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Modeling and Control of a Space Drone for Mars Exploration Mission

Giovanni Piccione

Modeling and Control of a Space Drone for Mars Exploration Mission.

Rel. Elisa Capello, Mauro Mancini. Politecnico di Torino, Corso di laurea magistrale in Ingegneria Aerospaziale, 2021

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The possibility of exploring new planets and the continuous need to enrich our knowledge of the universe has led to the development of different space systems capable of collecting data and transmitting them to the Earth through space. Different mission scenarios should be considered, from Earth Observation to the exploration of deep space. In recent years, however, the ever growing interest, both by large space companies and by private ones, for the "Red Planet" has led many scholars to search for solutions to face the tough challenge of exploration in a hostile environment and very different from the terrestrial one. Among the various problems, landing is of particular importance: in fact, it should be considered that only half of the landing attempts were successful. The most recent of these missions is Perseverance, a martian rover that has succeeded in this arduous scope. Among its objectives, this mission also has a very delicate technological demonstration: to perform a flight through the Ingenuity drone that traveled and landed together with the rover. In fact, these systems can explore larger surfaces regardless of the topography, allowing a wider view of the surrounding environment. Moved by the same purposes, in this work, the results of a feasibility study of a similar mission are investigated by focusing on the precision landing and soil exploration phase. The analysis has as its starting point the selection of different configurations able to perform the mission. Later, the mathematical models of the equations of motion on MatLab/Simulink, the geometry and physical structure of the systems are developed. These first outputs are essential to understand the actual feasibility of the project, especially in terms of weights and dimensions. The results led us to choose two systems: a parafoil equipped with a controller to perform a precision landing and a quadcopter drone to perform flight tests. This work presents a dynamic model (a 6 Degree-of-Freedom (DoF) system) of the drone system that must be able to perform various maneuvers. It takes a desired path as input and follows it within a certain range of error. The scope of this thesis is to model a space drone, able to accomplish the desired missions, even in Mars environment. In this environment, wind effect and low density cannot by neglected. Moreover, a key feature of the using space drone is the mapping and ability to handle payloads for collecting data. Then, by modeling the Martian environment, it is possible to run software simulations, performing maneuvers and evaluating their accuracy in order to understand system performance. This is essential for the choice of the Guidance and Control Laws to be applied for autonomous operations, necessary given the latency times in the communications caused by the great distance between the two planets.

Relators: Elisa Capello, Mauro Mancini
Academic year: 2020/21
Publication type: Electronic
Number of Pages: 85
Corso di laurea: Corso di laurea magistrale in Ingegneria Aerospaziale
Classe di laurea: New organization > Master science > LM-20 - AEROSPATIAL AND ASTRONAUTIC ENGINEERING
Aziende collaboratrici: UNSPECIFIED
URI: http://webthesis.biblio.polito.it/id/eprint/18385
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