Instrument Accommodation on the Pioneer Venus and Galileo Probes
Bienstock, Bernard J.
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Probe missions afford participating scientists the opportunity to perform in-situ measurements of atmospheric properties as well as planetary and satellite imaging. Extreme environments, limited volumes, modest levels of power, telemetry and command capability, and thermal control challenge the instrument design. The probe too must be carefully designed to provide each instrument with the atmospheric and optical access required. Instrument accommodation on the Pioneer Venus Large and Small Probes and Galileo Probe was tremendously challenging. If you can imagine assembling a three dimensional jigsaw puzzle, with the pieces changing shapes and each attempting to extend through the puzzle boundary, you get some idea of the difficulty the scientists and engineers had in accommodating the many instruments on these early planetary entry probes. This paper will present the history and details of how the various instruments were accommodated on these two, seminal missions.