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The DREAMS Experiment Onboard the Schiaparelli Module of the ExoMars 2016 Mission: Design, Performances and Expected Results

Abstract

The first of the two missions foreseen in the ExoMars program was successfully launched on 14th March 2016. It included the Trace Gas Orbiter and the Schiaparelli Entry descent and landing Demonstrator Module. Schiaparelli hosted the DREAMS instrument suite that was the only scientific payload designed to operate after the touchdown. DREAMS is a meteorological station with the capability of measuring the electric properties of the Martian atmosphere. It was a completely autonomous instrument, relying on its internal battery for the power supply. Even with low resources (mass, energy), DREAMS would be able to perform novel measurements on Mars (atmospheric electric field) and further our understanding of the Martian environment, including the dust cycle. DREAMS sensors were designed to operate in a very dusty environment, because the experiment was designed to operate on Mars during the dust storm season (October 2016 in Meridiani Planum). Unfortunately, the Schiaparelli module failed part of the descent and the landing and crashed onto the surface of Mars. Nevertheless, several seconds before the crash, the module central computer switched the DREAMS instrument on, and sent back housekeeping data indicating that the DREAMS sensors were performing nominally. This article describes the instrument in terms of scientific goals, design, working principle and performances, as well as the results of calibration and field tests. The spare model is mature and available to fly in a future mission.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the Italian Space Agency through the agreement I/018/12/0: “DREAMS EDM Payload ExoMars 2016.” The development of the DREAMS instrument was funded and coordinated by ASI.

DREAMS is the result of a cooperation of six European Countries (Italy, France, Spain, Netherlands, Finland, United Kingdom) led by Italy. DREAMS is built by UPD-CISAS with contribution from LATMOS/FMI/INTA/Oxford University/INAF-OAC, operated by INAF-OAC/UPD-CISAS and provided by ASI.

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ExoMars-16

Edited by Håkan Svedhem and Christopher T. Russell

Appendix

Appendix

List of Acronyms

AC:

Alternating Current

ADC:

Analog to Digital Converter

AM0:

Air Mass 0

CEU:

Central Electronic Unit

CFD:

Computational Fluid Dynamics

COTS:

Commercial-Of-The-Shelf

CPU:

Central Processing Unit

DC:

Direct Current

DREAMS:

Dust characterization, Risk assessment and Environment Analyzer on the Martian Surface

DSP:

Digital Signal Processor

EDM:

Entry descent and landing Demonstrator Module

E-field:

Electric field

ESA:

European Space Agency

FM:

Flight Model

FMI:

Finnish Meteorological Institute

FoV:

Field of View

FPGA:

Field-Programmable Gate Array

FS:

Flight Spare

HK:

Housekeeping

INTA:

Instituto Nacional de Técnica Aeroespacial

ISO:

International Standards Organization

LTST:

Local True Solar Time

MCU:

Microcontroller Unit

MEMS:

Micro Electro-Mechanical System

MSL:

Mars Science Laboratory

MTL:

Mission TimeLine

NASA:

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

NIR:

Near Infrared

OBDH:

On-Board Data Handling

OD:

Optical Depth

OH:

Optical Head

P1/P2:

DREAMS Pressure Sensor 1/2

PCB:

Printed Circuit Board

PDS4:

Planetary Data System version 4

PE:

Processing Electronics

PTFE:

Polytetrafluoroethylene

RDS:

Radiation and Dust Sensor

REF:

Ground reference model

REMS:

Rover Environmental Monitoring Station

RH:

Relative Humidity

RTD:

Resistance Temperature Detector

SIS:

Solar Irradiance Sensor

SNR:

Signal to Noise Ratio

SPASOLAB:

Space Solar Cell Test Laboratory

SSW:

Sensor SWitch sequence

SZA:

Solar Zenith Angle

TID:

Total ionizing Dose

TGO:

Trace Gas Orbiter

TVT:

Thermal Vacuum Test

UHF:

Ultra High Frequency

UTC:

Universal Time Coordinated

UV:

UltraViolet

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Esposito, F., Debei, S., Bettanini, C. et al. The DREAMS Experiment Onboard the Schiaparelli Module of the ExoMars 2016 Mission: Design, Performances and Expected Results. Space Sci Rev 214, 103 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11214-018-0535-0

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Keywords

  • ExoMars
  • Schiaparelli
  • DREAMS
  • Mars
  • Atmospheric electric field
  • Meteorological station
  • Dust storm season