The primary goal of the ExoMars programme is to address the question of whether life has ever existed on Mars. The programme comprises two missions: the first one, launched in March 2016, consists of the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) and Schiaparelli, an entry, descent and landing demonstrator module (EDM). The second mission is planned for launch in 2020 and comprises a rover and a surface science platform.
Elecnor Deimos has been participating in the project since 2004, playing a pivotal role in both Phase E (operational phase) of the first mission and Phase C (detailed design and implementation phase) of the second mission. Within the framework of the ExoMars programme, the company has been chiefly involved in the end-to-end mission design and analysis. This comprises the optimum design of the trajectory from launch to Mars, including events such as the interplanetary transfer, the separation of the TGO and EDM, and the approach to a prescribed area of the Martian surface.
During the interplanetary transfer phase, Elecnor Deimos was involved in the design and analysis of the flight and navigation architecture. The company was also responsible for the design and analysis of features of the EDM from its separation from the TGO to the surface of Mars.
Elecnor Deimos will also play a key role in the next ExoMars mission, for which it is responsible for verifying the design and features of the atmospheric phase, and for the independent verification of the algorithms of the GNC/AOCS subsystem. The company’s involvement throughout the ExoMars programme extends the range of applications for flight technologies essential for future exploration missions such as a return mission to Mars.
Image credits: ESA – ATG Medialab