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Enabling International Data Relay at Mars

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dc.contributor.author Wenkert, Daniel
dc.contributor.author Gladden, Roy. E.
dc.contributor.author Edwards, Charles D.
dc.contributor.author Schmitz, Peter
dc.contributor.author Denis, Michel
dc.contributor.author Winton, Alistair J.
dc.date.accessioned 2022-02-28T16:44:22Z
dc.date.available 2022-02-28T16:44:22Z
dc.date.issued 2016-05-16
dc.identifier.citation SpaceOps 2016, Daejeon, South Korea, May 16-20, 2016
dc.identifier.clearanceno CL#21-0058
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2014/54241
dc.description.abstract The most commonly used mode of communications be-tween Earth and a Mars surface mission is ultra-high fre-quency (UHF) radio relay via a Mars orbiter. There are four orbiters and two surface rovers operating at Mars and by October there should be five orbiters and three landers or rovers. There has been some collaboration between ESA’s Mars Express orbiter and NASA’s rovers, but 2016 is when Mars relay becomes fully international. In October, ESA will deliver the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) and En-try, Descent, and Landing (EDL) Demonstrator Module (EDM) lander to Mars. The ExoMars program includes both ESA and ROSCOSMOS, with NASA participation (the Electra UHF transceiver on TGO). NASA orbiters will pro-vide relay for EDM and future ESA Mars landers and rov-ers. TGO will provide relay for NASA's current and future surface assets (as Mars Express will continue to do). Inter-national collaboration is enabled in several steps. At the in-struction of the space agencies, the Mars mission projects negotiate and write a “Service Agreement.” This describes at a high level how a new Mars orbiter would operate with its corresponding surface missions or how a new surface mis-sion would operate with its corresponding orbiters. It in-cludes the roles of the different projects, how the new mis-sion would communicate with existing or planned missions, the general flow of data and commands, and the capabilities or requirements of the new mission. After completing the Service Agreement, the projects write Interface Control Doc-uments (ICDs), each of which describes data and command flow in greater detail and quantitative aspects of the relay link and operations timeline between an orbiter and a cor-responding lander/rover. Interfaces and operations are test-ed before a new mission arrives at Mars. Once at Mars, a new orbiter performs some “practice” relay contacts with its partners. For a new lander (e.g. EDM), relay operations gen-erally begin before atmospheric entry at Mars, with record-ing of the UHF relay signal from the lander (including open-loop wide-bandwidth recording) as it enters and traverses Mars’s atmosphere and lands on its surface. After Mars EDL or orbit injection, each relay contact is negotiat-ed and scheduled using the Mars Relay Operations Service (MaROS). This paper describes the international approach to develop inter-agency agreements, inter-project interfaces, and specifics of how MaROS is used in actual relay opera-tions between international partners.
dc.description.sponsorship NASA/JPL en_US
dc.language.iso en_US
dc.publisher Pasadena, CA: Jet Propulsion Laboratory, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2016
dc.title Enabling International Data Relay at Mars
dc.type Preprint


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