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Title: The small reconnaissance of atmospheres mission platform concept, part 1: motivations and outline for a swarm of scientific microprobes to the clouds of Jupiter in 2030

Authors: John E. Moores; Kieran A. Carroll; Isaac DeSouza; Kartheephan Sathiyanathan; Barry Stoute; Jinjun Shan; Regina S. Lee; Ben Quine

Addresses: Centre for Research in the Earth and Space Sciences (CRESS), York University, 4700 Keele Street, Toronto, ON M3J 1P3, Canada ' University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies, University of Toronto, Canada ' CRESS, York University, Canada ' CRESS, York University, Canada ' CRESS, York University, Canada ' CRESS, York University, Canada ' CRESS, York University, Canada ' CRESS, York University, Canada

Abstract: A mission concept is presented for several small atmospheric entry vehicles at Jupiter. By relaxing the requirement for substantial penetration into the Jovian atmosphere, the size of the atmospheric entry probes shrinks dramatically. Such atmospheric entry probes would experience much less heating than previous concepts of much larger (∼300kg) spacecraft presented as minimum concepts and no parachutes are necessary. This reduces complexity while still permitting over 15 minutes of useable science under free-fall from above the 0.41 bar level to near the 10 bar level of the Jovian Atmosphere during which up to 20 Mbits of data could be returned per probe. By dividing the payload, the risk to the mission is substantially mitigated and ground truth may be obtained from a large part of the entire planetary atmosphere using a single launch.

Keywords: mission concept; spacecraft design; planetary science; atmospheric science; Jupiter; microprobe swarms; atmospheric entry probes; small entry vehicles; scientific microprobes; Jovian atmosphere; payload division.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSPACESE.2014.066960

International Journal of Space Science and Engineering, 2014 Vol.2 No.4, pp.327 - 344

Received: 03 May 2014
Accepted: 15 Jul 2014

Published online: 24 Jan 2015 *

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