The AMADEE-15 Mars simulation

Research paper by Gernot Groemer, Anna Losiak; Alexander Soucek; Clemens Plank; Laura Zanardini; Nina Sejkora; Sebastian Sams

Indexed on: 04 Nov '16Published on: 04 Oct '16Published in: Acta Astronautica


Publication date: December 2016 Source:Acta Astronautica, Volume 129 Author(s): Gernot Groemer, Anna Losiak, Alexander Soucek, Clemens Plank, Laura Zanardini, Nina Sejkora, Sebastian Sams We report on the AMADEE-15 mission, a 12-day Mars analog field test at the Kaunertal Glacier in Austria. Eleven experiments were conducted by a field crew at the test site under simulated martian surface exploration conditions and coordinated by a Mission Support Center in Innsbruck, Austria. The experiments’ research fields encompassed geology, human factors, astrobiology, robotics, tele-science, exploration, and operations research. A Remote Science Support team analyzed field data in near real time, providing planning input for a flight control team to manage a complex system of field assets in a realistic work flow, including: two advanced space suit simulators; and four robotic and aerial vehicles. Field operations were supported by a dedicated flight planning group, an external control center tele-operating the PULI-rover, and a medical team. A 10-min satellite communication delay and other limitations pertinent to human planetary surface activities were introduced. This paper provides an overview of the geological context and environmental conditions of the test site and the mission architecture, with a focus on the mission's communication infrastructure. We report on the operational workflows and the experiments conducted, as well as a novel approach of measuring mission success through the introduction of general analog mission transferrable performance indicators.