NASA’s Perseverance spacecraft depends on the climate station and communications antenna constructed by Airbus
When NASA’s Perseverance spacecraft lands on the floor of the Crimson planet on Thursday (tomorrow), Airbus expertise will accompany it: The MEDA Meteorology station supplies scientists with helpful knowledge on Mars climate, whereas the Excessive Acquire Antenna System is a high-speed will present a communication hyperlink.
Perseverance will use seven scientific instruments in complete, together with the MEDA (Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer) meteorological station designed and constructed by Airbus to check the organic and geological surroundings of Mars.
MEDA will measure many environmental parameters utilizing sensors positioned alongside the spacecraft: wind pace and path, humidity charges, atmospheric stress, soil and air temperatures, photo voltaic radiation, and likewise the properties of settled mud. These parameters will information the choices made to fly the Ingenuity helicopter on the spacecraft.
MEDA is the third Mars peripheral station led by Airbus, which has confirmed its experience on this discipline. The primary was produced for the Curiosity spacecraft generally known as REMS (Rover Environmental Monitoring Station) in 2012 and the second was produced for InSight beneath the identify TWINS in 2018. (Warmth and wind for InSight) Each have been profitable NASA / JPL missions.
All knowledge from Perseverance discoveries will probably be despatched to Earth through the HGAS antenna system designed and constructed by Airbus, based mostly on an X-band transmitter and receiver antenna that permits high-speed knowledge communication. The antenna is predicated on microstrip expertise developed in-house. Protected in opposition to mud to keep up hygienic circumstances and thermal stability.
The antenna will straight ship scientific knowledge generated by totally different automobiles and details about the well being standing of the spacecraft, with out the necessity for interconnections (eg orbits). As well as, the automobile will obtain every day directions from Earth for its missions. As a result of the antenna will be steered, it may ship a beam of data on to the Earth with out transferring the automobile, which contributes to vitality financial savings.
Excessive thermal discoveries on Mars require in depth thermal endurance assessments and qualification of the antenna system at temperatures between -135ºC and + 90ºC. This will probably be Airbus’ second HGAS antenna system on Mars, 8 years after the primary antenna system, which at present continues to work flawlessly with Curiosity.
Mars2020 is essentially the most bold Mars mission ever, as it’s going to research the rocks and land of Mars in additional element than ever to seek out proof of previous life on the planet and protect indicators or traces (bio-signatures) of that life to convey to Earth. Equally, it’s going to characterize the geological processes that make up the floor and measure the diurnal and seasonal evolution of processes occurring within the Martian environment, together with the characterization of mud. Perseverance may even check applied sciences that may assist pave the way in which for future human exploration on Mars, comparable to producing oxygen from carbon dioxide within the environment or the primary flight of a small helicopter on one other planet.
Airbus and Mars
Airbus constructed Europe’s first spacecraft to Mars – Mars Categorical, launched in 2003. Airbus additionally designed and manufactured the Beagle 2 (transported to Mars by Mars Categorical) floor automobile, which was sadly misplaced after launch.
Airbus designed and constructed the ESA ExoMars, Europe’s first spacecraft to a different planet. The ExoMars spacecraft was in-built a particular hygienic bioburden chamber on the Stevenage (UK) facility to adjust to planetary safety laws.
Airbus is engaged on the following design section (B2) of the Pattern Fetch Rover (SFR) challenge on behalf of ESA as a part of its mission to ship Mars samples. In 2026, SFR will probably be launched to Mars and can search for remaining samples from Perseverance. It can gather them and transport them again to the spacecraft and place them in a Mars Ascent automobile, which can launch them into orbit round Mars.
Airbus is to construct the Earth Return Orbiter that may gather samples from Mars orbit and produce them again to Earth. Airbus is the prime contractor for the Earth Return Orbiter (ERO) of the European House Company’s (ESA) Mars Pattern Return mission.