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LIDAR altimeter conception for HERA spacecraft

Nicole Gomes Dias (CENTRA, Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal)
Beltran Nadal Arribas (CENTRA, Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal and ICT, Universidade de Évora, Évora, Portugal)
Paulo Gordo (CENTRA, Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal)
Tiago Sousa (Aerospace Division, EFACEC Power Solutions, São Mamede de Infesta, Porto, Portugal)
João Marinho (Aerospace Division, EFACEC Power Solutions, São Mamede de Infesta, Porto, Portugal)
Rui Melicio (ICT, Universidade de Évora, Évora, Portugal and IDMEC, Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal)
António Amorim (CENTRA, Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal)
Patrick Michel (Observatoire de la Côte d’Azur, CNRS, Nice, France)

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology

ISSN: 0002-2667

Article publication date: 26 July 2021

Issue publication date: 12 August 2021

88

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to report the first iteration on the Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) Engineering Model altimeter named HELENA. HELENA is a Time of Flight (TOF) altimeter that provides time-tagged distances and velocity measurements. The LIDAR can be used for support near asteroid navigation and provides scientific information. The HELENA design comprises two types of technologies: a microchip laser and low noise sensor. The synergies between these two technologies enable developing a compact instrument for range measurements of up to 14 km. Thermal-mechanical and radiometric simulations of the HELENA telescope are reported in this paper. The design is subjected to vibrational, static and thermal conditions, and it was possible to conclude by the results that the telescope is compliant with the random vibration levels, the static load and the operating temperatures.

Design/methodology/approach

The Asteroid Impact & Deflection Assessment (AIDA) is a collaboration between the NASA DART mission and ESA Hera mission. The aim scope is to study the asteroid deflection through a kinetic collision. DART spacecraft will collide with Didymos-B, while ground stations monitor the orbit change. HERA spacecraft will study the post-impact scenario. The HERA spacecraft is composed by a main spacecraft and two small CubeSats. HERA will monitor the asteroid through cameras, radar, satellite-to-satellite doppler tracking, LIDAR, seismometry and gravimetry.

Findings

The HELENA design comprises two types of technologies: a microchip laser and low noise sensor. The synergies between these two technologies enable developing a compact instrument for range measurements of up to 14 km.

Originality/value

In this paper is reported the first iteration on the LIDAR Engineering Model altimeter named HELENA. HELENA is a TOF altimeter that provides time-tagged distances and velocity measurements. The LIDAR can be used for support near asteroid navigation and provides scientific information. The HELENA design comprises two types of technologies: a microchip laser and low noise sensor. The synergies between these two technologies enable developing a compact instrument for range measurements of up to 14 km.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The ongoing work presented in this paper was financed by national funds through FCT (Foundation for Science and Technology, I.P.) through CENTRA, project UIDB/00099/2020; funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement No. 870377 (Project No. NEO-MAPP); funded through Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) under the ICT project UIDP/04683/2020; Portuguese Funds through the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) under the LAETA project UIDB/50022/2020.

Citation

Dias, N.G., Nadal Arribas, B., Gordo, P., Sousa, T., Marinho, J., Melicio, R., Amorim, A. and Michel, P. (2021), "LIDAR altimeter conception for HERA spacecraft", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 93 No. 6, pp. 1018-1028. https://doi.org/10.1108/AEAT-12-2020-0300

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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