Entry Descent and Landing (EDL) system for a penetrator mission
Enabling & Support

Entry Descent and Landing (EDL) system for a penetrator mission

29/11/2019 79 views 0 likes
ESA / Enabling & Support / Space Engineering & Technology / Shaping the Future

A TDE activity, with ARIANEGROUP (FR), CFS Engineering (CH) and AIRBUS DS (GB),  designed a feasible concept for a piggy-back design for a penetrator on a scientific mission to Mars.

There have been several attempts to deploy a penetrator system into the surface of a planetary body to investigate its surface and interior. Although none of these missions have been successfully completed, the development of a penetrator in a piggy-back context remains an attractive option for future exploration missions. 

 A TDE activity, with ARIANEGROUP (FR), CFS Engineering (CH) and AIRBUS DS (GB),  designed a feasible concept for a piggy-back design for a penetrator on a scientific mission to Mars.

 The Mars Penetrator would be used for conducting astrobiology experiments, with complementary measurements on the seismic activity. To be able to complete both of these requirements satisfactorily, the Penetrator has already been designed with two separate bays in a previous study.

 In this activity, a qualitative trade-off was performed including several architectures, among which were various hypersonic decelerator concepts and potential supersonic/subsonic second-staged designs.

 Some preliminary concepts for the Penetrator were discarded due to their complexity (and subsequent likely low reliability), very low TRL or for not complying with the main mission requirements, such as conditions at impact.

 After the preliminary assessments, a one-stage concept with an inflatable aftdecelerator and forward Penetrator that moved nose-down was selected and designed. A rigid heatshield was found to be mandatory in order to cope with the local high thermal loads due to the shocks.

 The proposed concept envisions a piggy-back option for a Mars ground penetrator scientific mission. The concept can be considered for any future missions to Mars.

 Next the activity wants to secure the proposed concept with respect to the aeroshape stability, IAD performances and design, rigid part thermal protection architecture, penetrator design adaptation to withstand entry conditions.

 The activity has reached TRL 3 so far, but plans to raise it up to 6 by 2022.

 

 TDE T218-006MP was completed in 2019.