The Elecnor Deimos company Deimos Space has recently delivered the Entry, Descent and Landing (EDL) Post-Flight analysis report of ExoMars 2016 to ESA and Thales Alenia Space Italia, prime contractor of the mission. The report includes the analysis of the actual Schiaparelli mission on Mars, assessing the main flight performance of the capsule, determining its behaviour and comparing it to the predictions.
Schiaparelli separated from the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) on October 16th 2016 and reached Mars three days later. It performed a nominal hypersonic entry with a pre-defined flight path angle, decreasing its velocity until reaching subsonic regime under the parachute. During the descent phase an anomaly occurred, and the demonstrator module separated from the backshell earlier than expected, compromising the landing phase. During the whole EDL mission, Schiaparelli was able to communicate with the TGO and with the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, transmitting its real time on-board telemetry. The data collected is extremely valuable for the preparation of the 2020 mission.
Deimos Space Planetary Entry Toolbox (PETBox) for Mission Engineering and the related design methodology for Atmospheric Flight are now Flight Qualified in both Earth and Mars
The post-flight results have contributed to the validation of key technologies and design tools, including the Deimos Space Planetary Entry Toolbox (PETBox) for Mission Engineering and the related design methodology for Atmospheric Flight. As a result, these self-developed technologies are now Flight Qualified for missions in Earth (through the successful ESA IXV mission) and Mars.
Deimos Space has been involved in ExoMars since 2004, carrying out technical activities in the Mission Engineering and Guidance, Navigation and Control domains for more than 12 years. This high commitment to the ExoMars programme has allowed the company to be the first organisation to submit a paper about ExoMars 2016 Post-Flight analyses to international conferences. The results of these studies will be showcased in detail at the upcoming 14th International Planetary Probe Workshop (The Hague, The Netherlands) and International Astronautical Congress 2017 (Adelaide, Australia).
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