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Proceedings Paper

Extreme environment technologies for space and terrestrial applications
Author(s): Tibor S. Balint; James A. Cutts; Elizabeth A. Kolawa; Craig E. Peterson
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Paper Abstract

Over the next decades, NASA's planned solar system exploration missions are targeting planets, moons and small bodies, where spacecraft would be expected to encounter diverse extreme environmental (EE) conditions throughout their mission phases. These EE conditions are often coupled. For instance, near the surface of Venus and in the deep atmospheres of giant planets, probes would experience high temperatures and pressures. In the Jovian system low temperatures are coupled with high radiation. Other environments include thermal cycling, and corrosion. Mission operations could also introduce extreme conditions, due to atmospheric entry heat flux and deceleration. Some of these EE conditions are not unique to space missions; they can be encountered by terrestrial assets from the fields of defense, oil and gas, aerospace, and automotive industries. In this paper we outline the findings of NASA's Extreme Environments Study Team, including discussions on state of the art and emerging capabilities related to environmental protection, tolerance and operations in EEs. We will also highlight cross cutting EE mitigation technologies, for example, between high g-load tolerant impactors for Europa and instrumented projectiles on Earth; high temperature electronics sensors on Jupiter deep probes and sensors inside jet engines; and pressure vessel technologies for Venus probes and sea bottom monitors. We will argue that synergistic development programs between these fields could be highly beneficial and cost effective for the various agencies and industries. Some of these environments, however, are specific to space and thus the related technology developments should be spearheaded by NASA with collaboration from industry and academia.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 April 2008
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 6960, Space Exploration Technologies, 696006 (15 April 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.780389
Show Author Affiliations
Tibor S. Balint, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
James A. Cutts, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Elizabeth A. Kolawa, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Craig E. Peterson, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6960:
Space Exploration Technologies
Wolfgang Fink, Editor(s)

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