DPS 2001 meeting, November 2001
Session 14. Decadal Survey Posters
Displayed, 9:00am Tuesday - 3:00pm Saturday, Highlighted, Tuesday, November 27, 2001, 5:00-7:00pm, French Market Exhibit Hall

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[14.01] Instrument Technology Development: Key Enabling-Technologies for the Future of Planetary Science

J. P. Hoffman (Jet Propulsion Laboratory), J. R. Piepmeier (NASA/GSFC)

What are the enabling technologies for the next decade of planetary exploration?

The Instrumentation Technology Development Panel (ITD) is working to identify the areas of recent innovation and continuing deficiency in instrument technology as it pertains to planetary science goals and missions. Collaboration between science and technology aspects of all planetary science disciplines is crucial to the success of this task.

While it is obvious that mission success, even mission plausibility, is strongly dependent on technical capability, it is, perhaps, less obvious that improvements in technology can also lead to a greater number and/or new types of missions. Therefore, we are interested not only in identifying new types of instrumentation, but also in improving existing (even mature) technologies by reducing size, complexity, and cost. Improvements of this type not only lower mission costs, but also enable more complex instrument suites to be considered for advanced data fusion measurement concepts. We need to identify the short-term and long-term technological needs (new instruments) and bottlenecks (better instruments) for each of the planetary science disciplines and we need input from every discipline to do this.

Certain disciplines may feel little pressure to invest time and money into ITD since their instruments are mature. However, if mature technologies can be made less expensive and smaller, more opportunities for science will become available by enabling previously impossible secondary mission instruments.

Currently identified areas requiring technology development:

- Deployable large (10's of meters) microwave antennas - FIR (sub/mmwave) detectors and antennas - Extreme-temperature semiconductors for Venus (high-temp), Titan (low-temp) - Low power rad-hard electronics - Rad-hard on-board processing power - Increased DSN capacity - Optical interplanetary communications - Lightweight deployable optics - Lightweight, inexpensive, in-situ atmospheric probes

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: james.hoffman@jpl.nasa.gov

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