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Future Venus Missions
hendric
post Feb 13 2018, 07:24 PM
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Interesting article about future missions and capabilities.

https://www.sciencenews.org/article/what-wi...go-venus?tgt=nr


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vjkane
post May 7 2018, 03:35 PM
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The EnVision Venus mapping mission was just selected as a finalist for ESA's M5 call (flight in late 2020s or early 2030s?)

Press Release

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JRehling
post May 27 2018, 06:37 PM
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Venus exploration is at an interesting crossroads, because it now has a hand in three different competitions, and could win big if it is selected in two of those, or be neglected yet again if it is selected in zero.

EnVision plus VICI or any of the Discovery options with a lander, for example, would do a great job of revolutionizing the state of Venus science, undoubtedly leading to quite different possibilities for any subsequent mission to advance things further. In the best case, we could be at that status in the mid 2030s. In the worst case, we could reach the 100th anniversary of Mariner 2 with the last U.S. mission to Venus being Magellan and the last lander being Venera 14.
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vjkane
post May 28 2018, 03:11 PM
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QUOTE (JRehling @ May 27 2018, 10:37 AM) *
Venus exploration is at an interesting crossroads, because it now has a hand in three different competitions, and could win big if it is selected in two of those, or be neglected yet again if it is selected in zero.

Right now, Venus is in just one competition I'm aware of: EnVision in ESA's M5 competition (launch target appears to be early 2030s). I suspect that there will be proposals in the next Discovery competition, beginning next year if I recall with flight in mid-2020s.


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JRehling
post Jun 3 2018, 06:01 PM
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That's right, and more precisely, that is the only competition in which a Venus mission is alive for this cycle. I was referring to the ongoing presence of Venus missions in the Discovery and New Frontiers competitions which seems likely to continue until the alternatives are exhausted. The Venus concept VICI also has technology development funding (for the laser spectrometer, such as currently working on Mars) in hand from New Frontiers, which isn't a mission, but is a small start towards one. I'm not sure if that technology development could be used to strengthen the DAVINCI concept, like VICI led by PI Lori Glaze, in upcoming Discovery competitions. DAVINCI was more of a descent atmospheric probe with some surface imaging and a laser spectrometer whose goals only mention the atmosphere, not the surface, although the similarity to the Mars Curiosity instrument is mentioned. I'm curious if the atmosphere-only limitation on DAVINCI's laser spectrometer was due to expectations that it would fail before reaching the surface. If so, the technology development funding for a surface laser spectrometer on VICI could make DAVINCI a significantly more capable mission than in the last competition. One could imagine a very busy surface science mission of an hour or two while it composition-zapped nearby rocks.

It seems like Venus could win the second, third, or fourth -next New Frontiers mission competition (after Dragonfly or CAESAR), and/or the next Discovery mission competition (after the two asteroid missions fly). Nothing is guaranteed, but the competition would seem to be getting thinner every time Venus loses.
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vjkane
post Jun 4 2018, 04:37 PM
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QUOTE (JRehling @ Jun 3 2018, 10:01 AM) *
That's right, and more precisely, that is the only competition in which a Venus mission is alive for this cycle. I was referring to the ongoing presence of Venus missions in the Discovery and New Frontiers competitions which seems likely to continue until the alternatives are exhausted. The Venus concept VICI also has technology development funding (for the laser spectrometer, such as currently working on Mars) in hand from New Frontiers, which isn't a mission, but is a small start towards one. I'm not sure if that technology development could be used to strengthen the DAVINCI concept, like VICI led by PI Lori Glaze, in upcoming Discovery competitions. DAVINCI was more of a descent atmospheric probe with some surface imaging and a laser spectrometer whose goals only mention the atmosphere, not the surface, although the similarity to the Mars Curiosity instrument is mentioned. I'm curious if the atmosphere-only limitation on DAVINCI's laser spectrometer was due to expectations that it would fail before reaching the surface. If so, the technology development funding for a surface laser spectrometer on VICI could make DAVINCI a significantly more capable mission than in the last competition. One could imagine a very busy surface science mission of an hour or two while it composition-zapped nearby rocks.

It seems like Venus could win the second, third, or fourth -next New Frontiers mission competition (after Dragonfly or CAESAR), and/or the next Discovery mission competition (after the two asteroid missions fly). Nothing is guaranteed, but the competition would seem to be getting thinner every time Venus loses.

From other readings on LIBS/Raman spectroscopy on Venus' surface, there are challenges to both the transmission of the pulses and interpreting the resulting spectra under the very dense atmosphere. I don't think that there were any questions about its survival to arrive on the surface (and it wouldn't operated except on the surface).

An atmospheric probe (VICI - Discovery) and an orbiting radar/thermal spectral mapping orbiter (VOX - New Frontiers; VERITAS - Discovery) were judged at Category 1 (fully selectable by meeting all scientific and programmatic requirements) in the last Discovery and New Frontiers competitions. (Despite being Cat 1, VOX was not selected as a finalist, which was noted by the Venus community.) I would expect that both will be re-proposed for the next Discovery selection which will begin next year.

Between them, VICI and VOX/VERITAS would meet the high priority scientific goals laid out by the last Decadal Survey for Venus. (The VOX team apparently successfully argued that the surface study goals could be met by an orbiter, replacing the previous assumption that a lander was required.)

Interestingly, the time period for selecting the M5 mission (for which EnVision is a competitor) and the next Discovery mission will be similar. I hope that the two agencies don't select a Venus orbiter in the hopes that the other will.


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vjkane
post Jun 4 2018, 05:09 PM
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Venus Landed Platform Working Group

NASA has convened a Venus Landed Platform Working Group to assess high priority science investigations that are needed on the surface of Venus. Topic areas include Venus surface geology and geochemistry, atmospheric chemistry and dynamics, interior processes, and surface-atmosphere interactions. This includes investigations that may be enabled by new technology approaches, such as extended duration landers via active cooling or high temperature electronics, or using surface mobility. Individuals who would like to suggest important science investigations should please send a short description of the science question being addressed, the measurements required to answer the science question, and key technical requirements such as measurement duration or mobility requirements. Please send this input to the following individuals:

Martha Gilmore, mgilmore@wesleyan.edu
Natasha Johnson, natasha.m. johnson@nasa.gov
Walter Kiefer, kiefer@lpi.usra.edu
Jonathan Sauder, jonathan.sauder@jpl.nasa.gov

The Working Group’s first meeting begins on June 19.


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JRehling
post Feb 12 2019, 07:33 PM
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This has been online for months now, and I'm just taking a look.

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11214-018-0528-z

Very exciting plans… but of all the proposed missions and architectures, not many are on a solid path towards implementation. The Indian orbiter seems likely. Otherwise, we have Venus as being no better than second in line for a New Frontiers mission and the Envision orbiter (which would be a grand all-purposes Venus orbiter) one of three candidates for a future ESA mission.
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vjkane
post Feb 14 2019, 08:07 PM
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QUOTE (JRehling @ Feb 12 2019, 11:33 AM) *
This has been online for months now, and I'm just taking a look.

https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11214-018-0528-z

Very exciting plans… but of all the proposed missions and architectures, not many are on a solid path towards implementation. The Indian orbiter seems likely. Otherwise, we have Venus as being no better than second in line for a New Frontiers mission and the Envision orbiter (which would be a grand all-purposes Venus orbiter) one of three candidates for a future ESA mission.

The Indian orbiter will carry a number of instruments, but it appears to have some severe limitations on payload mass and data rates.

The proposed ESA EnVision radar and infrared mapping mission wouldn't launch until the early 2030s if selected. It is facing severe cost and mass limitations. NASA is investigating whether it could provide the major radar mapping instrument.

The Venera-D joint Russian (lead) & US lander and orbiter could fly in the mid-2020s, but Russia is strapped for cash.

That leaves the two Discovery missions to be selected (as I remember) in 2021 for flight in the mid and late 2020s as the only other opportunity.


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JRehling
post Feb 15 2019, 06:53 AM
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It's interesting to me that EnVision and VOX both propose the same instrument to probe emissivity in the IR, as does the Discovery proposal VERITAS. I think that Venus Express' PFS instrument would have returned some of the same value, except that it failed and returned no data at all (the Wikipedia page erroneously reports that it did, probably a hasty editor converting original plans into the past tense after the mission ended). In a nutshell, this is similar, for Venus, to what VIMS on Cassini accomplished at Titan, making use of haze-penetrating bands to observe the surface. It would be great to have an orbiter in a low circular orbit provide this or a resolution of radar superior to that of Magellan or, as both EnVision and VOX propose, both.

It seems not impossible that VOX or another Venus mission could be the second or third next New Frontiers mission, which looks like the 2030s, as would be EnVision.

The Discovery missions have seemingly chosen every conceivable non-Venus mission that anyone can propose with Venus almost inevitably getting to the front of the queue eventually. Proposals for the next Discovery missions are due at the end of this month. If VERITAS were chosen, that could likely knock EnVision and VOX down in value, and make VICI a candidate for a future New Frontiers mission in the 2030s.
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hendric
post Yesterday, 03:18 PM
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Our company recently hosted Dr Jean Anne Incorvia from the UT Integrated Nano Computing Lab for a lecture on Magnetic RAMs. Of course, I asked a bunch of space-focused questions. biggrin.gif She said they are very robust at high temperatures (tested up to 250C) and radiation environments, and are well suited to space operations. The transistor part of the structure is vulnerable to damage, but the memory element itself is very tough. Endurance testing is over 10^15 modify cycles. Time to rewrite a bit is on the order of 1-10ns. I also brought up Silicon Carbide as the semiconductor substrate for the ferro structures, but nobody is looking at that. (Potential opportunity there!) With Curie temps in the 1000C range, I am hopeful we have a perfect memory for an upcoming Venus lander/rover!

http://www.utinclab.com/


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Space Enthusiast Richard Hendricks
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"The engineers, as usual, made a tremendous fuss. Again as usual, they did the job in half the time they had dismissed as being absolutely impossible." --Rescue Party, Arthur C Clarke
Mother Nature is the final inspector of all quality.
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stevesliva
post Yesterday, 05:50 PM
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You were right to ask about SiC. The MRAM junction might be high temp tolerant, but the associated FETs are not.

MRAM does have its own sort of soft error rate (bits flipping randomly, not necessarily radiation induced.) So I would wonder if that rate increases with temperature. MRAM, though, seemingly has a lot less complex circuitry to fail than Flash does. Density is years behind, though. The stuff they do with Flash now is insaaaane. Very far removed from zeroes and ones.
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hendric
post Yesterday, 06:19 PM
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Probably some quantum tunnel magic I suppose. The Dr mentioned that as the temperature rises your speed would increase since it is easier to flip bits but your error margin would decrease. Dealing with bad bits is NAND bread&butter though so it should be easy enough to mitigate.

Yeah modern flash memory now is MLC, basically instead of just reading a straight 0 or 1, it reads mid-level voltage levels and translates that into 000 001 010 011 etc. That makes it extremely susceptible to disturbs (reading bits at X,Y has a chance of messing up their neighbors), lowers the lifetime of the cell when turned off as the electrons slowly drain, and much more vulnerable to radiation induced damage.

MRAM is still fairly young tech for semiconductors (original Space Shuttle used ferrite cores, so the concept has been around a long time!), but based on her talk there is plenty of run room and the potential for very high densities.


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Space Enthusiast Richard Hendricks
--
"The engineers, as usual, made a tremendous fuss. Again as usual, they did the job in half the time they had dismissed as being absolutely impossible." --Rescue Party, Arthur C Clarke
Mother Nature is the final inspector of all quality.
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