WorldWideScience

Sample records for planetary surface exploration

  1. Lessons Learned in Science Operations for Planetary Surface Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, K. E.; Graff, T. G.; Reagan, M.; Coan, D.; Evans, C. A.; Bleacher, J. E.; Glotch, T. D.

    2017-01-01

    The six Apollo lunar surface missions represent the only occasions where we have conducted scientific operations on another planetary surface. While these six missions were successful in bringing back valuable geologic samples, technology advances in the subsequent forty years have enabled much higher resolution scientific activity in situ. Regardless of where astronauts next visit (whether it be back to the Moon or to Mars or a Near Earth Object), the science operations procedures completed during this mission will need to be refined and updated to reflect these advances. We have undertaken a series of operational tests in relevant field environments to understand how best to develop the new generation of science operations procedures for planetary surface exploration.

  2. Rovers as Geological Helpers for Planetary Surface Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoker, Carol; DeVincenzi, Donald (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    Rovers can be used to perform field science on other planetary surfaces and in hostile and dangerous environments on Earth. Rovers are mobility systems for carrying instrumentation to investigate targets of interest and can perform geologic exploration on a distant planet (e.g. Mars) autonomously with periodic command from Earth. For nearby sites (such as the Moon or sites on Earth) rovers can be teleoperated with excellent capabilities. In future human exploration, robotic rovers will assist human explorers as scouts, tool and instrument carriers, and a traverse "buddy". Rovers can be wheeled vehicles, like the Mars Pathfinder Sojourner, or can walk on legs, like the Dante vehicle that was deployed into a volcanic caldera on Mt. Spurr, Alaska. Wheeled rovers can generally traverse slopes as high as 35 degrees, can avoid hazards too big to roll over, and can carry a wide range of instrumentation. More challenging terrain and steeper slopes can be negotiated by walkers. Limitations on rover performance result primarily from the bandwidth and frequency with which data are transmitted, and the accuracy with which the rover can navigate to a new position. Based on communication strategies, power availability, and navigation approach planned or demonstrated for Mars missions to date, rovers on Mars will probably traverse only a few meters per day. Collecting samples, especially if it involves accurate instrument placement, will be a slow process. Using live teleoperation (such as operating a rover on the Moon from Earth) rovers have traversed more than 1 km in an 8 hour period while also performing science operations, and can be moved much faster when the goal is simply to make the distance. I will review the results of field experiments with planetary surface rovers, concentrating on their successful and problematic performance aspects. This paper will be accompanied by a working demonstration of a prototype planetary surface rover.

  3. Autonomous Surface Sample Acquisition for Planetary and Lunar Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, D. P.

    2007-08-01

    Surface science sample acquisition is a critical activity within any planetary and lunar exploration mission, and our research is focused upon the design, implementation, experimentation and demonstration of an onboard autonomous surface sample acquisition capability for a rover equipped with a robotic arm upon which are mounted appropriate science instruments. Images captured by a rover stereo camera system can be processed using shape from stereo methods and a digital elevation model (DEM) generated. We have developed a terrain feature identification algorithm that can determine autonomously from DEM data suitable regions for instrument placement and/or surface sample acquisition. Once identified, surface normal data can be generated autonomously which are then used to calculate an arm trajectory for instrument placement and sample acquisition. Once an instrument placement and sample acquisition trajectory has been calculated, a collision detection algorithm is required to ensure the safe operation of the arm during sample acquisition.We have developed a novel adaptive 'bounding spheres' approach to this problem. Once potential science targets have been identified, and these are within the reach of the arm and will not cause any undesired collision, then the 'cost' of executing the sample acquisition activity is required. Such information which includes power expenditure and duration can be used to select the 'best' target from a set of potential targets. We have developed a science sample acquisition resource requirements calculation that utilises differential inverse kinematics methods to yield a high fidelity result, thus improving upon simple 1st order approximations. To test our algorithms a new Planetary Analogue Terrain (PAT) Laboratory has been created that has a terrain region composed of Mars Soil Simulant-D from DLR Germany, and rocks that have been fully characterised in the laboratory. These have been donated by the UK Planetary Analogue Field Study

  4. Robotic automation for space: planetary surface exploration, terrain-adaptive mobility, and multirobot cooperative tasks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schenker, Paul S.; Huntsberger, Terrance L.; Pirjanian, Paolo; Baumgartner, Eric T.; Aghazarian, Hrand; Trebi-Ollennu, Ashitey; Leger, Patrick C.; Cheng, Yang; Backes, Paul G.; Tunstel, Edward; Dubowsky, Steven; Iagnemma, Karl D.; McKee, Gerard T.

    2001-10-01

    During the last decade, there has been significant progress toward a supervised autonomous robotic capability for remotely controlled scientific exploration of planetary surfaces. While planetary exploration potentially encompasses many elements ranging from orbital remote sensing to subsurface drilling, the surface robotics element is particularly important to advancing in situ science objectives. Surface activities include a direct characterization of geology, mineralogy, atmosphere and other descriptors of current and historical planetary processes-and ultimately-the return of pristine samples to Earth for detailed analysis. Toward these ends, we have conducted a broad program of research on robotic systems for scientific exploration of the Mars surface, with minimal remote intervention. The goal is to enable high productivity semi-autonomous science operations where available mission time is concentrated on robotic operations, rather than up-and-down-link delays. Results of our work include prototypes for landed manipulators, long-ranging science rovers, sampling/sample return mobility systems, and more recently, terrain-adaptive reconfigurable/modular robots and closely cooperating multiple rover systems. The last of these are intended to facilitate deployment of planetary robotic outposts for an eventual human-robot sustained scientific presence. We overview our progress in these related areas of planetary robotics R&D, spanning 1995-to-present.

  5. Airships for Planetary Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colozza, Anthony

    2004-01-01

    The feasibility of utilizing an airship for planetary atmospheric exploration was assessed. The environmental conditions of the planets and moons within our solar system were evaluated to determine their applicability for airship flight. A station-keeping mission of 50 days in length was used as the baseline mission. Airship sizing was performed utilizing both solar power and isotope power to meet the baseline mission goal at the selected planetary location. The results show that an isotope-powered airship is feasible within the lower atmosphere of Venus and Saturn s moon Titan.

  6. Evaluation of dual multi-mission space exploration vehicle operations during simulated planetary surface exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abercromby, Andrew F. J.; Gernhardt, Michael L.; Jadwick, Jennifer

    2013-10-01

    IntroductionA pair of small pressurized rovers (multi-mission space exploration vehicles, or MMSEVs) is at the center of the Global Point-of-Departure architecture for future human lunar exploration. Simultaneous operation of multiple crewed surface assets should maximize productive crew time, minimize overhead, and preserve contingency return paths. MethodsA 14-day mission simulation was conducted in the Arizona desert as part of NASA's 2010 Desert Research and Technology Studies (DRATS) field test. The simulation involved two MMSEV earth-gravity prototypes performing geological exploration under varied operational modes affecting both the extent to which the MMSEVs must maintain real-time communications with the mission control center (Continuous [CC] versus Twice-a-Day [2/D]) and their proximity to each other (Lead-and-Follow [L&F] versus Divide-and-Conquer [D&C]). As part of a minimalist lunar architecture, no communication relay satellites were assumed. Two-person crews (an astronaut and a field geologist) operated each MMSEV, day and night, throughout the entire 14-day mission, only leaving via the suit ports to perform simulated extravehicular activities. Metrics and qualitative observations enabled evaluation of the extent to which the operating modes affected productivity and scientific data quality (SDQ). Results and discussionSDQ was greater during CC mode than during 2/D mode; metrics showed a marginal increase while qualitative assessments suggested a practically significant difference. For the communications architecture evaluated, significantly more crew time (14% per day) was required to maintain communications during D&C than during L&F (5%) or 2/D (2%), increasing the time required to complete all traverse objectives. Situational awareness of the other vehicle's location, activities, and contingency return constraints were qualitatively enhanced during L&F and 2/D modes due to line-of-sight and direct MMSEV-to-MMSEV communication. Future testing

  7. 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.

  8. 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.; Coan, D.; Reagan, M.; Glotch, T.; Lewis, R.

    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.

  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. 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.

  11. Extensions to the Visual Odometry Pipeline for the Exploration of Planetary Surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Furgale, Paul Timothy

    Mars represents one of the most important targets for space exploration in the next 10 to 30 years, particularly because of evidence of liquid water in the planet's past. Current environmental conditions dictate that any existing water reserves will be in the form of ice; finding and sampling these ice deposits would further the study of the planet's climate history, further the search for evidence of life, and facilitate in-situ resource utilization during future manned exploration missions. This thesis presents a suite of algorithms to help enable a robotic ice-prospecting mission to Mars. Starting from visual odometry---the estimation of a rover's motion using a stereo camera as the primary sensor---we develop the following extensions: (i) a coupled surface/subsurface modelling system that provides novel data products to scientists working remotely, (ii) an autonomous retrotraverse system that allows a rover to return to previously visited places along a route for sampling, or to return a sample to an ascent vehicle, and (iii) the extension of the appearance-based visual odometry pipeline to an actively illuminated light detection and ranging sensor that provides data similar to a stereo camera but is not reliant on consistent ambient lighting, thereby enabling appearance-based vision techniques to be used in environments that are not conducive to passive cameras, such as underground mines or permanently shadowed craters on the moon. All algorithms are evaluated on real data collected using our field robot at the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies, or at a planetary analogue site on Devon Island, in the Canadian High Arctic.

  12. 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

  13. Planetary Exploration in the Classroom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slivan, S. M.; Binzel, R. P.

    1997-07-01

    We have developed educational materials to seed a series of undergraduate level exercises on "Planetary Exploration in the Classroom." The goals of the series are to teach modern methods of planetary exploration and discovery to students having both science and non-science backgrounds. Using personal computers in a "hands-on" approach with images recorded by planetary spacecraft, students working through the exercises learn that modern scientific images are digital objects that can be examined and manipulated in quantitative detail. The initial exercises we've developed utilize NIH Image in conjunction with images from the Voyager spacecraft CDs. Current exercises are titled "Using 'NIH IMAGE' to View Voyager Images", "Resolving Surface Features on Io", "Discovery of Volcanoes on Io", and "Topography of Canyons on Ariel." We expect these exercises will be released during Fall 1997 and will be available via 'anonymous ftp'; detailed information about obtaining the exercises will be on the Web at "http://web.mit.edu/12s23/www/pec.html." This curriculum development was sponsored by NSF Grant DUE-9455329.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Teaching, Learning, and Planetary Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Robert A.

    2002-01-01

    This is the final report of a program that examined the fundamentals of education associated with space activities, promoted educational policy development in appropriate forums, and developed pathfinder products and services to demonstrate the utility of advanced communication technologies for space-based education. Our focus was on space astrophysics and planetary exploration, with a special emphasis on the themes of the Origins Program, with which the Principal Investigator (PI) had been involved from the outset. Teaching, Learning, and Planetary Exploration was also the core funding of the Space Telescope Science Institute's (ST ScI) Special Studies Office (SSO), and as such had provided basic support for such important NASA studies as the fix for Hubble Space Telescope (HST) spherical aberration, scientific conception of the HST Advanced Camera, specification of the Next-Generation Space Telescope (NGST), and the strategic plan for the second decade of the HST science program.

  17. 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

  18. Science Operations During Planetary Surface Exploration: Desert-RATS Tests 2009-2011

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Barbara

    2012-01-01

    NASA s Research and Technology Studies (RATS) team evaluates technology, human-robotic systems and extravehicular equipment for use in future human space exploration missions. Tests are conducted in simulated space environments, or analog tests, using prototype instruments, vehicles, and systems. NASA engineers, scientists and technicians from across the country gather annually with representatives from industry and academia to perform the tests. Test scenarios include future missions to near-Earth asteroids (NEA), the moon and Mars.. Mission simulations help determine system requirements for exploring distant locations while developing the technical skills required of the next generation of explorers.

  19. Robotic Tool Changer for Planetary Exploration Project

    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...

  20. Adaptive bio-inspired navigation for planetary exploration Project

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  1. Field geologic observation and sample collection strategies for planetary surface exploration: Insights from the 2010 Desert RATS geologist crewmembers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hurtado, José M.; Young, Kelsey; Bleacher, Jacob E.; Garry, W. Brent; Rice, James W.

    2013-10-01

    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. Intelligent robots for planetary exploration and construction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albus, James S.

    1992-01-01

    Robots capable of practical applications in planetary exploration and construction will require realtime sensory-interactive goal-directed control systems. A reference model architecture based on the NIST Real-time Control System (RCS) for real-time intelligent control systems is suggested. RCS partitions the control problem into four basic elements: behavior generation (or task decomposition), world modeling, sensory processing, and value judgment. It clusters these elements into computational nodes that have responsibility for specific subsystems, and arranges these nodes in hierarchical layers such that each layer has characteristic functionality and timing. Planetary exploration robots should have mobility systems that can safely maneuver over rough surfaces at high speeds. Walking machines and wheeled vehicles with dynamic suspensions are candidates. The technology of sensing and sensory processing has progressed to the point where real-time autonomous path planning and obstacle avoidance behavior is feasible. Map-based navigation systems will support long-range mobility goals and plans. Planetary construction robots must have high strength-to-weight ratios for lifting and positioning tools and materials in six degrees-of-freedom over large working volumes. A new generation of cable-suspended Stewart platform devices and inflatable structures are suggested for lifting and positioning materials and structures, as well as for excavation, grading, and manipulating a variety of tools and construction machinery.

  3. 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 d

  4. 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 d

  5. 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 ...

  6. Sensor Array Analyzer for Planetary Exploration Project

    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...

  7. Robots and Humans: Synergy in Planetary Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.

    2003-01-01

    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.

  8. 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

  9. Magnetotelluric Sensor Development for Planetary Subsurface Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuqua, H.; Delory, G. T.; De Pater, I.; Grimm, R. E.

    2012-12-01

    Electromagnetic (EM) Sounding is a powerful geophysical investigation technique capable of constraining planetary subsurface structure, including core size, mantle and crustal temperature profiles, and the distribution of electrical conductivity at depth. Natural sources of EM activity, including solar wind turbulence and plasma waves, can induce electric and magnetic fields in the Moon and other small bodies. These induced fields respond according to the electrical conductivity as a function of skin depth of the body in question. In a branch of EM Sounding known as Magnetotellurics (MT), measurements of the horizontal electric and magnetic fields at the planetary surface are inverted to produce constraints on the interior. MT is particularly worthwhile in that geophysically meaningful results can be obtained from a single station, thus avoiding network mission architectures. While surface magnetic field measurements were taken on the Moon during the Apollo era, to date no measurements of the surface horizontal electric field have been attempted. However electric field measurements on the lunar surface should be feasible given their long successful history on spacecraft missions in similar environments. Building upon the heritage of electric field sensor technology at the UC Berkeley Space Sciences Laboratory, we describe a development plan for this instrument from component level to a fully functional instrument assembly for use in EM sounding, highlighting operational requirements, science capabilities, required testing, anticipated results and challenges to overcome. Upon development, this lander electric field sensor will enable future MT surveys on the Moon, and will provide a new exploration method for other small airless bodies from a single station.

  10. Long-Life, Oil-Free, Light-Weight, Multi-Roller Traction Drives for Planetary Vehicle Surface Exploration Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — A multi-roller "oil free" traction drive is under development for use on vehicles used in hostile environments like those that will be encountered on planetary...

  11. 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

  12. Sonar equations for planetary exploration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ainslie, Michael A; Leighton, Timothy G

    2016-08-01

    The set of formulations commonly known as "the sonar equations" have for many decades been used to quantify the performance of sonar systems in terms of their ability to detect and localize objects submerged in seawater. The efficacy of the sonar equations, with individual terms evaluated in decibels, is well established in Earth's oceans. The sonar equations have been used in the past for missions to other planets and moons in the solar system, for which they are shown to be less suitable. While it would be preferable to undertake high-fidelity acoustical calculations to support planning, execution, and interpretation of acoustic data from planetary probes, to avoid possible errors for planned missions to such extraterrestrial bodies in future, doing so requires awareness of the pitfalls pointed out in this paper. There is a need to reexamine the assumptions, practices, and calibrations that work well for Earth to ensure that the sonar equations can be accurately applied in combination with the decibel to extraterrestrial scenarios. Examples are given for icy oceans such as exist on Europa and Ganymede, Titan's hydrocarbon lakes, and for the gaseous atmospheres of (for example) Jupiter and Venus.

  13. Three eras of planetary exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ingersoll, Andrew P.

    2017-01-01

    The number of known exoplanets rose from zero to one in the mid-1990s, and has been doubling approximately every two years ever since. Although this can justifiably be called the beginning of an era, an earlier era began in the 1960s when humankind began exploring the Solar System with spacecraft. Even earlier than that, the era of modern scientific study of the Solar System began with Copernicus, Galileo, Brahe, Kepler and Newton. These eras overlap in time, and many individuals have worked across all three. This Review explores what the past can tell us about the future and what the exploration of the Solar System can teach us about exoplanets, and vice versa. We consider two primary examples: the history of water on Venus and Mars; and the study of Jupiter, including its water, with the Juno spacecraft.

  14. Dynamic Reconfiguration in Planetary Exploration

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cohn, Marisa

    2014-01-01

    the venue of space exploration, we present three empirical examples from an ethnographic engagement with a NASA mission orbiting an outer planet in the solar system to examine various configurations and sociomaterial relations. In this endeavor, we suggest that theoretical and empirical traction can...

  15. 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.

  16. Transforming Roving-Rolling Explorer (TRREx) for Planetary Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwin, Lionel Ernest

    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 many scientifically interesting missions require exploration platforms with capabilities for navigating such types of chaotic 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 dissertation proposes and analyses 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 novel 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 work presents the proposed design architecture and capabilities followed by the development of mathematical models and experiments that facilitate the mobility analysis of the TRREx in the rolling mode. The ability of the rover to self-propel in the rolling mode in the absence of a negative gradient increases its versatility and concept value. Therefore, a dynamic model of a planar version of the problem is first used to investigate the feasibility and value of such self-propelled locomotion - 'actuated rolling'. Construction and testing of a prototype Planar/Cylindrical TRREx that is capable of demonstrating actuated rolling is presented, and the results from the planar dynamic model are experimentally validated. This planar model is then built upon to develop a mathematical model of the spherical TRREx in the

  17. Surface and Downhole Prospecting Tools for Planetary Exploration: Tests of Neutron and Gamma Ray Probes - Research Paper

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    R. C. Elphic; P. Chu; S. Hahn; M. R. James; D. J. Lawrence; T. H. Prettyman; J. B. Johnson; R. K. Podgorney

    2008-06-01

    The ability to locate and characterize icy deposits and other hydrogenous materials on the Moon and Mars will help us understand the distribution of water and, therefore, possible habitats at Mars, and may help us locate primitive prebiotic compounds at the Moon’s poles. We have developed a rover-borne neutron probe that localizes a near-surface icy deposit and provides information about its burial depth and abundance. We have also developed a borehole neutron probe to determine the stratigraphy of hydrogenous subsurface layers while operating within a drill string segment. In our field tests, we have used a neutron source to “illuminate” surrounding materials and gauge the instruments’ efficacy, and we can simulate accurately the observed instrument responses using a Monte Carlo nuclear transport code (MCNPX). An active neutron source would not be needed for lunar or martian near-surface exploration: cosmic-ray interactions provide sufficient neutron flux to depths of several meters and yield better depth and abundance sensitivity than an active source. However, for deep drilling (>10 m depth), a source is required. We also present initial tests of a borehole gamma ray lithodensity tool and demonstrate its utility in determining soil or rock densities and composition.

  18. Submillimeter Planetary Atmospheric Chemistry Exploration Sounder

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlecht, Erich T.; Allen, Mark A.; Gill, John J.; Choonsup, Lee; Lin, Robert H.; Sin, Seth; Mehdi, Imran; Siegel, Peter H.; Maestrini, Alain

    2013-01-01

    Planetary Atmospheric Chemistry Exploration Sounder (SPACES), a high-sensitivity laboratory breadboard for a spectrometer targeted at orbital planetary atmospheric analysis. The frequency range is 520 to 590 GHz, with a target noise temperature sensitivity of 2,500 K for detecting water, sulfur compounds, carbon compounds, and other atmospheric constituents. SPACES is a prototype for a powerful tool for the exploration of the chemistry and dynamics of any planetary atmosphere. It is fundamentally a single-pixel receiver for spectral signals emitted by the relevant constituents, intended to be fed by a fixed or movable telescope/antenna. Its front-end sensor translates the received signal down to the 100-MHz range where it can be digitized and the data transferred to a spectrum analyzer for processing, spectrum generation, and accumulation. The individual microwave and submillimeter wave components (mixers, LO high-powered amplifiers, and multipliers) of SPACES were developed in cooperation with other programs, although with this type of instrument in mind. Compared to previous planetary and Earth science instruments, its broad bandwidth (approx. =.13%) and rapid tunability (approx. =.10 ms) are new developments only made possible recently by the advancement in submillimeter circuit design and processing at JPL.

  19. ADVANCED RADIOISOTOPE HEAT SOURCE AND PROPULSION SYSTEMS FOR PLANETARY EXPLORATION

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    R. C. O' Brien; S. D. Howe; J. E. Werner

    2010-09-01

    The exploration of planetary surfaces and atmospheres may be enhanced by increasing the range and mobility of a science platform. Fundamentally, power production and availability of resources are limiting factors that must be considered for all science and exploration missions. A novel power and propulsion system is considered and discussed with reference to a long-range Mars surface exploration mission with in-situ resource utilization. Significance to applications such as sample return missions is also considered. Key material selections for radioisotope encapsulation techniques are presented.

  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 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Middle School Adventures in Planetary Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Limaye, S. S.; Pertzborn, R. A.

    1998-09-01

    During the summer of 1998 the UW-Madison Office of Space Science Education (OSSE) developed and implemented a pilot summer school program to improve the math and science performance of middle school students. The program focused on the subject of solar system exploration for the summer school offered by the Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) for middle school students. OSSE staff collaborated with science, math, and technology teachers from two middle schools (Milwaukee Education Center and Bell Middle School) to expand upon a series of hands-on, interdisciplinary lesson plans originally developed to accompany the Planetary Society's Red Rover, Red Rover Program. For six weeks, sixty inner city middle school students had the opportunity to explore new worlds as far reaching as Mars, Mercury, Titania, Uranus and Pluto with the assistance of Planetary Scientists and staff from the UW-Madison Space Science and Engineering Center. Students were provided with computers and internet connections by AT&T to conduct on-line research on their own research topic relating to planetary exploration. Based on their own research efforts, teams of five or six students wrote a mission statement and then proceeded to create a terrain resembling their desired planetary target. Team engineers then built a computer operated Lego Dacta rover designed especially for exploring the unique features of their targeted planet. In addition to strengthening their science and math skills, students also focused on the improvement of their communication skills by maintaining a daily journal of their experiences, tribulations and successes. Students were tested in the beginning and again at the end of the program. An independent group from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee performed overall assessment of the summer program. Based on the overall success in achieving performance enchmarks, the Milwaukee Public Schools and UW-Extension Learning Innovations Center have elected to collaborate with the OSSE to

  4. Fiscal year 1976 progress report on a feasibility study evaluating the use of surface penetrators for planetary exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanchard, M. B.; Oberbeck, V. R.; Bunch, T. E.; Reynolds, R. T.; Canning, T. N.; Jackson, R. W.

    1976-01-01

    The feasibility of employing penetrators for exploring Mars was examined. Eight areas of interest for key scientific experiments were identified. These include: seismic activity, imaging, geochemistry, water measurement, heatflow, meteorology, magnetometry, and biochemistry. In seven of the eight potential experiment categories this year's progress included: conceptual design, instrument fabrication, instrument performance evaluation, and shock loading of important components. Most of the components survived deceleration testing with negligible performance changes. Components intended to be placed inside the penetrator forebody were tested up to 3,500 g and components intended to be placed on the afterbody were tested up to 21,000 g. A field test program was conducted using tentative Mars penetrator mission constraints. Drop tests were performed at two selected terrestrial analog sites to determine the range of penetration depths for anticipated common Martian materials. Minimum penetration occurred in basalt at Amboy, California. Three full-scale penetrators penetrated 0.4 to 0.9 m into the basalt after passing through 0.3 to 0.5 m of alluvial overburden. Maximum penetration occurred in unconsolidated sediments at McCook, Nebraska. Two full-scale penetrators penetrated 2.5 to 8.5 m of sediment. Impact occurred in two kinds of sediment: loess and layered clay. Deceleration g loads of nominally 2,000 for the forebody and 20,000 for the afterbody did not present serious design problems for potential experiments. Penetrators have successfully impacted into terrestrial analogs of the probable extremes of potential Martian sites.

  5. Analysis of science team activities during the 1999 Marsokhod Rover Field Experiment: Implications for automated planetary surface exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Geb; Cabrol, Nathalie; Rathe, April

    2001-04-01

    This work analyzes the behavior and effectiveness of a science team using the Marsokhod mobile robot to explore the Silver Lake region in the Mojave Desert near Baker, California. The work addresses the manner in which the geologists organized themselves, how they allocated their time in different activities, how they formed and communicated scientific hypotheses, and the frequency with which they requested different types of data from the mission archive during the first 3 days of the mission. Eleven scientists from the NASA Ames Research Center and three of the five scientists who participated from their home institutions were videotaped as they worked throughout the 3-day experiment. The videotape record indicates that 46% of available person-hours were consumed in semistructured or formal meetings and that only 1% of their time was spent studying immersive, three-dimensional virtual reality models of the robot's surroundings. The remainder of their time was spent in unstructured work sessions in groups of two or three. Hypothesis formation and evolution patterns show a meager flow of information from the distributed science team to the on-site team and a bias against reporting speculative hypotheses. Analysis of the visual imagery received from the robot indicates that acquisition of the large panoramic information leads to high levels of redundancy in the data acquired. The scientists' archive requests indicate that small, specifically requested image targets were the most frequently accessed information. The work suggests alternative organizational structures that would expedite the flow of information within the geologic team. It also advocates emphasizing specific science targets over high-resolution, stereoscopic, panoramic imaging when programming a mobile robot's onboard cameras.

  6. Planetary Protection Constraints For Planetary Exploration and Exobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Debus, A.; Bonneville, R.; Viso, M.

    According to the article IX of the OUTER SPACE TREATY (London / Washington January 27., 1967) and in the frame of extraterrestrial missions, it is required to preserve planets and Earth from contamination. For ethical, safety and scientific reasons, the space agencies have to comply with the Outer Space Treaty and to take into account the related planetary protection Cospar recommendations. Planetary protection takes also into account the protection of exobiological science, because the results of life detection experimentations could have impacts on planetary protection regulations. The validation of their results depends strongly of how the samples have been collected, stored and analyzed, and particularly of their biological and organic cleanliness. Any risk of contamination by organic materials, chemical coumpounds and by terrestrial microorganisms must be avoided. A large number of missions is presently scheduled, particularly on Mars, in order to search for life or traces of past life. In the frame of such missions, CNES is building a planetary protection organization in order handle and to take in charge all tasks linked to science and engineering concerned by planetary protection. Taking into account CNES past experience in planetary protection related to the Mars 96 mission, its planned participation in exobiological missions with NASA as well as its works and involvement in Cospar activities, this paper will present the main requirements in order to avoid celestial bodies biological contamination, focussing on Mars and including Earth, and to protect exobiological science.

  7. Remote control of planetary surface vehicles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heer, E.

    1973-01-01

    A remotely manned system consisting of an earth-based control center and a remote rover system on the planetary surface is assumed to extend to the remote site the sensory, manipulative and certain intellectual capabilities of humans here on earth. Required system functions, including scientific payload functions, vehicle functions and ground-based human control functions are discussed and the effects of communication delay and increased remote automaticity on system performance are investigated. To accomplish the required operations for scientific exploration, the control of the remote system requires the development of techniques to deal with problems of long communication time delays so that the performance in terms of operation speed can be increased to acceptable levels. Increased operational performance can be achieved primarily by increasing the rate of useful information flow in the man-machine sensor-control loop, or by increasing the autonomous capabilities of the remote system or by both.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Free-Flyers for Exploration and Resource Mapping for ISRU and Planetary Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mantovani, J. G.; Sibille, L.; Kulcinski, G. L.; Santarius, J. F.

    2017-02-01

    This presentation discusses prospecting for resources on a planetary surface using a free-flyer platform to assist in achieving a sustainable human presence in space beyond low Earth orbit and in exploring the evolution of the solar system.

  12. 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.

  13. Multi-Robot Systems for Subsurface Planetary Exploration Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The proposed innovation is a heterogeneous multi-robot team developed as a platform for effective subsurface planetary exploration. State-of-art robotic exploration...

  14. 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

  15. Small reactor power systems for manned planetary surface bases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bloomfield, Harvey S.

    1987-01-01

    A preliminary feasibility study of the potential application of small nuclear reactor space power systems to manned planetary surface base missions was conducted. The purpose of the study was to identify and assess the technology, performance, and safety issues associated with integration of reactor power systems with an evolutionary manned planetary surface exploration scenario. The requirements and characteristics of a variety of human-rated modular reactor power system configurations selected for a range of power levels from 25 kWe to hundreds of kilowatts is described. Trade-off analyses for reactor power systems utilizing both man-made and indigenous shielding materials are provided to examine performance, installation and operational safety feasibility issues. The results of this study have confirmed the preliminary feasibility of a wide variety of small reactor power plant configurations for growth oriented manned planetary surface exploration missions. The capability for power level growth with increasing manned presence, while maintaining safe radiation levels, was favorably assessed for nominal 25 to 100 kWe modular configurations. No feasibility limitations or technical barriers were identified and the use of both distance and indigenous planetary soil material for human rated radiation shielding were shown to be viable and attractive options.

  16. One-Meter Class Drilling for Planetary Exploration Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Robotic planetary exploration missions will need to perform in-situ analysis of rock and/or regolith samples or returning samples back to earth. Obtaining and...

  17. Adaptive bio-inspired navigation for planetary exploration Project

    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...

  18. Intelligence for Human-Assistant Planetary Surface Robots

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirsh, Robert; Graham, Jeffrey; Tyree, Kimberly; Sierhuis, Maarten; Clancey, William J.

    2006-01-01

    The central premise in developing effective human-assistant planetary surface robots is that robotic intelligence is needed. The exact type, method, forms and/or quantity of intelligence is an open issue being explored on the ERA project, as well as others. In addition to field testing, theoretical research into this area can help provide answers on how to design future planetary robots. Many fundamental intelligence issues are discussed by Murphy [2], including (a) learning, (b) planning, (c) reasoning, (d) problem solving, (e) knowledge representation, and (f) computer vision (stereo tracking, gestures). The new "social interaction/emotional" form of intelligence that some consider critical to Human Robot Interaction (HRI) can also be addressed by human assistant planetary surface robots, as human operators feel more comfortable working with a robot when the robot is verbally (or even physically) interacting with them. Arkin [3] and Murphy are both proponents of the hybrid deliberative-reasoning/reactive-execution architecture as the best general architecture for fully realizing robot potential, and the robots discussed herein implement a design continuously progressing toward this hybrid philosophy. The remainder of this chapter will describe the challenges associated with robotic assistance to astronauts, our general research approach, the intelligence incorporated into our robots, and the results and lessons learned from over six years of testing human-assistant mobile robots in field settings relevant to planetary exploration. The chapter concludes with some key considerations for future work in this area.

  19. Revised planetary protection policy for solar system exploration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeVincenzi, D L; Stabekis, P D

    1984-01-01

    In order to control contamination of planets by terrestrial microorganisms and organic constituents, U.S. planetary missions have been governed by a planetary protection (or planetary quarantine) policy which has changed little since 1972. This policy has recently been reviewed in light of new information obtained from planetary exploration during the past decade and because of changes to, or uncertainties in, some parameters used in the existing quantitative approach. On the basis of this analysis, a revised planetary protection policy with the following key features is proposed: deemphasizing the use of mathematical models and quantitative analyses; establishing requirements for target planet/mission type (i.e., orbiter, lander, etc.) combinations; considering sample return missions a separate category; simplifying documentation; and imposing implementing procedures (i.e., trajectory biasing, cleanroom assembly, spacecraft sterilization, etc.) by exception, i.e., only if the planet/mission combination warrants such controls.

  20. Visual Odometry for Planetary Exploration Rovers in Sandy Terrains

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Linhui Li

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Visual odometry provides planetary exploration rovers with accurate knowledge of their position and orientation, which needs effective feature tracking results, especially in barren sandy terrains. In this paper, a stereovision based odometry algorithm is proposed for a lunar rover, which is composed of corner extraction, feature tracking and motion estimation. First, a morphology based image enhancement method is studied to guarantee enough corners are extracted. Second, a Random Sample Consensus (RANSAC algorithm is proposed to make a robust estimation of the fundamental matrix, which is the basic and critical part of feature matching and tracking. Then, the 6 degrees of freedom rover position and orientation is estimated by the RANSAC algorithm. Finally, experiments are performed in a simulated lunar surface environment using a prototype rover, which have confirmed the feasibility and effectiveness of the proposed method.

  1. Applications of Time-Reversal Processing for Planetary Surface Communications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barton, Richard J.

    2007-01-01

    Due to the power constraints imposed on wireless sensor and communication networks deployed on a planetary surface during exploration, energy efficient transfer of data becomes a critical issue. In situations where groups of nodes within a network are located in relatively close proximity, cooperative communication techniques can be utilized to improve the range, data rate, power efficiency, and lifetime of the network. In particular, if the point-to-point communication channels on the network are well modeled as frequency non-selective, distributed or cooperative beamforming can employed. For frequency-selective channels, beamforming itself is not generally appropriate, but a natural generalization of it, time-reversal communication (TRC), can still be effective. Time-reversal processing has been proposed and studied previously for other applications, including acoustical imaging, electromagnetic imaging, underwater acoustic communication, and wireless communication channels. In this paper, we study both the theoretical advantages and the experimental performance of cooperative TRC for wireless communication on planetary surfaces. We give a brief introduction to TRC and present several scenarios where TRC could be profitably employed during planetary exploration. We also present simulation results illustrating the performance of cooperative TRC employed in a complex multipath environment and discuss the optimality of cooperative TRC for data aggregation in wireless sensor networks

  2. ANTS: Applying A New Paradigm for Lunar and Planetary Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-01-01

    ANTS (Autonomous Nano- Technology Swarm), a mission architecture consisting of a large (1000 member) swarm of picoclass (1 kg) totally autonomous spacecraft with both adaptable and evolvable heuristic systems, is being developed as a NASA advanced mission concept, and is here examined as a paradigm for lunar surface exploration. As the capacity and complexity of hardware and software, demands for bandwidth, and the sophistication of goals for lunar and planetary exploration have increased, greater cost constraints have led to fewer resources and thus, the need to operate spacecraft with less frequent human contact. At present, autonomous operation of spacecraft systems allows great capability of spacecraft to 'safe' themselves and survive when conditions threaten spacecraft safety. To further develop spacecraft capability, NASA is at the forefront of development of new mission architectures which involve the use of Intelligent Software Agents (ISAs), performing experiments in space and on the ground to advance deliberative and collaborative autonomous control techniques. Selected missions in current planning stages require small groups of spacecraft weighing tens, instead of hundreds, of kilograms to cooperate at a tactical level to select and schedule measurements to be made by appropriate instruments onboard. Such missions will be characterizing rapidly unfolding real-time events on a routine basis. The next level of development, which we are considering here, is in the use of autonomous systems at the strategic level, to explore the remote terranes, potentially involving large surveys or detailed reconnaissance.

  3. SPEX: An in-orbit spectropolarimeter for planetary exploration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Snik, F.; Karalidi, T.; Keller, C.; Laan, E.; Ter Horst, R.; Navarro, R.; Stam, D.; Aas, C.; De Vries, J.

    2008-01-01

    SPEX (Spectropolarimeter for Planetary EXploration) is an innovative, compact remote-sensing instrument for detecting and characterizing aerosols. With its 1-liter volume it is capable of full linear spectropolarimetry, without moving parts. High precision polarimetry is performed through encoding t

  4. SPEX: An in-orbit spectropolarimeter for planetary exploration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Snik, F.; Karalidi, T.; Keller, C.; Laan, E.; Ter Horst, R.; Navarro, R.; Stam, D.; Aas, C.; De Vries, J.

    2008-01-01

    SPEX (Spectropolarimeter for Planetary EXploration) is an innovative, compact remote-sensing instrument for detecting and characterizing aerosols. With its 1-liter volume it is capable of full linear spectropolarimetry, without moving parts. High precision polarimetry is performed through encoding t

  5. Star Surface Polluted by Planetary Debris

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-07-01

    Looking at the chemical composition of stars that host planets, astronomers have found that while dwarf stars often show iron enrichment on their surface, giant stars do not. The astronomers think that the planetary debris falling onto the outer layer of the star produces a detectable effect in a dwarf star, but this pollution is diluted by the giant star and mixed into its interior. "It is a little bit like a Tiramisu or a Capuccino," says Luca Pasquini from ESO, lead-author of the paper reporting the results. "There is cocoa powder only on the top!' ESO PR Photo 29/07 ESO PR Photo 29/07 The Structure of Stars Just a few years after the discovery of the first exoplanet it became evident that planets are preferentially found around stars that are enriched in iron. Planet-hosting stars are on average almost twice as rich in metals than their counterparts with no planetary system. The immediate question is whether this richness in metals enhances planet formation, or whether it is caused by the presence of planets. The classic chicken and egg problem. In the first case, the stars would be metal-rich down to their centre. In the second case, debris from the planetary system would have polluted the star and only the external layers would be affected by this pollution. When observing stars and taking spectra, astronomers indeed only see the outer layers and can't make sure the whole star has the same composition. When planetary debris fall onto a star, the material will stay in the outer parts, polluting it and leaving traces in the spectra taken. A team of astronomers has decided to tackle this question by looking at a different kind of stars: red giants. These are stars that, as will the Sun in several billion years, have exhausted the hydrogen in their core. As a result, they have puffed up, becoming much larger and cooler. Looking at the distribution of metals in fourteen planet-hosting giants, the astronomers found that their distribution was rather different from

  6. Microwave Processing of Planetary Surfaces for Volatile Extraction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ethridge, Edwin C.; Kaukler, William

    2011-01-01

    In-Situ Resource Utilization will be necessary for sustained exploration of space. Volatiles are present in planetary soils, but water by far has the strongest potential for effective utilization. The presence of water at the lunar poles, Mars, and possibly on Phobos opens the possibility of producing LOX for propellant. Water is also a useful radiation shielding material and water (and oxygen) are expendables that are also required for habitation in space. Because of the strong function of water vapor pressure with temperature, heating soil effectively liberates water vapor by sublimation. Microwave energy will penetrate soil and heat from within much more efficiently than heating from the surface with radiant heat. This is especially true under vacuum conditions since the heat transfer rate is very low. The depth of microwave penetration is a strong function of the microwave frequency and to a lesser extent on soil dielectric properties. Methods for measuring the complex electric permittivity and magnetic permeability are being developed and have been measured for some lunar soil simulants at 0.5, 2.45, and 10 GHz from room temperature down to liquid nitrogen temperature. A new method for delivery of microwaves deep into a planetary surface is being prototyped with laboratory experiments and modeled with COMSOL MultiPhysics. We have plans to set up a planetary testbed in a large vacuum chamber in the coming year. Recent results will be presented.

  7. Nanotube-based Sensors and Systems for Outer Planetary Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noca, F.; Hunt, B. D.; Hoenk, M. E.; Choi, D.; Kowalczyk, R.; Williams, R.; Xu, J.; Koumoutsakos, P.

    2001-01-01

    Direct sensing and processing at the nanometer scale offer NASA the opportunity to expand its capabilities in deep space exploration, particularly for the search for signatures of life, the analysis of planetary oceans and atmospheres, and communications systems. Carbon nanotubes, with their unique mechanical, electrical, and radiation-tolerant properties, are a promising tool for this exploration. We are developing devices based on carbon nanotubes, including sensors, actuators, and oscillators. Additional information is contained in the original extended abstract.

  8. 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.

  9. New approaches to planetary exploration - Spacecraft and information systems design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diaz, A. V.; Neugebauer, M.; Stuart, J.; Miller, R. B.

    1983-01-01

    Approaches are recommended for use by the NASA Solar System Exploration Committee (SSEC) in lowering the costs of planetary missions. The inclusion of off-the-shelf hardware, i.e., configurations currently in use for earth orbits and constructed on a nearly assembly-line basis, is suggested. Alterations would be necessary for the thermal control, power supply, telecommunications equipment, and attitude sensing in order to be serviceable as a planetary observer spacecraft. New technology can be developed only when cost reduction for the entire mission would be realized. The employment of lower-cost boost motors, or even integrated boost motors, for the transfer out of earth orbit is indicated, as is the development of instruments that do not redundantly gather the same data as previous planetary missions. Missions under consideration include a Mars geoscience climatology Orbiter, a lunar geoscience Orbiter, a near-earth asteroid rendezvous, a Mars aeronomy Orbiter, and a Venus atmospheric probe.

  10. Ethical considerations for planetary protection in space exploration: a workshop.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rummel, J D; Race, M S; Horneck, G

    2012-11-01

    With the recognition of an increasing potential for discovery of extraterrestrial life, a diverse set of researchers have noted a need to examine the foundational ethical principles that should frame our collective space activities as we explore outer space. A COSPAR Workshop on Ethical Considerations for Planetary Protection in Space Exploration was convened at Princeton University on June 8-10, 2010, to examine whether planetary protection measures and practices should be extended to protect planetary environments within an ethical framework that goes beyond "science protection" per se. The workshop had been in development prior to a 2006 NRC report on preventing the forward contamination of Mars, although it responded directly to one of the recommendations of that report and to several peer-reviewed papers as well. The workshop focused on the implications and responsibilities engendered when exploring outer space while avoiding harmful impacts on planetary bodies. Over 3 days, workshop participants developed a set of recommendations addressing the need for a revised policy framework to address "harmful contamination" beyond biological contamination, noting that it is important to maintain the current COSPAR planetary protection policy for scientific exploration and activities. The attendees agreed that there is need for further study of the ethical considerations used on Earth and the examination of management options and governmental mechanisms useful for establishing an environmental stewardship framework that incorporates both scientific input and enforcement. Scientists need to undertake public dialogue to communicate widely about these future policy deliberations and to ensure public involvement in decision making. A number of incremental steps have been taken since the workshop to implement some of these recommendations.

  11. 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.

  12. Science Case for Planetary Exploration with Planetary CubeSats and SmallSats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castillo-Rogez, Julie; Raymond, Carol; Jaumann, Ralf; Vane, Gregg; Baker, John

    2016-07-01

    Nano-spacecraft and especially CubeSats are emerging as viable low cost platforms for planetary exploration. Increasing miniaturization of instruments and processing performance enable smart and small packages capable of performing full investigations. While these platforms are limited in terms of payload and lifetime, their form factor and agility enable novel mission architectures and a refreshed relationship to risk. Leveraging a ride with a mothership to access far away destinations can significantly augment the mission science return at relatively low cost. Depending on resources, the mothership may carry several platforms and act as telecom relay for a distributed network or other forms of fractionated architectures. In Summer 2014 an international group of scientists, engineers, and technologists started a study to define investigations to be carried out by nano-spacecrafts. These applications flow down from key science priorities of interest across space agencies: understanding the origin and organization of the Solar system; characterization of planetary processes; assessment of the astrobiological significance of planetary bodies across the Solar system; and retirement of strategic knowledge gaps (SKGs) for Human exploration. This presentation will highlight applications that make the most of the novel architectures introduced by nano-spacecraft. Examples include the low cost reconnaissance of NEOs for science, planetary defense, resource assessment, and SKGs; in situ chemistry measurements (e.g., airless bodies and planetary atmospheres), geophysical network (e.g., magnetic field measurements), coordinated physical and chemical characterization of multiple icy satellites in a giant planet system; and scouting, i.e., risk assessment and site reconnaissance to prepare for close proximity observations of a mothership (e.g., prior to sampling). Acknowledgements: This study is sponsored by the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA). Part of this work is

  13. Machine Learning Tools for Geomorphic Mapping of Planetary Surfaces

    OpenAIRE

    Stepinski, Tomasz F.; Vilalta, Ricardo

    2010-01-01

    Geomorphic auto-mapping of planetary surfaces is a challenging problem. Here we have described how machine learning techniques, such as clustering or classification, can be utilized to automate the process of geomorphic mapping for exploratory and exploitation purposes. Relatively coarse resolution of planetary topographic data limits the number of features that can be used in the learning process and makes planetary auto-mapping more challenging than terrestrial auto-mapping. With this cavea...

  14. 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 .

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinez, Santa; Besse, Sebastien; Heather, Dave; Barbarisi, Isa; Arviset, Christophe; De Marchi, Guido; Barthelemy, Maud; Docasal, Ruben; Fraga, Diego; Grotheer, Emmanuel; Lim, Tanya; Macfarlane, Alan; Rios, Carlos; Vallejo, Fran; Saiz, Jaime; ESDC (European Space Data Centre) Team

    2016-10-01

    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://archives.esac.esa.int/psa. 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. 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 specialised 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 be also up-to-date with versions 3 and 4 of the PDS standards, as PDS4 will be used for ESA's ExoMars and upcoming BepiColombo missions. 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). This contribution will introduce the new PSA, its key features and access interfaces.

  16. New Carriers and Sensors for Robotic Planetary Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romstedt, J.; Schiele, A.; Boudin, N.; Coste, P.; Lindner, R.

    The robotic element of planetary exploration missions does play a crucial role for a successful mission completion. The development of reliable and rugged systems with at the same time low resource requirements and a generous acceptance of harsh environmental conditions is an important constituent of supportive research and development programs. This paper introduces a selection of new technologies developed by ESA support programs to foster the European scientific community and industry. Presented is a focused selection of potential scientific payload carrier modules and its highly integrated scientific instruments designed for in-situ exploration missions to planets and small bodies of our solar system. These developments could serve surface modules with very low resource availability. Low resource requirements and a highly integrated character is an important technology driver of all development plans. The Nanokhod micro-rover is a mobile element capable to explore the surrounding of a stationary lander unit within a radius of 50 meter. Via a tether connection the provision of all communication and power distribution is ensured. The Nanokhod concepts merges the idea of the design of an "as small as possible" mobile element yet keeping the capability to carry a substantial scientific payload suite to analyse the near-by landing site. The engineering model has been build and will undergo a challenging test campaign in the near future. The development of the Geochemistry Instrument Package Facility (GIPF), the payload suite designed for the Nanokhod rover, has been finalized and delivered to ESA. It consists of an Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS), a Mössbauer spectrometer (MIMOS2) and a micro camera (MIROCAM). The instrument front ends have already been thermally qualified at cryogenic temperatures. Beyond a partial heritage from existing flight models all instruments were modified towards an accommodation in the rover's payload cabin and an increased

  17. Computer Modeling of Planetary Surface Temperatures in Introductory Astronomy Courses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barker, Timothy; Goodman, J.

    2013-01-01

    Barker, T., and Goodman, J. C., Wheaton College, Norton, MA Computer modeling is an essential part of astronomical research, and so it is important that students be exposed to its powers and limitations in the first (and, perhaps, only) astronomy course they take in college. Building on the ideas of Walter Robinson (“Modeling Dynamic Systems,” Springer, 2002) we have found that STELLA software (ISEE Systems) allows introductory astronomy students to do sophisticated modeling by the end of two classes of instruction, with no previous experience in computer programming or calculus. STELLA’s graphical interface allows students to visualize systems in terms of “flows” in and out of “stocks,” avoiding the need to invoke differential equations. Linking flows and stocks allows feedback systems to be constructed. Students begin by building an easily understood system: a leaky bucket. This is a simple negative feedback system in which the volume in the bucket (a “stock”) depends on a fixed inflow rate and an outflow that increases in proportion to the volume in the bucket. Students explore how changing inflow rate and feedback parameters affect the steady-state volume and equilibration time of the system. This model is completed within a 50-minute class meeting. In the next class, students are given an analogous but more sophisticated problem: modeling a planetary surface temperature (“stock”) that depends on the “flow” of energy from the Sun, the planetary albedo, the outgoing flow of infrared radiation from the planet’s surface, and the infrared return from the atmosphere. Students then compare their STELLA model equilibrium temperatures to observed planetary temperatures, which agree with model ones for worlds without atmospheres, but give underestimates for planets with atmospheres, thus introducing students to the concept of greenhouse warming. We find that if we give the students part of this model at the start of a 50-minute class they are

  18. Science requirements for PRoViScout, a robotics vision system for planetary exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hauber, E.; Pullan, D.; Griffiths, A.; Paar, G.

    2011-10-01

    The robotic exploration of planetary surfaces, including missions of interest for geobiology (e.g., ExoMars), will be the precursor of human missions within the next few decades. Such exploration will require platforms which are much more self-reliant and capable of exploring long distances with limited ground support in order to advance planetary science objectives in a timely manner. The key to this objective is the development of planetary robotic onboard vision processing systems, which will enable the autonomous on-site selection of scientific and mission-strategic targets, and the access thereto. The EU-funded research project PRoViScout (Planetary Robotics Vision Scout) is designed to develop a unified and generic approach for robotic vision onboard processing, namely the combination of navigation and scientific target selection. Any such system needs to be "trained", i.e. it needs (a) scientific requirements which the system needs to address, and (b) a data base of scientifically representative target scenarios which can be analysed. We present our preliminary list of science requirements, based on previous experience from landed Mars missions.

  19. 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

  20. Measuring and interpreting X-ray fluorescence from planetary surfaces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Owens, Alan; Beckhoff, Burkhard; Fraser, George; Kolbe, Michael; Krumrey, Michael; Mantero, Alfonso; Mantler, Michael; Peacock, Anthony; Pia, Maria-Grazia; Pullan, Derek; Schneider, Uwe G; Ulm, Gerhard

    2008-11-15

    As part of a comprehensive study of X-ray emission from planetary surfaces and in particular the planet Mercury, we have measured fluorescent radiation from a number of planetary analog rock samples using monochromatized synchrotron radiation provided by the BESSY II electron storage ring. The experiments were carried out using a purpose built X-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometer chamber developed by the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt, Germany's national metrology institute. The XRF instrumentation is absolutely calibrated and allows for reference-free quantitation of rock sample composition, taking into account secondary photon- and electron-induced enhancement effects. The fluorescence data, in turn, have been used to validate a planetary fluorescence simulation tool based on the GEANT4 transport code. This simulation can be used as a mission analysis tool to predict the time-dependent orbital XRF spectral distributions from planetary surfaces throughout the mapping phase.

  1. Expanding venue and persistence of planetary mobile robotic exploration: new technology concepts for Mars and beyond

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schenker, Paul S.; Elfes, Albert; Hall, Jeffrey L.; Huntsberger, Terrance L.; Jones, Jack A.; Wilcox, Brian H.; Zimmerman, Wayne F.

    2003-10-01

    The domain and technology of mobile robotic space exploration are fast moving from brief visits to benign Mars surface regions to more challenging terrain and sustained exploration. Further, the overall venue and concept of space robotic exploration are expanding—"from flatland to 3D"—from the surface, to sub-surface and aerial theatres on disparate large and small planetary bodies, including Mars, Venus, Titan, Europa, and small asteroids. These new space robotic system developments are being facilitated by concurrent, synergistic advances in software and hardware technologies for robotic mobility, particularly as regard on-board system autonomy and novel thermo-mechanical design. We outline these directions of emerging mobile science mission interest and technology enablement, including illustrative work at JPL on terrain-adaptive and multi-robot cooperative rover systems, aerobotic mobility, and subsurface ice explorers.

  2. Exploring Planetary System Evolution Through High-Contrast Imaging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esposito, Thomas; Fitzgerald, Michael P.; Kalas, Paul; Graham, James R.; Millar-Blanchaer, Max; Gpies Team

    2015-01-01

    Direct imaging of circumstellar disks provides unique information about planetary system construction and evolution. Several hundred nearby main-sequence stars are known to host debris disks, which are produced by mutual collisions of orbiting planetesimals during a phase thought to coincide with terrestrial planet formation. Therefore, detection of the dust in such systems through scattered near-infrared starlight offers a view of the circumstellar environment during the epoch of planet assembly. We have used ground-based coronagraphic angular differential imaging (ADI) with Keck NIRC2 and Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) to investigate disk structures that may act as signposts of planets. ADI and its associated image processing algorithms (e.g., LOCI) are powerful tools for suppressing the stellar PSF and quasistatic speckles that can contaminate disk signal. However, ADI PSF-subtraction also attenuates disk surface brightness in a spatially- and parameter-dependent manner, thereby biasing photometry and compromising inferences regarding the physical processes responsible for the dust distribution. To account for this disk "self-subtraction," we developed a novel technique to forward model the disk structure and compute a self-subtraction map for a given ADI-processed image. Applying this method to NIRC2 near-IR imaging of the HD 32297 debris disk, we combined the high signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) of ADI data with unbiased photometry to measure midplane curvature in the edge-on disk and a break in the disk's radial brightness profile. Such a break may indicate the location of a planetesimal ring that is a source of the light-scattering micron-sized grains. For the HD 61005 debris disk, we examined similar data together with GPI 1.6-micron polarization data and detected the dust ring's swept-back morphology, brightness asymmetry, stellocentric offset, and inner clearing. To study the physical mechanism behind these features, we explored how eccentricity and mutual

  3. Robotics and mechatronics for planetary surface exploration

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LIU H; XIE Z W; G HIRZINGER

    2003-01-01

    The paper briefly addresses DLR' s ( German Aerospace Center) expertise in space robotics by handof corresponding milestone projects including systems on the International Space Station ISS. It then discussesthe key technologies needed for the development of an artificial "robonaut" generation with mechatronic ultra-light weight arms and multifingered hands. The third arm generation is nearly finished now, approaching thelimits of what is technologically achievable today with respect to light-weight and power losses. In a similar wayDLR' s second generation of artificial 4-fingered hands was a big step towards higher reliability, manipulabilityand overall performance.

  4. Arctic and Antarctic Analogs for Planetary Surface Traverses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffman, Stephen J.; Cameron, A. O.

    2009-01-01

    The proposed paper summarizes the workshop presentations and discusses several of the key findings or lessons including: (1) A recognition that NASA s current approach for long duration planetary surface operations has fundamental differences from any of the operational approaches described by the invited speakers. These approaches drive the crew size and skill mix to accomplish basic objectives and, in turn, drive the logistical pyramid needed to support these operations. NASA will review the operational approaches of the organizations represented to understand the differentiating factors. NASA will then decide if it should alter its current approach to surface exploration. (2) There are potential parallels between key characteristics of the systems used for exploration in these environments, such as heated volume as an analog for pressurized volume or energy usage for various activities. NASA will look at these characteristics to identify which could help with preliminary planning and gather raw data from the presenters to model these characteristics. (3) New technologies are being applied and design approaches are being tailored to take advantage of these technologies on both side. Interactions between these two communities has begun or is expanding to understand how these new technologies are being leveraged: NASA habitation designers are exchanging ideas and approaches with the Antarctic station designers; Antarctic support

  5. Spatial Coverage Planning and Optimization for Planetary Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaines, Daniel M.; Estlin, Tara; Chouinard, Caroline

    2008-01-01

    We are developing onboard planning and scheduling technology to enable in situ robotic explorers, such as rovers and aerobots, to more effectively assist scientists in planetary exploration. In our current work, we are focusing on situations in which the robot is exploring large geographical features such as craters, channels or regional boundaries. In to develop valid and high quality plans, the robot must take into account a range of scientific and engineering constraints and preferences. We have developed a system that incorporates multiobjective optimization and planning allowing the robot to generate high quality mission operations plans that respect resource limitations and mission constraints while attempting to maximize science and engineering objectives. An important scientific objective for the exploration of geological features is selecting observations that spatially cover an area of interest. We have developed a metric to enable an in situ explorer to reason about and track the spatial coverage quality of a plan. We describe this technique and show how it is combined in the overall multiobjective optimization and planning algorithm.

  6. Developments towards a filter wheel hyperspectral camera for planetary exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gunn, M.; Langstaff, D. P.; Barnes, D.

    2011-10-01

    The benefits of hyperspectral imaging in remote sensing applications are well established and it is now routinely exploited in terrestrial applications. However the restrictions imposed on mass and power consumption and the extreme operating conditions encountered in extra-terrestrial environments have limited its widespread use for planetary exploration. Instead multispectral camera systems with typically 10-12 discrete filters are employed, providing only coarse spectral information. By exploiting the properties of interference filters off axis it is possible to obtain additional spectral information. Recent advances in filter technology have made it possible to develop a simple and lightweight wide angle hyperspectral camera employing a filter wheel. The theory of operation and early test results from a prototype camera system are presented.

  7. Planetary science and exploration in the deep subsurface: results from the MINAR Program, Boulby Mine, UK

    Science.gov (United States)

    Payler, Samuel J.; Biddle, Jennifer F.; Coates, Andrew J.; Cousins, Claire R.; Cross, Rachel E.; Cullen, David C.; Downs, Michael T.; Direito, Susana O. L.; Edwards, Thomas; Gray, Amber L.; Genis, Jac; Gunn, Matthew; Hansford, Graeme M.; Harkness, Patrick; Holt, John; Josset, Jean-Luc; Li, Xuan; Lees, David S.; Lim, Darlene S. S.; McHugh, Melissa; McLuckie, David; Meehan, Emma; Paling, Sean M.; Souchon, Audrey; Yeoman, Louise; Cockell, Charles S.

    2017-04-01

    The subsurface exploration of other planetary bodies can be used to unravel their geological history and assess their habitability. On Mars in particular, present-day habitable conditions may be restricted to the subsurface. Using a deep subsurface mine, we carried out a program of extraterrestrial analog research - MINe Analog Research (MINAR). MINAR aims to carry out the scientific study of the deep subsurface and test instrumentation designed for planetary surface exploration by investigating deep subsurface geology, whilst establishing the potential this technology has to be transferred into the mining industry. An integrated multi-instrument suite was used to investigate samples of representative evaporite minerals from a subsurface Permian evaporite sequence, in particular to assess mineral and elemental variations which provide small-scale regions of enhanced habitability. The instruments used were the Panoramic Camera emulator, Close-Up Imager, Raman spectrometer, Small Planetary Linear Impulse Tool, Ultrasonic drill and handheld X-ray diffraction (XRD). We present science results from the analog research and show that these instruments can be used to investigate in situ the geological context and mineralogical variations of a deep subsurface environment, and thus habitability, from millimetre to metre scales. We also show that these instruments are complementary. For example, the identification of primary evaporite minerals such as NaCl and KCl, which are difficult to detect by portable Raman spectrometers, can be accomplished with XRD. By contrast, Raman is highly effective at locating and detecting mineral inclusions in primary evaporite minerals. MINAR demonstrates the effective use of a deep subsurface environment for planetary instrument development, understanding the habitability of extreme deep subsurface environments on Earth and other planetary bodies, and advancing the use of space technology in economic mining.

  8. A Team Approach to the Development of Gamma Ray and x Ray Remote Sensing and in Situ Spectroscopy for Planetary Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trombka, J. I.; Floyd, S.; Ruitberg, A.; Evans, L.; Starr, R.; Metzger, A.; Reedy, R.; Drake, D.; Moss, C.; Edwards, B.

    1993-01-01

    An important part of the investigation of planetary origin and evolution is the determination of the surface composition of planets, comets, and asteroids. Measurements of discrete line X-ray and gamma ray emissions from condensed bodies in space can be used to obtain both qualitative and quantitative elemental composition information. The Planetary Instrumentation Definition and Development Program (PIDDP) X-Ray/Gamma Ray Team has been established to develop remote sensing and in situ technologies for future planetary exploration missions.

  9. Metacatalog of Planetary Surface Features for Multicriteria Evaluation of Surface Evolution: the Integrated Planetary Feature Database

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hargitai, Henrik

    2016-10-01

    We have created a metacatalog, or catalog or catalogs, of surface features of Mars that also includes the actual data in the catalogs listed. The goal is to make mesoscale surface feature databases available in one place, in a GIS-ready format. The databases can be directly imported to ArcGIS or other GIS platforms, like Google Mars. Some of the catalogs in our database are also ingested into the JMARS platform.All catalogs have been previously published in a peer-reviewed journal, but they may contain updates of the published catalogs. Many of the catalogs are "integrated", i.e. they merge databases or information from various papers on the same topic, including references to each individual features listed.Where available, we have included shapefiles with polygon or linear features, however, most of the catalogs only contain point data of their center points and morphological data.One of the unexpected results of the planetary feature metacatalog is that some features have been described by several papers, using different, i.e., conflicting designations. This shows the need for the development of an identification system suitable for mesoscale (100s m to km sized) features that tracks papers and thus prevents multiple naming of the same feature.The feature database can be used for multicriteria analysis of a terrain, thus enables easy distribution pattern analysis and the correlation of the distribution of different landforms and features on Mars. Such catalog makes a scientific evaluation of potential landing sites easier and more effective during the selection process and also supports automated landing site selections.The catalog is accessible at https://planetarydatabase.wordpress.com/.

  10. Planetary Atmosphere and Surfaces Chamber (PASC: A Platform to Address Various Challenges in Astrobiology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eva Mateo-Marti

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available The study of planetary environments of astrobiological interest has become a major challenge. Because of the obvious technical and economical limitations on in situ planetary exploration, laboratory simulations are one of the most feasible research options to make advances both in planetary science and in developing a consistent description of the origin of life. With this objective in mind, we applied vacuum technology to the design of versatile vacuum chambers devoted to the simulation of planetary atmospheres’ conditions. These vacuum chambers are able to simulate atmospheres and surface temperatures representative of the majority of planetary objects, and they are especially appropriate for studying the physical, chemical and biological changes induced in a particular sample by in situ irradiation or physical parameters in a controlled environment. Vacuum chambers are a promising potential tool in several scientific and technological fields, such as engineering, chemistry, geology and biology. They also offer the possibility of discriminating between the effects of individual physical parameters and selected combinations thereof. The implementation of our vacuum chambers in combination with analytical techniques was specifically developed to make feasible the in situ physico-chemical characterization of samples. Many wide-ranging applications in astrobiology are detailed herein to provide an understanding of the potential and flexibility of these experimental systems. Instruments and engineering technology for space applications could take advantage of our environment-simulation chambers for sensor calibration. Our systems also provide the opportunity to gain a greater understanding of the chemical reactivity of molecules on surfaces under different environments, thereby leading to a greater understanding of interface processes in prebiotic chemical reactions and facilitating studies of UV photostability and photochemistry on surfaces

  11. Planetary Atmosphere and Surfaces Chamber (PASC): A Platform to Address Various Challenges in Astrobiology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mateo-Marti, Eva

    2014-08-01

    The study of planetary environments of astrobiological interest has become a major challenge. Because of the obvious technical and economical limitations on in situ planetary exploration, laboratory simulations are one of the most feasible research options to make advances both in planetary science and in developing a consistent description of the origin of life. With this objective in mind, we applied vacuum technology to the design of versatile vacuum chambers devoted to the simulation of planetary atmospheres' conditions. These vacuum chambers are able to simulate atmospheres and surface temperatures representative of the majority of planetary objects, and they are especially appropriate for studying the physical, chemical and biological changes induced in a particular sample by in situ irradiation or physical parameters in a controlled environment. Vacuum chambers are a promising potential tool in several scientific and technological fields, such as engineering, chemistry, geology and biology. They also offer the possibility of discriminating between the effects of individual physical parameters and selected combinations thereof. The implementation of our vacuum chambers in combination with analytical techniques was specifically developed to make feasible the in situ physico-chemical characterization of samples. Many wide-ranging applications in astrobiology are detailed herein to provide an understanding of the potential and flexibility of these experimental systems. Instruments and engineering technology for space applications could take advantage of our environment-simulation chambers for sensor calibration. Our systems also provide the opportunity to gain a greater understanding of the chemical reactivity of molecules on surfaces under different environments, thereby leading to a greater understanding of interface processes in prebiotic chemical reactions and facilitating studies of UV photostability and photochemistry on surfaces. Furthermore, the

  12. Multimodal Platform Control for Robotic Planetary Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jorgensen, Charles; Betts, Bradley J.

    2006-01-01

    Planetary exploration missions pose unique problems for astronauts seeking to coordinate and control exploration vehicles. These include working in an environment filled with abrasive dust (e.g., regolith compositions), a desire to have effective hands-free communication, and a desire to have effective analog control of robotic platforms or end effectors. Requirements to operate in pressurized suits are particularly problematic due to the increased bulk and stiffness of gloves. As a result, researchers are considering alternative methods to perform fine movement control, for example capitalizing on higher-order voice actuation commands to perform control tasks. This paper presents current research at NASA s Neuro Engineering Laboratory that explores one method-direct bioelectric interpretation-for handling some of these problems. In this type of control system, electromyographic (EMG) signals are used both to facilitate understanding of acoustic speech in pressure-regulated suits 2nd to provide smooth analog control of a robotic platform, all without requiring fine-gained hand movement. This is accomplished through the use of non-invasive silver silver-chloride electrodes located on the forearm, throat, and lower chin, positioned so as to receive electrical activity originating from the muscles during contraction. For direct analog platform control, a small Personal Exploration Rover (PER) built by Carnegie Mellon University Robotics is controlled using forearm contraction duration and magnitudes, measured using several EMG channels. Signal processing is used to translate these signals into directional platform rotation rates and translational velocities. higher order commands were generated by differential contraction patterns called "clench codes."

  13. Laser-based mass spectrometry for in situ chemical composition analysis of planetary surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frey, Samira; Neuland, Maike B.; Grimaudo, Valentine; Moreno-García, Pavel; Riedo, Andreas; Tulej, Marek; Broekmann, Peter; Wurz, Peter

    2016-04-01

    Mass spectrometry is an important analytical technique in space research. The chemical composition of planetary surface material is a key scientific question on every space mission to a planet, moon or asteroid. Chemical composition measurements of rocky material on the surface are of great importance to understand the origin and evolution of the planetary body.[1] A miniature laser ablation/ionisation reflectron- type time-of-flight mass spectrometer (instrument name LMS) was designed and built at the University of Bern for planetary research.[2] Despite its small size and light weight, the LMS instrument still maintains the same capabilities as large laboratory systems, which makes it suitable for its application on planetary space missions.[3-5] The high dynamic range of about eight orders of magnitude, high lateral (μm-level) and vertical (sub-nm level) resolution and high detection sensitivity for almost all elements (10 ppb, atomic fraction) make LMS a versatile instrument for various applications. LMS is a suitable instrument for in situ measurements of elemental and isotope composition with high precision and accuracy. Measurements of Pb- isotope abundances can be used for dating of planetary material. Measurements of bio-relevant elements allow searching for past or present life on a planetary surface. The high spatial resolution, both in lateral and vertical direction, is of considerable interest, e.g. for analysis of inhomogeneous, extraterrestrial samples as well as weathering processes of planetary material. References [1] P. Wurz, D. Abplanalp, M. Tulej, M. Iakovleva, V.A. Fernandes, A. Chumikov, and G. Managadze, "Mass Spectrometric Analysis in Planetary Science: Investigation of the Surface and the Atmosphere", Sol. Sys. Res., 2012, 46, 408. [2] U. Rohner, J.A. Whitby, P. Wurz, "A miniature laser ablation time of flight mass spectrometer for in situ planetary exploration" Meas. Sci. Tch., 2003, 14, 2159. [3] M. Tulej, A. Riedo, M.B. Neuland, S

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johan Rockström

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available 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 to the risk of crossing thresholds that will trigger non-linear, abrupt environmental change within continental- to planetary-scale systems. We have identified nine planetary boundaries and, drawing upon current scientific understanding, we propose quantifications for seven of them. These seven are climate change (CO2 concentration in the atmosphere

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Richardson, Katherine; Rockström, Johan; Steffen, Will

    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 to the risk of crossing thresholds that will trigger non-linear, abrupt environmental change within continental- to planetary-scale systems. We have identified nine planetary boundaries and, drawing upon current scientific...... background weathering of P); global freshwater use (system change (

  16. Measurements from an Aerial Vehicle: A New Tool for Planetary Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wright, Henry S.; Levine, Joel S.; Croom, Mark A.; Edwards, William C.; Qualls, Garry D.; Gasbarre, Joseph F.

    2004-01-01

    Aerial vehicles fill a unique planetary science measurement gap, that of regional-scale, near-surface observation, while providing a fresh perspective for potential discovery. Aerial vehicles used in planetary exploration bridge the scale and resolution measurement gaps between orbiters (global perspective with limited spatial resolution) and landers (local perspective with high spatial resolution) thus complementing and extending orbital and landed measurements. Planetary aerial vehicles can also survey scientifically interesting terrain that is inaccessible or hazardous to landed missions. The use of aerial assets for performing observations on Mars, Titan, or Venus will enable direct measurements and direct follow-ons to recent discoveries. Aerial vehicles can be used for remote sensing of the interior, surface and atmosphere of Mars, Venus and Titan. Types of aerial vehicles considered are airplane "heavier than air" and airships and balloons "lighter than air". Interdependencies between the science measurements, science goals and objectives, and platform implementation illustrate how the proper balance of science, engineering, and cost, can be achieved to allow for a successful mission. Classification of measurement types along with how those measurements resolve science questions and how these instruments are accommodated within the mission context are discussed.

  17. Towards Camera-LIDAR Fusion-Based Terrain Modelling for Planetary Surfaces: Review and Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Affan Shaukat

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available In recent decades, terrain modelling and reconstruction techniques have increased research interest in precise short and long distance autonomous navigation, localisation and mapping within field robotics. One of the most challenging applications is in relation to autonomous planetary exploration using mobile robots. Rovers deployed to explore extraterrestrial surfaces are required to perceive and model the environment with little or no intervention from the ground station. Up to date, stereopsis represents the state-of-the art method and can achieve short-distance planetary surface modelling. However, future space missions will require scene reconstruction at greater distance, fidelity and feature complexity, potentially using other sensors like Light Detection And Ranging (LIDAR. LIDAR has been extensively exploited for target detection, identification, and depth estimation in terrestrial robotics, but is still under development to become a viable technology for space robotics. This paper will first review current methods for scene reconstruction and terrain modelling using cameras in planetary robotics and LIDARs in terrestrial robotics; then we will propose camera-LIDAR fusion as a feasible technique to overcome the limitations of either of these individual sensors for planetary exploration. A comprehensive analysis will be presented to demonstrate the advantages of camera-LIDAR fusion in terms of range, fidelity, accuracy and computation.

  18. Towards Camera-LIDAR Fusion-Based Terrain Modelling for Planetary Surfaces: Review and Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaukat, Affan; Blacker, Peter C; Spiteri, Conrad; Gao, Yang

    2016-11-20

    In recent decades, terrain modelling and reconstruction techniques have increased research interest in precise short and long distance autonomous navigation, localisation and mapping within field robotics. One of the most challenging applications is in relation to autonomous planetary exploration using mobile robots. Rovers deployed to explore extraterrestrial surfaces are required to perceive and model the environment with little or no intervention from the ground station. Up to date, stereopsis represents the state-of-the art method and can achieve short-distance planetary surface modelling. However, future space missions will require scene reconstruction at greater distance, fidelity and feature complexity, potentially using other sensors like Light Detection And Ranging (LIDAR). LIDAR has been extensively exploited for target detection, identification, and depth estimation in terrestrial robotics, but is still under development to become a viable technology for space robotics. This paper will first review current methods for scene reconstruction and terrain modelling using cameras in planetary robotics and LIDARs in terrestrial robotics; then we will propose camera-LIDAR fusion as a feasible technique to overcome the limitations of either of these individual sensors for planetary exploration. A comprehensive analysis will be presented to demonstrate the advantages of camera-LIDAR fusion in terms of range, fidelity, accuracy and computation.

  19. Volatile Analysis by Pyrolysis of Regolith for Planetary Resource Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glavin, Daniel P.; Malespin, Charles; ten Kate, Inge L.; Getty, Stephanie A.; Holmes, Vincent E.; Mumm, Erik; Franz, Heather B.; Noreiga, Marvin; Dobson, Nick; Southard, Adrian E.; hide

    2012-01-01

    The extraction and identification of volatile resources that could be utilized by humans including water, oxygen, noble gases, and hydrocarbons on the Moon, Mars, and small planetary bodies will be critical for future long-term human exploration of these objects. Vacuum pyrolysis at elevated temperatures has been shown to be an efficient way to release volatiles trapped inside solid samples. In order to maximize the extraction of volatiles, including oxygen and noble gases from the breakdown of minerals, a pyrolysis temperature of 1400 C or higher is required, which greatly exceeds the maximum temperatures of current state-of-the-art flight pyrolysis instruments. Here we report on the recent optimization and field testing results of a high temperature pyrolysis oven and sample manipulation system coupled to a mass spectrometer instrument called Volatile Analysis by Pyrolysis of Regolith (VAPoR). VAPoR is capable of heating solid samples under vacuum to temperatures above 1300 C and determining the composition of volatiles released as a function of temperature.

  20. Mission Opportunities for Human Exploration of Nearby Planetary Bodies

    CERN Document Server

    Foster, Cyrus

    2016-01-01

    We characterize mission profiles for human expeditions to near-Earth asteroids, Venus, and Mars. Near-Earth objects (NEOs) are the closest destinations beyond cis-lunar space and present a compelling target with capabilities already under development by NASA and its partners. We present manned NEO mission options that would require between 90 days and one year. We next consider planetary flyby missions for Venus along the lines of plans that were first drafted during the Apollo program for human exploration of Venus. We also characterize a Mars flyby, and a double-flyby variant that would include close passes to both Venus and Mars. Finally, we consider orbital missions to Venus and Mars with capability for rendezvous with Phobos or Deimos. This would be a truly new class of mission for astronauts and could serve as a precursor to a human landing on Mars. We present launch opportunities, transit time, requisite {\\Delta}V, and approximate radiation environment parameters for each mission class. We find that {\\...

  1. Novel Polymer Microfluidics Technology for In Situ Planetary Exploration Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Los Gatos Research proposes to develop a new polymer based microfluidics technology for NASA planetary science applications. In particular, we will design, build and...

  2. Highly Efficient Compact Laser for Planetary Exploration Project

    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. Integrated Medium for Planetary Exploration (IMPEx): an infrastructure to bridge space missions data and computational models in planetary science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khodachenko, M. L.; Kallio, E. J.; Génot, V. N.; Al-Ubaidi, T.; Topf, F.; Schmidt, W.; Alexeev, I. I.; Modolo, R.; André, N.; Gangloff, M.; Belenkaya, E. S.

    2012-04-01

    The FP7-SPACE project Integrated Medium for Planetary Exploration (IMPEx) has started in June 2011. The aim of the project is the Creation of an integrated interactive IT framework where data from space missions will be interconnected to numerical models, providing a possibility to 1) simulate planetary phenomena and interpret spacecraft data; 2) test and improve models versus experimental data; 3) fill gaps in measurements by appropriate modelling runs; 4) solve technological tasks of mission operation and preparation. Data analysis and visualization within IMPEx will be based on the advanced computational models of the planetary environments. Specifically, the 'modeling sector' of IMPEx is formed of four well established numerical codes and their related computational infrastructures: 1) 3D hybrid modeling platform HYB for the study of planetary plasma environments, hosted at FMI; 2) an alternative 3D hybrid modeling platform, hosted at LATMOS; 3) MHD modelling platform GUMICS for 3D terrestrial magnetosphere, hosted at FMI; and 4) the global 3D Paraboloid Magnetospheric Model for simulation of magnetospheres of different Solar System objects, hosted at SINP. Modelling results will be linked to the corresponding experimental data from space and planetary missions via several online tools: 1/ AMDA (Automated Multi-Dataset Analysis) which provides cross-linked visualization and operation of experimental and numerical modelling data, 2/ 3DView which will propose 3D visualization of spacecraft trajectories in simulated and observed environments, and 3/ "CLWeb" software which enables computation of various micro-scale physical products (spectra, distribution functions, etc.). In practice, IMPEx is going to provide an external user with an access to an extended set of space and planetary missions' data and powerful, world leading computing models, equipped with advanced visualization tools. Via its infrastructure, IMPEx will enable to merge spacecraft data bases and

  4. Determinative Mineralogy: An Essential Component of Planetary Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bish, D. T.; Vaniman, D. T.; Blake, D. F.; Green, J. R.; Johnston, C. T.; Kelly-Serrato, B. A.; Ming, D. W.; Papike, J. J.; Yen, A. S.; Zolensky, M. E.

    2002-08-01

    Mineralogy is a fundamental characteristic of extraterrestrial bodies because different mineral assemblages can be used to characterize present and past conditions of the atmosphere, the surface, the crust, and the deep interior of a planet. Many tools are used in space exploration, and the exploration of extraterrestrial mineralogy is no exception. The tools that are needed include remote observations, in-situ analysis with landed instruments, and analysis of returned samples in laboratories on Earth. In a balanced exploration program, all three sources of data are necessary. Likewise, no one method will provide the information needed to understand the makeup and history of extraterrestrial bodies. This paper is intended as a starting point for the development of truly integrated mineralogic instrumentation efforts that will combine the diverse capabilities of many analytical methods.

  5. Do tidal or swing waves roughen planetary surfaces?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kochemasov, Gennady G.

    2010-05-01

    Surfaces of the terrestrial planets and their moons are far from being smooth. They are warped by several wavelengths and show a remarkable regularity: their roughness increases with the solar distance. Thus, if for Mercury the surface relief range does not exceed several km, for Mars it is already about 30 km. Earth's range is 20 km, Venus' one 14 km. Recently it was shown that this row of ranges reflects ratios of the tectonic granules radii of terrestrial planets [1, 2]. These radii related to unity of reduced planetary globes (in a geometrical model all planets are represented by even circles [2]) are as follows: Mercury πR/16, Venus πR/6, Earth πR/4, Mars πR/2. It means that in the great planetary circles (equators) there are 32, 12, 8, and 4 tectonic granules (now they all are mapped by remote methods) and their numbers are inversely proportional to the orbital frequencies of the planets: higher frequency - smaller granule, and, vice versa, lower frequency - larger granule. In this planetary law is a firm confirmation of the main conceptual point of the wave planetology: "Orbits make structures" [3]. But how this happens? A basic reason lies in the keplerian elliptical orbits implying periodical changes of planetary bodies accelerations. Periodical slowing down and speeding up produce inertia-gravity waves warping any celestial body. In rotating bodies this wave warping is divided in four directions: two orthogonal and two diagonal. An interference of these directions produces tectonic blocks of three kinds: uplifting, subsiding, and neutral. Sizes and amplitudes of the blocks (granules) depend on the warping wavelengths and increase with the solar distance. Thus, a relief-forming potential and the actual relief range observed on the planets increase in this direction [1, 2, 4]. But the tidal forces diminish in this direction. That is why they cannot be a reason for the relief-forming potential. Having in mind a swinging action of planetary orbits on

  6. Lightweight Multifunctional Planetary Probe for Extreme Environment Exploration and Locomotion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bayandor, Javid (Principal Investigator); Schroeder, Kevin; Samareh, Jamshid

    2017-01-01

    The demand to explore new worlds requires the development of advanced technologies that enable landed science on uncertain terrains or in hard to reach locations. As a result, contemporary Entry, Descent, Landing, (EDL) and additional locomotion (EDLL) profiles are becoming increasingly more complex, with the introduction of lifting/guided entries, hazard avoidance on descent, and a plethora of landing techniques including airbags and the skycrane maneuver. The inclusion of each of these subsystems into a mission profile is associated with a substantial mass penalty. This report explores the new all-in-one entry vehicle concept, TANDEM, a new combined EDLL concept, and compares it to the current state of the art EDL systems. The explored system is lightweight and collapsible and provides the capacity for lifting/guided entry, guided descent, hazard avoidance, omnidirectional impact protection and surface locomotion without the aid of any additional subsystems. This Phase I study explored: 1. The capabilities and feasibility of the TANDEM concept as an EDLL vehicle. 2. Extensive impact analysis to ensure mission success in unfavorable landing conditions, and safe landing in Tessera regions. 3. Development of a detailed design for a conceptual mission to Venus. As a result of our work it was shown that: 1. TANDEM provides additional benefits over the Adaptive, Deployable Entry Placement Technology (ADEPT) including guided descent and surface locomotion, while reducing the mass by 38% compared to the ADEPT-VITaL mission. 2. Demonstrated that the design of tensegrity structures, and TANDEM specifically, grows linearly with an increase in velocity, which was previously unknown. 3. Investigation of surface impact revealed a promising results that suggest a properly configured TANDEM vehicle can safely land and preform science in the Tessera regions, which was previously labeled by the Decadal Survey as, largely inaccessible despite its high scientific interest. This work

  7. High Measurement Channel Density Sensor Array Impedance Analyzer for Planetary Exploration Project

    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...

  8. Planetary exploration by a mobile robot: mission teleprogramming and autonomous navigation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chatila, R.; Lacroix, S.; Simeon, T.; Herrb, M.

    Sending mobile robots to accomplish planetary exploration missions is scientifically promising and technologically challenging. The authors present a complete approach that encompasses the major aspects involved in the design of a robotic system for planetary exploration. It includes mission teleprogramming and supervision at a ground station, and autonomous mission execution by the remote mobile robot. They have partially implemented and validated these concepts. Experimental results illustrate the approach and the results.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Vuuren, D. P.; Lucas, P. L.; Häyhä, T.; Cornell, S. E.; Stafford-Smith, M.

    2015-09-01

    There is a need for further integrated research on developing a set of sustainable development objectives, based on the proposed framework of planetary boundaries indicators. The relevant research questions are divided in this paper into four key categories, related to the underlying processes and selection of key indicators, understanding the impacts of different exposure levels and influence of connections between different types of impacts, a better understanding of different response strategies and the available options to implement changes. Clearly, different categories of scientific disciplines and associated models exist that can contribute to the necessary analysis, noting that the distinctions between them are fuzzy. In the paper, we both indicate how different models relate to the four categories of questions but also how further insights can be obtained by connecting the different disciplines (without necessarily fully integrating them). Research on integration can support planetary boundary quantification in a credible way, linking human drivers and social and biophysical impacts.

  10. Experimental studies of oblique impact. [of meteorites on planetary surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gault, D. E.; Wedekind, J. A.

    1978-01-01

    Meteoritic materials most probably impact planetary bodies along oblique trajectories inclined less than 45 deg above their surfaces. Laboratory studies of hypervelocity impacts against rock and particulate media are presented that indicate important effects of obliquity on crater size, shape, and ejecta distribution. The effects are particularly important to crater size-frequency analyses and geologic interpretations of crater formations. Impacts at shallow incidence, which are not uncommon, lead to ricochet of the impacting object accompanied with some entrained excavated materials at velocities only slightly reduced from the pre-impact value.

  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. 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

  13. Underwater Multi-Node Radio Communication Solutions for Planetary Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kawar, Zaid Fares Yousef; Haddad, Sanad Atef Sari; Mestariheh, Feras R. M.; Jonsson, Lars Jonas

    2015-01-01

    The exploration of the presumably life harboring subsurface ocean of Europa will provide scientists with extensive new knowledge in the search for extraterrestrial life. A highly miniaturized payload is required to penetrate a narrow passage through the thick ice crust covering Europa's surface. Underwater wireless communications may be the most viable means of communication for such exploratory missions, accounting for size and weight restrictions. This presents a challenge to achieve satisfactory data rates and a range that permits autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) to communicate within their region of operation, as well as with a surface lander or orbiter. This work presents thorough prototype experimentation on an underwater communication system established between several nodes using RF signals. During an eight-week internship experience at NASA's Ames Research Center in September-October 2014, our team developed a Europa exploration mission concept, built representative hardware, and carried out tests to assess the feasibility of key aspects of the concept. Experiments demonstrating the viability of RF communication underwater comprised inspecting the effect of depth and horizontal distance on signal strength as well as the optimum positioning of antennas. To test the system's performance, two submersibles were designed and built. A commercially available remotely operated vehicle (ROV) was also modified and used as a main communication node. The two submersibles were wirelessly connected and accommodated sensors capable of characterizing water properties and equipped with 2.4 GHz, 1 mW transceivers to communicate the measured data. The communication procedure is that the main communication node requests the collected data from the two submersibles when in range and receives it instantly through RF. This work models what may take place during an actual mission to Europa. The developed mission concept involved a hybrid communication system consisting of

  14. 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...

  15. 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).

  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 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.

  18. Smart Multifunction Antenna for Lunar/Planetary Surface Network Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — NASA is planning a series of human and robotic missions to explore the Moon and later Mars. According to NASA SBIR topic O1.10, surface networks are needed for these...

  19. Simulation experiments for gamma-ray mapping of planetary surfaces: Scattering of high-energy neutrons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brueckner, J.; Englert, P.; Reedy, R. C.; Waenke, H.

    1986-01-01

    The concentration and distribution of certain elements in surface layers of planetary objects specify constraints on models of their origin and evolution. This information can be obtained by means of remote sensing gamma-ray spectroscopy, as planned for a number of future space missions, i.e., Mars, Moon, asteroids, and comets. To investigate the gamma-rays made by interactions of neutrons with matter, thin targets of different composition were placed between a neutron-source and a high-resolution germanium spectrometer. Gamma-rays in the range of 0.1 to 8 MeV were accumulated. In one set of experiments a 14-MeV neutron generator using the T(d,n) reaction as neutron-source was placed in a small room. Scattering in surrounding walls produced a spectrum of neutron energies from 14 MeV down to thermal. This complex neutron-source induced mainly neutron-capture lines and only a few scattering lines. As a result of the set-up, there was a considerable background of discrete lines from surrounding materials. A similar situation exists under planetary exploration conditions: gamma-rays are induced in the planetary surface as well as in the spacecraft. To investigate the contribution of neutrons with higher energies, an experiment for the measurement of prompt gamma radiation was set up at the end of a beam-line of an isochronous cyclotron.

  20. 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.

  1. Towards a Carbon Nanotube Ionization Source for Planetary Atmosphere Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oza, A. V.; Leblanc, F.; Berthelier, J. J.; Becker, J.; Coulomb, R.; Gilbert, P.; Hong, N. T.; Lee, S.; Vettier, L.

    2015-12-01

    The characterization of planetary exospheres today, relies on the development of a highly efficient ionization source, due to the scant neutral molecules (n atmospheres provide insight on to physical processes known to occur such as: space weathering, magneto-atmosphere interactions, as well as atmospheric escape mechanisms, all of which are being heavily investigated via current 3D Monte Carlo simulations (Turc et al. 2014, Leblanc et al. 2016 in prep) at LATMOS. Validation of these studies will rely on in-situ observations in the coming decades. Neutral detection strongly depends on electron-impact ionization which via conventional cathode-sources, such as thermal filaments (heated up to 2000 K), may only produce the target ionization essential for energy-measurements with large power consumption. Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) however are ideal low-power, cold cathodes, when subject to moderate electric fields (E ~ 1 MV / m). We present our current device, a small CNT chip, of emission area 15 mm2, emitting electrons that pass through an anode grid and subsequent electrostatic analyzer. The device currently extracts hundreds of µAmperes with applied external voltages ~ -150 Volts, approaching minimum power consumption plasma sputtering the icy regolith with heavy ions and electrons (keV < E < MeV), producing predominately molecular oxygen (Johnson et al. 2002).

  2. Radar TopoMapper concept for planetary exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madsen, Soren N.; Lou, Yun-Ling; Hensley, Scott; Harvey, Wayne L.; McKinnon, William B.

    2004-12-01

    Topographic information is key to interpreting the geology and geophysics of planetary bodies such as the icy Galilean satellites. Traditionally elevation information has been derived from stereo-photogrammetry, but the last couple of decades have offered new techniques, including radar interferometry, photoclinometry (shape from shading) and laser altimetry. Combining synthetic aperture radar (SAR) technology with interferometry (InSAR) enables high resolution imaging with elevation information at each image point. With two appropriately spaced antennas on a spacecraft, single-pass imaging radar interferometry can provide wide swath topographic data, independent of solar illumination, as was recently demonstrated on Earth by the Shuttle Topographic Radar Mission (SRTM; www.jpl.nasa.gov/srtm). We will present the science requirements, measurement principle, a straw-man"s design, and the predicted performance of a "compact SRTM" which could be flown on NASA missions such as the proposed Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO). In this paper we discuss challenges, including the calibration strategy and critical technology elements such as the high power RF-amplifier. We expect that the performance, both in terms of elevation accuracy and mapping rate would suffice to 1) determine topography on local and regional scales; 2) search for active geological change on the time scale of JIMO"s orbit around, e.g., Europa (30-60 days); and 3) determine the global tidal amplitude at Europa, Callisto, and Ganymede, which would constitute direct proof of the existence of oceans in all three icy moons.

  3. Atmospheric Breathing Electric Thruster for Planetary Exploration Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This study will investigate the development of an atmosphere-breathing electric propulsion solar-powered vehicle to explore planets such as Mars. The vehicle would...

  4. Super Ball Bot - Structures for Planetary Landing and Exploration Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Small, light-weight and low-cost missions will become increasingly important to NASA's exploration goals for our solar system. Ideally teams of dozens or even...

  5. Super Ball Bot - Structures for Planetary Landing and Exploration Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Small, light-weight and low-cost missions will become increasingly important to NASA's exploration goals. Ideally teams of small, collapsible robots, weighing...

  6. The Zuni-Bandera Volcanic Field, NM: An Analog for Exploring Planetary Volcanic Terrains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bleacher, J. E.; Garry, W. B.; Zimbelman, J. R.; Crumpler, L. S.; Aubele, J. C.

    2010-12-01

    The Zuni-Bandera volcanic field, near Grants, New Mexico, is comprised of volcanic deposits from several basaltic eruptions during the last million years. This vent field exhibits a diverse group of coalesced lava flows and displays well-preserved volcanic features including a’a and pahoehoe flows, collapsed lava tubes, cinder cones and low shields. The McCartys flow is a 48-km long inflated basalt flow and is the youngest in the field at around 3000 years old. Over the last three years we have used the Zuni-Bandera volcanic field, and the McCartys flow in particular, as a terrestrial analog for exploring planetary volcanic fields, and understanding the role of lava sheet inflation in flow field development. We have conducted three different styles of analog tests, 1) basic field science focused on understanding lava sheet inflation, 2) mission operations tests related to EVA design and real-time modification of traverse plans, and 3) science enabling technology tests. The Zuni-Bandera field is an ideal location for each style of analog test because it provides easy access to a diverse set of volcanic features with variable quality of preservation. However, many limitations must also be considered in order to maximize lessons learned. The McCartys flow displays well-preserved inflation plateaus that rise up to 15 m above the surrounding field. The preservation state enables textures and morphologies indicative of this process to be characterized. However, the pristine nature of the flow does not compare well with the much older and heavily modified inflated flows of Mars and the Moon. Older flows west of McCartys add value to this aspect of analog work because of their degraded surfaces, development of soil horizons, loose float, and limited exposure of outcrops, similar to what might be observed on the Moon or Mars. EVA design tests and science enabling technology tests at the Zuni-Bandera field provide the opportunity to document and interpret the relationships

  7. Simultaneous Localization and Mapping for Planetary Surface Mobility Project

    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....

  8. The Need for Analogue Missions in Scientific Human and Robotic Planetary Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snook, K. J.; Mendell, W. W.

    2004-01-01

    With the increasing challenges of planetary missions, and especially with the prospect of human exploration of the moon and Mars, the need for earth-based mission simulations has never been greater. The current focus on science as a major driver for planetary exploration introduces new constraints in mission design, planning, operations, and technology development. Analogue missions can be designed to address critical new integration issues arising from the new science-driven exploration paradigm. This next step builds on existing field studies and technology development at analogue sites, providing engineering, programmatic, and scientific lessons-learned in relatively low-cost and low-risk environments. One of the most important outstanding questions in planetary exploration is how to optimize the human and robotic interaction to achieve maximum science return with minimum cost and risk. To answer this question, researchers are faced with the task of defining scientific return and devising ways of measuring the benefit of scientific planetary exploration to humanity. Earth-based and spacebased analogue missions are uniquely suited to answer this question. Moreover, they represent the only means for integrating science operations, mission operations, crew training, technology development, psychology and human factors, and all other mission elements prior to final mission design and launch. Eventually, success in future planetary exploration will depend on our ability to prepare adequately for missions, requiring improved quality and quantity of analogue activities. This effort demands more than simply developing new technologies needed for future missions and increasing our scientific understanding of our destinations. It requires a systematic approach to the identification and evaluation of the categories of analogue activities. This paper presents one possible approach to the classification and design of analogue missions based on their degree of fidelity in ten

  9. Sample Acquisition for Materials in Planetary Exploration (SAMPLE) Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — ORBITEC proposes to analyze, design, and develop a device for autonomous lunar surface/subsurface sampling and processing applications. The Sample Acquisition for...

  10. Advanced Space Robotics and Solar Electric Propulsion: Enabling Technologies for Future Planetary Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaplan, M.; Tadros, A.

    2017-02-01

    Obtaining answers to questions posed by planetary scientists over the next several decades will require the ability to travel further while exploring and gathering data in more remote locations of our solar system. Timely investments need to be made in developing and demonstrating solar electric propulsion and advanced space robotics technologies.

  11. Precision of radio science instrumentation for planetary exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asmar, S. W.; Armstrong, J. W.; Iess, L.; Tortora, P.

    2004-01-01

    The Deep Space Network is the largest and most sensitive scientific telecommunications facility Primary function: providing two-way communication between the Earth and spacecraft exploring the solar system Instrumented with large parabolic reflectors, high-power transmitters, low-noise amplifiers & receivers.

  12. DEVELOPMENT OF A BIOCHIP DEDICATED TO PLANETARY EXPLORATION. FIRST STEP: RESISTANCE STUDIES TO SPACE CONDITIONS

    OpenAIRE

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

    2007-01-01

    For upcoming exploration missions, space agencies advocate the development of a new promising technique to search for traces of extent or extinct life: the biochip use. As space is a hazardous environment, a main concern relies on the resistance of this device to a panel of harsh constraints. Within the framework of the BiOMAS (Biochip for Organic Matter Analysis in Space) project, our team is currently developing a biochip especially designed for planetary exploration. We present here the me...

  13. Path-Following Control of Wheeled Planetary Exploration Robots Moving on Deformable Rough Terrain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Liang; Gao, Hai-bo; Deng, Zong-quan; Li, Zhijun; Xia, Ke-rui; Duan, Guang-ren

    2014-01-01

    The control of planetary rovers, which are high performance mobile robots that move on deformable rough terrain, is a challenging problem. Taking lateral skid into account, this paper presents a rough terrain model and nonholonomic kinematics model for planetary rovers. An approach is proposed in which the reference path is generated according to the planned path by combining look-ahead distance and path updating distance on the basis of the carrot following method. A path-following strategy for wheeled planetary exploration robots incorporating slip compensation is designed. Simulation results of a four-wheeled robot on deformable rough terrain verify that it can be controlled to follow a planned path with good precision, despite the fact that the wheels will obviously skid and slip. PMID:24790582

  14. Path-following control of wheeled planetary exploration robots moving on deformable rough terrain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Liang; Gao, Hai-bo; Deng, Zong-quan; Li, Zhijun; Xia, Ke-rui; Duan, Guang-ren

    2014-01-01

    The control of planetary rovers, which are high performance mobile robots that move on deformable rough terrain, is a challenging problem. Taking lateral skid into account, this paper presents a rough terrain model and nonholonomic kinematics model for planetary rovers. An approach is proposed in which the reference path is generated according to the planned path by combining look-ahead distance and path updating distance on the basis of the carrot following method. A path-following strategy for wheeled planetary exploration robots incorporating slip compensation is designed. Simulation results of a four-wheeled robot on deformable rough terrain verify that it can be controlled to follow a planned path with good precision, despite the fact that the wheels will obviously skid and slip.

  15. Back to the future: the role of the ISS and future space stations in planetary exploration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muller, Christian; Moreau, Didier

    2010-05-01

    Space stations as stepping stones to planets appear already in the1954 Disney-von Braun anticipation TV show but the first study with a specific planetary scientific objective was the ANTEUS project of 1978. This station was an evolution of SPACELAB hardware and was designed to analyse Mars samples with better equipment than the laboratory of the VIKING landers. It would have played the role of the reception facility present in the current studies of Mars sample return, after analysis, the "safe" samples would have been returned to earth by the space shuttle. This study was followed by the flights of SPACELAB and MIR. Finally after 35 years of development, the International Space Station reaches its final configuration in 2010. Recent developments of the international agreement between the space agencies indicate a life extending to 2025, it is already part of the exploration programme as its crews prepare the long cruise flights and missions to the exploration targets. It is now time to envisage also the use of this stable 350 tons spacecraft for planetary and space sciences. Planetary telescopes are an obvious application; the present SOLAR payload on COLUMBUS is an opportunity to use the target pointing capabilities from the ISS. The current exposure facilities are also preparing future planetary protection procedures. Other applications have already been previously considered as experimental collision and impact studies in both space vacuum and microgravity. Future space stations at the Lagrange points could simultaneously combine unique observation platforms with an actual intermediate stepping stone to Mars.

  16. A Planetary System Exploration Project for Introductory Astronomy and Astrobiology Courses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rees, Richard F.

    2015-01-01

    I have created three-part projects for the introductory astronomy and astrobiology courses at Westfield State University which simulate the exploration of a fictional planetary system. The introductory astronomy project is an initial reconnaissance of the system by a robotic spacecraft, culminating in close flybys of two or three planets. The astrobiology project is a follow-up mission concluding with the landing of a roving lander on a planet or moon. Student responses in earlier parts of each project can be used to determine which planets are targeted for closer study in later parts. Highly realistic views of the planets from space and from their surfaces can be created using programs such as Celestia and Terragen; images and video returned by the spacecraft are thus a highlight of the project. Although designed around the particular needs and mechanics of the introductory astronomy and astrobiology courses for non-majors at WSU, these projects could be adapted for use in courses at many different levels.

  17. Integrated Medium for Planetary Exploration (IMPEx): a new EU FP7-SPACE project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khodachenko, M. L.; Genot, V. N.; Kallio, E. J.; Alexeev, I. I.; Modolo, R.; Al-Ubaidi, T.; André, N.; Gangloff, M.; Schmidt, W.; Belenkaya, E. S.; Topf, F.; Stoeckler, R.

    2011-12-01

    The FP7-SPACE project Integrated Medium for Planetary Exploration (IMPEx) has started in June 2011. It will create an interactive framework for exploitation of space missions' data. Data analysis and visualization will be based on the advanced computational models of the planetary environments. Specifically, the 'modeling sector' of IMPEx is formed of four well established numerical codes and their related computational infrastructures: 1) 3D hybrid modeling platform HYB for the study of planetary plasma environments, hosted at FMI; 2) an alternative 3D hybrid modeling platform, hosted at LATMOS; 3) MHD modelling platform GUMICS for 3D terrestrial magnetosphere, hosted at FMI; and 4) the global 3D Paraboloid Magnetospheric Model for simulation of magnetospheres of different Solar System objects, hosted at SINP. Modelling results will be linked to the corresponding experimental data from space and planetary missions via several online tools: 1/ AMDA (Automated Multi-Dataset Analysis, http://cdpp-amda.cesr.fr/) which provides cross-linked visualization and operation of experimental and numerical modelling data, 2/ 3DView which will propose 3D visualization of spacecraft trajectories in simulated and observed environments, and 3/ "CLWeb" software which enables computation of various micro-scale physical products (spectra, distribution functions, etc.). In practice, IMPEx is going to provide an external user with an access to an extended set of space and planetary missions' data and powerful, world leading computing models, equipped with advanced visualization tools. Via its infrastructure, IMPEx will bring the data and models outside of the mission teams and specialized modelling groups making them accessible and useful for a broad planetary science community.

  18. Finite Element Analysis of Three Methods for Microwave Heating of Planetary Surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ethridge, Edwin; Kaukler, William

    2012-01-01

    In-Situ Resource Utilization will be Ground Breaking technology for sustained exploration of space. Volatiles are present in planetary regolith, but water by far has the most potential for effective utilization. The presence of water at the lunar poles and Mars opens the possibility of using the hydrogen for propellant on missions beyond Earth orbit. Likewise, the oxygen could be used for in-space propulsion for lunar ascent/descent and for space tugs from low lunar orbit to low Earth orbit. Water is also an effective radiation shielding material as well as a valuable expendable (water and oxygen) required for habitation in space. Because of the strong function of water vapor pressure with temperature, heating regolith effectively liberates water vapor by sublimation. Microwave energy will penetrate soil and heat from within, much more efficiently than heating from the surface with radiant heat. This is especially true under vacuum conditions since the heat transfer rate is very low. The depth of microwave penetration is a strong function of the microwave frequency and to a lesser extent on regolith dielectric properties. New methods for delivery of microwaves into lunar and planetary surfaces is being prototyped with laboratory experiments and modeled with COMSOL MultiPhysics. Recent results are discussed.

  19. Verification of a Monte-Carlo planetary surface radiation environment model using gamma-ray data from Lunar Prospector and 2001 Mars Odyssey

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Skidmore, M.S., E-mail: mss16@star.le.ac.u [Space Research Centre, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester, LE1 7RH (United Kingdom); Ambrosi, R.M. [Space Research Centre, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester, LE1 7RH (United Kingdom)

    2010-01-01

    Characterising a planetary radiation environment is important to: (1) assess the habitability of a planetary body for indigenous life; (2) assess the risks associated with manned exploration missions to a planetary body and (3) predict/interpret the results that remote sensing instrumentation may obtain from a planetary body (e.g. interpret the gamma-ray emissions from a planetary surface produced by radioactive decay or via the interaction of galactic cosmic rays to obtain meaningful estimates of the concentration of certain elements on the surface of a planet). The University of Leicester is developing instrumentation for geophysical applications that include gamma-ray spectroscopy, gamma-ray densitometry and radiometric dating. This paper describes the verification of a Monte-Carlo planetary radiation environment model developed using the MCNPX code. The model is designed to model the radiation environments of Mars and the Moon, but is applicable to other planetary bodies, and will be used to predict the performance of the instrumentation being developed at Leicester. This study demonstrates that the modelled gamma-ray data is in good agreement with gamma-ray data obtained by the gamma-ray spectrometers on 2001 Mars Odyssey and Lunar Prospector, and can be used to accurately model geophysical instrumentation for planetary science applications.

  20. SURFACE GEOPHYSICAL EXPLORATION - COMPENDIUM DOCUMENT

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    RUCKER DF; MYERS DA

    2011-10-04

    This report documents the evolution of the surface geophysical exploration (SGE) program and highlights some of the most recent successes in imaging conductive targets related to past leaks within and around Hanford's tank farms. While it is noted that the SGE program consists of multiple geophysical techniques designed to (1) locate near surface infrastructure that may interfere with (2) subsurface plume mapping, the report will focus primarily on electrical resistivity acquisition and processing for plume mapping. Due to the interferences from the near surface piping network, tanks, fences, wells, etc., the results of the three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction of electrical resistivity was more representative of metal than the high ionic strength plumes. Since the first deployment, the focus of the SGE program has been to acquire and model the best electrical resistivity data that minimizes the influence of buried metal objects. Toward that goal, two significant advances have occurred: (1) using the infrastructure directly in the acquisition campaign and (2) placement of electrodes beneath the infrastructure. The direct use of infrastructure was successfully demonstrated at T farm by using wells as long electrodes (Rucker et al., 2010, 'Electrical-Resistivity Characterization of an Industrial Site Using Long Electrodes'). While the method was capable of finding targets related to past releases, a loss of vertical resolution was the trade-off. The burying of electrodes below the infrastructure helped to increase the vertical resolution, as long as a sufficient number of electrodes are available for the acquisition campaign.

  1. Proactive Integration of Planetary Protection Needs Into Early Design Phases of Human Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Race, Margaret; Conley, Catharine

    Planetary protection (PP) policies established by the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) of the International Council for Science have been in force effectively for five decades, ensuring responsible exploration and the integrity of science activities, for both human and robotic missions in the Solar System beyond low Earth orbit (LEO). At present, operations on most bodies in the solar system are not constrained by planetary protection considerations because they cannot be contaminated by Earth life in ways that impact future space exploration. However, operations on Mars, Europa, and Enceladus, which represent locations with biological potential, are subject to strict planetary protection constraints for missions of all types because they can potentially be contaminated by organisms brought from Earth. Forward contamination control for robotic missions is generally accomplished through a combination of activities that reduce the bioload of microbial hitchhikers on outbound spacecraft prior to launch. Back contamination control for recent robotic missions has chiefly been accomplished by selecting sample-return targets that have little or no potential for extant life (e.g., cometary particles returned by Stardust mission). In the post-Apollo era, no human missions have had to deal with planetary protection constraints because they have never left Earth orbit. Future human missions to Mars, for example, will experience many of the challenges faced by the Apollo lunar missions, with the added possibility that astronauts on Mars may encounter habitable environments in their exploration or activities. Current COSPAR PP Principles indicate that safeguarding the Earth from potential back contamination is the highest planetary protection priority in Mars exploration. While guidelines for planetary protection controls on human missions to Mars have been established by COSPAR, detailed engineering constraints and processes for implementation of these guidelines have not

  2. Lunar and planetary surface conditions advances in space science and technology

    CERN Document Server

    Weil, Nicholas A

    1965-01-01

    Lunar and Planetary Surface Conditions considers the inferential knowledge concerning the surfaces of the Moon and the planetary companions in the Solar System. The information presented in this four-chapter book is based on remote observations and measurements from the vantage point of Earth and on the results obtained from accelerated space program of the United States and U.S.S.R. Chapter 1 presents the prevalent hypotheses on the origin and age of the Solar System, followed by a brief description of the methods and feasibility of information acquisition concerning lunar and planetary data,

  3. Natural fracture systems on planetary surfaces: Genetic classification and pattern randomness

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossbacher, Lisa A.

    1987-01-01

    One method for classifying natural fracture systems is by fracture genesis. This approach involves the physics of the formation process, and it has been used most frequently in attempts to predict subsurface fractures and petroleum reservoir productivity. This classification system can also be applied to larger fracture systems on any planetary surface. One problem in applying this classification system to planetary surfaces is that it was developed for ralatively small-scale fractures that would influence porosity, particularly as observed in a core sample. Planetary studies also require consideration of large-scale fractures. Nevertheless, this system offers some valuable perspectives on fracture systems of any size.

  4. Laboratory Tests of a Handheld X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometer: A Tool for Planetary Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, K. E.; Evans, C. A.; Hodges, K.

    2011-12-01

    Maximizing the science return from a mission to another planetary surface involves the integration of science objectives with deployable technologies that enable the collection of data and samples. For long duration manned missions, it is likely that more samples will be collected than can be returned to Earth due to mass limits. A niche exists for technologies that help prioritize samples for return, provide data for future sample handling and curation, and characterization for samples that are not returned to Earth. To fill this niche, hardware and protocols for field instruments are currently being developed and evaluated at NASA Johnson Space Center and Arizona State University. Our goal is to develop an easily used, environmentally isolated facility as part of the astronaut surface habitat for preliminary sample characterization and down-selection. NASA has constructed a prototype, GeoLab, as a testbed for evaluating the scientific applicability and operational considerations of various analytical instruments. One instrument under evaluation is a small, portable x-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometer that can be also be used by astronaut explorers as part of their field gear while on scientific sorties, or on robotic field assistants. We report on preliminary usability tests for commercially available handheld XRF instruments. These instruments collect data by contacting the surface of a rock or sediment sample with an 8 mm-wide sensor window. Within 60 seconds, the devices can provide relatively precise data on the abundance of major and trace elements heavier than Na. Lab-based handheld XRF analyses of terrestrial and lunar samples, compared with those made with full-scale laboratory XRF systems, show good correlation, but we continue to investigate potential sources of error and the need for careful calibration with standards of known composition. Specifically, we use a suite of five terrestrial and five lunar basalts, all well characterized by conventional

  5. Nonlinear adaptive formation control for a class of autonomous holonomic planetary exploration rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ganji, Farid

    This dissertation presents novel nonlinear adaptive formation controllers for a heterogeneous group of holonomic planetary exploration rovers navigating over flat terrains with unknown soil types and surface conditions. A leader-follower formation control architecture is employed. In the first part, using a point-mass model for robots and a Coulomb-viscous friction model for terrain resistance, direct adaptive control laws and a formation speed-adaptation strategy are developed for formation navigation over unknown and changing terrain in the presence of actuator saturation. On-line estimates of terrain frictional parameters compensate for unknown terrain resistance and its variations. In saturation events over difficult terrain, the formation speed is reduced based on the speed of the slowest saturated robot, using internal fleet communication and a speed-adaptation strategy, so that the formation error stays bounded and small. A formal proof for asymptotic stability of the formation system in non-saturated conditions is given. The performance of robot controllers are verified using a modular 3-robot formation simulator. Simulations show that the formation errors reduce to zero asymptotically under non-saturated conditions as is guaranteed by the theoretical proof. In the second part, the proposed adaptive control methodology is extended for formation control of a class of omnidirectional rovers with three independently-driven universal holonomic rigid wheels, where the rovers' rigid-body dynamics, drive-system electromechanical characteristics, and wheel-ground interaction mechanics are incorporated. Holonomic rovers have the ability to move simultaneously and independently in translation and rotation, rendering great maneuverability and agility, which makes them suitable for formation navigation. Novel nonlinear adaptive control laws are designed for the input voltages of the three wheel-drive motors. The motion resistance, which is due to the sinkage of rover

  6. Space Weathering Impact on Solar System Surfaces and Planetary Mission Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooper, John F.

    2011-01-01

    term (e.g., solar cycle) evolution of space climate. Capable instrumentation on planetary missions can and should be planned to contribute to knowledge of interplanetary space environments. Evolving data system technologies such as virtual observatories should be explored for more interdisciplinary application to the science of planetary surface, atmospheric, magnetospheric, and interplanetary interactions.

  7. Continued development of the radio science technique as a tool for planetary and solar system exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    1983-01-01

    A possible alternative to a spacecraft monostatic radar system for surface studies of Titan is introduced. The results of a short study of the characteristics of a bistatic radar investigation of Titan's surface, presented in terms of the Voyager 1 flyby and a proposed Galileo orbiter of Saturn are outlined. The critical factors which need to be addressed in order to optimize the radio occultation technique for the study of clouds and cloud regions in planetary atmospheres are outlined. Potential improvements in the techniques for measuring small-scale structures in planetary atmospheres and ionospheres are addressed. The development of a technique for vastly improving the radial resolution from the radio occultation measurements of the rings of Saturn is discussed.

  8. Development of a biochip dedicated to planetary exploration. First step: resistance studies to space conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-07-01

    For upcoming exploration missions, space agencies advocate the development of a new promising technique to search for traces of extent or extinct life: the biochip use. As space is a hazardous environment, a main concern relies on the resistance of this device to a panel of harsh constraints. Within the framework of the BiOMAS (Biochip for Organic Matter Analysis in Space) project, our team is currently developing a biochip 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 biochip.

  9. Exploring Visual Evidence of Human Impact on the Environment with Planetary-Scale Zoomable Timelapse Video

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sargent, R.; Egge, M.; Dille, P. S.; O'Donnell, G. D.; Herwig, C.

    2016-12-01

    Visual evidence ignites curiosity and inspires advocacy. Zoomable imagery and video on a planetary scale provides compelling evidence of human impact on the environment. Earth Timelapse places the observable impact of 30+ years of human activity into the hands of policy makers, scientists, and advocates, with fluidity and speed that supports inquiry and exploration. Zoomability enables compelling narratives and ready apprehension of environmental changes, connecting human-scale evidence to regional and ecosystem-wide trends and changes. Leveraging the power of Google Earth Engine, join us to explore 30+ years of Landset 30m RGB imagery showing glacial retreat, agricultural deforestation, irrigation expansion, and the disappearance of lakes. These narratives are enriched with datasets showing planetary forest gain/loss, annual cycles of agricultural fires, global changes in the health of coral reefs, trends in resource extraction, and of renewable energy development. We demonstrate the intuitive and inquiry-enabling power of these planetary visualizations, and provide instruction on how scientists and advocates can create and share or contribute visualizations of their own research or topics of interest.

  10. Planetary Surface Analysis Using Fast Laser Spectroscopic Techniques: Combined Microscopic Raman, LIBS, and Fluorescence Spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blacksberg, J.; Rossman, G. R.; Maruyama, Y.; Charbon, E.

    2011-12-01

    In situ exploration of planetary surfaces has to date required multiple techniques that, when used together, yield important information about their formation histories and evolution. We present a time-resolved laser spectroscopic technique that could potentially collect complementary sets of data providing information on mineral structure, composition, and hydration state. Using a picosecond-scale pulsed laser and a fast time-resolved detector we can simultaneously collect spectra from Raman, Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS), and fluorescence emissions that are separated in time due to the unique decay times of each process. The use of a laser with high rep rate (40 KHz) and low pulse energy (1 μJ/pulse) allows us to rapidly collect high signal to noise Raman spectra while minimizing sample damage. Increasing the pulse energy by about an order of magnitude creates a microscopic plasma near the surface and enables the collection of LIBS spectra at an unusually high rep rate and low pulse energy. Simultaneously, broader fluorescence peaks can be detected with lifetimes varying from nanosecond to microsecond. We will present Raman, LIBS, and fluorescence spectra obtained on natural mineral samples such as sulfates, clays, pyroxenes and carbonates that are of interest for Mars mineralogy. We demonstrate this technique using a photocathode-based streak camera detector as well as a newly-developed solid state Single Photon Avalanche Diode (SPAD) sensor array based on Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) technology. We will discuss the impact of system design and detector choice on science return of a potential planetary surface mission, with a specific focus on size, weight, power, and complexity. The research described here was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Native Fluorescence Life Detection instrument for planetary surfaces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Heather

    2016-07-01

    For this research project we designed an instrument to detect organisms (amino acids, metabolites) via biomolecular fluorescence. We proposed a novel technique for searching for direct evidence of life on planetary bodies. Results indicate the fluorescence of the biotic component of desert soils is approximately as strong as the fluorescence of the mineral component. Fluorescence laboratory measurements using the portable instrument reveal microbial concentration in the Mojave Desert soil is 107 bacteria per gram of soil. Soil microbial concentrations in the Mojave Desert, determined in situ via fluorescence, show that the number varies from 104 to 107 cells per gram of soil. Biomolecules and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are highly fluorescent at wavelengths in the ultra violet (266 nm, 355 nm), but not as much in the visible 532 nm range. Preliminary results show minerals discovered, such as perchlorate, fluoresce highest when excited by 355 nm. Overall, we conclude the fluorescent instrument described is suitable to detect soil microbes, organics, biomolecules, and some minerals via fluorescence, offering a high scientific return for minimal cost with non-contact applications in extreme environments on Earth and on future planetary missions.

  14. Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) for planetary surface exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gooding, James L.; Ming, Douglas W.

    1993-01-01

    Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) is the quantitative measurement of the enthalpic response of a material to a systematic change in temperature. In practice, the heat flow into or outward from a sample is measured as the sample is heated or cooled at a carefully controlled rate. DSC superficially resembles, but is not the same as differential thermal analysis (DTA), which is the measurement of temperature differences between a sample and reference material as the pair is heated or cooled. The fundamental properties measured by DSC are enthalpies and temperatures of phase transitions and constant-pressure heat capacities. Depending on instrument design and the nature of the sample, high-quality DSC analyses can be obtained on only a few milligrams of solid materials. DSC requires direct contact with the sample and generally degrades, if not destroys, the sample as a consequence of heating. In laboratory applications, it is common to subject the gaseous effluent from the DSC to analysis by a separate evolved-gas analyzer (EGA).

  15. Structured Light-Based Hazard Detection For Planetary Surface Navigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nefian, Ara; Wong, Uland Y.; Dille, Michael; Bouyssounouse, Xavier; Edwards, Laurence; To, Vinh; Deans, Matthew; Fong, Terry

    2017-01-01

    This paper describes a structured light-based sensor for hazard avoidance in planetary environments. The system presented here can also be used in terrestrial applications constrained by reduced onboard power and computational complexity and low illumination conditions. The sensor is on a calibrated camera and laser dot projector system. The onboard hazard avoidance system determines the position of the projected dots in the image and through a triangulation process detects potential hazards. The paper presents the design parameters for this sensor and describes the image based solution for hazard avoidance. The system presented here was tested extensively in day and night conditions in Lunar analogue environments. The current system achieves over 97 detection rate with 1.7 false alarms over 2000 images.

  16. Identifying mechanical property parameters of planetary soil using in-situ data obtained from exploration rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Liang; Gao, Haibo; Liu, Zhen; Deng, Zongquan; Liu, Guangjun

    2015-12-01

    Identifying the mechanical property parameters of planetary soil based on terramechanics models using in-situ data obtained from autonomous planetary exploration rovers is both an important scientific goal and essential for control strategy optimization and high-fidelity simulations of rovers. However, identifying all the terrain parameters is a challenging task because of the nonlinear and coupling nature of the involved functions. Three parameter identification methods are presented in this paper to serve different purposes based on an improved terramechanics model that takes into account the effects of slip, wheel lugs, etc. Parameter sensitivity and coupling of the equations are analyzed, and the parameters are grouped according to their sensitivity to the normal force, resistance moment and drawbar pull. An iterative identification method using the original integral model is developed first. In order to realize real-time identification, the model is then simplified by linearizing the normal and shearing stresses to derive decoupled closed-form analytical equations. Each equation contains one or two groups of soil parameters, making step-by-step identification of all the unknowns feasible. Experiments were performed using six different types of single-wheels as well as a four-wheeled rover moving on planetary soil simulant. All the unknown model parameters were identified using the measured data and compared with the values obtained by conventional experiments. It is verified that the proposed iterative identification method provides improved accuracy, making it suitable for scientific studies of soil properties, whereas the step-by-step identification methods based on simplified models require less calculation time, making them more suitable for real-time applications. The models have less than 10% margin of error comparing with the measured results when predicting the interaction forces and moments using the corresponding identified parameters.

  17. Japanese Exploration to Solar System Small Bodies: Rewriting a Planetary Formation Theory with Astromaterial Connection (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yano, H.

    2013-12-01

    space probe with hybrid propulsion of solar photon sail and ion engine system that will enable Japan to reach out deep interplanetary space beyond the main asteroid belt. Since 2002, Japanese scientists and engineers have been investigating the solar power sail mission to Jupiter Trojans and interdisciplinary cruising science, such as infrared observation of zodiacal light due to cosmic dust, which at the same time hit a large cross section of the solar sail membrane dust detector, concentrating inside the main asteroid belt. Now the mission design has extended from cruising and fly-by only to rendezvous and sample return options from Jupiter Trojan asteroids. Major scientific goal of Jupiter Trojan exploration is to constrain its origin between two competing hypothesis such as remnants of building blocks the Jovian system as the classic model and the second generation captured EKBOs as the planetary migration models, in which several theories are in deep discussion. Also important is to better understand mixing process of material and structure of the early Solar System just beyond snow line. The current plan involves its launch and both solar photon and IES accelerations combined with Earth and Jupiter gravity assists in 2020's, detailed rendezvous investigation of a few 10-km sized D-type asteroid among Jupiter Trojans in early 2030's and an optional sample return of its surface materials to the Earth in late 2030's.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Smart Multifunction Antenna for Lunar/Planetary Surface Network Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — NASA is planning a series of human and robotic missions to explore the Moon and later Mars. According to NASA SBIR topic O1.10, directionally selectable, steerable...

  1. Study of a thermal drill head for the exploration of subsurface planetary ice layers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weiss, P.; Yung, K. L.; Ng, T. C.; Kömle, N.; Kargl, G.; Kaufmann, E.

    2008-07-01

    The recently discovered water vapor plumes on Saturn's moon Enceladus, the polar caps of planet Mars and the possible ice volcanism on the Jovian satellites call for suitable techniques to explore deep ice layers of the solar system bodies. This paper presents a novel approach to deliver scientific probes into deeper layers of planetary ice. Several existing locomotion concepts and techniques for such probes are presented. After studying the mathematical framework of the melting locomotion process, melting tests with different head forms were done to evaluate the influence of the head's geometry on the melting process. This work led to a novel concept of a thermal drill head, using heat and mechanical drill in combination to penetrate the ice. We compare the performance of such a hybrid concept versus the melting penetration alone by a mathematical model and tests in ice with a prototype of the melting drill head.

  2. Attitude determination of planetary exploration rovers using solar panels characteristics and accelerometer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ishida, Takayuki; Takahashi, Masaki

    2014-12-01

    In this study, we propose a new attitude determination system, which we call Irradiance-based Attitude Determination (IRAD). IRAD employs the characteristics and geometry of solar panels. First, the sun vector is estimated using data from solar panels including current, voltage, temperature, and the normal vectors of each solar panel. Because these values are obtained using internal sensors, it is easy for rovers to provide redundancy for IRAD. The normal vectors are used to apply to various shapes of rovers. Second, using the gravity vector obtained from an accelerometer, the attitude of a rover is estimated using a three-axis attitude determination method. The effectiveness of IRAD is verified through numerical simulations and experiments that show IRAD can estimate all the attitude angles (roll, pitch, and yaw) within a few degrees of accuracy, which is adequate for planetary explorations.

  3. Time-resolved remote Raman and fluorescence spectrometers for planetary exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharma, Shiv K.; Misra, Anupam K.; Acosta, Tayro E.; Lucey, Paul G.

    2012-06-01

    At the University of Hawaii, we have developed compact time-resolved (TR) Raman, and fluorescence spectrometers suitable for planetary exploration under NASA's Mars Instrument Development Program. The compact Raman and fluorescence spectrometers consist of custom miniature spectrographs based on volume holographic gratings, and custom miniature intensified CCD cameras. These spectrographs have been interfaced with a regular 50 mm camera lens as well as with a three and a half inch diameter telescope for remotely interrogating minerals, water, water-ice and dry ice. Using a small frequency-doubled Nd:YAG pulsed laser (35 mJ/pulse, 20 Hz) and 50 mm camera lens, TRRaman and LINF spectra of minerals, and bio-minerals can be measured within 30 s under super-critical CO2, and with 3.5-inch telescope these samples can be interrogated to 50 m radial distance during day time and nighttime. The fluorescence spectrograph is capable of measuring TR- laser-induced fluorescence excited with 355 nm laser in the spectral range 400-800 nm spectral range. The TR-fluorescence spectra allow measurement of LINF from rare-earths and transition-metal ions in time domain, and also assist in differentiating between abiogenic minerals from organic and biogenic materials based on the fluorescence lifetime. Biological materials are also identified from their characteristic short-lived (<10 ns) laser-induced fluorescence lifetime. These instruments will play important role in planetary exploration especially in NASA's future Mars Sample Return Mission, and lander and rover missions.

  4. A Compact, Broadband Antenna for Planetary Surface-to-Surface Wireless Communications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barr, Philip; Zaman, Afroz; Miranda, Felix

    2006-01-01

    The Compact Microstrip Monopole Antenna (CMMA) is a novel antenna design that combines a microstrip patch antenna with a three-dimensional structure to attain a highly directive, broadband, compact antenna. A Tri-Lobed Patch (TLP) was designed to minimize the patch's area while reducing the antenna's operating frequency. A Grounding Wall (GW) connects the patch to the ground plane and a Vertical Enclosure Wall (VEW) extends up away from portions of the patch's perimeter. This VEW supplies the antenna with a higher directivity in the radial direction as well as reduces the operating frequency. The CMMA was designed to operate at 2.23 GHz, but experimental results have shown this antenna resonates at 2.05 GHz which is on the order of approximately Lambda(sub o)/11.6 with respect to the antenna's largest dimension, with a directivity and bandwidth of 6.0 dBi, and 130 MHz (6.3 percent), respectively. This miniature, radially emitting antenna makes the CMMA attractive for planetary-based surface-to-surface communications.

  5. 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

  6. A Dual-Chamber Hybrid Inflatable Suitlock (DCIS) for Planetary Surfaces or Deep Space

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howe, A. Scott; Kennedy, Kriss; Guirgis, Peggy; Boyle, Robert

    2011-01-01

    The Habitat Demonstration Unit (HDU) Project in conjunction with the NASA Extravehicular Activity (EVA) team has identified a need for a hybrid inflatable and hard shell suitlock that can be used for planetary surface and deep space human exploration missions. Through ongoing analog studies at NASA Desert Research and Technologies Studies (D-RATS) and in NASA's Prototyping Testbed Facility, it has been determined that a compactly stowed, deployable suitlock unit is needed to accommodate advanced EVA egress and ingress operations for various environments with only minor modification.The Dual-Chamber Inflatable Suitlock (DCIS) consists of three hard in-line bulkheads, separating two cylindrical membrane-walled compartments. A dual-compartment suitlock will allow for dust and contaminant control, suit maintenance, and efficient egress / ingress; and the inflatable aspect of the design will allow the unit to stow in a compact package for transport. This paper describes the DCIS functionality, subsystems, and operational scenarios.The novel concepts included in the DCIS are the triple bulkhead, dual-chamber that has one compartment that is continuously pressurized (either at cabin pressure, or may be used for transitional pressure from high-pressure habitats), and a nominal unpressurized second compartment where the suits will be kept for normal operations. The advantages include quicker egress / ingress, capacity for 'shirt sleeve' suit maintenance, and portability of the entire unit.

  7. NASA’S PLANETARY GEOLOGIC MAPPING PROGRAM: OVERVIEW

    OpenAIRE

    Williams, D. A.

    2016-01-01

    NASA’s Planetary Science Division supports the geologic mapping of planetary surfaces through a distinct organizational structure and a series of research and analysis (R&A) funding programs. Cartography and geologic mapping issues for NASA’s planetary science programs are overseen by the Mapping and Planetary Spatial Infrastructure Team (MAPSIT), which is an assessment group for cartography similar to the Mars Exploration Program Assessment Group (MEPAG) for Mars exploration. MAPSIT...

  8. Planetary protection R&D activities in the ESA exploration programme

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kminek, G.

    Since the begin of the Aurora exploration programme in 2001 the Human Spaceflight Microgravity and Exploration Directorate HME of ESA has invested in research and development activities related to planetary protection Some of these activities are focused on the recently approved ExoMars mission others are applicable to Mars missions in general including MSR the technology development of the latter one being part of the exploration core programme The proposed activities have been approved and initiated An overview of the activities and first results will be presented The main activities are begin itemize item Bioburden and Biodiversity evaluation in S C Facilities this activity will cover a period of almost two years and include the standard assay extension of the standard assay culture conditions identification of isolates using 16S rDNA via PCR and test of a rapid spore assay Protocols are developed in coordination with NASA-JPL item Extension of dry heat microbial reduction process to higher temperatures this activity will include a detailed study of the humidity effect on the inactivation kinetics This activity is in coordination with efforts at NASA-JPL item Validation of a dry heat sterilization process item Development of a low-temperature sterilization method the focus of this activity is on vapor hydrogen peroxide item Robotic capabilities for clean AIV AIT item Decontamination of man-rated systems item Definition of functional requirements for a Mars Sample Return Biological Containment Facility end itemize In

  9. A miniature laser ablation time-of-flight mass spectrometer for in situ planetary exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rohner, Urs; Whitby, James A.; Wurz, Peter

    2003-12-01

    We report the development and testing of a miniature mass spectrometer and ion source intended to be deployed on an airless planetary surface to measure the elemental and isotopic composition of rocks and soils. Our design concentrates at this stage on the proposed BepiColombo mission to the planet Mercury. The mass analyser is an axially symmetric reflectron time-of-flight design. The ion source utilizes a laser induced plasma, which is directly coupled into the mass analyser. Laser ablation gives high spatial resolution, and avoids the need for sample preparation. Our prototype instrument has a demonstrated mass resolution m/Dgrm (FWHM) in excess of 600 and a predicted dynamic range of better than four orders of magnitude. Isotopic fractionation effects are found to be minor. We estimate that a flight instrument would have a mass of 500 g (including all electronics), a volume of 650 cm3 and could operate on 3 W power.

  10. Ethical Considerations and Planetary Protection for Future Space Exploration - Starting with the Basics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Race, Margaret

    2012-07-01

    As COSPAR scientists deliberate what types of frameworks and policy approaches may be applicable to future activities by various sectors in space exploration, it also needs to consider the challenging question of what ethical values and foundations should be used in dealing with life, objects and activities in outer space. A 2010 COSPAR Workshop Report on Ethical Considerations for Planetary Protection in Space Exploration recommended that it is appropriate to maintain the existing PP policy aimed at scientific concerns even as we begin to explore various practical approaches to future contamination avoidance policies. It is also appropriate to examine in parallel the ethical considerations applicable to potential indigenous extraterrestrial life, non-living extraterrestrial features and environments, and planned uses and activities involving diverse life from Earth. Since numerous sectors have begun to propose activities raising varied ethical concerns (e.g., protection and management on the moon, strip mining, space synthetic biology, space code of conduct, and commercial space transport), it is timely to initiate serious international discussions about the appropriate ethical foundations and questions applicable to future space exploration. Plans are underway for convening interdisciplinary work groups to explore and deliberate on the values (e.g., intrinsic and instrumental) and ethical foundations that are appropriate for use in deliberations involving potential indigenous extraterrestrial life and the different classes of target objects and environments in our solar system. More than ever, information on bioethics, environmental ethics and geoethics will provide helpful guidance and foundational approaches of relevance to future policy deliberations that seek to go beyond science protection per se.

  11. Planetary SUrface Portal (PSUP): a tool for easy visualization and analysis of Martian surface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poulet, Francois; Quantin-Nataf, Cathy; Ballans, Hervé; Lozac'h, Loic; Audouard, Joachim; Carter, John; Dassas, karin; Malapert, Jean-Christophe; Marmo, Chiara; Poulleau, Gilles; Riu, Lucie; Séjourné, antoine

    2016-10-01

    PSUP is two software application platforms for working with raster, vector, DTM, and hyper-spectral data acquired by various space instruments analyzing the surface of Mars from orbit. The first platform of PSUP is MarsSI (Martian surface data processing Information System, http://emars.univ-lyon1.fr). It provides data analysis functionalities to select and download ready-to-use products or to process data though specific and validated pipelines. To date, MarsSI handles CTX, HiRISE and CRISM data of NASA/MRO mission, HRSC and OMEGA data of ESA/MEx mission and THEMIS data of NASA/ODY mission (Lozac'h et al., EPSC 2015). The second part of PSUP is also open to the scientific community and can be visited at http://psup.ias.u-psud.fr/. This web-based user interface provides access to many data products for Mars: image footprints and rasters from the MarsSI tool; compositional maps from OMEGA and TES; albedo and thermal inertia from OMEGA and TES; mosaics from THEMIS, Viking, and CTX; high level specific products (defined as catalogues) such as hydrated mineral sites derived from CRISM and OMEGA data, central peaks mineralogy,… In addition, OMEGA C channel data cubes corrected for atmospheric and aerosol contributions can be downloaded. The architecture of PSUP data management and visualization is based on SITools2 and MIZAR, two CNES generic tools developed by a joint effort between CNES and scientific laboratories. SITools2 provides a self-manageable data access layer deployed on the PSUP data, while MIZAR is 3D application in a browser for discovering and visualizing geospatial data. Further developments including the addition of high level products of Mars (regional geological maps, new global compositional maps,…) are foreseen. Ultimately, PSUP will be adapted to other planetary surfaces and space missions in which the French research institutes are involved.

  12. Treatment of non-sparse cratering in planetary surface dating

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kneissl, T.; Michael, G. G.; Schmedemann, N.

    2016-10-01

    We here propose a new technique to derive crater size-frequency distributions (CSFDs) from non-sparsely cratered surfaces, by accounting for the loss of craters due to subsequent crater/ejecta coverage. This approach, which we refer to as the buffered non-sparseness correction (BNSC), relates each crater to a measurement area found by excluding regions in the study area that have been resurfaced by larger craters and their ejecta blankets. The approach includes the well-known buffered crater counting (BCC) technique in order to consider the potential identification of craters whose centers are located outside the counting area. We demonstrate the new approach at two test sites on the Moon, one on the ancient lunar highlands outside the South Pole Aitken basin and the other on the much younger surface of lunar Mare Serenitatis. As expected, the correction has a much stronger effect on ancient, densely cratered surfaces than on younger, sparsely cratered surfaces. Furthermore, these first results indicate that the shapes of CSFDs on ancient terrains are actually very similar to the shapes of CSFDs on younger terrains.

  13. Automation of Morphometric Measurements for Planetary Surface Analysis and Cartography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kokhanov, A. A.; Bystrov, A. Y.; Kreslavsky, M. A.; Matveev, E. V.; Karachevtseva, I. P.

    2016-06-01

    For automation of measurements of morphometric parameters of surface relief various tools were developed and integrated into GIS. We have created a tool, which calculates statistical characteristics of the surface: interquartile range of heights, and slopes, as well as second derivatives of height fields as measures of topographic roughness. Other tools were created for morphological studies of craters. One of them allows automatic placing of topographic profiles through the geometric center of a crater. Another tool was developed for calculation of small crater depths and shape estimation, using C++ programming language. Additionally, we have prepared tool for calculating volumes of relief features from DTM rasters. The created software modules and models will be available in a new developed web-GIS system, operating in distributed cloud environment.

  14. AUTOMATION OF MORPHOMETRIC MEASUREMENTS FOR PLANETARY SURFACE ANALYSIS AND CARTOGRAPHY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. A. Kokhanov

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available For automation of measurements of morphometric parameters of surface relief various tools were developed and integrated into GIS. We have created a tool, which calculates statistical characteristics of the surface: interquartile range of heights, and slopes, as well as second derivatives of height fields as measures of topographic roughness. Other tools were created for morphological studies of craters. One of them allows automatic placing of topographic profiles through the geometric center of a crater. Another tool was developed for calculation of small crater depths and shape estimation, using C++ programming language. Additionally, we have prepared tool for calculating volumes of relief features from DTM rasters. The created software modules and models will be available in a new developed web-GIS system, operating in distributed cloud environment.

  15. Cryptic photosynthesis, Extrasolar planetary oxygen without a surface biological signature

    CERN Document Server

    Cockell, C S; Raven, J A

    2008-01-01

    On the Earth, photosynthetic organisms are responsible for the production of nearly all of the oxygen in the atmosphere. On the land, vegetation reflects in the visible, leading to a red edge which has been proposed as a biosignature for life on extrasolar planets. However, in many regions of the Earth, and particularly where surface conditions are extreme, for example in hot and cold deserts, photosynthetic organisms can be driven into and under substrates where light is still sufficient for photosynthesis. These communities exhibit no detectable surface spectral signature. The same is true of the assemblages of photosynthetic organisms at more than a few meters depth in water bodies. These communities are widespread and dominate local photosynthetic productivity. We review known cryptic photosynthetic communities and their productivity. We use a radiative transfer model to link geomicrobiology with observational astronomy and calculate the disk-averaged spectra and identify detectable features that would re...

  16. 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

  17. MATISSE: A novel tool to access, visualize and analyse data from planetary exploration missions

    CERN Document Server

    Zinzi, Angelo; Palomba, Ernesto; Giommi, Paolo; Antonelli, Lucio Angelo

    2016-01-01

    The increasing number and complexity of planetary exploration space missions require new tools to access, visualize and analyse data to improve their scientific return. ASI Science Data Center (ASDC) addresses this request with the web-tool MATISSE (Multi-purpose Advanced Tool for the Instruments of the Solar System Exploration), allowing the visualization of single observation or real-time computed high-order products, directly projected on the three-dimensional model of the selected target body. Using MATISSE it will be no longer needed to download huge quantity of data or to write down a specific code for every instrument analysed, greatly encouraging studies based on joint analysis of different datasets. In addition the extremely high-resolution output, to be used offline with a Python-based free software, together with the files to be read with specific GIS software, makes it a valuable tool to further process the data at the best spatial accuracy available. MATISSE modular structure permits addition of ...

  18. 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

  19. Planetary Entry Probes and Mass Spectroscopy: Tools and Science Results from In Situ Studies of Planetary Atmospheres and Surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niemann, Hasso B.

    2007-01-01

    Probing the atmospheres and surfaces of the planets and their moons with fast moving entry probes has been a very useful and essential technique to obtain in situ or quasi in situ scientific data (ground truth) which could not otherwise be obtained from fly by or orbiter only missions and where balloon, aircraft or lander missions are too complex and costly. Planetary entry probe missions have been conducted successfully on Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Titan after having been first demonstrated in the Earth's atmosphere. Future missions will hopefully also include more entry probe missions back to Venus and to the outer planets. 1 he success of and science returns from past missions, the need for more and better data, and a continuously advancing technology generate confidence that future missions will be even more successful with respect to science return and technical performance. I'he pioneering and tireless work of Al Seiff and his collaborators at the NASA Ames Research Center had provided convincing evidence of the value of entry probe science and how to practically implement flight missions. Even in the most recent missions involving entry probes i.e. Galileo and Cassini/Huygens A1 contributed uniquely to the science results on atmospheric structure, turbulence and temperature on Jupiter and Titan.

  20. Do Planetary Encounters Reset Surfaces of Near Earth Asteroids?

    CERN Document Server

    Nesvorny, David; Vokrouhlicky, David; Chapman, Clark R; Rafkin, Scot

    2010-01-01

    Processes such as the solar wind sputtering and micrometeorite impacts can modify optical properties of surfaces of airless bodies. This explains why spectra of the main belt asteroids, exposed to these `space weathering' processes over eons, do not match the laboratory spectra of ordinary chondrite (OC) meteorites. In contrast, an important fraction of Near Earth Asteroids (NEAs), defined as Q-types in the asteroid taxonomy, display spectral attributes that are a good match to OCs. Here we study the possibility that the Q-type NEAs underwent recent encounters with the terrestrial planets and that the tidal gravity (or other effects) during these encounters exposed fresh OC material on the surface (thus giving it the Q-type spectral properties). We used numerical integrations to determine the statistics of encounters of NEAs to planets. The results were used to calculate the fraction and orbital distribution of Q-type asteroids expected in the model as a function of the space weathering timescale, t_sw (see m...

  1. Development of a mass spectrometer for planetary exosphere exploration: from simulations to a flight like design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Stefan; Tulej, Marek; Wurz, Peter

    2017-04-01

    The exploration of habitable environments around the gas giants in the Solar System is of major interest in upcoming planetary missions. Exactly this theme is addressed by the Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (JUICE) mission of ESA, which will characterise Ganymede, Europa and Callisto as planetary objects and potential habitats [1], [2]. We developed a prototype of the Neutral gas and Ion Mass spectrometer (NIM) of the Particle Environment Package (PEP) for the JUICE mission intended for composition measurements of neutral gas and thermal plasma [3]. NIM/PEP will be used to measure the chemical composition of the exospheres of the icy Jovian moons. Besides direct ion measurement, the NIM instrument is able to measure the inflowing neutral gas in two different modes: in neutral mode the gas enters directly the ion source (open source) and in thermal mode, the gas gets thermally accommodated to wall temperature by several collisions inside an equilibrium sphere before entering the ion source (closed source). We started the development of NIM with detailed ion-optical simulations and optimisations using SIMION software. Based on the ion-optical design we developed a prototype of NIM with several iterations. We tested the prototype NIM under realistic mission conditions and thereby successfully verified its required functionality. We will present the development process from ion-optical simulation up to NIM prototype test results and the concluded flight like design. Furthermore, we will provide an insight into the working principle of NIM and its performance, based on measurement data. References: 1) ESA, "JUICE assessment study report (Yellow Book)", ESA/SRE(2011)18, 2012. 2) O. Grasset, M.K. Dougherty, A. Coustenis, E.J. Bunce, C. Erd, D. Titov, M. Blanc, A. Coates, P. Drossart, L.N. Fletcher, H. Hussmann, R. Jaumann, N. Krupp, J.-P. Lebreton, O. Prieto-Ballesteros, P. Tortora, F. Tosi, T. Van Hoolst, "JUpiter Icy moons Explorer (JUICE): An ESA mission to orbit Ganymede

  2. In Situ Instrumentation for Sub-Surface Planetary Geochemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bodnarik, J.; Evans, L.; Floyd, S.; Lim, L.; McClanahan, T.; Namkung, M.; Parsons, A.; Schweitzer, J.; Starr, R.; Trombka, J.

    2010-01-01

    Novel instrumentation is under development at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, building upon earth-based techniques for hostile environments, to infer geochemical processes important to formation and evolution of solid bodies in our Solar System. A prototype instrument, the Pulsed Neutron Generator Gamma Ray and Neutron Detectors (PNG-GRAND), has a 14 MeV pulsed neutron generator coupled with gamma ray and neutron detectors to measure quantitative elemental concentrations and bulk densities of a number of major, minor and trace elements at or below the surfaces with approximately a meter-sized spatial resolution down to depths of about 50 cm without the need to drill. PNG-GRAND's in situ a meter-scale measurements and adaptability to a variety of extreme space environments will complement orbital kilometer-scale and in-situ millimeter scale elemental and mineralogical measurements to provide a more complete picture of the geochemistry of planets, moons, asteroids and comets.

  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. NASA's Asteroid Redirect Mission: A Robotic Boulder Capture Option for Science, Human Exploration, Resource Utilization, and Planetary Defense

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abell, P.; Nuth, J.; Mazanek, D.; Merrill, R.; Reeves, D.; Naasz, B.

    2014-01-01

    NASA is examining two options for the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM), which will return asteroid material to a Lunar Distant Retrograde Orbit (LDRO) using a robotic solar electric propulsion spacecraft, called the Asteroid Redirect Vehicle (ARV). Once the ARV places the asteroid material into the LDRO, a piloted mission will rendezvous and dock with the ARV. After docking, astronauts will conduct two extravehicular activities (EVAs) to inspect and sample the asteroid material before returning to Earth. One option involves capturing an entire small (4 - 10 m diameter) near-Earth asteroid (NEA) inside a large inflatable bag. However, NASA is also examining another option that entails retrieving a boulder (1 - 5 m) via robotic manipulators from the surface of a larger (100+ m) pre-characterized NEA. The Robotic Boulder Capture (RBC) option can leverage robotic mission data to help ensure success by targeting previously (or soon to be) well- characterized NEAs. For example, the data from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's (JAXA) Hayabusa mission has been utilized to develop detailed mission designs that assess options and risks associated with proximity and surface operations. Hayabusa's target NEA, Itokawa, has been identified as a valid target and is known to possess hundreds of appropriately sized boulders on its surface. Further robotic characterization of additional NEAs (e.g., Bennu and 1999 JU3) by NASA's OSIRIS REx and JAXA's Hayabusa 2 missions is planned to begin in 2018. This ARM option reduces mission risk and provides increased benefits for science, human exploration, resource utilization, and planetary defense. Science: The RBC option is an extremely large sample-return mission with the prospect of bringing back many tons of well-characterized asteroid material to the Earth-Moon system. The candidate boulder from the target NEA can be selected based on inputs from the world-wide science community, ensuring that the most scientifically interesting

  5. Directional Characteristics of Thermal-Infrared Beaming from Atmosphereless Planetary Surfaces - A New Thermophysical Model

    CERN Document Server

    Rozitis, Ben

    2012-01-01

    We present a new rough-surface thermophysical model (Advanced Thermophysical Model or ATPM) that describes the observed directional thermal emission from any atmosphereless planetary surface. It explicitly incorporates partial shadowing, scattering of sunlight, selfheating and thermal-infrared beaming (re-radiation of absorbed sunlight back towards the Sun as a result of surface roughness). The model is verified by accurately reproducing ground-based directional thermal emission measurements of the lunar surface using surface properties that are consistent with the findings of the Apollo missions and roughness characterised by an RMS slope of ~32 degrees. By considering the wide range of potential asteroid surface properties, the model implies a beaming effect that cannot be described by a simple parameter or function. It is highly dependent on the illumination and viewing angles as well as surface thermal properties and is predominantly caused by macroscopic rather than microscopic roughness. Roughness alter...

  6. Remote X-Ray Diffraction and X-Ray Fluorescence Analysis on Planetary Surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blake, David F.; DeVincenzi, D. (Technical Monitor)

    1999-01-01

    The legacy of planetary X-ray Diffraction (XRD) and X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) began in 1960 when W. Parish proposed an XRD instrument for deployment on the moon. The instrument was built and flight qualified, but the Lunar XRD program was cancelled shortly before the first human landing in 1969. XRF chemical data have been collected in situ by surface landers on Mars (Viking 1 & 2, Pathfinder) and Venus (Venera 13 & 14). These highly successful experiments provide critical constraints on our current understanding of surface processes and planetary evolution. However, the mineralogy, which is more critical to planetary surface science than simple chemical analysis, will remain unknown or will at best be imprecisely constrained until X-ray diffraction (XRD) data are collected. Recent progress in X-ray detector technology allows the consideration of simultaneous XRD (mineralogic analysis) and high-precision XRF (elemental analysis) in systems miniaturized to the point where they can be mounted on fixed landers or small robotic rovers. There is a variety of potential targets for XRD/XRF equipped landers within the solar system, the most compelling of which are the poles of the moon, the southern highlands of Mars and Europa.

  7. Laboratory studies of aeolian sediment transport processes on planetary surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rasmussen, Keld R.; Valance, Alexandre; Merrison, Jonathan

    2015-09-01

    , but not all, older or recent wind tunnel observations. Similarly some measurements performed with uniform sand samples having grain diameters of the order of 0.25-0.40 mm indicate that ripple spacing depends on friction velocity in a similar way as particle jump length. The observations are thus in agreement with a recent ripple model that link the typical jump length to ripple spacing. A possible explanation for contradictory observations in some experiments may be that long observation sequences are required in order to assure that equilibrium exists between ripple geometry and wind flow. Quantitative understanding of saltation characteristics on Mars still lacks important elements. Based upon image analysis and numerical predictions, aeolian ripples have been thought to consist of relatively large grains (diameter > 0.6 mm) and that saltation occurs at high wind speeds (> 26 m/s) involving trajectories that are significantly longer than those on Earth (by a factor of 10-100). However, this is not supported by recent observations from the surface of Mars, which shows that active ripples in their geometry and composition have characteristics compatible with those of terrestrial ripples (Sullivan et al., 2008). Also the highest average wind speeds on Mars have been measured to be terrestrial conditions electric fields typically observed are not intense enough to significantly affect sand transport rates while little is known in the case of extra-terrestrial environments.

  8. Open source software integrated into data services of Japanese planetary explorations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamamoto, Y.; Ishihara, Y.; Otake, H.; Imai, K.; Masuda, K.

    2015-12-01

    Scientific data obtained by Japanese scientific satellites and lunar and planetary explorations are archived in DARTS (Data ARchives and Transmission System). DARTS provides the data with a simple method such as HTTP directory listing for long-term preservation while DARTS tries to provide rich web applications for ease of access with modern web technologies based on open source software. This presentation showcases availability of open source software through our services. KADIAS is a web-based application to search, analyze, and obtain scientific data measured by SELENE(Kaguya), a Japanese lunar orbiter. KADIAS uses OpenLayers to display maps distributed from Web Map Service (WMS). As a WMS server, open source software MapServer is adopted. KAGUYA 3D GIS (KAGUYA 3D Moon NAVI) provides a virtual globe for the SELENE's data. The main purpose of this application is public outreach. NASA World Wind Java SDK is used to develop. C3 (Cross-Cutting Comparisons) is a tool to compare data from various observations and simulations. It uses Highcharts to draw graphs on web browsers. Flow is a tool to simulate a Field-Of-View of an instrument onboard a spacecraft. This tool itself is open source software developed by JAXA/ISAS, and the license is BSD 3-Caluse License. SPICE Toolkit is essential to compile FLOW. SPICE Toolkit is also open source software developed by NASA/JPL, and the website distributes many spacecrafts' data. Nowadays, open source software is an indispensable tool to integrate DARTS services.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. On the effect of surface roughness and frequency on the planetary radar echo

    Science.gov (United States)

    Virkki, Anne

    2016-10-01

    Planetary radar is a strong tool for revealing surface properties of near-Earth asteroids, such as the geometric composition, or surface roughness, with implications on the chemical composition. For some asteroids and comets visited with spacecrafts, local variations of the size distribution of surface particles have been observed (Michikami et al., Earth Planets Space 60, 2008). The variations can be observed using radar through variations of circular-polarization ratio (Virkki et al. In Asteroids, Comets, Meteors 2014, 2014).We model radar scattering by planetary surfaces using an algorithm of geometric optics with Fresnelian reflections and refractions as well as diffuse scattering (Muinonen et al., JQSRT 110, 2009). Previously, we have shown the effect of various surface properties, such as the material, geometry, and size of the scatterers, e.g., wavelength-scale boulders on the asteroid surface, on the observed radar albedo and circular-polarization ratio when a power-law (r-3) size distribution of irregular particles is used (Virkki and Muinonen, Icarus 269, 2016). In this study, we show how different size distributions affect the radar albedo and circular-polarization ratio. Also, we discuss the effect that the choice of the observation frequency (2380 or 8560 MHz) may have on the echo. As materials, we compare different types of rock and ice.

  13. Advances in Raman spectroscopy for In Situ Identification of Minerals and Organics on Diverse Planetary Surfaces: from Mars to Titan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blacksberg, J.; Alerstam, E.; Maruyama, Y.; Cochrane, C.; Rossman, G. R.

    2015-12-01

    We present recent developments in time-resolved Raman spectroscopy for in situ planetary surface exploration, aimed at identification of both minerals and organics. Raman is a non-destructive surface technique that requires no sample preparation. Raman spectra are highly material specific and can be used for identification of a wide range of unknown samples. In combination with micro-scale imaging and point mapping, Raman spectroscopy can be used to directly interrogate rocks and regolith materials, while placing compositional analyses within a microtextural context, essential for understanding surface evolutionary pathways. Due to these unique capabilities, Raman spectroscopy is of great interest for the exploration of all rocky and icy bodies, for example Mars, Venus, the Moon, Mars' moons, asteroids, comets, Europa, and Titan. In this work, we focus on overcoming one of the most difficult challenges faced in Raman spectroscopy: interference from background fluorescence of the very minerals and organics that we wish to characterize. To tackle this problem we use time-resolved Raman spectroscopy, which separates the Raman from background processes in the time domain. This same technique also enables operation in daylight without the need for light shielding. Two key components are essential for the success of this technique: a fast solid-state detector and a short-pulse laser. Our detector is a custom developed Single Photon Avalanche Diode (SPAD) array, capable of sub-ns time-gating. Our pulsed lasers are solid-state miniature pulsed microchip lasers. We discuss optimization of laser and detector parameters for our application. We then present Raman spectra of particularly challenging planetary analog samples to demonstrate the unique capabilities of this time-resolved Raman instrument, for example, Mars-analog clays and Titan-analog organics. The research described here was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a

  14. Early Solar System Bombardment: Exploring the Echos of Planetary Migration and Lost Ice Giants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bottke, William

    2017-01-01

    Heavily cratered surfaces on the Moon, Mars, Mercury show the terrestrial planets were battered by an intense bombardment during their first billion years or more, but the timing, sources, and dynamical implications of these impacts are controversial. The Late Heavy Bombardment refers to impact events that occurred after stabilization of planetary lithospheres such that they could be preserved as craters. Lunar melt rocks and meteorite shock ages point toward a discrete episode of elevated impact flux between ~3.5 to ~4.2 Ga and a relative quiescence between ~4.0-4.2 to ~4.4 Ga. Evidence from Precambrian impact spherule layers suggest a long-lived tail of terrestrial impactors lasted to ~2.0-2.5 Ga.Dynamical models that include populations residual from primary accretion and destabilized by giant planet migration can potentially account for observations, although all have pros and cons. The most parsimonious solution to match constraints is a hybrid model with discrete early, post-accretion and later, planetary instability-driven impactor populations.For the latter, giant planet instability models can successfully reproduce the orbits of the giant planets, the origin/properties of Jupiter/Neptune Trojans, irregular satellites, the structure of the main asteroid and Kuiper belts, and the presence of comet-like bodies in the main belt, Hilda, and Trojan asteroid populations. The best solutions, however, postulate there were once five giant planets: Jupiter, Saturn, and three ice giants, one that was eventually ejected out of the Solar System by a Jupiter encounter. Intriguing evidence for this “lost” ice giant planet can be found in the orbital properties of bodies captured in the main asteroid belt.The applicability of giant planet instabilities to exoplanet systems seems likely, with the initial configuration of giant planet orbits a byproduct of their early migration and subsequent capture into mutual mean motion resonances. The question is how long can a

  15. Establishing the Synthetic Contingencies for Life: Following the Carbon from AGB Stars to Planetary Surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ziurys, L. M.; Halfen, D. T.; Woolf, N. J.

    2009-12-01

    The biochemistry of living systems is remarkably selective, utilizing certain chemical compounds and not other, closely related molecules. This selectivity might be a result of interstellar chemistry. Organic synthesis in space is remarkably active. It begins with the carbon-rich chemistry of circumstellar envelopes, which appears to survive in part as these objects evolve into planetary nebula and then into diffuse clouds. Diffuse clouds subsequently collapse into dense clouds, carrying along the chemical imprint of previous syntheses. This cycling of molecular gas provides dense clouds with C-rich starting material, which accelerates organic chemistry in these objects. The low temperature environment of interstellar space restricts available chemical pathways, resulting in molecule formation that is non-combinatorial. Comets, meteorites, and perhaps interplanetary dust particles then bring these select organic compounds to planetary surfaces. Thus, the â??synthetic contingenciesâ?? that led to life on Earth may have been established by interstellar chemistry.

  16. Lunette: A Dual Lander Mission to the Moon to Explore Early Planetary Differentiation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neal, C. R.; Banerdt, B.; Jones, M.; Elliott, J.; Alkalai, L.; Turyshev, S.; Lognonné, P.; Kobayashi, N.; Grimm, R. E.; Spohn, T.; Weber, R. C.; Lunette Science; Instrument Support Team

    2010-12-01

    The Moon is critical for understanding fundamental aspects of how terrestrial planets formed and evolved. The Moon’s size means that a record of early planetary differentiation has been preserved. However, data from previous, current and planned missions are (will) not (be) of sufficient fidelity to provide definitive conclusions about its internal state, structure, and composition. Lunette rectifies this situation. Lunette is a solar-powered, 2 identical lander geophysical network mission that operates for at least 4 years on the surface of the Moon. Each Lunette lander carries an identical, powerful geophysical payload consisting of four instruments: 1) An extremely sensitive instrument combining a 3-axis triad of Short Period sensors and a 3-axis set of Long Period sensors, to be placed with its environmental shield on the surface; 2) A pair of self-penetrating “Moles,” each carrying thermal and physical sensors at least 3 m below the surface to measure the heat flow from the lunar interior; 3) Lunar Laser Ranging Retro-Reflector: A high-precision, high-performance corner cube reflector for laser ranging between the Earth and the Moon; and 4) ElectroMagnetic Sounder: A set of directional magnetometers and electrometers that together probe the electrical resistivity and thermal conductivity of the interior. The 2 landers are deployed to distinct lunar terranes: the Feldspathic Highlands Terrane (FHT) and the Procellarum KREEP Terrane (PKT) on the lunar nearside. They are launched together on a single vehicle, then separate shortly after trans-lunar injection, making their way individually to an LL2 staging point. Each lander descends to the lunar surface at the beginning of consecutive lunar days; the operations team can concentrate on completing lander checkout and instrument deployments well before lunar night descends. Lunette has one primary goal: Understand the early stages of terrestrial planet differentiation. Lunette uses Apollo knowledge of deep

  17. Ultrasonic/Sonic Driller/Corer (USDC) as a Subsurface Sampler and Sensors Platform for Planetary Exploration Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bar-Cohen, Yoseph; Sherrit, Stewart; Bao, Xiaoqi; Badescu, Mircea; Aldrich, Jack; Chang, Zensheu

    2006-01-01

    The search for existing or past life in the Universe is one of the most important objectives of NASA's mission. For this purpose, effective instruments that can sample and conduct in-situ astrobiology analysis are being developed. In support of this objective, a series of novel mechanisms that are driven by an Ultrasonic/Sonic actuator have been developed to probe and sample rocks, ice and soil. This mechanism is driven by an ultrasonic piezoelectric actuator that impacts a bit at sonic frequencies through the use of an intermediate free-mass. Ultrasonic/Sonic Driller/Corer (USDC) devices were made that can produce both core and powdered cuttings, operate as a sounder to emit elastic waves and serve as a platform for sensors. For planetary exploration, this mechanism has the important advantage of requiring low axial force, virtually no torque, and can be duty cycled for operation at low average power. The advantage of requiring low axial load allows overcoming a major limitation of planetary sampling in low gravity environments or when operating from lightweight robots and rovers. The ability to operate at duty cycling with low average power produces a minimum temperature rise allowing for control of the sample integrity and preventing damage to potential biological markers in the acquired sample. The development of the USDC is being pursued on various fronts ranging from analytical modeling to mechanisms improvements while considering a wide range of potential applications. While developing the analytical capability to predict and optimize its performance, efforts are made to enhance its capability to drill at higher power and high speed. Taking advantage of the fact that the bit does not require rotation, sensors (e.g., thermocouple and fiberoptics) were integrated into the bit to examine the borehole during drilling. The sounding effect of the drill was used to emit elastic waves in order to evaluate the surface characteristics of rocks. Since the USDC is

  18. A model of the planetary boundary layer over a snow surface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halberstam, I.; Melendez, R.

    1979-01-01

    A model of the planetary boundary layer over a snow surface has been developed. It contains the vertical heat exchange processes due to radiation, conduction, and atmospheric turbulence. Parametrization of the boundary layer is based on similarity functions developed by Hoffert and Sud (1976), which involve a dimensionless variable, dependent on boundary-layer height and a localized Monin-Obukhov length. The model also contains the atmospheric surface layer and the snowpack itself, where snowmelt and snow evaporation are calculated. The results indicate a strong dependence of surface temperatures, especially at night, on the bursts of turbulence which result from the frictional damping of surface-layer winds during periods of high stability, as described by Businger (1973). The model also shows the cooling and drying effect of the snow on the atmosphere, which may be the mechanism for air mass transformation in sub-Arctic regions.

  19. Immune system changes during simulated planetary exploration on Devon Island, high arctic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Effenhauser Rainer

    2007-05-01

    following spaceflight. Conclusion The immune system changes described during the HMP field deployment validate the use of the HMP as a ground-based spaceflight/planetary exploration analog for some aspects of human physiology. The sample processing protocol developed for this study may have applications for immune studies in remote terrestrial field locations. Elements of this protocol could possibly be adapted for future in-flight immunology studies conducted during space missions.

  20. Infrared and Raman spectroscopy on synthetic glasses as analogues of planetary surfaces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weber, Iris; Morlok, Andreas; Klemme, Stephan; Dittmer, Isabelle; Stojic, Aleksandra N.; Hiesinger, Harald; Sohn, Martin; Helbert, Jörn

    2015-04-01

    One of the fundamental aims of space mission is to understand the physical, chemical, and geologic processes and conditions of planetary formation and evolution. For this purpose, it is important to investigate analog material to correctly interpret the returned spacecraft data, including the spectral information from remote planetary surfaces. For example, mid-infrared spectroscopy provides detailed information on the mineralogical compositions of planetary surfaces via remote sensing. Data is affected by numerous factors such as grain size, illumination geometry, space weathering, and temperature. These features need to be systematically investigated on analog material in terrestrial laboratories in order to understand the mineralogy/composition of a planetary surface. In addition, Raman spectroscopy allows non-destructive analyses of planetary surfaces in the case of a landing mission. Our work at the IRIS (Infrared spectroscopy for Interplanetary Studies) laboratory at the Institut für Planetologie produces spectra for a database of the ESA/JAXA BepiColombo mission to Mercury. Onboard is a mid-infrared spectrometer (MERTIS-Mercury Radiometer and Thermal Infrared Spectrometer). This unique instrument allows us to map spectral features in the 7-14 µm range, with a spatial resolution of ~500 m [1-5]. Comparably, using our Raman spectrometer, we are continuously contributing to the Raman database for upcoming mission, e.g., the Raman Laser Spectrometer (RLS) onboard of ExoMars [6]. Material on the surface of Mercury and the other terrestrial bodies was exposed to heavy impact cratering [4]. Depending on the P/T conditions during the impact, minerals on planetary surfaces can react with the formation of glassy material. Thus, understanding the effects of impact shock and heat on the mineral structure and the resulting corresponding change in the spectral properties is of high interest for the MERTIS project. Here, we present spectral information on the first glass

  1. 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.; Zacny, K.; Rogacki, S.; Grubisic, A.; Cornish, T.

    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

  2. In-Space Propulsion Engine Architecture Based on Sublimation of Planetary Resources: From Exploration Robots to NED Mitigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sibille, Laurent; Mantovani, James; Dominquez, Jesus

    2011-01-01

    The purpose of this NIAC study is to identify those volatile and mineral resources that are available on asteroids, comets, moons and planets in the solar system, and investigate methods to transform these resources into forms of power that will expand the capabilities of future robotic and human exploration missions to explore planetary bodies beyond the Moon and will mitigate hazards from NEOs. The sources of power used for deep space probe missions are usually derived from either solar panels for electrical energy, radioisotope thermal generators for thermal energy, or fuel cells and chemical reactions for chemical energy and propulsion.

  3. 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.

  4. 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 № 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 № 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

  5. Design and Testing of a Prototype Lunar or Planetary Surface Landing Research Vehicle (LPSLRV)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, Gloria A.

    2010-01-01

    This handbook describes a two-semester senior design course sponsored by the NASA Office of Education, the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD), and the NASA Space Grant Consortium. The course was developed and implemented by the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department (MAE) at Utah State University. The course final outcome is a packaged senior design course that can be readily incorporated into the instructional curriculum at universities across the country. The course materials adhere to the standards of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), and is constructed to be relevant to key research areas identified by ESMD. The design project challenged students to apply systems engineering concepts to define research and training requirements for a terrestrial-based lunar landing simulator. This project developed a flying prototype for a Lunar or Planetary Surface Landing Research Vehicle (LPSRV). Per NASA specifications the concept accounts for reduced lunar gravity, and allows the terminal stage of lunar descent to be flown either by remote pilot or autonomously. This free-flying platform was designed to be sufficiently-flexible to allow both sensor evaluation and pilot training. This handbook outlines the course materials, describes the systems engineering processes developed to facilitate design fabrication, integration, and testing. This handbook presents sufficient details of the final design configuration to allow an independent group to reproduce the design. The design evolution and details regarding the verification testing used to characterize the system are presented in a separate project final design report. Details of the experimental apparatus used for system characterization may be found in Appendix F, G, and I of that report. A brief summary of the ground testing and systems verification is also included in Appendix A of this report. Details of the flight tests will be documented in a separate flight test

  6. Planetary Exploration, Horizon 2061: A Joint ISSI-Europlanet Community Foresight Exercise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanc, M.; Harri, A.-M.; Rodrigo, R.; Krupp, N.; Zarnecki, J.; Szego, K.; Horizon 2061 Working Group; Planetary Exploration Horizon 2061 Team

    2017-02-01

    This communication will be the first presentation of the outputs of a community forum organized in September 2016 in Bern by ISSI and Europlanet. It will present a foresight of the key questions that should drive planetary space missions up to the 2061 horizon.

  7. Exploring scaling laws in surface topography

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Abedini, M.J. [Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, N2L 3G1 (Canada)], E-mail: abedini@shirazu.ac.ir; Shaghaghian, M.R. [Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Shiraz University, Shiraz (Iran, Islamic Republic of)

    2009-11-30

    Surface topography affects many soil properties and processes, particularly surface water storage and runoff. Application of fractal analysis helps understand the scaling laws inherent in surface topography at a wide range of spatial scales and climatic regimes. In this research, a high resolution digital elevation model with a 3 mm resolution on one side of the spectrum and large scale DEMs, with a 500 m spatial resolution on the other side were used to explore scaling laws in surface topography. With appropriate exploratory spatial data analysis of both types of data sets, two conventional computational procedures - variogram and Box Counting Methods (BCM) - address scaling laws in surface topography. The results respect scaling laws in surface topography to some extent as neither the plot treatment nor the direction treatment has a significant impact on fractal dimension variability. While in the variogram method, the change in slope in Richardson's plots appears to be the norm rather than the exception; Richardson's plots resulting from box counting implementation lack such mathematical behavior. These breaks in slope might have useful implications for delineating homogeneous hydrologic units and detecting change in trend in hydrologic time series. Furthermore, it is shown that fractal dimension cannot be used to capture anisotropic variabilities both within and among micro-plots. In addition, its numerical value remains insignificant at the 5% level in moving from one direction to another and also from one spatial scale to another while the ordinate intercept could discriminate the surface roughness variability from one spatial scale to another.

  8. Equipotential Surfaces and Lagrangian points in Non-synchronous, Eccentric Binary and Planetary Systems

    CERN Document Server

    Sepinsky, J F; Kalogera, V

    2006-01-01

    We investigate the existence and properties of equipotential surfaces and Lagrangian points in non-synchronous, eccentric binary star and planetary systems under the assumption of quasi-static equilibrium. We adopt a binary potential that accounts for non-synchronous rotation and eccentric orbits, and calculate the positions of the Lagrangian points as functions of the mass ratio, the degree of asynchronism, the orbital eccentricity, and the position of the stars or planets in their relative orbit. We find that the geometry of the equipotential surfaces may facilitate non-conservative mass transfer in non-synchronous, eccentric binary star and planetary systems, especially if the component stars or planets are rotating super-synchronously at the periastron of their relative orbit. We also calculate the volume-equivalent radius of the Roche lobe as a function of the four parameters mentioned above. Contrary to common practice, we find that replacing the radius of a circular orbit in the fitting formula of Eggl...

  9. Statistical Modification Analysis of Helical Planetary Gears based on Response Surface Method and Monte Carlo Simulation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHANG Jun; GUO Fan

    2015-01-01

    Tooth modification technique is widely used in gear industry to improve the meshing performance of gearings. However, few of the present studies on tooth modification considers the influence of inevitable random errors on gear modification effects. In order to investigate the uncertainties of tooth modification amount variations on system’s dynamic behaviors of a helical planetary gears, an analytical dynamic model including tooth modification parameters is proposed to carry out a deterministic analysis on the dynamics of a helical planetary gear. The dynamic meshing forces as well as the dynamic transmission errors of the sun-planet 1 gear pair with and without tooth modifications are computed and compared to show the effectiveness of tooth modifications on gear dynamics enhancement. By using response surface method, a fitted regression model for the dynamic transmission error(DTE) fluctuations is established to quantify the relationship between modification amounts and DTE fluctuations. By shifting the inevitable random errors arousing from manufacturing and installing process to tooth modification amount variations, a statistical tooth modification model is developed and a methodology combining Monte Carlo simulation and response surface method is presented for uncertainty analysis of tooth modifications. The uncertainly analysis reveals that the system’s dynamic behaviors do not obey the normal distribution rule even though the design variables are normally distributed. In addition, a deterministic modification amount will not definitely achieve an optimal result for both static and dynamic transmission error fluctuation reduction simultaneously.

  10. Instruments for Planetary Exploration with CubeSats and SmallSats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raymond, Carol; Jaumann, Ralf; Vane, Gregg; Baker, John; Castillo-Rogez, Julie; Yano, Hajime

    2016-07-01

    Planetary sensors and instruments are undergoing a revolutionary transformation as solid-state electronics and advanced detectors allow drastic reductions in size, mass and power relative to instruments flown in the past. Given their reduced resource needs, these capable new systems are potentially compatible with use on smallsats. New built-in processing techniques further enable increased science return in constrained resource environments. In the summer of 2014 an international group of scientists, engineers, and technologists started a study to define investigations to be carried out by nano-spacecraft, and instruments that would enable breakthrough science from these small platforms were identified. The possibilities include passive remote sensing instruments such as imagers, spectrometers, magnetometers, dust analyzers; active instruments such as radar, lidar, laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS), muonography, projectiles; and landed packages and in-situ probes such as instrumented penetrators, seismometers, and in-situ sample analysis packages. Many of the passive and active instruments could be used in-situ for very high-resolution measurements over limited areas. Smallsats lend themselves to observing strategies that allow dense spatial and temporal sampling using multiple flight system elements, covering a range of observing conditions, and multi-scale measurements with concurrent surface and remote observations. The lower cost of smallsats allows visiting a large range of targets and provides an architecture for cooperating distributed networks of sensors. The current state-of-the-art in smallsat payloads includes instrument suites on the Philae lander (Rosetta), and the MINERVA-II rovers and MASCOT on Hayabusa-2. Many Cubesat form factor instruments are either built or in development, including impactors and penetrators, and several new technologies are making their debut in the smallsat arena. The Philae payload included the CONSERT active radar

  11. Indication of insensitivity of planetary weathering behavior and habitable zone to surface land fraction

    CERN Document Server

    Abbot, Dorian S; Ciesla, Fred J

    2012-01-01

    It is likely that unambiguous habitable zone terrestrial planets of unknown water content will soon be discovered. Water content helps determine surface land fraction, which influences planetary weathering behavior. This is important because the silicate weathering feedback determines the width of the habitable zone in space and time. Here a low-order model of weathering and climate, useful for gaining qualitative understanding, is developed to examine climate evolution for planets of various land-ocean fractions. It is pointed out that, if seafloor weathering does not depend directly on surface temperature, there can be no weathering-climate feedback on a waterworld. This would dramatically narrow the habitable zone of a waterworld. Results from our model indicate that weathering behavior does not depend strongly on land fraction for partially ocean-covered planets. This is powerful because it suggests that previous habitable zone theory is robust to changes in land fraction, as long as there is some land. F...

  12. Planetary gyre, time-dependent eddies, torsional waves, and equatorial jets at the Earth's core surface

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gillet, N.; Jault, D.; Finlay, Chris

    2015-01-01

    We report a calculation of time-dependent quasi-geostrophic core flows for 1940–2010. Inverting recursively for an ensemble of solutions, we evaluate the main source of uncertainties, namely, the model errors arising from interactions between unresolved core surface motions and magnetic fields....... Temporal correlations of these uncertainties are accounted for. The covariance matrix for the flow coefficients is also obtained recursively from the dispersion of an ensemble of solutions. Maps of the flow at the core surface show, upon a planetary-scale gyre, time-dependent large-scale eddies...... between the magnetic field and subdecadal nonzonal motions within the fluid outer core. Both the zonal and the more energetic nonzonal interannual motions were particularly intense close to the equator (below 10∘ latitude) between 1995 and 2010. We revise down the amplitude of the decade fluctuations...

  13. The Highland Terrain Hopper: a new locomotion system for exploration of Mars and other low-gravity planetary bodies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gurgurewicz, Joanna; Grygorczuk, Jerzy; Wisniewski, Lukasz; Mege, Daniel; Rickman, Hans

    Field geoscientists need to collect three-dimensional data in order characterise the lithologic succession and structure of terrains, reconstruct their evolution, and eventually reveal the history of a portion of the planet. This is achieved by walking up and down mountains and valleys, conducting and interpreting geological and geophysical traverses, and reading measures made at station located at key sites on mountain peaks or rocky promontories. These activities have been denied to conventional planetary exploration rovers because engineering constraints for landing are strong, especially in terms of allowed terrain roughness and slopes. There are few limitations in the type of scientific payload conventional exploration rovers can carry, from geology and geophysics to geochemistry and exobiology. They lack two skills, however: the ability of working on rugged or unstable terrain, like in canyons and mountains, and on solid bodies having gravity too low for the friction between the wheels and the ground to generate robot displacement. ASTRONIKA Ltd. and the Space Research Centre of the Polish Academy of Sciences are designing Galago, the Highland Terrain Hopper, a small (Ø~50-100 cm), light (5-10 kg), and robust locomotion system, which addresses the challenge of accessing most areas on low-gravity planetary body for performing scientific observations and measurements, alone or as part of a commando. Galago is symmetric and can jump accurately to a height of 4.5 m on Mars, 9 m on the Moon, and much more on Phobos and other small bodies. For one Galago, a nominal horizontal travel distance of 5 km (1000 jumps) is currently planned with the considered energy source, a battery reloaded by solar panels. Galago may assist other types of robots, or humans, in accessing difficult terrain, or even replace them for specific measurements or campaigning. Its three independent legs make possible several types of motions: accurate jumping (to any place identified in advance

  14. Exploring Extrasolar Planetary Systems: New Observations of Extrasolar Planets Enabled by the James Webb Space Telescope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clampin, Mark

    2012-01-01

    The search for extrasolar planets has been increasingly success over the last few years. In excess of 700 systems are now known, and Kepler has approx.2500 additional candidate systems, yet to be confirmed. Recently, progress has also been made in directly imaging extrasolar planets, both from the ground and in space. In this presentation will discuss the techniques employed to discover planetary systems, and highlight the capabilities, enabled by the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). JWST is a large 6.5 meter aperture infrared telescope that is scheduled for launch in 2018, and will allow us to transition to characterizing the properties of these extrasolar planets and the planetary systems in which they reside.

  15. 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

  16. MAPPING OF PLANETARY SURFACE AGE BASED ON CRATER STATISTICS OBTAINED BY AN AUTOMATIC DETECTION ALGORITHM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. L. Salih

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The analysis of the impact crater size-frequency distribution (CSFD is a well-established approach to the determination of the age of planetary surfaces. Classically, estimation of the CSFD is achieved by manual crater counting and size determination in spacecraft images, which, however, becomes very time-consuming for large surface areas and/or high image resolution. With increasing availability of high-resolution (nearly global image mosaics of planetary surfaces, a variety of automated methods for the detection of craters based on image data and/or topographic data have been developed. In this contribution a template-based crater detection algorithm is used which analyses image data acquired under known illumination conditions. Its results are used to establish the CSFD for the examined area, which is then used to estimate the absolute model age of the surface. The detection threshold of the automatic crater detection algorithm is calibrated based on a region with available manually determined CSFD such that the age inferred from the manual crater counts corresponds to the age inferred from the automatic crater detection results. With this detection threshold, the automatic crater detection algorithm can be applied to a much larger surface region around the calibration area. The proposed age estimation method is demonstrated for a Kaguya Terrain Camera image mosaic of 7.4 m per pixel resolution of the floor region of the lunar crater Tsiolkovsky, which consists of dark and flat mare basalt and has an area of nearly 10,000 km2. The region used for calibration, for which manual crater counts are available, has an area of 100 km2. In order to obtain a spatially resolved age map, CSFDs and surface ages are computed for overlapping quadratic regions of about 4.4 x 4.4 km2 size offset by a step width of 74 m. Our constructed surface age map of the floor of Tsiolkovsky shows age values of typically 3.2-3.3 Ga, while for small regions lower (down to

  17. Mapping of Planetary Surface Age Based on Crater Statistics Obtained by AN Automatic Detection Algorithm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salih, A. L.; Mühlbauer, M.; Grumpe, A.; Pasckert, J. H.; Wöhler, C.; Hiesinger, H.

    2016-06-01

    The analysis of the impact crater size-frequency distribution (CSFD) is a well-established approach to the determination of the age of planetary surfaces. Classically, estimation of the CSFD is achieved by manual crater counting and size determination in spacecraft images, which, however, becomes very time-consuming for large surface areas and/or high image resolution. With increasing availability of high-resolution (nearly) global image mosaics of planetary surfaces, a variety of automated methods for the detection of craters based on image data and/or topographic data have been developed. In this contribution a template-based crater detection algorithm is used which analyses image data acquired under known illumination conditions. Its results are used to establish the CSFD for the examined area, which is then used to estimate the absolute model age of the surface. The detection threshold of the automatic crater detection algorithm is calibrated based on a region with available manually determined CSFD such that the age inferred from the manual crater counts corresponds to the age inferred from the automatic crater detection results. With this detection threshold, the automatic crater detection algorithm can be applied to a much larger surface region around the calibration area. The proposed age estimation method is demonstrated for a Kaguya Terrain Camera image mosaic of 7.4 m per pixel resolution of the floor region of the lunar crater Tsiolkovsky, which consists of dark and flat mare basalt and has an area of nearly 10,000 km2. The region used for calibration, for which manual crater counts are available, has an area of 100 km2. In order to obtain a spatially resolved age map, CSFDs and surface ages are computed for overlapping quadratic regions of about 4.4 x 4.4 km2 size offset by a step width of 74 m. Our constructed surface age map of the floor of Tsiolkovsky shows age values of typically 3.2-3.3 Ga, while for small regions lower (down to 2.9 Ga) and higher

  18. Interpreting EChO's future data: biological laboratory extimates under M star's planetary surface conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erculiani, Marco S.; Claudi, Riccardo U.; Giro, Enrico; Galletta, Giuseppe; D'Alessandro, Maurizio; Farisato, Giancarlo; Lessio, Luigi; Micela, Giuseppina; Billi, Daniela

    2014-08-01

    The EChO Exoplanet Atmosphere Characterization mission will have in the midst of its main targets, planets that orbit M stars in their or very close to their habitable zone. In this framework at the Astronomical Observatory of Padova (INAF) we are going to perform experiments that will give us an idea about the possible modification of the atmosphere by photosynthetic biota present on the planet surface. In the framework of the project "Atmosphere In a Test Tube", planetary environmental conditions are being performed. The bacteria that are being studied are Acaryochloris marina, Chroococcidiopsis sp., Cyanidium Caldarium and Halomicronema hongdechloris and tests are being performed with LISA ambient simulator in the laboratory of the Padova Astronomical Observatory.

  19. Terminal Multiple Surface Sliding Guidance for Planetary Landing: Development, Tuning and Optimization via Reinforcement Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Furfaro, Roberto; Wibben, Daniel R.; Gaudet, Brian; Simo, Jules

    2015-03-01

    The problem of achieving pinpoint landing accuracy in future space missions to planetary bodies such as the Moon or Mars presents many challenges, including the requirements of higher accuracy and degree of flexibility. These new challenges may require the development of a new class of guidance algorithms. In this paper, a nonlinear guidance algorithm for planetary landing is proposed and analyzed. Based on Higher-Order Sliding Control (HOSC) theory, the Multiple Sliding Surface Guidance (MSSG) algorithm has been specifically designed to take advantage of the ability of the system to reach multiple sliding surfaces in a finite time. As a result, a guidance law that is both globally stable and robust against unknown, but bounded perturbations is devised. The proposed MSSG does not require any off-line trajectory generation, but the acceleration command is instead generated directly as function of the current and final (target) state. However, after initial analysis, it has been noted that the performance of MSSG critically depends on the choice in guidance gains. MSSG-guided trajectories have been compared to an open-loop fuel-efficient solution to investigate the relationship between the MSSG fuel performance and the selection of the guidance parameters. A full study has been executed to investigate and tune the parameters of MSSG utilizing reinforcement learning in order to truly optimize the performance of the MSSG algorithm in powered descent scenarios. Results show that the MSSG algorithm can indeed generate closed-loop trajectories that come very close to the optimal solution in terms of fuel usage. A full comparison of the trajectories is included, as well as a further Monte Carlo analysis examining the guidance errors of the MSSG algorithm under perturbed conditions using the optimized set of parameters.

  20. Nasa's Planetary Geologic Mapping Program: Overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, D. A.

    2016-06-01

    NASA's Planetary Science Division supports the geologic mapping of planetary surfaces through a distinct organizational structure and a series of research and analysis (R&A) funding programs. Cartography and geologic mapping issues for NASA's planetary science programs are overseen by the Mapping and Planetary Spatial Infrastructure Team (MAPSIT), which is an assessment group for cartography similar to the Mars Exploration Program Assessment Group (MEPAG) for Mars exploration. MAPSIT's Steering Committee includes specialists in geological mapping, who make up the Geologic Mapping Subcommittee (GEMS). I am the GEMS Chair, and with a group of 3-4 community mappers we advise the U.S. Geological Survey Planetary Geologic Mapping Coordinator (Dr. James Skinner) and develop policy and procedures to aid the planetary geologic mapping community. GEMS meets twice a year, at the Annual Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in March, and at the Annual Planetary Mappers' Meeting in June (attendance is required by all NASA-funded geologic mappers). Funding programs under NASA's current R&A structure to propose geological mapping projects include Mars Data Analysis (Mars), Lunar Data Analysis (Moon), Discovery Data Analysis (Mercury, Vesta, Ceres), Cassini Data Analysis (Saturn moons), Solar System Workings (Venus or Jupiter moons), and the Planetary Data Archiving, Restoration, and Tools (PDART) program. Current NASA policy requires all funded geologic mapping projects to be done digitally using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software. In this presentation we will discuss details on how geologic mapping is done consistent with current NASA policy and USGS guidelines.

  1. The Multi-Temporal Database of Planetary Image Data (MUTED): A database to support the identification of surface changes and short-lived surface processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Erkeling, G.; Luesebrink, D.; Hiesinger, H.; Reiss, D.; Heyer, T.; Jaumann, R.

    2016-06-01

    Images of Mars taken by spacecraft in the last few decades indicate that the landscape has changed and that current processes are continuously changing the surface. The modifications of the landscape are caused by exogenic processes including eolian activity, mass movement, the growth and retreat of the polar caps, glacial processes and crater-forming impacts. In particular the High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) on board Mars Express (MEx) and the Context Camera (CTX) on board the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) cover large areas at high resolution and thus are particularly well-suited to detect the extent and origin of surface changes on Mars. Multi-temporal observations of variable features on Mars became possible by the increasing number of repeated image acquisitions of the same surface areas. To support the investigation of surface changes that represents a key element in martian research, we developed MUTED, the "Multi-Temporal Database of Planetary Image Data", which is a tool for the identification of the spatial and multi-temporal coverage of planetary image data from Mars. Using MUTED, scientists are able to identify the location, number, and time range of acquisitions of overlapping images from, for example, HRSC and CTX. MUTED also includes images from other planetary datasets such as those of the Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC), the Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS), and the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE). The database supports the identification and analysis of surface changes and short-lived surface processes on Mars based on fast automatic planetary image database queries. From the multi-temporal planetary image database and investigations based on multi-temporal observations we will better understand the interactions between the surface of Mars and external forces, including the atmosphere. MUTED is available for the planetary scientific community via the webpage of the Institut für Planetologie (IfP) Muenster.

  2. Novel 3D imaging techniques for improved understanding of planetary surface geomorphology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muller, Jan-Peter

    2015-04-01

    Understanding the role of different planetary surface formation processes within our Solar System is one of the fundamental goals of planetary science research. There has been a revolution in planetary surface observations over the past decade for Mars and the Moon, especially in 3D imaging of surface shape (down to resolutions of 75cm) and subsequent correction for terrain relief of imagery from orbiting and co-registration of lander and rover robotic images. We present some of the recent highlights including 3D modelling of surface shape from the ESA Mars Express HRSC (High Resolution Stereo Camera), see [1], [2] at 30-100m grid-spacing; and then co-registered to HRSC using a resolution cascade of 20m DTMs from NASA MRO stereo-CTX and 0.75m DTMs from MRO stereo-HiRISE [3]. This has opened our eyes to the formation mechanisms of megaflooding events, such as the formation of Iani Vallis and the upstream blocky terrain, to crater lakes and receding valley cuts [4]. A comparable set of products is now available for the Moon from LROC-WA at 100m [5] and LROC-NA at 1m [6]. Recently, a very novel technique for the super-resolution restoration (SRR) of stacks of images has been developed at UCL [7]. First examples shown will be of the entire MER-A Spirit rover traverse taking a stack of 25cm HiRISE to generate a corridor of SRR images along the rover traverse of 5cm imagery of unresolved features such as rocks, created as a consequence of meteoritic bombardment, ridge and valley features. This SRR technique will allow us for ˜400 areas on Mars (where 5 or more HiRISE images have been captured) and similar numbers on the Moon to resolve sub-pixel features. Examples will be shown of how these SRR images can be employed to assist with the better understanding of surface geomorphology. Acknowledgements: The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007-2013) under PRoViDE grant agreement n° 312377

  3. Design and Trafficability Study of Flexible Wheel for Planetary Exploration Rover

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LI Wen; GAO Feng; XU Guo-yan

    2007-01-01

    To reduce sending costs, a flexible wheel configuration is proposed. The wheel is made of titanium alloy (Ti-6Al-4V) in consideration of the planetary environment factors (i.e. strong radiation, big temperature differences, high vacuum), and mass constraint of launch vehicle. The advantages of the proposed wheel involves the potential for: ① small sending volume and mass, ② large deployed area and volume to reduce wheel loading, ③ a damping effect to smooth motion on rough terrain. To study the trafficability and tractive performance of the wheel concept, the drawbar pull and driven torque were calculated based on simplified model of terramechanics formulations. The results show that the wheel possesses sufficient drawbar pull to negotiate all types of soil stratums listed in this contribution.

  4. ``Standoff Biofinder'' for Fast, Noncontact, Nondestructive, Large-Area Detection of Biological Materials for Planetary Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Misra, Anupam K.; Acosta-Maeda, Tayro E.; Sharma, Shiv K.; McKay, Christopher P.; Gasda, Patrick J.; Taylor, G. Jeffrey; Lucey, Paul G.; Flynn, Luke; Nurul Abedin, M.; Clegg, Samuel M.; Wiens, Roger

    2016-09-01

    We developed a prototype instrument called the Standoff Biofinder, which can quickly locate biological material in a 500 cm2 area from a 2 m standoff distance with a detection time of 0.1 s. All biogenic materials give strong fluorescence signals when excited with UV and visible lasers. In addition, the luminescence decay time of biogenic compounds is much shorter (biofluorescent materials to obtain real-time fluorescence images that show the locations of biological materials among luminescent minerals in a geological context. The Standoff Biofinder instrument will be useful for locating biological material during future NASA rover, lander, and crewed missions. Additionally, the instrument can be used for nondestructive detection of biological materials in unique samples, such as those obtained by sample return missions from the outer planets and asteroids. The Standoff Biofinder also has the capacity to detect microbes and bacteria on space instruments for planetary protection purposes.

  5. Impacts of surface heterogeneity on dry planetary boundary layers in an urban-rural setting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Xiaoliang; Ni, Guangheng; Cong, Zhentao; Sun, Ting; Li, Dan

    2016-10-01

    Understanding the impacts of land use and land-cover change such as urbanization is essential in many disciplines. This study investigates the impacts of urban-rural contrasts in terms of momentum roughness length (z0) and aerodynamic surface temperature (TSK) on dry planetary boundary layers (PBLs) using large-eddy simulations (LES) with the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model. In addition, the impacts of small-scale heterogeneities within urban areas are also examined. The original WRF-LES is modified in order to use prescribed TSK as surface boundary conditions. Numerical simulations are then conducted to examine turbulence characteristics and mesoscale circulations resulting from large-scale urban-rural contrasts as well as small-scale heterogeneities in urban areas. The results indicate that (1) the urban-rural contrasts in z0 and TSK have significant but different impacts on surface heat fluxes, mesoscale circulations, and the wind and potential temperature profiles. Compared to the case where the whole domain is homogeneous, increases in z0 and/or TSK in urban areas in the center of domain induce stronger sensible heat fluxes, stronger urban circulations, and weaker inversions at the top of the PBL. (2) When the patch size that characterizes the urban heterogeneity scale is comparable to the size of the whole urban area, the simulated results are strongly dependent on both the heterogeneity scale and the specified surface temperature values. As the patch size decreases, the simulated results become more similar to those over a homogeneous urban surface.

  6. Parameterization of a surface drag coefficient in conventionally neutral planetary boundary layer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. N. Esau

    2004-11-01

    Full Text Available Modern large-scale models (LSMs rely on surface drag coefficients to parameterize turbulent exchange between surface and the first computational level in the atmosphere. A classical parameterization in an Ekman boundary layer is rather simple. It is based on a robust concept of a layer of constant fluxes. In such a layer (log-layer, the mean velocity profile is logarithmic. It results in an universal dependence of the surface drag coefficient on a single internal non-dimensional parameter, namely the ratio of a height within this layer to a surface roughness length scale. A realistic near-neutral planetary boundary layer (PBL is usually much more shallow than the idealized Ekman layer. The reason is that the PBL is developing against a stably stratified free atmosphere. The ambient atmospheric stratification reduces the PBL depth and simultaneously the depth of the log-layer. Therefore, the first computational level in the LSMs may be placed above the log-layer. In such a case, the classical parameterization is unjustified and inaccurate.

    The paper proposes several ways to improve the classical parameterization of the surface drag coefficient for momentum. The discussion is focused on a conventionally neutral PBL, i.e. on the neutrally stratified PBL under the stably stratified free atmosphere. The analysis is based on large eddy simulation (LES data. This data reveals that discrepancy between drag coefficients predicted by the classical parameterization and the actual drag coefficients can be very large in the shallow PBL. The improved parameterizations provide a more accurate prediction. The inaccuracy is reduced to one-tenth of the actual values of the coefficients.

  7. Parameterization of a surface drag coefficient in conventionally neutral planetary boundary layer

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Esau, I.N. [Nansen Environmental and Remote Sensing Center, Bergen (Norway)

    2004-07-01

    Modern large-scale models (LSMs) rely on surface drag coefficients to parameterize turbulent exchange between surface and the first computational level in the atmosphere. A classical parameterization in an Ekman boundary layer is rather simple. It is based on a robust concept of a layer of constant fluxes. In such a layer (log-layer), the mean velocity profile is logarithmic. It results in an universal dependence of the surface drag coefficient on a single internal non-dimensional parameter, namely the ratio of a height within this layer to a surface roughness length scale. A realistic near-neutral planetary boundary layer (PBL) is usually much more shallow than the idealized Ekman layer. The reason is that the PBL is developing against a stably stratified free atmosphere. The ambient atmospheric stratification reduces the PBL depth and simultaneously the depth of the log-layer. Therefore, the first computational level in the LSMs may be placed above the log-layer. In such a case, the classical parameterization is unjustified and inaccurate. The paper proposes several ways to improve the classical parameterization of the surface drag coefficient for momentum. The discussion is focused on a conventionally neutral PBL, i.e. on the neutrally stratified PBL under the stably stratified free atmosphere. The analysis is based on large eddy simulation (LES) data. This data reveals that discrepancy between drag coefficients predicted by the classical parameterization and the actual drag coefficients can be very large in the shallow PBL. The improved parameterizations provide a more accurate prediction. The inaccuracy is reduced to one-tenth of the actual values of the coefficients. (orig.)

  8. On the effectiveness of surface assimilation in probabilistic nowcasts of planetary boundary layer profiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rostkier-Edelstein, Dorita; Hacker, Joshua

    2013-04-01

    Surface observations comprise a wide, non-expensive and reliable source of information about the state of the near-surface planetary boundary layer (PBL). Operational data assimilation systems have encountered several difficulties in effectively assimilating them, among others due to their local-scale representativeness, the transient coupling between the surface and the atmosphere aloft and the balance constraints usually used. A long-term goal of this work is to find an efficient system for probabilistic PBL nowcasting that can be employed wherever surface observations are present. Earlier work showed that surface observations can be an important source of information with a single column model (SCM) and an ensemble filter (EF). Here we extend that work to quantify the probabilistic skill of ensemble SCM predictions with a model including added complexity. We adopt a factor separation analysis to quantify the contribution of surface assimilation relative to that of selected model components (parameterized radiation and externally imposed horizontal advection) to the probabilistic skill of the system, and of any beneficial or detrimental interactions between them. To assess the real utility of the flow-dependent covariances estimated with the EF and of the SCM of the PBL we compare the skill of the SCM/EF system to that of a reference one based on climatological covariances and a 30-min persistence model. It consists of a dressing technique, whereby a deterministic 3D mesoscale forecast (e.g. from WRF model) is adjusted and dressed with uncertainty using a seasonal sample of mesoscale forecasts and surface forecast errors. Results show that assimilation of surface observations can improve deterministic and probabilistic profile predictions more significantly than major model improvements. Flow-dependent covariances estimated with the SCM/EF show clear advantage over the use of climatological covariances when the flow is characterized by wide variability, when

  9. Planetary gyre, time-dependent eddies, torsional waves, and equatorial jets at the Earth's core surface

    CERN Document Server

    Gillet, N; Finlay, C C

    2016-01-01

    We report a calculation of time-dependent quasi-geostrophic core flows for 1940-2010. Inverting recursively for an ensemble of solutions, we evaluate the main source of uncertainties, namely the model errors arising from interactions between unresolved core surface motions and magnetic fields. Temporal correlations of these uncertainties are accounted for. The covariance matrix for the flow coefficients is also obtained recursively from the dispersion of an ensemble of solutions. Maps of the flow at the core surface show, upon a planetary-scale gyre, time-dependent large-scale eddies at mid-latitudes and vigorous azimuthal jets in the equatorial belt. The stationary part of the flow predominates on all the spatial scales that we can resolve. We retrieve torsional waves that explain the length-of-day changes at 4 to 9.5 years periods. These waves may be triggered by the nonlinear interaction between the magnetic field and sub-decadal non-zonal motions within the fluid outer core. Both the zonal and the more en...

  10. Analysis of impact crater populations and the geochronology of planetary surfaces in the inner solar system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fassett, Caleb I.

    2016-10-01

    Analyzing the density of impact craters on planetary surfaces is the only known technique for learning their ages remotely. As a result, crater statistics have been widely analyzed on the terrestrial planets, since the timing and rates of activity are critical to understanding geologic process and history. On the Moon, the samples obtained by the Apollo and Luna missions provide critical calibration points for cratering chronology. On Mercury, Venus, and Mars, there are no similarly firm anchors for cratering rates, but chronology models have been established by extrapolating from the lunar record or by estimating their impactor fluxes in other ways. This review provides a current perspective on crater population measurements and their chronological interpretation. Emphasis is placed on how ages derived from crater statistics may be contingent on assumptions that need to be considered critically. In addition, ages estimated from crater populations are somewhat different than ages from more familiar geochronology tools (e.g., radiometric dating). Resurfacing processes that remove craters from the observed population are particularly challenging to account for, since they can introduce geologic uncertainty into results or destroy information about the formation age of a surface. Regardless of these challenges, crater statistics measurements have resulted in successful predictions later verified by other techniques, including the age of the lunar maria, the existence of a period of heavy bombardment in the Moon's first billion years, and young volcanism on Mars.

  11. Planetary Exploration of Lava Tubes with Lidar at Craters of the Moon, Idaho

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garry, W. B.; Hughes, S. S.; Nawotniak, S. E. Kobs; Whelley, P. L.; Lim, D. S. S.; Heldmann, J. L.

    2017-01-01

    We completed a lidar survey of lava tubes in Idaho as an analog to the exploration of pits on the Moon and Mars. Pits are exploration targets for future missions because they provide both lucrative science and possible shelter. Exploration at these sites will require innovative engineering to access the interiors. We present findings that demonstrate the scientific and operational potential of lidar within such challenging environments, and discuss our results for Indian Tunnel, the largest tube we surveyed (Fig. 1).

  12. Near-Earth Objects: Targets for Future Human Exploration, Solar System Science, Resource Utilization, and Planetary Defense

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abell, Paul A.

    2011-01-01

    U.S. President Obama stated on April 15, 2010 that the next goal for human spaceflight will be to send human beings to a near-Earth asteroid by 2025. Given this direction from the White House, NASA has been involved in studying various strategies for near-Earth object (NEO) exploration in order to follow U.S. Space Exploration Policy. This mission would be the first human expedition to an interplanetary body beyond the Earth-Moon system and would prove useful for testing technologies required for human missions to Mars and other Solar System destinations. Missions to NEOs would undoubtedly provide a great deal of technical and engineering data on spacecraft operations for future human space exploration while conducting in-depth scientific investigations of these primitive objects. In addition, the resulting scientific investigations would refine designs for future extraterrestrial resource extraction and utilization, and assist in the development of hazard mitigation techniques for planetary defense. This presentation will discuss some of the physical characteristics of NEOs and review some of the current plans for NEO research and exploration from both a human and robotic mission perspective.

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

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Similar to the concept seen in recent ‘Transformers’ movies, this work explores how reconfigurability can enable mobility across diverse, uncertain...

  15. Exploration of Venus' Deep Atmosphere and Surface Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glaze, L. S.; Amato, M.; Garvin, J. B.; Johnson, N. M.

    2017-01-01

    Venus formed in the same part of our solar system as Earth, apparently from similar materials. Although both planets are about the same size, their differences are profound. Venus and Earth experienced vastly different evolutionary pathways resulting in unexplained differences in atmospheric composition and dynamics, as well as in geophysical processes of the planetary surfaces and interiors. Understanding when and why the evolutionary pathways of Venus and Earth diverged is key to understanding how terrestrial planets form and how their atmospheres and surfaces evolve. Measurements made in situ, within the near-surface or surface environment, are critical to addressing unanswered questions. We have made substantial progress modernizing and maturing pressure vessel technologies to enable science operations in the high temperature and pressure near-surface/surfaceenvironment of Venus.

  16. 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)

  17. Interactions between glycine derivatives and mineral surfaces: Implications for the origins of life on planetary surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall-Bowman, K. J.; Cleaves, H. J.; Sverjensky, D. A.; Hazen, R. M.

    2009-12-01

    Various mechanisms could have delivered amino acids to the prebiotic Earth (Miller and Orgel 1974). The polymerization of amino acids may have been important for the origin of life, as peptides may have been components for the first self-replicating systems (Kauffman 1971; Yao et al 1998). Though amino acid concentrations in the primitive oceans were likely too dilute for significant oligomerization to occur (Cleaves et al 2009), mineral surface adsorption may have concentrated these biomolecules (Bernal 1951; Lambert 2008). Few studies have examined the catalytic effects of mineral surfaces on aqueous peptide oligomerization or degradation. As unactivated amino acid polymerization is thermodynamically unfavorable and kinetically slow in aqueous solution, we studied the reverse reaction of polymer degradation to measure potential mineral catalysis. Glycine (G) derivatives glycylglycine (GG), diketopiperazine (DKP), and glycylglycylglycine (GGG) were reacted with different minerals (calcite, hematite, montmorillonite, rutile, amorphous silica, and pyrite) in the presence of 0.05 M pH 8.1 KHCO3 buffer and 0.1 M NaCl as background electrolyte. Experiments were performed by reacting the aqueous amino acid derivative-mineral mixtures in a thermostatted oven (modified to accommodate a mechanical rotator) at 25°, 50° or 70°C. Samples were removed after 30, 60, 90, and 140 hours. Samples were then analyzed using high performance liquid chromatography to quantify the products. Besides mineral catalysis, it was determined that degradation of GGG proceeds principally via a GGG → DKP + G mechanism, rather than via GGG → GG + G. Below 70°C kinetics were generally too sluggish to detect catalytic activity over reasonable laboratory time-scales at this pH. At 70°C, pyrite was the only mineral with detectible catalytic effects on the degradation of GGG. GGG degraded ~ 1.5 - 4 x faster in the presence of pyrite than in control reactions, depending on the ratio of solution

  18. AUTOMATIC DETECTION OF SECONDARY CRATERS AND MAPPING OF PLANETARY SURFACE AGE BASED ON LUNAR ORBITAL IMAGES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. L. Salih

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Ages of planetary surfaces are typically obtained by manually determining the impact crater size-frequency distribution (CSFD in spacecraft imagery, which is a very intricate and time-consuming procedure. In this work, an image-based crater detection algorithm that relies on a generative template matching technique is applied to establish the CSFD of the floor of the lunar farside crater Tsiolkovsky. The automatic detection threshold value is calibrated based on a 100 km² test area for which the CSFD has been determined by manual crater counting in a previous study. This allows for the construction of an age map of the complete crater floor. It is well known that the CSFD may be affected by secondary craters. Hence, our detection results are refined by applying a secondary candidate detection (SCD algorithm relying on Voronoi tessellation of the spatial crater distribution, which searches for clusters of craters. The detected clusters are assumed to result from the presence of secondary craters, which are then removed from the CSFD. We found it favourable to apply the SCD algorithm separately to each diameter bin of the CSFD histogram. In comparison with the original age map, the refined age map obtained after removal of secondary candidates has a more homogeneous appearance and does not exhibit regions of spuriously high age resulting from contamination by secondary craters.

  19. Constraining Planetary Boundary Layer Retrievals with Surface Reflections from GNSS Radio Occultation Measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ao, C. O.; Shume, E. B.; Hajj, G. A.; Meehan, T. K.

    2016-12-01

    In an earlier study, we demonstrated that grazing surface reflection observed from GNSS radio occultation (RO) data yields frequency shifts that are sensitive to refractivity within the planetary boundary layer (PBL). In this presentation, we show our latest progress in retrieving PBL refractivity using a combination of direct and reflected RO data. Through forward simulations, we first assess how the reflected Doppler frequency will vary as a function of refractivity parameters in the PBL. Next, we describe our method for extracting the reflected Doppler signal from actual COSMIC and TerraSAR-X observations and discuss its associated uncertainty. We focus our attention to RO soundings from the subtropical Eastern oceans where large negative refractivity biases within the PBL have been reported. We investigate the feasibility of using the inferred reflected signal to correct the negative bias. Finally, we discuss how future RO observations such as those from COSMIC-2 can be enhanced to provide stronger reflection signals through changes in the GNSS receiver configurations.

  20. Snow Lines in Gas Rich Protoplanetary Disks and the Delivery of Volatiles to Planetary Surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blake, Geoffrey A.

    2016-06-01

    Compared to the Sun and to the gas+dust composition of the interstellar medium from which the solar system formed, the Carbon and Nitrogen content of the bulk silicate Earth (mantle+hydrosphere+atmosphere) is reduced by several orders of magnitude, relative to Silicon. Evidence from primitive bodies as a function of distance from the Sun suggests that at least part of this depletion must occur early in the process of planetesimal assembly. With combined infrared and (sub)mm observations such as those enabled by ground-based 8-10m class telescopes (and in future the James Webb Space Telescope) and the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA), we can now examine the principal volatile reservoirs of gas rich disks as a function position within the disk and evolutionary state. Key to these studies is the concept of condensation fronts, or 'snow lines,' in disks - locations at which key volatiles such as water, carbon monoxide, or nitrogen first condense from the gas. This talk will review the observational characterization of snow lines in protoplanetary disks, especially recent ALMA observations, and highlight the laboratory astrophysics studies and theoretical investigations that are needed to tie the observational results to the delivery of volatiles to planetary surfaces in the habitable zones around Sun-like stars.

  1. Automatic Detection of Secondary Craters and Mapping of Planetary Surface Age Based on Lunar Orbital Images

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salih, A. L.; Lompart, A.; Grumpe, A.; Wöhler, C.; Hiesinger, H.

    2017-07-01

    Ages of planetary surfaces are typically obtained by manually determining the impact crater size-frequency distribution (CSFD) in spacecraft imagery, which is a very intricate and time-consuming procedure. In this work, an image-based crater detection algorithm that relies on a generative template matching technique is applied to establish the CSFD of the floor of the lunar farside crater Tsiolkovsky. The automatic detection threshold value is calibrated based on a 100 km² test area for which the CSFD has been determined by manual crater counting in a previous study. This allows for the construction of an age map of the complete crater floor. It is well known that the CSFD may be affected by secondary craters. Hence, our detection results are refined by applying a secondary candidate detection (SCD) algorithm relying on Voronoi tessellation of the spatial crater distribution, which searches for clusters of craters. The detected clusters are assumed to result from the presence of secondary craters, which are then removed from the CSFD. We found it favourable to apply the SCD algorithm separately to each diameter bin of the CSFD histogram. In comparison with the original age map, the refined age map obtained after removal of secondary candidates has a more homogeneous appearance and does not exhibit regions of spuriously high age resulting from contamination by secondary craters.

  2. Crystal surface integrity and diffusion measurements on Earth and planetary materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watson, E. B.; Cherniak, D. J.; Thomas, J. B.; Hanchar, J. M.; Wirth, R.

    2016-09-01

    Characterization of diffusion behavior in minerals is key to providing quantitative constraints on the ages and thermal histories of Earth and planetary materials. Laboratory experiments are a vital source of the needed diffusion measurements, but these can pose challenges because the length scales of diffusion achievable in a laboratory time are commonly less than 1 μm. An effective strategy for dealing with this challenge is to conduct experiments involving inward diffusion of the element of interest from a surface source, followed by quantification of the resulting diffusive-uptake profile using a high-resolution depth-profiling technique such as Rutherford backscattering spectroscopy (RBS), nuclear reaction analysis (NRA), or ion microprobe (SIMS). The value of data from such experiments is crucially dependent on the assumption that diffusion in the near-surface of the sample is representative of diffusion in the bulk material. Historical arguments suggest that the very process of preparing a polished surface for diffusion studies introduces defects-in the form of dislocations and cracks-in the outermost micrometer of the sample that make this region fundamentally different from the bulk crystal in terms of its diffusion properties. Extensive indirect evidence suggests that, in fact, the near-surface region of carefully prepared samples is no different from the bulk crystal in terms of its diffusion properties. A direct confirmation of this conclusion is nevertheless clearly important. Here we use transmission electron microscopy to confirm that the near-surface regions of olivine, quartz and feldspar crystals prepared using careful polishing protocols contain no features that could plausibly affect diffusion. This finding does not preclude damage to the mineral structure from other techniques used in diffusion studies (e.g., ion implantation), but even in this case the role of possible structural damage can be objectively assessed and controlled. While all

  3. Biomarkers and Metabolic Patterns in the Sediments of Evolving Glacial Lakes as a Proxy for Planetary Lake Exploration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parro, Víctor; Blanco, Yolanda; Puente-Sánchez, Fernando; Rivas, Luis A; Moreno-Paz, Mercedes; Echeverría, Alex; Chong-Díaz, Guillermo; Demergasso, Cecilia; Cabrol, Nathalie A

    2016-11-28

    planetary lakes, such as those of Titan, where watery niches fed by depositional events would be surrounded by a "sea" of hydrocarbons. Key Words: Glacier lakes-Sedimentation-Prokaryotic metabolisms and biomarkers-Deglaciation-Life detection-Planetary exploration. Astrobiology 16, xxx-xxx.

  4. The International Space Analogue Rock Store (ISAR): A key tool for future planetary exploration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bost, N.; Westall, F.; Ramboz, C.; Foucher, F.

    2012-04-01

    In order to prepare the next in situ space missions we have created a « lithothèque » of analogue rocks for calibrating and testing future (and existing) space flight instruments. This rock collection is called the International Space Analogue Rockstore (ISAR) and is hosted in the CNRS and the Observatoire des Sciences de l'Univers en Region Centre (OSUC) in Orléans. For maximum science return, all instruments on a single mission should ideally be tested with the same suite of relevant analogue materials. The ISAR lithothéque aims to fulfill this role by providing suitable materials to instrument teams [1]. The lithothèque is accompanied by an online database of all relevant structural, textural, and geochemical data (www.isar.cnrs-orleans.fr).The data base will also be available during missions to aid interpretation of data obtained in situ. Mars is the immediate goal for MSL-2011 and the new international Mars 2018 mission. The lithothèque thus presently contains relevant Mars-analogue rock and mineral samples, a preliminary range of which is now available to the scientific community for instrument testing [2]. The preliminary group of samples covers a range of lithologies to be found on Mars, especially those in Noachain/Hesperian terrains where MSL will land (Gale Crater) and where the 2018 landing site will most likely be located. It includes a variety of basalts (tephrite, primitive basalt, silicified basalt; plus cumulates), komatiites, artificially synthesized martian basalts [3], volcanic sands, a banded iron formation, carbonates associated with volcanic lithologies and hydrothermalism, the clay Nontronite, and hydrothermal cherts. Some of the silicified volcanic sands contain traces of early life that are good analogues for potential martian life [4]. [1] Westall F. et al., LPI contribution 1608, 1346, 42nd LPSC, 2011; [2] Bost N. et al., in review (Icarus); [3] Bost N. et al., in review (Meteoritics); [4] Westall et al., 2011, Planetary and Space

  5. Conduct of Geologic Field Work During Planetary Exploration: Why Geology Matters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eppler, Dean B.

    2010-01-01

    The science of field geology is the investigative process of determining the distribution of rock units and structures on a planet fs surface, and it is the first-order data set that informs all subsequent studies of a planet, such as geochemistry, geochronology, geophysics, or remote sensing. For future missions to the Moon and Mars, the surface systems deployed must support the conduct of field geology if these endeavors are to be scientifically useful. This lecture discussed what field geology is all about.why it is important, how it is done, how conducting field geology informs many other sciences, and how it affects the design of surface systems and the implementation of operations in the future.

  6. 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

  7. 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...

  8. Modulation of air-sea fluxes by extratropical planetary waves and its impact during the recent surface warming slowdown

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molteni, Franco; Farneti, Riccardo; Kucharski, Fred; Stockdale, Timothy N.

    2017-02-01

    It is widely accepted that natural decadal variability played a major role in the slowdown in global warming observed in the 21st century, with sea surface cooling in the tropical Pacific recognized as a major contributor. However, the warming pause was most pronounced during boreal winter, with Northern Hemisphere flow anomalies also playing a role. Here we quantify the contribution of extratropical heat exchanges by comparing geopotential and temperature anomalies simulated by ensembles of seasonal forecasts with similar ocean temperature but different heat fluxes north of 40°N, as a result of planetary wave variability. We show that an important part of heat flux anomalies is associated with decadal variations in the phase of a specific planetary wave pattern. In model simulations covering the last three decades, this variability pattern accounts for a decrease of 0.35°C/decade in the post-1998 wintertime temperature trend over northern continents.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Akkurt, Hatice [Schlumberger Princeton Technology Center, 20 Wallace Road, Princeton Junction, NJ 07605 (United States); Groves, Joel L. [Schlumberger Princeton Technology Center, 20 Wallace Road, Princeton Junction, NJ 07605 (United States)]. E-mail: groves@princeton.oilfield.slb.com; Trombka, Jacob [NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States); Starr, Richard [The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC 20064 (United States); Evans, Larry [Computer Sciences Corporation, 7700 Hubble Drive, Lanham-Seabrook, MD 20706 (United States); Floyd, Samuel [NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States); Hoover, Richard [NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States); Lim, Lucy [NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States); McClanahan, Timothy [NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771 (United States); James, Ralph [Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY 11973 (United States); McCoy, Timothy [National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC 20560 (United States); Schweitzer, Jeffrey [University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269 (United States)

    2005-12-15

    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.

  10. Analytical model of the contact interaction between the components of a special percussive mechanism for planetary exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vila, Luis J.; Malla, Ramesh B.

    2016-01-01

    Special percussive mechanisms, e.g. Auto Gopher and UltraSonic/Sonic Driller/Corer (USDC) have been developed by NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Honeybee Robotics Spacecraft Mechanisms, Corp. to address some of the limitations of current drilling techniques for planetary exploration. The percussive mechanism consists of an ultrasonic horn, a free mass (hammer) and the drill rod. This paper presents the analysis of the interaction between these three components. The impact between the components (i.e. ultrasonic horn and free mass, and free mass and drill rod) is analyzed using solid body collision analysis applying the principle of conservation of momentum. The drill rod is modeled for both undamped and damped cases with equivalent generalized single degree of freedom system. Various values are used for the coefficient of restitution to account for energy loss during impact. The energy transferred to the drill rod by the free mass is obtained determining the change in kinetic energy due to impact. It is observed that the free mass converts the high frequency of oscillation of the ultrasonic horn into lower frequency impacts on the drill rod. A decrease in the coefficient of restitution results in a decrease in the number of impacts, impulse imparted to the drill rod and energy transferred to the drill rod by the impact of the free mass.

  11. Microwave processing of lunar soil for supporting longer-term surface exploration of the Moon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Srivastava, V.; Lim, S.; Anand, M.

    2016-11-01

    The future of human space exploration will inevitably involve longer-term stays and possibly permanent settlement on the surfaces of other planetary bodies. It will, therefore, be advantageous or perhaps even necessary to utilise local resources for building an infrastructure for human habitation on the destination planetary body. In this context human lunar exploration is the next obvious step. Lunar soil is regarded as an ideal feedstock for lunar construction materials. However, significant gaps remain in our knowledge and understanding of certain chemical and physical properties of lunar soil, which need to be better understood in order to develop appropriate construction techniques and materials for lunar applications. This article reviews our current understanding of the dielectric behaviour of lunar soil in the microwave spectrum, which is increasingly recognised as an important topic of research in the Space Architecture field. Although the coupling between the lunar soil and microwave energy is already recognised, considerable challenges must be overcome before microwave processing could be used as a main fabrication method for producing robust structures on the Moon. We also review the existing literature on the microwave processing of lunar soil and identify three key research areas where future efforts are needed to make significant advances in understanding the potential of microwave processing of lunar soil for construction purposes.

  12. Power System for Venus Surface Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.; Mellott, Kenneth

    2002-01-01

    A radioisotope power and cooling system is designed to provide electrical power for a probe operating on the surface of Venus. Most foreseeable electronics devices and sensors cannot operate at the 450 C ambient surface temperature of Venus. Because the mission duration is substantially long and the use of thermal mass to maintain an operable temperature range is likely impractical, some type of active refrigeration may be required to keep electronic components at a temperature below ambient. The fundamental cooling parameters are the cold sink temperature, the hot sink temperature, and the amount of heat to be removed. In this instance, it is anticipated that electronics would have a nominal operating temperature of 300 C. Due to the highly thermal convective nature of the high-density (90 bar CO2) atmosphere, the hot sink temperature was assumed to be 50 C, which provided a 500 C temperature of the cooler's heat rejecter to the ambient atmosphere. The majority of the heat load on the cooler is from the high temperature ambient surface environment on Venus, with a small contribution of heat generation from electronics and sensors. Both thermoelectric (RTG) and dynamic power conversion systems were analyzed, based on use of a standard isotope (General-purpose heat source, or GPHS) brick. For the radioisotope Stirling power converter configuration designed, the Sage model predicts a thermodynamic power output capacity of 478.1 watts, which slightly exceeds the required 469.1 watts. The hot sink temperature is 1200 C, and the cold sink temperature is 500 C. The required heat input is 1740 watts. This gives a thermodynamic efficiency of 27.48 %. It is estimated that the mechanical efficiency of the power converter design is on the order of 85 %, based on experimental measurements taken from 500-watt power class, laboratory-tested Stirling engines. The overall efficiency is calculated to be 23.36 %. The mass of the power converter is estimated at approximately 21.6 kg

  13. 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.

  14. Low Mass SCoRe-S Designs for Affordable Planetary Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatton, Steven A.; El-Genk, Mohamed S.

    2007-01-01

    Fast neutron spectrum space reactors are an appropriate choice for high thermal powers, but for low powers, they need to be large enough to satisfy the excess reactivity requirement while remaining sub-critical when immersed in wet sand and flooded with seawater following a launch abort accident. All Sectored, Compact space Reactors (SCoRe) are fast spectrum reactors. They have a 0.1 mm thick 157Gd2O3 coating on the outer surface of the reactor vessel to reduce the effect of wet sand as a reflector, and 157GdN fuel additive to reduce the effect of thermal neutron fission on the criticality of the flooded reactor following a launch abort event. This paper identifies the SCoRe-S cores with the smallest BeO radial reflector thicknesses which satisfy the reactivity design requirements. These are a cold-clean and hot-clean excess reactivity > 4.00 and 2.00, respectively, at least 1.00 subcritical at shutdown, and when submerged in wet sand and flooded with seawater following a launch abort event. Reducing the radial reflector thickness increases the 157GdN fuel additive but decreases the diameter, and hence the shutdown margin, of the B4C/BeO control drums. The smallest reactor to satisfy the reactivity design requirements is SCoRe-S7, which has a thick BeO radial reflector (15.3 cm), and its mass (425.3 kg) is 21 kg heavier than the next larger SCoRe-S8 core with a thinner BeO reflector of 13.3 cm. The SCoRe-S7 is also 1.5 kg heavier than the SCoRe-S11, with the largest core, but the thinnest radial reflector thickness of 10.7 cm.

  15. ENA imaging near Planetary Bodies: Interaction between Plasma, Exosphere and Surface

    CERN Document Server

    Futaana, Yoshifumi

    2013-01-01

    Energetic Neutral Atom (ENA) imaging has been noticed as a powerful tool for remote sensing the plasma-neutral interaction in space. Particularly, the technique is used for investigation of space plasma near planetary bodies. Hear we provide a short review of recent low-energy ENA observations (up to ~1 keV) near Mars, Venus and the Moon.

  16. Geological interpretation and analysis of surface based, spatially referenced planetary imagery data using PRoGIS 2.0 and Pro3D.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, R.; Gupta, S.; Giordano, M.; Morley, J. G.; Muller, J. P.; Tao, Y.; Sprinks, J.; Traxler, C.; Hesina, G.; Ortner, T.; Sander, K.; Nauschnegg, B.; Paar, G.; Willner, K.; Pajdla, T.

    2015-10-01

    We apply the capabilities of the geospatial environment PRoGIS 2.0 and the real time rendering viewer PRo3D to geological analysis of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover-B (MER-B Opportunity rover) and Mars Science Laboratory (MSL Curiosity rover) datasets. Short baseline and serendipitous long baseline stereo Pancam rover imagery are used to create 3D point clouds which can be combined with super-resolution images derived from Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter HiRISE orbital data, andsuper-resolution outcrop images derived from MER Pancam, as well as hand-lens scale images for geology and outcrop characterization at all scales. Data within the PRoViDE database are presented and accessed through the PRoGIS interface. Simple geological measurement tools are implemented within the PRoGIS and PRo3D web software to accurately measure the dip and strike of bedding in outcrops, create detailed stratigraphic logs for correlation between the areas investigated, and to develop realistic 3D models for the characterization of planetary surface processes. Annotation tools are being developed to aid discussion and dissemination of the observations within the planetary science community.

  17. Micro-column Scanning Electron Microscope and X-ray Spectrometer (MSEMS) for Planetary Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ribaya, B.; Niemann, D.; Makarewicz, J.; Clevenson, H.; McKenzie, C.; Nguyen, C.; Blake, D. F.

    2009-12-01

    Scanning Electron Microscopy combined with electron-induced X-ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy (SEM-EDX) is one of the most powerful techniques for characterizing sub-µm surface morphology and composition. In terrestrial laboratories, SEM-EDX is used to elucidate natural processes such as low-temperature diagenesis, thermal or pressure induced metamorphism, volcanism/magmatism, atmosphere/crust interaction and biological activity. Such information would be highly useful for investigating the natural history of the terrestrial planets, satellites and primitive bodies, providing morphological and elemental information that is 2 orders of magnitude higher in resolution than optical techniques. Below we describe the development of a Micro-column Scanning Electron Microscope and X-ray Spectrometer (MSEMS) for flight. The enabling technology of the MSEMS is a carbon nanotube field emission (CNTFE) electron source that is integrated with micro-electro-mechanical-systems (MEMS) - based electron gun and electron optical structures. A hallmark of CNTFE electron sources is their low chromatic aberration, which reduces the need for high accelerating voltages to obtain small spot size. The CNTFE also offers exceptional brightness and nanometer source size, eliminating the need for condenser lenses, making simple electrostatic focusing optics possible. Moreover, the CNT field emission gun (CFEG) at low operating voltage dissipates 103 less power than thermally-assisted Schottky emitters. A key feature of the MSEMS design is the lack of scanning coils. Rather, a piezoelectric sample stage capable of sub-nanometer resolution scans the sample past the fixed crossover of the MSEMS electron beam. We will describe a MEMS-based templating technique for fabricating mechanically and electrically stable miniature CFEGs. Using existing silicon (Si) technology, we fabricated highly controlled and precise MEMS structures for both the CNT cathode and focusing optics for the micro-column. The

  18. Testing and Improving Theories of Radiative Transfer for Determining the Mineralogy of Planetary Surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gudmundsson, E.; Ehlmann, B. L.; Mustard, J. F.; Hiroi, T.; Poulet, F.

    2012-12-01

    of the darker endmember. Analyses are ongoing and further studies will investigate the effect of sample hydration, permitted variability in particle size, assumed photometric functions and use of different wavelength ranges on model results. Such studies will advance understanding of how to best apply radiative transfer modeling to geologically complex planetary surfaces. Corresponding authors: eyjolfur88@gmail.com, ehlmann@caltech.edu

  19. Planetary cartography in the next decade (1984 - 1994)

    Science.gov (United States)

    1984-01-01

    The cartographic products required to support science and planetary exploration during the next 10 years were assessed. Only major map series or first order maps needed to characterize the surface physiography of a planet or satellite were considered. Included in these considerations are maps needed as bases for plotting geologic, geophysical, and atmospheric phenomena and for planning future planetary exploration. These products consist of three types of maps: controlled photomosaics, shaded relief maps, and topographic contour maps.

  20. VR-Planets : a 3D immersive application for real-time flythrough images of planetary surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Civet, François; Le Mouélic, Stéphane

    2015-04-01

    During the last two decades, a fleet of planetary probes has acquired several hundred gigabytes of images of planetary surfaces. Mars has been particularly well covered thanks to the Mars Global Surveyor, Mars Express and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecrafts. HRSC, CTX, HiRISE instruments allowed the computation of Digital Elevation Models with a resolution from hundreds of meters up to 1 meter per pixel, and corresponding orthoimages with a resolution from few hundred of meters up to 25 centimeters per pixel. The integration of such huge data sets into a system allowing user-friendly manipulation either for scientific investigation or for public outreach can represent a real challenge. We are investigating how innovative tools can be used to freely fly over reconstructed landscapes in real time, using technologies derived from the game industry and virtual reality. We have developed an application based on a game engine, using planetary data, to immerse users in real martian landscapes. The user can freely navigate in each scene at full spatial resolution using a game controller. The actual rendering is compatible with several visualization devices such as 3D active screen, virtual reality headsets (Oculus Rift), and android devices.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Exploration mode affects visuohaptic integration of surface orientation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plaisier, Myrthe A; van Dam, Loes C J; Glowania, Catharina; Ernst, Marc O

    2014-11-20

    We experience the world mostly in a multisensory fashion using a combination of all of our senses. Depending on the modality we can select different exploration strategies for extracting perceptual information. For instance, using touch we can enclose an object in our hand to explore parts of the object in parallel. Alternatively, we can trace the object with a single finger to explore its parts in a serial fashion. In this study we investigated whether the exploration mode (parallel vs. serial) affects the way sensory signals are combined. To this end, participants visually and haptically explored surfaces that varied in roll angle and indicated which side of the surface was perceived as higher. In Experiment 1, the exploration mode was the same for both modalities (i.e., both parallel or both serial). In Experiment 2, we introduced a difference in exploration mode between the two modalities (visual exploration was parallel while haptic exploration was serial or vice versa). The results showed that visual and haptic signals were combined in a statistically optimal fashion only when the exploration modes were the same. In case of an asymmetry in the exploration modes across modalities, integration was suboptimal. This indicates that spatial-temporal discrepancies in the acquisition of information in the two senses (i.e., haptic and visual) can lead to the breakdown of sensory integration.

  4. Sharing Planetary Exploration: The Education and Public Outreach Program for the NASA MESSENGER Mission to Orbit Mercury

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solomon, S. C.; Stockman, S.; Chapman, C. R.; Leary, J. C.; McNutt, R. L.

    2003-12-01

    are active partners in each of the public outreach efforts. MESSENGER fully leverages other NASA EPO programs, including the Solar System Exploration EPO Forum and the Solar System Ambassadors. The overarching goal of the MESSENGER EPO program is to convey the excitement of planetary exploration to students and the lay public throughout the nation.

  5. Two-step Laser Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry to Elucidate Organic Diversity in Planetary Surface Materials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Getty, Stephanie A.; Brinckerhoff, William B.; Cornish, Timothy; Li, Xiang; Floyd, Melissa; Arevalo, Ricardo Jr.; Cook, Jamie Elsila; Callahan, Michael P.

    2013-01-01

    Laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (LD-TOF-MS) holds promise to be a low-mass, compact in situ analytical capability for future landed missions to planetary surfaces. The ability to analyze a solid sample for both mineralogical and preserved organic content with laser ionization could be compelling as part of a scientific mission pay-load that must be prepared for unanticipated discoveries. Targeted missions for this instrument capability include Mars, Europa, Enceladus, and small icy bodies, such as asteroids and comets.

  6. Fourier transform spectroscopy for future planetary missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brasunas, John; Kolasinski, John; Kostiuk, Ted; Hewagama, Tilak

    2017-01-01

    Thermal-emission infrared spectroscopy is a powerful tool for exploring the composition, temperature structure, and dynamics of planetary atmospheres; and the temperature of solid surfaces. A host of Fourier transform spectrometers (FTS) such as Mariner IRIS, Voyager IRIS, and Cassini CIRS from NASA Goddard have made and continue to make important new discoveries throughout the solar system. Future FTS instruments will have to be more sensitive (when we concentrate on the colder, outer reaches of the solar system), and less massive and less power-hungry as we cope with decreasing resource allotments for future planetary science instruments. With this in mind, we have developed CIRS-lite, a smaller version of the CIRS FTS for future planetary missions. We discuss the roadmap for making CIRS-lite a viable candidate for future planetary missions, including the recent increased emphasis on ocean worlds (Europa, Encelatus, Titan) and also on smaller payloads such as CubeSats and SmallSats.

  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. Hopping trajectory optimization for surface exploration on small bodies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Yanjie; Zhu, Shengying; Cui, Pingyuan; Yu, Zhengshi; Zong, Hua

    2017-07-01

    Surface exploration is an important way to improve the understanding of small bodies. Considering the irregular and weak gravity field near a small body, the movement of the surface explorer is generally achieved by hopping. In this paper, a guidance algorithm method based on convex optimization approach for pinpoint hopping movement on a small body is developed in order to improve the stability and accuracy of surface exploration. We formulate a fuel-optimal control problem for the single pinpoint hopping and convert it into a second-order cone programming (SOCP) problem which can be solved effectively by primal-dual-interior points method. A multi-hopping scenario is also proposed for the long-distance transfer. To certificate the performance of the proposed guidance algorithm, a full set of simulations are conducted and the effectiveness are analyzed.

  9. Sensitivity of Turbine-Height Wind Speeds to Parameters in Planetary Boundary-Layer and Surface-Layer Schemes in the Weather Research and Forecasting Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Ben; Qian, Yun; Berg, Larry K.; Ma, Po-Lun; Wharton, Sonia; Bulaevskaya, Vera; Yan, Huiping; Hou, Zhangshuan; Shaw, William J.

    2017-01-01

    We evaluate the sensitivity of simulated turbine-height wind speeds to 26 parameters within the Mellor-Yamada-Nakanishi-Niino (MYNN) planetary boundary-layer scheme and MM5 surface-layer scheme of the Weather Research and Forecasting model over an area of complex terrain. An efficient sampling algorithm and generalized linear model are used to explore the multiple-dimensional parameter space and quantify the parametric sensitivity of simulated turbine-height wind speeds. The results indicate that most of the variability in the ensemble simulations is due to parameters related to the dissipation of turbulent kinetic energy (TKE), Prandtl number, turbulent length scales, surface roughness, and the von Kármán constant. The parameter associated with the TKE dissipation rate is found to be most important, and a larger dissipation rate produces larger hub-height wind speeds. A larger Prandtl number results in smaller nighttime wind speeds. Increasing surface roughness reduces the frequencies of both extremely weak and strong airflows, implying a reduction in the variability of wind speed. All of the above parameters significantly affect the vertical profiles of wind speed and the magnitude of wind shear. The relative contributions of individual parameters are found to be dependent on both the terrain slope and atmospheric stability.

  10. Sensitivity of Turbine-Height Wind Speeds to Parameters in Planetary Boundary-Layer and Surface-Layer Schemes in the Weather Research and Forecasting Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Ben; Qian, Yun; Berg, Larry K.; Ma, Po-Lun; Wharton, Sonia; Bulaevskaya, Vera; Yan, Huiping; Hou, Zhangshuan; Shaw, William J.

    2016-07-01

    We evaluate the sensitivity of simulated turbine-height wind speeds to 26 parameters within the Mellor-Yamada-Nakanishi-Niino (MYNN) planetary boundary-layer scheme and MM5 surface-layer scheme of the Weather Research and Forecasting model over an area of complex terrain. An efficient sampling algorithm and generalized linear model are used to explore the multiple-dimensional parameter space and quantify the parametric sensitivity of simulated turbine-height wind speeds. The results indicate that most of the variability in the ensemble simulations is due to parameters related to the dissipation of turbulent kinetic energy (TKE), Prandtl number, turbulent length scales, surface roughness, and the von Kármán constant. The parameter associated with the TKE dissipation rate is found to be most important, and a larger dissipation rate produces larger hub-height wind speeds. A larger Prandtl number results in smaller nighttime wind speeds. Increasing surface roughness reduces the frequencies of both extremely weak and strong airflows, implying a reduction in the variability of wind speed. All of the above parameters significantly affect the vertical profiles of wind speed and the magnitude of wind shear. The relative contributions of individual parameters are found to be dependent on both the terrain slope and atmospheric stability.

  11. Sensitivity of Turbine-Height Wind Speeds to Parameters in Planetary Boundary-Layer and Surface-Layer Schemes in the Weather Research and Forecasting Model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yang, Ben; Qian, Yun; Berg, Larry K.; Ma, Po-Lun; Wharton, Sonia; Bulaevskaya, Vera; Yan, Huiping; Hou, Zhangshuan; Shaw, William J.

    2016-07-21

    We evaluate the sensitivity of simulated turbine-height winds to 26 parameters applied in a planetary boundary layer (PBL) scheme and a surface layer scheme of the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model over an area of complex terrain during the Columbia Basin Wind Energy Study. An efficient sampling algorithm and a generalized linear model are used to explore the multiple-dimensional parameter space and quantify the parametric sensitivity of modeled turbine-height winds. The results indicate that most of the variability in the ensemble simulations is contributed by parameters related to the dissipation of the turbulence kinetic energy (TKE), Prandtl number, turbulence length scales, surface roughness, and the von Kármán constant. The relative contributions of individual parameters are found to be dependent on both the terrain slope and atmospheric stability. The parameter associated with the TKE dissipation rate is found to be the most important one, and a larger dissipation rate can produce larger hub-height winds. A larger Prandtl number results in weaker nighttime winds. Increasing surface roughness reduces the frequencies of both extremely weak and strong winds, implying a reduction in the variability of the wind speed. All of the above parameters can significantly affect the vertical profiles of wind speed, the altitude of the low-level jet and the magnitude of the wind shear strength. The wind direction is found to be modulated by the same subset of influential parameters. Remainder of abstract is in attachment.

  12. Venus as a laboratory for studying planetary surface, interior, and atmospheric evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smrekar, S. E.; Hensley, S.; Helbert, J.

    2013-12-01

    As Earth's twin, Venus offers a laboratory for understanding what makes our home planet unique in our solar system. The Decadal Survey points to the role of Venus in answering questions such as the supply of water and its role in atmospheric evolution, its availability to support life, and the role of geology and dynamics in controlling volatiles and climate. On Earth, the mechanism of plate tectonics drives the deformation and volcanism that allows volatiles to escape from the interior to the atmosphere and be recycled into the interior. Magellan revealed that Venus lacks plate tectonics. The number and distribution of impact craters lead to the idea Venus resurfaced very rapidly, and inspired numerous models of lithospheric foundering and episodic plate tectonics. However we have no evidence that Venus ever experienced a plate tectonic regime. How is surface deformation affected if no volatiles are recycled into the interior? Although Venus is considered a ';stagnant' lid planet (lacking plate motion) today, we have evidence for recent volcanism. The VIRTIS instrument on Venus Express mapped the southern hemisphere at 1.02 microns, revealing areas likely to be unweathered, recent volcanic flows. Additionally, numerous studies have shown that the crater population is consistent with ongoing, regional resurfacing. How does deformation and volcanism occur in the absence of plates? At what rate is the planet resurfacing and thus outgassing? Does lithospheric recycling occur with plate tectonics? In the 25 years since Magellan, the design of Synthetic Aperture Radar has advanced tremendously, allowing order of magnitude improvements in altimetry and imaging. With these advanced tools, we can explore Venus' past and current tectonic states. Tesserae are highly deformed plateaus, thought to be possible remnants of Venus' earlier tectonic state. How did they form? Are they low in silica, like Earth's continents, indicating the presence of abundant water? Does the plains

  13. RPG 行星减速器齿面应力均化分析%The homogenization analysis for tooth surface stress of RPG planetary reductor

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    孔霞; 蔡云龙

    2015-01-01

    为避免RPG行星减速器因齿面应力分布不均导致的齿面接触应力增加、齿根弯曲强度下降、行星轮轴承受力不均等问题,以RPG39-50型行星减速器为例,利用有限元方法,构建该型减速器的系统柔性模型,依托行星排框架、行星轮销轴、行星轮轴承及输出排齿轮等关键结构件的变形分析,进行了针对性的齿面优化修形,从而实现了齿面应力均化,有效提高了该齿轮系统的寿命与可靠性。%The RPG planetary redactor is a special redactor with the conditions of large power , low speed and large torque output .The output structure of the RPG planetary redactor is easy to deform of many components , and the unbalanced distribution of tooth surface stress is inevitable .All these problems may cause the worse transmission conditions such as the raise of tooth surface contact stress , the drop of tooth flexural strength and the unbalanced loads of planetary gear bears .Taking RPG39-50 planetary redactor as an example , it uses the finite element method to build the flexible model of the redactor , analyzes the deformation of the components such as the planetary gear frame , the planetary gear shafts , the planetary gear bears and the output gears .At last , it re-alizes the tooth optimization repair .The result homogenizes the tooth surface stress and improves the reliability of the gear transmission system .

  14. Surface Packages for Geophysical Exploration of Small Bodies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheeres, D. J.

    2015-12-01

    The geophysical exploration of small rubble pile bodies is fundamentally important for understanding the mechanics of gravitationally bound aggregates. The mechanical and geotechnical properties of these bodies are not understood from an experimental perspective, and have only been studied theoretically and using numerical simulations. To carry out experiments in this environment requires the development and deployment of surface packages to the body surface to enable physical interactions and measurements. This talk will discuss how such experiments can be developed and used in the small body environment. It will particularly focuse on one approach that uses a combination of surface seismic sources and probes to measure the seismic properties of a rubble pile. The small body dynamical environment is particularly well suited for the deployment of such surface packages for exploration and scientific measurement purposes. This is mainly due to their meager gravity fields, which allow the delivery of complex instruments to the surface with impact speeds that are at most a meter per second — equivalent to dropping an object from less than a 5 cm height on Earth. Despite this seeming advantage, the delivery and mobility of such packages on the surface of a small body remains a challenging endeavor, and to date the delivery of surface packages to small bodies has had a mixed success rate. Issues that must be accounted for include the delivery trajectories for probes to the surface, motion on the surface of a small body, and interactions between a probe and a small body surface. Studies of all of these issues both theoretically and experimentally will be presented, along with proposed applications to achieve scientific goals on the surfaces of small bodies.

  15. A Retrospective: Active Volatile-Driven Geologic Processes Across the Solar System—Lessons for Planetary Explorers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soderblom, L. A.

    2014-12-01

    When Voyagers 1 and 2 left Earth in 1977, we had little clue as to the rich variety of activity we'd find on the outer Solar System moons. The moons of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune would likely exhibit little geologic evolution¾much less even than our Moon. We expected battered, cratered, dead worlds. Like the Moon, Mars had showed volcanic activity in the geologic past, but ancient, heavily crater highlands dominated both surfaces. It seemed unlikely that we'd find even extinct volcanism in the cold, dead reaches of the outer Solar System. Voyager 1 shocked us by revealing Io's prolific ongoing volcanism. (Not all were surprised: just days earlier, Peale, Cassen, and Reynolds published a prediction that Io could be volcanically active). Europa, too, was a Voyager surprise; only a small handful of impact craters pocked its surface. It too had to be a geologically young body—likely still actively evolving. We have even found very recent geological activity on tiny cometary nuclei, where young flows have oozed forth across their surfaces. At Neptune, incredibly, Voyager 2 found eruptions on Triton's 37K polar cap—plumes driven by solar-heated nitrogen gas blasting dark dust and bright ice in 8-km-high columns. On Mars, "dark spiders" near the pole signaled similar active eruptions, in this case driven by pressurized carbon dioxide. Cassini witnessed a myriad of jets near tiny Enceladus' south pole, arising from an internal ocean evidently driven by active chemical processes and modulated by Saturn's proximity. Cassini revealed Titan to be Earth's alien twin, with a host of processes borrowed from textbooks on terrestrial geomorphology and meteorology. Akin to Earth's global hydrological cycle, Titan's runs on methane—methane rivers, seas, and rain abound. What lessons can we take from these active places into the next phase of exploration? When the Voyagers were launched, our naiveté allowed that only planet Earth was dynamically active. But exploring

  16. Spectrogonio Radiometer for the Study of the Bidirectional Reflectance and Polarization Functions of Planetary Surfaces. 1. Design and Tests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brissaud, Olivier; Schmitt, Bernard; Bonnefoy, Nicolas; Douté, Sylvain; Rabou, Patrick; Grundy, Will; Fily, Michel

    2004-03-01

    We have developed a spectrogonio radiometer to measure in the laboratory (-35 °C to +30 °C) the bidirectional reflectance and polarization distribution functions of various types of planetary material from the UV to the near-IR (310-4800 nm). The major, to our knowledge, novel feature of this instrument is that it is capable of measuring dark to translucent materials with a high degree of radiometric accuracy under most viewing geometries. The sample surface is illuminated with a large monochromatic and polarized parallel beam (incidence: 0°-90°), and the total intensity and the two polarized components of the reflected light are measured (observation, 0°-80° azimuth, 0°-180°). The scientific and technical constraints, the design, and the performances and limitations of the system are presented in this first paper.

  17. Effect of roughness lengths on surface energy and the planetary boundary layer height over high-altitude Ngoring Lake

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Zhaoguo; Lyu, Shihua; Wen, Lijuan; Zhao, Lin; Meng, Xianhong; Ao, Yinhuan

    2017-08-01

    The special climate environment creates a distinctive air-lake interaction characteristic in the Tibetan Plateau (TP) lakes, where the variations of surface roughness lengths also differ somewhat from those of other regions. However, how different categories of roughness lengths affect the lake surface energy exchange and the planetary boundary layer height (PBLH) remains unclear in the TP lakes. In this study, we used a tuned Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model version 3.6.1 to investigate the responses of the freeze-up date, turbulent fluxes, meteorological variables, and PBLH to surface roughness length variations in Ngoring Lake. Of all meteorological variables, the lake surface temperature responded to roughness length variations most sensitively; increasing roughness lengths can put the lake freeze-up date forward. The effect of momentum roughness length on wind speed was significantly affected by the fetch length. The increase in the roughness length for heat can induce the increment of the nightly PBLH in most months, especially for the central lake area in autumn. The primary factors that contribute to sensible heat flux (H) and latent heat flux (LE) were the roughness lengths for heat and momentum during the ice-free period, respectively. Increasing roughness length for heat can increase the nightly PBLH, and decreasing roughness length for moisture can also promote growth of the PBLH, but there was no obvious correlation between the momentum roughness length and the PBLH.

  18. Raman Spectroscopic Characterization of the Feldspars: Implications for Surface Mineral Characterization in Planetary Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freeman, J. J.; Wang, Alian; Kuebler, K. E.; Haskin, L. A.

    2003-01-01

    The availability in the last decade of improved Raman instrumentation using small, stable, intense lasers, sensitive CCD array detectors, and advanced fast grating systems enabled us to develop the Mars Microbeam Raman Spectrometer (MMRS), a field-portable Raman spectrometer with precision and accuracy capable of identifying minerals and their different compositions. For example, we can determine Mg cation ratios in pyroxenes and olivines to +/-0.1 on the basis of Raman peak positions. Feldspar is another major mineral formed in igneous systems whose characterization is important for determining rock petrogenesis and alteration. From their Raman spectral pattern, feldspars can be readily distinguished from ortho- and chain-silicates and from other tecto-silicates such as quartz and zeolites. We show here how well Raman spectral analysis can distinguish among members within the feldspar group.

  19. Modern Analytical Methods Applied to Earth and Planetary Sciences for Micro, Nano and Pico Space Devices and Robots in Landing Site Selection and Surface Investigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vizi, P. G.; Bérczi, Sz.; Horváth, I.; Horváth, A. F.; Vizi, J. Cs.

    2014-11-01

    Fleet of Nano and Pico Sized Space Devices and Robots (NPSDR) are deployable to realize and accomplish in situ modern analytical methods in wide range of Earth and planetary sciences. Shorter time and bigger field of surfaces and volumes of space.

  20. 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

  1. Managing Science Operations during Planetary Surface Operations at Long Light Delay-Time Targets: The 2011 Desert RATS Test

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eppler, D. B.

    2012-01-01

    Desert Research and Technology Studies (Desert RATS) is a multi-year series of hardware and operations tests carried out annually in the high desert of Arizona in the San Francisco Volcanic Field. Conducted since 1997, these activities are designed to exercise planetary surface hardware and operations in conditions where multi-day tests are achievable. Desert RATS 2011 Science Operations Test simulated the management of crewed science operations at targets that were beyond the light delay time experienced during Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) and lunar surface missions, such as a mission to a Near-Earth Object (NEO) or the martian surface. Operations at targets at these distances are likely to be the norm as humans move out of the Earth-Moon system. Operating at these distances places significant challenges on mission operations, as the imposed light-delay time makes normal, two-way conversations extremely inefficient. Consequently, the operations approach for space missions that has been exercised during the first half-century of human space operations is no longer viable, and new approaches must be devised.

  2. Forward and inverse models for photon transport in soil-ice mixtures and their application to the problem of retrieving optical properties of planetary surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Picca, Paolo; Furfaro, Roberto; Kargel, Jeffrey; Ganapol, Barry D.

    2008-04-01

    Remote sensing studies are often based on simplified approaches describing the photon transport in absorbing and scattering media. The main purpose of the present paper is to show the potentiality of modeling directly the transport phenomena by mean of linear Boltzmann equation. Some details about the solution method of the integro-differential equation are reported with a collection of results of relevance in planetary study domain. An inverse approach based on artificial neural network is also proposed to retrieve the optical properties of planetary surfaces and its performances are tested in various cases.

  3. An overnight habitat for expanding lunar surface exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schreiner, Samuel S.; Setterfield, Timothy P.; Roberson, Daniel R.; Putbrese, Benjamin; Kotowick, Kyle; Vanegas, Morris D.; Curry, Mike; Geiger, Lynn M.; Barmore, David; Foley, Jordan J.; LaTour, Paul A.; Hoffman, Jeffrey A.; Head, James W.

    2015-07-01

    This paper presents the conceptual design and analysis of a system intended to increase the range, scientific capability, and safety of manned lunar surface exploration, requiring only a modest increase in capability over the Apollo mission designs. The system is intended to enable two astronauts, exploring with an unpressurized rover, to remove their space suits for an 8-h rest away from the lunar base and then conduct a second day of surface exploration before returning to base. This system is composed of an Environmental Control and Life Support System on the rover, an inflatable habitat, a solar shield and a solar power array. The proposed system doubles the distance reachable from the lunar base, thus increasing the area available for science and exploration by a factor of four. In addition to increasing mission capability, the proposed system also increases fault tolerance with an emergency inflatable structure and additional consumables to mitigate a wide range of suit or rover failures. The mass, volume, and power analyses of each subsystem are integrated to generate a total system mass of 124 kg and a volume of 594 L, both of which can be accommodated on the Apollo Lunar Roving Vehicle with minor improvements.

  4. News and Views: Good publicity? Astrophysicists win Kavli Prizes; Maps for the planetary explorer; Small galaxies reveal property of dark matter

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-10-01

    The inaugural Kavli Prizes, including the Astrophysics award, were marked by a ceremony in Oslo in 9 September, celebrating international scientific success. Planetary explorers may have the equivalent of SatNav to guide them, but to avoid ending up in the space equivalent of a double-decker bus wedged under a low bridge, they need proper maps. And the topographer who is mapping exploration targets has received an Exceptional Achievement medal from NASA for the quality of his work. How big is the smallest galaxy? About 10 million solar masses, according to researchers mapping the small faint galaxies around the Milky Way. And they think that this figure might indicate something about dark matter.

  5. Soil Shear Properties Assessment, Resistance, Thermal, and Triboelectric Analysis (SPARTTA) Tool: A New Multitool Instrument for Identifying the Physical Properties of In-situ Soils on Planetary Surfaces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, R. C.; Peters, G. H.; Beegle, L. W.; Zhou, Y. M.; Van Stryk, N.; Carey, E. M.

    2015-12-01

    SPARTTA is a low cost, low mass (robotic surface mission. A key innovation of SPARTTA is its state-of-the-art miniature packaging approach which enables in-situ comprehensive analyses of the physical properties of soils on any planetary body (e.g. asteroids, comets, etc.) with a single compact instrument. SPARTTA will specifically address several high-priority science goals identified in the Decadal Study regarding the physical properties of planetary soils, liquid water/water-ice detection, and electrostatics for bodies as diverse as comets, Trojan asteroids, Mars and the Moon [Planetary Science Decadal Study, 2013]. Additionally, it will provide valuable data to assist engineers in designing landing, drilling, coring, and sample acquisition systems for future Discovery, New Frontiers missions, or flagship landed missions.

  6. Exploring complex networks via topological embedding on surfaces.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aste, Tomaso; Gramatica, Ruggero; Di Matteo, T

    2012-09-01

    We demonstrate that graphs embedded on surfaces are a powerful and practical tool to generate, to characterize, and to simulate networks with a broad range of properties. Any network can be embedded on a surface with sufficiently high genus and therefore the study of topologically embedded graphs is non-restrictive. We show that the local properties of the network are affected by the surface genus which determines the average degree, which influences the degree distribution, and which controls the clustering coefficient. The global properties of the graph are also strongly affected by the surface genus which is constraining the degree of interwovenness, changing the scaling properties of the network from large-world kind (small genus) to small- and ultrasmall-world kind (large genus). Two elementary moves allow the exploration of all networks embeddable on a given surface and naturally introduce a tool to develop a statistical mechanics description for these networks. Within such a framework, we study the properties of topologically embedded graphs which dynamically tend to lower their energy towards a ground state with a given reference degree distribution. We show that the cooling dynamics between high and low "temperatures" is strongly affected by the surface genus with the manifestation of a glass-like transition occurring when the distance from the reference distribution is low. We prove, with examples, that topologically embedded graphs can be built in a way to contain arbitrary complex networks as subgraphs. This method opens a new avenue to build geometrically embedded networks on hyperbolic manifolds.

  7. Planetary boundary layer depth in Global climate models induced biases in surface climatology

    CERN Document Server

    Davy, Richard

    2014-01-01

    The Earth has warmed in the last century with the most rapid warming occurring near the surface in the arctic. This enhanced surface warming in the Arctic is partly because the extra heat is trapped in a thin layer of air near the surface due to the persistent stable-stratification found in this region. The warming of the surface air due to the extra heat depends upon the amount of turbulent mixing in the atmosphere, which is described by the depth of the atmospheric boundary layer (ABL). In this way the depth of the ABL determines the effective response of the surface air temperature to perturbations in the climate forcing. The ABL depth can vary from tens of meters to a few kilometers which presents a challenge for global climate models which cannot resolve the shallower layers. Here we show that the uncertainties in the depth of the ABL can explain up to 60 percent of the difference between the simulated and observed surface air temperature trends and 50 percent of the difference in temperature variability...

  8. Mobile Geochemistry Instrument Package Facility (MGIPF) for In Situ Mineralogical and Chemical Analysis of Planetary Surface Material

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klingelhöfer, G.; Romstedt, J.; Henkel, H.; Michaelis, H.; Brückner, J.; D'Uston, C.

    A first order requirement for any spacecraft mission to land on a solid planetary or moon surface is instrumentation for in-situ mineralogical and chemical analysis 2 Such analysis provide data needed for primary classification and characterization of surface materials present We will discuss a mobile instrument package we have developed for in-situ investigations under harsh environmental conditions like on Mercury or Mars This Geochemistry Instrument Package Facility is a compact box also called payload cab containing three small advanced geochemistry mineralogy instruments the chemical spectrometer APXS the mineralogical M o ssbauer spectrometer MIMOS II 3 and a textural imager close-up camera The payload cab is equipped with two actuating arms with two degrees of freedom permitting precision placement of all instruments at a chosen sample This payload cab is the central part of the small rover Nanokhod which has the size of a shoebox 1 The Nanokhod rover is a tethered system with a typical operational range of sim 100 m Of course the payload cab itself can be attached by means of its arms to any deployment device of any other rover or deployment device 1 Andre Schiele Jens Romstedt Chris Lee Sabine Klinkner Rudi Rieder Ralf Gellert G o star Klingelh o fer Bodo Bernhardt Harald Michaelis The new NANOKHOD Engineeering model for extreme cold environments 8th International symposium on Artificial Intelligence Robotics and Automation in Space 5 - 9 September 2005

  9. Desert Research and Technology Studies (DRATS) 2010 Science Operations: Operational Approaches and Lessons Learned for Managing Science during Human Planetary Surface Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eppler, Dean; Adams, Byron; Archer, Doug; Baiden, Greg; Brown, Adrian; Carey, William; Cohen, Barbara; Condit, Chris; Evans, Cindy; Fortezzo, Corey; Garry, Brent; Graff, Trevor; Gruener, John; Heldmann, Jennifer; Hodges, Kip; Horz, Friedrich; Hurtado, Jose; Hynek, Brian; Isaacson, Peter; Juranek, Catherine; Klaus, Kurt; Kring, David; Lanza, Nina; Lederer, Susan; Lofgren, Gary

    2012-01-01

    Desert Research and Technology Studies (Desert RATS) is a multi-year series of hardware and operations tests carried out annually in the high desert of Arizona on the San Francisco Volcanic Field. These activities are designed to exercise planetary surface hardware and operations in conditions where long-distance, multi-day roving is achievable, and they allow NASA to evaluate different mission concepts and approaches in an environment less costly and more forgiving than space.The results from the RATS tests allows election of potential operational approaches to planetary surface exploration prior to making commitments to specific flight and mission hardware development. In previous RATS operations, the Science Support Room has operated largely in an advisory role, an approach that was driven by the need to provide a loose science mission framework that would underpin the engineering tests. However, the extensive nature of the traverse operations for 2010 expanded the role of the science operations and tested specific operational approaches. Science mission operations approaches from the Apollo and Mars-Phoenix missions were merged to become the baseline for this test. Six days of traverse operations were conducted during each week of the 2-week test, with three traverse days each week conducted with voice and data communications continuously available, and three traverse days conducted with only two 1-hour communications periods per day. Within this framework, the team evaluated integrated science operations management using real-time, tactical science operations to oversee daily crew activities, and strategic level evaluations of science data and daily traverse results during a post-traverse planning shift. During continuous communications, both tactical and strategic teams were employed. On days when communications were reduced to only two communications periods per day, only a strategic team was employed. The Science Operations Team found that, if

  10. Applications of Surface Penetrating Radar for Mars Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, H.; Li, C.; Ran, S.; Feng, J.; Zuo, W.

    2015-12-01

    Surface Penetrating Radar (SPR) is a geophysical method that uses electromagnetic field probe the interior structure and lithological variations of a lossy dielectric materials, it performs quite well in dry, icy and shallow-soil environments. The first radar sounding of the subsurface of planet was carried out by Apollo Lunar Sounder Experiment (ALSE) of the Apollo 17 in 1972. ALSE provided very precise information about the moon's topography and revealed structures beneath the surface in both Mare Crisium and Mare Serenitatis. Russian Mars'92 was the first Mars exploration mission that tried to use SPR to explore martian surface, subsurface and ionosphere. Although Mars'96 launch failed in 1996, Russia(Mars'98, cancelled in 1998; Phobos-Grunt, launch failed in 2011), ESA(Mars Express, succeeded in 2003; Netlander, cancelled in 2003; ExoMars 2018) and NASA(MRO, succeeded in 2005; MARS 2020) have been making great effects to send SPR to Mars, trying to search for the existence of groundwater and life in the past 20 years. So far, no Ground Penetrating Radar(GPR) has yet provided in situ observations on the surface of Mars. In December 2013, China's CE-3 lunar rover (Yuto) equipped with a GPR made the first direct measurement of the structure and depth of the lunar soil, and investigation of the lunar crust structure along the rover path. China's Mars Exploration Program also plans to carry the orbiting radar sounder and rover GPR to characterize the nature of subsurface water or ices and the layered structure of shallow subsurface of Mars. SPR can provide diversity of applications for Mars exploration , that are: to map the distribution of solid and liquid water in the upper portions of the Mars' crust; to characterize the subsurface geologic environment; to investigate the planet's subsurface to better understand the evolution and habitability of Mars; to perform the martain ionosphere sounding. Based on SPR's history and achievements, combined with the

  11. Planetary data definition

    Science.gov (United States)

    1984-10-01

    Planetary data include all of those data which have resulted from measurements made by the instruments carried aboard planetary exploration spacecraft, and (for our purposes) exclude observations of Moon and Earth. The working, planetary data base is envisioned to contain not only these data, but also a wide range of supporting measurements such as calibration files, navigation parameters, spacecraft engineering states, and the various Earth-based and laboratory measurements which provide the planetary research scientist with historical and comparative data. No convention exists across the disciplines of the planetary community for defining or naming the various levels through which data pass in the progression from a sensed impulse at the spacecraft to a reduced, calibrated, and/or analyzed element in a planetary data set. Terms such as EDR (experiment data record), RDR (reduced data record), and SEDR (supplementary experiment data record) imply different meanings depending on the data set under consideration. The development of standard terminology for the general levels of planetary data is necessary.

  12. 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

  13. Laser Infrared Desorption Spectroscopy to Detect Complex Organic Molecules on Icy Planetary Surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sollit, Luke S.; Beegle, Luther W.

    2008-01-01

    Laser Desorption-Infrared Spectroscopy (LD-IR) uses an IR laser pulse to desorb surface materials while a spectrometer measures the emission spectrum of the desorbed materials (Figure 1). In this example, laser desorption operates by having the incident laser energy absorbed by near surface material (10 microns in depth). This desorption produces a plume that exists in an excited state at elevated temperatures. A natural analog for this phenomenon can be observed when comets approach the sun and become active and individual molecular emission spectra can be observed in the IR [1,2,3,4,5]. When this occurs in comets, the same species that initially emit radiation down to the ground state are free to absorb it, reducing the amount of detectable emission features. The nature of our technique results in absorption not occurring, because the laser pulse could easily be moved away form the initial desorption plume, and still have better spatial resolution then reflectance spectroscopy. In reflectance spectroscopy, trace components have a relatively weak signal when compared to the entire active nature of the surface. With LDIR, the emission spectrum is used to identify and analyze surface materials.

  14. Laser Infrared Desorption Spectroscopy to Detect Complex Organic Molecules on Icy Planetary Surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sollit, Luke S.; Beegle, Luther W.

    2008-01-01

    Laser Desorption-Infrared Spectroscopy (LD-IR) uses an IR laser pulse to desorb surface materials while a spectrometer measures the emission spectrum of the desorbed materials (Figure 1). In this example, laser desorption operates by having the incident laser energy absorbed by near surface material (10 microns in depth). This desorption produces a plume that exists in an excited state at elevated temperatures. A natural analog for this phenomenon can be observed when comets approach the sun and become active and individual molecular emission spectra can be observed in the IR [1,2,3,4,5]. When this occurs in comets, the same species that initially emit radiation down to the ground state are free to absorb it, reducing the amount of detectable emission features. The nature of our technique results in absorption not occurring, because the laser pulse could easily be moved away form the initial desorption plume, and still have better spatial resolution then reflectance spectroscopy. In reflectance spectroscopy, trace components have a relatively weak signal when compared to the entire active nature of the surface. With LDIR, the emission spectrum is used to identify and analyze surface materials.

  15. Planetary gyre, time-dependent eddies, torsional waves, and equatorial jets at the Earth's core surface

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gillet, N.; Jault, D.; Finlay, Chris

    2015-01-01

    We report a calculation of time-dependent quasi-geostrophic core flows for 1940–2010. Inverting recursively for an ensemble of solutions, we evaluate the main source of uncertainties, namely, the model errors arising from interactions between unresolved core surface motions and magnetic fields. T...

  16. Review of SELENE Lunar Mission and Suggestion for China's Lunar and Planetary Exploration%月亮女神探月计划及对我国月球与深空探测的思考

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    郑永春; 邹永廖; 付晓辉

    2011-01-01

    The SELenological and ENgineering Explorer “Kaguya” (SELENE), Japan's first large lunar probe, was launched by the H-IIA rocket on September 14, 2007.The Kaguya was maneuvered to be crashed onto the lunar surface on June 11, 2009.SELENE has made great success, such as using three orbiters to measure the detailed gravity field of the farside of the Moon, innovating design of scientific instruments, collecting scientific data, and making public outreach of the mission.This paper summarizes an overview of SELENE mission.Some opinions are proposed: 1) China's Lunar Exploration Program (CLEP) should reflect Chinese characteristics and get innovating achievements; 2) Scientific goal is one of the most important themes in lunar and planetary missions; 3) We should encourage developing and using of new materials and techniques in future lunar and planetary missions; 4) We should tolerate failures, face and overcome difficulties in future mission; 5) Besides the Moon, China should pay much attention to carry out other planetary mission; 6) We should force up public outreach of lunar and planetary mission, and inspire the spirits of exploration and innovation of the youth.We wish that our detailed review of SELENE mission, thoughts and opinions will benefit mission design and implement, and long term programming of China's future lunar and planetary missions.%日本月亮女神月球探测器在顺利完成各项探测任务后,于北京时间2009年6月11日受控落月.该探月计划在一箭三星组网探测月球背面重力场、有效载荷创新设计、科研活动组织、成果产出、公众参与和科普宣传等方面有许多亮点,对我国探月工程有重要参考价值.文章综合回顾、分析和评述了月亮女神探月计划的任务、探测器、轨道与飞控、重要事件等,提出了对月球和深空探测的6点思考:1)我国探月工程需要体现中国特色,获得创新性科学成果;2)月球与深空探测中科

  17. Explorations in topology map coloring, surfaces and knots

    CERN Document Server

    Gay, David

    2013-01-01

    Explorations in Topology, Second Edition, provides students a rich experience with low-dimensional topology (map coloring, surfaces, and knots), enhances their geometrical and topological intuition, empowers them with new approaches to solving problems, and provides them with experiences that will help them make sense of future, more formal topology courses. The book's innovative story-line style models the problem-solving process, presents the development of concepts in a natural way, and engages students in meaningful encounters with the material. The updated end-of-chapter investigation

  18. Microbiological burden on the surfaces of Explorer 33 spacecraft.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powers, E M

    1967-09-01

    The Explorer XXXIII Spacecraft (Anchored Interplanetary Monitoring Platform, or AIMP) was decontaminated to prevent gross contamination of the moon with terrestrial microorganisms. Assay of the total spacecraft surface before and after decontamination showed that the decontamination procedure reduced the viable microbiological burden from 1.40 x 10(6) to 3.60 x 10(4). However, assembly of parts which were not decontaminated for engineering reasons or were not assembled under cleanroom conditions increased the viable microbial burden at the time of launch to 2.62 x 10(5).

  19. Dual-Use Ballute-Based Robust Aerocapture, EDL, and Surface Exploration Architecture for Effective and Distributed Exploration of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saikia, S. J.; Longuski, J. M.

    2012-06-01

    An innovative and game-changing Mars exploration mission architecture by synergizing the advantages of Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerators, and a network of miniature space-based, aerial, surface, & subsurface exploration elements.

  20. Remote Sensing of Potential Biosignatures from Rocky, Liquid, or Icy (Exo)Planetary Surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poch, Olivier; Frey, Joachim; Roditi, Isabel; Pommerol, Antoine; Jost, Bernhard; Thomas, Nicolas

    2017-03-01

    To detect signs of life by remote sensing on objects of our Solar System and on exoplanets, the characterization of light scattered by surface life material could complement possible clues given by the atmospheric composition. We reviewed the reflectance spectra of a broad selection of major biomolecules that constitute terrestrial carbon-based life from 0.4 to 2.4 μm, and we discuss their detectability through atmospheric spectral windows. Biomolecule features in the near-infrared (0.8-2.4 μm) will likely be obscured by water spectral features and some atmospheric gases. The visible range (0.4-0.8 μm), including the strong spectral features of pigments, is the most favorable. We investigated the detectability of a pigmented microorganism (Deinococcus radiodurans) when mixed with silica sand, liquid water, and water-ice particles representative of diverse surfaces of potentially habitable worlds. We measured the visible to near-infrared reflectance spectra (0.4-2.4 μm) and the visible phase curves (at 0.45 and 0.75 μm) of the mixtures to assess how the surface medium and the viewing geometry affect the detectability of the microorganisms. The results show that ice appears to be the most favorable medium for the detection of pigments. Water ice is bright and featureless from 0.4 to 0.8 μm, allowing the absorption of any pigment present in the ice to be well noticeable. We found that the visible phase curve of water ice is the most strongly affected by the presence of pigments, with variations of the spectral slope by more than a factor of 3 with phase angles. Finally, we show that the sublimation of the ice results in the concentration of the biological material onto the surface and the consequent increase of its signal. These results have applications to the search for life on icy worlds, such as Europa or Enceladus.

  1. Mars 2020 Planetary Protection Status

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stricker, Moogega; Bernard, Douglas; Benardini, James Nick; Jones, Melissa

    2016-07-01

    The Mars 2020 (M2020) flight system consists of a cruise stage; an entry, descent and landing system (EDL); and a Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG) powered roving science vehicle that will land on the surface of Mars. The M2020 Mission is designed to investigate key question related to the habitability of Mars and will conduct assessments that set the stage for potential future human exploration of Mars. Per its Program Level Requirements, the project will also acquire and cache samples of rock, regolith, and/or procedural "blank" samples for possible return to Earth by a subsequent mission. NASA has assigned the M2020 Mission as a Category V Restricted Earth Return due to the possible future return of collected samples. As indicated in NPR8020.12D, Section 5.3.3.2, the outbound leg of a Category V mission that could potentially return samples to Earth, Mars 2020 would be expected to meet the requirements of a Category IVb mission. The entire flight system is subject to microbial reduction requirements, with additional specific emphasis on the sample acquisition and caching. A bioburden accounting tool is being used to track the microbial population on the surfaces to ensure that the biological cleanliness requirements are met. Initial bioburden estimates based on MSL heritage allows M2020 to gauge more precisely how the bioburden is allocated throughout each hardware element. Mars 2020 has completed a Planetary Protection Plan with Planetary Implementation Plans at a mature draft form. Planetary protection sampling activities have commenced with the start of flight system fabrication and assembly. The status of the Planetary Protection activities will be reported.

  2. Underexpanded Supersonic Plume Surface Interactions: Applications for Spacecraft Landings on Planetary Bodies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mehta, M.; Sengupta, A.; Renno, N. O.; Norman, J. W.; Gulick, D. S.

    2011-01-01

    Numerical and experimental investigations of both far-field and near-field supersonic steady jet interactions with a flat surface at various atmospheric pressures are presented in this paper. These studies were done in assessing the landing hazards of both the NASA Mars Science Laboratory and Phoenix Mars spacecrafts. Temporal and spatial ground pressure measurements in conjunction with numerical solutions at altitudes of approx.35 nozzle exit diameters and jet expansion ratios (e) between 0.02 and 100 are used. Data from steady nitrogen jets are compared to both pulsed jets and rocket exhaust plumes at Mach approx.5. Due to engine cycling, overpressures and the plate shock dynamics are different between pulsed and steady supersonic impinging jets. In contrast to highly over-expanded (e plumes, results show that there is a relative ground pressure load maximum for moderately underexpanded (e approx.2-5) jets which demonstrate a long collimated plume shock structure. For plumes with e much >5 (lunar atmospheric regime), the ground pressure is minimal due to the development of a highly expansive shock structure. We show this is dependent on the stability of the plate shock, the length of the supersonic core and plume decay due to shear layer instability which are all a function of the jet expansion ratio. Asymmetry and large gradients in the spatial ground pressure profile and large transient overpressures are predominantly linked to the dynamics of the plate shock. More importantly, this study shows that thruster plumes exhausting into martian environments possess the largest surface pressure loads and can occur at high spacecraft altitudes in contrast to the jet interactions at terrestrial and lunar atmospheres. Theoretical and analytical results also show that subscale supersonic cold gas jets adequately simulate the flow field and loads due to rocket plume impingement provided important scaling parameters are in agreement. These studies indicate the critical

  3. Surface charging and x-ray emission from insulator surfaces induced by collisions with highly charged ions : relevance to cometary and planetary sp

    Science.gov (United States)

    Djuric, N.; Lozano, J. A.; Smith, S. J.; Chutjian, A.

    2005-01-01

    Characteristic X-ray emission lines are detected from simulants of comet surfaces as they undergo collisions with highly charged ions (HCIs). The HCI projectiles are O+2-O+7. Ion energies are varied in the range (2-7)q keV, where q is the ion charge state. The targets are the insulator minerals olivine, augite, and quartz. It is found that the emission of characteristic K-L, K-M X-rays appears to proceed during positive charging of the surface by the HCI beam. When one uses low-energy, flood-gun electrons to neutralize the surface charge, the X-ray emission is eliminated or greatly reduced, depending on the flood-gun current. Acceleration of background electrons onto the charged surface results in excitation of elemental transitions, including the K-L2 and K-L3 target X-ray emission lines of Mg and Si located spectroscopically at 1253.6 and 1739.4 eV, respectively. Also observed are emission lines from O, Na, Ca, Al, and Fe atoms in the target and charge-exchange lines via surface extraction of electrons by the O+q electric field. Good agreement is found in the ratio of the measured X-ray yields for Mg and Si relative to the ratio of their electron-impact K-shell ionization cross sections. The present study may serve as a guide to astronomers as to specific observing X-ray energies indicative of solar/stellar wind or magnetospheric ion interactions with a comet, planetary surface, or circumstellar dust.

  4. The Role of Gas-Silicate Chemisorption Reactions in Modifying Planetary Crusts and Surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, P. L.; Henley, R. W.; Wykes, J. L.; Renggli, C.; Troitzsch, U.; Clark, D.; O'Neill, H. S.

    2014-12-01

    Evidence for gas-solid reactions is found throughout the solar system: for example, sulfidation reactions in some meteorites and secondary phases coating lunar pyroclastic glasses. On Earth, the products of gas-solid reactions are documented in volcanic systems, metalliferous mineral deposits, impact craters, and on dust or meteorites after passage through the atmosphere - such reactions are also likely on the surfaces of Mars and Venus. To understand the chemical dynamics of such gas-solid reactions, we are undertaking systematic experiments and thermochemical modelling. Experiments were conducted in a vertical gas-mixing furnace at 600 - 800 °C and 1 bar, using SO2and a range of Ca-bearing materials: labradorite, feldspar glass and anorthosite (rock). In each case, anhydrite formed rapidly. In shorter experiments with labradorite, isolated anhydrite is observed surrounded by 'moats' of Ca-depleted silicate. In longer experiments, anhydrite is found as clusters of crystals that, in some cases, extend from the substrate forming precarious 'towers' (Figure). Anhydrite fills cracks in porous samples. We propose that the nucleation and rapid growth of anhydrite on the surface of these Ca-rich phases occurs by chemisorption of SO2(g) molecules with slightly negatively charged oxygen onto available near-surface calcium with slight positive charge. Anhydrite growth is sustained by SO2(g) chemisorption and Ca migration through the reacting silicate lattice, accelerated by increased bond lengths at high temperature. Significantly, the chemisorption reaction indicates that SO2 disproportionates to form both oxidized sulfur (as anhydrite) and a reduced sulfur species (e.g., an S* radical ion). On Earth, in the presence of H2O, the predominant reduced sulfur species is H2S, through an overall reaction: 3CaAl2Si2O8 + 4 SO2(g)+ H2O(g) → 3CaSO4 + 3Al2SiO5 + 3SiO2 + H2S(g)The reduced sulfur may react with gas phase Fe, Ni, Zn and Cu cluster compounds to form metal sulfides

  5. Sea surface temperature anomalies, planetary waves, and air-sea feedback in the middle latitudes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frankignoul, C.

    1985-01-01

    Current analytical models for large-scale air-sea interactions in the middle latitudes are reviewed in terms of known sea-surface temperature (SST) anomalies. The scales and strength of different atmospheric forcing mechanisms are discussed, along with the damping and feedback processes controlling the evolution of the SST. Difficulties with effective SST modeling are described in terms of the techniques and results of case studies, numerical simulations of mixed-layer variability and statistical modeling. The relationship between SST and diabatic heating anomalies is considered and a linear model is developed for the response of the stationary atmosphere to the air-sea feedback. The results obtained with linear wave models are compared with the linear model results. Finally, sample data are presented from experiments with general circulation models into which specific SST anomaly data for the middle latitudes were introduced.

  6. 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.

  7. Twenty-Second Lunar and Planetary Science Conference

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1991-01-01

    The papers in this collection were written for general presentation, avoiding jargon and unnecessarily complex terms. Some of the topics covered include: planetary evolution, planetary satellites, planetary composition, planetary surfaces, planetary geology, volcanology, meteorite impacts and composition, and cosmic dust. Particular emphasis is placed on Mars and the Moon.

  8. Exploring the bronzing effect at the surface of ink layers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hébert, Mathieu; Mallet, Maxime; Deboos, Alexis; Chavel, Pierre; Kuang, Deng-Feng; Hugonin, Jean-Paul; Besbes, Mondher; Cazier, Anthony

    2015-03-01

    We investigate the optical phenomenon responsible for the colored shine that sometimes appears at the surface of ink layers in the specular direction, often called bronzing or gloss differential. It seems to come from the wavelength-dependent refractive index of the ink, which induces a wavelength-dependent reflectance of the ink-air interface. Our experiments on cyan and magenta inkjet inks confirm this theory. Complex refractive indices can be obtained from measurements of the spectral reflectance and transmittance of a transparency film coated with the ink. We propose a correction of the classical Clapper-Yule model in order to include the colored gloss in the prediction of the spectral reflectance of an inked paper. We also explored effects of scattering by the micrometric or nanometric roughness of the ink surface. The micrometric roughness, easy to model with a geometrical optics model, can predict the spreading of the colored gloss over a large cone. Electromagnetic models accounting for the effect of the nanometric roughness of the surface also predict the attenuation of short wavelengths observed under collimated illumination.

  9. Solid-State Thermionic Nuclear Power for Megawatt Propulsion, Planetary Surface and Commercial Power Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    George, Jeffrey

    2014-01-01

    Thermionic (TI) power conversion is a promising technology first investigated for power conversion in the 1960's, and of renewed interest due to modern advances in nanotechnology, MEMS, materials and manufacturing. Benefits include high conversion efficiency (20%), static operation with no moving parts and potential for high reliability, greatly reduced plant complexity, and the potential for reduced development costs. Thermionic emission, credited to Edison in 1880, forms the basis of vacuum tubes and much of 20th century electronics. Heat can be converted into electricity when electrons emitted from a hot surface are collected across a small gap. For example, two "small" (6 kWe) Thermionic Space Reactors were flown by the USSR in 1987-88 for ocean radar reconnaissance. Higher powered Nuclear-Thermionic power systems driving Electric Propulsion (Q-thruster, VASIMR, etc.) may offer the breakthrough necessary for human Mars missions of < 1 yr round trip. Power generation on Earth could benefit from simpler, moe economical nuclear plants, and "topping" of more fuel and emission efficient fossil-fuel plants.

  10. Next Generation P-Band Planetary Synthetic Aperture Radar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rincon, Rafael; Carter, Lynn; Lu, Dee Pong Daniel

    2017-01-01

    The Space Exploration Synthetic Aperture Radar (SESAR) is an advanced P-band beamforming radar instrument concept to enable a new class of observations suitable to meet Decadal Survey science goals for planetary exploration. The radar operates at full polarimetry and fine (meter scale) resolution, and achieves beam agility through programmable waveform generation and digital beamforming. The radar architecture employs a novel low power, lightweight design approach to meet stringent planetary instrument requirements. This instrument concept has the potential to provide unprecedented surface and near- subsurface measurements applicable to multiple Decadal Survey Science Goals.

  11. Exploring the free energy surface using ab initio molecular dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samanta, Amit; Morales, Miguel A.; Schwegler, Eric

    2016-04-01

    Efficient exploration of configuration space and identification of metastable structures in condensed phase systems are challenging from both computational and algorithmic perspectives. In this regard, schemes that utilize a set of pre-defined order parameters to sample the relevant parts of the configuration space [L. Maragliano and E. Vanden-Eijnden, Chem. Phys. Lett. 426, 168 (2006); J. B. Abrams and M. E. Tuckerman, J. Phys. Chem. B 112, 15742 (2008)] have proved useful. Here, we demonstrate how these order-parameter aided temperature accelerated sampling schemes can be used within the Born-Oppenheimer and the Car-Parrinello frameworks of ab initio molecular dynamics to efficiently and systematically explore free energy surfaces, and search for metastable states and reaction pathways. We have used these methods to identify the metastable structures and reaction pathways in SiO2 and Ti. In addition, we have used the string method [W. E, W. Ren, and E. Vanden-Eijnden, Phys. Rev. B 66, 052301 (2002); L. Maragliano et al., J. Chem. Phys. 125, 024106 (2006)] within the density functional theory to study the melting pathways in the high pressure cotunnite phase of SiO2 and the hexagonal closed packed to face centered cubic phase transition in Ti.

  12. A Notional Example of Understanding Human Exploration Traverses on the Lunar Surface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gruener, John

    2012-01-01

    Mr. Gruener received an M.S. in physical science, with an emphasis in planetary geology, from the University of Houston-Clear Lake in 1994. He then began working with NASA JSC.s Solar System Exploration Division on the development of prototype planetary science instruments, the development of a mineral-based substrate for nutrient delivery to plant growth systems in bio-regenerative life support systems, and in support of the Mars Exploration Rover missions in rock and mineral identification. In 2004, Mr. Gruener again participated in a renewed effort to plan and design missions to the Moon, Mars, and beyond. He participated in many exploration planning activities, including NASA.s Exploration Systems Architecture Study (ESAS), Global Exploration Strategy Workshop, Lunar Architecture Team 1 and 2, Constellation Lunar Architecture Team, the Global Point of Departure Lunar Exploration Team, and the NASA Advisory Council (NAC) Workshop on Science Associated with the Lunar Exploration Architecture. Mr. Gruener has also been an active member of the science team supporting NASA.s Desert Research and Technology Studies (RATS).

  13. 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.

  14. Defining X-Ray Diffraction Parameters for the Design and Operation of a Planetary-Surface Rock Analyzer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Metzger, Ellen P.; Keaten, Rendy; Marshall, John R.; Kojiro, Dan

    1996-01-01

    Our joint research effort was aimed at developing techniques for X-ray diffractometry that was being investigated by NASA as possible flight instrumentation for the exploration of Mars. SJSU would provide the use of in-house X-ray facilities for calibration of the instrumentation , and would provide technical expertise regarding interpretation of data acquired during both laboratory testing, and during field testing of instruments on the Marsokhod rover at Ames. Accomplishments are: (1) quantification of X-ray signals from rock surfaces using San Jose State University (SJSU) diffractometer; (2) development of criteria for fingerprinting rock samples using pattern recognition of diffraction spectra, and augmentation of diffraction data with X-ray fluorescence information; (3) calibration of NASA instrumentation using SJSU-generator data; and (4) assistance in the development, lab testing, and field deployment of the NASA instrument on the Russian Marsokhod roving vehicle designed for martian exploration.

  15. What characterizes planetary space weather?

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    International audience; Space weather has become a mature discipline for the Earth space environment. With increasing efforts in space exploration, it is becoming more and more necessary to understand the space environments of bodies other than Earth. This is the background for an emerging aspect of the space weather discipline: planetary space weather. In this article, we explore what characterizes planetary space weather, using some examples throughout the solar system. We consider energy s...

  16. 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.

  17. Mercury surface composition: how the new insights from MESSENGER can drive the future exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carli, Cristian; Capaccioni, Fabrizio; Filacchione, Gianrico; Zambon, Francesca; Serventi, Giovanna; Altieri, Francesca; De Sanctis, MariaCristina; Sgavetti, Maria

    2016-04-01

    The surface composition of Mercury, as well as the relationship between morphological expressions and lithologies, is one of the most interesting goal to be still explored. After Mariner10, despite relevant differences observed in geophysical characteristics, Mercury surface composition was compared to the Moon (Murray et al, 1974, Science), and, subsequently, lunar surface was considered as analogue (e.g., Blewett et al., 2002, Meteor.Planet.Sci.). After MESSENGER, Mercury surface appeared mainly volcanic in origin. Plains (intercrater and smooth) seem to have a primary flood effusive origin, and even cratered terrains could have the same origin with a higher crater concentration. These volcanic units range from high reflectance red plains to low reflectance blue plains (Denevi et al., 2009, Science). No absorption is present in the visible and near-infrared spectra, indicating very low abundance of transitional elements in silicates (i.e. very low iron and titanium, e.g. FeO < 1%, Klima et al., 2014, Whispers). XRS and GRS, onboard MESSENGER, confirmed a very low Fe/Si ratio in the surface material (Weider et al., 2014, Icarus), not only in silicates, differently from the volcanic compositions present in all the other planetary surfaces. K, Th, U GRS-based are consistent with chondritic source but with greater volatile abundances (Peplowski et al., 2011, Science; 2012, JGR). Moreover, XRS measured high volatile abundances (i.e., S, Na, K) (Evans et al., 2012, JGR; Weider et al., 2012, JGR), with a variable distribution on the surface. The presence of high level of volatiles is in agreement with the evidence of pyroclastic materials (Kerber et al., 2009, EPSL). Mg/Si shows relative high values, with a high variability on the surface. Higher values of Mg/Si are detected in some terrains related to high concentration of Ca/Si, and low Al/Si, indicating ultramafic composition, a relative high degree of partial melting and high temperature, in particular in older

  18. Foundations of planetary quarantine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, L. B.; Lyle, R. G.

    1971-01-01

    Discussion of some of the problems in microbiology and engineering involved in the implementation of planetary quarantine. It is shown that the solutions require new knowledge in both disciplines for success at low cost in terms of both monetary outlay and man's further exploration of the planets. A related problem exists in that engineers are not accustomed to the wide variation of biological data and microbiologists must learn to work and think in more exact terms. Those responsible for formulating or influencing national and international policies must walk a tightrope with delicate balance between unnecessarily stringent requirements for planetary quarantine on the one hand and prevention of contamination on the other. The success of planetary quarantine measures can be assured only by rigorous measures, each checked, rechecked, and triple-checked to make sure that no errors have been made and that no factor has been overlooked.

  19. 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

    Establishing a lunar presence and creating an industrial capability on the Moon may lead to important new discoveries for all of human kind. Historical studies of lunar exploration, in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) and industrialization all point to the vast resources on the Moon and its links to future human and robotic exploration. In references 1 through 9, a broad range of technological innovations are described and analyzed. Figures 1 depicts program planning for future human missions throughout the solar system which included lunar launched nuclear rockets, and future human settlements on the Moon. Figures 2 and 3 present the results for human Mercury missions, including LEO departure masses and round trip Mercury lander masses. Using in-situ resources, the missions become less burdensome to the LEO launch infrastructure. In one example using Mercury derived hydrogen, the LEO mass of the human Mercury missions can be reduced from 2,800 MT to 1,140 MT (Ref. 15). Additional analyses of staging options for human Mercury missions will be presented. Figures 4 shows an option for thermal control for long term in-space cryogenic storage and Figure 5 depicts the potentially deleterious elements emanating from Mercury that must be addressed, respectively. Updated analyses based on the visions presented will be presented. While advanced propulsion systems were proposed in these historical studies, further investigation of nuclear options using high power nuclear thermal and nuclear electric propulsion as well as advanced chemical propulsion can significantly enhance these scenarios. Human bases at Mercury may have to be resupplied from resources from regolith and water resources in permanently shadowed craters at its northern pole.

  20. Development of an Electrostatic Precipitator to Remove Martian Atmospheric Dust from ISRU Gas Intakes During Planetary Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clements, J. Sidney; Thompson, Samuel M.; Cox, Nathan D.; Johansen, Michael R.; Williams, Blakeley S.; Hogue, Michael D.; Lowder, M. Loraine; Calle, Carlos I.

    2011-01-01

    Manned exploration missions to Mars will need dependable in situ resource utilization (ISRU) for the production of oxygen and other commodities. One of these resources is the Martian atmosphere itself, which is composed of carbon dioxide (95.3%), nitrogen (2.7%), argon (1.6%), oxygen (0.13%), carbon monoxide (0.07%), and water vapor (0.03%), as well as other trace gases. However, the Martian atmosphere also contains relatively large amounts of dust, uploaded by frequent dust devils and high Winds. To make this gas usable for oxygen extraction in specialized chambers requires the removal of most of the dust. An electrostatic precipitator (ESP) system is an obvious choice. But with an atmospheric pressure just one-hundredth of Earth's, electrical breakdown at low voltages makes the implementation of the electrostatic precipitator technology very challenging. Ion mobility, drag forces, dust particle charging, and migration velocity are also affected because the low gas pressure results in molecular mean free paths that are approximately one hundred times longer than those at Earth .atmospheric pressure. We report here on our efforts to develop this technology at the Kennedy Space Center, using gases with approximately the same composition as the Martian atmosphere in a vacuum chamber at 9 mbars, the atmospheric pressure on Mars. We also present I-V curves and large particle charging data for various versions of wire-cylinder and rod-cylinder geometry ESPs. Preliminary results suggest that use of an ESP for dust collection on Mars may be feasible, but further testing with Martian dust simulant is required.

  1. Lab-on-a-Chip Instrumentation and Method for Detecting Trace Organic and Bioorganic Molecules in Planetary Exploration: The Enceladus Organic Analyzer (EOA)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butterworth, A.; Stockton, A. M.; Turin, P.; Ludlam, M.; Diaz-Aguado, M.; Kim, J.; Mathies, R. A.

    2015-12-01

    Lab-on-a-chip instrumentation is providing an ever more powerful in situ approach for detecting organic molecules relevant for chemical/biochemical evolution in our solar system obviating the cost, risk and long mission duration associated with sample return. Microfabricated analysis systems are particularly feasible when directly sampling from comet comae, or ejecta from icy moons, such as targeting organic molecules in plumes from Enceladus. Furthermore, the superb ppm to ppb sensitivity of chip analyzers, like the Enceladus Organic Analyzer (EOA), coupled with the ability to examine organics with a wide variety of functional groups enhance the probability of detecting organic molecules and determining whether they have a biological origin. The EOA is based on 20 years of research and development of microfabricated capillary electrophoresis (CE) analyzers at Berkeley that provide ppb sensitivity for a wide variety of organic molecules including amino acids, carboxylic acids, amines, aldehydes, ketones and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons [1]. Organic molecules are labeled with a fluorescent reagent according to their functional group in a programmable microfluidic processor [2,3] and then separated in a CE system followed by laser-induced fluorescence detection to determine molecular size and concentration. The EOA will be flown through Enceladus plumes and uses a specially designed impact plate/door to capture ice-particles. After closing the door, the material in the capture chamber is dissolved, labeled and analyzed by the microfabricated CE system. Only a few thousand 2 μm diameter particles containing ppm organic concentrations will provide an EOA detectable signal. If amino acids are detected, their chirality is determined because chirality is the best indicator of a biologically produced molecule. We have developed a flight design of this instrument for planetary exploration that is compact (16x16x12 cm), has low mass (3 kg), and requires very low power

  2. Planetary and Interplanetary Environmental Models for Radiation Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeAngelis, G.; Cucinotta, F. A.

    2005-01-01

    The essence of environmental modeling is presented as suited for radiation analysis purposes. The variables of fundamental importance for radiation environmental assessment are discussed. The characterization is performed by dividing modeling into three areas, namely the interplanetary medium, the circumplanetary environment, and the planetary or satellite surface. In the first area, the galactic cosmic rays (GCR) and their modulation by the heliospheric magnetic field as well as and solar particle events (SPE) are considered, in the second area the magnetospheres are taken into account, and in the third area the effect of the planetary environment is also considered. Planetary surfaces and atmospheres are modeled based on results from the most recent targeted spacecraft. The results are coupled with suited visualization techniques and radiation transport models in support of trade studies of health risks for future exploration missions.

  3. Planetary science: Eris under scrutiny

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gulbis, Amanda

    2011-10-01

    A stellar occultation by the dwarf planet Eris provides a new estimate of its size. It also reveals a surprisingly bright planetary surface, which could indicate the relatively recent condensation of a putative atmosphere. See Letter p.493

  4. 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

  5. Planetary Rings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuzzi, Jeffrey N.

    1994-01-01

    Just over two decades ago, Jim Pollack made a critical contribution to our understanding of planetary ring particle properties, and resolved a major apparent paradox between radar reflection and radio emission observations. At the time, particle properties were about all there were to study about planetary rings, and the fundamental questions were, why is Saturn the only planet with rings, how big are the particles, and what are they made of? Since then, we have received an avalanche of observations of planetary ring systems, both from spacecraft and from Earth. Meanwhile, we have seen steady progress in our understanding of the myriad ways in which gravity, fluid and statistical mechanics, and electromagnetism can combine to shape the distribution of the submicron-to-several-meter size particles which comprise ring systems into the complex webs of structure that we now know them to display. Insights gained from studies of these giant dynamical analogs have carried over into improved understanding of the formation of the planets themselves from particle disks, a subject very close to Jim's heart. The now-complete reconnaissance of the gas giant planets by spacecraft has revealed that ring systems are invariably found in association with families of regular satellites, and there is ark emerging perspective that they are not only physically but causally linked. There is also mounting evidence that many features or aspects of all planetary ring systems, if not the ring systems themselves, are considerably younger than the solar system

  6. Analysis and design of a capsule landing system and surface vehicle control system for Mars exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gisser, D. G.; Frederick, D. K.; Lashmet, P. K.; Sandor, G. N.; Shen, C. N.; Yerazunis, S. Y.

    1975-01-01

    Problems related to an unmanned exploration of the planet Mars by means of an autonomous roving planetary vehicle are investigated. These problems include: design, construction and evaluation of the vehicle itself and its control and operating systems. More specifically, vehicle configuration, dynamics, control, propulsion, hazard detection systems, terrain sensing and modelling, obstacle detection concepts, path selection, decision-making systems, and chemical analyses of samples are studied. Emphasis is placed on development of a vehicle capable of gathering specimens and data for an Augmented Viking Mission or to provide the basis for a Sample Return Mission.

  7. Planetary Radars Operating Centre PROC

    Science.gov (United States)

    Catallo, C.; Flamini, E.; Seu, R.; Alberti, G.

    2007-12-01

    Planetary exploration by means of radar systems, mainly using Ground Penetrating Radars (GPR) plays an important role in Italy. Numerous scientific international space programs are currently carried out jointly with ESA and NASA by Italian Space Agency, the scientific community and the industry. Three important experiments under Italian leadership ( designed and manufactured by the Italian industry), provided by ASI either as contribution to ESA programs either within a NASA/ASI joint venture framework, are now operating: MARSIS on-board Mars Express, SHARAD on-board Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and CASSINI Radar on-board Cassini spacecraft. In order to support all the scientific communities, institutional customers and experiment teams operation three Italian dedicated operational centers have been realized, namely SHOC, (Sharad Operating Centre), MOC (Marsis Operating Center) and CASSINI PAD ( Processing Altimetry Data). Each center is dedicated to a single instrument management and control, data processing and distribution. Although they had been conceived to operate autonomously and independently one from each other, synergies and overlaps have been envisaged leading to the suggestion of a unified center, the Planetary Radar Processing Center (PROC). PROC is conceived in order to include the three operational centers, namely SHOC, MOC and CASSINI PAD, either from logistics point of view and from HW/SW capabilities point of view. The Planetary Radar Processing Center shall be conceived as the Italian support facility to the scientific community for on-going and future Italian planetary exploration programs. Therefore, scalability, easy use and management shall be the design drivers. The paper describes how PROC is designed and developed, to allow SHOC, MOC and CASSINI PAD to operate as before, and to offer improved functionalities to increase capabilities, mainly in terms of data exchange, comparison, interpretation and exploitation. Furthermore, in the frame of

  8. Temporal observations of a linear sand dune in the Simpson Desert, central Australia: Testing models for dune formation on planetary surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Craddock, Robert A.; Tooth, Stephen; Zimbelman, James R.; Wilson, Sharon A.; Maxwell, Ted A.; Kling, Corbin

    2015-10-01

    Linear dunes are the most common dune form found on planetary surfaces, yet questions remain about their formation. Temporal observations of a linear dune located in the Simpson Desert of central Australia were made to monitor dune movement and to test competing hypotheses regarding linear dune formation. Our observations were collected on three separate occasions from 2006 to 2014. Rebar stakes were placed in a gridded pattern so that multiple measurements of sand thickness, GPS surveys, and photographs could be taken at the same locations over time. We observed widespread reworking of sand on and around the dune crest, with sand accumulation locally exceeding a meter between surveys. Overall, the height of the dune crest increased by several centimeters. We also observed fluctuations in the sand cover in the adjacent swales that often exceeded 2-3 cm between surveys, yet we did not observe any appreciable changes in the position of the dune's downwind terminus. Weather data indicate that the effective sand-transporting winds in the Simpson are widely unimodal. Net sediment flux (resultant drift direction) is toward the north-northwest, locally at an oblique angle to dune orientation. Collectively, our results suggest that the linear dune is actively maintained by vertical accretion. The implications from our observations are that linear dunes on other planetary surfaces could form in wind regimes that are widely unimodal, even where the resultant drift direction is locally oblique to dune orientation. In particular, such findings may provide support for global circulation models of Titan.

  9. Exploring Scintillometry in the Stable Atmospheric Surface Layer

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hartogensis, O.K.

    2006-01-01

    The main objective of this thesis is to investigate observation methods of heat and momentum exchange and key variables that characterise turbulence in the atmospheric stable surface layer (SSL), a layer defined as the lower part of the stable boundary layer (SBL) where surface fluxes do not change

  10. Exploring Scintillometry in the Stable Atmospheric Surface Layer

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hartogensis, O.K.

    2006-01-01

    The main objective of this thesis is to investigate observation methods of heat and momentum exchange and key variables that characterise turbulence in the atmospheric stable surface layer (SSL), a layer defined as the lower part of the stable boundary layer (SBL) where surface fluxes do not change

  11. Sonar equations for planetary exploration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ainslie, M.A.; Leighton, T.G.

    2016-01-01

    The set of formulations commonly known as “the sonar equations” have for many decades been used to quantify the performance of sonar systems in terms of their ability to detect and ocalize objects submerged in seawater. The efficacy of the sonar equations, with individualterms evaluated in decibels,

  12. Sonar equations for planetary exploration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ainslie, M.A.; Leighton, T.G.

    2016-01-01

    The set of formulations commonly known as “the sonar equations” have for many decades been used to quantify the performance of sonar systems in terms of their ability to detect and ocalize objects submerged in seawater. The efficacy of the sonar equations, with individualterms evaluated in decibels,

  13. The Mars Exploration Rover Surface Mobility Flight Software: Driving Ambition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biesiadecki, Jeffrey J.; Maimone, Mark W.

    2006-01-01

    In this paper we describe the software that has driven these rovers more than a combined 11,000 meters over the Martian surface, including its design and implementation, and summarize current mobility performance results from Mars.

  14. Planetary Rings

    CERN Document Server

    Tiscareno, Matthew S

    2011-01-01

    Planetary rings are the only nearby astrophysical disks, and the only disks that have been investigated by spacecraft. Although there are significant differences between rings and other disks, chiefly the large planet/ring mass ratio that greatly enhances the flatness of rings (aspect ratios as small as 1e-7), understanding of disks in general can be enhanced by understanding the dynamical processes observed at close-range and in real-time in planetary rings. We review the known ring systems of the four giant planets, as well as the prospects for ring systems yet to be discovered. We then review planetary rings by type. The main rings of Saturn comprise our system's only dense broad disk and host many phenomena of general application to disks including spiral waves, gap formation, self-gravity wakes, viscous overstability and normal modes, impact clouds, and orbital evolution of embedded moons. Dense narrow rings are the primary natural laboratory for understanding shepherding and self-stability. Narrow dusty...

  15. Surface Explorations: 3D Moving Images as Cartographies of Time.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verhoeff, N.

    2016-01-01

    Moving images of travel and exploration have a long history. In this essay I will examine how the trope of navigation in 3D moving images can work towards an intimate and haptic encounter with other times and other places – elsewhen and elsewhere. The particular navigational construction of space in

  16. DOTS: A High Resolution Orbitrap Mass Spectrometer for In Situ Analysis of the surface samples of Airless Planetary Bodies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briois, Christelle; Thissen, Roland; Engrand, Cécile; Altwegg, Kathrin; Bouabdellah, Abdel; Boukrara, Amirouche; Carrasco, Nathalie; Chapuis, Claude; Cottin, Hervé; Grün, Eberhard; Grand, Noel; Henkel, Hartmut; Kempf, Sascha; Lebreton, Jean-Pierre; Makarov, Alexander A.; Postber, Frank; Srama, Ralf; Schmidt, Jürgen; Szopa, Cyril; Thirkell, Laurent; Tobie, Gabriel; Wurz, Peter; Zolotov, Mikhail Yu

    2013-04-01

    The dust detectors on board the Ulysses and Galileo spacecraft have shown that the Galilean satellites are surrounded by clouds of sub-micrometer size grains generated by impacts of interplanetary (micro-) meteoroids [1, 2]. In situ chemical analysis from orbit of these ballistic grains ejected from the surface of airless bodies provides a unique opportunity to remotely access the chemical composition of the Jovian moons' surface and subsurface. For Saturn, in situ identification by the Cassini Dust Analyzer (CDA) of sodium in icy grains in the E-Ring and in Enceladus plumes have proven a subsurface liquid water reservoir inside Enceladus [3, 4]. Noticeably, this was not accessible to other in situ or traditional remote sensing techniques. In situ measurements, either during a flyby or from orbit, of grains ejected from the surface, or emerging from the subsurface, of an airless body is a powerful tool to remotely study its surface composition and the nature of its geological activity. Crucial constraints on habitability can thus be determined. Our consortium of laboratories, in collaboration with Thermo Fischer Scientific [5, 6], is currently developing a high mass resolution Fourier Transform (FT) Orbitrap-based mass spectrometer optimized for in situ analysis of dust and icy grains in the environment of Solar System airless bodies. This new generation of dust mass spectrometer was studied in the framework of the Europa Jupiter System Mission (EJSM) instrument study in 2010-2012 and proposed in response to ESA's AO for the JUpiter ICy moons Explorer (JUICE) mission [7]. This mass analyser can provide very high mass resolution analysis (M/ΔM reaching 50 000 at m/z 50 Da). DOTS would allow identification of elemental and molecular species with excellent accuracy, in the 20-1000 Da mass range. In the context of the JUICE mission, DOTS would provide decisive information on the surface composition and on the putative liquid oceans in the subsurface of Ganymede

  17. The exploration metaphor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mcgreevy, Michael W.

    1991-01-01

    NASA's experience in planetary exploration has demonstrated that the desktop workstation is inadequate for many visualization situations. The primary mission displays for the unmanned Surveyor missions to the moon during the mid-1960's, for example, were environmental images assembled on the inside surfaces of spherical shells. Future exploration missions will greatly benefit from advances in digital computer and display technology, but there remain unmet user interface needs. Alternative user interfaces and metaphors are needed for planetary exploration and other interactions with complex spatial environments. These interfaces and metaphors would enable the user to directly explore environments and naturally manipulate objects in those environments. Personal simulators, virtual workstations, and telepresence user interfaces are systems capable of providing this integration of user space and task space. The Exploration Metaphor is a useful concept for guiding the design of user interfaces for virtual environments and telepresence. To apply the Exploration Metaphor is to assert that computing is like exploration, and to support objects, operations, and contexts comparable to those encountered in the exploration of natural environments. The Exploration Metaphor, under development for user interfaces in support of NASA's planetary exploration missions and goals, will also benefit other applications where complex spatial information must be visualized. Visualization methods and systems for planetary exploration are becoming increasingly integrated and interactive as computing technology improves. These advances will benefit from virtual environment and telepresence interface technology. A key development has been the processing of multiple images and other sensor data to create detailed digital models of the planets and moons. Data from images of the Earth, Mars, and Miranda, for example, have been converted into 3D models, and dynamic virtual fly-overs have been

  18. Micro reflectance difference techniques: Optical probes for surface exploration

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lastras-Martinez, L.F.; Del Pozo-Zamudio, O.; Herrera-Jasso, R.; Ulloa-Castillo, N.A.; Balderas-Navarro, R.E.; Ortega-Gallegos, J.; Lastras-Martinez, A. [Instituto de Investigacion en Comunicacion Optica, Universidad Autonoma de San Luis Potosi, Alvaro Obregon 64, 78000 San Luis Potosi, S.L.P. (Mexico)

    2012-06-15

    Micro reflectance difference spectroscopy ({mu}-RDS) is a promising tool for the in-situ and ex-situ characterization of semiconductors surfaces and interfaces. We discuss and compare two different approaches used to measure {mu}-RD spectra. One is based on a charge-coupled device (CCD) camera, while the other uses a laser and a XY translation stage. To show the performance of these systems, we have measured surface optical anisotropies of GaSb(001) sample on which anisotropic strains have been generated by preferential mechanical polishing along [110] and [1 anti 10] directions. The spectrometers are complementary and the selection of one of them depends on the sample to be investigated and on experimental conditions. (Copyright copyright 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH and Co. KGaA, Weinheim)

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Visualization of Kepler's Laws of Planetary Motion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Meishu; Su, Jun; Wang, Weiguo; Lu, Jianlong

    2017-01-01

    For this article, we use a 3D printer to print a surface similar to universal gravitation for demonstrating and investigating Kepler's laws of planetary motion describing the motion of a small ball on the surface. This novel experimental method allows Kepler's laws of planetary motion to be visualized and will contribute to improving the…

  2. Lunar and Planetary Science XXXV: Education Programs Demonstrations

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    Reports from the session on Education Programs Demonstration include:Hands-On Activities for Exploring the Solar System in K-14; Formal Education and Informal Settings;Making Earth and Space Science and Exploration Accessible; New Thematic Solar System Exploration Products for Scientists and Educators Engaging Students of All Ages with Research-related Activities: Using the Levers of Museum Reach and Media Attention to Current Events; Astronomy Village: Use of Planetary Images in Educational Multimedia; ACUMEN: Astronomy Classes Unleashed: Meaningful Experiences for Neophytes; Unusual Guidebook to Terrestrial Field Work Studies: Microenvironmental Studies by Landers on Planetary Surfaces (New Atlas in the Series of the Solar System Notebooks on E tv s University, Hungary); and The NASA ADS: Searching, Linking and More.

  3. Study on surface geochemistry and microbiology for hydrocarbon exploration

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1995-12-01

    The test results of the experimental device for extraction of dissolved gases from water show that the device can be utilized for the gas geochemistry of water. The device is capable of determining hydrocarbon gases in water to the concentration of less than 5 x 10{sup -4} ml/l of water. According to the results of microbiological studies, the plate count technique can be a useful supplementary method for hydrocarbon exploration. This is based on the facts that the average survival rate to hydrocarbons (pentane, hexane) for heterotrophs is higher in the area known as containing considerable hydrocarbon gases than other areas in the Pohang region. However, it is still necessary to develop techniques to treat the bacteria with gaseous hydrocarbons. (author). 2 figs., 41 tabs.

  4. Exploring silicon surface chemistry with spectroscopy and microscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Fan

    Recent technology advances have pushed the development of silicon devices to their physical performance limits. An alternative way to keep Moore's law valid and avoid the physical limits of today's magnetic memory is to combine molecules with the silicon. Molecules possess degrees of freedom that traditional silicon devices lack, such as rotation, conformation, oxidation states, spontaneous dipole moment, and discrete energy levels. Cleverly taking advantage of these properties may lead to next generation devices that are more powerful and efficient than today's silicon devices. To realize such an ambitious goal, it is necessary to understand the surface chemistry of silicon, i.e., the adsorption, reaction, and disorder phenomena of molecules at the surface. Spectroscopy and microscopy are two complementary methods to study surface chemistry and provide insight into mechanisms for next generation silicon devices. In this thesis, the major spectroscopy method used is Near Edge X-ray Absorption Fine Structure (NEXAFS) spectroscopy. To make full use of this technique, a new model is introduced in order to disentangle the concepts of disorder and orientation, both of which are provided by a NEXAFS measurement. The disorder information is obtained by introducing a disorder parameter sigma, whose magnitude directly measures the spread of the orientation angle around its average. This model clarifies some long existing controversial interpretations of NEXAFS measurements and provides insights into disorder-related physical properties. The second emphasis of this thesis is the development of molecular nanostructures where one-dimensional molecular arrays with strong dipole moments are formed on the Si(111) 5x2-Au surface. Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (STM) is used to characterize these nanostructures. The study shows that upward versus downward orientations of the dipole moment of the molecules can be distinguished by STM barrier height imaging. Such structures could be a

  5. Exploring masses and CNO surface abundances of red giant stars

    CERN Document Server

    Halabi, Ghina M

    2015-01-01

    A grid of evolutionary sequences of stars in the mass range $1.2$-$7$ M$_{\\odot}$, with solar-like initial composition is presented. We focus on this mass range in order to estimate the masses and calculate the CNO surface abundances of a sample of observed red giants. The stellar models are calculated from the zero-age main sequence till the early asymptotic giant branch (AGB) phase. Stars of M $\\leqslant$ $2.2$M$_{\\odot}$ are evolved through the core helium flash. In this work, an approach is adopted that improves the mass determination of an observed sample of 21 RGB and early AGB stars. This approach is based on comparing the observationally derived effective temperatures and absolute magnitudes with the calculated values based on our evolutionary tracks in the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram. A more reliable determination of the stellar masses is achieved by using evolutionary tracks extended to the range of observation. In addition, the predicted CNO surface abundances are compared to the observationally in...

  6. Fission Surface Power Systems (FSPS) Project Final Report for the Exploration Technology Development Program (ETDP): Fission Surface Power, Transition Face to Face

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palac, Donald T.

    2011-01-01

    The Fission Surface Power Systems Project became part of the ETDP on October 1, 2008. Its goal was to demonstrate fission power system technology readiness in an operationally relevant environment, while providing data on fission system characteristics pertinent to the use of a fission power system on planetary surfaces. During fiscal years 08 to 10, the FSPS project activities were dominated by hardware demonstrations of component technologies, to verify their readiness for inclusion in the fission surface power system. These Pathfinders demonstrated multi-kWe Stirling power conversion operating with heat delivered via liquid metal NaK, composite Ti/H2O heat pipe radiator panel operations at 400 K input water temperature, no-moving-part electromagnetic liquid metal pump operation with NaK at flight-like temperatures, and subscale performance of an electric resistance reactor simulator capable of reproducing characteristics of a nuclear reactor for the purpose of system-level testing, and a longer list of component technologies included in the attached report. Based on the successful conclusion of Pathfinder testing, work began in 2010 on design and development of the Technology Demonstration Unit (TDU), a full-scale 1/4 power system-level non-nuclear assembly of a reactor simulator, power conversion, heat rejection, instrumentation and controls, and power management and distribution. The TDU will be developed and fabricated during fiscal years 11 and 12, culminating in initial testing with water cooling replacing the heat rejection system in 2012, and complete testing of the full TDU by the end of 2014. Due to its importance for Mars exploration, potential applicability to missions preceding Mars missions, and readiness for an early system-level demonstration, the Enabling Technology Development and Demonstration program is currently planning to continue the project as the Fission Power Systems project, including emphasis on the TDU completion and testing.

  7. Exploring masses and CNO surface abundances of red giant stars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halabi, Ghina M.; Eid, Mounib El

    2015-08-01

    A grid of evolutionary sequences of stars in the mass range 1.2-7M⊙, with solar-like initial composition is presented. We focus on this mass range in order to estimate the masses and calculate the CNO surface abundances of a sample of observed red giants. The stellar models are calculated from the zero-age main sequence till the early asymptotic giant branch (AGB) phase. Stars of M ≤ 2.2M⊙ are evolved through the core helium flash. In this work, an approach is adopted that improves the mass determination of an observed sample of 21 RGB and early AGB stars. This approach is based on comparing the observationally derived effective temperatures and absolute magnitudes with the calculated values based on our evolutionary tracks in the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram. A more reliable determination of the stellar masses is achieved by using evolutionary tracks extended to the range of observation. In addition, the predicted CNO surface abundances are compared to the observationally inferred values in order to show how far standard evolutionary calculation can be used to interpret available observations and to illustrate the role of convective mixing. We find that extra mixing beyond the convective boundary determined by the Schwarzschild criterion is needed to explain the observational oxygen isotopic ratios in low-mass stars. The effect of recent determinations of proton capture reactions and their uncertainties on the 16O/17O and 14N/15N ratios is also shown. It is found that the 14N( p, γ)15O reaction is important for predicting the 14N/15N ratio in red giants.

  8. 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.

  9. Mars Science Laboratory Planetary Protection Status

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benardini, James; La Duc, Myron; Naviaux, Keith; Samuels, Jessica

    With over 500 sols of surface operations, the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Rover has trekked over 5km. A key finding along this journey thus far, is that water molecules are bound to fine-grained soil particles, accounting for about 2 percent of the particles' weight at Gale Crater where Curiosity landed. There is no concern to planetary protection as the finding resulted directly from SAM baking (100-835°C) out the soil for analysis. Over that temperature range, OH and/or H2O was released, which was bound in amorphous phases. MSL has completed an approved Post-Launch Report. The Project continues to be in compliance with planetary protection requirements as Curiosity continues its exploration and scientific discoveries there is no evidence suggesting the presence of a special region. There is no spacecraft induced special region and no currently flowing liquid. All systems of interest to planetary protection are functioning nominally. The project has submitted an extended mission request to the NASA PPO. The status of the PP activities will be reported.

  10. A novel method for surface exploration: Super-resolution restoration of Mars repeat-pass orbital imagery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tao, Y.; Muller, J.-P.

    2016-02-01

    Higher resolution imaging data of planetary surfaces is considered desirable by the international community of planetary scientists interested in improving understanding of surface formation processes. However, given various physical constraints from the imaging instruments through to limited bandwidth of transmission one needs to trade-off spatial resolution against bandwidth. Even given optical communications, future imaging systems are unlikely to be able to resolve features smaller than 25 cm on most planetary bodies, such as Mars. In this paper, we propose a novel super-resolution restoration technique, called Gotcha-PDE-TV (GPT), taking advantage of the non-redundant sub-pixel information contained in multiple raw orbital images in order to restore higher resolution imagery. We demonstrate optimality of this technique in planetary image super-resolution restoration with example processing of 8 repeat-pass 25 cm HiRISE images covering the MER-A Spirit rover traverse in Gusev crater to resolve a 5 cm resolution of the area. We assess the "true" resolution of the 5 cm super-resolution restored images using contemporaneous rover Navcam imagery on the surface and an inter-comparison of landmarks in the two sets of imagery.

  11. Exploring the deep biosphere through ophiolite-associated surface springs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer-Dombard, D. R.; Cardace, D.; Woycheese, K. M.; Vallalar, B.; Arcilla, C. A.

    2013-12-01

    The process of serpentinization in the subsurface produces highly reduced, high pH fluids that provide habitats for microbial communities. At depth, these fluids likely contain appreciable hydrogen and methane gas, very little inorganic carbon, and limited electron acceptors. As fluids affected by serpentinization reach the oxygenated surface environment, microbial biomes may shift to include organisms capable of metabolizing oxygen. Our study of serpentinizing and hydrothermal fluids in the Zambales and Palawan regions of the Philippines includes a suite of geochemical analyses to define microbial habitats, targeted culturing efforts, and community analysis (the latter presented in a companion abstract). We measured temperature, pH, conductivity, ORP, dissolved oxygen, nitrate, ammonia, iron, sulfide, and silica in the fluids on site, and have analyzed dissolved gases, major ions, and trace elements. These analyses provide a description of the near subsurface and surface ecosystems of the study areas. Carbon and nitrogen isotopic ratios in solid biofilm and biominerals from the springs allow inference of metabolic cycling. Fluids expressed from the Zambales and Palawan ophiolites range from pH 9-11.5, 0.06-2 mg/L dissolved oxygen, 0-3.7 mg/L sulfide, and 30-800 mg/L silica in the source pools. Temperatures vary from 34-50C. Analysis of dissolved gases reveal concentrations of H2 and CH4 > 10uM, CO2 > 1 mM, and trace amounts of CO. This variability in fluid and gas composition indicates the potential for different mixing ratios with local meteoric water, local hydrothermal fluids, and deep-seated sediments. Results will be compared with other serpentinizing fluids to place these habitats in context of the ecology of serpentinizing springs globally. Anaerobic and aerobic growth media were designed to target heterotrophy, sulfate reduction, and iron reduction (the latter two with, and without organic carbon input). We have calculated that these processes have

  12. 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.; Hamilton, J. C.; Klingelhoefer, G.; Morris, R. V.; Nunez, J. I.; Quinn, J. W.; Sanders, G. B.; Sellar, R. G.; Sigurdson, L.; Taylor, R.; Zacny, K.

    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.

  13. Planetary science: Flow of an alien ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodman, Jason

    2014-01-01

    Liquid water may lurk beneath the frozen surfaces of Jupiter's moon Europa and other icy worlds. Extending ocean science beyond Earth, planetary oceanographers are linking Europa's ocean dynamics to its enigmatic surface geology.

  14. Enzyme activity in terrestrial soil in relation to exploration of the Martian surface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ardakani, M. S.; Mclaren, A. D.; Pukite, A. H.

    1972-01-01

    An exploration was made of enzyme activities in soil, including abundance, persistence and localization of these activities. An attempt was made to develop procedures for the detection and assaying of enzymes in soils suitable for presumptive tests for life in planetary soils. A suitable extraction procedure for soil enzymes was developed and measurements were made of activities in extracts in order to study how urease is complexed in soil organic matter. Mathematical models were developed, based on enzyme action and microbial growth in soil, for rates of oxidation of nitrogen as nitrogen compounds are moved downward in soil by water flow. These biogeochemical models should be applicable to any percolating system, with suitable modification for special features, such as oxygen concetrations, and types of hydrodynamic flow.

  15. Galactic planetary science.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tinetti, Giovanna

    2014-04-28

    Planetary science beyond the boundaries of our Solar System is today in its infancy. Until a couple of decades ago, the detailed investigation of the planetary properties was restricted to objects orbiting inside the Kuiper Belt. Today, we cannot ignore that the number of known planets has increased by two orders of magnitude nor that these planets resemble anything but the objects present in our own Solar System. Whether this fact is the result of a selection bias induced by the kind of techniques used to discover new planets--mainly radial velocity and transit--or simply the proof that the Solar System is a rarity in the Milky Way, we do not know yet. What is clear, though, is that the Solar System has failed to be the paradigm not only in our Galaxy but even 'just' in the solar neighbourhood. This finding, although unsettling, forces us to reconsider our knowledge of planets under a different light and perhaps question a few of the theoretical pillars on which we base our current 'understanding'. The next decade will be critical to advance in what we should perhaps call Galactic planetary science. In this paper, I review highlights and pitfalls of our current knowledge of this topic and elaborate on how this knowledge might arguably evolve in the next decade. More critically, I identify what should be the mandatory scientific and technical steps to be taken in this fascinating journey of remote exploration of planets in our Galaxy.

  16. Long-Life, Oil-Free Polymeric, Multi-Roller Traction Drives for Planetary Vehicle Surface Exploration Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Multi-roller traction drives have several advantages relative to geared units for aerospace and commercial drive applications. Among these are zero backlash, low...

  17. 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

  18. On the polarization angle of skylight reflected by natural surfaces: Properties and application for remote sensing of planetary atmospheres

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Chowdhary

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available In this study, we focus on the polarization angle of light scattered by terrestrial atmosphere-surface systems. The polarization angle describes the orientation of the plane in which the linearly polarized portion of light propagates. We show for skylight how this angle varies with the solar zenith angle and that, for skylight reflected by natural surfaces, these variations remain the same for wide ranges of atmospheric conditions and surface properties. This provides a tool for extracting scattering properties of the atmosphere from remote sensing observations of the Earth without any knowledge of the underlying surface. We demonstrate this principle for simulated data, and apply it to observations obtained by an airborne polarimeter over open oceans.

  19. Obtaining and Using Planetary Spatial Data into the Future: The Role of the Mapping and Planetary Spatial Infrastructure Team (MAPSIT)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radebaugh, J.; Thomson, B. J.; Archinal, B.; Hagerty, J.; Gaddis, L.; Lawrence, S. J.; Sutton, S.

    2017-01-01

    Planetary spatial data, which include any remote sensing data or derived products with sufficient positional information such that they can be projected onto a planetary body, continue to rapidly increase in volume and complexity. These data are the hard-earned fruits of decades of planetary exploration, and are the end result of mission planning and execution. Maintaining these data using accessible formats and standards for all scientists has been necessary for the success of past, present, and future planetary missions. The Mapping and Planetary Spatial Infrastructure Team (MAPSIT) is a group of planetary community members tasked by NASA Headquarters to work with the planetary science community to identify and prioritize their planetary spatial data needs to help determine the best pathways for new data acquisition, usable product derivation, and tools/capability development that supports NASA's planetary science missions.

  20. Miniaturized Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope for In Situ Planetary Studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaskin, Jessica; Abbott, Terry; Medley, Stephanie; Gregory, Don; Thaisen, Kevin; Taylor , Lawrence; Ramsey, Brian; Jerman, Gregory; Sampson, Allen; Harvey, Ralph

    2010-01-01

    The exploration of remote planetary surfaces calls for the advancement of low power, highly-miniaturized instrumentation. Instruments of this nature that are capable of multiple types of analyses will prove to be particularly useful as we prepare for human return to the moon, and as we continue to explore increasingly remote locations in our Solar System. To this end, our group has been developing a miniaturized Environmental-Scanning Electron Microscope (mESEM) capable of remote investigations of mineralogical samples through in-situ topographical and chemical analysis on a fine scale. The functioning of an SEM is well known: an electron beam is focused to nanometer-scale onto a given sample where resulting emissions such as backscattered and secondary electrons, X-rays, and visible light are registered. Raster scanning the primary electron beam across the sample then gives a fine-scale image of the surface topography (texture), crystalline structure and orientation, with accompanying elemental composition. The flexibility in the types of measurements the mESEM is capable of, makes it ideally suited for a variety of applications. The mESEM is appropriate for use on multiple planetary surfaces, and for a variety of mission goals (from science to non-destructive analysis to ISRU). We will identify potential applications and range of potential uses related to planetary exploration. Over the past few of years we have initiated fabrication and testing of a proof-of-concept assembly, consisting of a cold-field-emission electron gun and custom high-voltage power supply, electrostatic electron-beam focusing column, and scanning-imaging electronics plus backscatter detector. Current project status will be discussed. This effort is funded through the NASA Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences - Planetary Instrument Definition and Development Program.

  1. Jupiter's and Saturn's ice moons: geophysical aspects and opportunities of geophysical survey of the planetary geoelectrical markers and oreols of the subsurface liquid ocean on the surface ice moons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ozorovich, Yuri; Linkin, Vacheslav; Kosov, Alexandr; Fournier-Sicre, Alain; Klimov, Stanislav; Novikov, Denis; Ivanov, Anton; Skulachev, Dmitriy; Menshenin, Yaroslav

    2016-04-01

    This paper presents a new conceptual and methodological approach for geophysical survey of the planetary geoelectrical markers and oreols of the subsurface liquid ocean on the surface ice moons on the base "conceptual design phase" of the future space missions on the ice moons. At the design stage of such projects is considered the use of various space instruments and tools for the full the complex geophysical studies of the manifestations and planetary processes of the subsurface liquid ocean on the surface ice moons. The existence of various forms of the cryolithozone on terrestrial planets and their moons: advanced Martian permafrost zone in the form of existing of the frozen polar caps, subsurface frozen horizons, geological markers and oreols of the martian ancient (relict) ocean, subsurface oceans of Jupiter's and Saturn's moons-Europe and Enceladus, with the advanced form of permafrost freezes planetary caps, it allows to develop a common methodological basis and operational geophysical instruments (tools) for the future space program and planning space missions on these unique objects of the solar system, specialized for specific scientific problems of planetary missions. Geophysical practices and methodological principles, used in 1985-2015 by aurthors [ 1-5 ], respectively, as an example of the comprehensive geophysical experiment MARSES to study of the Martian permafrost zone and the martian ancient (relict) ocean, creating the preconditions for complex experimental setting and geo-physical monitoring of operational satellites of Jupiter and Saturn- Europe and Enceladus. This range of different planetary (like) planets with its geological history and prehistory of the common planetology formation processes of the planets formation and to define the role of a liquid ocean under the ice as a climate indicator of such planets, which is extremely important for the future construction of the geological and climatic history of the Earth. Main publications: [1

  2. Proceedings of the 38th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-01-01

    The sessions in the conference include: Titan, Mars Volcanism, Mars Polar Layered Deposits, Early Solar System Isotopes, SPECIAL SESSION: Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter: New Ways of Studying the Red Planet, Achondrites: Exploring Oxygen Isotopes and Parent-Body Processes, Solar System Formation and Evolution, SPECIAL SESSION: SMART-1, . Impact Cratering: Observations and Experiments, SPECIAL SESSION: Volcanism and Tectonism on Saturnian Satellites, Solar Nebula Composition, Mars Fluvial Geomorphology, Asteroid Observations: Spectra, Mostly, Mars Sediments and Geochemistry: View from the Surface, Mars Tectonics and Crustal Dichotomy, Stardust: Wild-2 Revealed, Impact Cratering from Observations and Interpretations, Mars Sediments and Geochemistry: The Map View, Chondrules and Their Formation, Enceladus, Asteroids and Deep Impact: Structure, Dynamics, and Experiments, Mars Surface Process and Evolution, Martian Meteorites: Nakhlites, Experiments, and the Great Shergottite Age Debate, Stardust: Mainly Mineralogy, Astrobiology, Wind-Surface Interactions on Mars and Earth, Icy Satellite Surfaces, Venus, Lunar Remote Sensing, Space Weathering, and Impact Effects, Interplanetary Dust/Genesis, Mars Cratering: Counts and Catastrophes?, Chondrites: Secondary Processes, Mars Sediments and Geochemistry: Atmosphere, Soils, Brines, and Minerals, Lunar Interior and Differentiation, Mars Magnetics and Atmosphere: Core to Ionosphere, Metal-rich Chondrites, Organics in Chondrites, Lunar Impacts and Meteorites, Presolar/Solar Grains, Topics for Print Only papers are: Outer Planets/Satellites, Early Solar System, Interplanetary Dust, Comets and Kuiper Belt Objects, Asteroids and Meteoroids, Chondrites, Achondrites, Meteorite Related, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, Mars, Astrobiology, Planetary Differentiation, Impacts, Mercury, Lunar Samples and Modeling, Venus, Missions and Instruments, Global Warming, Education and Public Outreach, Poster sessions are: Asteroids/Kuiper Belt Objects

  3. Precision Time Protocol Based Trilateration for Planetary Navigation Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — NASA's vision for planetary exploration requires development and field testing of the key technologies required for extended habitation. To support extended lunar...

  4. A Miniaturized Variable Pressure Scanning Electron Microscope (MVP-SEM) for the Surface of Mars: An Instrument for the Planetary Science Community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edmunson, J.; Gaskin, J. A.; Danilatos, G.; Doloboff, I. J.; Effinger, M. R.; Harvey, R. P.; Jerman, G. A.; Klein-Schoder, R.; Mackie, W.; Magera, B.; Neidholdt, E. L.

    2016-01-01

    The Miniaturized Variable Pressure Scanning Electron Microscope(MVP-SEM) project, funded by the NASA Planetary Instrument Concepts for the Advancement of Solar System Observations (PICASSO) Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Science (ROSES), will build upon previous miniaturized SEM designs for lunar and International Space Station (ISS) applications and recent advancements in variable pressure SEM's to design and build a SEM to complete analyses of samples on the surface of Mars using the atmosphere as an imaging medium. By the end of the PICASSO work, a prototype of the primary proof-of-concept components (i.e., the electron gun, focusing optics and scanning system)will be assembled and preliminary testing in a Mars analog chamber at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory will be completed to partially fulfill Technology Readiness Level to 5 requirements for those components. The team plans to have Secondary Electron Imaging(SEI), Backscattered Electron (BSE) detection, and Energy Dispersive Spectroscopy (EDS) capabilities through the MVP-SEM.

  5. Directed energy missions for planetary defense

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lubin, Philip; Hughes, Gary B.; Eskenazi, Mike; Kosmo, Kelly; Johansson, Isabella E.; Griswold, Janelle; Pryor, Mark; O'Neill, Hugh; Meinhold, Peter; Suen, Jonathan; Riley, Jordan; Zhang, Qicheng; Walsh, Kevin; Melis, Carl; Kangas, Miikka; Motta, Caio; Brashears, Travis

    2016-09-01

    Directed energy for planetary defense is now a viable option and is superior in many ways to other proposed technologies, being able to defend the Earth against all known threats. This paper presents basic ideas behind a directed energy planetary defense system that utilizes laser ablation of an asteroid to impart a deflecting force on the target. A conceptual philosophy called DE-STAR, which stands for Directed Energy System for Targeting of Asteroids and exploration, is an orbiting stand-off system, which has been described in other papers. This paper describes a smaller, stand-on system known as DE-STARLITE as a reduced-scale version of DE-STAR. Both share the same basic heritage of a directed energy array that heats the surface of the target to the point of high surface vapor pressure that causes significant mass ejection thus forming an ejection plume of material from the target that acts as a rocket to deflect the object. This is generally classified as laser ablation. DE-STARLITE uses conventional propellant for launch to LEO and then ion engines to propel the spacecraft from LEO to the near-Earth asteroid (NEA). During laser ablation, the asteroid itself provides the propellant source material; thus a very modest spacecraft can deflect an asteroid much larger than would be possible with a system of similar mission mass using ion beam deflection (IBD) or a gravity tractor. DE-STARLITE is capable of deflecting an Apophis-class (325 m diameter) asteroid with a 1- to 15-year targeting time (laser on time) depending on the system design. The mission fits within the rough mission parameters of the Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) program in terms of mass and size. DE-STARLITE also has much greater capability for planetary defense than current proposals and is readily scalable to match the threat. It can deflect all known threats with sufficient warning.

  6. Directed Energy Missions for Planetary Defense

    CERN Document Server

    Lubin, Philip; Eskenazi, Mike; Kosmo, Kelly; Johansson, Isabella E; Griswold, Janelle; Pryor, Mark; O'Neill, Hugh; Meinhold, Peter; Suen, Jonathon; Riley, Jordan; Zhang, Qicheng; Walsh, Kevin; Melis, Carl; Kangas, Miikka; Motta, Caio; Brashears, Travis

    2016-01-01

    Directed energy for planetary defense is now a viable option and is superior in many ways to other proposed technologies, being able to defend the Earth against all known threats. This paper presents basic ideas behind a directed energy planetary defense system that utilizes laser ablation of an asteroid to impart a deflecting force on the target. A conceptual philosophy called DE-STAR, which stands for Directed Energy System for Targeting of Asteroids and exploRation, is an orbiting stand-off system, which has been described in other papers. This paper describes a smaller, stand-on system known as DE-STARLITE as a reduced-scale version of DE-STAR. Both share the same basic heritage of a directed energy array that heats the surface of the target to the point of high surface vapor pressure that causes significant mass ejection thus forming an ejection plume of material from the target that acts as a rocket to deflect the object. This is generally classified as laser ablation. DE-STARLITE uses conventional prop...

  7. NASA Lunar and Planetary Mapping and Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Day, Brian; Law, Emily

    2016-10-01

    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 some of the enhancements to these products during the past year and preview work currently being undertaken.New data products added to the Lunar Mapping and Modeling Portal (LMMP) include both generalized products as well as polar data products specifically targeting potential sites for the Resource Prospector mission. New tools being developed include traverse planning and surface potential analysis. Current development work on LMMP also includes facilitating mission planning and data management for lunar CubeSat missions. Looking ahead, LMMP is working with the NASA Astromaterials Office to integrate with their Lunar Apollo Sample database to help better visualize the geographic contexts of retrieved samples. All of this will be done within the framework of a new user interface which, among other improvements, will provide 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, and is being enhanced with data products and analysis tools specifically requested by the proposing teams for the various sites. NASA Headquarters is giving high priority to 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

  8. Astrophysical Conditions for Planetary Habitability

    CERN Document Server

    Guedel, M; Erkaev, N; Kasting, J; Khodachenko, M; Lammer, H; Pilat-Lohinger, E; Rauer, H; Ribas, I; Wood, B E

    2014-01-01

    With the discovery of hundreds of exoplanets and a potentially huge number of Earth-like planets waiting to be discovered, the conditions for their habitability have become a focal point in exoplanetary research. The classical picture of habitable zones primarily relies on the stellar flux allowing liquid water to exist on the surface of an Earth-like planet with a suitable atmosphere. However, numerous further stellar and planetary properties constrain habitability. Apart from "geophysical" processes depending on the internal structure and composition of a planet, a complex array of astrophysical factors additionally determine habitability. Among these, variable stellar UV, EUV, and X-ray radiation, stellar and interplanetary magnetic fields, ionized winds, and energetic particles control the constitution of upper planetary atmospheres and their physical and chemical evolution. Short- and long-term stellar variability necessitates full time-dependent studies to understand planetary habitability at any point ...

  9. Interstellar Transfer of Planetary Microbiota

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallis, Max K.; Wickramasinghe, N. C.

    Panspermia theories require the transport of micro-organisms in a viable form from one astronomical location to another. The evidence of material ejection from planetary surfaces, of dynamical orbit evolution and of potential survival on landing is setting a firm basis for interplanetary panspermia. Pathways for interstellar panspermia are less clear. We compare the direct route, whereby life-bearing planetary ejecta exit the solar system and risk radiation hazards en route to nearby stellar systems, and an indirect route whereby ejecta hitch a ride within the shielded environment of comets of the Edgeworth- Kuiper Belt that are subsequently expelled from the solar system. We identify solutions to the delivery problem. Delivery to fully-fledged planetary systems of either the direct ejecta or the ejecta borne by comets depends on dynamical capture and is of very low efficiency. However, delivery into a proto-planetary disc of an early solar-type nebula and into pre-stellar molecular clouds is effective, because the solid grains efficiently sputter the incoming material in hypervelocity collisions. The total mass of terrestrial fertile material delivered to nearby pre-stellar systems as the solar system moves through the galaxy is from kilogrammes up to a tonne. Subject to further study of bio-viability under irradiation and fragmenting collisions, a few kg of original grains and sputtered fragments could be sufficient to seed the planetary system with a wide range of solar system micro-organisms.

  10. 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 (electronics, advanced manufacturing for lightweight structures, and innovative propulsion are making it possible to fly much more capable micro spacecraft for planetary exploration. While micro spacecraft, such as CubeSats, offer significant cost reductions with added capability from advancing technologies, the technical challenges for deep space missions are very different than for missions conducted in low Earth orbit. Micro spacecraft must be able to sustain a broad range of planetary environments (i.e., radiations, temperatures, limited power generation) and offer long-range telecommunication performance on a par with science needs. Other capabilities needed for planetary missions, such as fine 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.

  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. UNIFIED REPRESENTATION FOR COLLABORATIVE VISUALIZATION OF PLANETARY TERRAIN DATA Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — We propose to apply to planetary terrain mapping an alternative, multiresolution method, subdivision surfaces (subdivs), in place of conventional digital elevation...

  13. 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

  14. Introduction to the special issue: Planetary geomorphology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burr, Devon M.; Howard, Alan D.

    2015-07-01

    Planetary geomorphology is the study of extraterrestrial landscapes. In recognition of the promise for productive interaction between terrestrial and planetary geomorphologists, the 45th annual Binghamton Geomorphology Symposium (BGS) focused on Planetary Geomorphology. The aim of the symposium was to bring planetary and terrestrial geomorphologists together for symbiotic and synthetic interactions that would enrich both subdisciplines. In acknowledgment of the crucial role of terrestrial field work in planetary geomorphology and of the BGS tradition, the symposium began with a field trip to the Appalachian Mountains, followed by a dinner talk of recent results from the Mars Surface Laboratory. On Saturday and Sunday, the symposium was organized around major themes in planetary geomorphology, starting with the geomorphic processes that are most common in our Solar System-impact cratering, tectonism, volcanism-to set the stage for other geomorphic processes, including aeolian, fluvial, lacustrine, and glacial/polar. On Saturday evening, the banquet talk provided an historical overview of planetary geomorphology, including its roots in the terrestrial geosciences. The symposium concluded with a full-afternoon tutorial on planetary geomorphologic datasets. This special issue of Geomorphology consists of papers by invited authors from the 2014 BGS, and this introduction provides some context for these papers.

  15. Chandrayaan-1: India's first planetary science mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nath Goswami, Jitendra

    A new initiative of the Indian Space Research Organization to have dedicated Space Science Missions led to two major missions that are currently in progress: Astrosat and Chandrayaan-1, the latter being the first planetary science mission of the country. The spadework for this mission started about ten years back and culminated in late 2003 with the official endorsement for the mission. This remote sensing mission, to be launched in early next year, is expected to further our understanding of the origin and evolution of the Moon based on a chemical, mineralogical and topographic study of the lunar surface at spatial and spectral resolutions much better than those for previous and other currently planned lunar missions. The Chandrayaan-1 mission is also international in character and will have an array of Indian instruments as well as several instruments from abroad some of which will have very strong Indian collaboration. This talk will provide a brief overview of our present understanding of the Moon, the science objectives of the Chandrayaan-1 mission and how we hope to achieve these from the data to be obtained by the various instruments on board the mission. A possible road map for Indian planetary exploration programme in the context of the International scenario will be presented at the end.

  16. Development and Demonstration of Sustainable Surface Infrastructure for Moon/Mars Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanders, Gerald B.; Larson, William E.; Picard, Martin

    2011-01-01

    For long-term human exploration of the Moon and Mars to be practical, affordable, and sustainable, future missions must be able to identify and utilize resources at the site of exploration. The ability to characterize, extract, processes, and separate products from local material, known as In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU), can provide significant reductions in launch mass, logistics, and development costs while reducing risk through increased mission flexibility and protection as well as increased mission capabilities in the areas of power and transportation. Making mission critical consumables like propellants, fuel cell reagents and life support gases, as well as in-situ crew/hardware protection and energy storage capabilities can significantly enhance robotic and human science and exploration missions, however other mission systems need to be designed to interface with and utilize these in-situ developed products and services from the start or the benefits will be minimized or eliminated. This requires a level of surface and transportation system development coordination not typically utilized during early technology and system development activities. An approach being utilized by the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Canadian Space Agency has been to utilize joint analogue field demonstrations to focus technology development activities to demonstrate and integrate new and potentially game changing. mission critical capabilities that would enable an affordable and sustainable surface infrastructure for lunar and Mars robotic and human exploration. Two analogue field tests performed in November 2008 and February 2010 demonstrated first generation capabilities for lunar resource prospecting, exploration site preparation, and oxygen extraction from regolith while initiating integration with mobility, science, fuel cell power, and propulsion disciplines. A third analogue field test currently planned for June 2012 will continue and expand

  17. Distances from Planetary Nebulae

    CERN Document Server

    Ciardullo, R

    2003-01-01

    The [O III] 5007 planetary nebula luminosity function (PNLF) occupies an important place on the extragalactic distance ladder. Since it is the only method that is applicable to all the large galaxies of the Local Supercluster, it is uniquely useful for cross-checking results and linking the Population I and Population II distance scales. We review the physics underlying the method, demonstrate its precision, and illustrate its value by comparing its distances to distances obtained from Cepheids and the Surface Brightness Fluctuation (SBF) method. We use the Cepheid and PNLF distances to 13 galaxies to show that the metallicity dependence of the PNLF cutoff is in excellent agreement with that predicted from theory, and that no additional systematic corrections are needed for either method. However, when we compare the Cepheid-calibrated PNLF distance scale with the Cepheid-calibrated SBF distance scale, we find a significant offset: although the relative distances of both methods are in excellent agreement, th...

  18. Assessing planetary protection and contamination control technologies for planetary science missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beauchamp, Patricia; Belz, Andrea

    Planetary protection and organic contamination control, like many technologically rich areas, continually progress. As a result of the 2011 Planetary Science Decadal Survey Report, Vision and Voyages for Planetary Science in the Decade 2013-2022, the future focus is now on proposed Mars sample return missions. In addition to Mars exploration we now have the exciting possibility of a potential mission to the outer planets, most likely Europa. This paper reassesses planetary protection and organic contamination control technologies, which were evaluated in 2005, and provides updates based on new science results, technology development, and programmatic priorities. The study integrates information gathered from interviews of a number of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and European Space Agency (ESA) scientists, systems engineers, planetary protection engineers, and consultants, as well as relevant documents, and focuses on the technologies and practices relevant to the current project mission set as presented in the 2011 Planetary Science Decadal Survey. This paper provides the status of planetary protection and contamination control technologies as they apply to potential future missions, and provides findings and recommendations to improve our capabilities as we further explore our solar system. It has become clear that linking planetary protection and contamination control requirements and processes together early in mission development and spacecraft design is key to keeping mission costs in check and returning high-quality samples that are free from biological and organic contaminants.

  19. Back to the Moon: The Scientific Rationale for Resuming Lunar Surface Exploration

    CERN Document Server

    Crawford, I A; Cockell, C S; Falcke, H; Green, D A; Jaumann, R; Wieczorek, M A

    2012-01-01

    The lunar geological record has much to tell us about the earliest history of the Solar System, the origin and evolution of the Earth-Moon system, the geological evolution of rocky planets, and the near-Earth cosmic environment throughout Solar System history. In addition, the lunar surface offers outstanding opportunities for research in astronomy, astrobiology, fundamental physics, life sciences and human physiology and medicine. This paper provides an interdisciplinary review of outstanding lunar science objectives in all of these different areas. It is concluded that addressing them satisfactorily will require an end to the 40-year hiatus of lunar surface exploration, and the placing of new scientific instruments on, and the return of additional samples from, the surface of the Moon. Some of these objectives can be achieved robotically (e.g. through targeted sample return, the deployment of geophysical networks, and the placing of antennas on the lunar surface to form radio telescopes). However, in the lo...

  20. Exploring microstructure and surface features of Chinese coins using non-invasive approaches

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Xie, Ruishi, E-mail: rxie@foxmail.com [Analytical and Testing Center, Southwest University of Science and Technology, Mianyang 621010 (China); Li, Yuanli [Department of Materials, Southwest University of Science and Technology, Mianyang 621010 (China); Guo, Baogang; Hu, Hailong; Jiang, Linhai [Analytical and Testing Center, Southwest University of Science and Technology, Mianyang 621010 (China)

    2015-03-30

    Highlights: • The microstructure and surface features of Chinese coins were systematically explored. • The application of non-invasive techniques enables unambiguous explorations of the component, morphology, microstructure and physical properties of the coins. • This work provides a new insight into exploration of surface properties of precious metal objects, metallic artefacts as well as monuments without causing any damage to them. - Abstract: Despite the apparent significance of Chinese coins, the knowledge about the surface properties of the coins is still largely unknown. To date, most analytical techniques (e.g., cross-section analysis, inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry, thermal analysis) require the partial or total destruction of the investigated sample, which is fatal to precious objects (e.g., artefacts and monuments). Herein, we systematically investigate the surface of a series of one yuan Chinese coins to disclose their chemical composition, morphology, and microstructure features using non-invasive techniques. Investigations were performed with scanning electron microscopy, coupled with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, and X-ray diffraction. The application of these approaches enables unambiguous explorations of the component, morphology, microstructure and physical properties of the samples without destroying them. The identification of the coins was achieved in light of the name of issuing authority and floral pattern. The morphology observations of the samples display that these coins possess mostly homogeneous surfaces; hence such a finding allows the formulation of a possible minting technology. Besides, the energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy has proved of great role in exploring these coins, mainly because of its detectability to easily probe the presence of certain minor elements, which is critical in understanding surface finishing technologies, and production processes. The findings manifest that the coins were made

  1. Image-based Exploration of Iso-surfaces for Large Multi- Variable Datasets using Parameter Space.

    KAUST Repository

    Binyahib, Roba S.

    2013-05-13

    With an increase in processing power, more complex simulations have resulted in larger data size, with higher resolution and more variables. Many techniques have been developed to help the user to visualize and analyze data from such simulations. However, dealing with a large amount of multivariate data is challenging, time- consuming and often requires high-end clusters. Consequently, novel visualization techniques are needed to explore such data. Many users would like to visually explore their data and change certain visual aspects without the need to use special clusters or having to load a large amount of data. This is the idea behind explorable images (EI). Explorable images are a novel approach that provides limited interactive visualization without the need to re-render from the original data [40]. In this work, the concept of EI has been used to create a workflow that deals with explorable iso-surfaces for scalar fields in a multivariate, time-varying dataset. As a pre-processing step, a set of iso-values for each scalar field is inferred and extracted from a user-assisted sampling technique in time-parameter space. These iso-values are then used to generate iso- surfaces that are then pre-rendered (from a fixed viewpoint) along with additional buffers (i.e. normals, depth, values of other fields, etc.) to provide a compressed representation of iso-surfaces in the dataset. We present a tool that at run-time allows the user to interactively browse and calculate a combination of iso-surfaces superimposed on each other. The result is the same as calculating multiple iso- surfaces from the original data but without the memory and processing overhead. Our tool also allows the user to change the (scalar) values superimposed on each of the surfaces, modify their color map, and interactively re-light the surfaces. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our approach over a multi-terabyte combustion dataset. We also illustrate the efficiency and accuracy of our

  2. 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 K2O laser energy, with a detection limit of 88 ppm and 20% of error at 2400 ppm of K2O. 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 K2O. Error assessments using obtained calibration models indicate that a 4 Ga rock with 3000 ppm K2O 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.

  3. 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

  4. Martian Surface Boundary Layer Characterization: Enabling Environmental Data for Science, Engineering and Human Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    England, C.

    2000-01-01

    For human or large robotic exploration of Mars, engineering devices such as power sources will be utilized that interact closely with the Martian environment. Heat sources for power production, for example, will use the low ambient temperature for efficient heat rejection. The Martian ambient, however, is highly variable, and will have a first order influence on the efficiency and operation of all large-scale equipment. Diurnal changes in temperature, for example, can vary the theoretical efficiency of power production by 15% and affect the choice of equipment, working fluids, and operating parameters. As part of the Mars Exploration program, missions must acquire the environmental data needed for design, operation and maintenance of engineering equipment including the transportation devices. The information should focus on the variability of the environment, and on the differences among locations including latitudes, altitudes, and seasons. This paper outlines some of the WHY's, WHAT's and WHERE's of the needed data, as well as some examples of how this data will be used. Environmental data for engineering design should be considered a priority in Mars Exploration planning. The Mars Thermal Environment Radiator Characterization (MTERC), and Dust Accumulation and Removal Technology (DART) experiments planned for early Mars landers are examples of information needed for even small robotic missions. Large missions will require proportionately more accurate data that encompass larger samples of the Martian surface conditions. In achieving this goal, the Mars Exploration program will also acquire primary data needed for understanding Martian weather, surface evolution, and ground-atmosphere interrelationships.

  5. Martian Surface Boundary Layer Characterization: Enabling Environmental Data for Science, Engineering and Human Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    England, C.

    2000-01-01

    For human or large robotic exploration of Mars, engineering devices such as power sources will be utilized that interact closely with the Martian environment. Heat sources for power production, for example, will use the low ambient temperature for efficient heat rejection. The Martian ambient, however, is highly variable, and will have a first order influence on the efficiency and operation of all large-scale equipment. Diurnal changes in temperature, for example, can vary the theoretical efficiency of power production by 15% and affect the choice of equipment, working fluids, and operating parameters. As part of the Mars Exploration program, missions must acquire the environmental data needed for design, operation and maintenance of engineering equipment including the transportation devices. The information should focus on the variability of the environment, and on the differences among locations including latitudes, altitudes, and seasons. This paper outlines some of the WHY's, WHAT's and WHERE's of the needed data, as well as some examples of how this data will be used. Environmental data for engineering design should be considered a priority in Mars Exploration planning. The Mars Thermal Environment Radiator Characterization (MTERC), and Dust Accumulation and Removal Technology (DART) experiments planned for early Mars landers are examples of information needed for even small robotic missions. Large missions will require proportionately more accurate data that encompass larger samples of the Martian surface conditions. In achieving this goal, the Mars Exploration program will also acquire primary data needed for understanding Martian weather, surface evolution, and ground-atmosphere interrelationships.

  6. Shape and topography corrections for planetary nuclear spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prettyman, Thomas H.; Hendricks, John S.

    2015-11-01

    The elemental composition of planetary surfaces can be determined using gamma ray and neutron spectroscopy. Most planetary bodies for which nuclear spectroscopy data have been acquired are round, and simple, analytic corrections for measurement geometry can be applied; however, recent measurements of the irregular asteroid 4 Vesta by Dawn required more detailed corrections using a shape model (Prettyman et al., Science 2012). In addition, subtle artifacts of topography have been observed in low altitude measurements of lunar craters, with potential implications for polar hydrogen content (Eke et al., JGR 2015). To explore shape and topography effects, we have updated the general-purpose Monte Carlo radiation transport code MCNPX to include a polygonal shape model (Prettyman and Hendricks, LPSC 2015). The shape model is fully integrated with the code’s 3D combinatorial geometry modules. A voxel-based acceleration algorithm enables fast ray-intersection calculations needed for Monte Carlo. As modified, MCNPX can model neutron and gamma ray transport within natural surfaces using global and/or regional shape/topography data (e.g. from photogrammetry and laser altimetry). We are using MCNPX to explore the effect of small-scale roughness, regional-, and global-topography for asteroids, comets and close-up measurements of high-relief features on larger bodies, such as the lunar surface. MCNPX can characterize basic effects on measurements by an orbiting spectrometer such as 1) the angular distribution of emitted particles, 2) shielding of galactic cosmic rays by surrounding terrain and 3) re-entrant scattering. In some cases, re-entrant scattering can be ignored, leading to a fast ray-tracing model that treats effects 1 and 2. The algorithm is applied to forward modeling and spatial deconvolution of epithermal neutron data acquired at Vesta. Analyses of shape/topography effects and correction strategies are presented for Vesta, selected small bodies and cratered

  7. Chemistry of Planetary Atmospheres: Insights and Prospects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yung, Yuk

    2015-11-01

    Using observations from the Mariners, Pioneers, Vikings, Voyagers, Pioneer Venus, Galileo, Venus Express, Curiosity, Cassini, New Horizons, and numerous observatories both in orbit of Earth and on the ground, I will give a survey of the major chemical processes that control the composition of planetary atmospheres. For the first time since the beginning of the space age, we understand the chemistry of planetary atmospheres ranging from the primitive atmospheres of the giant planets to the highly evolved atmospheres of terrestrial planets and small bodies. Our understanding can be distilled into three important ideas: (1) The stability of planetary atmospheres against escape of their constituents to space, (2) the role of equilibrium chemistry in determining the partitioning of chemical species, and (3) the role of disequilibrium chemistry, which produces drastic departures from equilibrium chemistry. To these three ideas we must also add a fourth: the role of biochemistry at Earth's surface, which makes its atmospheric chemistry unique in the cosmochemical environment. Only in the Earth's atmosphere do strong reducing and oxidizing species coexist to such a degree. For example, nitrogen species in the Earth's atmosphere span eight oxidation states from ammonia to nitric acid. Much of the Earth's atmospheric chemistry consists of reactions initiated by the degradation of biologically produced molecules. Life uses solar energy to drive chemical reactions that would otherwise not occur; it represents a kind of photochemistry that is special to Earth, at least within the Solar System. It remains to be seen how many worlds like Earth there are beyond the Solar System, especially as we are now exploring the exoplanets using Kepler, TESS, HST, Spitzer, soon to be launched missions such as JWST and WFIRST, and ground-based telescopes. The atmospheres of the Solar System provide a benchmark for studying exoplanets, which in turn serve to test and extend our current

  8. Priorities for Venus Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glaze, L. S.; Beauchamp, P. M.; Chin, G.; Crisp, D.; Grimm, R. E.; Herrick, R. R.; Johnston, S.; Limaye, S. S.; Smrekar, S. E.; Ocampo, A.; Thompson, T. W.

    2013-12-01

    Venus remains one of the most enigmatic bodies in our Solar System. Important questions remain regarding the origin and evolution of the atmosphere, the history of the surface and interior, and how the surface and atmosphere interact. In a broader context, understanding Venus has implications for understanding the evolution of terrestrial planets in our Solar System as well as for interpreting the growing set of observations of extra-solar planets. The Venus Exploration Analysis Group (VEXAG), established in 2005, is chartered by NASA's Planetary Science Division and reports its findings to the NASA Advisory Council. Open to all interested scientists, VEXAG regularly evaluates Venus exploration goals, scientific objectives, investigations and critical measurement requirements, including especially recommendations in the NRC Decadal Survey and the Solar System Exploration Strategic Roadmap. At the last general meeting in November 2012, VEXAG resolved to update the scientific priorities and strategies for Venus exploration. To achieve this goal, three major tasks were defined for 2013, (1) update the document prioritizing Goals, Objectives and Investigations for Venus Exploration, (2) develop a Roadmap for Venus exploration that is consistent with VEXAG priorities as well as Planetary Decadal Survey priorities, and (3) develop a white paper on technologies for Venus missions. Proposed versions of all three documents were presented at the VEXAG general meeting in November 2013. Here, we present the findings and final versions of all three documents for community comment and feedback. A follow-on Workshop on Venus Exploration Targets is also being planned for the early summer of 2014. The workshop will provide a forum for the Venus science community to discuss approaches for addressing high priority investigations. Participants will be encouraged to present their ideas for specific targets on Venus (interior, surface and atmosphere) as well as to present specific data

  9. 77 FR 53919 - NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Science Subcommittee; Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-09-04

    ... Science Division Update --Mars Exploration Program Update --Mars Science Laboratory/Curiosity Update --Mars Program Planning Group Update --Discovery Program Update --Planetary Science Division Senior... SPACE ADMINISTRATION NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Science Subcommittee;...

  10. 78 FR 15378 - NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Science Subcommittee; Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-03-11

    ... Science Division Update --Mars Exploration Program Update --Mars Science Laboratory/Curiosity Update... SPACE ADMINISTRATION NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Planetary Science Subcommittee; Meeting... Space Administration (NASA) announces a meeting of the Planetary Science Subcommittee of the...

  11. 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.

  12. Exploring new topography-based subgrid spatial structures for improving land surface modeling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tesfa, Teklu K. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Leung, Lai-Yung Ruby [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)

    2017-02-22

    Topography plays an important role in land surface processes through its influence on atmospheric forcing, soil and vegetation properties, and river network topology and drainage area. Land surface models with a spatial structure that captures spatial heterogeneity, which is directly affected by topography, may improve the representation of land surface processes. Previous studies found that land surface modeling, using subbasins instead of structured grids as computational units, improves the scalability of simulated runoff and streamflow processes. In this study, new land surface spatial structures are explored by further dividing subbasins into subgrid structures based on topographic properties, including surface elevation, slope and aspect. Two methods (local and global) of watershed discretization are applied to derive two types of subgrid structures (geo-located and non-geo-located) over the topographically diverse Columbia River basin in the northwestern United States. In the global method, a fixed elevation classification scheme is used to discretize subbasins. The local method utilizes concepts of hypsometric analysis to discretize each subbasin, using different elevation ranges that also naturally account for slope variations. The relative merits of the two methods and subgrid structures are investigated for their ability to capture topographic heterogeneity and the implications of this on representations of atmospheric forcing and land cover spatial patterns. Results showed that the local method reduces the standard deviation (SD) of subgrid surface elevation in the study domain by 17 to 19 % compared to the global method, highlighting the relative advantages of the local method for capturing subgrid topographic variations. The comparison between the two types of subgrid structures showed that the non-geo-located subgrid structures are more consistent across different area threshold values than the geo-located subgrid structures. Overall the local

  13. Exploring new topography-based subgrid spatial structures for improving land surface modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tesfa, Teklu K.; Leung, Lai-Yung Ruby

    2017-02-01

    Topography plays an important role in land surface processes through its influence on atmospheric forcing, soil and vegetation properties, and river network topology and drainage area. Land surface models with a spatial structure that captures spatial heterogeneity, which is directly affected by topography, may improve the representation of land surface processes. Previous studies found that land surface modeling, using subbasins instead of structured grids as computational units, improves the scalability of simulated runoff and streamflow processes. In this study, new land surface spatial structures are explored by further dividing subbasins into subgrid structures based on topographic properties, including surface elevation, slope and aspect. Two methods (local and global) of watershed discretization are applied to derive two types of subgrid structures (geo-located and non-geo-located) over the topographically diverse Columbia River basin in the northwestern United States. In the global method, a fixed elevation classification scheme is used to discretize subbasins. The local method utilizes concepts of hypsometric analysis to discretize each subbasin, using different elevation ranges that also naturally account for slope variations. The relative merits of the two methods and subgrid structures are investigated for their ability to capture topographic heterogeneity and the implications of this on representations of atmospheric forcing and land cover spatial patterns. Results showed that the local method reduces the standard deviation (SD) of subgrid surface elevation in the study domain by 17 to 19 % compared to the global method, highlighting the relative advantages of the local method for capturing subgrid topographic variations. The comparison between the two types of subgrid structures showed that the non-geo-located subgrid structures are more consistent across different area threshold values than the geo-located subgrid structures. Overall the local method

  14. From Planetary Intelligence to Planetary Wisdom

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moser, S. C.

    2016-12-01

    "Planetary intelligence" - when understood as an input into the processes of "managing" Earth - hints at an instrumental understanding of scientific information. At minimum it is a call for useful data of political (and even military) value; at best it speaks to an ability to collect, integrate and apply such information. In this sense, 21st century society has more "intelligence" than any generation of humans before, begging the question whether just more or better "planetary intelligence" will do anything at all to move us off the path of planetary destruction (i.e., beyond planetary boundaries) that it has been on for decades if not centuries. Social scientists have argued that there are at least four shortcomings in this way of thinking that - if addressed - could open up 1) what is being researched; 2) what is considered socially robust knowledge; 3) how science interacts with policy-makers and other "planet managers"; and 4) what is being done in practice with the "intelligence" given to those positioned at the levers of change. To the extent "planetary management" continues to be approached from a scientistic paradigm alone, there is little hope that Earth's future will remain in a safe operating space in this or coming centuries.

  15. 20th Century variability of Atlantic Meridional overturning circulation: Planetary wave influences on world ocean surface phosphate utilization and synchrony of small pelagic fisheries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamykowski, Daniel

    The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), part of the global Thermohaline Circulation (THC), is variable. In the present analysis, an Atlantic Dipole Phosphate Utilization (ADPU) index, related to the existing Atlantic Dipole Sea Surface Temperature Anomaly (ADSA) index, is used to represent 20th century changes in AMOC strength that are applied to global ecosystem variability. ADPU index cycles set the timing for the calculation of six 2° latitude-longitude resolution world ocean maps depicting higher surface phosphate utilization (SPU) in some regions when AMOC is weaker and in other regions when AMOC is stronger. The average of these six maps yields a summary map with a pattern of alternating latitudinal SPU regions differentiated by AMOC strength that exhibits relationships with ocean bathymetry and wind-driven currents through a consideration of the THC deep and shallow limbs. The latitudinal pattern of SPU regions exhibits conceptual associations with sardine (S) and anchovy (A) population ranges off Japan (J), California (C), Peru (P) and South Africa (B). These sardine and anchovy populations have exhibited apparently synchronous fluctuations on decadal scales through at least part of the 20th century that is summarized in a Regime Indicator Series (RIS=(JS+CS+PS+BA)-(JA+CA+PA+BS)) index. In the present analysis based on Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO) catch data, a revised Regime Indicator Series index formulation (RIS3=(JS+CA+PS+BA)-(JA+CS+PA+BS)), in which CS and CA catches reverse positions, is defined. AMOC variability represented in ADPU is significantly correlated with the RIS3 index (no lag but a significant range of 14 years) and four of eight small pelagic fisheries (JS, PS, BA, and JA). The post-1950 RIS3 index is significantly correlated with seven of eight small pelagic fisheries but not CS. When the regional small pelagic fisheries are considered as normalized species differences (S-A), ADPU has significant positive

  16. Planetary satellites - an update

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beatty, J. K.

    1983-11-01

    General features of all known planetary satellites in the system are provided, and attention is focused on prominent features of several of the bodies. Titan has an atmosphere 1.5 times earth's at sea level, a well a a large body of liquid which may be ethane, CH4, and disolved N2. Uranus has at least five moons, whose masses have recently been recalculated and determined to be consistent with predictions of outer solar system composition. Io's violent volcanic activity is a demonstration of the conversion of total energy (from Jupiter) to heat, i.e., interior melting and consequent volcanoes. Plumes of SO2 have been seen and feature temperatures of up to 650 K. Enceladus has a craterless, cracked surface, indicating the presence of interior ice and occasional breakthroughs from tidal heating. Hyperion has a chaotic rotation, and Iapetus has one light and one dark side, possibly from periodic collisions with debris clouds blasted off the surface of the outer moon Phoebe.

  17. Mpo - the Bepicolombo Mercury Planetary Orbiter.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benkhoff, J.

    2008-09-01

    Introduction: BepiColombo is an interdisciplinary mission to explore the planet Mercury through a partnership between ESA and Japan's Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). From their dedicated orbits two spacecrafts, the Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO) and the Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (MMO), will be studying the planet and its environment Both orbiter will be launched together on an ARIANE 5. The launch is foreseen for Summer 2014 with arrival in Summer 2020. Solar electric propulsion will be used for the journey to Mercury. In November 2004, the BepiColombo scientific payload has been officially approved. Payload of BepiColombo: The MPO scientific payload comprises eleven instruments/instrument packages; the MMO scientific payload consists of five instruments/instrument packages. Together, the scientific payload of both spacecraft will provide the detailed information necessary to understand Mercury and its magnetospheric environment and to find clues to the origin and evolution of a planet close to its parent star. The MPO will focus on a global characterization of Mercury through the investigation of its interior, surface, exosphere and magnetosphere. In addition, it will be testing Einstein's theory of general relativity. Major effort was put into optimizing the scientific return by defining the payload complement such that individual measurements can be interrelated and complement each other. A detailed overview of the status of BepiColombo will be given with special emphasis on the MPO and its payload complement. BepiColombo factsheet BepiColombo is Europe's first mission to Mercury, the innermost planet of the Solar System, and ESA's first science mission in collaboration with Japan. A satellite 'duo' - consisting of an orbiter for planetary investigation and one for magnetospheric studies - Bepi- Colombo will reach Mercury after a six-year journey towards the inner Solar System, to make the most extensive and detailed study of the planet ever performed

  18. Europa Clipper Mission Concept Preliminary Planetary Protection Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Melissa; Schubert, Wayne; Newlin, Laura; Cooper, Moogega; Chen, Fei; Kazarians, Gayane; Ellyin, Raymond; Vaishampayan, Parag; Crum, Ray

    2016-07-01

    The science objectives of the proposed Europa Clipper mission consist of remotely characterizing any water within and beneath Europa's ice shell, investigating the chemistry of the surface and ocean, and evaluating geological processes that may permit Europa's ocean to possess the chemical energy necessary for life. The selected payload supporting the science objectives includes: Plasma Instrument for Magnetic Sounding (PIMS), Interior Characterization of Europa using Magnetometry (ICEMAG), Mapping Imaging Spectrometer for Europa (MISE), Europa Imaging System (EIS), Radar for Europa Assessment and Sounding: Ocean to Near-surface (REASON), Europa Thermal Emission Imaging System (E-THEMIS), MAss SPectrometer for Planetary EXploration/Europa (MASPEX), Ultraviolet Spectrograph/Europa (UVS), and SUrface DUst Mass Analyzer (SUDA). Launch is currently baselined as 2022. Pending the yet to be selected launch vehicle, the spacecraft would either arrive to the Jovian system on a direct trajectory in 2025 or an Earth-Venus-Earth-Earth gravity assist interplanetary trajectory arriving in 2030. The operational concept consists of multiple low-altitude flybys of Europa to obtain globally distributed regional coverage of the Europan surface. According to COSPAR Policy, it is currently anticipated that the Europa Clipper mission would be classified as a Category III mission. That is, the mission is to a body "of significant interest relative to the process of chemical evolution and/or the origin of life or for which scientific opinion provides a significant chance of contamination which could jeopardize a future biological experiment." Therefore, the expected driving planetary protection requirement for the mission is that the probability of inadvertent contamination of an ocean or other liquid water body shall be less than 1x10-4 per mission. This requirement applies until final disposition of the spacecraft, however in practice, would only apply until the spacecraft is

  19. In Situ Biological Contamination Studies of the Moon: Implications for Planetary Protection and Life Detection Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glavin, Daniel P.; Dworkin, Jason P.; Lupisella, Mark; Williams, David R.; Kminek, Gerhard; Rummel, John D.

    2010-01-01

    NASA and ESA have outlined visions for solar system exploration that will include a series of lunar robotic precursor missions to prepare for, and support a human return to the Moan, and future human exploration of Mars and other destinations, including possibly asteroids. One of the guiding principles for exploration is to pursue compelling scientific questions about the origin and evolution of life. The search for life on objects such as Mars will require careful operations, and that all systems be sufficiently cleaned and sterilized prior to launch to ensure that the scientific integrity of extraterrestrial samples is not jeopardized by terrestrial organic contamination. Under the Committee on Space Research's (COSPAR's) current planetary protection policy for the Moon, no sterilization procedures are required for outbound lunar spacecraft, nor is there a different planetary protection category for human missions, although preliminary C SPAR policy guidelines for human missions to Mars have been developed. Future in situ investigations of a variety of locations on the Moon by highly sensitive instruments designed to search for biologically derived organic compounds would help assess the contamination of the Moon by lunar spacecraft. These studies could also provide valuable "ground truth" data for Mars sample return missions and help define planetary protection requirements for future Mars bound spacecraft carrying life detection experiments. In addition, studies of the impact of terrestrial contamination of the lunar surface by the Apollo astronauts could provide valuable data to help refine future: Mars surface exploration plans for a human mission to Mars.

  20. Predictions of mineral assemblages in planetary interiors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stolper, E.

    1980-01-01

    It is shown that mineral compatibilities in the model system CaO-MgO-Al2O3-SiO2 can be applied to deduce the mineral assemblages expected in planetary interiors and their variation with depth. In general, the available estimates of bulk composition of the terrestrial planets suggest that the terrestrial planets can be divided into two groups based on their predicted mineral assemblages. The terrestrial, Venusian, and lunar bulk compositions are expected to display the following sequence of mineral assemblages with increasing pressure: plagioclase lherzolite, spinel lherzolite, and garnet lherzolite. The sequences expected in Martian and Mercurian are different: spinel-plagioclase wehrlite, spinel lherzolite, and spinel-garnet wehrlite. These assemblages have a major influence on the compositions of liquids produced by melting of these planetary interiors, on the solidus temperatures, and thus on the nature of planetary differentiation and the types of magmas extruded at planetary surfaces.

  1. An enhanced Planetary Radar Operating Centre (PROC)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Catallo, C.

    2010-12-01

    Planetary exploration by means of radar systems, mainly using GPRs is an important role of Italy and numerous scientific international space programs are carried out jointly with ESA and NASA by Italian Space Agency, the scientific community and the industry. Three experiments under Italian leadership ( designed and manufactured by the Italian industry) provided by ASI within a NASA/ESA/ASI joint venture framework are successfully operating: MARSIS on-board MEX, SHARAD on-board MRO and CASSINI Radar on-board Cassini spacecraft: the missions have been further extended . Three dedicated operational centers, namely SHOC, (Sharad Operating Centre), MOC (Marsis Operating Center) and CASSINI PAD are operating from the missions beginning to support all the scientific communities, institutional customers and experiment teams operation Each center is dedicated to a single instrument management and control, data processing and distribution and even if they had been conceived to operate autonomously and independently one from each other, synergies and overlaps have been envisaged leading to the suggestion of a unified center, the Planetary Radar Processing Center (PROC). In order to harmonize operations either from logistics point of view and from HW/SW capabilities point of view PROC is designed and developed for offering improved functionalities to increase capabilities, mainly in terms of data exchange, comparison, interpretation and exploitation. PROC is, therefore, conceived as the Italian support facility to the scientific community for on-going and future Italian planetary exploration programs, such as Europa-Jupiter System Mission (EJSM) The paper describes how the new PROC is designed and developed, to allow SHOC, MOC and CASSINI PAD to operate as before, and to offer improved functionalities to increase capabilities, mainly in terms of data exchange, comparison, interpretation and exploitation aiding scientists to increase their knowledge in the field of surface

  2. Exploring Venus: the Venus Exploration Analysis Group (VEXAG)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ocampo, A.; Atreya, S.; Thompson, T.; Luhmann, J.; Mackwell, S.; Baines, K.; Cutts, J.; Robinson, J.; Saunders, S.

    In July 2005 NASA s Planetary Division established the Venus Exploration Analysis Group VEXAG http www lpi usra edu vexag in order to engage the scientific community at large in identifying scientific priorities and strategies for the exploration of Venus VEXAG is a community-based forum open to all interested in the exploration of Venus VEXAG was designed to provide scientific input and technology development plans for planning and prioritizing the study of Venus over the next several decades including a Venus surface sample return VEXAG regularly evaluates NASA s Venus exploration goals scientific objectives investigations and critical measurement requirements including the recommendations in the National Research Council Decadal Survey and NASA s Solar System Exploration Strategic Roadmap VEXAG will take into consideration the latest scientific results from ESA s Venus Express mission and the MESSENGER flybys as well as the results anticipated from JAXA s Venus Climate Orbiter together with science community inputs from venues such as the February 13-16 2006 AGU Chapman Conference to identify the scientific priorities and strategies for future NASA Venus exploration VEXAG is composed of two co-chairs Sushil Atreya University of Michigan Ann Arbor and Janet Luhmann University of California Berkeley VEXAG has formed three focus groups in the areas of 1 Planetary Formation and Evolution Surface and Interior Volcanism Geodynamics etc Focus Group Lead Steve Mackwell LPI 2 Atmospheric Evolution Dynamics Meteorology

  3. Planetary Atmospheric Electricity

    CERN Document Server

    Leblanc, F; Yair, Y; Harrison, R. G; Lebreton, J. P; Blanc, M

    2008-01-01

    This volume presents our contemporary understanding of atmospheric electricity at Earth and in other solar system atmospheres. It is written by experts in terrestrial atmospheric electricity and planetary scientists. Many of the key issues related to planetary atmospheric electricity are discussed. The physics presented in this book includes ionisation processes in planetary atmospheres, charge generation and separation, and a discussion of electromagnetic signatures of atmospheric discharges. The measurement of thunderstorms and lightning, including its effects and hazards, is highlighted by articles on ground and space based instrumentation, and new missions.Theory and modelling of planetary atmospheric electricity complete this review of the research that is undertaken in this exciting field of space science. This book is an essential research tool for space scientists and geoscientists interested in electrical effects in atmospheres and planetary systems. Graduate students and researchers who are new to t...

  4. Exploring the Limits of Dropwise Condensation on Nano-structured Surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendoza, Hector

    Within the types of condensation that can form on a surface, dropwise condensation has been previously shown to produce condensation heat transfer coefficients up to an order of magnitude greater than film condensation. Among dropwise condensation investigations, it has also been shown that smaller droplets result in higher heat transfer coefficients. An area that is currently under investigation within condensation advancements is creating superhydrophobic surfaces that can sustain smaller droplets during condensation. However, as droplet diameters are reduced to sizes comparable to the flow's mean free path, various mechanisms are expected to affect transport as the flow transitions from a continuum to free molecular flow: non-continuum transport effects, curvature effects on surface tension and on saturation conditions, and interactions with nearby droplets. In this dissertation, we investigate the limits of heat transfer performance on surfaces that strive to sustain dropwise condensation for smaller droplets. We explore and compare the limitations of dropwise condensation as mean droplet sizes are reduced to micro and nanoscales using three different models: one that uses an approximation for micro and nanoscale transport on an array of droplets, one that uses the DSMC method to simulate transport on a single droplet, and a third model that uses the DSMC method to simulate transport on an array of droplets. We found the three different models to show similar trends; dropwise condensation heat transfer coefficients increased as droplet sizes were reduced, but only up to a certain point where non-continuum transport and curvature effects became significant. For pure steam condensing on a cold wall at standard atmospheric condition with 3 degrees Celsius of subcooling, drop-wise condensation heat transfer coefficients were found to peak when droplets approached diameters near 200 nm. The effects of varying contact angle, thermal accommodation, pressure, amount of

  5. 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.

  6. Oxidants at the Surface of Mars: A Review in Light of Recent Exploration Results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lasne, J.; Noblet, A.; Szopa, C.; Navarro-González, R.; Cabane, M.; Poch, O.; Stalport, F.; François, P.; Atreya, S. K.; Coll, P.

    2016-12-01

    In 1976, the Viking landers carried out the most comprehensive search for organics and microbial life in the martian regolith. Their results indicate that Mars' surface is lifeless and, surprisingly, depleted in organics at part-per-billion levels. Several biology experiments on the Viking landers gave controversial results that have since been explained by the presence of oxidizing agents on the surface of Mars. These oxidants may degrade abiotic or biological organics, resulting in their nondetection in the regolith. As several exploration missions currently focus on the detection of organics on Mars (or will do so in the near future), knowledge of the oxidative state of the surface is fundamental. It will allow for determination of the capability of organics to survive on a geological timescale, the most favorable places to seek them, and the best methods to process the samples collected at the surface. With this aim, we review the main oxidants assumed to be present on Mars, their possible formation pathways, and those laboratory studies in which their reactivity with organics under Mars-like conditions has been evaluated. Among the oxidants assumed to be present on Mars, only four have been detected so far: perchlorate ions (ClO4-) in salts, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) in the atmosphere, and clays and metal oxides composing surface minerals. Clays have been suggested as catalysts for the oxidation of organics but are treated as oxidants in the following to keep the structure of this article straightforward. This work provides an insight into the oxidizing potential of the surface of Mars and an estimate of the stability of organic matter in an oxidizing environment.

  7. Lunar Exploration Orbiter (LEO)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaumann, R.; Spohn, T.; Hiesinger, H.; Jessberger, E. K.; Neukum, G.; Oberst, J.; Helbert, J.; Christensen, U.; Keller, H. U.; Mall, U.; Böhnhardt, H.; Hartogh, P.; Glassmeier, K.-H.; Auster, H.-U.; Moreira, A.; Werner, M.; Pätzold, M.; Palme, H.; Wimmer-Schweingruber, R.; Mandea, M.; Lesur, V.; Häusler, B.; Hördt, A.; Eichentopf, K.; Hauber, E.; Hoffmann, H.; Köhler, U.; Kührt, E.; Michaelis, H.; Pauer, M.; Sohl, F.; Denk, T.; van Gasselt, S.

    2007-08-01

    The Moon is an integral part of the Earth-Moon system, it is a witness to more than 4.5 b. y. of solar system history, and it is the only planetary body except Earth for which we have samples from known locations. The Moon is our closest companion and can easily be reached from Earth at any time, even with a relatively modest financial budget. Consequently, the Moon was the first logical step in the exploration of our solar system before we pursued more distant targets such as Mars and beyond. The vast amount of knowledge gained from the Apollo and other lunar missions of the late 1960's and early 1970's demonstrates how valuable the Moon is for the understanding of our planetary system. Even today, the Moon remains an extremely interesting target scientifically and technologically, as ever since, new data have helped to address some of our questions about the Earth-Moon system, many questions remained. Therefore, returning to the Moon is the critical stepping-stone to further exploring our immediate planetary neighborhood. In this concept study, we present scientific and technological arguments for a national German lunar mission, the Lunar Explorations Orbiter (LEO). Numerous space-faring nations have realized and identified the unique opportunities related to lunar exploration and have planned missions to the Moon within the next few years. Among these missions, LEO will be unique, because it will globally explore the Moon in unprecedented spatial and spectral resolution. LEO will significantly improve our understanding of the lunar surface composition, surface ages, mineralogy, physical properties, interior, thermal history, gravity field, regolith structure, and magnetic field. The Lunar Explorations Orbiter will carry an entire suite of innovative, complementary technologies, including high-resolution camera systems, several spectrometers that cover previously unexplored parts of the electromagnetic spectrum over a broad range of wavelengths, microwave and

  8. New Design and Improvement of Planetary Gear Trains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Handschuh, Robert (Technical Monitor); Litvin, Faydor L.; Fuentes, Alfonso; Vecchiato, Daniele; Gonzalez-Perez, Ignacio

    2004-01-01

    The development of new types of planetary and planetary face-gear drives is proposed. The new designs are based on regulating backlash between the gears and modifying the tooth surfaces to improve the design. The goal of this work is to obtain a nearly uniform distribution of load between the planet gears. In addition, a new type of planetary face-gear drive was developed in this project.

  9. Planetary cratering mechanics

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Keefe, John D.; Ahrens, Thomas J.

    1993-09-01

    The objective of this study was to obtain a quantitative understanding of the cratering process over a broad range of conditions. Our approach was to numerically compute the evolution of impact induced flow fields and calculate the time histories of the key measures of crater geometry (e.g., depth, diameter, lip height) for variations in planetary gravity (0 to 109 cm/s2), material strength (0 to 2400 kbar), and impactor radius (0.05 to 5000 km). These results were used to establish the values of the open parameters in the scaling laws of Holsapple and Schmidt (1987). We describe the impact process in terms of four regimes: (1) penetration, (2) inertial, (3) terminal, and (4) relaxation. During the penetration regime, the depth of impactor penetration grows linearly for dimensionless times τ=(Ut/a)5.1, the crater grows at a slower rate until it is arrested by either strength or gravitational forces. In this regime, the increase of crater depth, d, and diameter, D, normalized by projectile radius is given by d/a=1.3 (Ut/a)0.36 and D/a=2.0(Ut/a)0.36. For strength-dominated craters, growth stops at the end of the inertial regime, which occurs at τ=0.33 (Yeff/ρU2)-0.78, where Yeff is the effective planetary crustal strength. The effective strength can be reduced from the ambient strength by fracturing and shear band melting (e.g., formation of pseudo-tachylites). In gravity-dominated craters, growth stops when the gravitational forces dominate over the inertial forces, which occurs at τ=0.92 (ga/U2)-0.61. In the strength and gravity regimes, the maximum depth of penetration is dp/a=0.84 (Y/ρ U2)-0.28 and dp/a=1.2 (ga/U2)-0.22, respectively. The transition from simple bowl-shaped craters to complex-shaped craters occurs when gravity starts to dominate over strength in the cratering process. The diameter for this transition to occur is given by Dt=9.0 Y/ρg, and thus scales as g-1 for planetary surfaces when strength is not strain-rate dependent. This scaling result

  10. Using Planetary Nebulae to Teach Physics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwitter, Karen B.

    2011-05-01

    We have developed an interactive website, "Gallery of Planetary Nebula Spectra," (www.williams.edu/Astronomy/research/PN/nebulae/) that contains high-quality optical-to-near-infrared spectra, atlas information, and bibliographic references for more than 160 planetary nebulae that we have observed in the Milky Way Galaxy. To make the material more accessible to students, I have created three undergraduate-level exercises that explore physics-related aspects of planetary nebulae. "Emission Lines and Central Star Temperature” uses the presence or absence of emission lines from species with different ionization potentials to rank the temperatures of the exciting stars in a selection of nebulae. "Interstellar Reddening” uses the observed Balmer decrement in a sample of planetary nebulae at different Galactic latitudes to infer the distribution of interstellar dust in the Milky Way. Finally, "Determining the Gas Density in Planetary Nebulae,” which I will focus on here, uses the observed intensity ratio of the 6717 Å and 6731 Å emission lines from singly ionized sulfur to determine the electron density in the nebular gas. These exercises demonstrate that planetary nebula spectra are useful real-world examples illustrating a variety of physical principles, including the behavior of blackbodies, wavelength-dependent particle scattering, recombination-line ratios, atomic physics, and statistical mechanics.

  11. 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.

  12. Radioisotope Stirling Engine Powered Airship for Atmospheric and Surface Exploration of Titan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colozza, Anthony J.; Cataldo, Robert L.

    2014-01-01

    The feasibility of an advanced Stirling radioisotope generator (ASRG) powered airship for the near surface exploration of Titan was evaluated. The analysis did not consider the complete mission only the operation of the airship within the atmosphere of Titan. The baseline airship utilized two ASRG systems with a total of four general-purpose heat source (GPHS) blocks. Hydrogen gas was used to provide lift. The ASRG systems, airship electronics and controls and the science payload were contained in a payload enclosure. This enclosure was separated into two sections, one for the ASRG systems and the other for the electronics and payload. Each section operated at atmospheric pressure but at different temperatures. The propulsion system consisted of an electric motor driving a propeller. An analysis was set up to size the airship that could operate near the surface of Titan based on the available power from the ASRGs. The atmospheric conditions on Titan were modeled and used in the analysis. The analysis was an iterative process between sizing the airship to carry a specified payload and the power required to operate the electronics, payload and cooling system as well as provide power to the propulsion system to overcome the drag on the airship. A baseline configuration was determined that could meet the power requirements and operate near the Titan surface. From this baseline design additional trades were made to see how other factors affected the design such as the flight altitude and payload mass and volume.

  13. Operations analysis for lunar surface construction: Results of two office of exploration case studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, Lisa Y.; Boles, Walter; Smith, Alvin

    1991-08-01

    In an environment of intense competition for Federal funding, the U.S. space research community is responsible for developing a feasible, cost-effective approach to establishing a surface base on the moon to fulfill long-term Government objectives. This report presents the results of a construction operations analysis of two lunar scenarios provided by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Activities necessary to install the lunar base surface elements are defined and scheduled, based on the productivities and availability of the base resources allocated to the projects depicted in each scenario. The only construction project in which the required project milestones were not completed within the nominal timeframe was the initial startup phase of NASA's FY89 Lunar Evolution Case Study (LECS), primarily because this scenario did not include any Earth-based telerobotic site preparation before the arrival of the first crew. The other scenario analyzed. Reference Mission A from NASA's 90-Day Study of the Human Exploration of the Moon and Mars, did use telerobotic site preparation before the manned phase of the base construction. Details of the analysis for LECS are provided, including spreadsheets indicating quantities of work and Gantt charts depicting the general schedule for the work. This level of detail is not presented for the scenario based on the 90-Day Study because many of the projects include the same (or similar) surface elements and facilities.

  14. Mathematical optimization of matter distribution for a planetary system configuration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morozov, Yegor; Bukhtoyarov, Mikhail

    2016-07-01

    Planetary formation is mostly a random process. When the humanity reaches the point when it can transform planetary systems for the purpose of interstellar life expansion, the optimal distribution of matter in a planetary system will determine its population and expansive potential. Maximization of the planetary system carrying capacity and its potential for the interstellar life expansion depends on planetary sizes, orbits, rotation, chemical composition and other vital parameters. The distribution of planetesimals to achieve maximal carrying capacity of the planets during their life cycle, and maximal potential to inhabit other planetary systems must be calculated comprehensively. Moving much material from one planetary system to another is uneconomic because of the high amounts of energy and time required. Terraforming of the particular planets before the whole planetary system is configured might drastically decrease the potential habitability the whole system. Thus a planetary system is the basic unit for calculations to sustain maximal overall population and expand further. The mathematical model of optimization of matter distribution for a planetary system configuration includes the input observed parameters: the map of material orbiting in the planetary system with specified orbits, masses, sizes, and the chemical compound for each, and the optimized output parameters. The optimized output parameters are sizes, masses, the number of planets, their chemical compound, and masses of the satellites required to make tidal forces. Also the magnetic fields and planetary rotations are crucial, but they will be considered in further versions of this model. The optimization criteria is the maximal carrying capacity plus maximal expansive potential of the planetary system. The maximal carrying capacity means the availability of essential life ingredients on the planetary surface, and the maximal expansive potential means availability of uranium and metals to build

  15. A Survey on Terrain Assessment Techniques for Autonomous Operation of Planetary Robots

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sancho-Pradel, D. L.; Gao, Y.

    A key challenge in autonomous planetary surface exploration is the extraction of meaningful information from sensor data, which would allow a good interpretation of the nearby terrain, and a reasonable assessment of more distant areas. In the last decade, the desire to increase the autonomy of unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs), particularly in terms of off-road navigation, has significantly increased the interest in the field of automated terrain classification. Although the field is relatively new, its advances and goals are scattered across different robotic platforms and applications. The objective of this paper is to present a survey of the field from a planetary exploration perspective, bringing together the underlying techniques, existing approaches and relevant applications under a common framework. The aim is to provide a comprehensive overview to the newcomer in the field, and a structured reference for the practitioners.

  16. Planetary mass function and planetary systems

    CERN Document Server

    Dominik, M

    2010-01-01

    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 to derive 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 r...

  17. Development, Integration and Utilization of Surface Nuclear Energy Sources for Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Houts, Michael G.; Schmidt, George R.; Bragg-Sitton, Shannon; Hickman, Robert; Hissam, Andy; Houston, Vance; Martin, Jim; Mireles, Omar; Reid, Bob; Schneider, Todd

    2005-01-01

    Throughout the past five decades numerous studies have identified nuclear energy as an enhancing or enabling technology for human surface exploration missions. Nuclear energy sources were used to provide electricity on Apollo missions 12, 14, 15, 16, and 17, and on the Mars Viking landers. Nuclear energy sources were used to provide heat on the Pathfinder; Spirit, and Discovery rovers. Scenarios have been proposed that utilize -1 kWe radioisotope systems for early missions, followed by fission systems in the 10 - 30 kWe range when energy requirements increase. A fission energy source unit size of approximately 150 kWt has been proposed based on previous lunar and Mars base architecture studies. Such a unit could support both early and advanced bases through a building block approach.

  18. Novel Methods for Surface EMG Analysis and Exploration Based on Multi-Modal Gaussian Mixture Models.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Magdalena Vögele

    Full Text Available This paper introduces a new method for data analysis of animal muscle activation during locomotion. It is based on fitting Gaussian mixture models (GMMs to surface EMG data (sEMG. This approach enables researchers/users to isolate parts of the overall muscle activation within locomotion EMG data. Furthermore, it provides new opportunities for analysis and exploration of sEMG data by using the resulting Gaussian modes as atomic building blocks for a hierarchical clustering. In our experiments, composite peak models representing the general activation pattern per sensor location (one sensor on the long back muscle, three sensors on the gluteus muscle on each body side were identified per individual for all 14 horses during walk and trot in the present study. Hereby we show the applicability of the method to identify composite peak models, which describe activation of different muscles throughout cycles of locomotion.

  19. Video observation of surface exploration in cyprids of Balanus amphitrite

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Maruzzo, Diego; Conlan, Sheelagh; Aldred, Nick;

    2011-01-01

    Video microscopy of cyprids of Balanus amphitrite was used to monitor the action of antennular setae during the exploratory behaviour prior to attachment. In addition, SEM was used to provide a revised description of all antennular setae for that species. The videos describe if a particular seta...... touches the substratum and the area it can cover during surface exploration. On the fourth segment, the plumose terminal setae A and B are never in contact with the substratum, lack a terminal pore and it is argued that they sense hydrodynamic forces. The aesthetasc-like terminal seta D is likewise held...... free in the water at all times and it is speculated that it senses dissolved substances, but, since it contains a scolopale rod, it must also have a mechano-receptive function. All remaining antennular setae on the second, third and fourth segments have a terminal pore and it is argued...

  20. Finite Element Residual Stress Analysis of Planetary Gear Tooth

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jungang Wang

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available A method to simulate residual stress field of planetary gear is proposed. In this method, the finite element model of planetary gear is established and divided to tooth zone and profile zone, whose different temperature field is set. The gear's residual stress simulation is realized by the thermal compression stress generated by the temperature difference. Based on the simulation, the finite element model of planetary gear train is established, the dynamic meshing process is simulated, and influence of residual stress on equivalent stress of addendum, pitch circle, and dedendum of internal and external meshing planetary gear tooth profile is analyzed, according to non-linear contact theory, thermodynamic theory, and finite element theory. The results show that the equivalent stresses of planetary gear at both meshing and nonmeshing surface are significantly and differently reduced by residual stress. The study benefits fatigue cracking analysis and dynamic optimization design of planetary gear train.

  1. The Planetary Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pataki, Louis P.

    2016-06-01

    This poster presentation presents the Planetary Project, a multi-week simulated research experience for college non-science majors. Students work in research teams of three to investigate the properties of a fictitious planetary system (the “Planetary System”) created each semester by the instructor. The students write team and individual papers in which they use the available data to draw conclusions about planets, other objects or general properties of the Planetary System and in which they compare, contrast and explain the similarities between the objects in the Planetary System and comparable objects in the Solar System.Data about the orbital and physical properties of the planets in the Planetary System are released at the start of the project. Each week the teams request data from a changing pool of available data. For example, in week one pictures of the planets are available. Each team picks one planet and the data (pictures) on that planet are released only to that team. Different data are available in subsequent weeks. Occasionally a news release to all groups reports an unusual occurrence - e.g. the appearance of a comet.Each student acts as principal author for one of the group paper which must contain a description of the week’s data, conclusions derived from that data about the Planetary System and a comparison with the Solar System. Each students writes a final, individual paper on a topic of their choice dealing with the Planetary System in which they follow the same data, conclusion, comparison format. Students “publish” their papers on a class-only restricted website and present their discoveries in class talks. Data are released to all on the website as the related papers are “published.” Additional papers commenting on the published work and released data are encouraged.The successes and problems of the method are presented.

  2. Statistical scaling properties of planetary topographic fields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landais, François; Schmidt, Frederic; Lovejoy, Shaun

    2016-10-01

    The massive acquisition of altimetric data in the solar system has motivated numerous analysis of the topography of planets, in particular the surface roughness. Many statistical indicators have been proposed and widely explored in order to study the surface of plantets. Useful informations have been obtained by the use of those indicators but they often have the disadvantage of been defined at a given scale. By construction, they do not directly take into account the well-established scale symmetry that generally occurs in the case of natural surfaces. Indeed, topography can not be interpreted as a stationary field, meaning that statistical parameters like the mean or the standard deviation exhibit a dependence toward scales. This subject has been widely studied in the past, parallel to the development of the notion of fractals. It is now well established that topography is often efficiently modelled by fractal simulations. More interestingly, the fractal theory provides a mathematical formalism to describe the scale dependence of statistical parameters toward scales. It turns out that simple power-law relations efficiently approach the variability of planetary surfaces.However, The observed intermittency (spatial dependance of the scaling laws) apparently rejects the idea of a global description of any topographic field at the planetary scale. Still, modern developments in the fractal theory might be able to give full account to the observed variability and intermittency. It is possible to extent the fractal interpretation of topography to a multifractal statistical object requiring an infinite number of fractal dimensions (one for each statistical moment order). In the present study, we analyse the global scaling laws of topography for different body in the solar system in order to test the multifractal formalism. We then compare the fractal and multifractal parameters form a body to the other. We demonstrate that a change of processes governing the global

  3. Exploring the optimum conditions for maximizing the microbial growth of Candida intermedia by response surface methodology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yönten, Vahap; Aktaş, Nahit

    2014-01-01

    Exploring optimum and cost-efficient medium composition for microbial growth of Candida intermedia Y-1981 yeast culture growing on whey was studied by applying a multistep response surface methodology. In the first step, Plackett-Burman (PB) design was utilized to determine the most significant fermentation medium factors on microbial growth. The medium temperature, sodium chloride and lactose concentrations were determined as the most important factors. Subsequently, the optimum combinations of the selected factors were explored by steepest ascent (SA) and central composite design (CCD). The optimum values for lactose and sodium chloride concentrations and medium temperature were found to be 18.4 g/L, 0.161 g/L, and 32.4°C, respectively. Experiments carried out at the optimum conditions revealed a maximum specific growth rate of 0.090 1/hr; 42% of total lactose removal was achieved in 24 h of fermentation time. The obtained results were finally verified with batch reactor experiments carried out under the optimum conditions evaluated.

  4. Design and Simulation Tools for Planetary Atmospheric Entry Vehicles Project

    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...

  5. Planetary geometry handbook: Jupiter positional data, 1985 - 2020, volume 4

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sergeyevsky, A. B.; Snyder, G. C.; Paulson, B. L.; Cunniff, R. A.

    1983-01-01

    Graphical data necessary for the analysis of planetary exploration missions to Jupiter are presented. Positional and geometric information spanning the time period from 1985 through 2020 is provided. The data and their usage are explained.

  6. Chemical differentiation of a convecting planetary interior - Consequences for a one plate planet such as Venus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parmentier, E. M.; Hess, P. C.

    1992-01-01

    Simple models of the thermal and chemical evolution of a planetary interior are developed to explore the possible consequences of a chemically buoyant depleted mantle layer for planetary evolution. As the depleted layer thickens the melting temperature at the top of the underlying convecting mantle also increases and the degree of partial melting of the mantle added to the depleted layer decreases. As the less depleted mantle with less positive compositional buoyancy is added, the negative thermal buoyancy of the layer eventually exceeds its positive compositional buoyancy. The depleted layer then sinks into and mixes with the convecting interior. On Venus the population of impact craters is indistinguishable from a random distribution over the surface and gives a surface age of about 500 Myr. It is suggested that the above mechanism may explain this episodic global resurfacing of Venus.

  7. Multi-Robot Planetary Exploration Architectures Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Space policy direction is shifting, particularly with respect to human goals. Given the uncertainty of future missions to the moon, Mars, and other bodies, a tool...

  8. Exploring the planetary boundary for chemical pollution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

    , 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...... 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 approaches to mitigate global chemical pollution that emphasize a preventative approach; coordinate pollution control and sustainability...

  9. Energy Production for Sustainable Planetary Explorations Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Our basic approach is to use a photoelectrochemical cell operated under simulated Mars conditions. The light source will be solar simulator with a wide spectrum of...

  10. Drill Embedded Nanosensors For Planetary Subsurface Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jing

    2014-01-01

    We have developed a carbon nanotube (CNT) sensor for water vapor detection under Martian Conditions and the miniaturized electronics can be embedded in the drill bit for collecting sensor data and transmit it to a computer wirelessly.This capability will enable the real time measurement of ice during drilling. With this real time and in-situ measurement, subsurface ice detection can be easy, fast, precise and low cost.

  11. Exploring the planetary boundary for chemical pollution

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

    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...

  12. High-precision potassium measurements using laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy under high vacuum conditions for in situ K–Ar dating of planetary surfaces

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cho, Yuichiro, E-mail: cho@rikkyo.ac.jp [Department of Physics, Rikkyo University, 3-34-1 Nishi-Ikebukuro, Toshima, Tokyo 171-8501 (Japan); Department of Complexity Science and Engineering, University of Tokyo, 5-1-5 Kashiwanoha, Kashiwa, Chiba 277-8561 (Japan); Sugita, Seiji [Department of Complexity Science and Engineering, University of Tokyo, 5-1-5 Kashiwanoha, Kashiwa, Chiba 277-8561 (Japan); Kameda, Shingo [Department of Physics, Rikkyo University, 3-34-1 Nishi-Ikebukuro, Toshima, Tokyo 171-8501 (Japan); Miura, Yayoi N. [Earthquake Research Institute, University of Tokyo, 1-1-1 Yayoi, Bunkyo, Tokyo 113-0032 (Japan); Ishibashi, Ko; Ohno, Sohsuke [Planetary Exploration Research Center, Chiba Institute of Technology, 2-17-1 Tsudanuma, Narashino, Chiba 275-0016 (Japan); Kamata, Shunichi [Hokkaido University Graduate School of Science, 8-2-10 Kita-10 Nishi-8, Kita-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido 060-0810 (Japan); Arai, Tomoko [Planetary Exploration Research Center, Chiba Institute of Technology, 2-17-1 Tsudanuma, Narashino, Chiba 275-0016 (Japan); Morota, Tomokatsu [Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Nagoya University, Furo Chikusa, Nagoya, Aichi 464-8601 (Japan); Namiki, Noriyuki [National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, 2-21-1 Osawa, Mitaka, Tokyo 181-8588 (Japan); Matsui, Takafumi [Planetary Exploration Research Center, Chiba Institute of Technology, 2-17-1 Tsudanuma, Narashino, Chiba 275-0016 (Japan)

    2015-04-01

    We conducted a series of laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) experiments for K measurements under high vacuum conditions (10{sup -6} Pa) for the purpose of developing in-situ isochron type K–Ar dating instruments for planetary missions. Unlike whole rock measurement methods, isochron measurements require LIBS experiments in a vacuum chamber because simultaneous Ar isotopic measurements are necessary. However, detailed examination of detection limits and accuracy of this method at low pressures has not been examined extensively before. In this study, the capability of K measurements under high vacuum conditions was examined using LIBS. A compact Czerny-Turner type spectrometer equipped with a charge-coupled device (CCD) as a detector was employed. Twenty-three geologic standard samples were measured using the LIBS method. The second strongest K emission line at 769.89 nm was used for calibration because the strongest emission line at 766.49 nm may suffer from strong interference from another emission line. A calibration curve was constructed for K using internal normalization with the oxygen line at 777 nm and well fitted by a power-law function. Based on the prediction band method, the detection limit and the quantitation limit were estimated to be 300 and 800 ppm, respectively. The 1σ relative uncertainty of the K calibration was 20% for 1 wt.% K{sub 2}O and 40% for 3000 ppm K{sub 2}O. If the amount of Ar is measured with 15% error for the 3.5 billion years rocks containing 1 and 0.3 wt.% K{sub 2}O, the K–Ar ages would be determined with 10% and 20% 1σ errors, respectively. This level of precision will significantly improve the current Martian chronology, which has uncertainty about a factor of two to four. These results indicate that the concentration of K can be measured quantitatively under high vacuum conditions using a combination of instruments that have previously been carried in planetary missions, which suggests the viability of building in

  13. Directed Energy Missions for Planetary Defense

    OpenAIRE

    Lubin, P.; Hughes, GB; Eskenazi, M; Kosmo, K.; Johansson, IE; Griswold, J., Ian,;Zhou, Hongjun,;Matison, Mikenzie,;Swanson, V., Ronald,;McIntosh, P., Lawrence,;Simon, I., Melvin,;Dahlquist, W., Frederick,; Pryor, M; O'Neill, H.; Meinhold, P.; Suen, J; J; Riley; Zhang, Q.; Walsh, K.; Melis, C.; Kangas, M

    2016-01-01

    Directed energy for planetary defense is now a viable option and is superior in many ways to other proposed technologies, being able to defend the Earth against all known threats. This paper presents basic ideas behind a directed energy planetary defense system that utilizes laser ablation of an asteroid to impart a deflecting force on the target. A conceptual philosophy called DE-STAR, which stands for Directed Energy System for Targeting of Asteroids and exploRation, is an orbiting stand-of...

  14. Technology for NASA's Planetary Science Vision 2050.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lakew, B.; Amato, D.; Freeman, A.; Falker, J.; Turtle, Elizabeth; Green, J.; Mackwell, S.; Daou, D.

    2017-01-01

    NASAs Planetary Science Division (PSD) initiated and sponsored a very successful community Workshop held from Feb. 27 to Mar. 1, 2017 at NASA Headquarters. The purpose of the Workshop was to develop a vision of planetary science research and exploration for the next three decades until 2050. This abstract summarizes some of the salient technology needs discussed during the three-day workshop and at a technology panel on the final day. It is not meant to be a final report on technology to achieve the science vision for 2050.

  15. 金星表面THz遥感探测%THz remote sensing for exploration Venus surface

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    苏兴华; 于春香; 王瀚卿

    2014-01-01

    Based on High Resolution Transmission(HITRAN) database and the fact that the imaging spectrometer Visible and Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer(VIRTIS) on the "Venus Express" has observed thermal emissions from the surface of Venus, infrared atmosphere windows adapted to the Venus atmosphere model are simulated, and then the terahertz atmosphere windows of Venus are analyzed. By establishing scientific object that realizing all-weather remote sensing for exploration Venus surface, advantages of sensing the atmosphere windows of Venus in terahertz are given, and idea of multi-function Venus sensing is put forward.%从“金星快车可见光与红外热成像光谱仪(VIRTIS)载荷成功地实现了对金星表面辐射探测”事实出发,利用高分辨率传输分子光谱数据库(HITRAN),仿真验证了金星大气模型相适应的近红外大气窗口,从而分析并获取了金星 THz 大气窗口。与此相适应,从实现金星地表全天候遥感探测科学目标出发,系统阐述了金星大气 THz窗口下探测的优势,提出多功能金星遥感构想。

  16. Geochemical surface exploration between Bueckeberge Hills and Rehburg Anticline (Lower Saxony Basin, Germany)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Berner, U. [Bundesanstalt fuer Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe, Hannover (Germany); Marquardt, D. [Rijksuniversiteit Utrecht (Netherlands)

    2013-01-15

    The Lower Saxony Basin (LSB) of northwestern Germany is since long a target in hydrocarbon-related research in which the organic-rich Wealden sediments, known to contain good to excellent source rocks, play an important role. We demonstrate that cost effective surface exploration and geochemical research provide significant insight into the petroleum geology of an area of interest. Our research concentrates on a sub-basin in the eastern part of the LSB and aims at assessing the petroleum geology, hydrocarbon potential, depositional environment and tectonics of the Stadthagen syncline using surface samples of Wealden outcrops and evaluating these subsequently with geochemical methods (XRF, total sulfur, total organic carbon, Rock-Eval pyrolysis) and physical property data. The depositional environment in the research area varied significantly throughout the Lower Cretaceous (oxic to anoxic) due to paleoclimate changes and tectonically induced marine ingressions. Microbial sulfate reduction related to the marine ingressions reduced organic matter quality in the basin significantly, supporting the strong vertical variability in hydrocarbon potential of the sediments. Thermal maturity data suggests a complex tectonic history for the Stadthagen syncline. Thermal maturities (oil to wet gas window) combined with a multi-heat flow scenario result in estimated burial and subsequent uplift in the region of more than 2500 m. (orig.)

  17. Exploring Linkages Between Gulf of Mexico Sea Surface Conditions and North American Hydroclimate during the Holocene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richey, J. N.; Thirumalai, K.; Quinn, T. M.; Poore, R. Z.

    2015-12-01

    The Gulf of Mexico is part of the Atlantic Warm Pool, a feature that drives oceanic moisture flux to the surrounding continent. It is connected to the North Atlantic Ocean via the loop current, which transports salt and heat from the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico poleward via the Gulf Stream. As such, variations in Gulf of Mexico sea surface temperature (SST) and salinity (SSS) are linked to changes in North Atlantic Ocean circulation and North American hydroclimate. Although SST and SSS variability in the Gulf of Mexico are well understood on inter-annual and glacial-interglacial timescales, little is known about centennial scale variability in these sea surface parameters through the Holocene. We present here the first continuous multi-decadal resolution time series of SST and SSS spanning the entire Holocene from the Gulf of Mexico. This proxy reconstruction is based on paired measurements of Mg/Ca and δ18O in the planktic foraminifer, Globigerinoides ruber (white variety) in the Garrison Basin. Using these data, in combination with additional Gulf of Mexico SST and SSS records from the late Holocene, we explore linkages between North American precipitation patterns and ocean circulation on centennial timescales.

  18. Constrained Broyden Dimer Method with Bias Potential for Exploring Potential Energy Surface of Multistep Reaction Process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shang, Cheng; Liu, Zhi-Pan

    2012-07-10

    To predict the chemical activity of new matter is an ultimate goal in chemistry. The identification of reaction pathways using modern quantum mechanics calculations, however, often requires a high demand in computational power and good chemical intuition on the reaction. Here, a new reaction path searching method is developed by combining our recently developed transition state (TS) location method, namely, the constrained Broyden dimer method, with a basin-filling method via bias potentials, which allows the system to walk out from the energy traps at a given reaction direction. In the new method, the reaction path searching starts from an initial state without the need for preguessing the TS-like or final state structure and can proceed iteratively to the final state by locating all related TSs and intermediates. In each elementary reaction step, a reaction direction, such as a bond breaking, needs to be specified, the information of which is refined and preserved as a normal mode through biased dimer rotation. The method is tested successfully on the Baker reaction system (50 elementary reactions) with good efficiency and stability and is also applied to the potential energy surface exploration of multistep reaction processes in the gas phase and on the surface. The new method can be applied for the computational screening of new catalytic materials with a minimum requirement of chemical intuition.

  19. Surface Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (SNMR - A new method for exploration of ground water and aquifer properties

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    U. Yaramanci

    2000-06-01

    Full Text Available The Surface Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (SNMR method is a fairly new technique in geophysics to assess ground water, i.e. existence, amount and productibility by measurements at the surface. The NMR technique used in medicine, physics and lately in borehole geophysics was adopted for surface measurements in the early eighties, and commercial equipment for measurements has been available since the mid nineties. The SNMR method has been tested at sites in Northern Germany with Quaternary sand and clay layers, to examine the suitability of this new method for groundwater exploration and environmental investigations. More information is obtained by SNMR, particularly with respect to aquifer parameters, than with other geophysical techniques. SNMR measurements were carried out at three borehole locations, together with 2D and 1D direct current geoelectrics and well logging (induction log, gamma-ray log and pulsed neutron-gamma log. Permeabilities were calculated from the grain-size distributions of core material determined in the laboratory. It is demonstrated that the SNMR method is able to detect groundwater and the results are in good agreement with other geophysical and hydrogeological data. Using the SNMR method, the water content of the unsaturated and saturated zones (i.e. porosity of an aquifer can be reliably determined. This information and resistivity data permit in-situ determination of other aquifer parameters. Comparison of the SNMR results with borehole data clearly shows that the water content determined by SNMR is the free or mobile water in the pores. The permeabilities estimated from the SNMR decay times are similar to those derived from sieve analysis of core material. Thus, the combination of SNMR with geoelectric methods promises to be a powerful tool for studying aquifer properties.

  20. An ethical approach of planetary protection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnould, J.; Debus, A.

    Since the beginning of Solar System Exploration a lot of spacecraft have been sent in the Solar System and one of the main goals of such missions on Mars particularly is the search for eventual extraterrestrial life forms It is known that some terrestrial entities are able to survive the cruise during space exploration missions and it cannot be excluded that they can contaminate other planetary environments 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 for example remains also unknown The article IX of the OUTER SPACE TREATY London Washington January 27 1967 ratified by pratically all spacefaring nations requires to preserve Solar system bodies and Earth from contamination All Nations part to this Treaty have to prevent forward mainly for scientific reasons and backward contamination during missions exploring our Solar System Consequently the United Nations UN-COPUOS has delegated the COSPAR Committee of Space Research to take charge of planetary protection and at present all spacefaring nations have to comply with COSPAR policy and consequently with COSPAR planetary protection recommendations It could be useful to review the planetary protection recommendations in the light of an ethical approach Shall other environments Mars one for example be protected only for scientific reason allowing its biological contamination in proportion compatible with exobiological

  1. Planetary Geophysics and Tectonics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zuber, Maria

    2005-01-01

    The broad objective of this work is to improve understanding of the internal structures and thermal and stress histories of the solid planets by combining results from analytical and computational modeling, and geophysical data analysis of gravity, topography and tectonic surface structures. During the past year we performed two quite independent studies in the attempt to explain the Mariner 10 magnetic observations of Mercury. In the first we revisited the possibility of crustal remanence by studying the conditions under which one could break symmetry inherent in Runcorn's model of a uniformly magnetized shell to produce a remanent signal with a dipolar form. In the second we applied a thin shell dynamo model to evaluate the range of intensity/structure for which such a planetary configuration can produce a dipole field consistent with Mariner 10 results. In the next full proposal cycle we will: (1) develop numerical and analytical and models of thin shell dynamos to address the possible nature of Mercury s present-day magnetic field and the demise of Mars magnetic field; (2) study the effect of degree-1 mantle convection on a core dynamo as relevant to the early magnetic field of Mars; (3) develop models of how the deep mantles of terrestrial planets are perturbed by large impacts and address the consequences for mantle evolution; (4) study the structure, compensation, state of stress, and viscous relaxation of lunar basins, and address implications for the Moon s state of stress and thermal history by modeling and gravity/topography analysis; and (5) use a three-dimensional viscous relaxation model for a planet with generalized vertical viscosity distribution to study the degree-two components of the Moon's topography and gravity fields to constrain the primordial stress state and spatial heterogeneity of the crust and mantle.

  2. ANALYSIS OF SURFACE SINK OF EXPLORATION VACANCY IN GOLD MINING AREA OF ZHAOYUAN CTIY BASED ON RS AND GIS

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WU Quan-yuan; AN Guo-qiang; BAO Wen-dong; ZHANG Zu-lu; XU Qiu-xiao; FANG Xue-mi

    2005-01-01

    Surface sink is a main geological calamity of gold mining areas and a main factor to restrict economic sustainable development of mining zone. Based on former investigations, this article draws the environment information of surface sink of exploration vacancy in gold mining area of Zhaoyuan City, Shangdong Province by RS technology. Through spatial simulation analysis and expert diagnoses on the basis of GIS technology, the article affirms the inducement factors of the surface sink. Then using these factors as distinguishing ones the authors prognosticate the criticality of other exploration vacancies. The results indicate that the surface sink area of study area in Zhaoyuan City, has already come to 0.78km2 and it is forecasted that 0.97km2 of the exploration vacancy belongs to high danger area. Decisive measures need taking in order to prevent this crucial problem. Another 1.57km2 of the exploration vacancies belongs to middle danger area, which will sink when meeting some inducing factors, such as earthquake. Still another 1.53kmn2 of the exploration vacancies belongs to low danger area that can not lead to surface sink when meeting common inducing factors.

  3. Evaluation of Carbon Dioxide Sensors for the Constellation Space Suit Life Support System for Surface Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dietrich, Daniel L.; Paul, Heather L.; Conger, Bruce C.

    2009-01-01

    This paper presents the findings of the trade study to evaluate carbon dioxide (CO2) sensing technologies for the Constellation (Cx) space suit life support system for surface exploration. The trade study found that nondispersive infrared absorption (NDIR) is the most appropriate high Technology Readiness Level (TRL) technology for the CO2 sensor for the Cx space suit. The maturity of the technology is high, as it is the basis for the CO2 sensor in the Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU). The study further determined that while there is a range of commercial sensors available, the Cx CO2 sensor should be a new design. Specifically, there are light sources (e.g., infrared light emitting diodes) and detectors (e.g., cooled detectors) that are not in typical commercial sensors due to cost. These advanced technology components offer significant advantages in performance (weight, volume, power, accuracy) to be implemented in the new sensor. The exact sensor design (light source, transmitting optics, path length, receiving optics and detector) will be specific for the Cx space suit and will be determined by the performance requirements of the Cx space suit. The paper further identifies specifications for some of the critical performance parameters as well as discussing the engineering aspects of implementing the sensor into the Portable Life Support System (PLSS). The paper then presents testing results from three CO2 sensors with respect to issues important to Extravehicular Activity (EVA) applications; stability, humidity dependence and low pressure compatibility. The three sensors include two NDIR sensors, one commercial and one custom-developed by NASA (for a different purpose), and one commercial electrochemical sensor. The results show that both NDIR sensors have excellent stability, no dependence on ambient humidity (when the ambient temperature is above the dew point) and operate in low pressure conditions and after being exposed to a full vacuum. The commercial

  4. Evaluation of Carbon Dioxide Sensors for the Constellation Space Suit Life Support System for Surface Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dietrich, Daniel L.; Paul, Heather L.; Conger, Bruce C.

    2009-01-01

    This paper presents the findings of the trade study to evaluate carbon dioxide (CO2) sensing technologies for the Constellation (Cx) space suit life support system for surface exploration. The trade study found that nondispersive infrared absorption (NDIR) is the most appropriate high Technology Readiness Level (TRL) technology for the CO2 sensor for the Cx space suit. The maturity of the technology is high, as it is the basis for the CO2 sensor in the Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU). The study further determined that while there is a range of commercial sensors available, the Cx CO2 sensor should be a new design. Specifically, there are light sources (e.g., infrared light emitting diodes) and detectors (e.g., cooled detectors) that are not in typical commercial sensors due to cost. These advanced technology components offer significant advantages in performance (weight, volume, power, accuracy) to be implemented in the new sensor. The exact sensor design (light source, transmitting optics, path length, receiving optics and detector) will be specific for the Cx space suit and will be determined by the performance requirements of the Cx space suit. The paper further identifies specifications for some of the critical performance parameters as well as discussing the engineering aspects of implementing the sensor into the Portable Life Support System (PLSS). The paper then presents testing results from three CO2 sensors with respect to issues important to Extravehicular Activity (EVA) applications; stability, humidity dependence and low pressure compatibility. The three sensors include two NDIR sensors, one commercial and one custom-developed by NASA (for a different purpose), and one commercial electrochemical sensor. The results show that both NDIR sensors have excellent stability, no dependence on ambient humidity (when the ambient temperature is above the dew point) and operate in low pressure conditions and after being exposed to a full vacuum. The commercial

  5. 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)

  6. 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

  7. Nuclear Energy for Space Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Houts, Michael G.

    2010-01-01

    Nuclear power and propulsion systems can enable exciting space exploration missions. These include bases on the moon and Mars; and the exploration, development, and utilization of the solar system. In the near-term, fission surface power systems could provide abundant, constant, cost-effective power anywhere on the surface of the Moon or Mars, independent of available sunlight. Affordable access to Mars, the asteroid belt, or other destinations could be provided by nuclear thermal rockets. In the further term, high performance fission power supplies could enable both extremely high power levels on planetary surfaces and fission electric propulsion vehicles for rapid, efficient cargo and crew transfer. Advanced fission propulsion systems could eventually allow routine access to the entire solar system. Fission systems could also enable the utilization of resources within the solar system. Fusion and antimatter systems may also be viable in the future

  8. "Dust Devils": Gardening Agents on the Surface of Mars, and Hidden Hazards to Human Exploration?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, J.; Smith, P.; White, B.; Farrell, W.

    1999-01-01

    Dust devils are familiar sites in the and regions of the world: they can produce quite spectacular displays of dust lofting when the vortices scavenge very loose dust from a dry lake bed or from recently disturbed agricultural fields. If one were to arrive at the center of an arid region, take one photograph, or even a series of photographs over a period of several days, then return the images for laboratory analysis, it would be most likely concluded that the region was inactive from an aeolian perspective. No images of general dust movement were obtained, nor were any dust devils "caught on camera" owing to their ephemeral and unpredictable appearance, and the fact that there was deceptively little residue of their actions. If, however, a camera were to take a 360 degree continuous recording over a period of a year, and the film were then to be shown at high speed over a period a several minutes, the impression might be that of a region ravaged by air vorticity and dust movement. Extrapolate this over geological time, and it is possible to visualize dust devils as prime aeolian agents, rather than insignificant vagaries of nature, On Mars, the thin atmosphere permits the surface of the planet to be heated but it does not itself retain heat with the capacity of the earth's atmosphere. This gives rise to greater thermal instability near the surface of Mars as "warm" air pockets diapiritically inject themselves into higher atmospheric layers. Resulting boundary-layer vorticity on Mars might therefore be expected to produce dust devils in abundance, if only seasonally. The spectacular images of dust devils obtained by Pathfinder within its brief functional period on the planet testify to the probability of highly frequent surface vorticity in light of the above reasoning about observational probability. Notably, the Pathfinder devils appeared to be at least a kilometer in height. There are several consequences for the geology of Mars, and for human exploration, if

  9. "Dust Devils": Gardening Agents on the Surface of Mars, and Hidden Hazards to Human Exploration?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, J.; Smith, P.; White, B.; Farrell, W.

    1999-09-01

    Dust devils are familiar sites in the and regions of the world: they can produce quite spectacular displays of dust lofting when the vortices scavenge very loose dust from a dry lake bed or from recently disturbed agricultural fields. If one were to arrive at the center of an arid region, take one photograph, or even a series of photographs over a period of several days, then return the images for laboratory analysis, it would be most likely concluded that the region was inactive from an aeolian perspective. No images of general dust movement were obtained, nor were any dust devils "caught on camera" owing to their ephemeral and unpredictable appearance, and the fact that there was deceptively little residue of their actions. If, however, a camera were to take a 360 degree continuous recording over a period of a year, and the film were then to be shown at high speed over a period a several minutes, the impression might be that of a region ravaged by air vorticity and dust movement. Extrapolate this over geological time, and it is possible to visualize dust devils as prime aeolian agents, rather than insignificant vagaries of nature, On Mars, the thin atmosphere permits the surface of the planet to be heated but it does not itself retain heat with the capacity of the earth's atmosphere. This gives rise to greater thermal instability near the surface of Mars as "warm" air pockets diapiritically inject themselves into higher atmospheric layers. Resulting boundary-layer vorticity on Mars might therefore be expected to produce dust devils in abundance, if only seasonally. The spectacular images of dust devils obtained by Pathfinder within its brief functional period on the planet testify to the probability of highly frequent surface vorticity in light of the above reasoning about observational probability. Notably, the Pathfinder devils appeared to be at least a kilometer in height. There are several consequences for the geology of Mars, and for human exploration, if

  10. "Dust Devils": Gardening Agents on the Surface of Mars, and Hidden Hazards to Human Exploration?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, J.; Smith, P.; White, B.; Farrell, W.

    1999-01-01

    Dust devils are familiar sites in the and regions of the world: they can produce quite spectacular displays of dust lofting when the vortices scavenge very loose dust from a dry lake bed or from recently disturbed agricultural fields. If one were to arrive at the center of an arid region, take one photograph, or even a series of photographs over a period of several days, then return the images for laboratory analysis, it would be most likely concluded that the region was inactive from an aeolian perspective. No images of general dust movement were obtained, nor were any dust devils "caught on camera" owing to their ephemeral and unpredictable appearance, and the fact that there was deceptively little residue of their actions. If, however, a camera were to take a 360 degree continuous recording over a period of a year, and the film were then to be shown at high speed over a period a several minutes, the impression might be that of a region ravaged by air vorticity and dust movement. Extrapolate this over geological time, and it is possible to visualize dust devils as prime aeolian agents, rather than insignificant vagaries of nature, On Mars, the thin atmosphere permits the surface of the planet to be heated but it does not itself retain heat with the capacity of the earth's atmosphere. This gives rise to greater thermal instability near the surface of Mars as "warm" air pockets diapiritically inject themselves into higher atmospheric layers. Resulting boundary-layer vorticity on Mars might therefore be expected to produce dust devils in abundance, if only seasonally. The spectacular images of dust devils obtained by Pathfinder within its brief functional period on the planet testify to the probability of highly frequent surface vorticity in light of the above reasoning about observational probability. Notably, the Pathfinder devils appeared to be at least a kilometer in height. There are several consequences for the geology of Mars, and for human exploration, if

  11. Report on the COSPAR Workshop on Refining Planetary Protection Requirements for Human Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spry, James Andrew; Rummel, John; Conley, Catharine; Race, Margaret; Kminek, Gerhard; Siegel, Bette

    2016-07-01

    A human mission to Mars has been the driving long-term goal for the development of the Global Exploration Roadmap by the International Space Exploration Coordination Group. Additionally, multiple national space agencies and commercial organizations have published similar plans and aspirations for human missions beyond LEO. The current COSPAR planetary protection "Guidelines for Human Missions to Mars" were developed in a series of workshops in the early 2000s and adopted into COSPAR policy at the Montreal Assembly in 2008. With changes and maturation in mission architecture concepts and hardware capabilities, the holding of a workshop provided an opportunity for timely review of these guidelines and their interpretation within current frameworks provided by ISECG and others. The COSPAR Workshop on Refining Planetary Protection Requirements for Human Missions was held in the US in spring 2016 to evaluate recent efforts and activities in the context of current COSPAR policy, as well as collect inputs from the various organizations considering crewed exploration missions to Mars and precursor robotic missions focused on surface material properties and environmental challenges. The workshop also considered potential updates to the COSPAR policy for human missions across a range of planetary destinations. This paper will report on those deliberations.

  12. Self-Healing Technologies for Wiring and Surfaces in Aerospace and Deep Space Exploration Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Martha Kay; Gibson, Tracy L.; Jolley, Scott T.; Caraccio-Meier, Anne Joan

    2017-01-01

    Self-healing technologies have been identified as critical technology gaps for future exploration. NASA and KSC have been working in this area for multiple years with established intellectual property; however, there are many challenges that remain in this area of research. How do we mimic what the body does so naturally when we as NASA have unique requirements? We have been investigating several mechanisms for self-healing: microencapsulation with a healant core to fill in voids in the case of mechanical puncture and flowable (or sealable)systems that have inherent chemical properties that allow the materials to flow back together when cut or damaged. The microcapsules containing healant have to be durable and robust, must be able to take high temperatures to meet NASA unique requirements, provide good capillary flow of the healant, and be small in diameters to fill in damage voids in thin films or surfaces. Sealable systems have to flow in a range of temperatures and yet be lightweight and chemically resistant. The systems currently being developed are based on polyimide and polyurethane matrices and have been studied for use in high performance wiring systems, inflatable systems, and habitation structures. Self-healing or self-sealing capability would significantly reduce maintenance requirements and increase the safety and reliability performance of critical systems. Advances in these self-healing technologies and some of the unique challenges needed to be overcome in order to incorporate a self-healing mechanism into wiring or thin films systems will be addressed.

  13. Exploring the formation of focal adhesions on patterned surfaces using super-resolution imaging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chien, Fan-Ching; Kuo, Chiung Wen; Yang, Zong-Han; Chueh, Di-Yen; Chen, Peilin

    2011-10-17

    The formation of focal adhesions on various sizes of fibronectin patterns, ranging from 200 μm to 250 nm, was systematically investigated by total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy and super-resolution imaging. It was found that cells adhered to and spread on these micro/nanopatterns, forming focal adhesions. On a micrometer scale the shape of the focal adhesions was elongated. However, on the nanometer scale, the shape of focal adhesions became dotlike. To further explore the distribution of focal adhesion proteins formed on surfaces, a localization-based super-resolution imaging technique was employed in order to determine the position and density of vinculin proteins. A characteristic distance of 50 nm was found between vinculin molecules in the focal adhesions, which did not depend on the size of the fibronectin nanopatterns. This distance was found to be crucial for the formation of focal adhesions. In addition, the density of vinculin at the focal adhesions formed on the nanopatterns increased as the pattern size decreased. The density of the protein was found to be 425 ± 247, 584 ± 302, and 703 ± 305 proteins μm(-2) on the 600, 400, and 250 nm fibronectin patterns respectively. Whereas 226 ± 77 proteins μm(-2) was measured for the matured focal adhesions on homogeneous fibronectin coated substrates. The increase in vinculin density implies that an increase in mechanical load was applied to the focal adhesions formed on the smaller nanopatterns.

  14. Decadal regime shift linkage between global marine fish landings and atmospheric planetary wave forcing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, A. M., Jr.; Xu, J.

    2015-04-01

    This investigation focuses on a global forcing mechanism for decadal regime shifts and their subsequent impacts. The proposed global forcing mechanism is that the global atmospheric planetary waves can lead to changes in the global surface air-sea conditions and subsequently fishery changes. In this study, the five decadal regime shifts (1956-1957, 1964-1965, 1977-1978, 1988-1989, and 1998-1999) in the most recent 59-year period (1950-2008) have been identified based on Student t tests and their association with global marine ecosystem change has been discussed. Changes in the three major oceanic (Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian) ecosystems will be explored with the goal of demonstrating the linkage between stratospheric planetary waves and the ocean surface forcing that leads to fisheries impacts. The global forcing mechanism is described with a top-down approach to help the multidisciplinary audience follow the analysis. Following previous work, this analysis addresses how changes in the atmospheric planetary waves may influence the vertical wind structure, surface wind stress, and their connection with the global ocean ecosystems based on a coupling of the atmospheric regime shifts with the decadal regime shifts determined from marine life changes. The multiple decadal regime shifts related to changes in marine life are discussed using the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization's (FAO) global fish capture data (catch/stock). Analyses are performed to demonstrate that examining the interactions between the atmosphere, ocean, and fisheries is a plausible approach to explaining decadal climate change in the global marine ecosystems and its impacts. The results show a consistent mechanism, ocean wind stress, responsible for marine shifts in the three major ocean basins. Changes in the planetary wave pattern affect the ocean wind stress patterns. A change in the ocean surface wind pattern from longwave (relatively smooth and less complex) to shorter

  15. Decadal regime shift linkage between global marine fish landings and atmospheric planetary wave forcing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. M. Powell Jr.

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available This investigation focuses on a global forcing mechanism for decadal regime shifts and their subsequent impacts. The proposed global forcing mechanism is the global atmospheric planetary waves that can lead to changes in the global surface air–sea conditions and subsequently fishery changes. In this study, the five decadal regime shifts (1956–1957, 1964–1965, 1977–1978, 1988–1989, and 1998–1999 in the recent 59 years (1950–2008 have been identified based on student t tests and their association with global marine ecosystem change has been discussed. Changes in the three major oceanic (Pacific, Atlantic and Indian ecosystems will be explored with the goal of demonstrating the linkage between stratospheric planetary waves and the ocean surface forcing that leads to fisheries impacts. Due to the multidisciplinary audience, the global forcing mechanism is described from a top-down approach to help the multidisciplinary audience follow the analysis. Following previous work, this analysis addresses how changes in the atmospheric planetary waves may influence the vertical wind structure, surface wind stress, and their connection with the global ocean ecosystems based on a coupling of the atmospheric regime shifts with the decadal regime shifts determined from marine life changes. The multiple decadal regime shifts related to changes in marine life are discussed using the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization's (FAO global fish capture data (catch/stock. Analyses are performed to demonstrate the interactions between the atmosphere, ocean, and fisheries are a plausible approach to explaining decadal climate change in the global marine ecosystems and its impacts. The results show a consistent mechanism, ocean wind stress, responsible for marine shifts in the three major ocean basins. Changes in the planetary wave pattern affect the ocean wind stress patterns. A change in the ocean surface wind pattern from long wave (relatively

  16. Next Generation Gamma/Neutron Detectors for Planetary Science. Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Gamma ray and neutron spectroscopy are well established techniques for determining the chemical composition of planetary surfaces, and small cosmic bodies such as...

  17. Next Generation Gamma/Neutron Detectors for Planetary Science. Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Gamma-ray and neutron spectroscopy are well established techniques for determining the chemical composition of planetary surfaces, and small cosmic bodies such as...

  18. In Situ Instrument to Detect Prebiotic Compounds in Planetary Ices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Getty, Stephanie A.; Dworkin, Jason; Glavin, Daniel P.; Southard, Adrian; Balvin, Manuel; Kotecki, Carl; Ferrance, Jerome

    2013-01-01

    The development of an in situ LC-MS instrument for future planetary science missions to icy surfaces that are of high astrobiology and astrochemistry potential will advance our understanding of organics in the solar system.

  19. Assessment of planetary boundary layer and residual layer heights in the Northeastern U.S. using Lidar, a network of surface observations, and the WRF-STILT model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrera, Y.; Nehrkorn, T.; Hegarty, J. D.; Wofsy, S. C.; Gottlieb, E.; Sargent, M. R.; Decola, P.; Jones, T.

    2015-12-01

    Simulation of the planetary boundary layer (PBL) and residual layer (RL) are key requirements for forecasting air quality in cities and detecting transboundary air pollution events. This study combines information from a network of Mini Micropulse Lidar (MPL) instruments, the CALIOP satellite, meteorological and air pollution measuring sensors, and a particle-transport model to critically test mesoscale transport models at the regional level. Aerosol backscattering measurements were continuously taken with MPL units in various locations within the Northeastern U.S., between September 2012 to August 2015. Data is analyzed using wavelet covariance transforms and image processing techniques. Initial results for the city of Boston show a PBL growth rate between approx. 150 and 300 meters per hour, in the morning to early afternoon (~12-19 UTC). The RL was present throughout the night and day at approx. 1.3 to 2.0 km. Transboundary air pollution events were detected and quantified, and variations in concentrations of greenhouse gases and aerosols were also evaluated. Results were compared to information retrieved from Weather and Research Forecasting (WRF) model and the Stochastic Time-Inverted Lagrangian Transport (STILT) model.

  20. In Situ Biological Contamination Studies of the Moon: Implications for Future Planetary Protection and Life Detection Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glavin, Daniel P.; Dworkin, Jason P.; Lupisella, Mark; Kminek, Gerhard; Rummel, John D.

    2010-01-01

    NASA and ESA have outlined visions for solar system exploration that will include a series of lunar robotic precursor missions to prepare for, and support a human return to the Moon, and future human exploration of Mars and other destinations. One of the guiding principles for exploration is to pursue compelling scientific questions about the origin and evolution of life. The search for life on objects such as Mars will require that all spacecraft and instrumentation be sufficiently cleaned and sterilized prior to launch to ensure that the scientific integrity of extraterrestrial samples is not jeopardized by terrestrial organic contamination. Under the Committee on Space Research's (COSPAR's) current planetary protection policy for the Moon, no sterilization procedures are required for outbound lunar spacecraft, nor is there yet a planetary protection category for human missions. Future in situ investigations of a variety of locations on the Moon by highly sensitive instruments designed to search for biologically derived organic compounds would help assess the contamination of the Moon by lunar spacecraft. These studies could also provide valuable "ground truth" data for Mars sample return missions and help define planetary protection requirements for future Mars bound spacecraft carrying life detection experiments. In addition, studies of the impact of terrestrial contamination of the lunar surface by the Apollo astronauts could provide valuable data to help refine future Mars surface exploration plans for a human mission to Mars.

  1. Impact cratering: The effect of crustal strength and planetary gravity

    OpenAIRE

    O'Keefe, John D.; Ahrens, Thomas J.

    1981-01-01

    Upon impact of a meteorite with a planetary surface the resulting shock wave both ‘processes’ the material in the vicinity of the impact and sets a larger volume of material than was subjected to high pressure into motion. Most of the volume which is excavated by the impact leaves the crater after the shock wave has decayed. The kinetic energy which has been deposited in the planetary surface is converted into reversible and irreversible work, carried out against the planetary gravity field a...

  2. Visualization of Kepler’s laws of planetary motion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Meishu; Su, Jun; Wang, Weiguo; Lu, Jianlong

    2017-03-01

    For this article, we use a 3D printer to print a surface similar to universal gravitation for demonstrating and investigating Kepler’s laws of planetary motion describing the motion of a small ball on the surface. This novel experimental method allows Kepler’s laws of planetary motion to be visualized and will contribute to improving the manipulative ability of middle school students and the accessibility of classroom education.

  3. Lunar and Planetary Science XXXVI, Part 18

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-01-01

    Topics discussed include: PoDS: A Powder Delivery System for Mars In-Situ Organic, Mineralogic and Isotopic Analysis Instruments Planetary Differentiation of Accreting Planetesimals with 26Al and 60Fe as the Heat Sources Ground-based Observation of Lunar Surface by Lunar VIS/NIR Spectral Imager Mt. Oikeyama Structure: First Impact Structure in Japan? Central Mounds in Martian Impact Craters: Assessment as Possible Perennial Permafrost Mounds (Pingos) A Further Analysis of Potential Photosynthetic Life on Mars New Insight into Valleys-Ocean Boundary on Mars Using 128 Pixels per Degree MOLA Data: Implication for Martian Ocean and Global Climate Change; Recursive Topography Based Surface Age Computations for Mars: New Insight into Surficial Processes That Influenced Craters Distribution as a Step Toward the Formal Proof of Martian Ocean Recession, Timing and Probability; Laser-induced Breakdown Spectroscopy: A New Method for Stand-Off Quantitative Analysis of Samples on Mars; Milk Spring Channels Provide Further Evidence of Oceanic, >1.7-km-Deep Late Devonian Alamo Crater, Southern Nevada; Exploration of Martian Polar Residual Caps from HEND/ODYSSEY Data; Outflow Channels Influencing Martian Climate: Global Circulation Model Simulations with Emplaced Water; Presence of Nonmethane Hydrocarbons on Pluto; Difference in Degree of Space Weathering on the Newborn Asteroid Karin; Circular Collapsed Features Related to the Chaotic Terrain Formation on Mars; A Search for Live (sup 244)Pu in Deep-Sea Sediments: Preliminary Results of Method Development; Some Peculiarities of Quartz, Biotite and Garnet Transformation in Conditions of Step-like Shock Compression of Crystal Slate; Error Analysis of Remotely-Acquired Mossbauer Spectra; Cloud Activity on Titan During the Cassini Mission; Solar Radiation Pressure and Transient Flows on Asteroid Surfaces; Landing Site Characteristics for Europa 1: Topography; and The Crop Circles of Europa.

  4. 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.

  5. Sailing the Planets: Science from Directed Aerial Robot Explorers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nock, K.; Pankine, A.

    2004-12-01

    In the past 50 years planetary exploration has evolved from being a subject of science fiction to a multi-billion dollar activity that embraces numerous branches of science, engineering and government on several continents, affects national policies and excites the public. The development of new observational platforms - orbiters, landers and rovers - has been central to successful exploration of the planets. The maturing of planetary exploration suggests that a unifying approach to planetary exploration - one that would reduce costs and facilitate discovery - is needed. Global Aerospace Corporation under funding from the NASA institute for Advanced Concepts (NIAC) is developing a concept for planetary exploration architecture that would provide such an approach. At the core of the architecture are the Directed Aerial Robot Explorer (DARE) platforms, which are autonomous balloons with path guidance capabilities that can deploy swarms of miniature robotic probes over multiple target areas. These platforms will observe planets in concert with orbiter(s) and surface platforms (landers and rovers) on global scales continuously for several years. Due to their relatively low cost and low power consumption balloons represent a very attractive platform for planetary exploration. Indeed, the successful Venera-Vega Project demonstrated technical feasibility of deploying a balloon on another planet and the wealth of opportunities presented by a balloon platform for planetary atmospheric and surface studies. Concepts for planetary balloon exploration of Mars, Venus, Titan and the Outer Planets have been studied. The DARE architecture revolutionizes these early concepts by providing the balloon, for the first time, a means of flight path control and autonomous navigation, and by integrating the balloon platform with innovative lightweight microprobes. In addition, DARE platforms can make concurrent observations with other observational platforms leading to a revolutionary

  6. Planetary polarization nephelometer

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Banfield, D.; Dissly, R.; Mishchenko, M.; Muñoz, O.; Roos-Serote, M.; Stam, D.M.; Volten, H.; Wilson, A.

    2004-01-01

    We have proposed to develop a polarization nephelometer for use on future planetary descent probes. It will measure both the scattered intensity and polarization phase functions of the aerosols it encounters descending through an atmosphere. These measurements will be taken at two wavelengths

  7. 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.

  8. Planetary polarization nephelometer

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Banfield, D.; Dissly, R.; Mishchenko, M.; Muñoz, O.; Roos-Serote, M.; Stam, D.M.; Volten, H.; Wilson, A.

    2004-01-01

    We have proposed to develop a polarization nephelometer for use on future planetary descent probes. It will measure both the scattered intensity and polarization phase functions of the aerosols it encounters descending through an atmosphere. These measurements will be taken at two wavelengths separa

  9. Catalogues of planetary nebulae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Acker, A.

    Firstly, the general requirements concerning catalogues are studied for planetary nebulae, in particular concerning the objects to be included in a catalogue of PN, their denominations, followed by reflexions about the afterlife and comuterized versions of a catalogue. Then, the basic elements constituting a catalogue of PN are analyzed, and the available data are looked at each time.

  10. Planetary ring systems

    CERN Document Server

    Miner, Ellis D; Cuzzi, Jeffrey N

    2007-01-01

    This is the most comprehensive and up-to-date book on the topic of planetary rings systems yet written. The book is written in a style that is easily accessible to the interested non expert. Each chapter includes notes, references, figures and tables.

  11. Planetary rings - Theory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borderies, Nicole

    1989-01-01

    Theoretical models of planetary-ring dynamics are examined in a brief analytical review. The mathematical description of streamlines and streamline interactions is outlined; the redistribution of angular momentum due to collisions between particles is explained; and problems in the modeling of broad, narrow, and arc rings are discussed.

  12. Planetary plains: subsidence and warping

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kochemasov, G.

    A common feature of all celestial bodies is their tectonic dichotomy best studied, naturally, at Earth [1]. Here there is an opposition of the eastern continental hemisphere and the western oceanic one. The first one is uplifted and cracked, the second one subsided, squeezed and warped. The next excellent example of dichotomy is at Mars where the subsided northern hemisphere is opposed by the highly uplifted southern one. The enigmatic two-face Iapetus now with help of Cassini SC presents a more clear picture: the leading dark hemisphere is opposed by the trailing light one. The light hemisphere is built mainly of water ice, the dark one of some more dense material. Bean-shaped asteroids with one convex and another concave hemispheres are best exemplified by Ida. Examples of dichotomic asteroids, satellites, planets and stars could be extended. Ubiquity of this phenomenon was expressed as the 1st theorem of the planetary wave tectonics [2 & others]: "Celestial bodies are dichotomic". A reason of this phenomenon is in action of inertia-gravity waves occurring in any celestial body because of its movement in non-round but elliptical (parabolic) orbit with periodically changing accelerations. The inertia-gravity standing waves warp rotating bodies (but all bodies rotate !) in 4 ortho- and diagonal interfering directions and in several harmonic wave-lengths. The fundamental wave1 produces ubiquitous tectonic dichotomy (2πR-structure): an opposition of two hemispheres with different planetary radii. To keep angular momenta of two hemispheres equal (otherwise a body will fall apart) the lower subsiding one is constructed of denser material than the higher one. Normally in terrestrial planets lowlands are filled with dense basalts, highlands are built by lighter lithologies. A subsidence means diminishing radius, otherwise, the larger surface must be fit into a smaller space. It is possible only if an original infilling is warped. At Earth cosmic altimetry shows complex

  13. Virtual Planetary Analysis Environment for Remote Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keely, Leslie; Beyer, Ross; Edwards. Laurence; Lees, David

    2009-01-01

    All of the data for NASA's current planetary missions and most data for field experiments are collected via orbiting spacecraft, aircraft, and robotic explorers. Mission scientists are unable to employ traditional field methods when operating remotely. We have developed a virtual exploration tool for remote sites with data analysis capabilities that extend human perception quantitatively and qualitatively. Scientists and mission engineers can use it to explore a realistic representation of a remote site. It also provides software tools to "touch" and "measure" remote sites with an immediacy that boosts scientific productivity and is essential for mission operations.

  14. New Indivisible Planetary Science Paradigm

    CERN Document Server

    Herndon, J Marvin

    2013-01-01

    I present here a new, indivisible planetary science paradigm, a wholly self-consistent vision of the nature of matter in the Solar System, and dynamics and energy sources of planets. Massive-core planets formed by condensing and raining-out from within giant gaseous protoplanets at high pressures and high temperatures. Earth's complete condensation included a 300 Earth-mass gigantic gas/ice shell that compressed the rocky kernel to about 66% of Earth's present diameter. T-Tauri eruptions stripped the gases away from the inner planets and stripped a portion of Mercury's incompletely condensed protoplanet, and transported it to the region between Mars and Jupiter where it fused with in-falling oxidized condensate from the outer regions of the Solar System and formed the parent matter of ordinary chondrite meteorites, the main-Belt asteroids, and veneer for the inner planets, especially Mars. In response to decompression-driven planetary volume increases, cracks form to increase surface area and mountain ranges ...

  15. Special Software for Planetary Image Processing and Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zubarev, A. E.; Nadezhdina, I. E.; Kozlova, N. A.; Brusnikin, E. S.; Karachevtseva, I. P.

    2016-06-01

    The special modules of photogrammetric processing of remote sensing data that provide the opportunity to effectively organize and optimize the planetary studies were developed. As basic application the commercial software package PHOTOMOD™ is used. Special modules were created to perform various types of data processing: calculation of preliminary navigation parameters, calculation of shape parameters of celestial body, global view image orthorectification, estimation of Sun illumination and Earth visibilities from planetary surface. For photogrammetric processing the different types of data have been used, including images of the Moon, Mars, Mercury, Phobos, Galilean satellites and Enceladus obtained by frame or push-broom cameras. We used modern planetary data and images that were taken over the years, shooting from orbit flight path with various illumination and resolution as well as obtained by planetary rovers from surface. Planetary data image processing is a complex task, and as usual it can take from few months to years. We present our efficient pipeline procedure that provides the possibilities to obtain different data products and supports a long way from planetary images to celestial body maps. The obtained data - new three-dimensional control point networks, elevation models, orthomosaics - provided accurate maps production: a new Phobos atlas (Karachevtseva et al., 2015) and various thematic maps that derived from studies of planetary surface (Karachevtseva et al., 2016a).

  16. Planetary Space Weather Services for the Europlanet 2020 Research Infrastructure

    Science.gov (United States)

    André, N.; Grande, M.

    2015-10-01

    Under Horizon 2020, the Europlanet 2020 Research Infrastructure (EPN2020-RI) will include an entirely new Virtual Access Service, WP5 VA1 "Planetary Space Weather Services" (PSWS) that will extend the concepts of space weather and space situational awareness to other planets in our Solar System and in particular to spacecraft that voyage through it. VA1 will make five entirely new 'toolkits' accessible to the research community and to industrial partners planning for space missions: a general planetary space weather toolkit, as well as three toolkits dedicated to the following key planetary environments: Mars (in support ExoMars), comets (building on the expected success of the ESA Rosetta mission), and outer planets (in preparation for the ESA JUICE mission to be launched in 2022). This will give the European planetary science community new methods, interfaces, functionalities and/or plugins dedicated to planetary space weather in the tools and models available within the partner institutes. It will also create a novel event-diary toolkit aiming at predicting and detecting planetary events like meteor showers and impacts. A variety of tools (in the form of web applications, standalone software, or numerical models in various degrees of implementation) are available for tracing propagation of planetary and/or solar events through the Solar System and modelling the response of the planetary environment (surfaces, atmospheres, ionospheres, and magnetospheres) to those events. But these tools were not originally designed for planetary event prediction and space weather applications. So WP10 JRA4 "Planetary Space Weather Services" (PSWS) will provide the additional research and tailoring required to apply them for these purposes. The overall objectives of this JRA will be to review, test, improve and adapt methods and tools available within the partner institutes in order to make prototype planetary event and space weather services operational in Europe at the end of

  17. A 1024 x 8, 700-ps Time-Gated SPAD Line Sensor for Planetary Surface Exploration With Laser Raman Spectroscopy and LIBS

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Maruyama, Y.; Blacksberg, J.; Charbon, E.

    2013-01-01

    A 1024 8 time-gated, single-photon avalanche diode line sensor is presented for time-resolved laser Raman spectroscopy and laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy. Two different chip geometries were implemented and characterized. A type-I sensor has a maximum photon detection efficiency of 0.3% and

  18. A 1024 x 8, 700-ps Time-Gated SPAD Line Sensor for Planetary Surface Exploration With Laser Raman Spectroscopy and LIBS

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Maruyama, Y.; Blacksberg, J.; Charbon, E.

    2013-01-01

    A 1024 8 time-gated, single-photon avalanche diode line sensor is presented for time-resolved laser Raman spectroscopy and laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy. Two different chip geometries were implemented and characterized. A type-I sensor has a maximum photon detection efficiency of 0.3% and med

  19. Planetary/DOD entry technology flight experiments. Volume 2: Planetary entry flight experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christensen, H. E.; Krieger, R. J.; Mcneilly, W. R.; Vetter, H. C.

    1976-01-01

    The technical feasibility of launching a high speed, earth entry vehicle from the space shuttle to advance technology for the exploration of the outer planets' atmospheres was established. Disciplines of thermodynamics, orbital mechanics, aerodynamics propulsion, structures, design, electronics and system integration focused on the goal of producing outer planet environments on a probe shaped vehicle during an earth entry. Major aspects of analysis and vehicle design studied include: planetary environments, earth entry environment capability, mission maneuvers, capabilities of shuttle upper stages, a comparison of earth entry planetary environments, experiment design and vehicle design.

  20. Europa Planetary Protection for Juno Jupiter Orbiter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernard, Douglas E.; Abelson, Robert D.; Johannesen, Jennie R.; Lam, Try; McAlpine, William J.; Newlin, Laura E.

    2010-01-01

    NASA's Juno mission launched in 2011 and will explore the Jupiter system starting in 2016. Juno's suite of instruments is designed to investigate the atmosphere, gravitational fields, magnetic fields, and auroral regions. Its low perijove polar orbit will allow it to explore portions of the Jovian environment never before visited. While the Juno mission is not orbiting or flying close to Europa or the other Galilean satellites, planetary protection requirements for avoiding the contamination of Europa have been taken into account in the Juno mission design.The science mission is designed to conclude with a deorbit burn that disposes of the spacecraft in Jupiter's atmosphere. Compliance with planetary protection requirements is verified through a set of analyses including analysis of initial bioburden, analysis of the effect of bioburden reduction due to the space and Jovian radiation environments, probabilistic risk assessment of successful deorbit, Monte-Carlo orbit propagation, and bioburden reduction in the event of impact with an icy body.

  1. Laser Mass Spectrometry in Planetary Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wurz, P.; Whitby, J. A.; Managadze, G. G.

    2009-06-01

    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.

  2. A New Perspective on Trapped Radiation Belts in Planetary Atmospheres

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diaz, A.; Lodhi, M. A. K.; Wilson, T. L.

    2005-01-01

    The charged particle fluxes trapped in the magnetic dipole fields of certain planets in our Solar System are interesting signatures of planetary properties in space physics. They also represent a source of potentially hazardous radiation to spacecraft during planetary and interplanetary exploration. The Earth s trapped radiation belts have been studied for years and the physical mechanisms by which primary radiation from the Sun and Galaxy is captured is well understood. The higher-energy particles collide with molecules in the planetary atmosphere and initiate large cascades of secondary radiation which itself becomes trapped by the magnetic dipole field of the planet. Some of it is even backscattered as albedo neutrons.

  3. 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.

  4. Reconsideration of the planetary boundary for phosphorus

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Carpenter, Stephen R [Center for Limnology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706 (United States); Bennett, Elena M, E-mail: srcarpen@wisc.edu, E-mail: Elena.Bennett@mcgill.ca [Department of Natural Resource Sciences and McGill School of Environment, McGill University, 21 111 Lakeshore Road, Ste-Anne de Bellevue, QC, H9X 3V9 (Canada)

    2011-01-15

    Phosphorus (P) is a critical factor for food production, yet surface freshwaters and some coastal waters are highly sensitive to eutrophication by excess P. A planetary boundary, or upper tolerable limit, for P discharge to the oceans is thought to be ten times the pre-industrial rate, or more than three times the current rate. However this boundary does not take account of freshwater eutrophication. We analyzed the global P cycle to estimate planetary boundaries for freshwater eutrophication. Planetary boundaries were computed for the input of P to freshwaters, the input of P to terrestrial soil, and the mass of P in soil. Each boundary was computed for two water quality targets, 24 mg P m{sup -3}, a typical target for lakes and reservoirs, and 160 mg m{sup -3}, the approximate pre-industrial P concentration in the world's rivers. Planetary boundaries were a