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New Algorithm to Pinpoint-Land NASA’s Mars Rovers
8/15/2013

Figure 1. A Xombie technology demonstrator from Masten Space Systems, Mojave, Calif., ascends from its pad at Mojave Air and Space Port on a test for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The vehicle, a vertical-takeoff, vertical-landing experimental rocket, is being used to evaluate performance of JPL's Fuel Optimal Large Divert Guidance (G-FOLD), a new algorithm for planetary pinpoint landing of spacecraft. 
(Source: NASA)
Figure 1. A Xombie technology demonstrator from Masten Space Systems, Mojave, Calif., ascends from its pad at Mojave Air and Space Port on a test for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The vehicle, a vertical-takeoff, vertical-landing experimental rocket, is being used to evaluate performance of JPL's Fuel Optimal Large Divert Guidance (G-FOLD), a new algorithm for planetary pinpoint landing of spacecraft.
(Source: NASA)

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jaybus0
User Rank
CEO
Triggered?
jaybus0   8/20/2013 8:11:22 AM
NO RATINGS
Triggered how? By remote command or by autonomously deciding the initial site was unsuitable? Mars is too far away to remotely trigger real-time course corrections during decent.

CMathas
User Rank
Manager
Re: Triggered?
CMathas   8/22/2013 9:33:41 AM
NO RATINGS
During the simulation, there was a remote triggering for correction. That's an interesting question as to how it will actually be used. NASA seldom announces anything that isn't well tested/thoughout out. What do you think the mechanism will be for this correction capability?

 

CMathas
User Rank
Manager
Re: Triggered?
CMathas   8/22/2013 1:26:53 PM
NO RATINGS
Please ignore that last post - that was one of the stupidest things I've said recently (read in the past week). NASA unfortunately has had its share of major mistakes so I guess I shouldn't infer that they always know what they're doing - history says otherwise.

 

jaybus0
User Rank
CEO
Re: Triggered?
jaybus0   8/23/2013 11:14:04 AM
NO RATINGS
I don't think there has been any mistakes. The The new algorithm handles determining the required flight path to land at a chosen site with minimal fuel use. So it is completely independent of the system for choosing the site. I can certainly understand the fuel saving aspects of the new algorithm, but am curious about the addition of in-flight, apparently near real-time navigational changes, as remote in-flight navigational changes will have to be made long before atmospheric insertion. So I am wondering if a separate system is in the works for autonomous landing site corrections (within a limited range around the targeted landing site).

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