Atromos: Mars Companion Mission, Mid Sized Polar Lander Investigation
Shah, Syed Ghazanfar
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The polar regions of Mars offer a rich environment to search for signs of life. The Atromos probe was designed with the intent of investigating this polar region for evidence of life and to take atmospheric data in the harsh environment. The overall project was done as an example model and proof of concept for a small and affordable planetary probe capable of collecting scientific data used in life detection. Several key instruments were included such as a mass spectrometer, methane detector, gas chromatograph, and atmospheric characterization equipment. Some important components of the design were the ultra sonic drill, mechanical airbag system and deployable mast. The ultra sonic drill consists of a piezoelectric vibrator attached to a coring bit and a free mass. This drill can operate without external force applied and can bring back ice cores on the polar surface. The mechanical airbag system is an alternative method for touchdown in the EDL sequence. It minimizes the complexity and increases reliability of the probe surviving impact by utilizing spokes to absorb the impact. The deployable mast is used to enhance the atmospheric data collection by extending a series of temperature, pressure and anemometers to various distances above the surface. Notable subsystem work includes the power system and thermal regulation for operation on the planet. The power system consists of a radioisotope thermoelectric generator as well as solar panels that surround the probe. Power is stored in ultra capacitors and the probe operates on duty cycles when enough power is stored. The thermal regulation system consists of a sealed insulated box concealed within the probe. Inside the box are several radioisotope heating units to provide the warmth necessary for polar survival. System design, integration, testing and mock construction were performed on the various subsystems to determine feasibility and effectiveness. \nA poster will be presented at the IPPW 6. The poster will show the system layout, integration and testing results for all the subsystems and equipment included on the probe. A mock model will accompany the poster to help visualize the scale and functionality of the probe.