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Bremen, Germany

Koebel D.,OHB System AG Germany | Bonerba M.,OHB System AG Germany | Behrenwaldt D.,OHB System AG Germany | Wieser M.,OHB System AG Germany | Borowy C.,OHB System AG Germany
Acta Astronautica | Year: 2012

For the South polar lunar region between -85 and -90° Latitude an updated analyses of the solar illumination and ground station visibility conditions has been performed in the frame of a feasibility study for an ESA Lunar Lander mission. The analyses are based on the refined lunar digital elevation model provided by the Japanese Kaguya/Selene mission, originating from its LASER altimeter instrument. For the South polar region maps of integral solar illumination are presented for a mission epoch in 2016. The analysis modelling was validated with the help of a Kaguya High Definition video. The solar illumination is driving for the power subsystems of any robotic lander craft or manned lunar outpost, in case they rely on conventional photovoltaic power generation with battery buffering of shadowed periods. In addition the visibility of the terrain from a terrestrial ESA ground station was analysed. The results are presented as an integral ground contact duration map, being crucial for the operations of any lunar outpost. Considering these two quality criteria, several possible landing sites for a future lunar mission have been pre-selected. For these sites a detailed analysis of quasi-continuous illumination conditions is presented. This includes magnified maps of the pre-selected areas, showing any locations longest illumination intervals that are allowed to be interrupted by shadows with limited duration only. As a final quality criterion, the terrain topology has been analysed for its impact on the landing trajectory. From a trade-off between the three quality criteria the connecting ridge between the Shackleton and the de Gerlache was determined to provide the most favourable landing site quality. This site is located at 89°28′ South, 136°40′ West, and 1947 m altitude, and features and integral illumination of 85.7%. With battery energy to sustain shadows of 120 h, total mission duration of 9.37 sidereal months can be guaranteed. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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