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  • 1.
    Bazzocchi, Michael C.F.
    et al.
    Institute for Aerospace Studies, University of Toronto.
    Emami, Reza
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering, Space Technology.
    Comparative analysis of redirection methods for asteroid resource exploitation2016In: Acta Astronautica, ISSN 0094-5765, E-ISSN 1879-2030, Vol. 120, p. 1-19Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    An in-depth analysis and systematic comparison of asteroid redirection methods is performed within a resource exploitation framework using different assessment mechanisms. Through this framework, mission objectives and constraints are specified for the redirection of an asteroid from a near-Earth orbit to a stable orbit in the Earth-Moon system. The paper provides a detailed investigation of five redirection methods, i.e., ion beam, tugboat, gravity tractor, laser sublimation, and mass ejector, with respect to their capabilities for a redirection mission. A set of mission level criteria are utilized to assess the performance of each redirection method, and the means of assigning attributes to each criterion is discussed in detail. In addition, the uncertainty in physical characteristics of the asteroid population is quantified through the use of Monte Carlo analysis. The Monte Carlo simulation provides insight into the performance robustness of the redirection methods with respect to the targeted asteroid range. Lastly, the attributes for each redirection method are aggregated using three different multicriteria assessment approaches, i.e., the analytical hierarchy process, a utility-based approach, and a fuzzy aggregation mechanism. The results of each assessment approach as well as recommendations for further studies are discussed in detail.

  • 2.
    Bazzocchi, Michael C.F.
    et al.
    Institute for Aerospace Studies, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
    Emami, Reza
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering, Space Technology.
    Stochastic optimization of asteroid three-dimensional trajectory transfer2018In: Acta Astronautica, ISSN 0094-5765, E-ISSN 1879-2030, Vol. 152, p. 705-718Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this work, an approach to designing near-optimal nonplanar transfer trajectories for asteroids is introduced, taking into account the uncertainty in asteroid parameters. The approach is demonstrated using a specific known Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA) as a model for the transfer scenario. The designed trajectory redirects the NEA from its current orbit about the Sun to a new orbit in the Earth-Moon system. The approach utilizes a low-thrust redirection method, namely the ion beam method, to execute the transfer; however, the work can be extrapolated to most low-thrust redirection methods. Asteroid parameters, such as absolute magnitude, albedo and density, are modelled, and a Monte Carlo analysis is employed to investigate the redirection maneuver in light of the expected variation in parameters. The trajectory transfer is modelled in three dimensions through the use of pseudo-equinoctial shaping, and is subsequently optimized. Due to the large design space created by the 21 decision variables, the optimization is parsed into two main steps; first, a global optimization that employs a genetic algorithm, followed by a local optimization that utilizes sequential quadratic programming to refine the result from the global optimization. Lastly, the results of the Monte Carlo analysis for the near-optimal trajectory transfer of the NEA are discussed.

  • 3.
    Conte, Davide
    et al.
    The Pennsylvania State University.
    Di Carlo, Marilena
    University of Strathclyde.
    Budzyń, Dorota
    ESA/EAC, Linder Höhe, Cologne.
    Burgoyne, Hayden
    Analytical Space, Inc., Boston.
    Fries, Dan
    Georgia Institute of Technology.
    Grulich, Maria
    ESA/ESTEC.
    Heizmann, Sören
    Universität Stuttgart.
    Jethani, Henna
    Blue Origin.
    Lapôtre, Mathieu
    California Institute of Technology.
    Roos, Tobias
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering, Space Technology.
    Castillo, Encarnación Serrano
    Università di Bologna.
    Scherrmann, Marcel
    ESA/ESTEC.
    Vieceli, Rhiannon
    New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology.
    Wilson, Lee
    California Institute of Technology.
    Wynard, Christopher
    NASA Johnson Space Center.
    Advanced concept for a crewed mission to the martian moons2017In: Acta Astronautica, ISSN 0094-5765, E-ISSN 1879-2030, Vol. 139, p. 545-563Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper presents the conceptual design of the IMaGInE (Innovative Mars Global International Exploration) Mission. The mission's objectives are to deliver a crew of four astronauts to the surface of Deimos and perform a robotic exploration mission to Phobos. Over the course of the 343 day mission during the years 2031 and 2032, the crew will perform surface excursions, technology demonstrations, In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) of the Martian moons, as well as site reconnaissance for future human exploration of Mars. This mission design makes use of an innovative hybrid propulsion concept (chemical and electric) to deliver a relatively low-mass reusable crewed spacecraft (approximately 100 mt) to cis-martian space. The crew makes use of torpor which minimizes launch payload mass. Green technologies are proposed as a stepping stone towards minimum environmental impact space access. The usage of beamed energy to power a grid of decentralized science stations is introduced, allowing for large scale characterization of the Martian environment. The low-thrust outbound and inbound trajectories are computed through the use of a direct method and a multiple shooting algorithm that considers various thrust and coast sequences to arrive at the final body with zero relative velocity. It is shown that the entire mission is rooted within the current NASA technology roadmap, ongoing scientific investments and feasible with an extrapolated NASA Budget. The presented mission won the 2016 Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts - Academic Linkage (RASC-AL) competition.

  • 4.
    Felicetti, Leonard
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering, Space Technology.
    Emami, Reza
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering, Space Technology.
    A multi-spacecraft formation approach to space debris surveillance2016In: Acta Astronautica, ISSN 0094-5765, E-ISSN 1879-2030, Vol. 127, p. 491-504Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper proposes a new mission concept devoted to the identification and tracking of space debris through observations made by multiple spacecraft. Specifically, a formation of spacecraft has been designed taking into account the characteristics and requirements of the utilized optical sensors as well as the constraints imposed by sun illumination and visibility conditions. The debris observations are then shared among the team of spacecraft, and processed onboard of a “hosting leader” to estimate the debris motion by means of Kalman filtering techniques. The primary contribution of this paper resides on the application of a distributed coordination architecture, which provides an autonomous and robust ability to dynamically form spacecraft teams once the target has been detected, and to dynamically build a processing network for the orbit determination of space debris. The team performance, in terms of accuracy, readiness and number of the detected objects, is discussed through numerical simulations.

  • 5.
    Felicetti, Leonard
    et al.
    University of Rome la Sapienza.
    Gasbarri, Paolo
    University of Rome la Sapienza.
    Pisculli, Andrea
    University of Rome la Sapienza.
    Sabatini, Marco
    University of Rome la Sapienza.
    Palmerini, Giovanni B.
    Sapienza Università di Roma, Dipartimento di Ingegneria Astronautica Elettrica Ed Energetica (DIAEE).
    Design of robotic manipulators for orbit removal of spent launchers' stages2016In: Acta Astronautica, ISSN 0094-5765, E-ISSN 1879-2030, Vol. 119, p. 118-130Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper deals with the main drivers for the design of a space manipulator aimed to the removal of the final stages which remain in Low Earth Orbit after releasing their payloads. At the scope, the different phases of a debris removal mission are considered, starting from the parking orbit where the servicing spacecraft equipped with the manipulator (chaser) waits for the call on duty, encompassing the approach to the target and its grasping and finally dealing with the dismissal of the captured object. The characteristics and requirements of each phase, in terms of torques to be applied to the joints of the manipulator(s) and to the forces to be generated via thrusters at the system level, are analysed. The number of robotic arms, the number of joints of each arm, and the torque level that each joint motor should supply are mainly defined by the grasping phase and the de-orbit phase. During the grasping, the tumbling target must be tracked with a large degree of robustness, and, to this aim, a redundant manipulator must be designed, so that its workspace can be as large as possible. On the other hand, increasing the degrees of freedom of a robotic arm means higher complexity and manufacturing costs. The number of arms depends also on the final de-orbit phase, in which the powerful apogee motor of the chaser satellite is ignited to change the composite system (chaser+target) orbit. The thrust, applied on the chaser, is transferred to the target by means of the manipulator(s): it is shown that a single robotic arm could not be sufficient to withstand the high stress acting during this phase. The torques at the joints required to maintain the arms in the desired configuration end up to be very high too, and the motors - as well as in general the structural elements of the arms - should be sized according to this phase of the mission

  • 6.
    Felicetti, Leonard
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering, Space Technology.
    Palmerini, Giovanni B.
    Sapienza Università di Roma, Dipartimento di Ingegneria Astronautica Elettrica Ed Energetica (DIAEE), Scuola di Ingegneria Aerospaziale, Università di Roma La Sapienza.
    Analytical and numerical investigations on spacecraft formation control by using electrostatic forces2016In: Acta Astronautica, ISSN 0094-5765, E-ISSN 1879-2030, Vol. 123, p. 455-469Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The paper investigates some analytical and numerical aspects of the formation control exploited by means of inter-spacecraft electrostatic actions. The analysis is based on the evaluation and check of the stability issues by using a sequence of purposely defined Lyapunov functions. The same Lyapunov approach can also define a specific under-actuate control strategy for controlling selected “virtual links” of the formation. Two different selection criteria for these links are then discussed, showing the implications on the control chain. An optimal charge distribution strategy, which assigns univocally the charges to all the spacecraft starting from the charge products computed by the control, is also presented and discussed. Numerical simulations prove the suitability of the proposed approach to a formation of 4 satellites.

  • 7.
    Hakima, Houman
    et al.
    University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies, 4925 Dufferin Street, Toronto.
    Emami, Reza
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering, Space Technology. Institute for Aerospace Studies, University of Toronto.
    Assessment of active methods for removal of LEO debris2018In: Acta Astronautica, ISSN 0094-5765, E-ISSN 1879-2030, Vol. 144, p. 225-243Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper investigates the applicability of five active methods for removal of large low Earth orbit debris. The removal methods, namely net, laser, electrodynamic tether, ion beam shepherd, and robotic arm, are selected based on a set of high-level space mission constraints. Mission level criteria are then utilized to assess the performance of each redirection method in light of the results obtained from a Monte Carlo simulation. The simulation provides an insight into the removal time, performance robustness, and propellant mass criteria for the targeted debris range. The remaining attributes are quantified based on the models provided in the literature, which take into account several important parameters pertaining to each removal method. The means of assigning attributes to each assessment criterion is discussed in detail. A systematic comparison is performed using two different assessment schemes: Analytical Hierarchy Process and utility-based approach. A third assessment technique, namely the potential-loss analysis, is utilized to highlight the effect of risks in each removal methods

  • 8.
    Israel Nazarious, Miracle
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering, Space Technology.
    Vakkada Ramachandran, Abhilash
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering, Space Technology.
    Zorzano, María-Paz
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering, Space Technology. Centro de Astrobiología (INTA-CSIC), Torrejon de Ardoz, Madrid, Spain.
    Martin-Torres, Javier
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering, Space Technology.
    Calibration and preliminary tests of the Brine Observation Transition To Liquid Experiment on HABIT/ExoMars 2020 for demonstration of liquid water stability on Mars2019In: Acta Astronautica, ISSN 0094-5765, E-ISSN 1879-2030, Vol. 162, p. 497-510Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The search for unequivocal proofs of liquid water on present day Mars is a prominent domain of research with implications on habitability and future Mars exploration. The HABIT (Habitability: Brines, Irradiation, and Temperature) instrument that will be on-board the ExoMars 2020 Surface Platform (ESA-IKI Roscosmos) will investigate the habitability of present day Mars, monitoring temperature, winds, dust conductivity, ultraviolet radiation and liquid water formation. One of the components of HABIT is the experiment BOTTLE (Brine Observation Transition To Liquid Experiment). The purposes of BOTTLE are to: (1) quantify the formation of transient liquid brines; (2) observe their stability over time under non-equilibrium conditions; and (3) serve as an In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) technology demonstrator for water moisture capture. In this manuscript, we describe the calibration procedure of BOTTLE with standard concentrations of brines, the calibration function and the coefficients needed to interpret the observations on Mars.

    BOTTLE consists of six containers: four of them are filled with different deliquescent salts that have been found on Mars (calcium-perchlorate, magnesium-perchlorate, calcium-chloride, and sodium-perchlorate); and two containers that are open to the air, to collect atmospheric dust. The salts are exposed to the Martian environment through a high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter (to comply with planetary protection protocols). The deliquescence process will be monitored by observing the changes in electrical conductivity (EC) in each container: dehydrated salts show low EC, hydrated salts show medium EC and, liquid brines show high EC values. We report and interpret the preliminary test results using the BOTTLE engineering model in representative conditions; and we discuss how this concept can be adapted to other exploration missions.

    Our laboratory observations show that 1.2 g of anhydrous calcium-chloride captures about 3.7 g of liquid water as brine passing through various possible hydrate forms. This ISRU technology could potentially be the first attempt to understand the formation of transient liquid water on Mars and to develop self-sustaining in-situ water harvesting on Mars for future human and robotic missions.

  • 9.
    Lehner, B.A.E.
    et al.
    Department of Bionanoscience, TU Delft, , HZ Delft, the Netherlands.
    Schlechten, J.
    Department of Computer Science, University of Geneva, Carouge, Switzerland.
    Filosa, A.
    Department of Aerospace Science and Technology (DAST), Politecnico di Milano, Milano, Italy.
    Canals Pou, A.
    Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy (CMEM), ETSEIB, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), Barcelona, Spain.
    Mazzotta, D.G.
    Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (DIMEAS), Politecnico di Torino, Torino, Italy.
    Spina, Francesco
    Luleå University of Technology.
    Teeney, L.
    Department of Bionanoscience, TU Delft, , HZ Delft, the Netherlands. Department of Computer Science, University of Geneva, Carouge, Switzerland.
    Snyder, J.
    USRA / NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, USA.
    Tjon, S.Y.
    Department of Bionanoscience, TU Delft, , HZ Delft, the Netherlands.
    Meyer, A.S.
    Department of Biology, University of Rochester, Rochester, USA.
    Brouns, S.J.J.
    Department of Bionanoscience, TU Delft, , HZ Delft, the Netherlands.
    Cowley, A.
    European Astronaut Centre (EAC), European Space Agency (ESA), Cologne, Germany.
    Rothschild, L.J.
    NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, USA.
    End-to-end mission design for microbial ISRU activities as preparation for a moon village2019In: Acta Astronautica, ISSN 0094-5765, E-ISSN 1879-2030, Vol. 162, p. 216-226Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In situ resource utilization (ISRU) increasingly features as an element of human long-term exploration and settlement missions to the lunar surface. In this study, all requirements to test a novel, biological approach for ISRU are validated, and an end-to-end mission architecture is proposed. The general mission consists of a lander with a fully autonomous bioreactor able to process lunar regolith and extract elemental iron. The elemental iron could either be stored or directly utilized to generate iron wires or construction material. To maximize the success rate of this mission, potential landing sites for future missions are studied, and technical details (thermal radiation, shielding, power-supply) are analyzed. The final section will assess the potential mission architecture (orbit, rocket, lander, timeframe). This design might not only be one step further towards an international “Moon Village”, but may also enable similar missions to ultimately colonize Mars and further explore our solar system.

  • 10.
    Muralidharan, Vijay
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering, Space Technology.
    Emami, Reza
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering, Space Technology.
    Concurrent rendezvous control of underactuated spacecraft2017In: Acta Astronautica, ISSN 0094-5765, E-ISSN 1879-2030, Vol. 138, p. 28-42Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The concurrent control of spacecraft equipped with one-axis unilateral thruster and three-axis attitude actuator is considered in this paper. The proposed control law utilizes attitude control channels along with the single thrust force concurrently, for three-dimensional trajectory tracking and rendezvous with a target object. The concurrent controller also achieves orbital transfer to low Earth orbits with long range separation. To demonstrate the orbit transfer capabilities of the concurrent controller, a smooth elliptical orbit transfer trajectory for co-planar circular orbits is designed. The velocity change and energy consumption of the designed orbit transfer trajectory is observed to be equivalent to that of Hohmann transfer.

  • 11.
    Satpute, Sumeet
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering, Space Technology.
    Emami, Reza
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering, Space Technology. University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada.
    Concurrent co-location maneuver planning for geostationary satellites2018In: Acta Astronautica, ISSN 0094-5765, E-ISSN 1879-2030Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper details the development of a planning algorithm for multiple co-located geostationary satellites to perform station keeping and momentum unloading maneuvers concurrently. The objective is to minimize the overall fuel consumption while guaranteeing a safe separation distance between the satellites within a specific geostationary slot, as well as managing their stored angular momentum to maintain their nadir pointing orientation. The algorithm adopts the leader-follower architecture to define relative orbital elements of the satellites equipped with four gimbaled on-off electric thrusters, and solves a convex optimization problem with inequality constraints, including momentum unloading requirements, to determine the optimal maneuvers. The proposed algorithm is verified, in terms of fuel consumption, constraints enforcement and satellites performance, using numerical simulations that take into account dominant perturbations in the geostationary environment.

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