Space Technology Ireland Ltd.

Co. Kildare, Ireland

Space Technology Ireland Ltd.

Co. Kildare, Ireland

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Kruger H.,Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research | Goesmann F.,Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research | Giri C.,Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research | Giri C.,Tokyo Institute of Technology | And 13 more authors.
Astronomy and Astrophysics | Year: 2017

Context. The Rosetta lander Philae successfully landed on the nucleus of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on 12 November 2014. Philae is equipped with two gas analysers: The Cometary Sampling and Composition experiment (COSAC) and the gas chromatograph and mass spectrometer Ptolemy. Aims. COSAC is designed for in situ analysis of organic molecules on 67P while Ptolemy is optimised to measure ratios of stable isotopes. Methods. On 12 to 14 November 2014, both instruments measured the organic composition of the comet nucleus material through seven measurements in sniffing mode during Philae's hopping and at its final landing site Abydos. We compare the temporal evolution of intensities of several ion species identified by both mass spectrometers. For COSAC, this is the first analysis of the temporal behaviour of the measured ion species. Results. All ion species showed the highest intensities in the first spectra measured by both instruments approximately 20 to 30 min after Philae's first touchdown at Agilkia, and a decay during the six consecutive measurements at Abydos. Both instruments measured an almost identical decay of the water peak (m/z 18), and CO (m/z 28) behaved similarly. In the COSAC measurements, the peak at m/z 44 decays much slower than all the other ion species, including the water peak. In particular, the m/z 44 peak decays much slower in the COSAC measurements than in the Ptolemy data. This supports our earlier interpretation that COSAC analysed, for the first time, a regolith sample from a cometary nucleus in situ, while Ptolemy measured cometary gas from the ambient coma. The m/z 44 peak measured by COSAC was likely dominated by organic species, whereas the peak measured by Ptolemy was interpreted to be mostly due to CO2. Ion species heavier than m/z 30 tend to decay somewhat slower in the COSAC measurements than in the Ptolemy data, which may be related to differences in the exhaust designs between both instruments. © 2017 ESO.


Walter N.,European Science Foundation | Rettberg P.,German Aerospace Center | Fellous J.-L.,Committee on Space Research | Treuet J.-J.,Eurospace | And 5 more authors.
Proceedings of the International Astronautical Congress, IAC | Year: 2016

The PPOSS (Planetary Protection of Outer Solar System bodies) project, coordinated by the European Science Foundation is supported by the European Commission Horizon 2020 programme. This project kicked-off in January 2016 and will last for three years. The PPOSS project intends to consider how planetary protection policy has been developed and is being implemented, it will look at case studies, lessons learnt and good practices in order to produce a Planetary Protection handbook that will be widely disseminated. The project will also look forward and address the complex issues of organic and biological contamination of outer solar system bodies, in particular small bodies and moons of gas giant planets. PPOSS will identify knowledge gaps, propose scientific goals and suggest activities to overcome the main hurdles to reach these goals. Besides scientific issues, PPOSS will consider the European engineering landscape and the capacity of the European industry to meet the challenges raised by planetary protection of outer solar system bodies, an engineering roadmap will result from this effort. As a one of the main outcomes, the PPOSS project will eventually review the international planetary protection regulation structure, process and categorization related to outer solar system bodies, it will suggest policy improvements to COSPAR Panel on Planetary Protection. PPOSS is implemented by a consortium of seven European and international organisations (European Science Foundation, DLR, COSPAR, Eurospace, INAF, Space Technology Ireland, Imperial College) as well as by international partners, including the Chinese Academy of Sciences and China Academy of Space Technology. The project intends to broaden its international footprint and allow a dedicated forum to address the scientific, technical and policy challenges raised by planetary protection of outer solar system bodies. Copyright 2016 by Mr. Nicolas Walter.


McKenna-Lawlor S.,Space Technology Ireland Ltd. | Bhardwajb A.,Space Center | Ferraric F.,Institute of Physics | Kuznetsovd N.,SINP | And 12 more authors.
Acta Astronautica | Year: 2014

Cosmic Study Group SG 3.19/1.10 was established in February 2013 under the aegis of the International Academy of Astronautics to consider and compare the dose limits adopted by various space agencies for astronauts in Low Earth Orbit. A preliminary definition of the limits that might later be adopted by crews exploring Beyond Low Earth Orbit was, in addition, to be made. The present paper presents preliminary results of the study reported at a Symposium held in Turin by the Academy in July 2013. First, an account is provided of exposure limits assigned by various partner space agencies to those of their astronauts that work aboard the International Space Station. Then, gaps in the scientific and technical information required to safely implement human missions beyond the shielding provided by the geomagnetic field (to the Moon, Mars and beyond) are identified. Among many recommendations for actions to mitigate the health risks potentially posed to personnel Beyond Low Earth Orbit is the development of a preliminary concept for a Human Space Awareness System to: provide for crewed missions the means of prompt onboard detection of the ambient arrival of hazardous particles; develop a strategy for the implementation of onboard responses to hazardous radiation levels; support modeling/model validation that would enable reliable predictions to be made of the arrival of hazardous radiation at a distant spacecraft; provide for the timely transmission of particle alerts to a distant crewed vehicle at an emergency frequency using suitably located support spacecraft. Implementation of the various recommendations of the study can be realized based on a two pronged strategy whereby Space Agencies/Space Companies/Private Entrepreneurial Organizations etc. address the mastering of required key technologies (e.g. fast transportation; customized spacecraft design) while the International Academy of Astronautics, in a role of handling global international co-operation, organizes complementary studies aimed at harnessing the strengths and facilities of emerging nations in investigating/solving related problems (e.g. advanced space radiation modeling/model validation; predicting the arrivals of Solar Energetic Particles and shocks at a distant spacecraft). Ongoing progress in pursuing these complementary parallel programs could be jointly reviewed bi-annually by the Space Agencies and the International Academy of Astronautics so as to maintain momentum and direction in globally progressing towards feasible human exploration of interplanetary space. © 2014 IAA.


McKenna-Lawlor S.,Space Technology Ireland Ltd. | Bhardwaj A.,Vikram Sarabhai Space Center | Ferrari F.,Institute of Physics | Kuznetsov N.,SINP MSU | And 12 more authors.
Acta Astronautica | Year: 2015

An account is provided of the main sources of energetic particle radiation in interplanetary space (Galactic Cosmic Radiation and Solar Energetic Particles) and career dose limits presently utilized by NASA to mitigate against the cancer and non-cancer effects potentially incurred by astronauts due to irradiation by these components are presented. Certain gaps in knowledge that presently militate against mounting viable human exploration in deep space due to the inherent health risks are identified and recommendations made as to how these gaps might be closed within a framework of global international cooperation.


PubMed | University of Bremen, University of Houston-Clear Lake, Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research, University of Nice Sophia Antipolis and 9 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Science (New York, N.Y.) | Year: 2015

Comets harbor the most pristine material in our solar system in the form of ice, dust, silicates, and refractory organic material with some interstellar heritage. The evolved gas analyzer Cometary Sampling and Composition (COSAC) experiment aboard Rosettas Philae lander was designed for in situ analysis of organic molecules on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Twenty-five minutes after Philaes initial comet touchdown, the COSAC mass spectrometer took a spectrum in sniffing mode, which displayed a suite of 16 organic compounds, including many nitrogen-bearing species but no sulfur-bearing species, and four compoundsmethyl isocyanate, acetone, propionaldehyde, and acetamidethat had not previously been reported in comets.


McKenna-Lawlor S.,Space Technology Ireland Ltd. | Rusznyak P.,Space Technology Ireland Ltd. | Balaz J.,Space Technology Ireland Ltd. | Balaz J.,Slovak Academy of Sciences | And 4 more authors.
Acta Astronautica | Year: 2016

The Electrical Support System (ESS), which was designed and built in Ireland, handled commands transmitted from the Rosetta spacecraft to the Command and Data Management System (CDMS) aboard its Lander Philae during a ten year Cruise Phase to comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko as well as at the comet itself. The busy Cruise Phase included three Earth flybys, a fly-by of Mars and visits to two asteroids, Steins and Lutetia. Data originating at the individual Lander experiments measured while en-route to and at the comet were also handled by the ESS which received and reformatted them prior to their transmission by Rosetta to Earth. Since the success of the Lander depended on the acquisition of scientific data, the ESS was defined by the European Space Agency to be Mission Critical Hardware. The electronic design of the ESS and its method of handling communications between the spacecraft and Philae are herein presented. The nominal performance of the ESS during the Cruise Phase and in the course of subsequent surface campaigns is described and the successful fulfilment of the brief of this subsystem to retrieve unique scientific data measured by the instruments of the Philae Lander demonstrated. © 2016.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: COMPET-06-2015 | Award Amount: 996.11K | Year: 2016

While significant effort has been and is being provided to address planetary protection in the context of inner Solar System exploration, and in particular Mars, PPOSS will allow tackling the scientific, technological and policy-making specifics of Planetary Protection (biological and organic contamination) of outer solar system bodies, including small solar system bodies. Through an intensive three year programme, the project will nurture and catalyse discussions, analysis, exchange of knowledge and definition of strategic science and policy recommendations, therefore allowing a leap in the understanding of biological and organic contamination in the frame of outer solar system bodies exploration. PPOSS intends to consider and delineate the state of the art, identify lessons to be learnt and good practices in planetary protection. Looking forward, PPOSS will identify scientific challenges and knowledge gaps as well as define scientific requirement for outer Solar system bodies planetary protection. PPOSS will also involve interactions with the European industry and will develop as set of European industry roadmaps. Eventually PPOSS will use and integrate the information and knowledge produced through the project to provide science and policy recommendations for the definition, improvement, and implementation of an adequate planetary protection policy for outer Solar system bodies. PPOSS will also be very active on dissemination and exchange of Planetary Protection-related knowledge and know-how. PPOSS will bring in four international partners from three non-European countries (Japan, China and Russia) as well as one observer from US. Participating in the project implementation (they will be part of the Steering Committee) and involving their experts, these organisations will enrich and extend the scope of the project, making it a true international initiative. PPOSS will last 3 years but COSPAR will be maintain and update its main outputs beyond its lifetime.


Yoshimitsu T.,Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency | McKenna-Lawlor S.,Space Technology Ireland Ltd. | Candel D.,University Paris Diderot | Ninomiya K.,Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency | Contant J.-M.,International Academy of Astronautics IAA
Proceedings of the International Astronautical Congress, IAC | Year: 2014

The IAA (International Academy of Astronautics) Study Group on Multilingual Space Terminology has been making a continuous work on a multilingual dictionary of space-related terms since 1990s. In 1996, the first version of the lexicon with corresponding 2,614 terms from 16 languages was published. In 2002 the dictionary was computerized using a database server and some recent internet technologies. The database is accessible from all over the world via the internet, by which you can search for the terms. Since then, the dictionary was expanded in the point of the number of terms and languages. The current version includes more than 3500 terms in 21 languages. The last participating language is Swahili in 2012, an African language. The database is flexible for enabling the addition of new terms and languages very easily. In this paper, the authors present the current status and the future prospect of the activity on the IAA multilingual space dictionay. © 2014, International Astronautical Federation, IAF. All rights reserved.


Yoshimitsu T.,Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency | McKenna-Lawlor S.,Space Technology Ireland Ltd. | Candel D.,University Paris Diderot | Ninomiya K.,Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency | Contant J.-M.,International Academy of Astronautics IAA
Acta Astronautica | Year: 2015

Terminology is a key issue for a better understanding among people using various languages. Since 1986, when the International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) multilingual terminology database committee on astronautics was formed, the committee and its successor IAA study groups on the IAA multilingual space dictionary have made a continuous effort to construct a multilingual dictionary database on astronautical terms. In 2002, the dictionary was computerized using a database server and some recent internet technologies. The database is accessible from all over the world via the internet. You can search for terms at your home and office using a web browser installed on the computer with an internet connection. Since then, the number of terms and languages included in the database has increased. The current version includes about 3500 terms in 22 languages. The flexibility of the database enables the addition and the revision of new terms without much effort. The computerization has also demonstrated another possibility to utilize the database. When total of four paper books about the multilingual space terminology were published on the 50th anniversary of IAA in 2010, one of the lexicon books was edited by a computer program which accessed to the database. In this paper, the authors present the current status of the IAA multilingual database as well as the future possibilities on the utilization of the database. © 2015 IAA. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Alho M.,Aalto University | McKenna-Lawlor S.,Space Technology Ireland Ltd. | Kallio E.,Aalto University
Planetary and Space Science | Year: 2015

A young Mars may well have possessed a global dipolar magnetic field that provided protection for the planets atmosphere from the space weather environment. Against this background, we study in the present paper the effect of various dipole magnetic fields on particle precipitation (range 10 keV-4.5 MeV) on the upper Martian atmosphere as the magnetosphere gradually declined to become an induced magnetosphere. We utilized a hybrid plasma model to provide, in a self-consistent fashion, simulations (that included ion-kinetic effects) of the interaction between the Martian obstacle (magnetized or otherwise) and the solar wind. Besides the intrinsic dipole, with field strengths of ~100 nT and below, we assume modern solar and atmospheric parameters to examine the effect of the single variable, that is the dipole strength. We thereby investigated the precipitation of solar energetic particles on the upper atmosphere of the planet in circumstances characterized by the evolution of a diminishing Martian dynamo that initially generated an ideal dipolar field. It is demonstrated that an assumed Martian dipole would have provided, in the energy range investigated, significant shielding against proton impingement and that the interaction between the solar wind and the assumed Martian magnetic dipole would have been responsible for generating the shielding effect identified. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

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