Lunar IceCube seminar

Giovedì, 27 Settembre, 2018

SEMINAR - Oct 18th 2018 - 16.00 Aula polifunzionale

Lunar IceCube: Pioneering Technologies and Challenges Presented for Interplanetary Small Satellite Exploration

Prof. Benjamin K. Malphrus
Director Space Science Center - Morehead State University - USA
Lunar IceCube, a 6U CubeSat designed to prospect for water in solid, liquid, and vapor forms and other volatiles from a low-perigee, highly inclined lunar orbit, has been selected by NASA to fly on Exploration Mission -1 (EM-1).  The mission is a partnership between Morehead State University, NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center, JPL, and the Busek Space Propulsion Company. Lunar IceCube will be deployed during lunar trajectory by the Space Launch System (SLS) and use an innovative RF Ion engine to achieve lunar capture and the science orbit (inertially locked, highly elliptical, 100 km periapsis) to investigate the distribution of water as a function of time of day, latitude, and regolith composition in the context of lunar mineralogy. Lunar IceCube will include the Broadband InfraRed Compact High Resolution Exploration Spectrometer (BIRCHES), developed by GSFC- a compact version of the successful New Horizons instrument designed with the high spectral resolution (5 nm) and wavelength range (1 to 4 μm) needed to distinguish forms of water, including ice. The mission will complement the scientific work of other missions by focusing on the abundance, location and transportation physics of water ice on the lunar surface at a variety of latitudes. Lunar IceCube, while primarily a science mission, will demonstrate technologies that will enable future interplanetary exploration with small satellite platforms including radiation-hardened subsystems, a precise ranging transponder/transceiver, a capable attitude determination and control system, a high power solar array and an innovative electric propulsion system (EP).  The EP (Busek BIT-3 Iodine engine) generates 1.2km-1 of delta-v and, combined with an innovative low energy manifold trajectory, allows the spacecraft to reach lunar orbit from Earth escape with minimal energy.  The 13 secondary payloads to be deployed on EM-1, including Lunar IceCube, will usher in a new era of solar system exploration with small satellite platforms. The presenter will discuss challenges and solutions related to interplanetary smallsat development and mission formulation.   Also to be discussed are potential opportunities for students in the Master of Science in Space Systems Engineering program at Morehead State University and potential research collaborations.
Benjamin K. Malphrus
Dr. Benjamin K. Malphrus is Professor of Space Science at Morehead State University where he also directs the Space Science Center. He has served on the scientific staff of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, the University of South Carolina and West Virginia University. He served as Principle Investigator (PI) on nanosatellite missions including KySat-2, the Cosmic X-Ray Background Nanosatellite (CXBN), and CXBN-2, and has had various roles on other smallsat missions. He is currently PI on the Lunar IceCube Mission- a $20 M NASA project designed to investigate the transport physics of water ice on the Moon.  He has published papers on topics ranging from extragalactic astrophysics to instrumentation in radio astronomy, to nanosatellite systems development and has been awarded over $30 million R&D grant funding. In the late 1990s, he worked with a team of astronomers to develop a theory of galaxy formation that has gained wide acceptance among the astronomical community

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