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Rosetta-Lander: On-Comet Operations Execution and Recovery after the Unexpected Landing

Fantinati, Cinzia and Ulamec, Stephan and Willnecker, Rainer and Geurts, Koen (2016) Rosetta-Lander: On-Comet Operations Execution and Recovery after the Unexpected Landing. SpaceOps 2016 - 14th International Conference on Space Operations, 16.-20. Mai 2016, Daejeon, Korea.

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Philae’s landing on comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko on 12 November 2014 was one of the main milestones of the European Rosetta mission. The nature of Philae’s mission, to land, operate and survive on comet 67P, required a high degree in autonomy of the on-board software and of the operations scheduling and execution concept. Philae’s baseline operations timeline consisted of predefined and validated blocks of instrument deployments and scientific measurements. These were supported by subsystem activities such as rotation and lifting of the main body relative to the landing gear to allow for specific instrument deployment or in order to cope with the unknown attitude after landing. The nominal descent was followed by an unforeseen rebound at touchdown, lifting Philae again from the comet surface to enter a two-hour phase of uncontrolled flight over the comet surface. Philae’s unknown final landing site, unfavorable attitude with respect to the local surface, bad illumination and lack of anchoring required a complete rescheduling of the baseline timeline. The autonomy offered by the system and the predefined contingency operations were exploited by the operations team to maximize output despite this undesirable state. Implementation of the rescheduling to allow a maximum scientific output, despite the limitations due to unknown communication windows, unknown orientation with respect to the comet surface, the associated risks of any mechanisms activation, the lack of sufficient solar power and limited battery lifetime, is described and elaborated.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/110722/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Title:Rosetta-Lander: On-Comet Operations Execution and Recovery after the Unexpected Landing
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthors ORCID iD
Fantinati, Cinziadlr-köln, cinzia.fantinati (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Ulamec, Stephandlr-köln, stephan.ulamec (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Willnecker, Rainerdlr-köln, rainer.willnecker (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Geurts, Koendlr-köln, koen.geurts (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Date:16 May 2016
Refereed publication:No
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Keywords:Rosetta Lander, Philae
Event Title:SpaceOps 2016 - 14th International Conference on Space Operations
Event Location:Daejeon, Korea
Event Type:international Conference
Event Dates:16.-20. Mai 2016
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:25 Jan 2017 10:35
Last Modified:25 Jan 2017 10:35

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