IPPW5 Programme Committee : session descriptions


Current Outlook

Conveners : S. Hubbard (SETI Institute) J-P. Lebreton (ESA Estec)

Session Description :

Since IPPW4, there has been an intense focus in both Europe and the United States on plans for solar system exploration during the next two decades. In Europe, the Cosmic Vision planning process, which has been underway for three years, has moved into high gear. Missions to Venus, Titan and Saturn of interest to the IPPW community are being proposed to Cosmic Vision with proposal submissions due in June/July 2007. In January 2007, NASA initiated studies of Flagship missions to Icy Moons of the Outer Solar System and Titan is one target of these studies. NASA will also be considering the content of the New Frontiers mission call for 2008. The inclusion of a Saturn probe mission that has been a key topic of both IPPW3 and IPPW4 will be considered.

This session will include invited presentations describing the status of these new initiatives and providing a context for the science, mission and technology discussions during the rest of the meeting. There will be one U.S. presenter and two European presenters.

Confirmed Invited talks :

Jim Green, Director of NASA's Planetary Science


Mission concept studies, and science drivers of technology, and sample return - Venus and Mars

Conveners : K. Baines (JPL) B. Bienstock (JPL) P. Plotard (EADS)

Session Description :

Since the turn of the century, there has been renewed interest in both Mars and Venus. With NASA's long-lived Mars Exploration Rovers mission and ESA's successful Mars Express and Venus Express Missions, both agencies have developed the required mission concepts and technology to execute these missions. Future exploration of both planets will require substantially more technology development that will enable future missions to achieve the outstanding success of their predecessors.

This session emphasizes the science and technology that will drive future missions planned for next two decades. Science drivers, as expressed in various NASA and ESA planning documents, include the desire to understand planetary origins, evolution, and current processes. Technology drivers focus on new methods of in-situ exploration, including mobile exploration via air-borne rovers or surface explorers, as well as innovative types of instrumentation that could address priority science goals.

Confirmed Invited talks :

Jim Cutts  (JPL)


Entry, Descent and Landing Concepts for Current and Future Missions Beyond Earth

Conveners : M. Wright (NASA Ames) W. Lee (JPL) A. Ball (The Open University)

Session Description :

This session is focused on system-level discussions of currently planned missions, as well as relatively mature mission concept studies and the application of experience from previous missions. The scope covers missions entering the atmospheres of Venus, Mars, Titan and the giant planets, including system design of atmospheric entry, parachute descent and approach to a surface (or balloon inflation).

Confirmed Invited talks :

V. Giorgio (Alcatel-Alenia) Aurora/ExoMars


Technology systems, Electronics, Instruments and sensors, communications and batteries

Conveners : P. Beauchamp (JPL) T. Blancquaert (ESA Estec)

Session Description :

Scientific measurements undertaken from probes are significantly more complex than traditional in situ measurements.  High temperatures, pressures, and the attenuation of communication signals limit the penetration depths of probes in the atmospheres of the gas giants. Venus probes must endure even higher temperatures and pressures, while Titan probes must survive and operate at very low temperatures.  In the past, extensive thermal control was required to maintain instruments, electronics, and batteries in an earth-like environment for the probes operating at the high and low temperature extremes, adding significantly to the mass and complexity of the system and limiting operational times. Session IV is dedicated to papers describing measurement capabilities and prospects of existing emerging technology systems including electronics, instruments and sensors, communications and battery technologies or strategies that could extend the scientific capabilities of planetary probes operating in extreme environments. Engineering the instruments system within probes, together with instrument miniaturization, can bring improvements in performance and capabilities and this topic will be covered in the session. Also covered are topics describing sample acquisition and sample preparation/manipulation within the instrument system, along with novel instrument components and sub-systems.


Mission concept studies and science drivers of technology - Giant planets and Titan

Conveners : A. Coustenis (Obs Paris-Meudon) T. Spilker (JPL)

Session Description :

The session will discuss science, technology, and mission design of probe missions to the Outer Planets and invites papers on programmatic, technical, scientific, and mission design issues of atmospheric entry and descent exploration of the giant planets and Titan. Papers and posters addressing the following topics in relation to Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, as well as Titan, are encouraged:

  • Scientific results of past atmospheric entry probe missions, with implications for future explorations
  • Applications of experiences gained from Earth atmospheric entry studies to future planetary probe missions
  • Future mission concepts and studies
  • Technical, environmental, and mission design issues of atmospheric entry probe missions
  • Sensors, Instruments and Sample Acquisition Systems

For the challenges in future technologies we shall discuss :

  • Technologies that manage thermal and pressure environments throughout the probe mission
  • Capabilities and prospects of existing and emerging electronics, communications and battery technologies for operation in extreme environments encountered by the atmospheric probe missions
  • Atmospheric entry, descent, and mobility technologies including thermal protection systems, parachute technologies, balloons, gliders etc.

Confirmed Invited talks :

Titan mission concepts (T. Spilker, A. Coustenis)

Saturn probes (S. Atreya, T. Balint)


Entry, Descent, and Landing Technologies for Planetary Missions

Conveners : N. Cheatwood (NASA LaRC) D. Lebleu (Alcatel Alenia)

Session Description :

This session is focused on technology development activities which could enhance or enable future planetary missions.  The scope includes atmospheric Entry, Descent, and Landing for terrestrial (Venus, Earth, Mars, Titan) and gas giant planets.  Potential topics include thermal protection systems, deployable aeroshells and decelerators, and landing systems.  Presentations covering the spectrum from conceptual design to flight testing will be considered.

Confirmed Invited talks :

Mars EDL Capability Drivers and Technology Needs (Mark Adler, JPL)

A Robust Entry, Descent and Landing System for the ExoMars Mission (F. Beziat, P. Arfi)


Emerging, enabling, and extreme environment technologies; cross-cutting technologies

Convener : L. Peltz (Boeing)

Session Description  

Probe missions target locations with harsh environments of extreme cold (such as Enceladus and Triton), or extreme hot (such as the surface of Venus), or extreme radiation (such as Europa). Session VII covers the development process and fundamental technologies that enable these new capabilities to operate at extreme cold (below 40 Kelvin), or extreme hot (to 780 Kelvin), or high ambient radiation. What are the technological approaches to producing electronics that can operate at these extreme environments? Topics of interest include: Technologies and circuits of cryogenic-temperature electronics and high-temperature electronics; Radiation tolerance of electronics; Packaging of electronics for extreme environments; Reliability and failure modes of electronic circuits operating in extreme environments; Instrumenting TPS and structures with embedded sensors; and Design approaches and processes for miniaturization of sensing instruments.


Earth Entry, Descent and Landing for Sample Return and Crewed Missions

Conveners : J. Arnold (University Affiliated Research Center) B. Foing (ESA Estec)

Session Description :

It is anticipated that solar system exploration during the next decade or two will be characterized by increasing interest in missions involving robotic sample return or crewed Earth Entry, Descent and Landing (EDL) for lunar return. From the perspective of vehicle entry environments, these are challenging missions since the entry interface speeds range from 11 to 14 (plus) km/sec (corresponding to return from the moon and the remote regions of the Solar System, respectively).  This session will include papers treating aspects of EDL relevant to such missions involving superorbital Earth re-entry. Since there is much in common for EDL between the robotic sample return missions and NASA's Orion program, contributions from that community are encouraged. Appropriate subject matter includes technology, Earth return EDL capsule design, Earth entry observations,  re-entry  flight data as well as mission concepts and planning.


Future Outlook Closing Session

Conveners : JP. Lebreton (ESA Estec) J.Cutts (JPL)

Session description :

The final session provides a synthesis of the issues raised during the workshop placed in the context of the programmatic framework covered in Session I.  As in previous workshop, identifying opportunities for new initiatives involving international collaboration is a key objective.

The session will be composed of three panels covering three panels drawn primarily from the session chairs. The session will be composed of three panels drawn primarily from the session chairs.

1. Highlights of technology developments :

2. Highlights of new mission concept development :

3. Prospects for international collaboration :