Enceladus Explorer

Welcome to Enceladus Explorer @ RWTH Aachen University

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  • RANGET EAM: Dirk Heinen

Enceladus Explorer

Welcome to Enceladus Explorer @ RWTH Aachen University

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  • Probe melting: FH Aachen/Marco Feldmann

Enceladus Explorer

Welcome to Enceladus Explorer @ RWTH Aachen University

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  • RANGE camp on Hintereisferner: Simon Zierke

Enceladus Explorer

Welcome to Enceladus Explorer @ RWTH Aachen University

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  • Pinger: Dirk Heinen

EnEx-Initiative

 

Logo EnEx-InitiativeThe Saturnian moon Enceladus with its extensive water bodies underneath a thick ice sheet cover is a potential candidate for extraterrestrial life. Direct exploration of such extraterrestrial aquatic ecosystems requires advanced access and sampling technologies with a high level of autonomy. An innovative exploration concept has been developed as part of the research consortium Enceladus Explorer (2012-14). It is based upon the minimally invasive melting probe IceMole, which enables to travel along a curved trajectory and allows obstacle avoidance as well as target selection maneuvers. These maneuvers, however, necessitate a sophisticated on-board navigation system capable of autonomous operations including in-ice attitude determination, localization, and forefield exploration, which are integrated through a high-level sensor fusion. The Enceladus Explorer Initiative (EnEx), established by the DLR Space Administration in 2015, addresses these challenges and contributes to developing key technologies for a future exploration mission to Enceladus.

 

Projects

RANGE

RANGE

In order to navigate an autonomous ice-melting probe through Enceladus rough glacier environment, it is essential to be able to determine its position and monitor its trajectory. The purpose of the RANGE project is to develop an autonomous in-ice acoustic positioning system. Therefore, the head of the probe is equipped with acoustic sensors that receive signals from autonomous Acoustic Pinger Units (APUs) that melt into the ice and form a distributed sensor network. Based on measured propagation times and speed of sound in ice positions of the individual APUs and the probe can be determined by trilateration techniques. [Read more]

RANGE is funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi).

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  • malcher_enex-range: Madeleine Malcher
DiMIce

DiMIce

In view of future missions to the icy moons of our Solar System various innovative melting technologies for autonomous and/or maneuverable motion through the ice have been proposed. This also requires advanced simulation models tailored to assess, evaluate and extrapolate the dynamic range of the proposed melters. For scenario planning it is as well necessary to understand the evolution of the melting channel. The project EnEx – DiMIce (Directional Melting in Ice) addresses these challenges by developing simulation methodologies to describe the melting probe’s motion and the thermal state of the ambient ice. [Read more]

DiMIce is funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi).

Publications and Thesis Proposals

Publications and open thesis proposals can be found here:

Publications  RANGE – Thesis Proposals DiMIce – Thesis Proposals

Partner

IMA – Institute of Information Management in Mechanical Engineering

IMA – Institute of Information Management in Mechanical Engineering

Faculty of Mechanical Engineering

Univ.-Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Sabina Jeschke

Contact:
IMA of RWTH Aachen University
Dennewartstraße 27
D – 52068 Aachen
phone: +49 241 80 91100
e-mail: sabina.jeschke at ima-zlw-ifu.rwth-aachen.de

III. Physikalisches Institut B

III. Physikalisches Institut B

Faculty of Mathematics, Computer Science and Natural Sciences

Prof. Dr. Christopher Wiebusch

Contact:
III. Physics Institute B
Otto-Blumenthal-Straße
D – 52074 Aachen
phone: +49 241 80 27301
e-mail: wiebusch at physik.rwth-aachen.de

Aachen Institute for Advanced Study in Computational Engineering Science

Aachen Institute for Advanced Study in Computational Engineering Science

Interdisciplinary Graduate School

Dr. Julia Kowalski

Contact:
AICES, RWTH Aachen University
Schinkelstr. 2
D – 52056 Aachen
phone: +49 241 80 99150
e-mail: kowalski at aices.rwth-aachen.de

Collaborations

The development of these new technologies for space exploration is part of the Enceladus Explorer Initiative of the DLR Space Administration.
Partners of the Enceladus Explorer Initiative are:

fh-aachen logowuppertal TUB_Logo_RZ_Vorlage_Typo uni_bwm Uni-Logo_Web_RGB

 

The Enceladus Explorer Initiative is funded by

sponsored_by_BMWi

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