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Proceedings Paper

Systems engineering for the Kepler Mission: a search for terrestrial planets
Author(s): Riley M. Duren; Karen Dragon; Stephen Z. Gunter; Thomas N. Gautier; Eric Bachtell; Daniel J. Peters; Adam Harvey; Alan Enos; David Koch; William Borucki; Charles Sobeck; David Mayer; Jon M. Jenkins; Rick Thompson
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Paper Abstract

The Kepler mission will launch in 2007 and determine the distribution of earth-size planets (0.5 to 10 earth masses) in the habitable zones (HZs) of solar-like stars. The mission will monitor > 100,000 dwarf stars simultaneously for at least 4 years. Precision differential photometry will be used to detect the periodic signals of transiting planets. Kepler will also support asteroseismology by measuring the pressure-mode (p-mode) oscillations of selected stars. Key mission elements include a spacecraft bus and 0.95meter, wide-field, CCD-based photometer injected into an earth-trailing heliocentric orbit by a 3-stage Delta II launch vehicle as well as a distributed Ground Segment and Follow-up Observing Program. The project is currently preparing for Preliminary Design Review (October 2004) and is proceeding with detailed design and procurement of long-lead components. In order to meet the unprecedented photometric precision requirement and to ensure a statistically significant result, the Kepler mission involves technical challenges in the areas of photometric noise and systematic error reduction, stability, and false-positive rejection. Programmatic and logistical challenges include the collaborative design, modeling, integration, test, and operation of a geographically and functionally distributed project. A very rigorous systems engineering program has evolved to address these challenge. This paper provides an overview of the Kepler systems engineering program, including some examples of our processes and techniques in areas such as requirements synthesis, validation & verification, system robustness design, and end-to-end performance modeling.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 September 2004
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 5497, Modeling and Systems Engineering for Astronomy, (16 September 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.550276
Show Author Affiliations
Riley M. Duren, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Karen Dragon, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Stephen Z. Gunter, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Thomas N. Gautier, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Eric Bachtell, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. (United States)
Daniel J. Peters, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. (United States)
Adam Harvey, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. (United States)
Alan Enos, Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. (United States)
David Koch, NASA Ames Research Ctr. (United States)
William Borucki, NASA Ames Research Ctr. (United States)
Charles Sobeck, NASA Ames Research Ctr. (United States)
David Mayer, NASA Ames Research Ctr. (United States)
Jon M. Jenkins, SETI Institute (United States)
Rick Thompson, Orbital Sciences Corp. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5497:
Modeling and Systems Engineering for Astronomy
Simon C. Craig; Martin J. Cullum, Editor(s)

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