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The Philae Lander: Science planning and operations

Moussi-Soffys, Aurelie and Fronton, Jean-Francois and Gaudon, Philippe and Delmas, Cedric and Lafaille, Vivian and Jurado, Eric and Durand, Joelle and Hallouard, Dominique and Mangeret, Maryse and Charpentier, Antoine and Ulamec, Stephan and Fantinati, Cinzia and Geurts, Koen and Salatti, Mario and Bibring, Jean-Pierre and Boehnhardt, Hermann (2016) The Philae Lander: Science planning and operations. Acta Astronautica, 125, pp. 92-104. Elsevier. DOI: 10.1016/jactaastro.2015.12.050 ISBN ISSN 0094-5765 ISSN 0094-5765

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Rosetta is an ambitious mission launched in March 2004 to study comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. It is composed of a space probe (Rosetta) and the Philae Lander. The mission is a series of premieres: among others, first probe to escort a comet, first time a landing site is selected with short turnaround time, first time a lander has landed on a comet nucleus. In November 2014, once stabilized on the comet, Philae has performed its “First Science Sequence”. Philae’s aim was to perform detailed and innovative in-situ experi- ments on the comet’s surface to characterize the nucleus by performing mechanical, chemical and physical investigations on the comet surface. The main contribution to the Rosetta lander by the French space agency (CNES) is the Science Operation and Navigation Center (SONC) located in Toulouse. Among its tasks is the scheduling of the scientific activities of the 10 lander experiments and then to provide it to the Lander Control Center (LCC) located in DLR Cologne. The teams in charge of the Philae activity scheduling had to cope with considerable constraints in term of energy, data management, asynchronous processes and co-activities or exclusions between instruments. Moreover the comet itself, its environment and the landing conditions remained unknown until separation time. The landing site was selected once the operational sequence was already designed. This paper will explain the specific context of the Rosetta lander mission and all the constraints that the lander activity scheduling had to face to fulfill the scientific objectives specified for Philae. A specific tool was developed by CNES and used to design the complete sequence of activities on the comet with respect to all constraints. The baseline scenario for the lander operation will also be detailed as well as the sequence performed on the comet to highlight the difficulties and challenges that the operational team faced.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/105278/
Document Type:Article
Title:The Philae Lander: Science planning and operations
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Moussi-Soffys, AurelieCNES ToulouseUNSPECIFIED
Fronton, Jean-FrancoisCNES ToulouseUNSPECIFIED
Gaudon, PhilippeCNES ToulouseUNSPECIFIED
Delmas, CedricCNES ToulouseUNSPECIFIED
Lafaille, VivianCNES, ToulouseUNSPECIFIED
Jurado, EricCNES, ToulouseUNSPECIFIED
Durand, JoelleCNES, Toulouse, FranceUNSPECIFIED
Hallouard, DominiqueATOS for CNESUNSPECIFIED
Charpentier, AntoineATOS for CNESUNSPECIFIED
Ulamec, StephanDLR-Köln, stephan.ulamec (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Fantinati, CinziaDLR-Köln, cinzia.fantinati (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Geurts, KoenDLR-Köln, koen.geurts (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Bibring, Jean-PierreInstitut d'Astrophysique Spatiale, ParisUNSPECIFIED
Boehnhardt, HermannMax-Planck-Institut fuer Sonnensystemforschung, GöttingenUNSPECIFIED
Date:August 2016
Journal or Publication Title:Acta Astronautica
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
DOI :10.1016/jactaastro.2015.12.050
Page Range:pp. 92-104
ISBN:ISSN 0094-5765
Keywords:Rosetta, Philae, Planning, Operations, 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, MOST
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space Science and Exploration
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EW - Erforschung des Weltraums
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Projekt ROSETTA Lander
Location: Köln-Porz
Institutes and Institutions:Space Operations and Astronaut Training > User center for space experiments (MUSC)
Deposited By: Herrmann, Astrid
Deposited On:18 Jul 2016 12:00
Last Modified:31 Jul 2019 20:02

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