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Mid-Air Helicopter Delivery at Mars Using a Jetpack

Delaune, Jeff and Izraelevitz, Jacob and Sirlin, Samuel and Sternberg, David and Giersch, Louis and Tosi, L. Phillipe and Skliyanskiy, Evgeniy and Young, Larry and Mischna, Michael and Withrow-Maser, Shannah and Mueller, Juergen and Bowman, Joshua and Wallace, Mark S. and Grip, Håvard F. and Matthies, Larry and Johnson, Wayne and Keennon, Matthew and Pipenberg, Benjamin and Patel, Harsh and Lim, Christopher and Schutte, Aaron and Veismann, Marcel and Cummings, Haley and Conley, Sarah and Bapst, Jonathan and Tzanetos, Theodore and Brockers, Roland and Jain, Abhinandan and Bayard, David and Chmielewski, Art and Toupet, Olivier and Burdick, Joel and Gharib, Morteza and Balaram, J. (2022) Mid-Air Helicopter Delivery at Mars Using a Jetpack. In: 2022 IEEE Aerospace Conference (AERO). IEEE , Piscataway, NJ, pp. 1-20.

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Mid-Air Helicopter Delivery (MAHD) is a new Entry, Descent and Landing (EDL) architecture to enable in situ mobility for Mars science at lower cost than previous missions. It uses a jetpack to slow down a Mars Science Helicopter (MSH) after separation from the backshell, and reach aerodynamic conditions suitable for helicopter take-off in mid air. For given aeroshell dimensions, only MAHD's lander-free approach leaves enough room in the aeroshell to accommodate the largest rotor option for MSH. This drastically improves flight performance, notably allowing +150% increased science payload mass. Compared to heritage EDL approaches, the simpler MAHD architecture is also likely to reduce cost, and enables access to more hazardous and higher-elevation terrains on Mars. This paper introduces a design for the MAHD system architecture and operations. We present a mechanical configuration that fits both MSH and the jetpack within the 2.65-m Mars heritage aeroshell, and a jetpack control architecture which fully leverages the available helicopter avionics. We discuss preliminary numerical models of the flow dynamics resulting from the interaction between the jets, the rotors and the side winds. We define a force-torque sensing architecture capable of handling the wind and trimming the rotors to prepare for safe take-off. Finally, we analyze the dynamic environment and closed-loop control simulation results to demonstrate the preliminary feasibility of MAHD.

Item Type:Book Section
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URLURL TypeDescription
Mischna, Michael0000-0002-8022-5319
Veismann, Marcel0000-0001-8106-6738
Burdick, Joel0000-0002-3091-540X
Gharib, Morteza0000-0003-0754-4193
Additional Information:© 2022 IEEE. The authors would like to thank the technical reviewers who provided valuable feedback at different stages of the design: Jeffery Hall, Miguel San Martin, Joe Melko, Kim Aaron, Erik Bailey, Chris Porter, Kim Aaron, Mike Paul Hughes, Art Casillas, Carl Guernsey, Kalind Carpenter, Matthew Heverly, Joshua Ravich and Ian Clark. Part of 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).
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Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20220811-935426000
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Official Citation:J. Delaune et al., "Mid-Air Helicopter Delivery at Mars Using a Jetpack," 2022 IEEE Aerospace Conference (AERO), 2022, pp. 1-20, doi: 10.1109/AERO53065.2022.9843825.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:116240
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:12 Aug 2022 22:46
Last Modified:12 Aug 2022 22:46

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