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Experimental Investigations of the Comet Lander Philae Touchdown Dynamics

Witte, L. and Schröder, S. and Kempe, H. and Zoest, Tim and Ulamec, S. and Biele, J. and Block, J. and Roll, R. (2014) Experimental Investigations of the Comet Lander Philae Touchdown Dynamics. Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, 51 (6), pp. 1885-1894. American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). doi: 10.2514/1.A32906. ISSN 0022-4650.

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Official URL: http://arc.aiaa.org/doi/abs/10.2514/1.A32906


The comet lander Philae – as part of Europe’s Rosetta mission – is en route to its target, 67/P Churyumov-Gerasimenko. With landing operations coming up at the end of 2014, a partial retesting of the Philae lander’s touchdown system was carried out in Spring 2013. Intensive testing was performed as part of Philae’s design and verification program approximately 10 years ago. However, the new test series addresses specifically touchdown conditions which have been out of capability of the pendulum test facility used at those times. Thus, the follow-up tests focus on touchdown conditions such as asymmetric loads, effects from terrain undulation and the effect of granular soil mechanics, which could not be studied sufficiently in the original tests. This paper provides insight into the touchdown system of the Philae lander, the characteristics of the used test facility, and its weight off-loading operating mode and the specific application to a small body landing test. The results of the study are presented and discussed in terms of their importance to the ongoing landing preparations.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/93075/
Document Type:Article
Title:Experimental Investigations of the Comet Lander Philae Touchdown Dynamics
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Witte, L.DLR Bremen, lars.witte (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Schröder, S.DLR Bremen, silvio.schroeder (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Kempe, H.DLR Bremen, henning.kempe (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Zoest, TimTim.Zoest (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Ulamec, S.DLR-Köln, stephan.ulamec (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Biele, J.DLR-Köln, jens.biele (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Block, J.joachim.block (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Roll, R.MPS Lindau, Katlenburg-Lindau, GermanyUNSPECIFIED
Journal or Publication Title:Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
DOI :10.2514/1.A32906
Page Range:pp. 1885-1894
Publisher:American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)
Keywords:small body exploration, planetary landing, Rosetta lander Philae, touchdown dynamics, landing system, landing test facility
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space Exploration
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EW - Space Exploration
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Vorhaben Landetechnologien (old)
Location: Bremen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Space Systems > Explorationssysteme
Deposited By: Witte, Dr. Lars
Deposited On:11 Dec 2014 11:12
Last Modified:01 Dec 2018 19:50

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