Mars Entry, Descent, and Landing Parametric Sizing and Design Space Visualization Trades
Wells, Grant William
Clark, Ian G.
Braun, Robert D.
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Entry, descent, and landing (EDL) is a multidimensional, complex problem, which is difficult to visualize in simple plots. The purpose of this work is to develop a systematic visualization scheme that could capture Mars EDL trades as a function of a limited number of variables, such that programmatic design decisions could be effectively made with insight of the design space. Using the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) as a basis, contour plots have been generated for key EDL figures of merit, such as maximum landed elevation and landed mass as a function of four input parameters: entry mass, entry velocity, entry flight path angle, and vehicle L/D. Additionally, sensitivity plots have been generated in an attempt to capture the effects of varying the fixed input parameters. This set of EDL visualization data has been compiled into a Mars EDL handbook to aid in pre-phase A design space exploration and decision making.