Publication archive

Publication archive

Presented at the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Science Targeting Meeting, 9-11 June 2009

We propose number of targets observed with SMART-1 for follow-up studies with LRO. We shall also discuss SMART-1 lunar highlights relevant for science and exploration, in relation with LRO/LCROSS and future lander missions.

Published: 13 June 2009
The demonstration of a compact imaging X-ray spectrometer (D-CIXS), which flew on ESA's SMART-1 mission to the Moon (Racca et al., 2001; Foing et al., 2006), was designed to test innovative new technologies for orbital X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy. D-CIXS conducted observations of the lunar surface from January 2005 until SMART-1 impacted the Moon in September 2006. Here, we present scientific observations made during two solar flare events and show the first detection of Titanium K-alpha from the lunar surface. We discuss the geological implications of these results. We also discuss how experience from D-CIXS has aided the design of a similar instrument (Chandrayaan-1 X-ray Spectrometer [C1XS]) that was launched on the 22nd October 2008 on India's Chandrayaan-1 mission to the Moon.
Published: 16 June 2009
Presented at Lunar and Planetary Science XXXIX, 10-14 March 2008

The SMART-1 spacecraft started from 15 March 2005 with a lunar orbit 400-3000 km for a nominal science period of six months, with 1 year science extension. During these 18 months, the AMIE camera aboard the spacecraft acquired about 32.000 images. We report on the coverage at various resolutions and the pointing accuracy.

Published: 15 March 2008
In December 2002, when France's Stentor satellite was all set to use electric propulsion for stationkeeping, ESA's SMART-1 was just completing its first end-to-end spacecraft test. Then Stentor was lost in the Ariane-5 launch failure, making SMART-1 the first and only technology demonstration mission with Hall-effect plasma propulsion. As a result, there was a great deal of interest in the electric propulsion community in SMART-1's flight.
Published: 15 February 2007
Submitted to the Planetary Report, to appear September 2006.

SMART-1 is Europe's first lunar mission, the current step in developing an international program of lunar exploration. The spacecraft was launched on 23 September 2003 as an Ariane 5 Auxiliary passenger to Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO), performed a 14 month long cruise using the tiny thrust of electric propulsion alone, reached lunar capture in Nov 2004, and lunar science orbit in March 2005. SMART-1 carries seven hardware experiments (performing 10 investigations, including three remote sensing instruments, used during the cruise, the mission's nominal six months and one year extension in lunar science orbit. The remote sensing instruments contribute to key planetary scientific questions, related to theories of lunar origin and evolution, the global and local crustal composition, the search for cold traps at the lunar poles and the mapping of potential lunar resources.

Published: 17 August 2006
Presented at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, Houston, Texas, special session on 15 March 2006.
Published: 15 March 2006
We present the first results from SMART-1's science and technology payload. SMART-1 is Europe's first lunar mission and will provide some significant advances to many issues currently active in lunar science, such as our understanding of lunar origin and evolution. The mission also contributes a step in developing an international program of lunar exploration. The spacecraft was launched on 27 September 2003 on an Ariane 5, as an auxiliary passenger to Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO), performed a 14-month long cruise using the tiny thrust of electric propulsion alone, reached lunar capture in November 2004, and lunar science orbit in March 2005. SMART-1 carries seven hardware experiments (performing 10 investigations, including three remote sensing instruments, used during the cruise, the mission's nominal six months and one year extension in lunar science orbit). The remote sensing instruments will contribute to key planetary scientific questions related to theories of lunar origin and evolution, the global and local crustal composition, the search for cold traps at the lunar poles and the mapping of potential lunar resources.
Published: 02 March 2006
We present infrared spectra of Mercury and the Moon in the wavelength range 0.7-5.3 mum obtained with the SpeX spectrograph at the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility. The spectra were acquired from pole and terminator locations of Mercury's surface and of Mersenius C and the Copernicus central peak on the Moon. Spectra of both bodies were measured in close temporal succession and were reduced in the same manner with identical calibration stars to minimize differences in the reduction process. The Copernicus spectra display the expected absorption features due to mafic minerals in the near infrared and show spectral features in the SiO combination/overtone vibrational band region above 4 mum. The spectra of Mercury from longitude 170° and north and south mid-latitudes display a 1-mum absorption band indicative of high-Ca clinopyroxene, while a spectrum from longitude 260° and northern mid-latitudes does not. The Mercury spectra show a broad feature of low emittance over the full 3 5 mum thermal infrared region, but no narrow features in this spectral range. The longitude 260° spectrum shows excess thermal emission around 5 mum attributable to the existence of a thermal gradient in the insolated dayside regolith. The thermal-IR spectra suggest a significant difference in the compositional and/or structural properties of Mercury and the Moon that may be due to grain size, absorption coefficient, or the magnitude of near-surface thermal gradients. The results indicate that the composition of Mercury's surface is heterogeneous on regional scales, and that the near infrared wavelength range provides more discriminative information on the surface composition than the 2 4 mum region, where the solar reflected and thermally emitted radiation contribute approximately equally to the observed flux of these bodies.
Published: 15 February 2006
Presented at the 6th International Symposium "Reducing the Costs of Spacecraft Ground Systems and Operations (RCSGSO)", held 14-17 June 2005 at ESA/ESOC, Darmstadt, Germany. Smart-1 is the first of a series of ESA Small Missions for Advance Research and Technology where elements of the platform and the payload technology have been conceived as a demonstration for future cornerstone missions and an early opportunity for science. It was launched on 27th of September 2003 and spiraled out over a 14-month period until being captured by the Moon on 15/11/2004, thus successfully achieving the primary objective set to demonstrate Solar Electric Propulsion.

The paper will show the pros and contras in some of the choices made for Smart-1 together with the developments and the solutions implemented to mitigate the problems found during the mission:

  • Impact of on-board problems on operations
  • Ground Segment automation
  • Keeping the mission control team reduced
  • The increased importance of the Mission Planning System
  • Fast distribution of spacecraft data through internet for anomaly identification and analysis
  • Summary of lessons learnt
Published: 15 July 2005
This paper describes the operational orbit determination of the first Small Mission for Advanced Research and Technology, SMART-1, emphasising the experiences gained navigating a spacecraft with solar electric propulsion (SEP). Since launch, interruptions to planned thrust arcs by unforeseen platform events and both long and short term small variations of the SEP performance have had an impact on the spacecraft navigation. These impacts are discussed and in particular the evolution of the SEP performance throughout the mission and the response of the navigation team is analysed. Finally the operational orbit determination is presented in some detail, including illustrative examples.
Published: 12 October 2004
The advanced Moon micro-imager experiment (AMIE) is the imaging system on board ESA mission to the Moon SMART-1; it makes use of a miniaturised detector and micro-processor electronics developed by SPACE X in the frame of the ESA technical programme. The AMIE micro-imager will provide high resolution CCD images of selected lunar areas and it will perform colour imaging through three filters at 750, 915 and 960nm with a maximum resolution of 46 m/pixel at the perilune of 500 km. Specific scientific objectives will include (1) imaging of high latitude regions in the southern hemisphere, in particular the South Pole Aitken basin (SPA) and the permanently shadowed regions close to the South Pole, (2) determination of the photometric properties of the lunar surface from observations at different phase angles (physical properties of the regolith), (3) multi-band imaging for constraining the chemical and mineral composition of the surface, (4) detection and characterisation of lunar non-mare volcanic units, (5) study of lithological variations from impact craters and implications for crustal heterogeneity. The AMIE micro-imager will also support a Laser-link experiment to Earth, an On Board Autonomous Navigation investigation and a Lunar libration experiment coordinated with radio science measurements.
Published: 02 August 2005
The Advanced Moon micro-Imager Experiment (AMIE), on-board SMART-1, the first European mission to the Moon, is an imaging system with scientific, technical and public outreach objectives. The science objectives are to image the Lunar South Pole, permanent shadow areas (ice deposit), eternal light (crater rims), ancient Lunar Non-mare volcanism, local spectrophotometry and physical state of the lunar surface, and to map high latitudes regions (south) mainly at far side (South Pole Aitken basin). The technical objectives are to perform a laserlink experiment (detection of laser beam emitted by ESA/Tenerife ground station), flight demonstration of new technologies and on-board autonomy navigation. The public outreach and educational objectives are to promote planetary exploration and space. We present here the first results obtained during the cruise phase.
Published: 19 August 2005
AIAA-2004-3437, presented at the 40th AIAA Joint-Propulsion-Conference

SMART-1, launched in fall 2003, is Europe's first moon satellite. It shall demonstrate Solar-Electric Propulsion using a PPS-1350 hall thruster. One of the main mission investigations is the characterization of the thruster's charge-exchange ion environment. Two instruments support this analysis: EPDP, consisting of a Langmuir probe, RPA analyser and a solar cell sample, and SPEDE, consisting of two current collection spheres supported by two short booms. ARC Seibersdorf research developed a Particle-In-Cell plasma simulation to support and predict the thruster's induced plasma environment around SMART-1. This paper will give an overview of the modeling approach and a comparison of the model will test results gained during the STENTOR ground test campaign using a similar thruster. We will also report a first interpretation of the measurements from EPDP and SPEDE on SMART-1 and will compare them with the actual model predictions. This analysis shall be used to actually validate the simulation tool to reliably predict charge exchange plasma environments on future missions using electric propulsion.

Published: 12 July 2004
Presentation at the 5th SPINE meeting, held 17 September 2003 at ESTEC in Noordwijk, the Netherlands.
Published: 18 September 2003
Presented at the 36th Annual Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, March 14-18, 2005, in League City, Texas, abstract no.2404

ESA's SMART-1 is at the Moon! Launched by Ariane-5 in Sept. 2003, it used primary solar electric propulsion to reach lunar capture on 17 November 2004, and to spiral down to lunar science orbit. First data and results from the cruise approach and lunar commissioning will be presented.

Published: 15 March 2005

The presentation was given at the SPC meeting in Paris on 10 February 2005 and presented the status of the SMART-1 mission, as well as a case for a 1 year mission extension.

Author: Bernard Foing et al.

Link to Publication[pdf, 7.9 Mb]
Additional Slides[pdf, 4.5 Mb]

Published: 10 February 2005
AIAA 2004-3632: Presented at the 40th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit 11 - 14 July 2004, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Electric propulsion represents one of the most promising technologies for application in future space missions. The knowledge of the plasma plume evolution in the thruster surrounding space is still of fundamental importance, at system design level, for new generation satellites, in order to integrate the propulsive subsystem with the other vehicle subsystems. Furthermore, the necessity to simulate realistic configurations leads to the need of powerful and flexible 3-D tools. Alta S.p.A. and Consorzio Pisa Ricerche developed a three-dimensional particle-in-cell code capable to simulate conditions found both in space and in ground vacuum facilities, for realistic satellite configurations for Hall Effect Thrusters and Gridded Ion Engines. The present article will present a brief description of the PICPluS 3D code, including the various physical models that can be used and the code validation. Numerical results related to the ESA's SMART-1 satellite, launched on 27 September 2003, will then be compared with flight data. Finally, an analysis of the influence of the simulation paramaters on the results will follow.

Published: 12 July 2004
AIAA-2004-3977: Presented at the 40th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, 11-14 July 2004

Onboard the ESA SMART-1 spacecraft, (Small Mission for Advanced Research in Technology), the Xenon feeding system operates since the September 30th 2003. EPS Contractor, ESTEC, and EPS manufacturer, SNECMA MOTEURS, present in detail the major performances of the Pressure Regulation System, with a comparison to the ground tests results. The PPS® -1350 Hall Effect plasma Thruster needs a regulated xenon pressure as input of the flow controller. Such pressure is delivered and controlled by two pieces of hardware, the "Bang-Bang Pressure Regulation Unit" and the "Pressure Regulation Electronic Card". The concept is described as well as its main features: the robustness by design that cannot allow a direct communication between the high-pressure parts (the xenon tank) and the low-pressure parts (the thruster input). The paper highlights the possibility for various parameters to be tuned by telecommands in order to reach different performance levels of the pressure regulation. The real flexibility of the concept allows smoothing the pressure regulation. This paper describes the performances results of the pressure regulation in space environment compared to the ground tests results. It discusses also the advantage of the regulation tuning capability during the first flight phase. This new features of primary electric propulsion subsystem demonstrates its robustness and flexibility toward thruster initial requested tuning to keep the thruster loop fine pressure regulation in an adequate range.

Published: 12 July 2004
AIAA-2004-3435: Presented at the 40th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, 11-14 July 2004

Onboard the ESA SMART-1 spacecraft, (Small Mission for Advanced Research in Technology), the primary Electric Propulsion Subsystem (EPS) operates since the 30th September 2003. EPS Contractor, ESTEC, and EPS manufacturer, SNECMA MOTEURS, present in detail the major performances of the complete electric propulsion system, with a comparison to the ground tests results. The PPS®-1350-G Hall Effect plasma Thruster and its Power processing unit, developed in the frame of the CNES Stentor Program, was tested at Snecma facilities. The main feature of the Smart-1 system is its variable power supply. Integrated into the whole spacecraft the electric propulsion system was tested at ESTEC before the in-flight first firing after the successful Ariane V launch. Results of these main tests demonstrate a good prediction of the in flight EPS behavior including the robust bang-bang xenon pressure regulation for the input pressure and variable electrical power supply. This paper describes the performance results of the PPS®-1350-G firing in space environment. It discusses also the consequences of the Van Allen radiation belt crossing during the first flight phase, particularly the behavior of the floating potential of the thruster with respect to the satellite electrical ground. The initial successful results obtained supports the first technological experience objective of the SMART-1 mission. These new features of primary electric propulsion subsystem and especially the low-power start-up and variable power features can be also a significant added value for any commercial application using electric propulsion for station-keeping and/or orbit transfer.

Published: 12 July 2004
AIAA 2004-2357: Presented at the 35th AIAA Plasmadynamics and Lasers Conference 28 June - 1 July 2004, Portland, Oregon

Present simulation techniques for plasma thrusters plume simulations usually implement a Particle In Cell / Monte Carlo approach to a plasma flow considered in a quasi-neutral state, with the possibility of a residual atmosphere (typical of a vacuum chamber test facility). Nonetheless it is difficult to compare directly results, even with measurements taken in very similar laboratory configurations, because it's not yet achieved the possibility to simulate at the same time realistic chamber geometry, pumping system performance and effect of the sputtering caused by the ion beam impinging the chamber walls. The present article will show the results of a series of PIC/DSMC simulations executed with CPR/Alta codes on HET plumes, considering a wide range of realistic laboratory configurations, and considering also the effect of different physical models; results will be also compared with experimental ones from literature and Alta testing facilities and flight data from the European SMART-1 mission.

Published: 29 June 2004
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