ESA GNC Conference Papers Repository
Soft Landing on Mars: The GNC Tasks in the Exomars Descent Module Mission
This paper summarizes the most significant design aspects, related to the Guidance Navigation and Control system of the ExoMars (the first European mission of the Aurora ESA exploration program) Descent Module. Following the introduction, reporting a survey on technologies applied for landing in previous missions to Mars and on the major scientific findings expected from the ExoMars mission, a survey of the phases of the Descent Module (DM) mission in which the GNC functions are involved, is given in the second section. These functions are analysed in chapter three. Looking at the coasting and entry phases, a particular care is posed on the option, peculiar to the ExoMars mission, of the hibernation, a function driven by GNC that should be devoted to permit the usage of the ExoMars carrier as data relay for the rover, orbiting around the planet. The main interest of the GNC for the DM mission is surely related to the terminal descent and landing, the crucial phase for the success of the mission. Chapter four describes the current design approach reporting some simulation results while the fifth chapter contains considerations on the analytical stability verification of the estimation and control loops.