Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 14

Search results for: rover

14 BEATRICE: A Low-Cost Manipulator Arm for an Educational Planetary Rover

Authors: T. Pakulski, L. Kryza, A. Linossier


The BEar Articulated TeleRobotic Inspection and Clasping Extremity is a lightweight, 5 DoF robotic manipulator for the Berlin Educational Assistant Rover (BEAR). BEAR is one of the educational planetary rovers developed under the Space Rover projects at the Chair of Space Technology of the Technische Universität Berlin. The projects serve to conduct research and train engineers by developing rovers for competitions like the European Rover Challenge and the DLR SpaceBot Cup. BEATRICE is the result of a cost-driven design process to deliver a simple but capable platform for a variety of competition tasks: object grasping and manipulation, inspection, instrument wielding and more. The manipulator’s simple mechatronic design, based on a combination of servomotors and stepper motors with planetary gearboxes, also makes it a practical tool for developing embedded control systems. The platform’s initial implementation relies on tele-operated control but is fully instrumented for future autonomous functionality. This paper describes BEATRICE’s development from its preliminary link model to its structural and mechatronic design, embedded control and AI and T. In parallel, it examines the influence of budget constraints and high personnel turnover commonly associated with student teams on the manipulator’s design. Finally, it comments on the utility of robot design projects for educating future engineers.

Keywords: education, low-cost, manipulator, robotics, rover

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13 A Comparison of Inverse Simulation-Based Fault Detection in a Simple Robotic Rover with a Traditional Model-Based Method

Authors: Murray L. Ireland, Kevin J. Worrall, Rebecca Mackenzie, Thaleia Flessa, Euan McGookin, Douglas Thomson


Robotic rovers which are designed to work in extra-terrestrial environments present a unique challenge in terms of the reliability and availability of systems throughout the mission. Should some fault occur, with the nearest human potentially millions of kilometres away, detection and identification of the fault must be performed solely by the robot and its subsystems. Faults in the system sensors are relatively straightforward to detect, through the residuals produced by comparison of the system output with that of a simple model. However, faults in the input, that is, the actuators of the system, are harder to detect. A step change in the input signal, caused potentially by the loss of an actuator, can propagate through the system, resulting in complex residuals in multiple outputs. These residuals can be difficult to isolate or distinguish from residuals caused by environmental disturbances. While a more complex fault detection method or additional sensors could be used to solve these issues, an alternative is presented here. Using inverse simulation (InvSim), the inputs and outputs of the mathematical model of the rover system are reversed. Thus, for a desired trajectory, the corresponding actuator inputs are obtained. A step fault near the input then manifests itself as a step change in the residual between the system inputs and the input trajectory obtained through inverse simulation. This approach avoids the need for additional hardware on a mass- and power-critical system such as the rover. The InvSim fault detection method is applied to a simple four-wheeled rover in simulation. Additive system faults and an external disturbance force and are applied to the vehicle in turn, such that the dynamic response and sensor output of the rover are impacted. Basic model-based fault detection is then employed to provide output residuals which may be analysed to provide information on the fault/disturbance. InvSim-based fault detection is then employed, similarly providing input residuals which provide further information on the fault/disturbance. The input residuals are shown to provide clearer information on the location and magnitude of an input fault than the output residuals. Additionally, they can allow faults to be more clearly discriminated from environmental disturbances.

Keywords: fault detection, ground robot, inverse simulation, rover

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12 Improvement of the Aerodynamic Behaviour of a Land Rover Discovery 4 in Turbulent Flow Using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)

Authors: Ahmed Al-Saadi, Ali Hassanpour, Tariq Mahmud


The main objective of this study is to investigate ways to reduce the aerodynamic drag coefficient and to increase the stability of the full-size Sport Utility Vehicle using three-dimensional Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulation. The baseline model in the simulation was the Land Rover Discovery 4. Many aerodynamic devices and external design modifications were used in this study. These reduction aerodynamic techniques were tested individually or in combination to get the best design. All new models have the same capacity and comfort of the baseline model. Uniform freestream velocity of the air at inlet ranging from 28 m/s to 40 m/s was used. ANSYS Fluent software (version 16.0) was used to simulate all models. The drag coefficient obtained from the ANSYS Fluent for the baseline model was validated with experimental data. It is found that the use of modern aerodynamic add-on devices and modifications has a significant effect in reducing the aerodynamic drag coefficient.

Keywords: aerodynamics, RANS, sport utility vehicle, turbulent flow

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11 A Simple Device for in-Situ Direct Shear and Sinkage Tests

Authors: A. Jerves, H. Ling, J. Gabaldon, M. Usoltceva, C. Couste, A. Agarwal, R. Hurley, J. Andrade


This work introduces a simple device designed to perform in-situ direct shear and sinkage tests on granular materials as sand, clays, or regolith. It consists of a box nested within a larger box. Both have open bottoms, allowing them to be lowered into the material. Afterwards, two rotating plates on opposite sides of the outer box will rotate outwards in order to clear regolith on either side, providing room for the inner box to move relative to the plates and perform a shear test without the resistance of the surrounding soil. From this test, Coulomb parameters, including cohesion and internal friction angle, as well as, Bekker parameters can be in erred. This device has been designed for a laboratory setting, but with few modi cations, could be put on the underside of a rover for use in a remote location. The goal behind this work is to ultimately create a compact, but accurate measuring tool to put onto a rover or any kind of exploratory vehicle to test for regolith properties of celestial bodies.

Keywords: simple shear, friction angle, Bekker parameters, device, regolith

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10 Autonomic Sonar Sensor Fault Manager for Mobile Robots

Authors: Martin Doran, Roy Sterritt, George Wilkie


NASA, ESA, and NSSC space agencies have plans to put planetary rovers on Mars in 2020. For these future planetary rovers to succeed, they will heavily depend on sensors to detect obstacles. This will also become of vital importance in the future, if rovers become less dependent on commands received from earth-based control and more dependent on self-configuration and self-decision making. These planetary rovers will face harsh environments and the possibility of hardware failure is high, as seen in missions from the past. In this paper, we focus on using Autonomic principles where self-healing, self-optimization, and self-adaption are explored using the MAPE-K model and expanding this model to encapsulate the attributes such as Awareness, Analysis, and Adjustment (AAA-3). In the experimentation, a Pioneer P3-DX research robot is used to simulate a planetary rover. The sonar sensors on the P3-DX robot are used to simulate the sensors on a planetary rover (even though in reality, sonar sensors cannot operate in a vacuum). Experiments using the P3-DX robot focus on how our software system can be adapted with the loss of sonar sensor functionality. The autonomic manager system is responsible for the decision making on how to make use of remaining ‘enabled’ sonars sensors to compensate for those sonar sensors that are ‘disabled’. The key to this research is that the robot can still detect objects even with reduced sonar sensor capability.

Keywords: autonomic, self-adaption, self-healing, self-optimization

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9 Long-Term Subcentimeter-Accuracy Landslide Monitoring Using a Cost-Effective Global Navigation Satellite System Rover Network: Case Study

Authors: Vincent Schlageter, Maroua Mestiri, Florian Denzinger, Hugo Raetzo, Michel Demierre


Precise landslide monitoring with differential global navigation satellite system (GNSS) is well known, but technical or economic reasons limit its application by geotechnical companies. This study demonstrates the reliability and the usefulness of Geomon (Infrasurvey Sàrl, Switzerland), a stand-alone and cost-effective rover network. The system permits deploying up to 15 rovers, plus one reference station for differential GNSS. A dedicated radio communication links all the modules to a base station, where an embedded computer automatically provides all the relative positions (L1 phase, open-source RTKLib software) and populates an Internet server. Each measure also contains information from an internal inclinometer, battery level, and position quality indices. Contrary to standard GNSS survey systems, which suffer from a limited number of beacons that must be placed in areas with good GSM signal, Geomon offers greater flexibility and permits a real overview of the whole landslide with good spatial resolution. Each module is powered with solar panels, ensuring autonomous long-term recordings. In this study, we have tested the system on several sites in the Swiss mountains, setting up to 7 rovers per site, for an 18 month-long survey. The aim was to assess the robustness and the accuracy of the system in different environmental conditions. In one case, we ran forced blind tests (vertical movements of a given amplitude) and compared various session parameters (duration from 10 to 90 minutes). Then the other cases were a survey of real landslides sites using fixed optimized parameters. Sub centimetric-accuracy with few outliers was obtained using the best parameters (session duration of 60 minutes, baseline 1 km or less), with the noise level on the horizontal component half that of the vertical one. The performance (percent of aborting solutions, outliers) was reduced with sessions shorter than 30 minutes. The environment also had a strong influence on the percent of aborting solutions (ambiguity search problem), due to multiple reflections or satellites obstructed by trees and mountains. The length of the baseline (distance reference-rover, single baseline processing) reduced the accuracy above 1 km but had no significant effect below this limit. In critical weather conditions, the system’s robustness was limited: snow, avalanche, and frost-covered some rovers, including the antenna and vertically oriented solar panels, leading to data interruption; and strong wind damaged a reference station. The possibility of changing the sessions’ parameters remotely was very useful. In conclusion, the rover network tested provided the foreseen sub-centimetric-accuracy while providing a dense spatial resolution landslide survey. The ease of implementation and the fully automatic long-term survey were timesaving. Performance strongly depends on surrounding conditions, but short pre-measures should allow moving a rover to a better final placement. The system offers a promising hazard mitigation technique. Improvements could include data post-processing for alerts and automatic modification of the duration and numbers of sessions based on battery level and rover displacement velocity.

Keywords: GNSS, GSM, landslide, long-term, network, solar, spatial resolution, sub-centimeter.

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8 Noise Mitigation Techniques to Minimize Electromagnetic Interference/Electrostatic Discharge Effects for the Lunar Mission Spacecraft

Authors: Vabya Kumar Pandit, Mudit Mittal, N. Prahlad Rao, Ramnath Babu


TeamIndus is the only Indian team competing for the Google Lunar XPRIZE(GLXP). The GLXP is a global competition to challenge the private entities to soft land a rover on the moon, travel minimum 500 meters and transmit high definition images and videos to Earth. Towards this goal, the TeamIndus strategy is to design and developed lunar lander that will deliver a rover onto the surface of the moon which will accomplish GLXP mission objectives. This paper showcases the various system level noise control techniques adopted by Electrical Distribution System (EDS), to achieve the required Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) of the spacecraft. The design guidelines followed to control Electromagnetic Interference by proper electronic package design, grounding, shielding, filtering, and cable routing within the stipulated mass budget, are explained. The paper also deals with the challenges of achieving Electromagnetic Cleanliness in presence of various Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) and In-House developed components. The methods of minimizing Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) by identifying the potential noise sources, susceptible areas for charge accumulation and the methodology to prevent arcing inside spacecraft are explained. The paper then provides the EMC requirements matrix derived from the mission requirements to meet the overall Electromagnetic compatibility of the Spacecraft.

Keywords: electromagnetic compatibility, electrostatic discharge, electrical distribution systems, grounding schemes, light weight harnessing

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7 Solar Panel Design Aspects and Challenges for a Lunar Mission

Authors: Mannika Garg, N. Srinivas Murthy, Sunish Nair


TeamIndus is only Indian team participated in the Google Lunar X Prize (GLXP). GLXP is an incentive prize space competition which is organized by the XPrize Foundation and sponsored by Google. The main objective of the mission is to soft land a rover on the moon surface, travel minimum displacement of 500 meters and transmit HD and NRT videos and images to the Earth. Team Indus is designing a Lunar Lander which carries Rover with it and deliver onto the surface of the moon with a soft landing. For lander to survive throughout the mission, energy is required to operate all attitude control sensors, actuators, heaters and other necessary components. Photovoltaic solar array systems are the most common and primary source of power generation for any spacecraft. The scope of this paper is to provide a system-level approach for designing the solar array systems of the lander to generate required power to accomplish the mission. For this mission, the direction of design effort is to higher efficiency, high reliability and high specific power. Towards this approach, highly efficient multi-junction cells have been considered. The design is influenced by other constraints also like; mission profile, chosen spacecraft attitude, overall lander configuration, cost effectiveness and sizing requirements. This paper also addresses the various solar array design challenges such as operating temperature, shadowing, radiation environment and mission life and strategy of supporting required power levels (peak and average). The challenge to generate sufficient power at the time of surface touchdown, due to low sun elevation (El) and azimuth (Az) angle which depends on Lunar landing site, has also been showcased in this paper. To achieve this goal, energy balance analysis has been carried out to study the impact of the above-mentioned factors and to meet the requirements and has been discussed in this paper.

Keywords: energy balance analysis, multi junction solar cells, photovoltaic, reliability, spacecraft attitude

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6 Introducing Global Navigation Satellite System Capabilities into IoT Field-Sensing Infrastructures for Advanced Precision Agriculture Services

Authors: Savvas Rogotis, Nikolaos Kalatzis, Stergios Dimou-Sakellariou, Nikolaos Marianos


As precision holds the key for the introduction of distinct benefits in agriculture (e.g., energy savings, reduced labor costs, optimal application of inputs, improved products, and yields), it steadily becomes evident that new initiatives should focus on rendering Precision Agriculture (PA) more accessible to the average farmer. PA leverages on technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), earth observation, robotics and positioning systems (e.g., the Global Navigation Satellite System – GNSS - as well as individual positioning systems like GPS, Glonass, Galileo) that allow: from simple data georeferencing to optimal navigation of agricultural machinery to even more complex tasks like Variable Rate Applications. An identified customer pain point is that, from one hand, typical triangulation-based positioning systems are not accurate enough (with errors up to several meters), while on the other hand, high precision positioning systems reaching centimeter-level accuracy, are very costly (up to thousands of euros). Within this paper, a Ground-Based Augmentation System (GBAS) is introduced, that can be adapted to any existing IoT field-sensing station infrastructure. The latter should cover a minimum set of requirements, and in particular, each station should operate as a fixed, obstruction-free towards the sky, energy supplying unit. Station augmentation will allow them to function in pairs with GNSS rovers following the differential GNSS base-rover paradigm. This constitutes a key innovation element for the proposed solution that encompasses differential GNSS capabilities into an IoT field-sensing infrastructure. Integrating this kind of information supports the provision of several additional PA beneficial services such as spatial mapping, route planning, and automatic field navigation of unmanned vehicles (UVs). Right at the heart of the designed system, there is a high-end GNSS toolkit with base-rover variants and Real-Time Kinematic (RTK) capabilities. The GNSS toolkit had to tackle all availability, performance, interfacing, and energy-related challenges that are faced for a real-time, low-power, and reliable in the field operation. Specifically, in terms of performance, preliminary findings exhibit a high rover positioning precision that can even reach less than 10-centimeters. As this precision is propagated to the full dataset collection, it enables tractors, UVs, Android-powered devices, and measuring units to deal with challenging real-world scenarios. The system is validated with the help of Gaiatrons, a mature network of agro-climatic telemetry stations with presence all over Greece and beyond ( > 60.000ha of agricultural land covered) that constitutes part of “gaiasense” ( smart farming (SF) solution. Gaiatrons constantly monitor atmospheric and soil parameters, thus, providing exact fit to operational requirements asked from modern SF infrastructures. Gaiatrons are ultra-low-cost, compact, and energy-autonomous stations with a modular design that enables the integration of advanced GNSS base station capabilities on top of them. A set of demanding pilot demonstrations has been initiated in Stimagka, Greece, an area with a diverse geomorphological landscape where grape cultivation is particularly popular. Pilot demonstrations are in the course of validating the preliminary system findings in its intended environment, tackle all technical challenges, and effectively highlight the added-value offered by the system in action.

Keywords: GNSS, GBAS, precision agriculture, RTK, smart farming

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5 Next-Generation Lunar and Martian Laser Retro-Reflectors

Authors: Simone Dell'Agnello


There are laser retroreflectors on the Moon and no laser retroreflectors on Mars. Here we describe the design, construction, qualification and imminent deployment of next-generation, optimized laser retroreflectors on the Moon and on Mars (where they will be the first ones). These instruments are positioned by time-of-flight measurements of short laser pulses, the so-called 'laser ranging' technique. Data analysis is carried out with PEP, the Planetary Ephemeris Program of CfA (Center for Astrophysics). Since 1969 Lunar Laser Ranging (LLR) to Apollo/Lunokhod laser retro-reflector (CCR) arrays supplied accurate tests of General Relativity (GR) and new gravitational physics: possible changes of the gravitational constant Gdot/G, weak and strong equivalence principle, gravitational self-energy (Parametrized Post Newtonian parameter beta), geodetic precession, inverse-square force-law; it can also constraint gravitomagnetism. Some of these measurements also allowed for testing extensions of GR, including spacetime torsion, non-minimally coupled gravity. LLR has also provides significant information on the composition of the deep interior of the Moon. In fact, LLR first provided evidence of the existence of a fluid component of the deep lunar interior. In 1969 CCR arrays contributed a negligible fraction of the LLR error budget. Since laser station range accuracy improved by more than a factor 100, now, because of lunar librations, current array dominate the error due to their multi-CCR geometry. We developed a next-generation, single, large CCR, MoonLIGHT (Moon Laser Instrumentation for General relativity high-accuracy test) unaffected by librations that supports an improvement of the space segment of the LLR accuracy up to a factor 100. INFN also developed INRRI (INstrument for landing-Roving laser Retro-reflector Investigations), a microreflector to be laser-ranged by orbiters. Their performance is characterized at the SCF_Lab (Satellite/lunar laser ranging Characterization Facilities Lab, INFN-LNF, Frascati, Italy) for their deployment on the lunar surface or the cislunar space. They will be used to accurately position landers, rovers, hoppers, orbiters of Google Lunar X Prize and space agency missions, thanks to LLR observations from station of the International Laser Ranging Service in the USA, in France and in Italy. INRRI was launched in 2016 with the ESA mission ExoMars (Exobiology on Mars) EDM (Entry, descent and landing Demonstration Module), deployed on the Schiaparelli lander and is proposed for the ExoMars 2020 Rover. Based on an agreement between NASA and ASI (Agenzia Spaziale Italiana), another microreflector, LaRRI (Laser Retro-Reflector for InSight), was delivered to JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) and integrated on NASA’s InSight Mars Lander in August 2017 (launch scheduled in May 2018). Another microreflector, LaRA (Laser Retro-reflector Array) will be delivered to JPL for deployment on the NASA Mars 2020 Rover. The first lunar landing opportunities will be from early 2018 (with TeamIndus) to late 2018 with commercial missions, followed by opportunities with space agency missions, including the proposed deployment of MoonLIGHT and INRRI on NASA’s Resource Prospectors and its evolutions. In conclusion, we will extend significantly the CCR Lunar Geophysical Network and populate the Mars Geophysical Network. These networks will enable very significantly improved tests of GR.

Keywords: general relativity, laser retroreflectors, lunar laser ranging, Mars geodesy

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4 Pilot Induced Oscillations Adaptive Suppression in Fly-By-Wire Systems

Authors: Herlandson C. Moura, Jorge H. Bidinotto, Eduardo M. Belo


The present work proposes the development of an adaptive control system which enables the suppression of Pilot Induced Oscillations (PIO) in Digital Fly-By-Wire (DFBW) aircrafts. The proposed system consists of a Modified Model Reference Adaptive Control (M-MRAC) integrated with the Gain Scheduling technique. The PIO oscillations are detected using a Real Time Oscillation Verifier (ROVER) algorithm, which then enables the system to switch between two reference models; one in PIO condition, with low proneness to the phenomenon and another one in normal condition, with high (or medium) proneness. The reference models are defined in a closed loop condition using the Linear Quadratic Regulator (LQR) control methodology for Multiple-Input-Multiple-Output (MIMO) systems. The implemented algorithms are simulated in software implementations with state space models and commercial flight simulators as the controlled elements and with pilot dynamics models. A sequence of pitch angles is considered as the reference signal, named as Synthetic Task (Syntask), which must be tracked by the pilot models. The initial outcomes show that the proposed system can detect and suppress (or mitigate) the PIO oscillations in real time before it reaches high amplitudes.

Keywords: adaptive control, digital Fly-By-Wire, oscillations suppression, PIO

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3 A Tutorial on Model Predictive Control for Spacecraft Maneuvering Problem with Theory, Experimentation and Applications

Authors: O. B. Iskender, K. V. Ling, V. Dubanchet, L. Simonini


This paper discusses the recent advances and future prospects of spacecraft position and attitude control using Model Predictive Control (MPC). First, the challenges of the space missions are summarized, in particular, taking into account the errors, uncertainties, and constraints imposed by the mission, spacecraft and, onboard processing capabilities. The summary of space mission errors and uncertainties provided in categories; initial condition errors, unmodeled disturbances, sensor, and actuator errors. These previous constraints are classified into two categories: physical and geometric constraints. Last, real-time implementation capability is discussed regarding the required computation time and the impact of sensor and actuator errors based on the Hardware-In-The-Loop (HIL) experiments. The rationales behind the scenarios’ are also presented in the scope of space applications as formation flying, attitude control, rendezvous and docking, rover steering, and precision landing. The objectives of these missions are explained, and the generic constrained MPC problem formulations are summarized. Three key design elements used in MPC design: the prediction model, the constraints formulation and the objective cost function are discussed. The prediction models can be linear time invariant or time varying depending on the geometry of the orbit, whether it is circular or elliptic. The constraints can be given as linear inequalities for input or output constraints, which can be written in the same form. Moreover, the recent convexification techniques for the non-convex geometrical constraints (i.e., plume impingement, Field-of-View (FOV)) are presented in detail. Next, different objectives are provided in a mathematical framework and explained accordingly. Thirdly, because MPC implementation relies on finding in real-time the solution to constrained optimization problems, computational aspects are also examined. In particular, high-speed implementation capabilities and HIL challenges are presented towards representative space avionics. This covers an analysis of future space processors as well as the requirements of sensors and actuators on the HIL experiments outputs. The HIL tests are investigated for kinematic and dynamic tests where robotic arms and floating robots are used respectively. Eventually, the proposed algorithms and experimental setups are introduced and compared with the authors' previous work and future plans. The paper concludes with a conjecture that MPC paradigm is a promising framework at the crossroads of space applications while could be further advanced based on the challenges mentioned throughout the paper and the unaddressed gap.

Keywords: convex optimization, model predictive control, rendezvous and docking, spacecraft autonomy

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2 Raman Spectroscopy of Fossil-like Feature in Sooke #1 from Vancouver Island

Authors: J. A. Sawicki, C. Ebrahimi


The first geochemical, petrological, X-ray diffraction, Raman, Mössbauer, and oxygen isotopic analyses of very intriguing 13-kg Sooke #1 stone covered in 70% of its surface with black fusion crust, found in and recovered from Sooke Basin, near Juan de Fuca Strait, in British Columbia, were reported as poster #2775 at LPSC52 in March. Our further analyses reported in poster #6305 at 84AMMS in August and comparisons with the Mössbauer spectra of Martian meteorite MIL03346 and Martian rocks in Gusev Crater reported by Morris et al. suggest that Sooke #1 find could be a stony achondrite of Martian polymict breccia type ejected from early watery Mars. Here, the Raman spectra of a carbon-rich ~1-mm² fossil-like white area identified in this rock on a surface of polished cut have been examined in more detail. The low-intensity 532 nm and 633 nm beams of the InviaRenishaw microscope were used to avoid any destructive effects. The beam was focused through the microscope objective to a 2 m spot on a sample, and backscattered light collected through this objective was recorded with CCD detector. Raman spectra of dark areas outside fossil have shown bands of clinopyroxene at 320, 660, and 1020 cm-1 and small peaks of forsteritic olivine at 820-840 cm-1, in agreement with results of X-ray diffraction and Mössbauer analyses. Raman spectra of the white area showed the broad band D at ~1310 cm-1 consisting of main mode A1g at 1305 cm⁻¹, E2g mode at 1245 cm⁻¹, and E1g mode at 1355 cm⁻¹ due to stretching diamond-like sp3 bonds in diamond polytype lonsdaleite, as in Ovsyuk et al. study. The band near 1600 cm-1 mostly consists of D2 band at 1620 cm-1 and not of the narrower G band at 1583 cm⁻¹ due to E2g stretching in planar sp2 bonds that are fundamental building blocks of carbon allotropes graphite and graphene. In addition, the broad second-order Raman bands were observed with 532 nm beam at 2150, ~2340, ~2500, 2650, 2800, 2970, 3140, and ~3300 cm⁻¹ shifts. Second-order bands in diamond and other carbon structures are ascribed to the combinations of bands observed in the first-order region: here 2650 cm⁻¹ as 2D, 2970 cm⁻¹ as D+G, and 3140 cm⁻¹ as 2G ones. Nanodiamonds are abundant in the Universe, found in meteorites, interplanetary dust particles, comets, and carbon-rich stars. The diamonds in meteorites are presently intensely investigated using Raman spectroscopy. Such particles can be formed by CVD process and during major impact shocks at ~1000-2300 K and ~30-40 GPa. It cannot be excluded that the fossil discovered in Sooke #1 could be a remnant of an alien carbon organism that transformed under shock impact to nanodiamonds. We trust that for the benefit of research in astro-bio-geology of meteorites, asteroids, Martian rocks, and soil, this find deserves further, more thorough investigations. If possible, the Raman SHERLOCK spectrometer operating on the Perseverance Rover should also search for such objects in the Martian rocks.

Keywords: achondrite, nanodiamonds, lonsdaleite, raman spectra

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1 Solar and Galactic Cosmic Ray Impacts on Ambient Dose Equivalent Considering a Flight Path Statistic Representative to World-Traffic

Authors: G. Hubert, S. Aubry


The earth is constantly bombarded by cosmic rays that can be of either galactic or solar origin. Thus, humans are exposed to high levels of galactic radiation due to altitude aircraft. The typical total ambient dose equivalent for a transatlantic flight is about 50 μSv during quiet solar activity. On the contrary, estimations differ by one order of magnitude for the contribution induced by certain solar particle events. Indeed, during Ground Level Enhancements (GLE) event, the Sun can emit particles of sufficient energy and intensity to raise radiation levels on Earth's surface. Analyses of GLE characteristics occurring since 1942 showed that for the worst of them, the dose level is of the order of 1 mSv and more. The largest of these events was observed on February 1956 for which the ambient dose equivalent rate is in the orders of 10 mSv/hr. The extra dose at aircraft altitudes for a flight during this event might have been about 20 mSv, i.e. comparable with the annual limit for aircrew. The most recent GLE, occurred on September 2017 resulting from an X-class solar flare, and it was measured on the surface of both the Earth and Mars using the Radiation Assessment Detector on the Mars Science Laboratory's Curiosity Rover. Recently, Hubert et al. proposed a GLE model included in a particle transport platform (named ATMORAD) describing the extensive air shower characteristics and allowing to assess the ambient dose equivalent. In this approach, the GCR is based on the Force-Field approximation model. The physical description of the Solar Cosmic Ray (i.e. SCR) considers the primary differential rigidity spectrum and the distribution of primary particles at the top of the atmosphere. ATMORAD allows to determine the spectral fluence rate of secondary particles induced by extensive showers, considering altitude range from ground to 45 km. Ambient dose equivalent can be determined using fluence-to-ambient dose equivalent conversion coefficients. The objective of this paper is to analyze the GCR and SCR impacts on ambient dose equivalent considering a high number statistic of world-flight paths. Flight trajectories are based on the Eurocontrol Demand Data Repository (DDR) and consider realistic flight plan with and without regulations or updated with Radar Data from CFMU (Central Flow Management Unit). The final paper will present exhaustive analyses implying solar impacts on ambient dose equivalent level and will propose detailed analyses considering route and airplane characteristics (departure, arrival, continent, airplane type etc.), and the phasing of the solar event. Preliminary results show an important impact of the flight path, particularly the latitude which drives the cutoff rigidity variations. Moreover, dose values vary drastically during GLE events, on the one hand with the route path (latitude, longitude altitude), on the other hand with the phasing of the solar event. Considering the GLE occurred on 23 February 1956, the average ambient dose equivalent evaluated for a flight Paris - New York is around 1.6 mSv, which is relevant to previous works This point highlights the importance of monitoring these solar events and of developing semi-empirical and particle transport method to obtain a reliable calculation of dose levels.

Keywords: cosmic ray, human dose, solar flare, aviation

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