Author Topic: ESA/Roscomos - ExoMars 2020 (Rover + Surface Platform) - updates  (Read 50761 times)

Offline jacqmans

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Heat sterilisation of ExoMars parachute

A technician places a nearly 70 kg parachute designed for ESA and Roscosmos’s ExoMars 2020 mission inside the dry heater steriliser of the Agency’s Life, Physical Sciences and Life Support Laboratory, based in its Netherlands technical centre.

Mars is a potential abode of past and perhaps even present-day life. Accordingly, international planetary protection regulations require any mission sent to the Red Planet to undergo rigorous sterilisation, to prevent terrestrial microbes from piggybacking their way there.

The Lab’s Alan Dowson explains: “This is the ‘qualification model’ of the 35-m diameter main parachute for ExoMars 2020, basically a test version which allows us to finalise our sterilisation procedures ahead of the flight model chute’s arrival.

“This version has been threaded with thermal sensors, allowing us to see how long it takes to reach the required sterilisation temperature in all parts of the folded parachute, even in the hardest to heat points. Our target was to sterilise at 125 °C for 35 hours and 26 minutes, and the oven took about 44 hours to reach that temperature to begin with.”

The oven is part of the Lab’s 35 sq. m ‘ISO Class 1’ cleanroom, one of the cleanest places in Europe. All the cleanroom’s air passes through a two-stage filter system. Anyone entering the chamber has to gown up in a much more rigorous way than a hospital surgeon, before passing through an air shower to remove any remaining contaminants.

“If you imagine our clean room as being as big as the entire Earth’s atmosphere, then its allowable contamination would be equal to a single hot air balloon,” adds Alan. “Our ISO 1 rating means we have less than 10 dust particles measuring a tenth of one millionth of a metre in diameter per cubic metre of air.”

The mostly nylon and Kevlar parachute, packed into an 80-cm diameter donut-shaped unit, was delivered by Italy’s Arescosmo company. This qualification model will now be sent back there for testing, to ensure this sterilisation process causes no change to the parachute’s material properties.

Alan explains: “We will receive the parachute flight model later this spring for the same sterilisation process – identical to this version, except without any thermal sensors.”

ExoMars’s smaller first stage 15-m diameter parachute has already gone through sterilisation using the oven. This is the parachute that opens during initial, supersonic atmospheric entry, with the second, larger chute opening once the mission has been slowed to subsonic velocity.

The Lab has also tackled a variety of ExoMars instruments and subsystems, but this second stage subsonic parachute is the single largest item to be sterilised. The sterilisation process aims to reduce the overall mission ‘bioburden’ to a 10 thousandth of its original level.

Photo Credits: ESA–M. Cowan

Offline bolun

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ExoMars locomotion tests

Before Rosalind Franklin the ExoMars rover can search for signs of life on Mars, it must learn how to manoeuvre the landscape. Scientists and engineers are putting the rover through a series of locomotion tests to fine tune how it will respond to a challenging martian terrain.   

The ExoMars mission will see Rosalind the rover and its surface platform land on Mars in 2021. There, the rover will move across many types of terrain, from fine-grained soil to large boulders and slopes to collect samples with a 2-m-long drill, and analyse them with instruments in its onboard laboratory. Engineers must ensure Rosalind does not get stuck in sand or topple over and that it is able to climb steep slopes and overcome rocks.

The ExoMars teams are using a dedicated rover to run locomotion tests. In this image, the full-sized locomotion model is about to move from the surface platform. This rover has been designed to behave exactly like Rosalind would do under martian gravity – that is about a third of gravity found on Earth. For that purpose, the model has a different weight distribution and features a boom mounted on top to achieve the exact location of the centre of gravity of the rover.

A special facility at RUAG Space in Zurich, Switzerland, emulates all the terrain conditions that Rosalind the rover is expected to encounter on Mars: different types of soil, various obstacle shapes and sizes and all kind of terrain slopes. A large hydraulic platform filled with 20 tonnes of soil was put in place for the tests.

Over the past few weeks, ESA, Roscosmos, Thales, Airbus and RUAG engineers have been testing the capability of the rover to egress from its landing platform onto the martian soil. Should the platform and rover find themselves on a slope upon landing, as simulated in the image, Rosalind the rover must be able to negotiate steep inclinations to descend from the platform. The team looked closely at the performance of the rover over the ramps at different inclination angles, from 5 up to 35 degrees.

The steep slope was a challenge for the rover. The wheels found it difficult at times to gain traction, a valuable lesson of what can be expected on Mars.

The rover has six wheels. Each wheel pair is suspended on a pivoted bogie so each wheel can be steered and driven independently. Its flexible metallic wheels, equipped with springs, offer great traction capability, allowing the rover to achieve better grip during obstacle climbing and achieve smoother locomotion.

Thanks to a triple-bogie locomotion system, the rover is able to overcome obstacles as big as its wheels. The rover uses inclinometers and gyroscopes to enhance its motion control.

Two cameras at the top of the rover’s mast allow Rosalind Franklin to see in 3D, like humans do, and identify rocks and slopes in front of it. This also allows the navigation system to take account of, and correct for, any wheel slippage. Rovers on Mars have previously been caught in sand, and continued wheel turning might actually dig them deeper – just like a car stuck in mud or snow.

These tests took place at the same time as the ExoFit field tests. In the most recent campaign, the rover drove from its landing platform and targeted sites of interest to sample rocks in the Mars-like landscapes of the Chilean desert.

https://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/Images/2019/03/ExoMars_locomotion_tests

Image credit: ESA

Offline Olaf

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« Last Edit: 03/20/2019 12:25 pm by Olaf »

Offline Olaf

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Offline jacqmans

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03/20/2019 5:15 pm

 Tests of the transition system with the layout "ExoMars 2020"

 The Khrunichev Center and NPO Lavochkina successfully conducted shock tests of the transition system together with the EkmoMars-2020 spacecraft mockup

 Specialists GKNPTs them.  MV Khrunichev and NPO Lavochkina continue to prepare the second stage of the ExoMars project - a joint project of the State Corporation Roscosmos and the European Space Agency for the Study of Mars.

 In 2020, using the Proton-M launch vehicle and the Briz-M upper stage, it is planned to launch the ExoMars 2020 spacecraft.

 In preparation for the launch, NPO Lavochkina underwent joint shock tests of the vibrational strength mockup of the ExoMars 2020 spacecraft with a transition system developed and manufactured at the GKNPTs them.  M. V. Khrunichev.  The transition system (adapter), with the help of which the ExoMars 2020 spacecraft will be installed on the Briz-M upper stage, will allow separation of the device from the upper stage.

 Tests were conducted in February-March 2019.  The positive test results at NPO Lavochkina confirmed the compatibility of the mechanical interfaces of the EkmoMars-2020 spacecraft mockup and the transition system under impact conditions.

 After completion of joint tests with the EkmoMars-2020 spacecraft mockup, the transition system was returned to the GKNPTK rocket and space plant.  M. V. Khrunichev in Moscow.  The next phase of the transition system will begin shortly.  It includes its retrofitting with the necessary equipment and preparation for testing directly with the flight product of the spacecraft ExoMars 2020.

 The project "ExoMars" is implemented in two stages.

 The Roskosmos State Corporation and the European Space Agency (ESA) successfully implemented the first stage of the joint European-Russian project ExoMars, having carried out from the Baikonur cosmodrome on March 14, 2016 with the help of the Russian launch vehicle Proton-M and the Briz- M ”the launch to Mars of the ExoMars-2016 spacecraft, which includes the orbital module TGO (Trace Gas Orbiter) and the Schiaparelli descent module.

 The second phase of the project - the ExoMars 2020 mission is implemented in close cooperation with the ESA and the parent company on the European side - the Italian division of Thales Alenia Space.  The spacecraft ExoMars 2020 includes a landing module with a landing platform developed by the Russian side, a flight module and a European-made rover.  Scientific equipment will be located both on board the European rover and on board the Russian landing platform.

 The goal of the project is to study the surface and subsurface layer of Mars in close proximity to the landing site, conduct geological studies and search for traces of the possible existence of life on the planet.

https://www.roscosmos.ru/26225/

Offline bolun

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Exomas lander platform

Unpacking the platform that is destined to land on the Red Planet as part of the next ExoMars mission in Turin, Italy.

An announcement was made by the Russian State Space Corporation Roscosmos of its new name: ‘Kazachok’.

Kazachok left Russia in March 2019 after being carefully packed to meet planetary protection requirements, making sure to not bring terrestrial biological contamination to Mars. It was shipped to Turin, Italy, on an Antonov plane along with ground support equipment and other structural elements.

https://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/Images/2019/03/Exomas_lander_platform2

https://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/Images/2019/03/Exomas_lander_platform

Credits: Thales Alenia Space & Roscosmos
« Last Edit: 03/28/2019 03:21 pm by bolun »

Offline mcgyver

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so which is the final design of the landing system? I know it was changed multiple times.
Crushable cushions?
Suspensions?
Retrorockets?
All together?


Offline eeergo


so which is the final design of the landing system? I know it was changed multiple times.
Crushable cushions?
Suspensions?
Retrorockets?
All together?


Seems like all three (landing platform has propulsion)
-DaviD-

Offline bolun

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ExoMars electromagnetic sensor (structural model)

A structural and thermal model of the sensor for the electromagnetic wave analyzer that is a scientific instrument on the ExoMars lander platform.

Researchers want to investigate the existence of lightning discharges on Mars by measuring fluctuations in the electromagnetic field within the range of audible frequencies. Other observations have shown that lightning exists on Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, but Mars is still unknown.

The ExoMars rover and platform will launch to the Red Planet in 2020. At its landing site on Mars, Oxia Planum, the Czech-made electromagnetic wave analyser, that is part of the MAIGRET instrument mounted on the Kazachok platform, will scan for electromagnetic frequencies that are typical of lightning discharges. In addition to listening for lightning, the platform will also study the climate, atmosphere, radiation, and the possible presence of subsurface water ice in the landing site and surrounding areas.

https://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/Images/2019/03/ExoMars_electromagnetic_sensor_structural_model

Image credit: Institute of Scientific Instruments CAS, Brno, Czechia–I. Vlcek

Offline eeergo

-DaviD-

Offline bolun

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ExoMars carrier module ready for tests

The module that will carry the ExoMars rover and surface science platform from Earth to Mars arrived on 2 April at Thales Alenia Space in Turin, Italy, from OHB System in Bremen, Germany.

The carrier module also provides the communication link between Earth and the spacecraft, and will support navigation with star trackers and Sun sensors. It also carries propellant required for attitude control and manoeuvres after launch and during cruise by means of its16 20-N thrusters that will use up to 136 kg of hydrazine propellant.

https://www.esa.int/spaceinimages/Images/2019/04/ExoMars_carrier_module_ready_for_tests2

Image credit: Thales Alenia Space

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