization" (ECSS) to establish the main specifications for preventing cross-contamination between target bodies within the solar system and the Earth-moon system.

  19. Robotic Planetary Drill Tests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glass, Brian J.; Thompson, S.; Paulsen, G.

    2010-01-01

    Several proposed or planned planetary science missions to Mars and other Solar System bodies over the next decade require subsurface access by drilling. This paper discusses the problems of remote robotic drilling, an automation and control architecture based loosely on observed human behaviors in drilling on Earth, and an overview of robotic drilling field test results using this architecture since 2005. Both rotary-drag and rotary-percussive drills are targeted. A hybrid diagnostic approach incorporates heuristics, model-based reasoning and vibration monitoring with neural nets. Ongoing work leads to flight-ready drilling software.

  20. Topics in planetary plasmaspheres

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen, C.K.

    1977-01-01

    Contributions to the understanding of two distinct kinds of planetary plasmaspheres: namely the earth-type characterized by an ionospheric source and a convection limited radial extent, and the Jupiter-type characterized by a satellite source and a radial extent determined by flux tube interchange motions. In both cases the central question is the geometry of the plasma distribution in the magnetosphere as it is determined by the appropriate production and loss mechanisms. The contributions contained herein concern the explication and clarification of these production and loss mechanisms

  1. Planetary submillimeter spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, M. J.

    1988-01-01

    The aim is to develop a comprehensive observational and analytical program to study solar system physics and meterology by measuring molecular lines in the millimeter and submillimeter spectra of planets and comets. A primary objective is to conduct observations with new JPL and Caltech submillimeter receivers at the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory (CSO) on Mauna Kea, Hawaii. A secondary objective is to continue to monitor the time variable planetary phenomena (e.g., Jupiter and Uranus) at centimeter wavelength using the NASA antennas of the Deep Space Network (DSN).

  2. The diversity of planetary system architectures: contrasting theory with observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miguel, Y.; Guilera, O. M.; Brunini, A.

    2011-10-01

    In order to explain the observed diversity of planetary system architectures and relate this primordial diversity to the initial properties of the discs where they were born, we develop a semi-analytical model for computing planetary system formation. The model is based on the core instability model for the gas accretion of the embryos and the oligarchic growth regime for the accretion of the solid cores. Two regimes of planetary migration are also included. With this model, we consider different initial conditions based on recent results of protoplanetary disc observations to generate a variety of planetary systems. These systems are analysed statistically, exploring the importance of several factors that define the planetary system birth environment. We explore the relevance of the mass and size of the disc, metallicity, mass of the central star and time-scale of gaseous disc dissipation in defining the architecture of the planetary system. We also test different values of some key parameters of our model to find out which factors best reproduce the diverse sample of observed planetary systems. We assume different migration rates and initial disc profiles, in the context of a surface density profile motivated by similarity solutions. According to this, and based on recent protoplanetary disc observational data, we predict which systems are the most common in the solar neighbourhood. We intend to unveil whether our Solar system is a rarity or whether more planetary systems like our own are expected to be found in the near future. We also analyse which is the more favourable environment for the formation of habitable planets. Our results show that planetary systems with only terrestrial planets are the most common, being the only planetary systems formed when considering low-metallicity discs, which also represent the best environment for the development of rocky, potentially habitable planets. We also found that planetary systems like our own are not rare in the

  3. Water Partitioning in Planetary Embryos and Protoplanets with Magma Oceans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ikoma, M.; Elkins-Tanton, L.; Hamano, K.; Suckale, J.

    2018-06-01

    The water content of magma oceans is widely accepted as a key factor that determines whether a terrestrial planet is habitable. Water ocean mass is determined as a result not only of water delivery and loss, but also of water partitioning among several reservoirs. Here we review our current understanding of water partitioning among the atmosphere, magma ocean, and solid mantle of accreting planetary embryos and protoplanets just after giant collisions. Magma oceans are readily formed in planetary embryos and protoplanets in their accretion phase. Significant amounts of water are partitioned into magma oceans, provided the planetary building blocks are water-rich enough. Particularly important but still quite uncertain issues are how much water the planetary building blocks contain initially and how water goes out of the solidifying mantle and is finally degassed to the atmosphere. Constraints from both solar-system explorations and exoplanet observations and also from laboratory experiments are needed to resolve these issues.

  4. Telecommunications for Mars Rovers and Robotic Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horne, W. D.; Hastrup, R.; Cesarone, R.

    1997-01-01

    The Mars exploration program of NASA and the international community will evolve from an early emphasis on orbital remote sensing toward in-situ science activity on, or just above, the Martian surface.

  5. Telecommunications for Mars Rovers and Robotic Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horne, W. D.; Hastrup, R.; Cesarone, R.

    1997-01-01

    The Mars exploration program of NASA and the international community will evolve from an early emphasis on orbital remote sensing toward in situ science activity on, or just above, the Martian surface.

  6. System concepts and design examples for optical communication with planetary spacecraft

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lesh, James R.

    Systems concepts for optical communication with future deep-space (planetary) spacecraft are described. These include not only the optical transceiver package aboard the distant spacecraft, but the earth-vicinity optical-communications receiving station as well. Both ground-based, and earth-orbiting receivers are considered. Design examples for a number of proposed or potential deep-space missions are then presented. These include an orbital mission to Saturn, a Lander and Rover mission to Mars, and an astronomical mission to a distance of 1000 astronomical units.

  7. Workshop on Advanced Technologies for Planetary Instruments, part 1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Appleby, J.F.

    1993-01-01

    This meeting was conceived in response to new challenges facing NASA's robotic solar system exploration program. This volume contains papers presented at the Workshop on Advanced Technologies for Planetary Instruments on 28-30 Apr. 1993. This meeting was conceived in response to new challenges facing NASA's robotic solar system exploration program. Over the past several years, SDIO has sponsored a significant technology development program aimed, in part, at the production of instruments with these characteristics. This workshop provided an opportunity for specialists from the planetary science and DOD communities to establish contacts, to explore common technical ground in an open forum, and more specifically, to discuss the applicability of SDIO's technology base to planetary science instruments

  8. Structure of planetary nebulae

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Goad, L.E.

    1975-01-01

    Image-tube photographs of planetary nebulae taken through narrow-band interference filters are used to map the surface brightness of these nebulae in their most prominent emission lines. These observations are best understood in terms of a two-component model consisting of a tenuous diffuse nebular medium and a network of dense knots and filaments with neutral cores. The observations of the diffuse component indicate that the inner regions of these nebulae are hollow shells. This suggests that steady stellar winds are the dominant factor in determining the structure of the central regions of planetary nebulae. The observations of the filamentary components of NGC 40 and NGC 6720 show that the observed nebular features can result from the illumination of the inner edges of dense fragmentary neutral filaments by the central stars of these nebulae. From the analysis of the observations of the low-excitation lines in NGC 2392, it is concluded that the rate constant for the N + --H charge transfer reaction is less than 10 -12 cm 3 sec -1

  9. Estimation and Control for Autonomous Coring from a Rover Manipulator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hudson, Nicolas; Backes, Paul; DiCicco, Matt; Bajracharya, Max

    2010-01-01

    A system consisting of a set of estimators and autonomous behaviors has been developed which allows robust coring from a low-mass rover platform, while accommodating for moderate rover slip. A redundant set of sensors, including a force-torque sensor, visual odometry, and accelerometers are used to monitor discrete critical and operational modes, as well as to estimate continuous drill parameters during the coring process. A set of critical failure modes pertinent to shallow coring from a mobile platform is defined, and autonomous behaviors associated with each critical mode are used to maintain nominal coring conditions. Autonomous shallow coring is demonstrated from a low-mass rover using a rotary-percussive coring tool mounted on a 5 degree-of-freedom (DOF) arm. A new architecture of using an arm-stabilized, rotary percussive tool with the robotic arm used to provide the drill z-axis linear feed is validated. Particular attention to hole start using this architecture is addressed. An end-to-end coring sequence is demonstrated, where the rover autonomously detects and then recovers from a series of slip events that exceeded 9 cm total displacement.

  10. 78 FR 19742 - Centennial Challenges: 2014 Night Rover Challenge

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-04-02

    ... NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION [Notice 13-032] Centennial Challenges: 2014 Night... Centennial Challenges 2014 Night Rover Challenge. SUMMARY: This notice is issued in accordance with 51 U.S.C.... Centennial Challenges is a program of prize competitions to stimulate innovation in technologies of interest...

  11. Pressure and Relative Humidity Measurement Devices for Mars 2020 Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hieta, M.; Genzer, M.; Nikkanen, T.; Haukka, H.; Harri, A.-M.; Polkko, J.; Rodriguez-Manfredi, J. A.

    2017-09-01

    One of the scientific payloads onboard the NASA Mars 2020 rover mission is Mars Environmental Dynamic Analyzer (MEDA): a set of environmental sensors for Mars surface weather measurements. Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) provides a pressure measurement device (MEDA PS) and a relative humidity measurement device (MEDA HS) for MEDA.

  12. 2D/3D Visual Tracker for Rover Mast

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bajracharya, Max; Madison, Richard W.; Nesnas, Issa A.; Bandari, Esfandiar; Kunz, Clayton; Deans, Matt; Bualat, Maria

    2006-01-01

    A visual-tracker computer program controls an articulated mast on a Mars rover to keep a designated feature (a target) in view while the rover drives toward the target, avoiding obstacles. Several prior visual-tracker programs have been tested on rover platforms; most require very small and well-estimated motion between consecutive image frames a requirement that is not realistic for a rover on rough terrain. The present visual-tracker program is designed to handle large image motions that lead to significant changes in feature geometry and photometry between frames. When a point is selected in one of the images acquired from stereoscopic cameras on the mast, a stereo triangulation algorithm computes a three-dimensional (3D) location for the target. As the rover moves, its body-mounted cameras feed images to a visual-odometry algorithm, which tracks two-dimensional (2D) corner features and computes their old and new 3D locations. The algorithm rejects points, the 3D motions of which are inconsistent with a rigid-world constraint, and then computes the apparent change in the rover pose (i.e., translation and rotation). The mast pan and tilt angles needed to keep the target centered in the field-of-view of the cameras (thereby minimizing the area over which the 2D-tracking algorithm must operate) are computed from the estimated change in the rover pose, the 3D position of the target feature, and a model of kinematics of the mast. If the motion between the consecutive frames is still large (i.e., 3D tracking was unsuccessful), an adaptive view-based matching technique is applied to the new image. This technique uses correlation-based template matching, in which a feature template is scaled by the ratio between the depth in the original template and the depth of pixels in the new image. This is repeated over the entire search window and the best correlation results indicate the appropriate match. The program could be a core for building application programs for systems

  13. Astrobiology and the Exploration of Gusev Crater by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit

    Science.gov (United States)

    DesMarais, I. David

    2005-01-01

    We assess the availability of nutrient elements, energy and liquid water on the plains surrounding Columbia Memorial Station by evaluating data from Spirit in the context of previous Mars missions, Earth-based studies of martian meteorites and studies of microbial communities on Earth that represent potential analogs of martian biota. The compositions of Gusev basalts resemble those of olivine basalts beneath the seabed on Earth that deep drilling has shown to support life. Of particular relevance to biology, phosphate abundances are much greater in Gusev basalts (0.84 +/- 0.07 wt. % P2O5) than in oceanic basalts (typically 0.06 wt. %).

  14. Measuring Soil Moisture in Skeletal Soils Using a COSMOS Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medina, C.; Neely, H.; Desilets, D.; Mohanty, B.; Moore, G. W.

    2017-12-01

    The presence of coarse fragments directly influences the volumetric water content of the soil. Current surface soil moisture sensors often do not account for the presence of coarse fragments, and little research has been done to calibrate these sensors under such conditions. The cosmic-ray soil moisture observation system (COSMOS) rover is a passive, non-invasive surface soil moisture sensor with a footprint greater than 100 m. Despite its potential, the COSMOS rover has yet to be validated in skeletal soils. The goal of this study was to validate measurements of surface soil moisture as taken by a COSMOS rover on a Texas skeletal soil. Data was collected for two soils, a Marfla clay loam and Chinati-Boracho-Berrend association, in West Texas. Three levels of data were collected: 1) COSMOS surveys at three different soil moistures, 2) electrical conductivity surveys within those COSMOS surveys, and 3) ground-truth measurements. Surveys with the COSMOS rover covered an 8000-h area and were taken both after large rain events (>2") and a long dry period. Within the COSMOS surveys, the EM38-MK2 was used to estimate the spatial distribution of coarse fragments in the soil around two COSMOS points. Ground truth measurements included coarse fragment mass and volume, bulk density, and water content at 3 locations within each EM38 survey. Ground-truth measurements were weighted using EM38 data, and COSMOS measurements were validated by their distance from the samples. There was a decrease in water content as the percent volume of coarse fragment increased. COSMOS estimations responded to both changes in coarse fragment percent volume and the ground-truth volumetric water content. Further research will focus on creating digital soil maps using landform data and water content estimations from the COSMOS rover.

  15. Data Processing and Primary results of Lunar Penetrating Radar on Board the Chinese Yutu Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Yan; Xing, Shuguo; Feng, Jianqing; Dai, Shun; Ding, Chunyu; Xiao, Yuan; Zhang, Hongbo; Zhao, Shu; Xue, Xiping; Zhang, Xiaoxia; Liu, Bin; Yao, Meijuan; Li, Chunlai

    2015-04-01

    Radar is an attractive and powerful technique to observe the Moon. Radar mapping of the Moon's topography was first done by the Arecibo telescope at a wave- length of 70 cm in 1964 (Thompson & Dyce 1966). Chang'e-3 (CE-3) was successfully launched on 2013 December 2, and the landing place is in Mare Imbrium, about 40km south of the 6km diameter Laplace F crater, at 44.1214ON, 19.5116OW. The Lunar ground-Penetrating Radar (LPR) is one of scientific payloads of the Yutu rover, aiming to achieve the first direct measurements and explore the lunar subsurface structure. Compared with ALSE and LRS, LPR works at higher frequencies of 60 MHz and 500 MHz. Thus it can probe regions with shallower depth including the regolith and lunar crust at higher range resolution. The LPR uses one transmitting and one receiving dipole antenna for 60 MHz which are installed at the back of the rover. For 500 MHz, one transmitting and two bow-tie receiving antennas are attached to the bottom of the rover. It transmits a pulsed signal and receives the radar echo signal along the path that the Yutu rover traverses. The free space range resolutions are ~ 50 cm and ~ 25 m for 60 MHz and 500 MHz respectively. The radar data stop being sampled and are sent back to Earth when Yutu is stationary. Observations are simultaneously carried out at frequencies of 60 MHz and 500 MHz. Since the Yutu rover had severe problems during its second lunar day, it is pity that the Yutu rover only transversed a limited distance of 114.8m. In total, 566 MB of data were obtained. The scientific data are archived and distributed by National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Data processing has been done in order to eliminate the effect of the instrument. To obtain clear radar images, more data processing need to be applied such as coordinate transformation, data editing, background removal, the operations of smoothing and gain resetting. The radar signal could detect hundreds of meters deep at

  16. Technology under Planetary Protection Research (PPR)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Planetary protection involves preventing biological contamination on both outbound and sample return missions to other planetary bodies. Numerous areas of research...

  17. Performance of the Mechanically Pumped Fluid Loop Rover Heat Rejection System Used for Thermal Control of the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover on the Surface of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhandari, Pradeep; Birur, Gajanana; Bame, David; Mastropietro, A. J.; Miller, Jennifer; Karlmann, Paul; Liu, Yuanming; Anderson, Kevin

    2013-01-01

    The challenging range of landing sites for which the Mars Science Laboratory Rover was designed, required a rover thermal management system that is capable of keeping temperatures controlled across a wide variety of environmental conditions. On the Martian surface where temperatures can be as cold as -123 C and as warm as 38 C, the Rover relies upon a Mechanically Pumped Fluid Loop (MPFL) Rover Heat Rejection System (RHRS) and external radiators to maintain the temperature of sensitive electronics and science instruments within a -40 C to +50 C range. The RHRS harnesses some of the waste heat generated from the Rover power source, known as the Multi Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG), for use as survival heat for the rover during cold conditions. The MMRTG produces 110 Watts of electrical power while generating waste heat equivalent to approximately 2000 Watts. Heat exchanger plates (hot plates) positioned close to the MMRTG pick up this survival heat from it by radiative heat transfer and supply it to the rover. This design is the first instance of use of a RHRS for thermal control of a rover or lander on the surface of a planet. After an extremely successful landing on Mars (August 5), the rover and the RHRS have performed flawlessly for close to an earth year (half the nominal mission life). This paper will share the performance of the RHRS on the Martian surface as well as compare it to its predictions.

  18. Rheology of planetary ices

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Durham, W.B. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab., CA (United States); Kirby, S.H.; Stern, L.A. [Geological Survey, Menlo Park, CA (United States)

    1996-04-24

    The brittle and ductile rheology of ices of water, ammonia, methane, and other volatiles, in combination with rock particles and each other, have a primary influence of the evolution and ongoing tectonics of icy moons of the outer solar system. Laboratory experiments help constrain the rheology of solar system ices. Standard experimental techniques can be used because the physical conditions under which most solar system ices exist are within reach of conventional rock mechanics testing machines, adapted to the low subsolidus temperatures of the materials in question. The purpose of this review is to summarize the results of a decade-long experimental deformation program and to provide some background in deformation physics in order to lend some appreciation to the application of these measurements to the planetary setting.

  19. Extrasolar Planetary Imaging Coronagraph

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clampin, M.

    2007-06-01

    The Extrasolar Planetary Imaging Coronagraph (EPIC) is a proposed NASA Discovery mission to image and characterize extrasolar giant planets in orbits with semi-major axes between 2 and 10 AU. EPIC will provide insights into the physical nature of a variety of planets in other solar systems complimenting radial velocity (RV) and astrometric planet searches. It will detect and characterize the atmospheres of planets identified by radial velocity surveys, determine orbital inclinations and masses, characterize the atmospheres around A and F type stars which cannot be found with RV techniques, and observe the inner spatial structure and colors of debris disks. The robust mission design is simple and flexible ensuring mission success while minimizing cost and risk. The science payload consists of a heritage optical telescope assembly (OTA), and visible nulling coronagraph (VNC) instrument.

  20. Novel Rock Detection Intelligence for Space Exploration Based on Non-Symbolic Algorithms and Concepts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yildirim, Sule; Beachell, Ronald L.; Veflingstad, Henning

    2007-01-01

    Future space exploration can utilize artificial intelligence as an integral part of next generation space rover technology to make the rovers more autonomous in performing mission objectives. The main advantage of the increased autonomy through a higher degree of intelligence is that it allows for greater utilization of rover resources by reducing the frequency of time consuming communications between rover and earth. In this paper, we propose a space exploration application of our research on a non-symbolic algorithm and concepts model. This model is based on one of the most recent approaches of cognitive science and artificial intelligence research, a parallel distributed processing approach. We use the Mars rovers. Sprit and Opportunity, as a starting point for proposing what rovers in the future could do if the presented model of non-symbolic algorithms and concepts is embedded in a future space rover. The chosen space exploration application for this paper, novel rock detection, is only one of many potential space exploration applications which can be optimized (through reduction of the frequency of rover-earth communications. collection and transmission of only data that is distinctive/novel) through the use of artificial intelligence technology compared to existing approaches.

  1. Photochemistry of Planetary Atmospheres

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yung, Y. L.

    2005-12-01

    The Space Age started half a century ago. Today, with the completion of a fairly detailed study of the planets of the Solar System, we have begun studying exoplanets (or extrasolar planets). The overriding question in is to ask whether an exoplanet is habitable and harbors life, and if so, what the biosignatures ought to be. This forces us to confront the fundamental question of what controls the composition of an atmosphere. The composition of a planetary atmosphere reflects a balance between thermodynamic equilibrium chemistry (as in the interior of giant planets) and photochemistry (as in the atmosphere of Mars). The terrestrial atmosphere has additional influence from life (biochemistry). The bulk of photochemistry in planetary atmospheres is driven by UV radiation. Photosynthesis may be considered an extension of photochemistry by inventing a molecule (chlorophyll) that can harvest visible light. Perhaps the most remarkable feature of photochemistry is catalytic chemistry, the ability of trace amounts of gases to profoundly affect the composition of the atmosphere. Notable examples include HOx (H, OH and HO2) chemistry on Mars and chlorine chemistry on Earth and Venus. Another remarkable feature of photochemistry is organic synthesis in the outer solar system. The best example is the atmosphere of Titan. Photolysis of methane results in the synthesis of more complex hydrocarbons. The hydrocarbon chemistry inevitably leads to the formation of high molecular weight products, giving rise to aerosols when the ambient atmosphere is cool enough for them to condense. These results are supported by the findings of the recent Cassini mission. Lastly, photochemistry leaves a distinctive isotopic signature that can be used to trace back the evolutionary history of the atmosphere. Examples include nitrogen isotopes on Mars and sulfur isotopes on Earth. Returning to the question of biosignatures on an exoplanet, our Solar System experience tells us to look for speciation

  2. Preface: The Chang'e-3 lander and rover mission to the Moon

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ip Wing-Huen; Yan Jun; Li Chun-Lai; Ouyang Zi-Yuan

    2014-01-01

    The Chang'e-3 (CE-3) lander and rover mission to the Moon was an intermediate step in China's lunar exploration program, which will be followed by a sample return mission. The lander was equipped with a number of remote-sensing instruments including a pair of cameras (Landing Camera and Terrain Camera) for recording the landing process and surveying terrain, an extreme ultraviolet camera for monitoring activities in the Earth's plasmasphere, and a first-ever Moon-based ultraviolet telescope for astronomical observations. The Yutu rover successfully carried out close-up observations with the Panoramic Camera, mineralogical investigations with the VIS-NIR Imaging Spectrometer, study of elemental abundances with the Active Particle-induced X-ray Spectrometer, and pioneering measurements of the lunar subsurface with Lunar Penetrating Radar. This special issue provides a collection of key information on the instrumental designs, calibration methods and data processing procedures used by these experiments with a perspective of facilitating further analyses of scientific data from CE-3 in preparation for future missions

  3. Preface: The Chang'e-3 lander and rover mission to the Moon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ip, Wing-Huen; Yan, Jun; Li, Chun-Lai; Ouyang, Zi-Yuan

    2014-12-01

    The Chang'e-3 (CE-3) lander and rover mission to the Moon was an intermediate step in China's lunar exploration program, which will be followed by a sample return mission. The lander was equipped with a number of remote-sensing instruments including a pair of cameras (Landing Camera and Terrain Camera) for recording the landing process and surveying terrain, an extreme ultraviolet camera for monitoring activities in the Earth's plasmasphere, and a first-ever Moon-based ultraviolet telescope for astronomical observations. The Yutu rover successfully carried out close-up observations with the Panoramic Camera, mineralogical investigations with the VIS-NIR Imaging Spectrometer, study of elemental abundances with the Active Particle-induced X-ray Spectrometer, and pioneering measurements of the lunar subsurface with Lunar Penetrating Radar. This special issue provides a collection of key information on the instrumental designs, calibration methods and data processing procedures used by these experiments with a perspective of facilitating further analyses of scientific data from CE-3 in preparation for future missions.

  4. Lunar ground penetrating radar: Minimizing potential data artifacts caused by signal interaction with a rover body

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angelopoulos, Michael; Redman, David; Pollard, Wayne H.; Haltigin, Timothy W.; Dietrich, Peter

    2014-11-01

    Ground-penetrating radar (GPR) is the leading geophysical candidate technology for future lunar missions aimed at mapping shallow stratigraphy (lunar materials, as well as its small size and lightweight components, make it a very attractive option from both a scientific and engineering perspective. However, the interaction between a GPR signal and the rover body is poorly understood and must be investigated prior to a space mission. In doing so, engineering and survey design strategies should be developed to enhance GPR performance in the context of the scientific question being asked. This paper explores the effects of a rover (simulated with a vertical metal plate) on GPR results for a range of heights above the surface and antenna configurations at two sites: (i) a standard GPR testing site with targets of known position, size, and material properties, and; (ii) a frozen lake for surface reflectivity experiments. Our results demonstrate that the GPR antenna configuration is a key variable dictating instrument design, with the XX polarization considered optimal for minimizing data artifact generation. These findings could thus be used to help guide design requirements for an eventual flight instrument.

  5. Solar planetary systems stardust to terrestrial and extraterrestrial planetary sciences

    CERN Document Server

    Bhattacharya, Asit B

    2017-01-01

    The authors have put forth great efforts in gathering present day knowledge about different objects within our solar system and universe. This book features the most current information on the subject with information acquired from noted scientists in this area. The main objective is to convey the importance of the subject and provide detailed information on the physical makeup of our planetary system and technologies used for research. Information on educational projects has also been included in the Radio Astronomy chapters.This information is a real plus for students and educators considering a career in Planetary Science or for increasing their knowledge about our planetary system

  6. Radiometric Measurements of the Thermal Conductivity of Complex Planetary-like Materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piqueux, S.; Christensen, P. R.

    2012-12-01

    reason, we have built a new type of apparatus to measure the thermal conductivity of sample significantly larger than previous apparatus under planetary conditions of atmosphere and gas composition. Samples' edges are cooled down from room to LN2 temperature and the surface material temperature is recorded by an infrared camera without inserting thermocouples or heat sources. Sample surface cooling trends are fit with finite element models of heat transfer to retrieve the material thermal conductivity. Preliminary results confirm independent numerical modeling results predicting the thermal conductivity of complex materials: the thermal inertia of particulate material under Mars conditions is temperature-dependent, small amounts of cements significantly increase the bulk conductivity and inertia of particulate material, and one-grain-thick armors similar to those observed by the Mars Exploration Rovers behave like a thin highly conductive layer that does not significantly influence apparent thermal inertias. These results are used to further our interpretation of Martian temperature observations. For example local amounts of subsurface water ice or the fraction of cementing phase in the global Martian duricrust can be constrained; the search for subtle changes in near-surface heat flow can be performed more accurately, and surface thermal inertias under various atmospheric conditions of pressure and gas composition can be predicted.

  7. The Solar Connections Observatory for Planetary Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliversen, Ronald J.; Harris, Walter M.; Oegerle, William R. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    The NASA Sun-Earth Connection theme roadmap calls for comparative study of how the planets, comets, and local interstellar medium (LISM) interact with the Sun and respond to solar variability. Through such a study we advance our understanding of basic physical plasma and gas dynamic processes, thus increasing our predictive capabilities for the terrestrial, planetary, and interplanetary environments where future remote and human exploration will occur. Because the other planets have lacked study initiatives comparable to the terrestrial ITM, LWS, and EOS programs, our understanding of the upper atmospheres and near space environments on these worlds is far less detailed than our knowledge of the Earth. To close this gap we propose a mission to study {\\it all) of the solar interacting bodies in our planetary system out to the heliopause with a single remote sensing space observatory, the Solar Connections Observatory for Planetary Environments (SCOPE). SCOPE consists of a binocular EUV/FUV telescope operating from a remote, driftaway orbit that provides sub-arcsecond imaging and broadband medium resolution spectro-imaging over the 55-290 nm bandpass, and high (R>10$^{5}$ resolution H Ly-$\\alpha$ emission line profile measurements of small scale planetary and wide field diffuse solar system structures. A key to the SCOPE approach is to include Earth as a primary science target. From its remote vantage point SCOPE will be able to observe auroral emission to and beyond the rotational pole. The other planets and comets will be monitored in long duration campaigns centered when possible on solar opposition when interleaved terrestrial-planet observations can be used to directly compare the response of both worlds to the same solar wind stream and UV radiation field. Using a combination of observations and MHD models, SCOPE will isolate the different controlling parameters in each planet system and gain insight into the underlying physical processes that define the

  8. Conceptual studies on the integration of a nuclear reactor system to a manned rover for Mars missions. Final Report, Feb. 1989 - Nov. 1990

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    El-genk, M.S.; Morley, N.J.

    1991-07-01

    Multiyear civilian manned missions to explore the surface of Mars are thought by NASA to be possible early in the next century. Expeditions to Mars, as well as permanent bases, are envisioned to require enhanced piloted vehicles to conduct science and exploration activities. Piloted rovers, with 30 kWe user net power (for drilling, sampling and sample analysis, onboard computer and computer instrumentation, vehicle thermal management, and astronaut life support systems) in addition to mobility are being considered. The rover design, for this study, included a four car train type vehicle complete with a hybrid solar photovoltaic/regenerative fuel cell auxiliary power system (APS). This system was designed to power the primary control vehicle. The APS supplies life support power for four astronauts and a limited degree of mobility allowing the primary control vehicle to limp back to either a permanent base or an accent vehicle. The results showed that the APS described above, with a mass of 667 kg, was sufficient to provide live support power and a top speed of five km/h for 6 hours per day. It was also seen that the factors that had the largest effect on the APS mass were the life support power, the number of astronauts, and the PV cell efficiency. The topics covered include: (1) power system options; (2) rover layout and design; (3) parametric analysis of total mass and power requirements for a manned Mars rover; (4) radiation shield design; and (5) energy conversion systems

  9. Agriculture production as a major driver of the earth system exceeding planetary boundaries

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Campbell, Bruce Morgan; Beare, Douglas J.; Bennett, Elena M.

    2017-01-01

    We explore the role of agriculture in destabilizing the Earth system at the planetary scale, through examining nine planetary boundaries, or “safe limits”: land-system change, freshwater use, biogeochemical flows, biosphere integrity, climate change, ocean acidification, stratospheric ozone...

  10. A bibliography of planetary geology principal investigators and their associates, 1982 - 1983

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plescia, J. B.

    1984-01-01

    This bibliography cites recent publications by principal investigators and their associates, supported through NASA's Office of Space Science and Applications, Earth and Planetary Exploration Division, Planetary Geology Program. It serves as a companion piece to NASA TM-85127, ""Reports of Planetary Programs, 1982". Entries are listed under the following subject areas: solar system, comets, asteroids, meteorites and small bodies; geologic mapping, geomorphology, and stratigraphy; structure, tectonics, and planetary and satellite evolutions; impact craters; volcanism; fluvial, mass wasting, glacial and preglacial studies; Eolian and Arid climate studies; regolith, volatiles, atmosphere, and climate, radar; remote sensing and photometric studies; and cartography, photogrammetry, geodesy, and altimetry. An author index is provided.

  11. A decision model for planetary missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hazelrigg, G. A., Jr.; Brigadier, W. L.

    1976-01-01

    Many techniques developed for the solution of problems in economics and operations research are directly applicable to problems involving engineering trade-offs. This paper investigates the use of utility theory for decision making in planetary exploration space missions. A decision model is derived that accounts for the objectives of the mission - science - the cost of flying the mission and the risk of mission failure. A simulation methodology for obtaining the probability distribution of science value and costs as a function spacecraft and mission design is presented and an example application of the decision methodology is given for various potential alternatives in a comet Encke mission.

  12. Enviromnental Control and Life Support Systems for Mars Missions - Issues and Concerns for Planetary Protection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barta, Daniel J.; Anderson, Molly S.; Lange, Kevin

    2015-01-01

    Planetary protection represents an additional set of requirements that generally have not been considered by developers of technologies for Environmental Control and Life Support Systems (ECLSS). Planetary protection guidelines will affect the kind of operations, processes, and functions that can take place during future human planetary exploration missions. Ultimately, there will be an effect on mission costs, including the mission trade space when planetary protection requirements begin to drive vehicle deisgn in a concrete way. Planetary protection requirements need to be considered early in technology development and mission programs in order to estimate these impacts and push back on requirements or find efficient ways to perform necessary functions. It is expected that planetary protection will be a significant factor during technology selection and system architecture design for future missions.

  13. Miniature robotic sample analysis lab for planetary in situ mineralogy and microbiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kruzelecky, Roman; Wong, Brian; Haddad, Emile; Jamroz, Wes; Cloutis, Edward; Strong, Kimberly; Ghafoor, Nadeem; Jessen, Sean

    The current Martian surface conditions are relatively inhospitable, with average diurnal temperature ranges from 170 K to 268 K, a low air pressure of about 7 to 10 mbar consisting mainly of CO2 and negligible ozone to moderate the UV portion of the incident solar radiation. The intense UV effectively sterilizes the surface, and in combination with the low air pressure, makes any unbound surface liquid water unstable. However, there is mounting evidence to support the notion that the near subsurface of Mars may differ dramatically from the uppermost surface. The Inukshuk landed Mars mission, as initially developed under a pre-Phase A study for the Canadian Space Agency, focuses on the search for hydrated mineralogy and subsurface water sites that can provide evidence of past or present life. The mission will be achieved using a miniature suite of complementary spectral instruments operating in collaboration with a robotic tethered mole drill system for the systematic in situ subsurface exploration of the planetary mineralogy, water content and microbiology. The Inukshuk mission will, for the first time, study variations in the Mars subsurface characteristics and composition in detail at different locations. These will be correlated with the current planetary boundary layer conditions using an elevating Skycam platform and surface stand-off measurement capabilities. The subsurface analysis will be provided using a miniature bore-hole probe integrated within the mole driller and interfaced to the rover-based instrument suite using an IR fiber-optic link. This will allow subsurface mapping of the stratigraphy and composition in steps of a few mm to depths beyond 1 m. During the drilling, the bore-hole probe will be shielded using a wiper/shutter system. The in situ bore-hole analysis has an advantage for detecting biomarkers for astrobiology on Mars in that the alteration of the sample by surface radiation can be minimized. The bore-hole sample analysis will employ

  14. Development of the science instrument CLUPI: the close-up imager on board the ExoMars rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Josset, J.-L.; Beauvivre, S.; Cessa, V.; Martin, P.

    2017-11-01

    First mission of the Aurora Exploration Programme of ESA, ExoMars will demonstrate key flight and in situ enabling technologies, and will pursue fundamental scientific investigations. Planned for launch in 2013, ExoMars will send a robotic rover to the surface of Mars. The Close-UP Imager (CLUPI) instrument is part of the Pasteur Payload of the rover fixed on the robotic arm. It is a robotic replacement of one of the most useful instruments of the field geologist: the hand lens. Imaging of surfaces of rocks, soils and wind drift deposits at high resolution is crucial for the understanding of the geological context of any site where the Pasteur rover may be active on Mars. At the resolution provided by CLUPI (approx. 15 micrometer/pixel), rocks show a plethora of surface and internal structures, to name just a few: crystals in igneous rocks, sedimentary structures such as bedding, fracture mineralization, secondary minerals, details of the surface morphology, sedimentary bedding, sediment components, surface marks in sediments, soil particles. It is conceivable that even textures resulting from ancient biological activity can be visualized, such as fine lamination due to microbial mats (stromatolites) and textures resulting from colonies of filamentous microbes, potentially present in sediments and in palaeocavitites in any rock type. CLUPI is a complete imaging system, consisting of an APS (Active Pixel Sensor) camera with 27° FOV optics. The sensor is sensitive to light between 400 and 900 nm with 12 bits digitization. The fixed focus optics provides well focused images of 4 cm x 2.4 cm rock area at a distance of about 10 cm. This challenging camera system, less than 200g, is an independent scientific instrument linked to the rover on board computer via a SpaceWire interface. After the science goals and specifications presentation, the development of this complex high performance miniaturized imaging system will be described.

  15. To See the Unseen: A History of Planetary Radar Astronomy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butrica, Andrew J.

    1996-01-01

    This book relates the history of planetary radar astronomy from its origins in radar to the present day and secondarily to bring to light that history as a case of 'Big Equipment but not Big Science'. Chapter One sketches the emergence of radar astronomy as an ongoing scientific activity at Jodrell Bank, where radar research revealed that meteors were part of the solar system. The chief Big Science driving early radar astronomy experiments was ionospheric research. Chapter Two links the Cold War and the Space Race to the first radar experiments attempted on planetary targets, while recounting the initial achievements of planetary radar, namely, the refinement of the astronomical unit and the rotational rate and direction of Venus. Chapter Three discusses early attempts to organize radar astronomy and the efforts at MIT's Lincoln Laboratory, in conjunction with Harvard radio astronomers, to acquire antenna time unfettered by military priorities. Here, the chief Big Science influencing the development of planetary radar astronomy was radio astronomy. Chapter Four spotlights the evolution of planetary radar astronomy at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a NASA facility, at Cornell University's Arecibo Observatory, and at Jodrell Bank. A congeries of funding from the military, the National Science Foundation, and finally NASA marked that evolution, which culminated in planetary radar astronomy finding a single Big Science patron, NASA. Chapter Five analyzes planetary radar astronomy as a science using the theoretical framework provided by philosopher of science Thomas Kuhn. Chapter Six explores the shift in planetary radar astronomy beginning in the 1970s that resulted from its financial and institutional relationship with NASA Big Science. Chapter Seven addresses the Magellan mission and its relation to the evolution of planetary radar astronomy from a ground-based to a space-based activity. Chapters Eight and Nine discuss the research carried out at ground

  16. NASA Curiosity rover hits organic pay dirt on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voosen, Paul

    2018-06-01

    Since NASA's Curiosity rover landed on Mars in 2012, it has sifted samples of soil and ground-up rock for signs of organic molecules—the complex carbon chains that on Earth form the building blocks of life. Past detections have been so faint that they could be just contamination. Now, samples taken from two different drill sites on an ancient lakebed have yielded complex organic macromolecules that look strikingly similar to kerogen, the goopy fossilized building blocks of oil and gas on Earth. At a few dozen parts per million, the detected levels are 100 times higher than previous finds, but scientists still cannot say whether they have origins in biology or geology. The discovery positions scientists to begin searching for direct evidence of past life on Mars and bolsters the case for returning rock samples from the planet, an effort that begins with the Mars 2020 rover.

  17. Quantitative analysis of digital outcrop data obtained from stereo-imagery using an emulator for the PanCam camera system for the ExoMars 2020 rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, Robert; Gupta, Sanjeev; Gunn, Matt; Paar, Gerhard; Balme, Matt; Huber, Ben; Bauer, Arnold; Furya, Komyo; Caballo-Perucha, Maria del Pilar; Traxler, Chris; Hesina, Gerd; Ortner, Thomas; Banham, Steven; Harris, Jennifer; Muller, Jan-Peter; Tao, Yu

    2017-04-01

    A key focus of planetary rover missions is to use panoramic camera systems to image outcrops along rover traverses, in order to characterise their geology in search of ancient life. This data can be processed to create 3D point clouds of rock outcrops to be quantitatively analysed. The Mars Utah Rover Field Investigation (MURFI 2016) is a Mars Rover field analogue mission run by the UK Space Agency (UKSA) in collaboration with the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). It took place between 22nd October and 13th November 2016 and consisted of a science team based in Harwell, UK, and a field team including an instrumented Rover platform at the field site near Hanksville (Utah, USA). The Aberystwyth University PanCam Emulator 3 (AUPE3) camera system was used to collect stereo panoramas of the terrain the rover encountered during the field trials. Stereo-imagery processed in PRoViP is rendered as Ordered Point Clouds (OPCs) in PRo3D, enabling the user to zoom, rotate and translate the 3D outcrop model. Interpretations can be digitised directly onto the 3D surface, and simple measurements can be taken of the dimensions of the outcrop and sedimentary features, including grain size. Dip and strike of bedding planes, stratigraphic and sedimentological boundaries and fractures is calculated within PRo3D from mapped bedding contacts and fracture traces. Merging of rover-derived imagery with UAV and orbital datasets, to build semi-regional multi-resolution 3D models of the area of operations for immersive analysis and contextual understanding. In-simulation, AUPE3 was mounted onto the rover mast, collecting 16 stereo panoramas over 9 'sols'. 5 out-of-simulation datasets were collected in the Hanksville-Burpee Quarry. Stereo panoramas were processed using an automated pipeline and data transfer through an ftp server. PRo3D has been used for visualisation and analysis of this stereo data. Features of interest in the area could be annotated, and their distances between to the rover

  18. Low computation vision-based navigation for a Martian rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gavin, Andrew S.; Brooks, Rodney A.

    1994-01-01

    Construction and design details of the Mobot Vision System, a small, self-contained, mobile vision system, are presented. This system uses the view from the top of a small, roving, robotic vehicle to supply data that is processed in real-time to safely navigate the surface of Mars. A simple, low-computation algorithm for constructing a 3-D navigational map of the Martian environment to be used by the rover is discussed.

  19. Visual Prediction of Rover Slip: Learning Algorithms and Field Experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    of the terrain slope [29]. The results are also specific to the vehicle. For example, a small design modification in the pattern of the wheels can...robot has two front differential drive wheels and two rear caster wheels . 2This difference is not directly relevant to the goals of this work. 22 Figure...rover pose and is a quantity which measures the lack of progress of a wheeled ground robot while traversing some terrain. A trivial example of large

  20. Kinematics of galactic planetary nebulae

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kiosa, M.I.; Khromov, G.S.

    1979-01-01

    The classical method of determining the components of the solar motion relative to the centroid of the system of planetary nebulae with known radial velocities is investigated. It is shown that this method is insensitive to random errors in the radial velocities and that low accuracy in determining the coordinates of the solar apex and motion results from the insufficient number of planetaries with measured radial velocities. The planetary nebulae are found not to satisfy well the law of differential galactic rotation with circular orbits. This is attributed to the elongation of their galactic orbits. A method for obtaining the statistical parallax of planetary nebulae is considered, and the parallax calculated from the tau components of their proper motion is shown to be the most reliable

  1. Calcium signals in planetary embryos

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morbidelli, Alessandro

    2018-03-01

    The calcium-isotope composition of planetary bodies in the inner Solar System correlates with the masses of such objects. This finding could have implications for our understanding of how the Solar System formed.

  2. Planetary Vital Signs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kennel, Charles; Briggs, Stephen; Victor, David

    2016-07-01

    The climate is beginning to behave in unusual ways. The global temperature reached unprecedented highs in 2015 and 2016, which led climatologists to predict an enormous El Nino that would cure California's record drought. It did not happen the way they expected. That tells us just how unreliable temperature has become as an indicator of important aspects of climate change. The world needs to go beyond global temperature to a set of planetary vital signs. Politicians should not over focus policy on one indicator. They need to look at the balance of evidence. A coalition of scientists and policy makers should start to develop vital signs at once, since they should be ready at the entry into force of the Paris Agreement in 2020. But vital signs are only the beginning. The world needs to learn how to use the vast knowledge we will be acquiring about climate change and its impacts. Is it not time to use all the tools at hand- observations from space and ground networks; demographic, economic and societal measures; big data statistical techniques; and numerical models-to inform politicians, managers, and the public of the evolving risks of climate change at global, regional, and local scales? Should we not think in advance of an always-on social and information network that provides decision-ready knowledge to those who hold the responsibility to act, wherever they are, at times of their choosing?

  3. Can planetary nebulae rotate

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Grinin, V.P.

    1982-01-01

    It is shown that the inclination of spectral lines observed in a number of planetary nebulae when the spectrograph slit is placed along the major axis, which is presently ascribed to nonuniform expansion of the shells, actually may be due to rotation of the nebulae about their minor axes, as Campbell and Moore have suggested in their reports. It is assumed that the rotation of the central star (or, if the core is a binary system, circular motions of gas along quasi-Keplerian orbits) serves as the source of the original rotation of a protoplanetary nebula. The mechanism providing for strengthening of the original rotation in the process of expansion of the shell is the tangential pressure of L/sub α/ radiation due to the anisotropic properties of the medium and radiation field. The dynamic effect produced by them is evidently greatest in the epoch when the optical depth of the nebula in the L/sub c/ continuum becomes on the order of unity in the course of its expansion

  4. Surface-based 3D measurements of small aeolian bedforms on Mars and implications for estimating ExoMars rover traversability hazards

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balme, Matt; Robson, Ellen; Barnes, Rob; Butcher, Frances; Fawdon, Peter; Huber, Ben; Ortner, Thomas; Paar, Gerhard; Traxler, Christoph; Bridges, John; Gupta, Sanjeev; Vago, Jorge L.

    2018-04-01

    Recent aeolian bedforms comprising loose sand are common on the martian surface and provide a mobility hazard to Mars rovers. The ExoMars rover will launch in 2020 to one of two candidate sites: Mawrth Vallis or Oxia Planum. Both sites contain numerous aeolian bedforms with simple ripple-like morphologies. The larger examples are 'Transverse Aeolian Ridges' (TARs), which stereo imaging analyses have shown to be a few metres high and up to a few tens of metres across. Where they occur, TARs therefore present a serious, but recognized and avoidable, rover mobility hazard. There also exists a population of smaller bedforms of similar morphology, but it is unknown whether these bedforms will be traversable by the ExoMars rover. We informally refer to these bedforms as "mini-TARs", as they are about an order of magnitude smaller than most TARs observed to date. They are more abundant than TARs in the Oxia Planum site, and can be pervasive in areas. The aim of this paper is to estimate the heights of these features, which are too small to measured using High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) Digital Elevation Models (DEMs), from orbital data alone. Thereby, we aim to increase our knowledge of the hazards in the proposed ExoMars landing sites. We propose a methodology to infer the height of these mini-TARs based on comparisons with similar features observed by previous Mars rovers. We use rover-based stereo imaging from the NASA Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Opportunity and PRo3D software, a 3D visualisation and analysis tool, to measure the size and height of mini-TARs in the Meridiani Planum region of Mars. These are good analogues for the smaller bedforms at the ExoMars rover candidate landing sites. We show that bedform height scales linearly with length (as measured across the bedform, perpendicular to the crest ridge) with a ratio of about 1:15. We also measured the lengths of many of the smaller aeolian bedforms in the ExoMars rover Oxia Planum

  5. Pristine Igneous Rocks and the Genesis of Early Planetary Crusts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warren, Paul H.; Lindstrom, David (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    Our studies are highly interdisciplinary, but are focused on the processes and products of early planetary and asteroidal differentiation, especially the genesis of the ancient lunar crust. The compositional diversity that we explore is the residue of process diversity, which has strong relevance for comparative planetology.

  6. Risk to civilization: A planetary science perspective

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chapman, C.R.; Morrison, D.

    1988-01-01

    One of the most profound changes in our perspective of the solar system resulting from the first quarter century of planetary exploration by spacecraft is the recognition that planets, including Earth, were bombarded by cosmic projectiles for 4.5 aeons and continue to be bombarded today. Although the planetary cratering rate is much lower now than it was during the first 0.5 aeons, sizeable Earth-approaching asteroids and comets continue to hit the Earth at a rate that poses a finite risk to civilization. The evolution of this planetary perspective on impact cratering is gradual over the last two decades. It took explorations of Mars and Mercury by early Mariner spacecraft and of the outer solar system by the Voyagers to reveal the significance of asteroidal and cometary impacts in shaping the morphologies and even chemical compositions of the planets. An unsettling implication of the new perspective is addressed: the risk to human civilization. Serious scientific attention was given to this issue in July 1981 at a NASA-sponsored Spacewatch Workshop in Snowmass, Colorado. The basic conclusion of the 1981 NASA sponsored workshop still stands: the risk that civilization might be destroyed by impact with an as-yet-undiscovered asteroid or comet exceeds risk levels that are sometimes deemed unacceptable by modern societies in other contexts. Yet these impact risks have gone almost undiscussed and undebated. The tentative quantitative assessment by some members of the 1981 workshop was that each year, civilization is threatened with destruction with a probability of about 1 in 100,000. The enormous spread in risk levels deemed by the public to be at the threshold of acceptability derives from a host of psychological factors that were widely discussed in the risk assessment literature

  7. Get Involved in Planetary Discoveries through New Worlds, New Discoveries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shupla, Christine; Shipp, S. S.; Halligan, E.; Dalton, H.; Boonstra, D.; Buxner, S.; SMD Planetary Forum, NASA

    2013-01-01

    "New Worlds, New Discoveries" is a synthesis of NASA’s 50-year exploration history which provides an integrated picture of our new understanding of our solar system. As NASA spacecraft head to and arrive at key locations in our solar system, "New Worlds, New Discoveries" provides an integrated picture of our new understanding of the solar system to educators and the general public! The site combines the amazing discoveries of past NASA planetary missions with the most recent findings of ongoing missions, and connects them to the related planetary science topics. "New Worlds, New Discoveries," which includes the "Year of the Solar System" and the ongoing celebration of the "50 Years of Exploration," includes 20 topics that share thematic solar system educational resources and activities, tied to the national science standards. This online site and ongoing event offers numerous opportunities for the science community - including researchers and education and public outreach professionals - to raise awareness, build excitement, and make connections with educators, students, and the public about planetary science. Visitors to the site will find valuable hands-on science activities, resources and educational materials, as well as the latest news, to engage audiences in planetary science topics and their related mission discoveries. The topics are tied to the big questions of planetary science: how did the Sun’s family of planets and bodies originate and how have they evolved? How did life begin and evolve on Earth, and has it evolved elsewhere in our solar system? Scientists and educators are encouraged to get involved either directly or by sharing "New Worlds, New Discoveries" and its resources with educators, by conducting presentations and events, sharing their resources and events to add to the site, and adding their own public events to the site’s event calendar! Visit to find quality resources and ideas. Connect with educators, students and the public to

  8. Planetary Transmission Diagnostics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewicki, David G. (Technical Monitor); Samuel, Paul D.; Conroy, Joseph K.; Pines, Darryll J.

    2004-01-01

    This report presents a methodology for detecting and diagnosing gear faults in the planetary stage of a helicopter transmission. This diagnostic technique is based on the constrained adaptive lifting algorithm. The lifting scheme, developed by Wim Sweldens of Bell Labs, is a time domain, prediction-error realization of the wavelet transform that allows for greater flexibility in the construction of wavelet bases. Classic lifting analyzes a given signal using wavelets derived from a single fundamental basis function. A number of researchers have proposed techniques for adding adaptivity to the lifting scheme, allowing the transform to choose from a set of fundamental bases the basis that best fits the signal. This characteristic is desirable for gear diagnostics as it allows the technique to tailor itself to a specific transmission by selecting a set of wavelets that best represent vibration signals obtained while the gearbox is operating under healthy-state conditions. However, constraints on certain basis characteristics are necessary to enhance the detection of local wave-form changes caused by certain types of gear damage. The proposed methodology analyzes individual tooth-mesh waveforms from a healthy-state gearbox vibration signal that was generated using the vibration separation (synchronous signal-averaging) algorithm. Each waveform is separated into analysis domains using zeros of its slope and curvature. The bases selected in each analysis domain are chosen to minimize the prediction error, and constrained to have the same-sign local slope and curvature as the original signal. The resulting set of bases is used to analyze future-state vibration signals and the lifting prediction error is inspected. The constraints allow the transform to effectively adapt to global amplitude changes, yielding small prediction errors. However, local wave-form changes associated with certain types of gear damage are poorly adapted, causing a significant change in the

  9. Planetary Missions of the 20th Century*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moroz, V. I.; Huntress, W. T.; Shevalev, I. L.

    2002-09-01

    Among of the highlights of the 20th century were flights of spacecraft to other bodies of the Solar System. This paper describes briefly the missions attempted, their goals, and fate. Information is presented in five tables on the missions launched, their goals, mission designations, dates, discoveries when successful, and what happened if they failed. More detailed explanations are given in the accompanying text. It is shown how this enterprise developed and evolved step by step from a politically driven competition to intense scientific investigations and international cooperation. Initially, only the USA and USSR sent missions to the Moon and planets. Europe and Japan joined later. The USSR carried out significant research in Solar System exploration until the end of the 1980s. The Russian Federation no longer supports robotic planetary exploration for economic reasons, and it remains to be seen whether the invaluable Russian experience in planetary space flight will be lost. Collaboration between Russian and other national space agencies may be a solution.

  10. Planetary protection policy overview and application to future missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rummel, John D.

    1989-01-01

    The current status of planetary protection (quarantine) policy within NASA is discussed, together with the issues of planetary protection and back-contamination as related to future missions. The policy adopted by COSPAR in 1984 (and recently reaffirmed by the NASA Administrator) for application to all unmanned missions to other solar system bodies and all manned and unmanned sample return missions is examined. Special attention is given to the implementation of the policy and to the specific quarantine-related constraints on spacecraft involved in solar system exploration that depend on the nature of the mission and the identity of the target body.

  11. Design and Simulation Tools for Planetary Atmospheric Entry Vehicles, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Atmospheric entry is one of the most critical phases of flight during planetary exploration missions. During the design of an entry vehicle, experimental and...

  12. Influence of Planetary Protection Guidelines on Waste Management Operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hogan, John A.; Fisher, John W.; Levri, Julie A.; Wignarajah, Kanapathipi; Race, Margaret S.; Stabekis, Perry D.; Rummel, John D.

    2005-01-01

    Newly outlined missions in the Space Exploration Initiative include extended human habitation on Mars. During these missions, large amounts of waste materials will be generated in solid, liquid and gaseous form. Returning these wastes to Earth will be extremely costly, and will therefore likely remain on Mars. Untreated, these wastes are a reservoir of live/dead organisms and molecules considered to be "biomarkers" i.e., indicators of life). If released to the planetary surface, these materials can potentially confound exobiology experiments and disrupt Martian ecology indefinitely (if existent). Waste management systems must therefore be specifically designed to control release of problematic materials both during the active phase of the mission, and for any specified post-mission duration. To effectively develop waste management requirements for Mars missions, planetary protection guidelines must first be established. While previous policies for Apollo lunar missions exist, it is anticipated that the increased probability of finding evidence of life on Mars, as well as the lengthy mission durations will initially lead to more conservative planetary protection measures. To facilitate the development of overall requirements for both waste management and planetary protection for future missions, a workshop was conducted to identify how these two areas interface, and to establish a preliminary set of planetary protection guidelines that address waste management operations. This paper provides background regarding past and current planetary protection and waste management issues, and their interactions. A summary of the recommended planetary protection guidelines, anticipated ramifications and research needs for waste management system design for both forward (Mars) and backward (Earth) contamination is also provided.

  13. Alien skies planetary atmospheres from earth to exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Pont, Frédéric J

    2014-01-01

    Planetary atmospheres are complex and evolving entities, as mankind is rapidly coming to realise whilst attempting to understand, forecast and mitigate human-induced climate change. In the Solar System, our neighbours Venus and Mars provide striking examples of two endpoints of planetary evolution, runaway greenhouse and loss of atmosphere to space. The variety of extra-solar planets brings a wider angle to the issue: from scorching "hot jupiters'' to ocean worlds, exo-atmospheres explore many configurations unknown in the Solar System, such as iron clouds, silicate rains, extreme plate tectonics, and steam volcanoes. Exoplanetary atmospheres have recently become accessible to observations. This book puts our own climate in the wider context of the trials and tribulations of planetary atmospheres. Based on cutting-edge research, it uses a grand tour of the atmospheres of other planets to shine a new light on our own atmosphere, and its relation with life.

  14. NASA Johnson Space Center's Planetary Sample Analysis and Mission Science (PSAMS) Laboratory: A National Facility for Planetary Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Draper, D. S.

    2016-01-01

    NASA Johnson Space Center's (JSC's) Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science (ARES) Division, part of the Exploration Integration and Science Directorate, houses a unique combination of laboratories and other assets for conducting cutting edge planetary research. These facilities have been accessed for decades by outside scientists, most at no cost and on an informal basis. ARES has thus provided substantial leverage to many past and ongoing science projects at the national and international level. Here we propose to formalize that support via an ARES/JSC Plane-tary Sample Analysis and Mission Science Laboratory (PSAMS Lab). We maintain three major research capa-bilities: astromaterial sample analysis, planetary process simulation, and robotic-mission analog research. ARES scientists also support planning for eventual human ex-ploration missions, including astronaut geological training. We outline our facility's capabilities and its potential service to the community at large which, taken together with longstanding ARES experience and expertise in curation and in applied mission science, enable multi-disciplinary planetary research possible at no other institution. Comprehensive campaigns incorporating sample data, experimental constraints, and mission science data can be conducted under one roof.

  15. An Ion-Propelled Cubesat for Planetary Defense and Planetary Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russell, Christopher T.; Wirz, Richard; Lai, Hairong; Li, Jian-Yang; Connors, Martin

    2017-04-01

    Small satellites can reduce the cost of launch by riding along with other payloads on a large rocket or being launched on a small rocket, but are perceived as having limited capabilities. This perception can be at least partially overcome by innovative design, including ample in-flight propulsion. This allows achieving multiple targets and adaptive exploration. Ion propulsion has been pioneered on Deep Space 1 and honed on the long-duration, multiple-planetary body mission Dawn. Most importantly, the operation of such a mission is now well- understood, including navigation, communication, and science operations for remote sensing. We examined different mission concepts that can be used for both planetary defense and planetary science near 1 AU. Such a spacecraft would travel in the region between Venus and Mars, allowing a complete inventory of material above, including objects down to about 10m diameter to be inventoried. The ion engines could be used to approach these bodies slowly and carefully and allow the spacecraft to map debris and follow its collisional evolution throughout its orbit around the Sun, if so desired. The heritage of Dawn operations experience enables the mission to be operated inexpensively, and the engineering heritage will allow it to be operated for many trips around the Sun.

  16. Development of a Linear Ion Trap Mass Spectrometer (LITMS) Investigation for Future Planetary Surface Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brinckerhoff, W.; Danell, R.; Van Ameron, F.; Pinnick, V.; Li, X.; Arevalo, R.; Glavin, D.; Getty, S.; Mahaffy, P.; Chu, P.; hide

    2014-01-01

    Future surface missions to Mars and other planetary bodies will benefit from continued advances in miniature sensor and sample handling technologies that enable high-performance chemical analyses of natural samples. Fine-scale (approx.1 mm and below) analyses of rock surfaces and interiors, such as exposed on a drill core, will permit (1) the detection of habitability markers including complex organics in association with their original depositional environment, and (2) the characterization of successive layers and gradients that can reveal the time-evolution of those environments. In particular, if broad-based and highly-sensitive mass spectrometry techniques could be brought to such scales, the resulting planetary science capability would be truly powerful. The Linear Ion Trap Mass Spectrometer (LITMS) investigation is designed to conduct fine-scale organic and inorganic analyses of short (approx.5-10 cm) rock cores such as could be acquired by a planetary lander or rover arm-based drill. LITMS combines both pyrolysis/gas chromatograph mass spectrometry (GCMS) of sub-sampled core fines, and laser desorption mass spectrometry (LDMS) of the intact core surface, using a common mass analyzer, enhanced from the design used in the Mars Organic Molecule Analyzer (MOMA) instrument on the 2018 ExoMars rover. LITMS additionally features developments based on the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) investigation on MSL and recent NASA-funded prototype efforts in laser mass spectrometry, pyrolysis, and precision subsampling. LITMS brings these combined capabilities to achieve its four measurement objectives: (1) Organics: Broad Survey Detect organic molecules over a wide range of molecular weight, volatility, electronegativity, concentration, and host mineralogy. (2) Organic: Molecular Structure Characterize internal molecular structure to identify individual compounds, and reveal functionalization and processing. (3) Inorganic Host Environment Assess the local chemical

  17. NASA Planetary Science Summer School: Preparing the Next Generation of Planetary Mission Leaders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lowes, L. L.; Budney, C. J.; Sohus, A.; Wheeler, T.; Urban, A.; NASA Planetary Science Summer School Team

    2011-12-01

    Sponsored by NASA's Planetary Science Division, and managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Planetary Science Summer School prepares the next generation of engineers and scientists to participate in future solar system exploration missions. Participants learn the mission life cycle, roles of scientists and engineers in a mission environment, mission design interconnectedness and trade-offs, and the importance of teamwork. For this professional development opportunity, applicants are sought who have a strong interest and experience in careers in planetary exploration, and who are science and engineering post-docs, recent PhDs, and doctoral students, and faculty teaching such students. Disciplines include planetary science, geoscience, geophysics, environmental science, aerospace engineering, mechanical engineering, and materials science. Participants are selected through a competitive review process, with selections based on the strength of the application and advisor's recommendation letter. Under the mentorship of a lead engineer (Dr. Charles Budney), students select, design, and develop a mission concept in response to the NASA New Frontiers Announcement of Opportunity. They develop their mission in the JPL Advanced Projects Design Team (Team X) environment, which is a cross-functional multidisciplinary team of professional engineers that utilizes concurrent engineering methodologies to complete rapid design, analysis and evaluation of mission concept designs. About 36 students participate each year, divided into two summer sessions. In advance of an intensive week-long session in the Project Design Center at JPL, students select the mission and science goals during a series of six weekly WebEx/telecons, and develop a preliminary suite of instrumentation and a science traceability matrix. Students assume both a science team and a mission development role with JPL Team X mentors. Once at JPL, students participate in a series of Team X project design sessions

  18. VARIATIONAL PRINCIPLE FOR PLANETARY INTERIORS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zeng, Li; Jacobsen, Stein B.

    2016-01-01

    In the past few years, the number of confirmed planets has grown above 2000. It is clear that they represent a diversity of structures not seen in our own solar system. In addition to very detailed interior modeling, it is valuable to have a simple analytical framework for describing planetary structures. The variational principle is a fundamental principle in physics, entailing that a physical system follows the trajectory, which minimizes its action. It is alternative to the differential equation formulation of a physical system. Applying the variational principle to the planetary interior can beautifully summarize the set of differential equations into one, which provides us some insight into the problem. From this principle, a universal mass–radius relation, an estimate of the error propagation from the equation of state to the mass–radius relation, and a form of the virial theorem applicable to planetary interiors are derived.

  19. From Planetary Mapping to Map Production: Planetary Cartography as integral discipline in Planetary Sciences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nass, Andrea; van Gasselt, Stephan; Hargitai, Hendrik; Hare, Trent; Manaud, Nicolas; Karachevtseva, Irina; Kersten, Elke; Roatsch, Thomas; Wählisch, Marita; Kereszturi, Akos

    2016-04-01

    Cartography is one of the most important communication channels between users of spatial information and laymen as well as the open public alike. This applies to all known real-world objects located either here on Earth or on any other object in our Solar System. In planetary sciences, however, the main use of cartography resides in a concept called planetary mapping with all its various attached meanings: it can be (1) systematic spacecraft observation from orbit, i.e. the retrieval of physical information, (2) the interpretation of discrete planetary surface units and their abstraction, or it can be (3) planetary cartography sensu strictu, i.e., the technical and artistic creation of map products. As the concept of planetary mapping covers a wide range of different information and knowledge levels, aims associated with the concept of mapping consequently range from a technical and engineering focus to a scientific distillation process. Among others, scientific centers focusing on planetary cartography are the United State Geological Survey (USGS, Flagstaff), the Moscow State University of Geodesy and Cartography (MIIGAiK, Moscow), Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE, Hungary), and the German Aerospace Center (DLR, Berlin). The International Astronomical Union (IAU), the Commission Planetary Cartography within International Cartographic Association (ICA), the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), the WG IV/8 Planetary Mapping and Spatial Databases within International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS) and a range of other institutions contribute on definition frameworks in planetary cartography. Classical cartography is nowadays often (mis-)understood as a tool mainly rather than a scientific discipline and an art of communication. Consequently, concepts of information systems, mapping tools and cartographic frameworks are used interchangeably, and cartographic workflows and visualization of spatial information in thematic maps have often been

  20. Panoramic 3d Vision on the ExoMars Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paar, G.; Griffiths, A. D.; Barnes, D. P.; Coates, A. J.; Jaumann, R.; Oberst, J.; Gao, Y.; Ellery, A.; Li, R.

    The Pasteur payload on the ESA ExoMars Rover 2011/2013 is designed to search for evidence of extant or extinct life either on or up to ˜2 m below the surface of Mars. The rover will be equipped by a panoramic imaging system to be developed by a UK, German, Austrian, Swiss, Italian and French team for visual characterization of the rover's surroundings and (in conjunction with an infrared imaging spectrometer) remote detection of potential sample sites. The Panoramic Camera system consists of a wide angle multispectral stereo pair with 65° field-of-view (WAC; 1.1 mrad/pixel) and a high resolution monoscopic camera (HRC; current design having 59.7 µrad/pixel with 3.5° field-of-view) . Its scientific goals and operational requirements can be summarized as follows: • Determination of objects to be investigated in situ by other instruments for operations planning • Backup and Support for the rover visual navigation system (path planning, determination of subsequent rover positions and orientation/tilt within the 3d environment), and localization of the landing site (by stellar navigation or by combination of orbiter and ground panoramic images) • Geological characterization (using narrow band geology filters) and cartography of the local environments (local Digital Terrain Model or DTM). • Study of atmospheric properties and variable phenomena near the Martian surface (e.g. aerosol opacity, water vapour column density, clouds, dust devils, meteors, surface frosts,) 1 • Geodetic studies (observations of Sun, bright stars, Phobos/Deimos). The performance of 3d data processing is a key element of mission planning and scientific data analysis. The 3d Vision Team within the Panoramic Camera development Consortium reports on the current status of development, consisting of the following items: • Hardware Layout & Engineering: The geometric setup of the system (location on the mast & viewing angles, mutual mounting between WAC and HRC) needs to be optimized w