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Application of Penetrators within the Solar System

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  1. Application of Penetrators within the Solar System Alan Smith, Rob Gowen AOGS, August, 2009 Mullard Space Science Laboratory, University College London, UK

  2. Detachable Propulsion Stage Point of Separation PayloadInstruments PDS (Penetrator Delivery System) Penetrator Penetrators • Low mass projectiles • High impact speed ~ up to 400 ms-1 • Very tough ~10-50kgee • Penetrate surface and imbed therein • Undertake science-based measurements • Transmit results

  3. Typical Penetrator delivery Spin-Down Release from Orbiter Spin-up & Decelerate Reorient Penetrator Separation Penetrator & PDS surface Impact Delivery sequence courtesy SSTL Operate from below surface

  4. Why penetrators ? Advantages: • Simpler architecture • Low mass • Low cost • Explore multiple sites • Natural redundancy • Direct contact with sub-regolith (drill, sampling) • Protected from environment (wind, radiation) Limitations: • Low mass limits payload options • Impact survival limits payload option • Limited lifetime • Limited telemetry capacity Complementary to Soft Landers for in situ studies

  5. Penetrator Payload Instruments • Accelerometers– Probe surface/sub-surface material (hardness/composition) • Seismometers- Probe interior (e.g. Regolith thickness, interior structure, existence/size of water reservoirs, ...) and seismic activity of bodies (location of ‘quake sites, intensity and frequency) • Mass Spectrometers– Determine elemental composition of surface material • Chemical sensors– Examine/identify refractory/volatiles (including water ice) with possible astrobiologic significance • Thermal sensors- Heat flow, subsurface temperatures and thermal conductivity. • Plus: Magnetometer, Neutron spectrometer, XRS, gamma ray spectrometer, alpha-proton spectrometer, sample camera, beeping transmitter, radiation monitor

  6. Key Enabling Technologies • Penetrator Descent Modules– De-orbit, attitude control to give a few km accuracy landing ellipse. • Penetrator Power sub-system– Lithium batteries (baseline), RTGs, fuel cells • Penetrator Communications – Penetrator – Orbiter comms, UHF, low power • Penetrator Architecture / Infrastructure– Modularity, Integration, central processor and controller, robust clock • Penetrator Thermal Control- Insulation and thermal design, RHUs. • Penetrator Sample Acquisition – Drill, impact scoop, sample handling • Descent Camera – Impact site context, requires despin and comms link • Penetrator – PDM integration – Shared resources, separation • PDM – Spacecraft release – spin up on release?

  7. Heritage Military Heritage in instrumented impact projectiles Numerous laboratories looking at high velocity impacts with gas guns QinetiQ 1996: Mars96 (Russia/Lavochkin), 2 off, 60-80 ms-1 impact, each 65kg incl braking system. Lost when Mars96 failed to leave Earth orbit. 1999: Deep Space-2 (NASA/JPL), 2 off, 140-210ms-1 impact, each 3.6kg with entry shell. Failed, cause unknown. Lunar – A (Japan/JAXA), 2 off, 285 ms-1 impact, each 45kg including de-orbit and attitude control. Programme terminated before launch after extensive development and trials Lunar Glob (Russia/Lavochkin), status unclear but may include Lunar-A penetrators 2008: UK Penetrator Pendine Trials, 3 off, 300 ms-1 impact into compacted sand, each 13kg, demonstrated survivability of a range of key technologies in preparation for MoonLITE

  8. Opportunities Status MoonLITE (UK) Lunar Glob (Russia) UK/NASA agreed to full Phase A Kick-off postponed until April ‘10 Penetrators (2018) now being considered as an option in light of likely ExoMars rethink. Some UK Aurora money now funding key instrument developments Mars Aurora (ESA) Penetrator under consideration in ESA assessment study. ESA contract ITT for system level study JGO (ESA) UK preparing input to NASA AO JEO (NASA)

  9. Galileo spacecraft image (NASA/JPL) Ganymede • Largest Moon of Jupiter • Magnetosphere • Water/rock surface & interior • Possible astrobiology 80km A sharp boundary divides the dark Nicholson Regio from the bright Harpagia Sulcus

  10. Basic parameters • mass : 0.7 Moon • surface gravity : 0.8 Moon • radius : 0.9 Moon • surface temp : 40-120K • surface radiation : Mrads • near surface ocean? • potential for life? Europa

  11. From Proctor (JHU), Patterson (APL) & Senske (JPL) (2009, Europa Lander Workshop, Moscow)

  12. Δ developments required for Europa…(beyond MoonLITE) • Impact (hard,rough) • Radiation • Planetary protection • Transmission • Long cruise phase

  13. Penetrator Consortium March 2008 – UK only • Institutes: ~ 9 UK • Members: ~30 July 2009 – UK & European additions • Institutes: ~16 UK EU (Belgium, Germany, Italy, Austria, Spain) • Members: ~64 UK(50) + EU(14) Plus interest from various US institutes

  14. Impact Trial

  15. Previous Development Status – last March • QinetiQ responsible for : • penetrator outer fabrication • Accelerometer and batteries • Running the trial • MSSL responsible for inner compartments fabrication :- • inner compartments all machined. • MSSL electronics mostly fabricated & undergoing testing • Other payload providers participating. • Trial was in 6 weeks time at Pendine. Full-scale structure impact trial – Scheduled May 19-23 2008 5 inner compartments within each penetrator

  16. Impact Trial - Configuration Rocket sled Penetrator

  17. Impact trial – Payload Mass spectrometer Radiation sensor Batteries Magnetometers Accelerometers Power Interconnection Processing Micro-seismometers Accelerometers, Thermometer Batteries,Data logger Drill assembly

  18. MSSL accelerometer data 11 kgee Peak gee forces in rear of penetrator Along axis cutter Main impact Girder 15 kgee Vertical axis 4 kgee Horizontal axis Along axis: Cutter: 3kgee Main: 10kgee Girder: 1kgee

  19. Survival Table No critical failures

  20. Real-Time Impact Video

  21. End http://www.mssl.ucl.ac.uk/planetary/missions/Micro_Penetrators.php Contact: as@mssl.ucl.ac.uk

  22. MoonLITE 3 • Spacecraft:Lunar polar orbit, altitude ~100km, <40km for penetrator release.Potential ILN comms link • Payload:4 descent modules, each to implant a ~13Kg penetratorat 300m/s into lunar surface • Landing sites:Globally spaced - far side, polar regions, near side • Launch & Duration: Planned for 2014&1 year operations • Objectives: • network seismology • polar water and volatiles • ISRU (water/radiation/quakes) 4 Far side 2 1