Student Led Design of Scientific Investigations for Small Body Exploration with Nanosats

Project: Research project

Project Details


7. Objectives State clearly and concisely the objectives of your work and the expected deliverables. The general goal of this project is to evaluate the value and practical aspects of including nanosatbased science experiments as part of missions to fly by and rendezvous with asteroids (Trojans, main belt, NEOs) or comets. These experiments may contribute to enhancing the mission or even contribute to the realization of primary science objectives. Specific objectives of this project are: (1) to analyze the trade space for a range of science applications responsive to key priorities of the Planetary Science Decadal Survey; (2) to identify two applications that are the most promising in terms of science return vs. operational complexity for different mission architectures (e.g., flyby and rendezvous); and (3) to develop a full concept of operations for each of these potential applications. Focus will be given to experiments that may be achieved with platforms derived from or comparable to Cubesats (mass in the 1-10 kg range), although the specific form factor is not prescribed. Work to achieve all three objectives will be carried out by undergraduate and graduate students under the guidance of the proposing team. Expected deliverables include reports and presentations on: (a) the science trade space analysis; (b) the concepts of operations for applications that may be considered in future JPL missions; (c) the technical assessment of practical aspects of developing planetary nanosats.
Effective start/end date11/6/139/28/14


  • National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA): $21,000.00


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