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implementing the mars science laboratory terminal descent sensor field test campaignThe Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) will deliver a 900 kg rover to the surface of Mars in August 2012. MSL will utilize a new pulse-Doppler landing radar, the Terminal Descent Sensor (TDS). The TDS employs six narrow-beam antennas to provide unprecedented slant range and velocity performance at Mars to enable soft touchdown of the MSL rover using a unique sky crane Entry, De-scent, and Landing (EDL) technique. Prior to use on MSL, the TDS was put through a rigorous verification and validation (V&V) process. A key element of this V&V was operating the TDS over a series of field tests, using flight-like profiles expected during the descent and landing of MSL over Mars-like terrain on Earth. Limits of TDS performance were characterized with additional testing meant to stress operational modes outside of the expected EDL flight profiles. The flight envelope over which the TDS must operate on Mars encompasses such a large range of altitudes and velocities that a variety of venues were neces-sary to cover the test space. These venues included an F/A-18 high performance aircraft, a Eurocopter AS350 AStar helicopter and 100-meter tall Echo Towers at the China Lake Naval Air Warfare Center. Testing was carried out over a five year period from July 2006 to June 2011. TDS performance was shown, in gen-eral, to be excellent over all venues. This paper describes the planning, design, and implementation of the field test campaign plus results and lessons learned.
Document ID
20140001971
Document Type
Conference Paper
External Source(s)
Authors
Montgomery, James F.
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Bodie, James H.
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Brown, Joseph D.
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Chen, Allen
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Chen, Curtis W.
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Essmiller, John C.
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Fisher, Charles D.
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Goldberg, Hannah R.
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Lee, Steven W.
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Shaffer, Scott J.
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
March 17, 2014
Publication Date
February 8, 2012
Subject Category
Spacecraft Design, Testing and Performance
Report/Patent Number
AAS 12-091
Meeting Information
Annual AAS Guidance & Control Conference(Breckenridge, CO)
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Other
Keywords
Mars Science Laboratory (MSL)
Terminal Descent Sensor
field test