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A review of the in situ probe designs from recent Ice Giant mission concept studies

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journal contribution
posted on 06.03.2020, 14:50 by Amy Simon, Leigh Fletcher, Chris Arridge, David Atkinson, Athena Coustenis, Francesca Ferri, Mark Hofstadter, Adam Masters, Olivier Mousis, Kim Reh, Diego Turrini, Olivier Witasse
For the Ice Giants, atmospheric entry probes provide critical measurements not attainable via remote observations. Including the 2013–2022 NASA Planetary Decadal Survey, there have been at least five comprehensive atmospheric probe engineering design studies performed in recent years by NASA and ESA. International science definition teams have assessed the science requirements, and each recommended similar measurements and payloads to meet science goals with current instrument technology. The probe system concept has matured and converged on general design parameters that indicate the probe would include a 1-meter class aeroshell and have a mass around 350 to 400-kg. Probe battery sizes vary, depending on the duration of a post-release coast phase, and assumptions about heaters and instrument power needs. The various mission concepts demonstrate the need for advanced power and thermal protection system development. The many completed studies show an Ice Giant mission with an in situ probe is feasible and would be welcomed by the international science community.

Funding

Royal Society Research Fellowship and European Research Council Consolidator Grant (under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program, grant agreement No. 723890) at the University of Leicester.

History

Citation

Space Sci Rev 216, 17 (2020)

Author affiliation

School of Physics and Astronomy

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Published in

Space Science Reviews

Volume

216

Issue

17

Publisher

Springer Verlag

issn

0038-6308

eissn

1572-9672

Acceptance date

26/01/2020

Copyright date

2020

Publisher version

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11214-020-0639-1#Abs1

Language

en