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BepiColombo: technology and trajectory report

BepiColombo: technology and trajectory report

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In this paper, the technological scope of the joint ESA-JAXA BepiColombo mission is examined. The payload and trajectory of BepiColombo is also considered in comparison with NASA’s MESSENGER mission to highlight similarities and differences in approach and execution. The mission definition is now finalised and BepiColombo is in its implementation phase.
In this paper, the technological scope of the joint ESA-JAXA BepiColombo mission is examined. The payload and trajectory of BepiColombo is also considered in comparison with NASA’s MESSENGER mission to highlight similarities and differences in approach and execution. The mission definition is now finalised and BepiColombo is in its implementation phase.

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Published by: Undergraduate Awards on Sep 01, 2012
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10/27/2013

 
BepiColombo:technology andtrajectory report
Including comparison with MESSENGER
Anna O’Faoláin de Bhróithe21/2/2008
Abstract
In this paper, the technological scope of the joint ESA-JAXA BepiColombo missionis examined. The payload and trajectory of BepiColombo is also considered incomparison with NASA’s MESSENGER mission to highlight similarities and
 
differences in approach and execution. The mission definition is now finalisedand BepiColombo is in its implementation phase. However, as the report iscontemporaneous with the development of the mission, the extent of detailedinformation available is not yet entirely comprehensive.
Introduction
BepiColombo is the 5
th
cornerstone mission of ESA (European Space Agency), tobe completed under ESA leadership in collaboration with JAXA (JapaneseAerospace Exploration Agency). The mission will send scientific payloads intoorbit around the planet Mercury. It is set for launch in August 2013, with aprojected orbital insertion date of July 4, 2019. On entering the Mercury orbit, thespacecraft will have a one Earth-year nominal scientific life-span, with a possibleextension of one year. Scientific instruments will be provided by variousEuropean countries, and Russia will also contribute a gamma ray and neutronspectrometer (see
Technology and Payload
). The mission as originally conceived involved four components: the Mercury Transfer Module (MTM), the Mercury Planetary Orbiter (MPO), the MercuryMagnetosphere Orbiter (MMO), and a lander portion, the Mercury SurfaceElement (MSE). However, due to budgetary constraints and technologicalshortcomings, the MSE was cancelled. As of progression to the implementationphase, the baseline mission consists of the MPO and the MMO mounted on theMTM, which altogether will make up the Mercury Composite Spacecraft (MCS). This will be launched on a Soyuz 2-1B/Fregat-M from Kourou, French Guyana (see
Launch
). The MPO will carry 11 sophisticated scientific instruments, ten of which will beprovided through national funding by ESA member states, and the remaining onewill be supplied by Russia. These include cameras, spectrometers, radiometer,laser altimeter, magnetometer, particle analysers, Ka-band transponder andaccelerometer. The MMO will carry five instruments operating behind asunshield, one European and the other four from Japan. These includemagnetometer, ion spectrometer, electron energy analyser, cold and energeticplasma detectors, plasma wave analyser and imager (see
Technology andPayload
). The MPO mission operation centre will be located at the European SpaceOperations Centre (ESOC) in Darmstadt, Germany. The MMO will be controlledfrom Sagamihara Space Operation Centre near Tokyo. The ground telemetry
i
station for the MPO and MMO will be the Cebreros 35m antenna in Spain and theUsuda 64m antenna
in Japan respectively.
 
Figure 1 - BepiColombo. From the bottom up is the MTM, the MPO, the sunshield andthe MPO. The MPO has a payload mass of 60 kg and will transfer 1550 Gb of data peryear (50 kb/s), while the MMO has a payload mass of 40 kg and will transfer 160 Gb of data per year(5 kb/s).
Technology and Payload
MaterialsA fundamental challenge of the BepiColombo mission is to find materials suitablefor the Mercury environment. Materials must be assessed in a simulated spaceenvironment at representative radiation and temperature to investigate theinfluence of the mission environment on their functional properties. Materials areanalysed based on thermal analysis, thermal endurance and synergistic
radiation tests.Established models for thermal endurance characterisation were refined byincorporating isotherms into the modelling technique. It is intended toverify/modify these models by integrating results from thermal ageingcampaigns, and then applying the methodology devised to vacuum applications.Physical testing was carried out on various foils to establish the effect of long-term exposure. Mass loss was observed and as well as usual linear expansion, anon-linear expansion element was discovered.
Table showing comparison between two samples tested up to 275°C – Upilex Sappears more favourable overallProperty examinedUpilex SKapton
Mass-losslow/no significant mass lossmass loss noticeable and seemsto degrade linearly withtime/temperature Thermo-opticalsmall thermal degradationmarginally greater thermaldegradation Tensilesmall change noticeablesmall change noticeable –exhibits effects outsideexperimental variability
Kapton
 
UpilexS

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