Entry & Descent System for the Exomars Mission
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In the frame of the Aurora Exploration Program, ESA initiated the design phase of the development for the ExoMars mission. Thales Alenia Space-France led consortium was awarded the contract for design, development and manufacturing of the Entry and Descent System under Thales Alenia Space-Italy mission prime. First mission of the Aurora Exploration Program, ExoMars is scheduled for a 2013 launch. It has the technical objective to demonstrate critical technologies linked to Mars mission, including the critical Entry Descent and Landing phases and the scientific objective at establishing whether life ever existed or is still present on Mars. The EDLS functions are to ensure the Entry, Descent and Landing phases of the Descent Module. This module is housing a Rover carrying an exobiology payload and ensures its safe delivery on the Mars surface. The Entry and Descent phases of this planetary mission consists of a precise sequence of events : atmospheric entry, parachutes deployment and braking, frontshield separation, propulsive manoeuvre... The presention focuses on the main functions of the Entry and Descent System (EDS) in the various phases. The major trades and optmisation performed are outlined to provide a better insight of the EDS design approach and the challenge of designing a robust and flexible EDS. The design solutions largely inherited from Huygens are described. An accurate and detailed end-to-end EDL trajectory modelling and simulation tool has beed upgraded by the TAS-F Entry Descent and Landing System team. The MonteCarlo capability of the tool is used to assess the robustness of the EDS end-to-end sequence to off-nominal operational conditions to assure that all EDS requirements and constraints are satisfied.