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Motivations and Preliminary Design for Mid-Air Deployment of a Science Rotorcraft on Mars

Delaune, Jeff and Izraelevitz, Jacob and Young, Larry A. and Rapin, William and Sklyanskiy, Evgeniy and Johnson, Wayne and Schutte, Aaron and Fraeman, Abigail and Scott, Valerie and Leake, Carl and Ballesteros, Erik and Withrow, Shannah and Bhagwat, Raghav and Cummings, Haley and Aaron, Kim and Veismann, Marcel and Wei, Skylar and Lee, Regina and Pabon Madrid, Luis and Gharib, Morteza and Burdick, Joel (2020) Motivations and Preliminary Design for Mid-Air Deployment of a Science Rotorcraft on Mars. In: ASCEND 2020. American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics , Reston, VA, Art. No. 2020-4030. ISBN 9781624106088.

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Mid-Air Deployment (MAD) of a rotorcraft during Entry, Descent and Landing (EDL) on Mars eliminates the need to carry a propulsion or airbag landing system. This reduces the total mass inside the aeroshell by more than 100 kg and simplifies the aeroshell architecture. MAD’s lighter and simpler design is likely to bring the risk and cost associated with the mission down. Moreover, the lighter entry mass enables landing in the Martian highlands, at elevations inaccessible to current EDL technologies. This paper proposes a novel MAD concept for a Mars helicopter. We suggest a minimum science payload package to perform relevant science in the highlands. A variant of the Ingenuity helicopter is proposed to provide increased deceleration during MAD, and enough lift to fly the science payload in the highlands. We show in simulation that the lighter aeroshell results in a lower terminal velocity (30 m/s) at the end of the parachute phase of the EDL, and at higher altitudes than other approaches. After discussing the aerodynamics, controls, guidance, and mechanical challenges associated with deploying at such speed, we propose a backshell architecture that addresses them to release the helicopter in the safest conditions. Finally, we implemented the helicopter model and aerodynamic descent perturbations in the JPL Dynamics and Real-Time Simulation (DARTS)framework. Preliminary performance evaluation indicates landing and helicopter operations can be achieved up to +5 km MOLA (Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter reference).

Item Type:Book Section
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URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Rapin, William0000-0003-4660-8006
Fraeman, Abigail0000-0003-4017-5158
Gharib, Morteza0000-0002-2204-9302
Additional Information:© 2020 by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc. Published Online: 2 Nov 2020. The research described in this paper was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (80NM0018D0004). This work was supported by JPL’s Spontaneous R&TD program, and a NASA Space Technology Research Fellowship, Leake [NSTRF 2019] Grant #: 80NSSC19K1152. The authors would like to thank Chad Edwards and Larry Matthies, from JPL’s Mars Exploration Program Advanced Concepts Office, for their technical and programmatic support; as well as Theodore Tzanetos, Mars Helicopter tactical lead at JPL, for sanity checking Ingenuity’s design parameters.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
JPL Research and Technology Development FundUNSPECIFIED
NASA Space Technology Research Fellowship80NSSC19K1152
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AIAA Paper2020-4030
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20201106-131812557
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Official Citation:Motivations and Preliminary Design forMid-Air Deployment of a Science Rotorcraft on Mars. Jeff Delaune, Jacob Izraelevitz, Larry A. Young, William Rapin, Evgeniy Sklyanskiy, Wayne Johnson, Aaron Schutte, Abigail Fraeman, Valerie Scott, Carl Leake, Erik Ballesteros, Shannah Withrow, Raghav Bhagwat, Haley Cummings, Kim Aaron, Marcel Veismann, Skylar Wei, Regina Lee, Luis Pabon Madrid, Morteza Gharib, and Joel Burdick. ASCEND 2020. November 2020; doi: 10.2514/6.2020-4030
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:106497
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:06 Nov 2020 21:37
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 18:54

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