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Huygens Attitude Reconstruction based on Flight Engineering Parameters

Huygens Attitude Reconstruction based on Flight Engineering Parameters

Publication date: 02 May 2006

Authors: Perez-Ayucar, M., et al.

Journal: Proceedings of the 3rd International Planetary Probe Workshop
Volume: ESA WPP-263
Year: 2006

Copyright: ESA

Huygens is ESA's main contribution to the joint NASA/ESA/ASI Cassini/Huygens mission to Saturn and its largest moon Titan. The Probe, delivered to the interface altitude of 1270 km above the surface by NASA/JPL Cassini orbiter, entered the dense atmosphere of Titan on 14th January 2005 and landed on the surface after a descent under parachute of slightly less than of 2.5 hours. Huygens continued to function after landing for more than 3 hours. Data was transmitted and successfully recovered by Cassini continuosly Although the Huygens attitude reconstruction based on the flight engineering parameters was not foreseen during the development phase (no gyros were included), a rough descent under parachute and indications of an anomaly in the probe spin direction make the engineering dataset valuable in the frame of the ADRS (Huygens Attitude Determination and Reconstruction Subgroup) as a complement to the scientific measurements. In addition, several scientific teams have a strong interest in understanding the orientation of the probe for interpreting their data, as DISR (Descent Imager and Spectral Radiometer) and HASI-PWA (Huygens Atmospheric Structure Instrument-Permeability, Wave and Altimetry). In this paper we describe the engineering parameters used for the Probe attitude reconstruction, namely (Clausen et al., 2002) the radio link AGC (Automatic Gain Control), RASU and CASU (Radial and Central Accelerometer Sensor Units) and RAU (Radar Altimeter Unit). We explain the methodology applied to indirectly infer from these sensors measurements the attitude information. We also discuss and present the reconstructed information related to attitude: spin rate and azimuthal position (during the atmospheric descent), and landing orientation. Tip and tilt implications are still being worked. Preliminary data on their behaviour is presented.ess clear but hints on their behavior may be inferred.

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