WorldWideScience

Sample records for sun-synchronous planetary exploration

  1. Sun-synchronous satellite orbit determination

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Der-Ming; Zhai, Shen-You

    2004-02-01

    The linearized dynamic equations used for on-board orbit determination of Sun-synchronous satellite are derived. Sun-synchronous orbits are orbits with the secular rate of the right ascension of the ascending node equal to the right ascension rate of the mean sun. Therefore the orbit is no more a closed circle but a tight helix about the Earth. In the paper, instead of treating the orbit as a closed circle, the actual helix orbit is taken as nominal trajectory. The details of the linearized equations of motion for the satellite in the Sun-synchronous orbit are derived. The linearized equations are obtained by perturbing the Keplerian motion with the J2 correction and the effect of sun's attraction being neglected. Combined with the GPS navigation equations, the Kalman filter formulation is given. The particular application considered is the circular Sun-synchronous orbit with the altitude of 800 km and inclination of 98.6°. The numerical example simulated by MATLAB® shows that only the pseudo-range data used in the algorithm still gives acceptable results. Based on the simulation results, we can use the on-board GPS receivers' signal only as an alternative to determine the orbit of Sun-Synchronous satellite and therefore circumvents the need for extensive ground support.

  2. 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.

  3. The Apsidal Precession for Low Earth Sun Synchronized Orbits

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shkelzen Cakaj

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available By nodal regression and apsidal precession, the Earth flattering at satellite low Earth orbits (LEO is manifested. Nodal regression refers to the shift of the orbit’s line of nodes over time as Earth revolves around the Sun. Nodal regression is orbit feature utilized for circular orbits to be Sun synchronized. A sun¬-synchronized orbit lies in a plane that maintains a fixed angle with respect to the Earth-Sun direction. In the low Earth Sun synchronized circular orbits are suited the satellites that accomplish their photo imagery missions. Nodal regression depends on orbital altitude and orbital inclination angle. For the respective orbital altitudes the inclination window for the Sun synchronization to be attained is determined. The apsidal precession represents major axis shift, respectively the argument of perigee deviation. The apsidal precession simulation, for inclination window of sun synchronized orbital altitudes, is provided through this paper.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Estimation of surface insolation using sun-synchronous satellite data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darnell, Wayne L.; Staylor, W. Frank; Gupta, Shashi K.; Denn, Fred M.

    1988-01-01

    A technique is presented for estimating insolation at the earth's surface using only sun-synchronous satellite data. The technique was tested by comparing the insolation results from year-long satellite data sets with simultaneous ground-measured insolation taken at five continental United States sites. Monthly average insolation values derived from the satellite data showed a standard error of 4.2 W/sq m, or 2.7 percent of the average ground insolation value.

  9. 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...

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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...

  17. 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.

  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. 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, ...

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Thermal and orbital analysis of Earth monitoring Sun-synchronous space experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Killough, Brian D.

    1990-01-01

    The fundamentals of an Earth monitoring Sun-synchronous orbit are presented. A Sun-synchronous Orbit Analysis Program (SOAP) was developed to calculate orbital parameters for an entire year. The output from this program provides the required input data for the TRASYS thermal radiation computer code, which in turn computes the infrared, solar and Earth albedo heat fluxes incident on a space experiment. Direct incident heat fluxes can be used as input to a generalized thermal analyzer program to size radiators and predict instrument operating temperatures. The SOAP computer code and its application to the thermal analysis methodology presented, should prove useful to the thermal engineer during the design phases of Earth monitoring Sun-synchronous space experiments.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. Artificial Sun synchronous frozen orbit control scheme design based on J2 perturbation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Gong-Bo Wang; Yun-He Meng; Wei Zheng; Guo-Jian Tang

    2011-01-01

    Sun synchronous orbit and frozen orbit formed due to J2 perturbation have very strict constraints on orbital parameters,which have restricted the application a lot.In this paper,several control strategies were illustrated to realize Sun synchronous frozen orbit with arbitrary orbital elements using continuous low-thrust.Firstly,according to mean element method,the averaged rate of change of the orbital elements,originating from disturbing constant accelerations over one orbital period,was derived from Gauss' variation of parameters equations.Then,we proposed that binormal acceleration could be used to realize Sun synchronous orbit,and radial or transverse acceleration could be adopted to eliminate the rotation of the argument of the perigee.Finally,amending methods on the control strategies mentioned above were presented to eliminate the residual secular growth.Simulation results showed that the control strategies illustrated in this paper could realize Sun synchronous frozen orbit with arbitrary orbital elements,and can save much more energy than the schemes presented in previous studies,and have no side effect on other orbital parameters' secular motion.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

  10. Drift-free solar sail formations in elliptical Sun-synchronous orbits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parsay, Khashayar; Schaub, Hanspeter

    2017-10-01

    To study the spatial and temporal variations of plasma in the highly dynamic environment of the magnetosphere, multiple spacecraft must fly in a formation. The objective for this study is to investigate the feasibility of solar sail formation flying in the Earth-centered, Sun-synchronous orbit regime. The focus of this effort is to enable formation flying for a group of solar sails that maintain a nominally fixed Sun-pointing attitude during formation flight, solely for the purpose of precessing their orbit apse lines Sun-synchronously. A fixed-attitude solar sail formation is motivated by the difficulties in the simultaneous control of orbit and attitude in flying solar sails. First, the secular rates of the orbital elements resulting from the effects of solar radiation pressure (SRP) are determined using averaging theory for a Sun-pointing attitude sail. These averaged rates are used to analytically derive the first-order necessary conditions for a drift-free solar sail formation in Sun-synchronous orbits, assuming a fixed Sun-pointing orientation for each sail in formation. The validity of the first-order necessary conditions are illustrated by designing quasi-periodic relative motions. Next, nonlinear programming is applied to design truly drift-free two-craft solar sail formations. Lastly, analytic expressions are derived to determine the long-term dynamics and sensitivity of the formation with respect to constant attitude errors, uncertainty in orbital elements, and uncertainty in a sail's characteristic acceleration.

  11. 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

  12. 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 ...

  13. 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...

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Estuarine suspended particulate matter concentrations from sun-synchronous satellite remote sensing: tidal and meteorological effects and biases

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Eleveld, M.A.; van der Wal, D.; van Kessel, T.

    2014-01-01

    Optical data from a sun-synchronous satellite were used to investigate how large-scale estuarine suspended particulate matter (SPM) concentrations were affected by tidal and bulk meteorological drivers, and how retrieved SPM is biased by tidal aliasing and sampling under clear sky conditions. Local

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  10. 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 .

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Solution of the flyby problem for large space debris at sun-synchronous orbits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baranov, A. A.; Grishko, D. A.; Medvedevskikh, V. V.; Lapshin, V. V.

    2016-05-01

    the paper considers the flyby problem related to large space debris (LSD) objects at low earth orbits. The data on the overall dimensions of known last and upper stages of launch vehicles makes it possible to single out five compact groups of such objects from the NORAD catalog in the 500-2000 km altitude interval. The orbits of objects of each group have approximately the same inclinations. The features of the mutual distribution of the orbital planes of LSD objects in the group are shown in a portrait of the evolution of deviations of the right ascension of ascending nodes (RAAN). In the case of the first three groups (inclinations of 71°, 74°, and 81°), the straight lines of relative RAAN deviations of object orbits barely intersect each other. The fourth (83°) and fifth (97°-100°) LSD groups include a considerable number of objects whose orbits are described by straight lines (diagonals), which intersect other lines many times. The use of diagonals makes it possible to significantly reduce the temporal and total characteristic velocity expenditures required for object flybys, but it complicates determination of the flyby sequence. Diagonal solutions can be obtained using elements of graph theory. A solution to the flyby problem is presented for the case of group 5, formed of LSD objects at sun-synchronous orbits.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Shift control method for the local time at descending node based on sun-synchronous orbit satellite

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yang Yong'an; Feng Zuren; Sun Linyan; Tan Wei

    2009-01-01

    This article analyzes the shift factors of the descending node local time for sun-synchronous satellites and proposes a shift control method to keep the local time shift within an allowance range. It is found that the satellite orbit design and the orbit injection deviation are the causes for the initial shift velocity, whereas the atmospheric drag and the sun gravitational perturbation produce the shift acceleration. To deal with these shift factors, a shift control method is put forward, through such methods as orbit variation design, orbit altitude, and inclination keeping control. The simulation experiment and practical application have proved the effectiveness of this control method.

  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. 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."

  4. 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

  5. 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 (

  6. 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.

  7. 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 {\\...

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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...

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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).

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  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. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  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. 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.

  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. PMID:24790582

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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...

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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 ...

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santoli, S.

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Long Bai

    2012-10-01

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

  10. 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

  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. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alena, Richard I.; Lee, Charles

    2004-01-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. ``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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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).

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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...

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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...

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 太阳同步圆轨道空间相机瞬态外热流计算%Calculation of transient space heat fluxes for space cameras working in sun-synchronous circle orbit

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘巨

    2012-01-01

    In order to obtain accurate,reliable thermal boundary conditions for the thermal design,thermal analysis and thermal tests of space cameras,the transient space heat fluxes of space cameras working in sun-synchronous circle orbits are calculated.The relations of six orbit elements in space orientation of satellites are summarized,and the necessary parameters for the sun-synchronous circle orbit are given.The relative positions between sun vector and orbit,β angles are calculated with STK program for the given sun-synchronous circle orbit,thus the upper temperature orbit and lower temperature orbit are oriented.Based on the theory calculation of space heat fluxes and taking some space cameras working in the given orbit as examples,a Finite Element(FE) calculation model for the space fluxes is constructed.Using IDEAS/TMG module,the transient space heat fluxes of upper temperature orbit and lower temperature orbit are calculated particularly.The transient change curves of solar radiation heat fluxes,earth and solar reflection heat fluxes and the earth and infrared radiation heat fluxes in an orbit period are obtained.The calculation results could be taken as input data of space cameras for thermal analysis and the simulation of space heat fluxes in space environment thermal tests.%为了使空间相机热设计、热分析、热试验具备准确、可靠的热边界条件,对太阳同步圆轨道空间相机的瞬态外热流进行了计算。总结了卫星空间定位的6个轨道根数之间的关系,给出了太阳同步圆轨道空间定位的必要参数。针对某给定太阳同步圆轨道,采用STK软件进行了轨道面与太阳光矢量相对位置关系(β角)的计算,确定了该轨道的高、低温工况位置。归纳了空间外热流的理论计算方法,以外接于卫星平台的空间相机为例,建立了外热流计算模型,采用IDEAS/TMG模块对给定太阳同步圆轨道的高、低温工况轨道周期内瞬态外热流变化

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Simulation of Sun Synchronous Orbit Satellite Solar Panel Control%太阳同步轨道卫星帆板对日定向控制与仿真

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    朱军年

    2011-01-01

    航天器所需能源南太阳能帆板提供.针对单翼、单自由度、匀速驱动的太阳同步轨道卫星帆板的对日定向控制问题,研究了轨道偏心率、地球非球形摄动、日月引力、大气阻力、太阳光乐等因素对卫星帆板对日定向精度的影响作用规律,为了提高对日帆板的定位控制精度,提出了在摄动影响下,采用线性拟合的方法,通过合理设置卫星帆板的驱动速度,延长卫星对日定向姿态的稳定时间.仿真结果表明,提出的方法简单易行,能够确保卫星帆板对日定向精度较长时间保持在允许范围内,在提高卫星帆板受晒效率的同时,减少了卫星帆板调整的次数.%Solar panel control problem for a sun synchronous orbit satellite, which has one degree freedom single solar panel droved by a constant velocity to point to the sun, is investigated in this paper. First of all, the rules are found out by simulation to express how the perturbations of orbit eccentricity, nonspherical acceleration, sun and lunar gravity, air drag and sun radiation pressure affect the solar panel attitude. Then, the changing rule of solar panel attitude angle is analyzed with integrated conditions considering all perturbations, and a linear fitting method is obtained. Then, the solar panel theoretic driving velocity is compensated with this method in order to keep solar panel in the optimal position for solarization. Simulation results indicate that the proposed method can keep the panel pointing to the sun for a relative long time, and reduce times to adjust the solar panel attitude.

  14. 太阳同步轨道星敏感器热设计典型工况确定%Typical work states analysis on thermal design of the sun-synchronous orbit star sensors

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    关奉伟

    2015-01-01

    以某太阳同步轨道卫星星敏感器为例,阐述了热环境分析、外热流计算、典型工况条件确定以及热试验模拟的全过程。首先,分析了星敏感器所处的内、外部热环境,确定了其温度水平的主要影响因素。其次,进行了星敏感器通光孔到达外热流的计算,确定了典型工况的工况条件。然后,制定了星敏感器热平衡试验外热流的模拟方案,利用闭环程控系统进行外热流加载。最后,依据星敏感器自身特点,提出了热试验外热流的加载策略。典型工况条件的确定合理可行。%The whole process of thermal environment analysis,space heat flux calculation,typical work states analysis and heat flux simulation for thermal test is expatiated for a given star sensors working on sun-synchronous orbit.Firstly,the inner and outer thermal environments of the star sensors were analyzed,and the main influential fac-tors on temperature level were determined.Secondly,heat fluxes that reach the given star sensors were calculated,and the typical work state conditions were obtained.Thirdly,the space heat flux simulation scheme of heat balance test was determined,and closed loop programmable system was applied to load heat flux.Finally,the space heat flux simulation method and tactic of thermal test is proposed according to the characteristics of the star sensors.It proves that the typi-cal work states are rational and feasible.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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,

  14. 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,

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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...

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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)

  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. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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...

  2. 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.

  3. 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...

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Europlanet Research Infrastructure: Planetary Simulation Facilities

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-09-01

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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. The cosmopolitan contradictions of planetary urbanization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Millington, Gareth

    2016-09-01

    This paper explores the empirical, conceptual and theoretical gains that can be made using cosmopolitan social theory to think through the urban transformations that scholars have in recent years termed planetary urbanization. Recognizing the global spread of urbanization makes the need for a cosmopolitan urban sociology more pressing than ever. Here, it is suggested that critical urban sociology can be invigorated by focusing upon the disconnect that Henri Lefebvre posits between the planetarization of the urban - which he views as economically and technologically driven - and his dis-alienated notion of a global urban society. The first aim of this paper is to highlight the benefits of using 'cosmopolitan' social theory to understand Lefebvre's urban problematic (and to establish why this is also a cosmopolitan problematic); the second is to identify the core cosmopolitan contradictions of planetary urbanization, tensions that are both actually existing and reproduced in scholarly accounts. The article begins by examining the challenges presented to urban sociology by planetary urbanization, before considering how cosmopolitan sociological theory helps provide an analytical 'grip' on the deep lying social realities of contemporary urbanization, especially in relation to questions about difference, culture and history. These insights are used to identify three cosmopolitan contradictions that exist within urbanized (and urbanizing) space; tensions that provide a basis for a thoroughgoing cosmopolitan investigation of planetary urbanization.

  10. Strongly Interacting Planetary Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ford, Eric

    2017-01-01

    Both ground-based Doppler surveys and NASA's Kepler mission have discovered a diversity of planetary system architectures that challenge theories of planet formation. Systems of tightly-packed or near-resonant planets are particularly useful for constraining theories of orbital migration and the excitation of orbital eccentricities and inclinations. In particular, transit timing variations (TTVs) provide a powerful tool to characterize the masses and orbits of dozens of small planets, including many planets at orbital periods beyond the reach of both current Doppler surveys and photoevaporation-induced atmospheric loss. Dynamical modeling of these systems has identified some ``supper-puffy'' planets, i.e., low mass planets with surprisingly large radii and low densities. I will describe a few particularly interesting planetary systems and discuss the implications for the formation of planets ranging from gaseous super-Earth-size planets to rocky planets the size of Mars.

  11. Forming different planetary systems

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Ji-Lin Zhou; Ji-Wei Xie; Hui-Gen Liu; Hui Zhang; Yi-Sui Sun

    2012-01-01

    With the increasing number of detected exoplanet samples,the statistical properties of planetary systems have become much clearer.In this review,we summarize the major statistical results that have been revealed mainly by radial velocity and transiting observations,and try to interpret them within the scope of the classical core-accretion scenario of planet formation,especially in the formation of different orbital architectures for planetary systems around main sequence stars.Based on the different possible formation routes for different planet systems,we tentatively classify them into three major catalogs:hot Jupiter systems,standard systems and distant giant planet systems.The standard systems can be further categorized into three sub-types under different circumstances:solar-like systems,hot Super-Earth systems,and subgiant planet systems.We also review the theory of planet detection and formation in binary systems as well as planets in star clusters.

  12. ESA Planetary Science Archive

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arviset, C.; Dowson, J.; Ortiz, I.; Parrilla, E.; Salgado, J.; Zender, J.

    2007-10-01

    The (ESA Planetary Science Archive {http://www.rssd.esa.int/psa} (PSA) hosts all the data from ESA's planetary missions into a single archive. It currently contains data from the Giotto, Mars Express, Rosetta, and Huygens spacecraft, some ground-based observations, and will host data from the Smart-1, Venus Express, and BepiColombo spacecraft in the future. Based on the NASA Planetary Data Systems (PDS) data dictionary, all datasets provided by the instrument teams are scientifically peer-reviewed and technically validated by software before being ingested into the Archive. Based on a modular and flexible architecture, the PSA offers a classical user-interface based on input fields, with powerful query and display possibilities. Data can be downloaded directly or through a more detailed shopping basket. Furthermore, a map-based interface is available to access Mars Express data without requiring any knowledge of the mission. Interoperability between the ESA PSA and the NASA PDS archives is also in progress, re-using concepts and experience gained from existing IVOA protocols. Prototypes are being developed to provide functionalities like GoogleMars, allowing access to both ESA PSA and NASA PDS data.

  13. NASA's Planetary Science Missions and Participations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, James

    2016-04-01

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

  14. NASA's Planetary Science Missions and Participations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daou, Doris; Green, James L.

    2017-04-01

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

  15. The Role of Planetary Data System Archive Standards in International Planetary Data Archives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guinness, Edward; Slavney, Susan; Beebe, Reta; Crichton, Daniel

    A major objective of NASA's Planetary Data System (PDS) is to efficiently archive and make accessible digital data produced by NASA's planetary missions, research programs, and data analysis programs. The PDS is comprised of a federation of groups known as nodes, with each node focused on archiving and managing planetary data from a given science discipline. PDS nodes include Atmospheres, Geosciences, Small Bodies (asteroids, comets, and dust), Rings, Planetary Plasma Interactions, and Imaging. There are also support nodes for engineering, radio science, and ancillary data, such as geometry information. The PDS archives include space-borne, ground-based, and laboratory experiment data from several decades of NASA exploration of comets, asteroids, moons, and planets. PDS archives are peer-reviewed, welldocumented, and accessible online via web sites, catalogs, and other user-interfaces that provide search and retrieval capabilities. Current holdings within the PDS online repositories total approximately 50 TB of data. Over the next few years, the PDS is planning for a rapid expansion in the volume of data being delivered to its archives. The archive standards developed by the PDS are crucial elements for producing planetary data archives that are consistent across missions and planetary science disciplines and that yield archives that are useable by the planetary research community. These standards encompass the full range of archiving needs. They include standards for the format of data products and the metadata needed to detail how observations were made. They also specify how data products and ancillary information such as documentation, calibration, and geometric information are packaged into data sets. The PDS standards are documented in its Planetary Science Data Dictionary and in its Standards Reference Document and Archive Preparation Guide. The PDS standards are being used to design and implement data archives for current and future NASA planetary missions

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. ECSS standard on planetary protection requirements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Debus, A.; Ecss Planetary Protection Working Group

    Since the beginning of Solar System Exploration a lot of spacecraft have been sent towards other worlds including landers and one of the main goals of such missions is the search for extraterrestrial life forms It cannot be excluded today that terrestrial entities could survive the cruise during space exploration missions and that they could be able to contaminate other bodies within our Solar System At another level possible extraterrestrial life forms are unknown and their ability to contaminate the Earth s biosphere in the frame of sample return missions remains also unknown The article IX of the OUTER SPACE TREATY London Washington January 27 1967 ratified by all spacefaring nations recommends consequently to preserve planets and Earth from contamination The United Nations UN-COPUOS has delegated the COSPAR Committee of Space Research to take charge of Planetary Protection and to propose to spacefaring nations a planetary protection policy and a set of recommendations Using these recommendations and with the CNES Planetary Protection Standard as a basis a working group has been nominated in order to build ECSS European Cooperation for Space Standardization documents The first level of ECSS will describe the main specifications in order to prevent the forward contamination of target bodies inside the Solar System management of spacecraft systems crash probability sterilization or biocleaning of spacecraft systems microbiological control integration in sterile environment etc and specifications in order to

  19. Lightning detection in planetary atmospheres

    CERN Document Server

    Aplin, Karen L

    2016-01-01

    Lightning in planetary atmospheres is now a well-established concept. Here we discuss the available detection techniques for, and observations of, planetary lightning by spacecraft, planetary landers and, increasingly, sophisticated terrestrial radio telescopes. Future space missions carrying lightning-related instrumentation are also summarised, specifically the European ExoMars mission and Japanese Akatsuki mission to Venus, which could both yield lightning observations in 2016.

  20. Universal planetary tectonics (supertectonics)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kochemasov, G. G.

    2009-04-01

    Universal planetary tectonics (supertectonics) G. Kochemasov IGEM of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia, kochem.36@mail.ru The wave planetology [1-3 & others] proceeds from the following: "planetary structures are made by orbits and rotations". A uniform reason makes uniform structures. Inertia-gravity waves arising in planetary bodies due to their movements in Keplerian elliptical orbits with periodically changing accelerations warp these bodies in such way that they acquire polyhedron shapes (after interference of standing waves of four directions). Strong Newtonian gravity makes bodies larger than ~400 to 500 km in diameter globular and polyhedra are rarely seen. Only geomorphologic, geologic and geophysical mapping can develop these hidden structures. But small bodies, normally less than ~ 300 to 400 km in diameter, often show parts of the polyhedra, rarely fully developed forms (the asteroid Steins and satellite Amalthea present rather perfect forms of "diamond"). Depending on warping wavelengths (they make harmonics) various Plato's figures superimposed on each other can be distinguished. The fundamental wave 1 produces a tetrahedron, intrinsically dichotomic figure in which a vertex (contraction) always is opposed to a face (expansion). From the recent examples the best is the saturnian northern hexagon (a face) opposed to the southern hurricane (a vertex). The first overtone wave 2 is responsible for creation of structural octahedra. Whole ‘diamonds" and their parts are known [4, 5]. Other overtones produce less developed (because of smaller wave amplitudes) planetary shapes complicating main forms. Thus, the first common structural peculiarity of planetary bodies is their polyhedron nature. Not less important is the second common structural peculiarity. As all globular or smaller more or less isometric bodies rotate, they have an angular momentum. It is inevitably different in tropic and extra-tropic belts having uneven radii or distances to

  1. Life in the spacecraft and planetary station.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adamovich, B A; Nefyodov, Y G; Ushakov, A S; Chizhov, S V

    1968-01-01

    Further exploration of outer space and the solar system, performance of interplanetary flights and establishment of planetary stations necessitate extensive physiological studies and development of reliable life-support systems. When developing the systems, particular attention should be paid to the concept and testing of new processes which can provide a highly efficient regeneration of vitally important materials and decrease the weight of expendables. Of great significance is the establishment of optimal parameters of the environment for long-term manned spaceflights and selection of facilities securing them. The development of new life-support systems should be based on a thorough study of the particular environment, proper selection and physiological and hygienical evaluation of their components. Long duration space missions can be planned from studies on the effects of space flight factors upon the human body to reveal its variability limits under peculiar conditions of the spacecraft or planetary station.

  2. Robotic Planetary Drill Tests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glass, Brian J.; Thompson, S.; Paulsen, G.

    2010-01-01

    Several proposed or planned planetary science missions to Mars and other Solar System bodies over the next decade require subsurface access by drilling. This paper discusses the problems of remote robotic drilling, an automation and control architecture based loosely on observed human behaviors in drilling on Earth, and an overview of robotic drilling field test results using this architecture since 2005. Both rotary-drag and rotary-percussive drills are targeted. A hybrid diagnostic approach incorporates heuristics, model-based reasoning and vibration monitoring with neural nets. Ongoing work leads to flight-ready drilling software.

  3. Beyond Earth: Using Google Earth to Visualize Other Planetary Bodies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hancher, M.; Beyer, R.; Broxton, M.; Gorelick, N.; Kolb, E.; Weiss-Malik, M.

    2008-12-01

    Virtual globes have revolutionized the way we visualize and understand the Earth, but there are other planetary bodies that can be visualized as well. We will demonstrate the use of Google Earth, KML, and other modern mapping tools for visualizing data that's literally out of this world. Extra-terrestrial virtual globes are poised to revolutionize planetary science, bring an exciting new dimension to science education, and allow users to explore the increasingly breathtaking imagery being sent back to Earth by modern planetary science satellites. We will demonstrate several uses of the latest Google Earth and KML features to visualize planetary data. Global maps of planetary bodies---not just visible imagery maps, but also terrain maps, infra-red maps, minerological maps, and more---can be overlaid on the Google Earth globe using KML, and a number of sources are already making many such maps available. Coverage maps show the polygons that have been imaged by various satellite sensors, with links to the imagery and science data. High-resolution regionated ground overlays allow you to explore the most breathtaking imagery at full resolution, in its geological context, just as we have become accustomed to doing with Earth imagery. Panoramas from landed missions to the Moon and Mars can even be embedded, giving users a first-hand experience of other worlds. We will take you on a guided tour of how these features can best be used to visualize places other than the Earth, and provide pointers to KML from many sources---ourselves and others---that users can build on in constructing their own KML content of other planetary bodies. Using this paradigm for sharing geospatial data will not only enable planetary scientists to more easily build and share data within the scientific community, but will also provide an easy platform for public outreach and education efforts, and will easily allow anyone to layer geospatial information on top of planetary data.

  4. Planetary Ices Attenuation Properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCarthy, Christine; Castillo-Rogez, Julie C.

    In this chapter, we review the topic of energy dissipation in the context of icy satellites experiencing tidal forcing. We describe the physics of mechanical dissipation, also known as attenuation, in polycrystalline ice and discuss the history of laboratory methods used to measure and understand it. Because many factors - such as microstructure, composition and defect state - can influence rheological behavior, we review what is known about the mechanisms responsible for attenuation in ice and what can be inferred from the properties of rocks, metals and ceramics. Since attenuation measured in the laboratory must be carefully scaled to geologic time and to planetary conditions in order to provide realistic extrapolation, we discuss various mechanical models that have been used, with varying degrees of success, to describe attenuation as a function of forcing frequency and temperature. We review the literature in which these models have been used to describe dissipation in the moons of Jupiter and Saturn. Finally, we address gaps in our present knowledge of planetary ice attenuation and provide suggestions for future inquiry.

  5. Galactic planetary science

    CERN Document Server

    Tinetti, Giovanna

    2014-01-01

    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...

  6. 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.

  7. Planetary Doppler Imaging

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murphy, N.; Jefferies, S.; Hart, M.; Hubbard, W. B.; Showman, A. P.; Hernandez, G.; Rudd, L.

    2014-12-01

    Determining the internal structure of the solar system's gas and ice giant planets is key to understanding their formation and evolution (Hubbard et al., 1999, 2002, Guillot 2005), and in turn the formation and evolution of the solar system. While internal structure can be constrained theoretically, measurements of internal density distributions are needed to uncover the details of the deep interior where significant ambiguities exist. To date the interiors of giant planets have been probed by measuring gravitational moments using spacecraft passing close to, or in orbit around the planet. Gravity measurements are effective in determining structure in the outer envelope of a planet, and also probing dynamics (e.g. the Cassini and Juno missions), but are less effective in probing deep structure or the presence of discrete boundaries. A promising technique for overcoming this limitation is planetary seismology (analogous to helioseismology in the solar case), postulated by Vorontsov, 1976. Using trapped pressure waves to probe giant planet interiors allows insight into the density and temperature distribution (via the sound speed) down to the planetary core, and is also sensitive to sharp boundaries, for example at the molecular to metallic hydrogen transition or at the core-envelope interface. Detecting such boundaries is not only important in understanding the overall structure of the planet, but also has implications for our understanding of the basic properties of matter at extreme pressures. Recent Doppler measurements of Jupiter by Gaulme et al (2011) claimed a promising detection of trapped oscillations, while Hedman and Nicholson (2013) have shown that trapped waves in Saturn cause detectable perturbations in Saturn's C ring. Both these papers have fueled interest in using seismology as a tool for studying the solar system's giant planets. To fully exploit planetary seismology as a tool for understanding giant planet structure, measurements need to be made

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

  10. Planetary internal structures

    CERN Document Server

    Baraffe, I; Fortney, J; Sotin, C

    2014-01-01

    This chapter reviews the most recent advancements on the topic of terrestrial and giant planet interiors, including Solar System and extrasolar objects. Starting from an observed mass-radius diagram for known planets in the Universe, we will discuss the various types of planets appearing in this diagram and describe internal structures for each type. The review will summarize the status of theoretical and experimental works performed in the field of equation of states (EOS) for materials relevant to planetary interiors and will address the main theoretical and experimental uncertainties and challenges. It will discuss the impact of new EOS on interior structures and bulk composition determination. We will discuss important dynamical processes which strongly impact the interior and evolutionary properties of planets (e.g plate tectonics, semiconvection) and describe non standard models recently suggested for our giant planets. We will address the case of short-period, strongly irradiated exoplanets and critica...

  11. To See the Unseen: A History of Planetary Radar Astronomy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butrica, Andrew J.

    1996-01-01

    This book relates the history of planetary radar astronomy from its origins in radar to the present day and secondarily to bring to light that history as a case of 'Big Equipment but not Big Science'. Chapter One sketches the emergence of radar astronomy as an ongoing scientific activity at Jodrell Bank, where radar research revealed that meteors were part of the solar system. The chief Big Science driving early radar astronomy experiments was ionospheric research. Chapter Two links the Cold War and the Space Race to the first radar experiments attempted on planetary targets, while recounting the initial achievements of planetary radar, namely, the refinement of the astronomical unit and the rotational rate and direction of Venus. Chapter Three discusses early attempts to organize radar astronomy and the efforts at MIT's Lincoln Laboratory, in conjunction with Harvard radio astronomers, to acquire antenna time unfettered by military priorities. Here, the chief Big Science influencing the development of planetary radar astronomy was radio astronomy. Chapter Four spotlights the evolution of planetary radar astronomy at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a NASA facility, at Cornell University's Arecibo Observatory, and at Jodrell Bank. A congeries of funding from the military, the National Science Foundation, and finally NASA marked that evolution, which culminated in planetary radar astronomy finding a single Big Science patron, NASA. Chapter Five analyzes planetary radar astronomy as a science using the theoretical framework provided by philosopher of science Thomas Kuhn. Chapter Six explores the shift in planetary radar astronomy beginning in the 1970s that resulted from its financial and institutional relationship with NASA Big Science. Chapter Seven addresses the Magellan mission and its relation to the evolution of planetary radar astronomy from a ground-based to a space-based activity. Chapters Eight and Nine discuss the research carried out at ground

  12. 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

  13. An ISO and IUE study of planetary nebula NGC 2440

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Salas, JB; Pottasch, [No Value; Feibelman, WA; Wesselius, PR

    2002-01-01

    The infrared and ultraviolet spectra of planetary nebula NGC2440 are presented. The observations were made by the Infrared Space Observatory (ISO) and the International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE). These data, in conjunction with published optical observations have been used to derive electron temper

  14. Pristine Igneous Rocks and the Genesis of Early Planetary Crusts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warren, Paul H.; Lindstrom, David (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    Our studies are highly interdisciplinary, but are focused on the processes and products of early planetary and asteroidal differentiation, especially the genesis of the ancient lunar crust. The compositional diversity that we explore is the residue of process diversity, which has strong relevance for comparative planetology.

  15. 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

  16. Magnetic Helicity and Planetary Dynamos

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shebalin, John V.

    2012-01-01

    A model planetary dynamo based on the Boussinesq approximation along with homogeneous boundary conditions is considered. A statistical theory describing a large-scale MHD dynamo is found, in which magnetic helicity is the critical parameter

  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. 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

  19. NASA Lunar and Planetary Mapping and Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Day, B. H.; Law, E.

    2016-12-01

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

  20. Molecular studies of Planetary Nebulae

    OpenAIRE

    Zhang, Yong

    2016-01-01

    Circumstellar envelopes (CEs) around evolved stars are an active site for the production of molecules. After evolving through the Asymptotic Giant Branch (AGB), proto-planetary nebula (PPN), to planetary nebula (PN) phases, CEs ultimately merge with the interstellar medium (ISM). The study of molecules in PNe, therefore, is essential to understanding the transition from stellar to interstellar materials. So far, over 20 molecular species have been discovered in PNe. The molecular composition ...

  1. Risk to civilization: A planetary science perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapman, Clark R.; Morrison, David

    1988-01-01

    One of the most profound changes in our perspective of the solar system resulting from the first quarter century of planetary exploration by spacecraft is the recognition that planets, including Earth, were bombarded by cosmic projectiles for 4.5 aeons and continue to be bombarded today. Although the planetary cratering rate is much lower now than it was during the first 0.5 aeons, sizeable Earth-approaching asteroids and comets continue to hit the Earth at a rate that poses a finite risk to civilization. The evolution of this planetary perspective on impact cratering is gradual over the last two decades. It took explorations of Mars and Mercury by early Mariner spacecraft and of the outer solar system by the Voyagers to reveal the significance of asteroidal and cometary impacts in shaping the morphologies and even chemical compositions of the planets. An unsettling implication of the new perspective is addressed: the risk to human civilization. Serious scientific attention was given to this issue in July 1981 at a NASA-sponsored Spacewatch Workshop in Snowmass, Colorado. The basic conclusion of the 1981 NASA sponsored workshop still stands: the risk that civilization might be destroyed by impact with an as-yet-undiscovered asteroid or comet exceeds risk levels that are sometimes deemed unacceptable by modern societies in other contexts. Yet these impact risks have gone almost undiscussed and undebated. The tentative quantitative assessment by some members of the 1981 workshop was that each year, civilization is threatened with destruction with a probability of about 1 in 100,000. The enormous spread in risk levels deemed by the public to be at the threshold of acceptability derives from a host of psychological factors that were widely discussed in the risk assessment literature. Slovic shows that public fears of hazards are greatest for hazards that are uncontrollable, involuntary, fatal, dreadful, globally catastrophic, and which have consequences that seem

  2. 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.

  3. Planetary Bow Shocks

    CERN Document Server

    Treumann, R A

    2008-01-01

    Our present knowledge of the properties of the various planetary bow shocks is briefly reviewed. We do not follow the astronomical ordering of the planets. We rather distinguish between magnetised and unmagnetised planets which groups Mercury and Earth with the outer giant planets of the solar system, Mars and Moon in a separate group lacking magnetic fields and dense atmospheres, and Venus together with the comets as the atmospheric celestial objects exposed to the solar wind. Asteroids would, in this classification, fall into the group together with the Moon and should behave similarly though being much smaller. Extrasolar planets are not considered as we have only remote information about their behaviour. The presentation is brief in the sense that our in situ knowledge is rather sporadic yet, depending on just a countable number of bow shock crossings from which just some basic conclusions can be drawn about size, stationarity, shape and nature of the respective shock. The only bow shock of which we have ...

  4. Planetary Vital Signs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kennel, Charles; Briggs, Stephen; Victor, David

    2016-07-01

    The climate is beginning to behave in unusual ways. The global temperature reached unprecedented highs in 2015 and 2016, which led climatologists to predict an enormous El Nino that would cure California's record drought. It did not happen the way they expected. That tells us just how unreliable temperature has become as an indicator of important aspects of climate change. The world needs to go beyond global temperature to a set of planetary vital signs. Politicians should not over focus policy on one indicator. They need to look at the balance of evidence. A coalition of scientists and policy makers should start to develop vital signs at once, since they should be ready at the entry into force of the Paris Agreement in 2020. But vital signs are only the beginning. The world needs to learn how to use the vast knowledge we will be acquiring about climate change and its impacts. Is it not time to use all the tools at hand- observations from space and ground networks; demographic, economic and societal measures; big data statistical techniques; and numerical models-to inform politicians, managers, and the public of the evolving risks of climate change at global, regional, and local scales? Should we not think in advance of an always-on social and information network that provides decision-ready knowledge to those who hold the responsibility to act, wherever they are, at times of their choosing?

  5. Get Involved in Planetary Discoveries through New Worlds, New Discoveries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shupla, Christine; Shipp, S. S.; Halligan, E.; Dalton, H.; Boonstra, D.; Buxner, S.; SMD Planetary Forum, NASA

    2013-01-01

    "New Worlds, New Discoveries" is a synthesis of NASA’s 50-year exploration history which provides an integrated picture of our new understanding of our solar system. As NASA spacecraft head to and arrive at key locations in our solar system, "New Worlds, New Discoveries" provides an integrated picture of our new understanding of the solar system to educators and the general public! The site combines the amazing discoveries of past NASA planetary missions with the most recent findings of ongoing missions, and connects them to the related planetary science topics. "New Worlds, New Discoveries," which includes the "Year of the Solar System" and the ongoing celebration of the "50 Years of Exploration," includes 20 topics that share thematic solar system educational resources and activities, tied to the national science standards. This online site and ongoing event offers numerous opportunities for the science community - including researchers and education and public outreach professionals - to raise awareness, build excitement, and make connections with educators, students, and the public about planetary science. Visitors to the site will find valuable hands-on science activities, resources and educational materials, as well as the latest news, to engage audiences in planetary science topics and their related mission discoveries. The topics are tied to the big questions of planetary science: how did the Sun’s family of planets and bodies originate and how have they evolved? How did life begin and evolve on Earth, and has it evolved elsewhere in our solar system? Scientists and educators are encouraged to get involved either directly or by sharing "New Worlds, New Discoveries" and its resources with educators, by conducting presentations and events, sharing their resources and events to add to the site, and adding their own public events to the site’s event calendar! Visit to find quality resources and ideas. Connect with educators, students and the public to

  6. Small Explorer (SMEX) POsitron Electron Magnet Spectrometer (POEMS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    LHeureux, Jacques; Evenson, Paul A.; Aleman, R. (Technical Monitor)

    1995-01-01

    This report covers the activities of Louisiana State University (LSU) under subcontract 26053-EX between LSU and the Bartol Research Institute (Bartol), which began January 1, 1994. The purpose of this subcontract was for LSU to participate in and support Bartol in the work to define the SMEX (Small Explorer)/POEMS (Positron Electron Magnet Spectrometer) spaceflight mission under NASA Contract NAS5-38098 between NASA and Bartol. The conclusions of this study were that for a 1998 launch into a 600km altitude, 98 degrees, approximately sun synchronous orbit, (a) the total radiation dose would be typically a few k-rad per year, certainly less than 20 k-rad per year for the anticipated shielding and potential solar flare environment, (b) detector counting rates would be dominated by the South Atlantic Anomaly (SAA) and the horns of the Van Allen belts, (c) the galactic electron and positron 'signal' can be extracted from the albedo background and the trapped populations by detailed evaluation of the geomagnetic transmission function (cut-off) for each event, (d) POEMS could make significant contributions to magnetospheric science if sufficient downlink capacity were provided and, (e) a fully functioning, cost efficient, data processing and analysis facility design was developed for the mission. Overall, POEMS was found to be a relatively simple experiment to manifest, operate and analyze and had potential for fundamental new discoveries in cosmic, heliospheric, solar and magnetospheric science.

  7. The OpenPlanetary initiative

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manaud, Nicolas; Rossi, Angelo Pio; Hare, Trent; Aye, Michael; Galluzzi, Valentina; van Gasselt, Stephan; Martinez, Santa; McAuliffe, Jonathan; Million, Chase; Nass, Andrea; Zinzi, Angelo

    2016-10-01

    "Open" has become attached to several concepts: science, data, and software are some of the most obvious. It is already common practice within the planetary science community to share spacecraft missions data freely and openly [1]. However, this is not historically the case for software tools, source code, and derived data sets, which are often reproduced independently by multiple individuals and groups. Sharing data, tools and overall knowledge would increase scientific return and benefits [e.g. 2], and recent projects and initiatives are helping toward this goal [e.g. 3,4,5,6].OpenPlanetary is a bottom-up initiative to address the need of the planetary science community for sharing ideas and collaborating on common planetary research and data analysis problems, new challenges, and opportunities. It started from an initial participants effort to stay connected and share information related to and beyond the ESA's first Planetary GIS Workshop [7]. It then continued during the 2nd (US) Planetary Data Workshop [8], and aggregated more people.Our objective is to build an online distributed framework enabling open collaborations within the planetary science community. We aim to co-create, curate and publish resource materials and data sets; to organise online events, to support community-based projects development; and to offer a real-time communication channel at and between conferences and workshops.We will present our current framework and resources, developing projects and ideas, and solicit for feedback and participation. OpenPlanetary is intended for research and education professionals: scientists, engineers, designers, teachers and students, as well as the general public that includes enthusiasts and citizen scientists. All are welcome to join and contribute at openplanetary.co[1] International Planetary Data Alliance, planetarydata.org. [2] Nosek et al (2015), dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aab2374. [3] Erard S. et al. (2016), EGU2016-17527. [4] Proposal for a PDS

  8. NASA Planetary Visualization Tool

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hogan, P.; Kim, R.

    2004-12-01

    NASA World Wind allows one to zoom from satellite altitude into any place on Earth, leveraging the combination of high resolution LandSat imagery and SRTM elevation data to experience Earth in visually rich 3D, just as if they were really there. NASA World Wind combines LandSat 7 imagery with Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) elevation data, for a dramatic view of the Earth at eye level. Users can literally fly across the world's terrain from any location in any direction. Particular focus was put into the ease of usability so people of all ages can enjoy World Wind. All one needs to control World Wind is a two button mouse. Additional guides and features can be accessed though a simplified menu. Navigation is automated with single clicks of a mouse as well as the ability to type in any location and automatically zoom to it. NASA World Wind was designed to run on recent PC hardware with the same technology used by today's 3D video games. NASA World Wind delivers the NASA Blue Marble, spectacular true-color imagery of the entire Earth at 1-kilometer-per-pixel. Using NASA World Wind, you can continue to zoom past Blue Marble resolution to seamlessly experience the extremely detailed mosaic of LandSat 7 data at an impressive 15-meters-per-pixel resolution. NASA World Wind also delivers other color bands such as the infrared spectrum. The NASA Scientific Visualization Studio at Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) has produced a set of visually intense animations that demonstrate a variety of subjects such as hurricane dynamics and seasonal changes across the globe. NASA World Wind takes these animations and plays them directly on the world. The NASA Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) produces a set of time relevant planetary imagery that's updated every day. MODIS catalogs fires, floods, dust, smoke, storms and volcanic activity. NASA World Wind produces an easily customized view of this information and marks them directly on the globe. When one

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanboli, Alice; McAuley, James M.

    2013-01-01

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

  12. Alien skies planetary atmospheres from earth to exoplanets

    CERN Document Server

    Pont, Frédéric J

    2014-01-01

    Planetary atmospheres are complex and evolving entities, as mankind is rapidly coming to realise whilst attempting to understand, forecast and mitigate human-induced climate change. In the Solar System, our neighbours Venus and Mars provide striking examples of two endpoints of planetary evolution, runaway greenhouse and loss of atmosphere to space. The variety of extra-solar planets brings a wider angle to the issue: from scorching "hot jupiters'' to ocean worlds, exo-atmospheres explore many configurations unknown in the Solar System, such as iron clouds, silicate rains, extreme plate tectonics, and steam volcanoes. Exoplanetary atmospheres have recently become accessible to observations. This book puts our own climate in the wider context of the trials and tribulations of planetary atmospheres. Based on cutting-edge research, it uses a grand tour of the atmospheres of other planets to shine a new light on our own atmosphere, and its relation with life.

  13. 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.

  14. A wind-shell interaction model for multipolar planetary nebulae

    CERN Document Server

    Steffen, W; Esquivel, A; Garcia-Segura, G; Garcia-Diaz, Ma T; Lopez, J A; Magnor, M

    2013-01-01

    We explore the formation of multipolar structures in planetary and pre-planetary nebulae from the interaction of a fast post-AGB wind with a highly inhomogeneous and filamentary shell structure assumed to form during the final phase of the high density wind. The simulations were performed with a new hydrodynamics code integrated in the interactive framework of the astrophysical modeling package SHAPE. In contrast to conventional astrophysical hydrodynamics software, the new code does not require any programming intervention by the user for setting up or controlling the code. Visualization and analysis of the simulation data has been done in SHAPE without external software. The key conclusion from the simulations is that secondary lobes in planetary nebulae, such as Hubble 5 and K3-17, can be formed through the interaction of a fast low-density wind with a complex high density environment, such as a filamentary circumstellar shell. The more complicated alternative explanation of intermittent collimated outflow...

  15. General Analysis of Type I Planetary Migration with Stochastic Perturbations

    CERN Document Server

    Adams, Fred C

    2009-01-01

    This paper presents a generalized treatment of Type I planetary migration in the presence of stochastic perturbations. In many planet-forming disks, the Type I migration mechanism, driven by asymmetric torques, acts on a short time scale and compromises planet formation. If the disk also supports MHD instabilities, however, the corresponding turbulent fluctuations produce additional stochastic torques that modify the steady inward migration scenario. This work studies the migration of planetary cores in the presence of stochastic fluctuations using complementary methods, including a Fokker-Planck approach and iterative maps. Stochastic torques have two main effects: [1] Through outward diffusion, a small fraction of the planetary cores can survive in the face of Type I inward migration. [2] For a given starting condition, the result of any particular realization of migration is uncertain, so that results must be described in terms of the distributions of outcomes. In addition to exploring different regimes of...

  16. NASA Johnson Space Center's Planetary Sample Analysis and Mission Science (PSAMS) Laboratory: A National Facility for Planetary Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Draper, D. S.

    2016-01-01

    NASA Johnson Space Center's (JSC's) Astromaterials Research and Exploration Science (ARES) Division, part of the Exploration Integration and Science Directorate, houses a unique combination of laboratories and other assets for conducting cutting edge planetary research. These facilities have been accessed for decades by outside scientists, most at no cost and on an informal basis. ARES has thus provided substantial leverage to many past and ongoing science projects at the national and international level. Here we propose to formalize that support via an ARES/JSC Plane-tary Sample Analysis and Mission Science Laboratory (PSAMS Lab). We maintain three major research capa-bilities: astromaterial sample analysis, planetary process simulation, and robotic-mission analog research. ARES scientists also support planning for eventual human ex-ploration missions, including astronaut geological training. We outline our facility's capabilities and its potential service to the community at large which, taken together with longstanding ARES experience and expertise in curation and in applied mission science, enable multi-disciplinary planetary research possible at no other institution. Comprehensive campaigns incorporating sample data, experimental constraints, and mission science data can be conducted under one roof.

  17. 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.

  18. An Ion-Propelled Cubesat for Planetary Defense and Planetary Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russell, Christopher T.; Wirz, Richard; Lai, Hairong; Li, Jian-Yang; Connors, Martin

    2017-04-01

    Small satellites can reduce the cost of launch by riding along with other payloads on a large rocket or being launched on a small rocket, but are perceived as having limited capabilities. This perception can be at least partially overcome by innovative design, including ample in-flight propulsion. This allows achieving multiple targets and adaptive exploration. Ion propulsion has been pioneered on Deep Space 1 and honed on the long-duration, multiple-planetary body mission Dawn. Most importantly, the operation of such a mission is now well- understood, including navigation, communication, and science operations for remote sensing. We examined different mission concepts that can be used for both planetary defense and planetary science near 1 AU. Such a spacecraft would travel in the region between Venus and Mars, allowing a complete inventory of material above, including objects down to about 10m diameter to be inventoried. The ion engines could be used to approach these bodies slowly and carefully and allow the spacecraft to map debris and follow its collisional evolution throughout its orbit around the Sun, if so desired. The heritage of Dawn operations experience enables the mission to be operated inexpensively, and the engineering heritage will allow it to be operated for many trips around the Sun.

  19. The Planetary Archive

    Science.gov (United States)

    Penteado, Paulo F.; Trilling, David; Szalay, Alexander; Budavári, Tamás; Fuentes, César

    2014-11-01

    We are building the first system that will allow efficient data mining in the astronomical archives for observations of Solar System Bodies. While the Virtual Observatory has enabled data-intensive research making use of large collections of observations across multiple archives, Planetary Science has largely been denied this opportunity: most astronomical data services are built based on sky positions, and moving objects are often filtered out.To identify serendipitous observations of Solar System objects, we ingest the archive metadata. The coverage of each image in an archive is a volume in a 3D space (RA,Dec,time), which we can represent efficiently through a hierarchical triangular mesh (HTM) for the spatial dimensions, plus a contiguous time interval. In this space, an asteroid occupies a curve, which we determine integrating its orbit into the past. Thus when an asteroid trajectory intercepts the volume of an archived image, we have a possible observation of that body. Our pipeline then looks in the archive's catalog for a source with the corresponding coordinates, to retrieve its photometry. All these matches are stored into a database, which can be queried by object identifier.This database consists of archived observations of known Solar System objects. This means that it grows not only from the ingestion of new images, but also from the growth in the number of known objects. As new bodies are discovered, our pipeline can find archived observations where they could have been recorded, providing colors for these newly-found objects. This growth becomes more relevant with the new generation of wide-field surveys, particularly LSST.We also present one use case of our prototype archive: after ingesting the metadata for SDSS, 2MASS and GALEX, we were able to identify serendipitous observations of Solar System bodies in these 3 archives. Cross-matching these occurrences provided us with colors from the UV to the IR, a much wider spectral range than that

  20. NASA Planetary Science Summer School: Preparing the Next Generation of Planetary Mission Leaders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lowes, L. L.; Budney, C. J.; Sohus, A.; Wheeler, T.; Urban, A.; NASA Planetary Science Summer School Team

    2011-12-01

    Sponsored by NASA's Planetary Science Division, and managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Planetary Science Summer School prepares the next generation of engineers and scientists to participate in future solar system exploration missions. Participants learn the mission life cycle, roles of scientists and engineers in a mission environment, mission design interconnectedness and trade-offs, and the importance of teamwork. For this professional development opportunity, applicants are sought who have a strong interest and experience in careers in planetary exploration, and who are science and engineering post-docs, recent PhDs, and doctoral students, and faculty teaching such students. Disciplines include planetary science, geoscience, geophysics, environmental science, aerospace engineering, mechanical engineering, and materials science. Participants are selected through a competitive review process, with selections based on the strength of the application and advisor's recommendation letter. Under the mentorship of a lead engineer (Dr. Charles Budney), students select, design, and develop a mission concept in response to the NASA New Frontiers Announcement of Opportunity. They develop their mission in the JPL Advanced Projects Design Team (Team X) environment, which is a cross-functional multidisciplinary team of professional engineers that utilizes concurrent engineering methodologies to complete rapid design, analysis and evaluation of mission concept designs. About 36 students participate each year, divided into two summer sessions. In advance of an intensive week-long session in the Project Design Center at JPL, students select the mission and science goals during a series of six weekly WebEx/telecons, and develop a preliminary suite of instrumentation and a science traceability matrix. Students assume both a science team and a mission development role with JPL Team X mentors. Once at JPL, students participate in a series of Team X project design sessions

  1. 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.

  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. Planetary Embryo Bow Shocks as a Mechanism for Chondrule Formation

    CERN Document Server

    Mann, Christopher R; Morris, Melissa M

    2016-01-01

    We use radiation hydrodynamics with direct particle integration to explore the feasibility of chondrule formation in planetary embryo bow shocks. The calculations presented here are used to explore the consequences of a Mars-size planetary embryo traveling on a moderately excited orbit through the dusty, early environment of the solar system. The embryo's eccentric orbit produces a range of supersonic relative velocities between the embryo and the circularly orbiting gas and dust, prompting the formation of bow shocks. Temporary atmospheres around these embryos, which can be created via volatile outgassing and gas capture from the surrounding nebula, can non-trivially affect thermal profiles of solids entering the shock. We explore the thermal environment of solids that traverse the bow shock at different impact radii, the effects that planetoid atmospheres have on shock morphologies, and the stripping efficiency of planetoidal atmospheres in the presence of high relative winds. Simulations are run using adia...

  4. 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 ...

  5. Variational Principle for Planetary Interiors

    CERN Document Server

    Zeng, Li

    2016-01-01

    In the past few years, the number of confirmed planets has grown above 2000. It is clear that they represent a diversity of structures not seen in our own solar system. In addition to very detailed interior modeling, it is valuable to have a simple analytical framework for describing planetary structures. Variational principle is a fundamental principle in physics, entailing that a physical system follows the trajectory which minimizes its action. It is alternative to the differential equation formulation of a physical system. Applying this principle to planetary interior can beautifully summarize the set of differential equations into one, which provides us some insight into the problem. From it, a universal mass-radius relation, an estimate of error propagation from equation of state to mass-radius relation, and a form of virial theorem applicable to planetary interiors are derived.

  6. Planetary systems in star clusters

    CERN Document Server

    Kouwenhoven, M B N; Cai, Maxwell Xu; Spurzem, Rainer

    2016-01-01

    Thousands of confirmed and candidate exoplanets have been identified in recent years. Consequently, theoretical research on the formation and dynamical evolution of planetary systems has seen a boost, and the processes of planet-planet scattering, secular evolution, and interaction between planets and gas/debris disks have been well-studied. Almost all of this work has focused on the formation and evolution of isolated planetary systems, and neglect the effect of external influences, such as the gravitational interaction with neighbouring stars. Most stars, however, form in clustered environments that either quickly disperse, or evolve into open clusters. Under these conditions, young planetary systems experience frequent close encounters with other stars, at least during the first 1-10 Myr, which affects planets orbiting at any period range, as well as their debris structures.

  7. Variational Principle for Planetary Interiors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeng, Li; Jacobsen, Stein B.

    2016-09-01

    In the past few years, the number of confirmed planets has grown above 2000. It is clear that they represent a diversity of structures not seen in our own solar system. In addition to very detailed interior modeling, it is valuable to have a simple analytical framework for describing planetary structures. The variational principle is a fundamental principle in physics, entailing that a physical system follows the trajectory, which minimizes its action. It is alternative to the differential equation formulation of a physical system. Applying the variational principle to the planetary interior can beautifully summarize the set of differential equations into one, which provides us some insight into the problem. From this principle, a universal mass-radius relation, an estimate of the error propagation from the equation of state to the mass-radius relation, and a form of the virial theorem applicable to planetary interiors are derived.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. Planetary protection issues linked to human missions to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Debus, A.

    According to United Nations Treaties and handled presently by the Committee of Space Research COSPAR the exploration of the Solar System has to comply with planetary protection requirements The goal of planetary protection is to protect celestial bodies from terrestrial contamination and also to protect the Earth environment from an eventual biocontamination carried by return samples or by space systems returning to the Earth Mars is presently one of the main target at exobiology point of view and a lot of missions are operating on travel or scheduled for its exploration Some of them include payload dedicated to the search of life or traces of life and one of the goals of these missions is also to prepare sample return missions with the ultimate objective to walk on Mars Robotic missions to Mars have to comply with planetary protection specifications well known presently and planetary protection programs are implemented with a very good reliability taking into account an experience of 40 years now For sample return missions a set of stringent requirements have been approved by the COSPAR and technical challenges have now to be won in order to preserve Earth biosphere from an eventual contamination risk Sending astronauts on Mars will gather all these constraints added with the human dimension of the mission The fact that the astronauts are huge contamination sources for Mars and that they are also potential carrier of a contamination risk back to Earth add also ethical considerations to be considered For the preparation of a such

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. Bringing Planetary Science to the Public

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapman, C. R.

    1999-09-01

    Since I am not fluent in Italian, I won't presume to give a "public" science lecture in Padua (that will happen in the year 2000 before an English-speaking audience). But I will discuss the gap between the arcane practice of planetary research and the yearnings of a poorly educated public to participate in planetary exploration. Education and public outreach (E&PO) is a vital enterprise for our profession to be engaged in. But that does not mean that every researcher needs to become proficient at public communication. Our interdisciplinary field advances because of our diverse talents and we should do what we are good at. It is good that entities like the DPS and NASA are encouraging scientists to engage in E&PO, yet I fear that this endeavor is already, in its infancy, becoming bureaucratized. An E&PO cottage industry is developing, complete with its own jargon and checklists. The essential thing is for us all to realize that science is a human activity, supported by the public as part of our civilization's culture. As we do our science, we should do it with consciousness of our public role and use whatever creative talents we have to synthesize our specialized results for the broader scientific community, to articulate them to science communicators (educators, journalists, writers), and to share them directly with the public.

  15. Planetary protection issues related to human missions to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Debus, A.; Arnould, J.

    2008-09-01

    In accordance with the United Nations Outer Space Treaties [United Nations, Agreement Governing the Activities of States on the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies, UN doc A/RES/34/68, resolution 38/68 of December 1979], currently maintained and promulgated by the Committee on Space Research [COSPAR Planetary Protection Panel, Planetary Protection Policy accepted by the COSPAR Council and Bureau, 20 October 2002, amended 24 March 2005, http://www.cosparhq.org/scistr/PPPolicy.htm], missions exploring the Solar system must meet planetary protection requirements. Planetary protection aims to protect celestial bodies from terrestrial contamination and to protect the Earth environment from potential biological contamination carried by returned samples or space systems that have been in contact with an extraterrestrial environment. From an exobiology perspective, Mars is one of the major targets, and several missions are currently in operation, in transit, or scheduled for its exploration. Some of them include payloads dedicated to the detection of life or traces of life. The next step, over the coming years, will be to return samples from Mars to Earth, with a view to increasing our knowledge in preparation for the first manned mission that is likely to take place within the next few decades. Robotic missions to Mars shall meet planetary protection specifications, currently well documented, and planetary protection programs are implemented in a very reliable manner given that experience in the field spans some 40 years. With regards to sample return missions, a set of stringent requirements has been approved by COSPAR [COSPAR Planetary Protection Panel, Planetary Protection Policy accepted by the COSPAR Council and Bureau, 20 October 2002, amended 24 March 2005, http://www.cosparhq.org/scistr/PPPolicy.htm], and technical challenges must now be overcome in order to preserve the Earth’s biosphere from any eventual contamination risk. In addition to the human dimension of

  16. 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

  17. Revised Diagnostic Diagrams for Planetary Nebulae

    CERN Document Server

    Riesgo, H

    2006-01-01

    Diagnostic diagrams of electron density - excitation for a sample of 613 planetary nebulae are presented. The present extensive sample allows the definition of new statistical limits for the distribution of planetary nebulae in the log [Ha/[SII

  18. The International Planetary Data Alliance (IPDA)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stein, Thomas; Gopala Krishna, Barla; Crichton, Daniel J.

    2016-07-01

    The International Planetary Data Alliance (IPDA) is a close association of partners with the aim of improving the quality of planetary science data and services to the end users of space based instrumentation. The specific mission of the IPDA is to facilitate global access to, and exchange of, high quality scientific data products managed across international boundaries. Ensuring proper capture, accessibility and availability of the data is the task of the individual member space agencies. The IPDA is focused on developing an international standard that allows discovery, query, access, and usage of such data across international planetary data archive systems. While trends in other areas of space science are concentrating on the sharing of science data from diverse standards and collection methods, the IPDA concentrates on promoting governing data standards that drive common methods for collecting and describing planetary science data across the international community. This approach better supports the long term goal of easing data sharing across system and agency boundaries. An initial starting point for developing such a standard will be internationalization of NASA's Planetary Data System's (PDS) PDS4 standard. The IPDA was formed in 2006 with the purpose of adopting standards and developing collaborations across agencies to ensure data is captured in common formats. It has grown to a dozen member agencies represented by a number of different groups through the IPDA Steering Committee. Member agencies include: Armenian Astronomical Society, China National Space Agency (CNSA), European Space Agency (ESA), German Aerospace Center (DLR), Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), Italian Space Agency (ASI), Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), National Air and Space Administration (NASA), National Centre for Space Studies (CNES), Space Research Institute (IKI), UAE Space Agency, and UK Space Agency. The IPDA Steering Committee oversees the execution of

  19. International Infrastructure for Planetary Sciences: Universal Planetary Database Development Project 'the International Planetary Data Alliance'

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasaba, Yasumasa; Crichton, D.; Capria, M. T.; Beebe, R.; Zender, J.

    2009-09-01

    The International Planetary Data Alliance (IPDA), formed under COSPAR in 2008, is a joint international effort to enable global access and exchange of high quality planetary science data, and to establish archive standards that make it easier to share data across international boundaries. In June - July 2009, we held the 4th Steering Committee meeting. Thanks to the many players from several agencies and institutions in the world, we got fruitful results in 6 projects: (1) Inter-operable Planetary Data Access Protocol (PDAP) implementations [led by J. Salgado@ESA], (2) Small bodies interoperability [led by I. Shinohara@JAXA & N. Hirata@U. Aizu], (3) PDAP assessment [led by Y. Yamamoto@JAXA], (4) Architecture and standards definition [led by D. Crichton@NASA], (5) Information model and data dictionary [led by S. Hughes@NASA], and (6) Venus Express Interoperability [led by N. Chanover@NMSU]. The projects demonstrated the feasibility of sharing data and emphasized the importance of developing common data standards to ensure world-wide access to international planetary archives. The Venus Express Interoperability project leveraged standards and technology efforts from both the Planetary Data System (PDS) and IPDA in order to deliver a new capability for data sharing between NASA/PDS and ESA/PSA. This project demonstrated a model and framework for linking compliant planetary archive systems for future international missions. The next step for IPDA, during the 2009-2010 period, will be to work with NASA/PDS to review and participate in an upgrade of its standards to improve both the consistency of the standards to build compliant international archives as well as improve long-term usability of the science data products. This paper presents the achievements and plans, which will be summarized in the paper which will appear in 'Space Research Today' in December 2009.

  20. Planetary cubesats - mission architectures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bousquet, Pierre W.; Ulamec, Stephan; Jaumann, Ralf; Vane, Gregg; Baker, John; Clark, Pamela; Komarek, Tomas; Lebreton, Jean-Pierre; Yano, Hajime

    2016-07-01

    Miniaturisation of technologies over the last decade has made cubesats a valid solution for deep space missions. For example, a spectacular set 13 cubesats will be delivered in 2018 to a high lunar orbit within the frame of SLS' first flight, referred to as Exploration Mission-1 (EM-1). Each of them will perform autonomously valuable scientific or technological investigations. Other situations are encountered, such as the auxiliary landers / rovers and autonomous camera that will be carried in 2018 to asteroid 1993 JU3 by JAXA's Hayabusas 2 probe, and will provide complementary scientific return to their mothership. In this case, cubesats depend on a larger spacecraft for deployment and other resources, such as telecommunication relay or propulsion. For both situations, we will describe in this paper how cubesats can be used as remote observatories (such as NEO detection missions), as technology demonstrators, and how they can perform or contribute to all steps in the Deep Space exploration sequence: Measurements during Deep Space cruise, Body Fly-bies, Body Orbiters, Atmospheric probes (Jupiter probe, Venus atmospheric probes, ..), Static Landers, Mobile landers (such as balloons, wheeled rovers, small body rovers, drones, penetrators, floating devices, …), Sample Return. We will elaborate on mission architectures for the most promising concepts where cubesat size devices offer an advantage in terms of affordability, feasibility, and increase of scientific return.

  1. The Value of Participating Scientists on NASA Planetary Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prockter, Louise; Aye, Klaus-Michael; Baines, Kevin; Bland, Michael T.; Blewett, David T.; Brandt, Pontus; Diniega, Serina; Feaga, Lori M.; Johnson, Jeffrey R.; Y McSween, Harry; Neal, Clive; Paty, Carol S.; Rathbun, Julie A.; Schmidt, Britney E.

    2016-10-01

    NASA has a long history of supporting Participating Scientists on its planetary missions. On behalf of the NASA Planetary Assessment/Analysis Groups (OPAG, MEPAG, VEXAG, SBAG, LEAG and CAPTEM), we are conducting a study about the value of Participating Scientist programs on NASA planetary missions, and how the usefulness of such programs might be maximized.Inputs were gathered via a community survey, which asked for opinions about the value generated by the Participating Scientist programs (we included Guest Investigators and Interdisciplinary Scientists as part of this designation), and for the experiences of those who've held such positions. Perceptions about Participating Scientist programs were sought from the entire community, regardless of whether someone had served as a Participating Scientist or not. This survey was distributed via the Planetary Exploration Newsletter, the Planetary News Digest, the DPS weekly mailing, and the mailing lists for each of the Assessment/Analysis Groups. At the time of abstract submission, over 185 community members have responded, giving input on more than 20 missions flown over three decades. Early results indicate that the majority of respondents feel that Participating Scientist programs represent significant added value for NASA planetary missions, increasing the science return and enhancing mission team diversity in a number of ways. A second survey was prepared for input from mission leaders such as Principal Investigators and Project Scientists.Full results of this survey will be presented, along with recommendations for how NASA may wish to enhance Participating Scientist opportunities into its future missions. The output of the study will be a white paper, which will be delivered to NASA and made available to the science community and other interested groups.

  2. Binarity in the Central Stars of Planetary Nebulae and its Relationship to Stellar Evolution: An Observational Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hillwig, T. C.; Jacoby, G. H.; Jones, D.; De Marco, O.

    2017-03-01

    The existing status of our knowledge of binary central stars of planetary nebulae will be explored. Binary modeling of known systems is providing physical parameters that can be compared amongst the sample, with nebular characteristics, and with similar binaries with no associated planetary nebula. Correlations among these areas will be discussed, especially in relation to our understanding of stellar evolution.

  3. Core Standards and Implementation of the International Planetary Data Alliance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crichton, Daniel

    Solar System exploration in the 21st Century is ushering in a new paradigm with complex missions that are hosting instruments developed and managed by the international scientific community. Over the past decade, the European and United States space agencies have collaborated extensively to share common data standards for planetary science archiving, while, just recently, countries including Japan, India and China are now planning and executing robotic exploration missions of the solar system. The collective results yield an unprecedented volume of data across a large number of missions as compared with the last forty years of exploration. At the same time, resources from any one agency are scarce, requiring agencies to leverage existing standards and tools, where possible, and coordinate release and sharing of scientific data results to the worldwide scientific community. In 2006, the International Planetary Data Alliance (IPDA) was founded which includes representatives on a Steering Committee from major space agencies around the world that are involved in planetary science exploration missions. The purpose of the IPDA is two pronged. First, it is to develop a set of data standards for archiving and sharing scientific data products across international agencies and missions. Second, to develop a set of technical information system standards allowing interoperability between agency data systems. These standards are critical to building compatible archives that will allow for science data from international missions to be both captured and shared in a consistent manner. The Planetary Data System (PDS) has a long history of providing data standards to missions for the explicit purpose of archiving and preserving data. These standards have been adopted by the European Space Agency in developing their Planetary Science Archive. In addition, at the time of the IPDA founding, the PDS Standards are considered the "de facto" standards for capturing and archiving planetary

  4. Overview of current capabilities and research and technology developments for planetary protection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frick, Andreas; Mogul, Rakesh; Stabekis, Pericles; Conley, Catharine A.; Ehrenfreund, Pascale

    2014-07-01

    The pace of scientific exploration of our solar system provides ever-increasing insights into potentially habitable environments, and associated concerns for their contamination by Earth organisms. Biological and organic-chemical contamination has been extensively considered by the COSPAR Panel on Planetary Protection (PPP) and has resulted in the internationally recognized regulations to which spacefaring nations adhere, and which have been in place for 40 years. The only successful Mars lander missions with system-level “sterilization” were the Viking landers in the 1970s. Since then different cleanliness requirements have been applied to spacecraft based on their destination, mission type, and scientific objectives. The Planetary Protection Subcommittee of the NASA Advisory Council has noted that a strategic Research & Technology Development (R&TD) roadmap would be very beneficial to encourage the timely availability of effective tools and methodologies to implement planetary protection requirements. New research avenues in planetary protection for ambitious future exploration missions can best be served by developing an over-arching program that integrates capability-driven developments with mission-driven implementation efforts. This paper analyzes the current status concerning microbial reduction and cleaning methods, recontamination control and bio-barriers, operational analysis methods, and addresses concepts for human exploration. Crosscutting research and support activities are discussed and a rationale for a Strategic Planetary Protection R&TD Roadmap is outlined. Such a roadmap for planetary protection provides a forum for strategic planning and will help to enable the next phases of solar system exploration.

  5. 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.

  6. Online Planetary Science Courses at Athabasca University

    Science.gov (United States)

    Connors, Martin; Munyikwa, Ken; Bredeson, Christy

    2016-01-01

    Athabasca University offers distance education courses in science, at freshman and higher levels. It has a number of geology and astronomy courses, and recently opened a planetary science course as the first upper division astronomy course after many years of offering freshman astronomy. Astronomy 310, Planetary Science, focuses on process in the Solar System on bodies other than Earth. This process-oriented course uses W. F. Hartmann's "Moons and Planets" as its textbook. It primarily approaches the subject from an astronomy and physics perspective. Geology 415, Earth's Origin and Early Evolution, is based on the same textbook, but explores the evidence for the various processes, events, and materials involved in the formation and evolution of Earth. The course provides an overview of objects in the Solar System, including the Sun, the planets, asteroids, comets, and meteoroids. Earth's place in the solar system is examined and physical laws that govern the motion of objects in the universe are looked at. Various geochemical tools and techniques used by geologists to reveal and interpret the evidence for the formation and evolution of bodies in the solar system as well as the age of earth are also explored. After looking at lines of evidence used to reconstruct the evolution of the solar system, processes involved in the formation of planets and stars are examined. The course concludes with a look at the origin and nature of Earth's internal structure. GEOL415 is a senior undergraduate course and enrols about 15-30 students annually. The courses are delivered online via Moodle and student evaluation is conducted through assignments and invigilated examinations.

  7. 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

  8. The four hundred years of planetary science since Galileo and Kepler.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burns, Joseph A

    2010-07-29

    For 350 years after Galileo's discoveries, ground-based telescopes and theoretical modelling furnished everything we knew about the Sun's planetary retinue. Over the past five decades, however, spacecraft visits to many targets transformed these early notions, revealing the diversity of Solar System bodies and displaying active planetary processes at work. Violent events have punctuated the histories of many planets and satellites, changing them substantially since their birth. Contemporary knowledge has finally allowed testable models of the Solar System's origin to be developed and potential abodes for extraterrestrial life to be explored. Future planetary research should involve focused studies of selected targets, including exoplanets.

  9. Overview of the 2008 COSPAR Planetary Protection Policy Workshop

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rummel, John

    In January 2008 the COSPAR Panel on Planetary Protection held a Policy Workshop in Montŕal, Canada to consider a number of recommendations that had been suggested at prior e Panel business meetings for updating and clarifying the COSPAR Planetary Protection Policy that had been adopted at the World Space Congress in 2002. One particular element of the Policy that was due for clarification was the definition of "Special Regions" on Mars, which was discussed by the Panel at a Special Regions Colloquium in Rome in September 2008, and which was recommended for updating by both the US National Research Council's Committee on Preventing the Forward Contamination of Mars and by a Special Regions Science Analysis Group organized by NASA under its Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group in 2006. In other business, the Workshop also discussed and adopted wording to reflect the planetary protection considerations associated with future human missions to Mars (subsequent to several NASA and ESA workshops defining those), and addressed the planetary protection categorizations of both Venus and the Earth's Moon. The Workshop also defined a plan to move forward on the categorization of Outer Planet Satellites (to be done in conjunction with SC's B and F), and revised certain portions of the wording of the 1983 version of the COSPAR policy statement, emphasized full participation by all national members in planetary protection decisions and the need to study the ethical considerations of space exploration, and provided for a traceable version of the policy to be assembled and maintained by the Panel. This talk will review the Montŕal Workshop, and use its themes to introduce the remaining speakers in the session. e

  10. Planetary Protection Bioburden Analysis Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beaudet, Robert A.

    2013-01-01

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

  11. The Anthropocene: A Planetary Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anbar, A. D.; Hartnett, H. E.; York, A.; Selin, C.

    2016-12-01

    The Anthropocene is a new planetary epoch defined by the emergence of human activity as one of the most important driving forces on Earth, rivaling and also stressing the other systems that govern the planet's habitability. Public discussions and debates about the challenges of this epoch tend to be polarized. One extreme denies that humans have a planetary-scale impact, while the other wishes that this impact could disappear. The tension between these perspectives is often paralyzing. Effective adaptation and mitigation requires a new perspective that reframes the conversation. We propose a planetary perspective according to which this epoch is the result of a recent major innovation in the 4 ­billion ­year history of life on Earth: the emergence of an energy-intensive planetary civilization. The rate of human energy use is already within an order of magnitude of that of the rest of the biosphere, and rising rapidly, and so this innovation is second only to the evolution of photosynthesis in terms of energy capture and utilization by living systems. Such energy use has and will continue to affect Earth at planetary scale. This reality cannot be denied nor wished away. From this pragmatic perspective, the Anthropocene is not an unnatural event that can be reversed, as though humanity is separate from the Earth systems with which we are co-evolving. Rather, it is an evolutionary transition to be managed. This is the challenge of turning a carelessly altered planet into a carefully designed and managed world, maintaining a "safe operating space" for human civilization (Steffen et al., 2011). To do so, we need an integrated approach to Earth systems science that considers humans as a natural and integral component of Earth's systems. Insights drawn from the humanities and the social sciences must be integrated with the natural sciences in order to thrive in this new epoch. This type of integrated perspective is relatively uncontroversial on personal, local, and even

  12. Public Outreach Program of the Planetary society of Japan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iyori, Tasuku

    2002-01-01

    The Planetary Society of Japan, TPS/J, was founded on October 6, 1999 as the first international wing of The Planetary Society. The Society's objectives are to support exploration of the solar system and search for extraterrestrial life at the grass-roots level in terms of enhancing Japanese people's concern and interest in them. With close-knit relationships with the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, ISAS, and The Planetary Society, TPS/J has been trying to fulfil its goal. Introduced below are major public outreach programs. Planetary Report in Japanese The key vehicle that reaches members. The publication is offered to members together with the English issue every two months. Reprint of Major Texts from The Planetary Report for Science Magazine Major texts from The Planetary Report are reprinted in Nature Science, the science magazine with monthly circulation of 20,000. The science monthly has been published with an aim to provide an easier access to science. Website: http://www.planetary.or.jp A mainstay of the vehicle to reach science-minded people. It covers planetary news on a weekly basis, basics of the solar system and space exploring missions. In order to obtain support of many more people, the weekly email magazine is also provided. It has been enjoying outstanding popularity among subscribers thanks to inspiring commentaries by Dr. Yasunori Matogawa, the professor of ISAS. Public Outreach Events TPS/J's first activity of this kind was its participation in the renowned open-house event at ISAS last August. The one-day event has attracted 20,000 visitors every summer. TPS/J joined the one-day event with the Red Rover, Red Rover project for children, exhibition of winning entries of the international space art contest and introduction of SETI@home. TPS/J also participated in a couple of other planetary events, sponsored by local authorities. TPS/J will continue to have an opportunity to get involved in these public events Tie-up with the

  13. Planetary vistas the landscapes of other worlds

    CERN Document Server

    Murdin, Paul

    2015-01-01

    The word “landscape” can mean picture as well as natural scenery. Recent advances in space exploration imaging have allowed us to now have landscapes never before possible, and this book collects some of the greatest views and vistas of Mars, Venus’s Titan, Io and more in their full glory, with background information to put into context the foreign landforms of our Solar System. Here, literally, are 'other-worldly' visions of strange new scenes, all captured by the latest technology by landing and roving vehicles or by very low-flying spacecraft.   There is more than scientific interest in these views. They are also aesthetically beautiful and intriguing, and Dr. Murdin in a final chapter compares them to terrestrial landscapes in fine art.   Planetary Vistas is a science book and a travel book across the planets and moons of the Solar System for armchair space explorers who want to be amazed and informed. This book shows what future space explorers will experience, because these are the landscapes th...

  14. Two empirical regimes of the planetary mass-radius relation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bashi, Dolev; Helled, Ravit; Zucker, Shay; Mordasini, Christoph

    2017-08-01

    Today, with the large number of detected exoplanets and improved measurements, we can reach the next step of planetary characterization. Classifying different populations of planets is not only important for our understanding of the demographics of various planetary types in the galaxy, but also for our understanding of planet formation. We explore the nature of two regimes in the planetary mass-radius (M-R) relation. We suggest that the transition between the two regimes of "small" and "large" planets occurs at a mass of 124 ± 7M⊕ and a radius of 12.1 ± 0.5R⊕. Furthermore, the M-R relation is R ∝ M0.55 ± 0.02 and R ∝ M0.01 ± 0.02 for small and large planets, respectively. We suggest that the location of the breakpoint is linked to the onset of electron degeneracy in hydrogen, and therefore to the planetary bulk composition. Specifically, it is the characteristic minimal mass of a planet that consists of mostly hydrogen and helium, and therefore its M-R relation is determined by the equation of state of these materials. We compare the M-R relation from observational data with the relation derived by population synthesis calculations and show that there is a good qualitative agreement between the two samples.

  15. Dynamical Simulations of the Planetary System HD69830

    CERN Document Server

    Payne, Matthew J; Wyatt, Mark C; Booth, Mark

    2008-01-01

    HD 69830 exhibits radial velocity variations attributed to three planets as well as infrared emission attributed to a warm debris disk. Previous studies have developed models for the planet migration and mass growth (Alibert et al. 2006) and the replenishment of warm grains (Wyatt et al. 2007). We perform n-body integrations in order to explore the implications of these models for: 1) the excitation of planetary eccentricity, 2) the accretion and clearing of a putative planetesimal disk, 3) the distribution of planetesimal orbits following migration, and 4) the implications for the origin of the IR emission. We find that: i) It is not possible to explain the observed planetary eccentricities (e~0.1) purely as the result of planetary perturbations during migration unless the planetary system is nearly face-on. ii) The rate of accretion of planetesimals onto planets in our n-body simulations is significantly different to that assumed in the semi-analytic models, suggesting that one cannot successfully treat pla...

  16. 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.

  17. Solar Variability and Planetary Climates

    CERN Document Server

    Calisesi, Y; Gray, L; Langen, J; Lockwood, M

    2007-01-01

    Variations in solar activity, as revealed by variations in the number of sunspots, have been observed since ancient times. To what extent changes in the solar output may affect planetary climates, though, remains today more than ever a subject of controversy. In 2000, the SSSI volume on Solar Variability and Climate reviewed the to-date understanding of the physics of solar variability and of the associated climate response. The present volume on Solar Variability and Planetary Climates provides an overview of recent advances in this field, with particular focus at the Earth's middle and lower atmosphere. The book structure mirrors that of the ISSI workshop held in Bern in June 2005, the collection of invited workshop contributions and of complementary introductory papers synthesizing the current understanding in key research areas such as middle atmospheric processes, stratosphere-troposphere dynamical coupling, tropospheric aerosols chemistry, solar storm influences, solar variability physics, and terrestri...

  18. Evolution of Planetary Ringmoon Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuzzi, Jeffrey N.

    1995-01-01

    The last few decades have seen an avalanche of observations of planetary ring systems, both from spacecraft and from Earth. Meanwhile, we have seen steady progress in our understanding of these systems as our intuition (and our computers) catch up with 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. 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 an 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.

  19. Molecular studies of Planetary Nebulae

    CERN Document Server

    Zhang, Yong

    2016-01-01

    Circumstellar envelopes (CEs) around evolved stars are an active site for the production of molecules. After evolving through the Asymptotic Giant Branch (AGB), proto-planetary nebula (PPN), to planetary nebula (PN) phases, CEs ultimately merge with the interstellar medium (ISM). The study of molecules in PNe, therefore, is essential to understanding the transition from stellar to interstellar materials. So far, over 20 molecular species have been discovered in PNe. The molecular composition of PNe is rather different from those of AGB and PPNe, suggesting that the molecules synthesized in PN progenitors have been heavily processed by strong ultraviolet radiation from the central star. Intriguingly, fullerenes and complex organic compounds having aromatic and aliphatic structures can be rapidly formed and largely survive during the PPN/PN evolution. The similar molecular compositions in PNe and diffuse clouds as well as the detection of C$_{60}^+$ in the ISM reinforce the view that the mass-loss from PNe can ...

  20. The PSA: Planetary Science Archive

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barthelemy, M.; Martinez, S.; Heather, D.; Vazquez, J. L.; Arviset, C.; Osuna, P.; PSA development Team

    2012-04-01

    Scientific and engineering data from ESA's planetary missions are made accessible to the world-wide scientific community via the Planetary Science Archive (PSA). The PSA consists of online services incorporating search, preview, download, notification and delivery basket functionality. Besides data from the GIOTTO spacecraft and several ground-based cometary observations, the PSA contains data from the Mars Express, Venus Express, Rosetta, SMART-1 and Huygens missions. The focus of the PSA activities is on the long-term preservation of data and knowledge from ESA's planetary missions. Scientific users can access the data online using several interfaces: - The Advanced Search Interface allows complex parameter based queries, providing the end user with a facility to complete very specific searches on meta-data and geometrical parameters. By nature, this interface requires careful use and heavy interaction with the end-user to input and control the relevant search parameters. - The Map-based Interface is currently operational only for Mars Express HRCS and OMEGA data. This interface allows an end-user to specify a region-of-interest by dragging a box onto a base map of Mars. From this interface, it is possible to directly visualize query results. The Map-based and Advanced interfaces are linked and cross-compatible. If a user defines a region-of-interest in the Map-based interface, the results can be refined by entering more detailed search parameters in the Advanced interface. - The FTP Browser Interface is designed for more experienced users, and allows for direct browsing and access of the data set content through ftp-tree search. Each dataset contains documentation and calibration information in addition to the scientific or engineering data. All data are prepared by the corresponding instrument teams, mostly located in Europe. PSA supports the instrument teams in the full archiving process, from the definition of the data products, meta-data and product labels

  1. Precision photometry for planetary transits

    CERN Document Server

    Pont, F; Pont, Frederic; Moutou, Claire

    2007-01-01

    We review the state of the art in follow-up photometry for planetary transit searches. Three topics are discussed: (1) Photometric monitoring of planets discovered by radial velocity to detect possible transits (2) Follow-up photometry of candidates from photometric transit searches to weed out eclipsing binaries and false positives (3) High-precision lightcurves of known transiting planets to increase the accuracy on the planet parameters.

  2. Hybrid Powder - Single Crystal X-Ray Diffraction Instrument for Planetary Mineralogical Analysis of Unprepared Samples Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — We propose to develop a planetary exploration XRD/XRF instrument based on a hybrid diffraction approach that complements powder XRD analysis, similar to that of the...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-01-01

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

  4. Measurements at the Planetary Emissivity Laboratory in Support of MARA and the TIR Imager on the JAXA Hayabusa II Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helbert, J.; Maturilli, A.; Grott, M.; Knollenberg, J.; Okada, T.; Kührt, E.

    2012-03-01

    At the Planetary Emissivity Laboratory (PEL) at DLR we perform measurements on analog materials to explore the possibility of mineralogical studies with the thermal infrared imager and the radiometer MARA (MAscot RAdiometer) on MASCOT.

  5. A Planetary Park system for the Moon and beyond

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cockell, Charles; Horneck, Gerda

    Deutschland International space exploration programs foresee the establishment of human settlements on the Moon and on Mars within the next decades, following a series of robotic precursor missions. These increasing robotic visits and eventual human exploration and settlements may have an environmental impact on scientifically important sites and sites of natural beauty in the form of contamination with microorganisms and spacecraft parts, or even pollution as a consequence of in situ resource use. This concern has already been reflected in the Moon Treaty, "The Agreement Governing the Activities of States on the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies" of the United Nations, which follows the Outer Space Treaty of the UN. However, so far, the Moon Treaty has not been ratified by any nation which engages in human space programs or has plans to do so. Planetary protection guidelines as formulated by the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) are based on the Outer Space Treaty and follow the objectives: (i) to prevent contamination by terrestrial microorganisms if this might jeopardize scientific investi-gations of possible extraterrestrial life forms, and (ii) to protect the Earth from the potential hazard posed by extraterrestrial material brought back to the Earth. As a consequence, they group exploratory missions according to the type of mission and target body in five different categories, requesting specific means of cleaning and sterilization. However, the protection of extraterrestrial environments might also encompass ethical and other non-instrumental reasons. In order to allow intense scientific research and exploitation, and on the other hand to preserve regions of the Moon for research and use by future generations, we proposed the introduction of a planetary (or lunar) park system, which would protect areas of scientific, historic and intrinsic value under a common scheme. A similar placePlaceNamePlanetary PlaceTypePark system could be established on Mars well

  6. 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.

  7. Analytical theories for spacecraft entry into planetary atmospheres and design of planetary probes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saikia, Sarag J.

    This dissertation deals with the development of analytical theories for spacecraft entry into planetary atmospheres and the design of entry spacecraft or probes for planetary science and human exploration missions. Poincare's method of small parameters is used to develop an improved approximate analytical solution for Yaroshevskii's classical planetary entry equation for the ballistic entry of a spacecraft into planetary atmospheres. From this solution, other important expressions are developed including deceleration, stagnation-point heat rate, and stagnation-point integrated heat load. The accuracy of the solution is assessed via numerical integration of the exact equations of motion. The solution is also compared to the classical solutions of Yaroshevskii and Allen and Eggers. The new second-order analytical solution is more accurate than Yaroshevskii's fifth-order solution for a range of shallow (-3 deg) to steep (up to -90 deg) entry flight path angles, thereby extending the range of applicability of the solution as compared to the classical Yaroshevskii solution, which is restricted to an entry flight path of approximately -40 deg. Universal planetary entry equations are used to develop a new analytical theory for ballistic entry of spacecraft for moderate to large initial flight path angles. Chapman's altitude variable is used as the independent variable. Poincare's method of small parameters is used to develop an analytical solution for the velocity and the flight path angle. The new solution is used to formulate key expressions for range, time-of-flight, deceleration, and aerodynamic heating parameters (e.g., stagnation-point heat rate, total stagnation-point heat load, and average heat input). The classical approximate solution of Chapman's entry equation appears as the zero-order term in the new solution. The new solution represents an order of magnitude enhancement in the accuracy compared to existing analytical solutions for moderate to large entry

  8. 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

  9. Extra-solar planetary imager (ESPI) for space-based Jovian planetary detection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyon, Richard G.; Gezari, Daniel Y.; Melnick, Gary J.; Nisenson, Peter; Papaliolios, Costas D.; Ridgway, Stephen T.; Friedman, Edward J.; Harwit, Martin; Graf, Paul

    2003-02-01

    The Extra-Solar Planetary Imager (ESPI) is envisioned as a space based, high dynamic range, visible imager capable of detecting Jovian like planets. Initially proposed as a NASA Midex (NASA/Medium Class Explorer) mission (PI:Gary Melnick), as a space-based 1.5 x 1.5 m2 Jacquinot apodized square aperture telescope. The combination of apodization and a square aperture telescope reduces the diffracted light from a bright central source increasing the planetary to stellar contrast over much of the telescope focal plane. As a result, observations of very faint astronomical objects next to bright sources with angular separations as small as 0.32 arcseconds become possible. This permits a sensitive search for exo-planets in reflected light. ESPI is capable of detecting a Jupiter-like planet in a relatively long-period orbit around as many as 160 to 175 stars with a signal-to-noise ratio > 5 in observations lasting maximally 100 hours per star out to ~16 parsecs. We discuss the scientific ramifications, an overview of the system design including apodizing a square aperture, signal to noise issues and the effect of wavefront errors and the scalability of ESPI with respect to NASA's Terrestrial Planet Finder mission.

  10. Planetary Environments: Scientific Issues and Perspectives

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Encrenaz Th.

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available What are the planetary environments where conditions are best suited for habitability? A first constraint is provided by the presence of liquid water. This condition allows us to define two kinds of media: (1 the atmospheres of solid (exoplanets with a temperature typically ranging between 0°C and 100°C, and (2 the interiors of icy bodies (outer satellites or possibly exosatellites where the pressure and temperature would fit the liquid phase region of the water phase diagram. In the case of Mars, significant progress has been achieved about our understanding of the history of liquid water in the past, thanks to the findings of recent space missions. The study of the outer satellites is also benefiting from the on-going operation of the Cassini mission. In the case of exopl nets, new discoveries are continuously reported, especially with the Kepler mission, in operation since 2009. With the emergence of transit spectroscopy, a new phase of exoplanets’ exploration has started, their characterization, opening the new field of exoplanetology. In the future, new perspectives appear regarding the exploration of Mars, the giant planets and exoplanets, with the ultimate goal of characterizing the atmospheres of temperate exoplanets.

  11. 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

  12. The Roles of Discs for Planetary Systems

    CERN Document Server

    Yeh, L C; Yeh, Li-Chin; Jiang, Ing-Guey

    2007-01-01

    It is known that the discs are detected for some of the extra-solar planetary systems. It is also likely that there was a disc mixing with planets and small bodies while our Solar System was forming. From our recent results, we conclude that the discs play two roles: the gravity makes planetary systems more chaotic and the drag makes planetary systems more resonant.

  13. 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.

  14. Sealed Planetary Return Canister (SPRC) Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Sample return missions have primary importance in future planetary missions. A basic requirement is that samples be returned in pristine, uncontaminated condition,...

  15. Institute of Geophysics, Planetary Physics, and Signatures

    Data.gov (United States)

    Federal Laboratory Consortium — The Institute of Geophysics, Planetary Physics, and Signatures at Los Alamos National Laboratory is committed to promoting and supporting high quality, cutting-edge...

  16. Sealed Planetary Return Canister (SPRC) Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Sample return missions have primary importance in future planetary missions. A basic requirement is that samples be returned in pristine, uncontaminated condition,...

  17. Frequency Agile Mid-IR Source for Planetary Exploration Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Small Business Innovative Research Phase I proposal seeks to develop a compact, room-temperature widely tunable middle infrared laser source that will be ideal...

  18. Multi-Robot Planetary Exploration Command and Control Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Aurora Flight Sciences, The MIT Manned Vehicle Laboratory (MVL), and the MIT Humans and Automation Laboratory (HAL) together propose to adapt existing software,...

  19. 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 novel microfluidic device that combines rigid monolithic porous polymer based micro-capillary electrochromatography...

  20. Miniature X-ray Source for Planetary Exploration Instruments Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The objective of the proposed work is to develop a design model for a CNT cold cathode, low power, passively cooled, and grounded-anode X-ray tube that is compatible...

  1. Miniature X-ray Source for Planetary Exploration Instruments Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The objective of the proposed work is to develop a rugged, low power, passively cooled X-Ray source that is compatible with miniaturized XRD systems. The XRD...

  2. Cavehopping Exploration of Planetary Skylights and Tunnels Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Subsurface caverns may be the best place on Mars to find life. They may be the best hope for safe havens and habitation on the Moon. They can provide a window into a...

  3. 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...

  4. NASA Planetary Science Division Vision 2050 Through Human Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yun, P. Y.

    2017-02-01

    Next 34 years PSD should play the role of the 21st century-version Lewis and Clark expedition to gather critical information about carefully chosen target celestial bodies in our solar system. PSD missions and human missions will benefit each other.

  5. 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).

  6. One-Meter Class Drilling for Planetary Exploration Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The purpose of the proposed effort is to understand and characterize the fundamental limitations of drilling one to three meters into challenging materials which may...

  7. Exploit and ignore the consequences: A mother of planetary issues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moustafa, K.

    2016-07-01

    Many environmental and planetary issues are due to an exploitation strategy based on exploit, consume and ignore the consequences. As many natural and environmental resources are limited in time and space, such exploitation approach causes important damages on earth, in the sea and maybe soon in the space. To sustain conditions under which humans and other living species can coexist in productive and dynamic harmony with their environments, terrestrial and space exploration programs may need to be based on 'scrutinize the consequences, prepare adequate solutions and then, only then, exploit'. Otherwise, the exploitation of planetary resources may put the environmental stability and sustainability at a higher risk than it is currently predicted. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Oscillations of Relative Inclination Angles in Compact Extrasolar Planetary Systems

    CERN Document Server

    Becker, Juliette C

    2015-01-01

    The Kepler Mission has detected dozens of compact planetary systems with more than four transiting planets. This sample provides a collection of close-packed planetary systems with relatively little spread in the inclination angles of the inferred orbits. A large fraction of the observational sample contains limited multiplicity, begging the question whether there is a true diversity of multi transiting systems, or if some systems merely possess high mutual inclinations, allowing them to appear as single-transiting systems in a transit-based survey. This paper begins an exploration of the effectiveness of dynamical mechanisms in exciting orbital inclination within exoplanetary systems of this class. For these tightly packed systems, we determine that the orbital inclination angles are not spread out appreciably through self-excitation. In contrast, the two Kepler multi-planet systems with additional non-transiting planets are susceptible to oscillations of their inclination angles, which means their currently...

  9. Central Stars of Planetary Nebulae

    CERN Document Server

    Jones, David

    2016-01-01

    In this brief invited review, I will attempt to summarise some of the key areas of interest in the study of central stars of planetary nebulae which (probably) won't be covered by other speakers' proceedings. The main focus will, inevitably, be on the subject of multiplicity, with special emphasis on recent results regarding triple central star systems as well as wide binaries which avoid a common-envelope phase. Furthermore, in light of the upcoming release of Kepler's Campaign 11 data, I will discuss a few of the prospects from that data including the unique possibility to detect merger products.

  10. 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

  11. Equations of State: Gateway to Planetary Origin and Evolution (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melosh, J.

    2013-12-01

    illustrated by the impact origin of our Moon. Computer simulations that do not take account of the liquid/vapor phase change are unable to retain any material in orbit around the Earth after a planetary impact. A purely gaseous disk around the Earth is wracked by gravitational instabilities and soon collapses back onto the Earth. Only if the silicate EoS also includes a liquid phase can a disk remain stable long enough to condense into a moon. The implications of this new-found ease of vaporization have yet to be fully explored, but it seems clear that current ideas must undergo extensive revision. More melt and vapor production in impacts implies much larger volume changes of the impacted materials and hence more energetic post-impact expansion. EoSs are thus of vital importance to our understanding of the evolution of planetary systems. Computer simulations can (and must!) substitute for experiments for many aspects of large planetary collisions, but so far experiments are leading theory in accurate determination of equations of state. Yet, the fidelity of the computer simulations to Nature can be only as good as the accuracy of the inputs, making further experimental study of EoS a central task in the exploration and elucidation of our solar system and of planetary systems in general.

  12. Challenges in Predicting Planetary Granular Mechanics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Metzger, Philip T.

    2005-01-01

    Through the course of human history, our needs in agriculture, habitat construction, and resource extraction have driven us to gain more experience working with the granular materials of planet Earth than with any other type of substance in nature, with the possible exception being water. Furthermore, throughout the past two centuries we have seen a dramatic and ever growing interest among scientists and engineers to understand and predict both its static and rheological properties. Ironically, however, despite this wealth of experience we still do not have a fundamental understanding of the complex physical phenomena that emerge even as just ordinary sand is shaken, squeezed or poured. As humanity is now reaching outward through the solar system, not only robotic ally but also with our immediate human presence, the need to understand and predict granular mechanics has taken on a new dimension. We must learn to farm, build and mine the regoliths of other planets where the environmental conditions are different than on Earth, and we are rapidly discovering that the effects of these environmental conditions are not trivial. Some of the relevant environmental features include the regolith formation processes throughout a planet's geologic and hydrologic history, the unknown mixtures of volatiles residing within the soil, the relative strength of gravitation, d the atm9spheric pressure and its seasonal variations. The need to work with soils outside our terrestrial experience base provides us with both a challenge and an opportunity. The challenge is to learn how to extrapolate our experience into these new planetary conditions, enabling the engineering decisions that are needed right now as we take the next few steps in solar system exploration. The opportunity is to use these new planetary environments as laboratories that will help us to see granular mechanics in new ways, to challenge our assumptions, and to help us finally unravel the elusive physics that lie

  13. Visual lunar and planetary astronomy

    CERN Document Server

    Abel, Paul G

    2013-01-01

    With the advent of CCDs and webcams, the focus of amateur astronomy has to some extent shifted from science to art. The object of many amateur astronomers is now to produce “stunning images” that, although beautiful, are not intended to have scientific merit. Paul Abel has been addressing this issue by promoting visual astronomy wherever possible – at talks to astronomical societies, in articles for popular science magazines, and on BBC TV’s The Sky at Night.   Visual Lunar and Planetary Astronomy is a comprehensive modern treatment of visual lunar and planetary astronomy, showing that even in the age of space telescopes and interplanetary probes it is still possible to contribute scientifically with no more than a moderately priced commercially made astronomical telescope.   It is believed that imaging and photography is somehow more objective and more accurate than the eye, and this has led to a peculiar “crisis of faith” in the human visual system and its amazing processing power. But by anal...

  14. Interactive investigations into planetary interiors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rose, I.

    2015-12-01

    Many processes in Earth science are difficult to observe or visualize due to the large timescales and lengthscales over which they operate. The dynamics of planetary mantles are particularly challenging as we cannot even look at the rocks involved. As a result, much teaching material on mantle dynamics relies on static images and cartoons, many of which are decades old. Recent improvements in computing power and technology (largely driven by game and web development) have allowed for advances in real-time physics simulations and visualizations, but these have been slow to affect Earth science education.Here I demonstrate a teaching tool for mantle convection and seismology which solves the equations for conservation of mass, momentum, and energy in real time, allowing users make changes to the simulation and immediately see the effects. The user can ask and answer questions about what happens when they add heat in one place, or take it away from another place, or increase the temperature at the base of the mantle. They can also pause the simulation, and while it is paused, create and visualize seismic waves traveling through the mantle. These allow for investigations into and discussions about plate tectonics, earthquakes, hot spot volcanism, and planetary cooling.The simulation is rendered to the screen using OpenGL, and is cross-platform. It can be run as a native application for maximum performance, but it can also be embedded in a web browser for easy deployment and portability.

  15. Gallery of Planetary Nebula Spectra

    CERN Document Server

    Kwitter, K B; Kwitter, Karen B.; Henry, Richard B.C.

    2006-01-01

    We present the Gallery of Planetary Nebula Spectra now available at http://oitwilliams.edu/nebulae. The website offers high-quality, moderate resolution (~7-10 A FWHM) spectra of 128 Galactic planetary nebulae from 3600-9600 A, obtained by Kwitter, Henry, and colleagues with the Goldcam spectrograph at the KPNO 2.1-m or with the RC spectrograph at the CTIO 1.5-m. The master PN table contains atlas data and an image link. A selected object's spectrum is displayed in a zoomable window; line identification templates are provided. In addition to the spectra themselves, the website also contains a brief discussion of PNe as astronomical objects and as contributors to our understanding of stellar evolution. We envision that this website, which concentrates a large amount of data in one place, will be of interest to a variety of users: researchers might need to check the spectrum of a particular object of interest; the non-specialist astronomer might simply be interested in perusing such a collection of spectra; and...

  16. 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 ...

  17. Exploring the solar system

    CERN Document Server

    Bond, Peter

    2012-01-01

    The exploration of our solar system is one of humanity's greatest scientific achievements. The last fifty years in particular have seen huge steps forward in our understanding of the planets, the sun, and other objects in the solar system. Whilst planetary science is now a mature discipline - involving geoscientists, astronomers, physicists, and others - many profound mysteries remain, and there is indeed still the tantalizing possibility that we may find evidence of life on another planet in our system.Drawing upon the latest results from the second golden age of Solar System exploration, aut

  18. Infrastructure for Planetary Sciences: Universal planetary database development project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kasaba, Yasumasa; Capria, M. T.; Crichton, D.; Zender, J.; Beebe, R.

    The International Planetary Data Alliance (IPDA), formally formed under COSPAR (Formal start: from the COSPAR 2008 at Montreal), is a joint international effort to enable global access and exchange of high quality planetary science data, and to establish archive stan-dards that make it easier to share the data across international boundaries. In 2008-2009, thanks to the many players from several agencies and institutions, we got fruitful results in 6 projects: (1) Inter-operable Planetary Data Access Protocol (PDAP) implementations [led by J. Salgado@ESA], (2) Small bodies interoperability [led by I. Shinohara@JAXA N. Hirata@U. Aizu], (3) PDAP assessment [led by Y. Yamamoto@JAXA], (4) Architecture and standards definition [led by D. Crichton@NASA], (5) Information model and data dictionary [led by S. Hughes@NASA], and (6) Venus Express Interoperability [led by N. Chanover@NMSU]. 'IPDA 2009-2010' is important, especially because the NASA/PDS system reformation is now reviewed as it develops for application at the international level. IPDA is the gate for the establishment of the future infrastructure. We are running 8 projects: (1) IPDA Assessment of PDS4 Data Standards [led by S. Hughes (NASA/JPL)], (2) IPDA Archive Guide [led by M.T. Capria (IASF/INAF) and D. Heather (ESA/PSA)], (3) IPDA Standards Identification [led by E. Rye (NASA/PDS) and G. Krishna (ISRO)], (4) Ancillary Data Standards [led by C. Acton (NASA/JPL)], (5) IPDA Registries Definition [led by D. Crichton (NASA/JPL)], (6) PDAP Specification [led by J. Salgado (ESA/PSA) and Y. Yamamoto (JAXA)], (7) In-teroperability Assessment [R. Beebe (NMSU) and D. Heather (ESA/PSA)], and (8) PDAP Geographic Information System (GIS) extension [N. Hirata (Univ. Aizu) and T. Hare (USGS: thare@usgs.gov)]. This paper presents our achievements and plans summarized in the IPDA 5th Steering Com-mittee meeting at DLR in July 2010. We are now just the gate for the establishment of the Infrastructure.

  19. 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

  20. Seasonal Variation of the Quasi 5 Day Planetary Wave: Causes and Consequences for Polar Mesospheric Cloud Variability in 2007

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    oscillations. [5] The NASA Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere (AIM) satellite is dedicated to the study of PMCs. AIM was launched into a sun synchronous orbit at...cloud imaging and particle size experiment on the Aeronomy of Ice in the Mesosphere mission: Instrument concept, design, calibration, and on‐orbit...A.W.Merkel, S.M. Bailey, J. M. Russell III, C. E. Randall, C. Jeppesen, and M. Callan (2009), The cloud imaging and particle size experiment on the Aeronomy of

  1. Mars Soil-Based Resource Processing and Planetary Protection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanders, G. B.; Mueller, R. P.

    2015-01-01

    The ability to extract and process resources at the site of exploration into products and services, commonly referred to as In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU), can have significant benefits for robotic and human exploration missions. In particular, the ability to use in situ resources to make propellants, fuel cell reactants, and life support consumables has been shown in studies to significantly reduce mission mass, cost, and risk, while enhancing or enabling missions not possible without the incorporation of ISRU. In December 2007, NASA completed the Mars Human Design Reference Architecture (DRA) 5.0 study. For the first time in a large scale Mars architecture study, water from Mars soil was considered as a potential resource. At the time of the study, knowledge of water resources (their form, concentration, and distribution) was extremely limited. Also, due to lack of understanding of how to apply planetary protection rules and requirements to ISRU soil-based excavation and processing, an extremely conservative approach was incorporated where only the top several centimeters of ultraviolet (UV) radiated soil could be processed (assumed to be 3% water by mass). While results of the Mars DRA 5.0 study showed that combining atmosphere processing to make oxygen and methane with soil processing to extract water provided the lowest mission mass, atmosphere processing to convert carbon dioxide (CO2) into oxygen was baselined for the mission since it was the lowest power and risk option. With increased knowledge and further clarification of Mars planetary protection rules, and the recent release of the Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group (MEPAG) report on "Special Regions and the Human Exploration of Mars", it is time to reexamine potential water resources on Mars, options for soil processing to extract water, and the implications with respect to planetary protection and Special Regions on Mars.

  2. PLANETARY EMBRYO BOW SHOCKS AS A MECHANISM FOR CHONDRULE FORMATION

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mann, Christopher R.; Boley, Aaron C. [Department of Physics and Astronomy University of British Columbia Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z1 (Canada); Morris, Melissa A. [Physics Department State University of New York at Cortland Cortland, NY 13045 (United States)

    2016-02-20

    We use radiation hydrodynamics with direct particle integration to explore the feasibility of chondrule formation in planetary embryo bow shocks. The calculations presented here are used to explore the consequences of a Mars-size planetary embryo traveling on a moderately excited orbit through the dusty, early environment of the solar system. The embryo’s eccentric orbit produces a range of supersonic relative velocities between the embryo and the circularly orbiting gas and dust, prompting the formation of bow shocks. Temporary atmospheres around these embryos, which can be created via volatile outgassing and gas capture from the surrounding nebula, can non-trivially affect thermal profiles of solids entering the shock. We explore the thermal environment of solids that traverse the bow shock at different impact radii, the effects that planetoid atmospheres have on shock morphologies, and the stripping efficiency of planetoidal atmospheres in the presence of high relative winds. Simulations are run using adiabatic and radiative conditions, with multiple treatments for the local opacities. Shock speeds of 5, 6, and 7 km s{sup −1} are explored. We find that a high-mass atmosphere and inefficient radiative conditions can produce peak temperatures and cooling rates that are consistent with the constraints set by chondrule furnace studies. For most conditions, the derived cooling rates are potentially too high to be consistent with chondrule formation.

  3. Planetary Embryo Bow Shocks as a Mechanism for Chondrule Formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mann, Christopher R.; Boley, Aaron C.; Morris, Melissa A.

    2016-02-01

    We use radiation hydrodynamics with direct particle integration to explore the feasibility of chondrule formation in planetary embryo bow shocks. The calculations presented here are used to explore the consequences of a Mars-size planetary embryo traveling on a moderately excited orbit through the dusty, early environment of the solar system. The embryo’s eccentric orbit produces a range of supersonic relative velocities between the embryo and the circularly orbiting gas and dust, prompting the formation of bow shocks. Temporary atmospheres around these embryos, which can be created via volatile outgassing and gas capture from the surrounding nebula, can non-trivially affect thermal profiles of solids entering the shock. We explore the thermal environment of solids that traverse the bow shock at different impact radii, the effects that planetoid atmospheres have on shock morphologies, and the stripping efficiency of planetoidal atmospheres in the presence of high relative winds. Simulations are run using adiabatic and radiative conditions, with multiple treatments for the local opacities. Shock speeds of 5, 6, and 7 km s-1 are explored. We find that a high-mass atmosphere and inefficient radiative conditions can produce peak temperatures and cooling rates that are consistent with the constraints set by chondrule furnace studies. For most conditions, the derived cooling rates are potentially too high to be consistent with chondrule formation.

  4. 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.

  5. 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…

  6. Planetary nebulae abundances and stellar evolution II

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pottasch, S. R.; Bernard-Salas, J.

    2010-01-01

    Context. In recent years mid-and far infrared spectra of planetary nebulae have been analysed and lead to more accurate abundances. It may be expected that these better abundances lead to a better understanding of the evolution of these objects. Aims. The observed abundances in planetary nebulae are

  7. Planetary Perspectives: Training Teachers about Rocks from Earth and Space Through Project WISER

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buxner, S.; Crown, D. A.; Lebofsky, L. A.; Croft, S. K.; Canizo, T.; Baldridge, A. M.; Kortenkamp, S.; Chuang, F.; Pierazzo, E.

    2011-12-01

    Within the exciting context of planetary exploration, the Planetary Science Institute is offering an ongoing series of professional development workshops for elementary and middle school science teachers in Southern Arizona. Each workshop is an opportunity for teachers to learn about current exploration of the Solar System, engage in modeling scientific inquiry, and interact with active planetary science researchers. Current workshops include the Moon-Earth System, Exploring the Terrestrial Planets, Impact Cratering, Asteroid-Meteorite Connection, and Volcanoes of the Solar System. Two more workshops, Deserts of the Solar System and Astrobiology and the Search for Extrasolar Planetary Systems are being developed. Three rock kits have been designed for use during these workshops: the Impact Rock Kit, Meteorite Kit, and Volcanic Rock Kit. Each kit includes supporting materials with scientific background, supporting presentations, and additional ideas for using the kits in the classroom. In response to teachers' request to be able to use these kits in their classrooms, we have created a series of stand-alone workshops to train educators to use the rock kits in their own educational settings. After completing the training, teachers and other community educators are able to check out the kits for use in their classrooms, science fairs, star parties, and educational and social events. This work is supported by NASA EPOESS award NNX10AE56G: Workshops in Science Education and Resources (Wiser): Planetary Perspectives.

  8. Exploring Mercury: The Iron Planet

    OpenAIRE

    Stevenson, David J.

    2004-01-01

    Planet Mercury is both difficult to observe and difficult to reach by spacecraft. Just one spacecraft, Mariner 10, flew by the planet 30 years ago. An upcoming NASA mission, MESSENGER, will be launched this year and will go into orbit around Mercury at the end of this decade. A European mission is planned for the following decade. It's worth going there because Mercury is a strange body and the history of planetary exploration has taught us that strangeness gives us insight into planetary ori...

  9. Can planetary instability explain the Kepler dichotomy?

    CERN Document Server

    Johansen, Anders; Church, Ross P; Holmelin, Viktor

    2012-01-01

    The planet candidates discovered by the Kepler mission provide a rich sample to constrain the architectures and relative inclinations of planetary systems within approximately 0.5 AU of their host stars. We use the triple-transit systems from the Kepler 16-months data as templates for physical triple-planet systems and perform synthetic transit observations. We find that all the Kepler triple-transit and double-transit systems can be produced from the triple-planet templates, given a low mutual inclination of around five degrees. Our analysis shows that the Kepler data contains a population of planets larger than four Earth radii in single-transit systems that can not arise from the triple-planet templates. We explore the hypothesis that high-mass counterparts of the triple-transit systems underwent dynamical instability to produce a population of massive double-planet systems of moderately high mutual inclination. We perform N-body simulations of mass-boosted triple-planet systems and observe how the systems...

  10. Plasma Processing of Lunar and Planetary Materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Currier, R.; Blacic, J.

    2000-01-01

    Space exploration and colonization must include oxygen for propulsion and life support, as well as, structural materials for construction. To the extent possible, these should be derived from locally available planetary resources. We propose an extractive metallurgy and oxygen recovery process well-suited for resource utilization in space. Locally available minerals are placed in a radio frequency-generated hydrogen plasma. This is accomplished using a fluidized bed contacting device. Electromagnetic energy is coupled to the hydrogen gas forming a non-equilibrium plasma. The plasma produces the ideal reducing agent - atomic hydrogen - in direct and intimate contact with the solid particles. When using oxide minerals as a feed, atomic hydrogen extracts oxygen from the matrix through the formation of water. The water is subsequently split into oxygen and hydrogen (the hydrogen is then recycled back to the plasma reactor). The processed solids could then be refined to produce structural materials. A conceptual process flow diagram, which requires an initial charge of hydrogen, is given.

  11. 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.

  12. GTR Component of Planetary Precession

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    P C Deshmukh; Kaushal Jaikumar Pillay; Thokala Solomon Raju; Sudipta Dutta; Tanima Banerjee

    2017-06-01

    Even as the theory of relativity is more than a hundred yearsold, it is not within easy reach of undergraduate students.These students have an insatiable urge to learn more aboutit even if the full machinery of the tools required to studythe same is not within their comfortable reach. The recentdetection of gravitational waves has only augmented their enthusiasmabout the General Theory of Relativity (GTR), developedjust over a hundred years now, encapsulated in Einstein’sField Equations. The GTR provided a consistent formulationof the theory of gravity, removed the anomalies inthe Newtonian model, and predicted spectacular natural phenomenawhich eventual experiments have testified to. Thispedagogical article retraces some of the major milestones thatled to the GTR and presents a simple numerical simulation ofthe GTR advance of the perihelion of planetary motion aboutthe sun.

  13. Tidal Evolution of Planetary Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodríguez, A.

    2017-07-01

    We review the orbital and rotational evolution of single and two-planet systems under tidal dissipation. In the framework of mutual gravitational perturbation and tidal interaction between the star and the innermost planet, we shall present the main results for the variations of eccentricities in both cases. These results are obtained through the numerical solution of the exact equations of motions. Moreover, we will also give an analysis of the planetary rotation, which can be temporarily trapped in special configurations such as spin-orbit resonances. Results will be shown using a Maxwell viscoelastic deformation law for the inner planet. This rheology is characterized by a viscous relaxation time, τ, that can be seen as the characteristic average time that the planet requires to achieve a new equilibrium shape after being disturbed by an external forcing (tides of the star).

  14. Dynamical evolution of planetary systems

    CERN Document Server

    Morbidelli, Alessandro

    2011-01-01

    The apparent regularity of the motion of the giant planets of our solar system suggested for decades that said planets formed onto orbits similar to the current ones and that nothing dramatic ever happened during their lifetime. The discovery of extra-solar planets showed astonishingly that the orbital structure of our planetary system is not typical. Many giant extra-solar planets have orbits with semi major axes of $\\sim 1$ AU, and some have even smaller orbital radii, sometimes with orbital periods of just a few days. Moreover, most extra-solar planets have large eccentricities, up to values that only comets have in our solar system. Why such a big diversity between our solar system and the extra-solar systems, as well as among the extra-solar systems themselves? This chapter aims to give a partial answer to this fundamental question....

  15. Formation around planetary displaced orbit

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    GONG Sheng-ping; LI Jun-feng; BAOYIN He-xi

    2007-01-01

    The paper investigates the relative motion around the planetary displaced orbit. Several kinds of displaced orbits for geocentric and martian cases were discussed. First, the relative motion was linearized around the displaced orbits. Then, two seminatural control laws were investigated for each kind of orbit and the stable regions were obtained for each case. One of the two control laws is the passive control law that is very attractive for engineering practice. However, the two control laws are not very suitable for the Martian mission. Another special semi-natural control law is designed based on the requirement of the Martian mission. The results show that large stable regions exist for the control law.

  16. Public Engagement with the Lunar and Planetary Institute

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaner, Andrew; Shupla, Christine; Smith Hackler, Amanda; Buxner, Sanlyn; Wenger, Matthew; Joseph, Emily C. S.

    2016-10-01

    The Lunar and Planetary Institute's (LPI) public engagement programs target audiences of all ages and backgrounds; in 2016 LPI has expanded its programs to reach wider, more diverse audiences. The status, resources, and findings of these programs, including evaluation results, will be discussed in this poster. LPI's Cosmic Explorations Speaker Series (CESS) is an annual public speaker series to engage the public in space science and exploration. Each thematic series includes four to five presentations held between September and May. Past series' titles have included "Science" on the Silver Screen, The Universe is Out to Get Us and What We Can (or Can't) Do About It, and A User's Guide to the Universe: You Live Here. Here's What You Need to Know. While the presentations are available online after the event, they are now being livestreamed to be accessible to a broader national, and international, audience. Sky Fest events, held four to five times a year, have science content themes and include several activities for children and their parents, night sky viewing through telescopes, and scientist presentations. Themes include both planetary and astronomy topics as well as planetary exploration topics (e.g., celebrating the launch or landing of a spacecraft). Elements of the Sky Fest program are being conducted in public libraries serving audiences underrepresented in STEM near LPI. These programs take place as part of existing hour-long programs in the library. During this hour, young people, typically 6-12 years old, move through three stations where they participate in hands-on activities. Like Sky Fest, these programs are thematic, centered on one over-arching topic such as the Moon or Mars. Beginning in Fall 2016, LPI will present programs at a revitalized park in downtown Houston. Facilities at this park will enable LPI to bring both the Sky Fest and CESS programs into the heart of Houston, which is one of the most diverse cities in the US and the world.

  17. 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

  18. Hierarchies of Models: Toward Understanding Planetary Nebulae

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knuth, Kevin H.; Hajian, Arsen R.; Clancy, Daniel (Technical Monitor)

    2003-01-01

    Stars like our sun (initial masses between 0.8 to 8 solar masses) end their lives as swollen red giants surrounded by cool extended atmospheres. The nuclear reactions in their cores create carbon, nitrogen and oxygen, which are transported by convection to the outer envelope of the stellar atmosphere. As the star finally collapses to become a white dwarf, this envelope is expelled from the star to form a planetary nebula (PN) rich in organic molecules. The physics, dynamics, and chemistry of these nebulae are poorly understood and have implications not only for our understanding of the stellar life cycle but also for organic astrochemistry and the creation of prebiotic molecules in interstellar space. We are working toward generating three-dimensional models of planetary nebulae (PNe), which include the size, orientation, shape, expansion rate and mass distribution of the nebula. Such a reconstruction of a PN is a challenging problem for several reasons. First, the data consist of images obtained over time from the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) and spectra obtained from Kitt Peak National Observatory (KPNO) and Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO). These images are of course taken from a single viewpoint in space, which amounts to a very challenging tomographic reconstruction. Second, the fact that we have two disparate and orthogonal data types requires that we utilize a method that allows these data to be used together to obtain a solution. To address these first two challenges we employ Bayesian model estimation using a parameterized physical model that incorporates much prior information about the known physics of the PN. In our previous works we have found that the forward problem of the comprehensive model is extremely time consuming. To address this challenge, we explore the use of a set of hierarchical models, which allow us to estimate increasingly more detailed sets of model parameters. These hierarchical models of increasing complexity are akin

  19. SPICE Supports Planetary Science Observation Geometry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall Acton, Charles; Bachman, Nathaniel J.; Semenov, Boris V.; Wright, Edward D.

    2015-11-01

    "SPICE" is an information system, comprising both data and software, providing scientists with the observation geometry needed to plan observations from instruments aboard robotic spacecraft, and to subsequently help in analyzing the data returned from those observations. The SPICE system has been used on the majority of worldwide planetary exploration missions since the time of NASA's Galileo mission to Jupiter. Along with its "free" price tag, portability and the absence of licensing and export restrictions, its stable, enduring qualities help make it a popular choice. But stability does not imply rigidity-improvements and new capabilities are regularly added. This poster highlights recent additions that could be of interest to planetary scientists.Geometry Finder allows one to find all the times or time intervals when a particular geometric condition exists (e.g. occultation) or when a particular geometric parameter is within a given range or has reached a maximum or minimum.Digital Shape Kernel (DSK) provides means to compute observation geometry using accurately modeled target bodies: a tessellated plate model for irregular bodies and a digital elevation model for large, regular bodies.WebGeocalc (WGC) provides a graphical user interface (GUI) to a SPICE "geometry engine" installed at a mission operations facility, such as the one operated by NAIF. A WGC user need have only a computer with a web browser to access this geometry engine. Using traditional GUI widgets-drop-down menus, check boxes, radio buttons and fill-in boxes-the user inputs the data to be used, the kind of calculation wanted, and the details of that calculation. The WGC server makes the specified calculations and returns results to the user's browser.Cosmographia is a mission visualization program. This tool provides 3D visualization of solar system (target) bodies, spacecraft trajectory and orientation, instrument field-of-view "cones" and footprints, and more.The research described in this

  20. Lunar and Planetary Science XXXVI, Part 13

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-01-01

    Contents include the following: A Fast, Non-Destructive Method for Classifying Ordinary Chondrite Falls Using Density and Magnetic Susceptibility. An Update on Results from the Magnetic Properties Experiments on the Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity. Measurement Protocols for In Situ Analysis of Organic Compounds at Mars and Comets. Piping Structures on Earth and Possibly Mars: Astrobiological Implications. Uranium and Lead in the Early Planetary Core Formation: New Insights Given by High Pressure and Temperature Experiments. The Mast Cameras and Mars Descent Imager (MARDI) for the 2009 Mars Science Laboratory. MGS MOC: First Views of Mars at Sub-Meter Resolution from Orbit. Analysis of Candor Chasma Interior Layered Deposits from OMEGA/MEX Spectra. Analysis of Valley Networks on Valles Marineris Plateau Using HRSC/MEX Data. Solar Abundance of Elements from Neutron-Capture Cross Sections. Preliminary Evaluation of the Secondary Ion/Accelerator Mass Spectrometer, MegaSIMS. Equilibrium Landforms in the Dry Valleys of Antarctica: Implications for Landscape Evolution and Climate Change on Mars. Continued Study of Ba Isotopic Compositions of Presolar Silicon Carbide Grains from Supernovae. Paleoenviromental Evolution of the Holden-Uzboi Area. Stability of Magnesium Sulfate Minerals in Martian Environments. Tungsten Isotopic Constraints on the Formation and Evolution of Iron Meteorite Parent Bodies. Migration of Dust Particles and Volatiles Delivery to the Inner Planets. On the Sitting of Trapped Noble Gases in Insoluble Organic Matter of Primitive Meteorites. Trapping of Xenon Upon Evaporation-Condensation of Organic Matter Under UV Irradiation: Isotopic Fractionation and Electron Paramagnetic Resonance Analysis. Stability of Water on Mars. A Didactic Activity. Analysis of Coronae in the Parga Chasma Region, Venus. Photometric and Compositional Surface Properties of the Gusev Crater Region, Mars, as Derived from Multi-Angle, Multi-Spectral Investigation of

  1. A Study on Planetary Atmospheric Circulations using THOR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendonça, João; Grosheintz, Luc; Lukas Grimm, Simon; Heng, Kevin

    2015-12-01

    The large variety of planetary parameters observed leads us to think that exoplanets may show a large range of possible climates. It is therefore of the uttermost importance to investigate the influence of astronomical and planetary bulk parameters in driving the atmospheric circulations. In the solar system the results from planetary spacecraft missions have demonstrated how different the planetary climate and atmospheric circulations can be. The study of exoplanets will require probing a far wider range of physical and orbital parameters than the ones of our neighbor planets. For this reason, such a study will involve exploring an even larger diversity of circulation and climate regimes. Our new atmospheric model, THOR, is intended to be extremely flexible and to explore the large diversity of planetary atmospheres.THOR is part of the Exoclimes Simulation Platform, and is a project of the Exoplanet and Exoclimes Group (see www.exoclime.org). THOR solves the complex atmospheric fluid equations in a rotating sphere (fully compressible - nonhydrostatic system) using an icosahedral grid. The main advantages of using our new platform against other recent exoplanet models is that 1) The atmospheric fluid equations are completely represented and no approximations are used that could compromise the physics of the problem; 2) The model uses for the first time in exoplanet studies, a specific icosahedral grid that solves the pole problem; 3) The interface is user friendly and can be easily adapted to a multitude of atmospheric conditions; 4) By using GPU computation, our code greatly improves the typical code running time.We will present and discuss the first detailed results of our simulations, more specifically of two benchmark tests that are a representative sample of the large range of exoplanetary parameters: Earth-like conditions (the Held-Suarez test) and a tidally locked hot-Jupiter. THOR has successfully passed these tests and is able to determine the main

  2. Where Do Messy Planetary Nebulae Come From?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2017-03-01

    If you examined images of planetary nebulae, you would find that many of them have an appearance that is too messy to be accounted for in the standard model of how planetary nebulae form. So what causes these structures?Examples of planetary nebulae that have a low probability of having beenshaped by a triple stellar system. They are mostly symmetric, with only slight departures (labeled) that can be explained by instabilities, interactions with the interstellar medium, etc. [Bear and Soker 2017]A Range of LooksAt the end of a stars lifetime, in the red-giant phase, strong stellar winds can expel the outer layers of the star. The hot, luminous core then radiates in ultraviolet, ionizing the gas of the ejected stellar layers and causing them to shine as a brightly colored planetary nebula for a few tens of thousands of years.Planetary nebulae come in a wide variety of morphologies. Some are approximately spherical, but others can be elliptical, bipolar, quadrupolar, or even more complex.Its been suggested that non-spherical planetary nebulae might be shaped by the presence of a second star in a binary system with the source of the nebula but even this scenario should still produce a structure with axial or mirror symmetry.A pair of scientists from Technion Israel Institute of Technology, Ealeal Bear and Noam Soker, argue that planetary nebulae with especially messy morphologies those without clear axial or point symmetries may have been shaped by an interacting triple stellar system instead.Examples of planetary nebulae that might have been shaped by a triple stellar system. They have some deviations from symmetry but also show signs of interacting with the interstellar medium. [Bear and Soker 2017]Departures from SymmetryTo examine this possibility more closely, Bear and Soker look at a sample of thousands planetary nebulae and qualitatively classify each of them into one of four categories, based on the degree to which they show signs of having been shaped by a

  3. Process engineering with planetary ball mills.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burmeister, Christine Friederike; Kwade, Arno

    2013-09-21

    Planetary ball mills are well known and used for particle size reduction on laboratory and pilot scales for decades while during the last few years the application of planetary ball mills has extended to mechanochemical approaches. Processes inside planetary ball mills are complex and strongly depend on the processed material and synthesis and, thus, the optimum milling conditions have to be assessed for each individual system. The present review focuses on the insight into several parameters like properties of grinding balls, the filling ratio or revolution speed. It gives examples of the aspects of grinding and illustrates some general guidelines to follow for modelling processes in planetary ball mills in terms of refinement, synthesis' yield and contamination from wear. The amount of energy transferred from the milling tools to the powder is significant and hardly measurable for processes in planetary ball mills. Thus numerical simulations based on a discrete-element-method are used to describe the energy transfer to give an adequate description of the process by correlation with experiments. The simulations illustrate the effect of the geometry of planetary ball mills on the energy entry. In addition the imaging of motion patterns inside a planetary ball mill from simulations and video recordings is shown.

  4. Planetary Data System (PDS) Strategic Roadmap

    Science.gov (United States)

    Law, Emily; McNutt, Ralph; Crichton, Daniel J.; Morgan, Tom

    2016-07-01

    The Planetary Data System (PDS) archives and distributes scientific data from NASA planetary missions, astronomical observations, and laboratory measurements. NASA's Science Mission Directorate (SMD) sponsors the PDS. Its purpose is to ensure the long-term usability of NASA data and to stimulate advanced research. The Planetary Science Division (PSD) within the SMD at NASA Headquarters has directed the PDS to set up a Roadmap team to formulate a PDS Roadmap for the period 2017-2026. The purpose of this activity is to provide a forecast of both the rapidly changing Information Technology (IT) environment and the changing expectations of the planetary science communities with respect to Planetary Data archives including, specifically, increasing assessability to all planetary data. The Roadmap team will also identify potential actions that could increase interoperability with other archive and curation elements within NASA and with the archives of other National Space Agencies. The Roadmap team will assess the current state of the PDS and report their findings to the PSD Director by April 15, 2017. This presentation will give an update of this roadmap activity and serve as an opportunity to engage the planetary community at large to provide input to the Roadmap.

  5. Visual End-Effector Position Error Compensation for Planetary Robotics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bajracharya, Max; DiCicco, Matthew; Backes, Paul; Nickels, Kevin

    2007-01-01

    This paper describes a vision-guided manipulation algorithm that improves arm end-effector positioning to subpixel accuracy and meets the highly restrictive imaging and computational constraints of a planetary robotic flight system. Analytical, simulation-based, and experimental analyses of the algorithm's effectiveness and sensitivity to camera and arm model error is presented along with results on several prototype research systems and 'ground-in-the-loop' technology experiments on the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) vehicles. A computationally efficient and robust subpixel end-effector fiducial detector that is instrumental to the algorithm's ability to achieve high accuracy is also described along with its validation results on MER data.

  6. Visual End-Effector Position Error Compensation for Planetary Robotics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bajracharya, Max; DiCicco, Matthew; Backes, Paul; Nickels, Kevin

    2007-01-01

    This paper describes a vision-guided manipulation algorithm that improves arm end-effector positioning to subpixel accuracy and meets the highly restrictive imaging and computational constraints of a planetary robotic flight system. Analytical, simulation-based, and experimental analyses of the algorithm's effectiveness and sensitivity to camera and arm model error is presented along with results on several prototype research systems and 'ground-in-the-loop' technology experiments on the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) vehicles. A computationally efficient and robust subpixel end-effector fiducial detector that is instrumental to the algorithm's ability to achieve high accuracy is also described along with its validation results on MER data.

  7. The Planetary System: Executable Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Papers

    CERN Document Server

    Lange, Christoph; David, Catalin; Ginev, Deyan; Kohlhase, Andrea; Matican, Bogdan; Mirea, Stefan; Zholudev, Vyacheslav

    2011-01-01

    Executable scientific papers contain not just layouted text for reading. They contain, or link to, machine-comprehensible representations of the scientific findings or experiments they describe. Client-side players can thus enable readers to "check, manipulate and explore the result space". We have realized executable papers in the STEM domain with the Planetary system. Semantic annotations associate the papers with a content commons holding the background ontology, the annotations are exposed as Linked Data, and a frontend player application hooks modular interactive services into the semantic annotations.

  8. Planetary Drilling and Resources at the Moon and Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    George, Jeffrey A.

    2012-01-01

    Drilling on the Moon and Mars is an important capability for both scientific and resource exploration. The unique requirements of spaceflight and planetary environments drive drills to different design approaches than established terrestrial technologies. A partnership between NASA and Baker Hughes Inc. developed a novel approach for a dry rotary coring wireline drill capable of acquiring continuous core samples at multi-meter depths for low power and mass. The 8.5 kg Bottom Hole Assembly operated at 100 We and without need for traditional drilling mud or pipe. The technology was field tested in the Canadian Arctic in sandstone, ice and frozen gumbo. Planetary resources could play an important role in future space exploration. Lunar regolith contains oxygen and metals, and water ice has recently been confirmed in a shadowed crater at the Moon.s south pole. Mars possesses a CO2 atmosphere, frozen water ice at the poles, and indications of subsurface aquifers. Such resources could provide water, oxygen and propellants that could greatly simplify the cost and complexity of exploration and survival. NASA/JSC/EP/JAG

  9. MU-SPIN Conference Explorers Program Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barrowman, Jim

    2000-01-01

    The mission of the Explorer Program is to provide frequent flight opportunities for world-class scientific investigations from space within the following space science themes: (1) Astronomical Search for Origins and Planetary Systems; (2) Structure and Evolution of the Universe (3) The Sun-Earth Connection. America's space exploration started with Explorer 1: (1) Launched February 1, 1958; (2) Discovered the Van Allen Radiation Belts; (3) Over 75 Explorer missions have flown.

  10. The Magnetic Field Effect on Planetary Nebulae

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    A. R. Khesali; K. Kokabi

    2006-01-01

    In our previous work on the 3-dimensional dynamical structure of planetary nebulae the effect of magnetic field was not considered. Recently Jordan et al. have directly detected magnetic fields in the central stars of some planetary nebulae. This discovery supports the hypothesis that the non-spherical shape of most planetary nebulae is caused by magnetic fields in AGB stars. In this study we focus on the role of initially weak toroidal magnetic fields embedded in a stellar wind in altering the shape of the PN. We found that magnetic pressure is probably influential on the observed shape of most PNe.

  11. Planetary climates (princeton primers in climate)

    CERN Document Server

    Ingersoll, Andrew

    2013-01-01

    This concise, sophisticated introduction to planetary climates explains the global physical and chemical processes that determine climate on any planet or major planetary satellite--from Mercury to Neptune and even large moons such as Saturn's Titan. Although the climates of other worlds are extremely diverse, the chemical and physical processes that shape their dynamics are the same. As this book makes clear, the better we can understand how various planetary climates formed and evolved, the better we can understand Earth's climate history and future.

  12. Spectroscopic detection and characterisation of planetary atmospheres

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Collier Cameron A.

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Space based broadband infrared observations of close orbiting extrasolar giant planets at transit and secondary eclipse have proved a successful means of determining atmospheric spectral energy distributions and molecular composition. Here, a ground-based spectroscopic technique to detect and characterise planetary atmospheres is presented. Since the planet need not be transiting, this method enables a greater sample of systems to be studied. By modelling the planetary signature as a function of phase, high resolution spectroscopy has the potential to recover the signature of molecules in planetary atmospheres.

  13. Planetary astronomy in the 1990's

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrison, David

    1992-01-01

    An overview is presented of current achievements and future possibilities that exist in planetary astronomy. Planetary astronomers employ a wide range of techniques, from straightforward telescopic observation to laboratory analysis of meteorites and cosmic dust. Much of this work focuses on three fundamental questions: how abundant are planets throughout the universe, how did the solar system form, and what can other planets tell us about earth? Several examples show that many recent discoveries reveal the continuing value of earth-orbit and ground-based methods for planetary studies.

  14. 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

  15. A new planetary nebula in the outer reaches of the Galaxy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Viironen, K.; Mampaso, A.; L. M. Corradi, R.

    2011-01-01

    A proper determination of the abundance gradient in the Milky Way requires the observation of objects at large galactiocentric distances. With this aim, we are exploring the planetary nebula population towards the Galactic Anticentre. In this article, the discovery and physico-chemical study...

  16. 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

  17. Planetary science: Cometary dust under the microscope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kolokolova, Ludmilla

    2016-09-01

    The Rosetta spacecraft made history by successfully orbiting a comet. Data from the craft now reveal the structure of the comet's dust particles, shedding light on the processes that form planetary systems. See Letter p.73

  18. Planetary camera control improves microfiche production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chesterton, W. L.; Lewis, E. B.

    1965-01-01

    Microfiche is prepared using an automatic control system for a planetary camera. The system provides blank end-of-row exposures and signals card completion so the legend of the next card may by photographed.

  19. Low-energy Planetary Excavator (LPE) Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — ORBITEC proposes to develop an innovative Low-energy Planetary Excavator (LPE) to excavate in situ regolith, ice-regolith mixes, and a variety of other geologic...

  20. Low-energy Planetary Excavator (LPE) Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — ORBITEC is developing an innovative Low-energy Planetary Excavator (LPE) to excavate in situ regolith, ice-regolith mixes, and a variety of other geologic materials...

  1. 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.

  2. The Planetary Science Workforce: Goals Through 2050

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rathbun, J. A.; Cohen, B. A.; Turtle, E. P.; Vertesi, J. A.; Rivkin, A. S.; Hörst, S. M.; Tiscareno, M. S.; Marchis, F.; Milazzo, M.; Diniega, S.; Lakdawalla, E.; Zellner, N.

    2017-02-01

    The planetary science workforce is not nearly as diverse as the society from which its membership is drawn and from which the majority of our funding comes. We discuss the current state and recommendations for improvement.

  3. 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.

  4. Space Exploration as a Human Enterprise: The Scientific Interest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sagan, Carl

    1973-01-01

    Presents examples which illustrate the importance of space exploration in diverse aspects of scientific knowledge. Indicates that human beings are today not wise enough to anticipate the practical benefits of planetary studies. (CC)

  5. Technologies Enabling Exploration of Skylights, Lava Tubes and Caves Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Missions to date have orbited and roved, but sub-planetary worlds elude exploration. This investigation proposes to develop technology for venturing underground and...

  6. Planetary boundaries: Governing emerging risks and opportunities

    OpenAIRE

    2016-01-01

    The climate, ecosystems and species, ozone layer, acidity of the oceans, the flow of energy and elements through nature, landscape change, freshwater systems, aerosols, and toxins—these constitute the planetary boundaries within which humanity must find a safe way to live and prosper. These are thresholds that, if we cross them, we run the risk of rapid, non-linear, and irreversible changes to the environment, with severe consequences for human wellbeing. The concept of planetary boundaries, ...

  7. 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

  8. Cosmological aspects of planetary habitability

    CERN Document Server

    Shchekinov, Yu A; Murthy, J

    2014-01-01

    The habitable zone (HZ) is defined as the region around a star where a planet can support liquid water on its surface, which, together with an oxygen atmosphere, is presumed to be necessary (and sufficient) to develop and sustain life on the planet. Currently, about twenty potentially habitable planets are listed. The most intriguing question driving all these studies is whether planets within habitable zones host extraterrestrial life. It is implicitly assumed that a planet in the habitable zone bears biota. However along with the two usual indicators of habitability, an oxygen atmosphere and liquid water on the surface, an additional one -- the age --- has to be taken into account when the question of the existence of life (or even a simple biota) on a planet is addressed. The importance of planetary age for the existence of life as we know it follows from the fact that the primary process, the photosynthesis, is endothermic with an activation energy higher than temperatures in habitable zones. Therefore on...

  9. Fluid dynamics of planetary ices

    CERN Document Server

    Greve, Ralf

    2009-01-01

    The role of water ice in the solar system is reviewed from a fluid-dynamical point of view. On Earth and Mars, water ice forms ice sheets, ice caps and glaciers at the surface, which show glacial flow under their own weight. By contrast, water ice is a major constituent of the bulk volume of the icy satellites in the outer solar system, and ice flow can occur as thermal convection. The rheology of polycrystalline aggregates of ordinary, hexagonal ice Ih is described by a power law, different forms of which are discussed. The temperature dependence of the ice viscosity follows an Arrhenius law. Therefore, the flow of ice in a planetary environment constitutes a thermo-mechanically coupled problem; its model equations are obtained by inserting the flow law and the thermodynamic material equations in the balance laws of mass, momentum and energy. As an example of gravity-driven flow, the polar caps of Mars are discussed. For the north-polar cap, large-scale flow velocities of the order of 0.1...1 mm/a are likely...

  10. Unveiling shocks in planetary nebulae

    CERN Document Server

    Guerrero, M A; Medina, J J; Luridiana, V; Miranda, L F; Riera, A; Velázquez, P F

    2013-01-01

    The propagation of a shock wave into a medium is expected to heat the material beyond the shock, producing noticeable effects in intensity line ratios such as [O III]/Halpha. To investigate the occurrence of shocks in planetary nebulae (PNe), we have used all narrowband [O III] and Halpha images of PNe available in the HST archive to build their [O III]/Halpha ratio maps and to search for regions where this ratio is enhanced. Regions with enhanced [O III]/Halpha emission ratio can be ascribed to two different types of morphological structures: bow-shock structures produced by fast collimated outflows and thin skins enveloping expanding nebular shells. Both collimated outflows and expanding shells are therefore confirmed to generate shocks in PNe. We also find regions with depressed values of the [O III]/Halpha ratio which are found mostly around density bounded PNe, where the local contribution of [N II] emission into the F656N Halpha filter cannot be neglected.

  11. Planetary Gearbox Fault Diagnosis Using Envelope Manifold Demodulation

    OpenAIRE

    Weigang Wen; Gao, Robert X.; Weidong Cheng

    2016-01-01

    The important issue in planetary gear fault diagnosis is to extract the dependable fault characteristics from the noisy vibration signal of planetary gearbox. To address this critical problem, an envelope manifold demodulation method is proposed for planetary gear fault detection in the paper. This method combines complex wavelet, manifold learning, and frequency spectrogram to implement planetary gear fault characteristic extraction. The vibration signal of planetary gear is demodulated by w...

  12. High spatial resolution mid-infrared studies of planetary systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skemer, Andrew

    I present the results of six papers related the formation and evolution of planets and planetary systems, all of which are based on high-resolution, ground-based, mid-infrared observations. The first three chapters are studies of T Tauri binaries. T Tauri stars are young, low mass stars, whose disks form the building blocks of extrasolar planets. The first chapter is a study of the 0.68"/0.12" triple system, T Tauri. Our spatially resolved N-band photometry reveals silicate absorption towards one component, T Tau Sa, indicating the presence of an edge-on disk, which is in contrast to the other components. The second chapter is an adaptive optics fed N-band spectroscopy study of the 0.88" binary, UY Aur. We find that the dust grains around UY Aur A are ISM-like, while the mineralogy of the dust around UY Aur B is more uncertain, due to self-extinction. The third chapter presents a survey of spatially resolved silicate spectroscopy for nine T Tauri binaries. We find with 90%-95% confidence that the silicate features of the binaries are more similar than those of randomly paired single stars. This implies that a shared binary property, such as age or composition, is an important parameter in dust grain evolution. The fourth chapter is a study of the planetary system, 2MASS 1207. We explore the source of 2MASS 1207 b's under-luminosity, which has typically been explained as the result of an edge-on disk of large, grey-extincting dust grains. We find that the edge-on disk theory is incompatible with several lines of evidence, and suggest that 2MASS 1207 b's appearance can be explained by a thick cloudy atmosphere, which might be typical among young, planetary systems. The fifth chapter is a study of the white dwarf, Sirius B, which in the context of this thesis is being studied as a post-planetary system. Our N-band imaging demonstrates that Sirius B does not have an infrared excess, in contrast to previous results. The sixth chapter is a study of mid

  13. 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

  14. Bringing Terramechanics to bear on Planetary Rover Design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richter, L.

    2007-08-01

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

  15. International Collaboration for Venus Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cutts, James; Limaye, Sanjay; Zasova, Ludmila; Wilson, Colin; Ocampo, Adriana; Glaze, Lori; Svedhem, H.; Nakamura, Masato; Widemann, Thomas

    The Venus Exploration Analysis Group (VEXAG) was established by NASA in July 2005 to identify scientific priorities and strategy for exploration of Venus. From the outset, VEXAG has been open to the international community participation and has followed the progress of the ESA Venus Express Mission and the JAXA Akasuki mission as well exploring potential broad international partnerships for Venus exploration through coordinated science and missions. This paper discussed three mechanisms through which these collaborations are being explored in which VEXAG members participate One pathway for international collaboration has been through COSPAR. The International Venus Exploration Working Group (IVEWG) was formed during the 2012 COSPAR general assembly in Mysore, India. Another potentially significant outcome has been the IVEWG’s efforts to foster a formal dialog between IKI and NASA/PSD on the proposed Venera D mission resulting in a meeting in June 2013 to be followed by a discussion at the 4MS3 conference in October 2013. This has now resulted in an agreement between NASA/PSD and IKI to form a joint Science Definition Team for Venera D. A second pathway has been through an international focus on comparative climatology. Scientists from the established space faring nations participated in a first international conference on Comparative Climatology for Terrestrial Planet (CCTP) in Boulder Colorado in June 2012 sponsored by several international scientific organizations. A second conference is planned for 2015. The Planetary Robotics Exploration Coordinating Group (PRECG) of International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) the IAA has been focusing on exploring affordable contributions to the robotic exploration by non-space-faring nations wishing to get involved in planetary exploration. PRECG has sponsored a two year study of Comparative Climatology for which Venus is the focal point and focused on engaging nations without deep space exploration capabilities. A third

  16. Synchronous in-field application of life-detection techniques in planetary analog missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amador, Elena S.; Cable, Morgan L.; Chaudry, Nosheen; Cullen, Thomas; Gentry, Diana; Jacobsen, Malene B.; Murukesan, Gayathri; Schwieterman, Edward W.; Stevens, Adam H.; Stockton, Amanda; Yin, Chang; Cullen, David C.; Geppert, Wolf

    2015-02-01

    Field expeditions that simulate the operations of robotic planetary exploration missions at analog sites on Earth can help establish best practices and are therefore a positive contribution to the planetary exploration community. There are many sites in Iceland that possess heritage as planetary exploration analog locations and whose environmental extremes make them suitable for simulating scientific sampling and robotic operations. We conducted a planetary exploration analog mission at two recent lava fields in Iceland, Fimmvörðuháls (2010) and Eldfell (1973), using a specially developed field laboratory. We tested the utility of in-field site sampling down selection and tiered analysis operational capabilities with three life detection and characterization techniques: fluorescence microscopy (FM), adenine-triphosphate (ATP) bioluminescence assay, and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) assay. The study made use of multiple cycles of sample collection at multiple distance scales and field laboratory analysis using the synchronous life-detection techniques to heuristically develop the continuing sampling and analysis strategy during the expedition. Here we report the operational lessons learned and provide brief summaries of scientific data. The full scientific data report will follow separately. We found that rapid in-field analysis to determine subsequent sampling decisions is operationally feasible, and that the chosen life detection and characterization techniques are suitable for a terrestrial life-detection field mission. In-field analysis enables the rapid obtainment of scientific data and thus facilitates the collection of the most scientifically relevant samples within a single field expedition, without the need for sample relocation to external laboratories. The operational lessons learned in this study could be applied to future terrestrial field expeditions employing other analytical techniques and to future robotic planetary exploration

  17. Cold aqueous planetary geochemistry with FREZCHEM from modeling to the search for life at the limits

    CERN Document Server

    Marion, Giles M

    2007-01-01

    This book explicitly investigates issues of astrobiological relevance in the context of cold aqueous planetary geochemistry. At the core of the technical chapters is the FREZCHEM model, initially developed over many years by one of the authors to quantify aqueous electrolyte properties and chemical thermodynamics at subzero temperatures. FREZCHEM, of general relevance to biogeochemists and geochemical modelers, cold planetary scientists, physicochemists and chemical engineers, is subsequently applied to the exploration of biogeochemical applications to solar systems bodies in general, and to speculations about the limits for life in cold environments in particular.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Geophysics of Small Planetary Bodies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asphaug, Erik I.

    1998-01-01

    As a SETI Institute PI from 1996-1998, Erik Asphaug studied impact and tidal physics and other geophysical processes associated with small (low-gravity) planetary bodies. This work included: a numerical impact simulation linking basaltic achondrite meteorites to asteroid 4 Vesta (Asphaug 1997), which laid the groundwork for an ongoing study of Martian meteorite ejection; cratering and catastrophic evolution of small bodies (with implications for their internal structure; Asphaug et al. 1996); genesis of grooved and degraded terrains in response to impact; maturation of regolith (Asphaug et al. 1997a); and the variation of crater outcome with impact angle, speed, and target structure. Research of impacts into porous, layered and prefractured targets (Asphaug et al. 1997b, 1998a) showed how shape, rheology and structure dramatically affects sizes and velocities of ejecta, and the survivability and impact-modification of comets and asteroids (Asphaug et al. 1998a). As an affiliate of the Galileo SSI Team, the PI studied problems related to cratering, tectonics, and regolith evolution, including an estimate of the impactor flux around Jupiter and the effect of impact on local and regional tectonics (Asphaug et al. 1998b). Other research included tidal breakup modeling (Asphaug and Benz 1996; Schenk et al. 1996), which is leading to a general understanding of the role of tides in planetesimal evolution. As a Guest Computational Investigator for NASA's BPCC/ESS supercomputer testbed, helped graft SPH3D onto an existing tree code tuned for the massively parallel Cray T3E (Olson and Asphaug, in preparation), obtaining a factor xIO00 speedup in code execution time (on 512 cpus). Runs which once took months are now completed in hours.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. The complex itinerary of Leibniz’s planetary theory physical convictions, metaphysical principles and Keplerian inspiration

    CERN Document Server

    Bussotti, Paolo

    2015-01-01

    This book presents new insights into Leibniz’s research on planetary theory and his system of pre-established harmony. Although some aspects of this theory have been explored in the literature, others are less well known. In particular, the book offers new contributions on the connection between the planetary theory and the theory of gravitation. It also provides an in-depth discussion of Kepler’s influence on Leibniz’s planetary theory and, more generally, on Leibniz’s concept of pre-established harmony. Three initial chapters presenting the mathematical and physical details of Leibniz’s works provide a frame of reference. The book then goes on to discuss research on Leibniz’s conception of gravity and the connection between Leibniz and Kepler. .

  6. Turning Planetary Theory Upside Down

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    The discovery of nine new transiting exoplanets is announced today at the RAS National Astronomy Meeting (NAM2010). When these new results were combined with earlier observations of transiting exoplanets astronomers were surprised to find that six out of a larger sample of 27 were found to be orbiting in the opposite direction to the rotation of their host star - the exact reverse of what is seen in our own Solar System. The new discoveries provide an unexpected and serious challenge to current theories of planet formation. They also suggest that systems with exoplanets of the type known as hot Jupiters are unlikely to contain Earth-like planets. "This is a real bomb we are dropping into the field of exoplanets," says Amaury Triaud, a PhD student at the Geneva Observatory who, with Andrew Cameron and Didier Queloz, leads a major part of the observational campaign. Planets are thought to form in the disc of gas and dust encircling a young star. This proto-planetary disc rotates in the same direction as the star itself, and up to now it was expected that planets that form from the disc would all orbit in more or less the same plane, and that they would move along their orbits in the same direction as the star's rotation. This is the case for the planets in the Solar System. After the initial detection of the nine new exoplanets [1] with the Wide Angle Search for Planets (WASP, [2]), the team of astronomers used the HARPS spectrograph on the 3.6-metre ESO telescope at the La Silla observatory in Chile, along with data from the Swiss Euler telescope, also at La Silla, and data from other telescopes to confirm the discoveries and characterise the transiting exoplanets [3] found in both the new and older surveys. Surprisingly, when the team combined the new data with older observations they found that more than half of all the hot Jupiters [4] studied have orbits that are misaligned with the rotation axis of their parent stars. They even found that six exoplanets in this

  7. Europlanet - Joining the European Planetary Research Information Service

    Science.gov (United States)

    Capria, M. T.; Chanteur, G.; Schmidt, W.

    2009-04-01

    The "Europlanet Research Infrastructure - Europlanet RI", supported by the European Commission's Framework Program 7, aims at integrating major parts of the distributed European Planetary Research infrastructure with as diverse components as space exploration, ground-based observations, laboratory experiments and numerical model-ling teams. A central part of Europlanet RI is the "Integrated and Distributed Information Service" or Europlanet-IDIS which intends to provide easy Web-based access to information about scientists and teams working in related fields, observatories or laboratories with capabilities possibly beneficial to planetary research, modelling expertise useful for planetary science and observations from space-based, ground-based or laboratory measurements. As far as the type of data and their access methods allow, IDIS will provide Virtual Observatory (VO) like access to a variety of data from distributed sources and tools to compare and integrate this information to further data analysis and re-search. IDIS itself is providing a platform for information and data sharing and for data mining. It is structured as a network of thematic nodes each concentrating on a sub-set of research areas in planetary sciences. But the most important elements of IDIS and the whole Europlanet RI are the single scientists, institutes, laboratories, observatories and mission project teams. Without them the whole effort would remain an empty shell. How can an interested individual or team join this activity and what are the benefits to be expected from the related effort? The poster gives detailed answers to these questions. Here some highlights: 1. Locate from the Europlanet web pages (addresses see below) the thematic node best related to the own field of expertise. This might be more than one. 2. Define which services you want to offer to the community: just the contact address, field of competence, off-line access to data on request or even on-line searchable access

  8. Mapping planetary caves with an autonomous, heterogeneous robot team

    Science.gov (United States)

    Husain, Ammar; Jones, Heather; Kannan, Balajee; Wong, Uland; Pimentel, Tiago; Tang, Sarah; Daftry, Shreyansh; Huber, Steven; Whittaker, William L.

    Caves on other planetary bodies offer sheltered habitat for future human explorers and numerous clues to a planet's past for scientists. While recent orbital imagery provides exciting new details about cave entrances on the Moon and Mars, the interiors of these caves are still unknown and not observable from orbit. Multi-robot teams offer unique solutions for exploration and modeling subsurface voids during precursor missions. Robot teams that are diverse in terms of size, mobility, sensing, and capability can provide great advantages, but this diversity, coupled with inherently distinct low-level behavior architectures, makes coordination a challenge. This paper presents a framework that consists of an autonomous frontier and capability-based task generator, a distributed market-based strategy for coordinating and allocating tasks to the different team members, and a communication paradigm for seamless interaction between the different robots in the system. Robots have different sensors, (in the representative robot team used for testing: 2D mapping sensors, 3D modeling sensors, or no exteroceptive sensors), and varying levels of mobility. Tasks are generated to explore, model, and take science samples. Based on an individual robot's capability and associated cost for executing a generated task, a robot is autonomously selected for task execution. The robots create coarse online maps and store collected data for high resolution offline modeling. The coordination approach has been field tested at a mock cave site with highly-unstructured natural terrain, as well as an outdoor patio area. Initial results are promising for applicability of the proposed multi-robot framework to exploration and modeling of planetary caves.

  9. Observations of planetary nebulae in the Galactic Bulge

    CERN Document Server

    Cuisinier, F; Köppen, J; Acker, A; Stenholm, B

    2000-01-01

    High quality spectrophotometric observations of 30 Planetary Nebulae in the Galactic Bulge have been made. Accurate reddenings, plasma parameters, and abundances of He,O,N,S,Ar,Cl are derived. We find the abundances of O,S,Ar in the Planetary Nebulae in the Galactic Bulge to be comparable with the abundances of the Planetary Nebulae in the Disk, high abundances being maybe slightly more frequent in the Bulge. The distribution of the N/O ratio does not present in the Galactic Bulge Planetary Nebulae the extension to high values that it presents in the Disk Planetary Nebulae. We interpret this as a signature of the greater age of Bulge Planetary Nebulae. We thus find the Bulge Planetary Nebulae to be an old population, slightly more metal-rich than the Disk Planetary Nebulae. The population of the Bulge Planetary Nebulae shows hence the same characteristics than the Bulge stellar population.

  10. Lunar and Planetary Science XXXV: Undergraduate Education and Research Programs, Facilities, and Information Access

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

    The titles in this section include: 1) GRIDVIEW: Recent Improvements in Research and Education Software for Exploring Mars Topography; 2) Software and Hardware Upgrades for the University of North Dakota Asteroid and Comet Internet Telescope (ACIT); 3) Web-based Program for Calculating Effects of an Earth Impact; 4) On-Line Education, Web- and Virtual-Classes in an Urban University: A Preliminary Overview; 5) Modelling Planetary Material's Structures: From Quasicrystalline Microstructure to Crystallographic Materials by Use of Mathematica; 6) How We Used NASA Lunar Set in Planetary and Material Science Studies: Textural and Cooling Sequences in Sections of Lava Column from a Thin and a Thick Lava-Flow, from the Moon and Mars with Terrestrial Analogue and Chondrule Textural Comparisons; 7) Classroom Teaching of Space Technology and Simulations by the Husar Rover Model; 8) New Experiments (In Meteorology, Aerosols, Soil Moisture and Ice) on the New Hunveyor Educational Planetary Landers of Universities and Colleges in Hungary; 9) Teaching Planetary GIS by Constructing Its Model for the Test Terrain of the Hunveyor and Husar; 10) Undergraduate Students: An Untapped Resource for Planetary Researchers; 11) Analog Sites in Field Work of Petrology: Rock Assembly Delivered to a Plain by Floods on Earth and Mars; 12) RELAB (Reflectance Experiment Laboratory): A NASA Multiuser Spectroscopy Facility; 13) Full Text Searching and Customization in the NASA ADS Abstract Service.

  11. Access to the Online Planetary Research Literature

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henneken, E. A.; Accomazzi, A.; Kurtz, M. J.; Grant, C. S.; Thompson, D.; Di Milia, G.; Bohlen, E.; Murray, S. S.

    2009-12-01

    The SAO/NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS) provides various free services for finding, accessing, and managing bibliographic data, including a basic search form, the myADS notification service, and private library capabilities (a useful tool for building bibliographies), plus access to scanned pages of published articles. The ADS also provides powerful search capabilities, allowing users to find e.g. the most instructive or most important articles on a given subject . For the Planetary Sciences, the citation statistics of the ADS have improved considerably with the inclusion of the references from Elsevier journals, including Icarus, Planetary and Space Science, and Earth and Planetary Science Letters. We currently have about 78 journals convering the planetary and space sciences (Advances in Space Research, Icarus, Solar Physics, Astrophusics and Space Science, JGRE, Meteoritics, to name a few). Currently, this set of journals represents about 180,000 articles and 1.1 million references. Penetration into the Solar Physics, Planetary Sciences and Geophysics community has increased significantly. During the period 2004-2008, user access to JGR and Icarus increased by a factor of 4.4, while e.g. access to the Astrophysical Journal "only" increased by a factor of 1.8.

  12. Extra-Solar Planetary Imager (ESPI) for Space Based Jovian Planetary Detection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyon, Rick G.; Melnick, Gary J.; Nisenson, Peter; Papaliolios, Costa; Ridgeway, Steve; Friedman, Edward; Gezari, Dan Y.; Harwit, Martin; Graf, Paul

    2002-01-01

    We report on out Extra-Solar Planetary Imager (ESPI) study for a recent Midex (NASA Medium Class Explorer Mission) proposal. Proposed for ESPI was a 1.5 x 1.5 square meter Jacquinot apodized square aperture telescope. The combination of apodization and a square aperture telescope significantly reduces the diffracted light from a bright central source over much of the telescope focal plane. As a result, observations of very faint astronomical objects next to bright sources with angular separations as small as 0.32 arcseconds become possible. This permits a sensitive search for exo-planets in reflected light. The system is capable of detecting a Jupiter-like planet in a relatively long-period orbit around as many as 160 to 175 stars with a signal-to-noise ratio greater than 5 in observations lasting maximally 100 hours per star. We discuss the effects of wavefront error, mirror speckle, pointing error and signal-to-noise issues, as well as the scalability of our ESPI study with respect to NASA's Terrestrial Planet Finder mission.

  13. Lunar and Planetary Science XXXVI, Part 22

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-01-01

    The Lunar and Planetary Science XXXVI, Part 22 is presented. The topics include: 1) Pressure Histories from Thin and Thick Shock-induced Melt Veins in Meteorites; 2) Nano-structured Minerals as Signature of Microbial Activity; 3) The Insoluble Carbonaceous Material of CM Chondrites as Possible Source of Discrete Organics During the Asteroidal Aqueous Phase; 4) Discovery of Abundant Presolar Silicates in Subgroups of Antarctic Micrometeorites; 5) Characteristics of a Seismometer for the LUNAR-A Penetrator; 6) Heating Experiments of the HaH 262 Eucrite and Implication for the Metamorphic History of Highly Metamorphosed Eucrites; 7) Measurements of Ejecta Velocity Distribution by a High-Speed Video Camera; 8) Petrological Comparison of Mongolian Jalanash Ureilite and Twelve Antarctic Ureilites; 9) Metallographic Cooling Rate of IVA Irons Revisited; 10) Inhomogeneous Temperature Distribution in Chondrules in Shock-Wave Heating Model; 11) Subsurface Weathering of Rocks and Soils at Gusev Crater; 12) Extinct Radioactivities in the Early Solar System and the Mean Age of the Galaxy; 13) Correlation of Rock Spectra with Quantitative Morphologic Indices: Evidence for a Single Rock Type at the Mars Pathfinder Landing Site; 14) Silicon Isotopic Ratios of Presolar Grains from Supernovae; 15) Current Status and Readiness on In-Situ Exploration of Asteroid Surface by MINERVA Rover in Hayabusa Mission; 16) Long Formation Period of Single CAI: Combination of O and Mg Isotope Distribution; 17) Supra-Canonical Initial 26Al/27Al Indicate a 105 Year Residence Time for CAIs in the Solar Proto-Planetary Disk; 18) Evolution of Mercury's Obliquity; 19) First Results from the Huygens Surface Science Package; 20) Polyhedral Serpentine Grains in CM Chondrites; 21) Mountainous Units in the Martian Gusev Highland Region: Volcanic, Tectonic, or Impact Related? 22) Petrography of Lunar Meteorite MET 01210, A New Basaltic Regolith Breccia; 23) Earth-Moon Impacts at 300 Ma and 500 Ma Ago; 24

  14. Earth Orbiting Support Systems for commercial low Earth orbit data relay: Assessing architectures through tradespace exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palermo, Gianluca; Golkar, Alessandro; Gaudenzi, Paolo

    2015-06-01

    As small satellites and Sun Synchronous Earth Observation systems are assuming an increased role in nowadays space activities, including commercial investments, it is of interest to assess how infrastructures could be developed to support the development of such systems and other spacecraft that could benefit from having a data relay service in Low Earth Orbit (LEO), as opposed to traditional Geostationary relays. This paper presents a tradespace exploration study of the architecture of such LEO commercial satellite data relay systems, here defined as Earth Orbiting Support Systems (EOSS). The paper proposes a methodology to formulate architectural decisions for EOSS constellations, and enumerate the corresponding tradespace of feasible architectures. Evaluation metrics are proposed to measure benefits and costs of architectures; lastly, a multicriteria Pareto criterion is used to downselect optimal architectures for subsequent analysis. The methodology is applied to two case studies for a set of 30 and 100 customer-spacecraft respectively, representing potential markets for LEO services in Exploration, Earth Observation, Science, and CubeSats. Pareto analysis shows how increased performance of the constellation is always achieved by an increased node size, as measured by the gain of the communications antenna mounted on EOSS spacecraft. On the other hand, nonlinear trends in optimal orbital altitude, number of satellites per plane, and number of orbital planes, are found in both cases. An upward trend in individual node memory capacity is found, although never exceeding 256 Gbits of onboard memory for both cases that have been considered, assuming the availability of a polar ground station for EOSS data downlink. System architects can use the proposed methodology to identify optimal EOSS constellations for a given service pricing strategy and customer target, thus identifying alternatives for selection by decision makers.

  15. Liberating exomoons in white dwarf planetary systems

    CERN Document Server

    Payne, Matthew J; Holman, Matthew J; Gaensicke, Boris T

    2016-01-01

    Previous studies indicate that more than a quarter of all white dwarf (WD) atmospheres are polluted by remnant planetary material, with some WDs being observed to accrete the mass of Pluto in 10^6 years. The short sinking timescale for the pollutants indicate that the material must be frequently replenished. Moons may contribute decisively to this pollution process if they are liberated from their parent planets during the post-main-sequence evolution of the planetary systems. Here, we demonstrate that gravitational scattering events among planets in WD systems easily triggers moon ejection. Repeated close encounters within tenths of a planetary Hill radii are highly destructive to even the most massive, close-in moons. Consequently, scattering increases both the frequency of perturbing agents in WD systems, as well as the available mass of polluting material in those systems, thereby enhancing opportunities for collision and fragmentation and providing more dynamical pathways for smaller bodies to reach the ...

  16. Magnetic investigations for studying planetary interiors

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. De Santis

    1994-06-01

    Full Text Available Most of the magnetic methods used for investigating planetary interiors are based on the reasonable hypothesis that the mechanism for the origin of the field is an Earth-like hydromagnetic dynamo: in this case the planet has an electrically conducting fluid shell within it as in the case of the Earth's core. The present paper describes several techniques of planetary magnetic investigation which give important clues on the internal constitution of planets. Some considerations on the possible mechanisms for maintaining a dynamo and simple concepts with the help of a few non-dimensional numbers are also introduced and discussed. Then some fundamental relationships are given in order to relate the planetary magnetism to other physical parameters, such as angular rotation, core dimensions etc. It finally summarizes some results available for the planets of the Solar System.

  17. Dust in the 55 Cancri planetary system

    CERN Document Server

    Jayawardhana, R; Greaves, J S; Dent, W R F; Marcy, G W; Hartmann, L W; Fazio, G G; Jayawardhana, Ray; Holland, Wayne S.; Greaves, Jane S.; Dent, William R. F.; Marcy, Geoffrey W.; Hartmann, Lee W.; Fazio, Giovanni G.

    2000-01-01

    The presence of debris disks around $\\sim$ 1-Gyr-old main sequence stars suggests that an appreciable amount of dust may persist even in mature planetary systems. Here we report the detection of dust emission from 55 Cancri, a star with one, or possibly two, planetary companions detected through radial velocity measurements. Our observations at 850$\\mu$m and 450$\\mu$m imply a dust mass of 0.0008-0.005 Earth masses, somewhat higher than that in the the Kuiper Belt of our solar system. The estimated temperature of the dust grains and a simple model fit both indicate a central disk hole of at least 10 AU in radius. Thus, the region where the planets are detected is likely to be significantly depleted of dust. Our results suggest that far-infrared and sub-millimeter observations are powerful tools for probing the outer regions of extrasolar planetary systems.

  18. 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 also computed using three published estimates of current P flow to the sea. Current conditions exceed all planetary boundaries for P. Substantial differences between current conditions and planetary boundaries demonstrate the contrast between large amounts of P needed for food production and the high sensitivity of freshwaters to pollution by P runoff. At the same time, some regions of the world are P-deficient, and there are some indications that a global P shortage is possible in coming decades. More efficient recycling and retention of P within agricultural ecosystems could maintain or increase food production while reducing P pollution and improving water quality. Spatial heterogeneity in the global P cycle suggests that recycling of P in regions of excess and transfer of P to regions of deficiency could mitigate eutrophication, increase agricultural yield, and delay or avoid global P shortage.

  19. The Open Gateway: Lunar Exploration in 2050

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawrence, S.; Neal, C.

    2017-01-01

    The Moon, with its fundamental science questions and abundant, potentially useful re-sources, is the most viable destination for near-term future human and robotic exploration. Given what we have learned since Apollo, the lunar frontier now presents an entirely new paradigm for planetary exploration. The Lunar Exploration Roadmap [1], which was jointly developed by engineers, planetary scientists, commercial entities, and policymakers, is the cohesive strategic plan for using the Moon and its resources to enable the exploration of all other destinations within the Solar system by leveraging incremental, affordable investments in cislunar infrastructure. Here, we summarize the Lunar Exploration Roadmap, and describe the immense benefits that will arise from its successful implementation.

  20. 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

  1. Experimental substantiation of planetary quarantine in orbital flight

    Science.gov (United States)

    Novikova, Nataliya; Polikarpov, Nikolay; Deshevaya, Elena; Svistunova, Yulia

    Planetary quarantine is one of the outstanding issues faced by planners of future exploration missions. Evaluation of risks associated with the hypothesized transfer of biological material through the interplanetary space has been listed among the high-priority goals of space research. To address this issue, the Institute for Biomedical Problems of the Russian Academy of Sciences has developed a program of and equipment for space experiment BIORISK with the idea of extended exposure of various microorganisms on the outer surface of the International Space Station {ISS}. The experiment is to provide new data about patterns and limits of phenotypic adaptation and genotype modifications, if any, in bacterial-fungal associations that form typical microbiota found on the structural materials used in space vehicles. The first extended {18 months} exposure of microorganisms-artificial substrates systems in open space comparable with the length of voyage on the Earth-Mars-Earth itinerary demonstrated preservation of the viability of spore forms of bacteria and microscopic fungi. Also, after exposure to the extremities of open space most of the survived strains were shown to have mobilized a protection-adaptation mechanism consisting of intensification of the enzyme and biochemical activities. The present, second stage of BIORISK is being conducted with a broader variety of biological objects. The conditions of near-Earth orbits are entirely different from the conditions the exploration crew and their microbial companions will have to live in during the voyage, mainly in terms of values and spectra of radiation doses. For this reason, indication of space exploration trajectories with the help of different taxonomic groups of microorganisms will be essential to defining approaches to planetary quarantine and astrobiology.

  2. 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)

  3. Global Analysis of a Planetary Gear Train

    OpenAIRE

    Tongjie Li; Rupeng Zhu

    2014-01-01

    By using the Poincaré-like cell-to-cell mapping method and shooting method, the global characteristics of a planetary gear train are studied based on the torsional vibration model with errors of transmission, time-varying meshing stiffness, and multiple gear backlashes. The study results reveal that the planetary with a certain set of parameters has four coexisting periodic orbits, which are P-1, P-2, P-4, and P-8, respectively. P-1 and P-2 motions are not of long-term stability, P-8 motion ...

  4. Dynamical Problems in Extrasolar Planetary Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morbidelli, Alessandro; Haghighipour, Nader

    2016-10-01

    The past few years have witnessed a large increase in the number of extrasolar planets. Thanks to successful surveys from the ground and from space, there are now over 1000 confirmed exoplanets and more then 3000 planetary candidates. More than 130 of these systems host multiple planets. Many of these systems demonstrate physical and orbital characteristics fundamentally different from those of our solar system. The challenges associated with the diversity of planetary systems have raised many interesting questions on planet formation and orbital dynamics.

  5. Resource-Optimal Planning For An Autonomous Planetary Vehicle

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giuseppe Della Penna

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Autonomous planetary vehicles, also known as rovers, are small autonomous vehicles equipped with avariety of sensors used to perform exploration and experiments on a planet’s surface. Rovers work in apartially unknown environment, with narrow energy/time/movement constraints and, typically, smallcomputational resources that limit the complexity of on-line planning and scheduling, thus they representa great challenge in the field of autonomous vehicles. Indeed, formal models for such vehicles usuallyinvolve hybrid systems with nonlinear dynamics, which are difficult to handle by most of the currentplanning algorithms and tools. Therefore, when offline planning of the vehicle activities is required, forexample for rovers that operate without a continuous Earth supervision, such planning is often performedon simplified models that are not completely realistic. In this paper we show how the UPMurphi modelchecking based planning tool can be used to generate resource-optimal plans to control the engine of anautonomous planetary vehicle, working directly on its hybrid model and taking into account severalsafety constraints, thus achieving very accurate results.

  6. Resource-Optimal Planning For An Autonomous Planetary Vehicle

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giuseppe Della Penna

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Autonomous planetary vehicles, also known as rovers, are small autonomous vehicles equipped with a variety of sensors used to perform exploration and experiments on a planet’s surface. Rovers work in a partially unknown environment, with narrow energy/time/movement constraints and, typically, small computational resources that limit the complexity of on-line planning and scheduling, thus they represent a great challenge in the field of autonomous vehicles. Indeed, formal models for such vehicles usually involve hybrid systems with nonlinear dynamics, which are difficult to handle by most of the current planning algorithms and tools. Therefore, when offline planning of the vehicle activities is required, for example for rovers that operate without a continuous Earth supervision, such planning is often performed on simplified models that are not completely realistic. In this paper we show how the UPMurphi model checking based planning tool can be used to generate resource-optimal plans to control the engine of an autonomous planetary vehicle, working directly on its hybrid model and taking into account several safety constraints, thus achieving very accurate results.

  7. Do Interactive Globes and Games Help Students Learn Planetary Science?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coba, Filis; Burgin, Stephen; De Paor, Declan; Georgen, Jennifer

    2016-01-01

    The popularity of animations and interactive visualizations in undergraduate science education might lead one to assume that these teaching aids enhance student learning. We tested this assumption for the case of the Google Earth virtual globe with a comparison of control and treatment student groups in a general education class of over 370 students at a large public university. Earth and Planetary Science course content was developed in two formats: using Keyhole Markup Language (KML) to create interactive tours in Google Earth (the treatment group) and Portable Document Format (PDF) for on-screen reading (the control group). The PDF documents contained identical text and images to the placemark balloons or "tour stops" in the Google Earth version. Some significant differences were noted between the two groups based on the immediate post-questionnaire with the KML students out-performing the PDF students, but not on the delayed measure. In a separate but related project, we undertake preliminary investigations into methods of teaching basic concepts in planetary mantle convection using numerical simulations. The goal of this project is to develop an interface with a two-dimensional finite element model that will allow students to vary parameters such as the temperatures assigned to the boundaries of the model domain, to help them actively explore important variables that control convection.

  8. Earth-based analogs of lunar and planetary facilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, Larry; Trotti, Guillermo

    1992-09-01

    Antarctica contains areas where the environment and terrain are more similar to regions on the Moon and Mars than any other place on Earth. These features offer opportunities for simulations to determine performance capabilities of people and machines in harsh, isolated locales. The Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture (SICSA) plans to create a facility on Antarctica for research, planning, and demonstrations in support of planetary exploration. The Antarctic Planetary Testbed (APT) will be financed and utilized by public and private organizations throughout the world. Established on a continent owned by no country, it can serve as a model for cooperation between spacefaring nations. APT science and technology programs will expand knowledge about the nature and origin of our solar system, and will support preparations for human settlements beyond Earth that may occur within the first quarter of the next century. The initial APT facility, conceived to be operational by the year 1992, will be constructed during the summer months by a crew of approximately 12. Six to eight of these people will remain through the winter. As in space, structures and equipment systems will be modular to facilitate efficient transport to the site, assembly, and evolutionary expansion. State-of-the-art waste recovery/recycling systems are also emphasized due to their importance in space.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  10. Pristine Igneous Rocks and the Early Differentiation of Planetary Materials

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warren, Paul H.

    2005-01-01

    Our studies are highly interdisciplinary, but are focused on the processes and products of early planetary and asteroidal differentiation, especially the genesis of the ancient lunar crust. The compositional diversity that we explore is the residue of process diversity, which has strong relevance for comparative planetology. Most of the accessible lunar crust consists of materials hybridized by impact-mixing. Our lunar research concentrates on the rare pristine (unmixed) samples that reflect the original genetic diversity of the early crust. Among HED basalts (eucrites and clasts in howardites), we distinguish as pristine the small minority that escaped the pervasive thermal metamorphism of the parent asteroid's crust. We have found a correlation between metamorphically pristine HED basalts and the similarly small minority of compositionally evolved "Stannern trend" samples, which are enriched in incompatible elements and titanium compared to main group eucrites, and yet have relatively high mg ratios. Other topics under investigation included: lunar and SNC (martian?) meteorites; igneous meteorites in general; impact breccias, especially metal-rich Apollo samples and polymict eucrites; siderophile compositions of the lunar and martian mantles; and planetary bulk compositions and origins.

  11. Planetary X-ray studies: past, present and future

    Science.gov (United States)

    Branduardi-Raymont, Graziella

    2016-07-01

    relative contributions of different processes. SWCX X-ray emission from the Earth's exosphere is turning from unwanted variable background in astrophysical observations to a novel and global diagnostic tool for investigating solar-terrestrial interactions: this underpins the development of the ESA-CAS joint mission SMILE (Solar Wind Magnetosphere Ionosphere Link Explorer) due for launch in 2021. On the longer term ATHENA (Advanced Telescope for High ENergy Astrophysics, launch 2028) will provide planetary targets with vastly improved X-ray sensitivity on that currently afforded by XMM-Newton.

  12. 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

  13. The Source of Planetary Period Oscillations in Saturn's Magnetosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khurana, Krishan K.; Mitchell, Jonathan L.; Mueller, Ingo C. F.

    2017-04-01

    In this presentation, we resolve a three-decades old mystery of how Saturn is able to modulate its kilometric wave radiation and many field and plasma parameters at the planetary rotation period even though its magnetic field is extremely axisymmetric. Such waves emanating from the auroral regions of planets lacking solid surfaces have been used as clocks to measure the lengths of their days, because asymmetric internal magnetic fields spin-modulate wave amplitudes. A review by Carbary and Mitchell (2013, Periodicities in Saturn's magnetosphere, Reviews of Geophysics, 51, 1-30) on the topic summarized findings from over 200 research articles, on what the phenomena is, how it is manifested in a host of magnetospheric and auroral parameters; examined several proposed models and pointed out their shortcomings. The topic has now been explored in several topical international workshops, but the problem has remained unsolved so far. By quantitatively modeling the amplitudes and phases of these oscillations in the magnetic field observed by the Cassini spacecraft, we have now uncovered the generation mechanism responsible for these oscillations. We show that the observed oscillations are the manifestations of two global convectional conveyor belts excited in Saturn's upper atmosphere by auroral heating below its northern and southern auroral belts. We demonstrate that a feedback process develops in Saturn system such that the magnetosphere expends energy to drive convection in Saturn's upper stratosphere but gains back an amplified share in the form of angular momentum that it uses to enforce corotation in the magnetosphere and power its aurorae and radio waves. In essence, we have uncovered a new mechanism (convection assisted loss of angular momentum in an atmosphere) by which gaseous planets lose their angular momentum to their magnetospheres and outflowing plasma at rates far above previous predictions. We next show how the m = 1 convection system in the upper

  14. Comprehensive planning of data archive in Japanese planetary missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamamoto, Yukio; Shinohara, Iku; Hoshino, Hirokazu; Tateno, Naoki; Hareyama, Makoto; Okada, Naoki; Ebisawa, Ken

    Comprehensive planning of data archive in Japanese planetary missions Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) provides HAYABUSA and KAGUYA data as planetary data archives. These data archives, however, were prepared independently. Therefore the inconsistency of data format has occurred, and the knowledge of data archiving activity is not inherited. Recently, the discussion of comprehensive planning of data archive has started to prepare up-coming planetary missions, which indicates the comprehensive plan of data archive is required in several steps. The framework of the comprehensive plan is divided into four items: Preparation, Evaluation, Preservation, and Service. 1. PREPARATION FRAMEWORK Data is classified into several types: raw data, level-0, 1, 2 processing data, ancillary data, and etc. The task of mission data preparation is responsible for instrument teams, but preparations beside mission data and support of data management are essential to make unified conventions and formats over instruments in a mission, and over missions. 2. EVALUATION FRAMEWORK There are two meanings of evaluation: format and quality. The format evaluation is often discussed in the preparation framework. The data quality evaluation which is often called quality assurance (QA) or quality control (QC) must be performed by third party apart from preparation teams. An instrument team has the initiative for the preparation itself, and the third-party group is organized to evaluate the instrument team's activity. 3. PRESERVATION FRAMEWORK The main topic of this framework is document management, archiving structure, and simple access method. The mission produces many documents in the process of the development. Instrument de-velopment is no exception. During long-term development of a mission, many documents are obsoleted and updated repeatedly. A smart system will help instrument team to reduce some troubles of document management and archiving task. JAXA attempts to follow PDS manners

  15. Planetary Protection Technology Definition Team: Tasks, Status, and Feedback

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, M. A.; Rummel, J. D.

    2016-10-01

    A Planetary Protection and Technology Definition Team will assess challenges to meeting planetary protection requirements to instruments and will suggest technological solutions. Status and initial findings will be reported.

  16. Planetary Protection Considerations in EVA System Design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eppler, Dean B.; Kosmo, Joseph J.

    2011-01-01

    To better constrain their origin, we have performed systematic studies of the siderophile element distribution in metal from Enstatite achondrites and iron-rich meteorites linked to Enstatite achondrites. Humayun (2010) reported 20 siderophile elements in the metal of Horse Creek, Mt. Egerton and Tucson, three iron meteorites known for their high Si content in their metal. The Horse Creek and Mt. Egerton irons have elemental patterns identical to metallic solids derived from partially molten enstatite chondrites. Tucson has an unusual siderophile element pattern that is reminiscent of IVA irons, except for the most volatile siderophiles with condensation temperatures below that of Cu (Sb, Ge, Sn) which are more depleted. The origin of Tucson metal is likely linked to an impact involving a reduced chondritic body that provided the silicates, and IVA iron. In a related study, van Acken et al. (2010) reported siderophile element abundances in metal and sulfides from aubrites, chondritic inclusions in aubrites, and other enstatite achondrites (including a separate section of Mt. Egerton). They found that aubrite metal was linked to metal in enstatite chondrites by low degree partial melting forming sulfur-rich metallic liquids. A restite origin of aubrites is not consistent with these metal compositions. The link between the metal compositions and cumulate silicates is not simple. The metal must have been incorporated from enstatite chondritic material that was assimilated by the aubrite magma. A manuscript is in preparation (van Acken et al., 2010). In a related study, van Acken et al. (2010, submitted) reported new precise Os isotope ratios and highly siderophile element abundances in Enstatite chondrites, Enstatite achondrites, Rumurutite chondrites to explore the range of nucleosynthetic variation in s-process Os. They observed nucleosynthetic anomalies, deficiencies of s-process Os, in most primitive enstatite chondrites, but showed the Rumurutite chondrites have

  17. FLEX: fluorescence explorer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoll, Marc-Ph.; Court, Andrew; Smorenburg, Kees; Visser, Huib; Crocco, Luiggi; Heilimo, Jyro; Honig, Andre

    1999-12-01

    FLEX is a scientifically driven space mission to provide demonstration/validation of the instrumentation and technique for measuring the natural fluorescence of vegetation in the Fraunhofer lines. The payload consists of high spectral resolution (0.1 - 0.3 nm) CCD imaging grating spectrometer with two channels: one in the red (648 - 664 nm) and one in the blue (391 - 438 nm) for working with several Fraunhofer lines. The across track FOV is 8.4 degrees; ground spatial resolution is better than 0.5 X 0.5 km2. To increase the S/N ratio a steering mirror will be used, if necessary, to 'freeze' the image and also to provide plus or minus 4 degrees across track depointing. Calibration is made by viewing the sun via a diffuser plate switched into the telescope field of view. A separate CCD camera will allow cloud detection and scene identification. A TIR radiometer will provide simultaneous surface temperature measurements. The spacecraft, overall mass estimated at 200 kg, is derived from the ASI-MITA bus which provides all the necessary subsystems and stabilized platform. By use of on-board storage, ground requirements for satellite control and data link are minimized; the possibility of local stations for real time reception/distribution is also envisaged. Provisional orbit characteristics are: LEO sun synchronous, 500 - 900 km altitude. Priority will be given to highest revisit frequency on a sufficient number of selected test sites.

  18. Novelty Search for Soft Robotic Space Exploration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Methenitis, G.; Hennes, D.; Izzo, D.; Visser, A.

    2015-01-01

    The use of soft robots in future space exploration is still a far-fetched idea, but an attractive one. Soft robots are inherently compliant mechanisms that are well suited for locomotion on rough terrain as often faced in extra-planetary environments. Depending on the particular application and requ

  19. Novelty Search for Soft Robotic Space Exploration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    G. Methenitis (Georgios); D. Hennes; D. Izzo; A. Visser

    2015-01-01

    textabstractThe use of soft robots in future space exploration is still a far-fetched idea, but an attractive one. Soft robots are inherently compliant mechanisms that are well suited for locomotion on rough terrain as often faced in extra-planetary environments. Depending on the particular

  20. Hypersonic and planetary entry flight mechanics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vinh, N. X.; Busemann, A.; Culp, R. D.

    1980-01-01

    The book treats hypersonic flight trajectories and atmospheric entry flight mechanics in light of their importance for space shuttle entry. Following a review of the structures of planetary atmospheres and aerodynamic forces, equations are derived for flight over a spherical planet, and the performance of long-range hypervelocity vehicles in extra-atmospheric flight is analyzed. Consideration is then given to vehicle trajectories in the powered and atmospheric reentry phases of flight, and several first-order solutions are derived for various planetary entry situations. The second-order theory of Loh for entry trajectories is presented along with the classical theories of Yaroshevskii and Chapman for entry into planetary atmospheres, and the thermal problems encountered in hypersonic flight are analyzed. A unified theory for entry into planetary atmospheres is then introduced which allows the performance of a general type of lifting vehicle to be studied, and applied to the analysis of orbit contraction due to atmospheric drag, flight with lift modulation and lateral maneuvers.

  1. Planetary boundaries : Governing emerging risks and opportunities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Galaz, V.; de Zeeuw, Aart; Shiroyama, Hideaki; Tripley, Debbie

    2016-01-01

    The climate, ecosystems and species, ozone layer, acidity of the oceans, the flow of energy and elements through nature, landscape change, freshwater systems, aerosols, and toxins—these constitute the planetary boundaries within which humanity must find a safe way to live and prosper. These are thre

  2. Six Hot Topics in Planetary Astronomy

    OpenAIRE

    Jewitt, David

    2008-01-01

    Six hot topics in modern planetary astronomy are described: 1) lightcurves and densities of small bodies 2) colors of Kuiper belt objects and the distribution of the ultrared matter 3) spectroscopy and the crystallinity of ice in the outer Solar system 4) irregular satellites of the giant planets 5) the Main Belt Comets and 6) comets and meteor stream parents.

  3. Transiting planetary system WASP-17 (Southworth+, 2012)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Southworth, J.; Hinse, T. C.; Dominik, M.

    2013-01-01

    A light curve of four transits of the extrasolar planetary system WASP-17 is presented. The data were obtained using the Danish 1.5m telescope and DFOSC camera at ESO La Silla in 2012, with substantial telescope defocussing in order to improve the photometric precision of the observations. A Cous...

  4. Introduction: Special issue on planetary rings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicholson, Philip; Esposito, Larry

    2016-11-01

    This issue of Icarus is devoted largely to papers presented at an open conference held at the Univ. of Colorado on 13-15 August 2014. This Planetary Rings Workshop is the fourth in a series organized by the Rings Working Group of the Cassini-Huygens mission and most of the papers presented dealt with phenomena revealed

  5. Planetary nebulae abundances and stellar evolution

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pottasch, S. R.; Bernard-Salas, J.

    2006-01-01

    A summary is given of planetary nebulae abundances from ISO measurements. It is shown that these nebulae show abundance gradients (with galactocentric distance), which in the case of neon, argon, sulfur and oxygen (with four exceptions) are the same as HII regions and early type star abundance gradi

  6. Multiscale regime shifts and planetary boundaries

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hughes, T.P.; Carpenter, S.; Rockstrom, J.; Scheffer, M.; Walker, B.

    2013-01-01

    Life on Earth has repeatedly displayed abrupt and massive changes in the past, and there is no reason to expect that comparable planetary-scale regime shifts will not continue in the future. Different lines of evidence indicate that regime shifts occur when the climate or biosphere transgresses a ti

  7. Abundances of planetary nebula NGC2392

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pottasch, S. R.; Bernard-Salas, J.; Roellig, T. L.

    The spectra of the planetary nebula NGC2392 is reanalysed using spectral measurements made in the mid-infrared with the Spitzer Space Telescope. The aim is to determine the chemical composition of this object. We also make use of IUE and ground based spectra. Abundances determined from the

  8. Transiting planetary system WASP-17 (Southworth+, 2012)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Southworth, J.; Hinse, T. C.; Dominik, M.;

    2013-01-01

    A light curve of four transits of the extrasolar planetary system WASP-17 is presented. The data were obtained using the Danish 1.5m telescope and DFOSC camera at ESO La Silla in 2012, with substantial telescope defocussing in order to improve the photometric precision of the observations. A Cous...

  9. The brazilian indigenous planetary-observatory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Afonso, G. B.

    2003-08-01

    We have performed observations of the sky alongside with the Indians of all Brazilian regions that made it possible localize many indigenous constellations. Some of these constellations are the same as the other South American Indians and Australian aborigines constellations. The scientific community does not have much of this information, which may be lost in one or two generations. In this work, we present a planetary-observatory that we have made in the Park of Science Newton Freire-Maia of Paraná State, in order to popularize the astronomical knowledge of the Brazilian Indians. The planetary consists, essentially, of a sphere of six meters in diameter and a projection cylinder of indigenous constellations. In this planetary we can identify a lot of constellations that we have gotten from the Brazilian Indians; for instance, the four seasonal constellations: the Tapir (spring), the Old Man (summer), the Deer (autumn) and the Rhea (winter). A two-meter height wooden staff that is posted vertically on the horizontal ground similar to a Gnomon and stones aligned with the cardinal points and the soltices directions constitutes the observatory. A stone circle of ten meters in diameter surrounds the staff and the aligned stones. During the day we observe the Sun apparent motions and at night the indigenous constellations. Due to the great community interest in our work, we are designing an itinerant indigenous planetary-observatory to be used in other cities mainly by indigenous and primary schools teachers.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. An ISO and IUE Study of Planetary Nebula NGC 2440

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salas, J. Bernard; Pottasch, S. R.; Feibelman, W. A.; Wesselius, P. R.; Oegerle, William R. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    The infrared and ultraviolet spectra of planetary nebula NGC 2440 is presented. The observations were made respectively by the Infrared Space Observatory (ISO) and International Ultraviolet Explorer (IUE) These data, in conjunction with published optical observations have been used to derive electron temperature and density. A trend of electron temperature with ionization potential is found. In particular the electron temperature increases from 11000 to 18000 K with increasing IBM. The electron density has a constant value of 4500/cu cm in agreement with previous determination. The chemical abundance has been derived for the following elements; helium, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, neon, sulfur and argon. The ionization correction factor turns out to be very small (almost unnecessary) for all species except sulfur.

  13. Discovery of planetary nebulae using predictive mid-infrared diagnostics

    CERN Document Server

    Parker, Quentin A; Stupar, Milorad; Frew, David J; Green, Anne J; Bojicic, Ivan; Guzman-Ramirez, Lizette; Sabin, Laurence; Vogt, Frederic

    2012-01-01

    We demonstrate a newly developed mid-infrared planetary nebula (PN) selection technique. It is designed to enable efficient searches for obscured, previously unknown, PN candidates present in the photometric source catalogues of Galactic plane MIR sky surveys. Such selection is now possible via new, sensitive, high-to-medium resolution, MIR satellite surveys such as those from the Spitzer Space Telescope and the all-sky Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) satellite missions. MIR selection is based on how different colour-colour planes isolate zones (sometimes overlapping) that are predominately occupied by different astrophysical object types. These techniques depend on the reliability of the available MIR source photometry. In this pilot study we concentrate on MIR point source detections and show that it is dangerous to take the MIR GLIMPSE (Galactic Legacy Infrared Mid-Plane Survey Extraordinaire) photometry from Spitzer for each candidate at face value without examining the actual MIR image data. A...

  14. An Analytic Radiative-Convective Model for Planetary Atmospheres

    CERN Document Server

    Robinson, Tyler D; 10.1088/0004-637X/757/1/104

    2012-01-01

    We present an analytic 1-D radiative-convective model of the thermal structure of planetary atmospheres. Our model assumes that thermal radiative transfer is gray and can be represented by the two-stream approximation. Model atmospheres are assumed to be in hydrostatic equilibrium, with a power law scaling between the atmospheric pressure and the gray thermal optical depth. The convective portions of our models are taken to follow adiabats that account for condensation of volatiles through a scaling parameter to the dry adiabat. By combining these assumptions, we produce simple, analytic expressions that allow calculations of the atmospheric pressure-temperature profile, as well as expressions for the profiles of thermal radiative flux and convective flux. We explore the general behaviors of our model. These investigations encompass (1) worlds where atmospheric attenuation of sunlight is weak, which we show tend to have relatively high radiative-convective boundaries, (2) worlds with some attenuation of sunli...

  15. Habitability in the Solar System and New Planetary Missions

    CERN Document Server

    Laine, Pauli Erik

    2013-01-01

    Definition of habitability depends on the organisms under consideration. One way to determine habitability of some environment is to compare its certain parameters to environments where extremophilic micro-organisms thrive on Earth. We can also define more common habitability criteria from the life as we know it. These criteria include basic elements, liquid water and an energy source. We know that some locations in our Solar System provide at least some of these limits and criteria. This article describes the aims and technical specifications of some planetary missions, such as NASAs MSL in 2012, ESAs ExoMars missions in 2016 and 2018, and JUICE in 2033. These missions will explore habitability of Mars, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto. Here we compare defined habitability criteria to instrumentation documentation to determine whether these missions could validate the habitability of Mars and those Jovian moons. These missions have about 13 habitability assessment related instruments for Mars, 3 for Europa, 5 f...

  16. MER-DIMES : a planetary landing application of computer vision

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Yang; Johnson, Andrew; Matthies, Larry

    2005-01-01

    During the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) landings, the Descent Image Motion Estimation System (DIMES) was used for horizontal velocity estimation. The DIMES algorithm combines measurements from a descent camera, a radar altimeter and an inertial measurement unit. To deal with large changes in scale and orientation between descent images, the algorithm uses altitude and attitude measurements to rectify image data to level ground plane. Feature selection and tracking is employed in the rectified data to compute the horizontal motion between images. Differences of motion estimates are then compared to inertial measurements to verify correct feature tracking. DIMES combines sensor data from multiple sources in a novel way to create a low-cost, robust and computationally efficient velocity estimation solution, and DIMES is the first use of computer vision to control a spacecraft during planetary landing. In this paper, the detailed implementation of the DIMES algorithm and the results from the two landings on Mars are presented.

  17. Formation, Orbital and Internal Evolutions of Young Planetary Systems

    CERN Document Server

    Baruteau, Clément; Mordasini, Christoph; Mollière, Paul

    2016-01-01

    The growing body of observational data on extrasolar planets and protoplanetary disks has stimulated intense research on planet formation and evolution in the past few years. The extremely diverse, sometimes unexpected physical and orbital characteristics of exoplanets lead to frequent updates on the mainstream scenarios for planet formation and evolution, but also to the exploration of alternative avenues. The aim of this review is to bring together classical pictures and new ideas on the formation, orbital and internal evolutions of planets, highlighting the key role of the protoplanetary disk in the various parts of the theory. We begin by briefly reviewing the conventional mechanism of core accretion by the growth of planetesimals, and discuss a relatively recent model of core growth through the accretion of pebbles. We review the basic physics of planet-disk interactions, recent progress in this area, and discuss their role in observed planetary systems. We address the most important effects of planets i...

  18. MER-DIMES : a planetary landing application of computer vision

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, Yang; Johnson, Andrew; Matthies, Larry

    2005-01-01

    During the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) landings, the Descent Image Motion Estimation System (DIMES) was used for horizontal velocity estimation. The DIMES algorithm combines measurements from a descent camera, a radar altimeter and an inertial measurement unit. To deal with large changes in scale and orientation between descent images, the algorithm uses altitude and attitude measurements to rectify image data to level ground plane. Feature selection and tracking is employed in the rectified data to compute the horizontal motion between images. Differences of motion estimates are then compared to inertial measurements to verify correct feature tracking. DIMES combines sensor data from multiple sources in a novel way to create a low-cost, robust and computationally efficient velocity estimation solution, and DIMES is the first use of computer vision to control a spacecraft during planetary landing. In this paper, the detailed implementation of the DIMES algorithm and the results from the two landings on Mars are presented.

  19. Synthetic vision for lunar and planetary landing vehicles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Steven P.; Arthur, Jarvis J., III; Shelton, Kevin J.; Prinzel, Lawrence J., III; Norman, R. Michael

    2008-04-01

    The Crew Vehicle Interface (CVI) group of the Integrated Intelligent Flight Deck Technologies (IIFDT) has done extensive research in the area of Synthetic Vision (SV), and has shown that SV technology can substantially enhance flight crew situation awareness, reduce pilot workload, promote flight path control precision and improve aviation safety. SV technology is being extended to evaluate its utility for lunar and planetary exploration vehicles. SV may hold significant potential for many lunar and planetary missions since the SV presentation provides a computer-generated view of the terrain and other significant environment characteristics independent of the outside visibility conditions, window locations, or vehicle attributes. SV allows unconstrained control of the computer-generated scene lighting, terrain coloring, and virtual camera angles which may provide invaluable visual cues to pilots/astronauts and in addition, important vehicle state information may be conformally displayed on the view such as forward and down velocities, altitude, and fuel remaining to enhance trajectory control and vehicle system status. This paper discusses preliminary SV concepts for tactical and strategic displays for a lunar landing vehicle. The technical challenges and potential solutions to SV applications for the lunar landing mission are explored, including the requirements for high resolution terrain lunar maps and an accurate position and orientation of the vehicle that is essential in providing lunar Synthetic Vision System (SVS) cockpit displays. The paper also discusses the technical challenge of creating an accurate synthetic terrain portrayal using an ellipsoid lunar digital elevation model which eliminates projection errors and can be efficiently rendered in real-time.

  20. Mars Returned Sample Handling: Planetary Protection and Science Aspects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beaty, D.; Campbell, J.; Lindstrom, D.; McBride, K.; Papanastassiou, D.

    The action of returning geological samples from Mars, should it be attempted by robotic missions, will require some careful planning on what would be done with the samples once they are on Earth, and the conditions under which they would need to be kept in order to realize their value. It is generally assumed that returned martian samples would be the subject of two primary kinds of analysis and investigation: planetary protection testing, and scientific analysis to support martian exploration objectives. Testing for the purpose of planetary protection would need to be carried out in a facility that has containment characteristics comparable to those of BSL-4 laboratories. This hypothetical facility has been informally referred to as the "Sample Receiving Facility" (SRF). However, it is not yet known if this capability would be optimized as a completely new facility, as a facility built in partnership with some other existing infrastructure, or if the required functionalities could even be distributed across multiple buildings, perhaps in quite different places. Although the essential purpose of planetary protection testing would be to assess whether or not the samples pose a biological hazard, many of the measurements called for in the draft test protocol, especially those related to preliminary examination/sample classification and life detection, are the same measurements called for to support scientific exploration objectives. Despite the uncertainties in the facility configuration required to carry out PP testing, it is clear that during such tests, the scientific integrity of the samples would need to be maintained. The primary challenge to scientific integrity revolves around contamination control. The science community has a need for the samples to be kept "clean", especially with regards to biological contaminants. However, specific definitions of "clean" have been difficult to establish. Further definition by the Mars science community of their scientific