6 July 2018 VAMOS: a SmallSat mission concept for remote sensing of Venusian seismic activity from orbit
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The apparent youthfulness of Venus’ surface features, given a lack of plate tectonics, is very intriguing; however, longduration seismic observations are essentially impossible given the inhospitable surface of Venus. The Venus Airglow Measurements and Orbiter for Seismicity (VAMOS) mission concept uses the fact that the dense Venusian atmosphere conducts seismic vibrations from the surface to the airglow layer of the ionosphere, as observed on Earth. Similarly, atmospheric gravity waves have been observed by the European Venus Express’s Visible and Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer (VIRTIS) instrument. Such observations would enable VAMOS to determine the crustal structure and ionospheric variability of Venus without approaching the surface or atmosphere. Equipped with an instrument of modest size and mass, the baseline VAMOS spacecraft is designed to fit within an ESPA Grande form factor and travel to Venus predominantly under its own power. Trade studies have been conducted to determine mission architecture robustness to launch and rideshare opportunities. The VAMOS mission concept was studied at JPL as part of the NASA Planetary Science Deep Space SmallSat Studies (PSDS3) program, which has not only produced a viable and exciting mission concept for a Venus SmallSat, but has also examined many issues facing the development of SmallSats for planetary exploration, such as SmallSat solar electric propulsion, autonomy, telecommunications, and resource management that can be applied to various inner solar system mission architectures.
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Brian M. Sutin, Brian M. Sutin, James Cutts, James Cutts, Alan M. Didion, Alan M. Didion, Mélanie Drilleau, Mélanie Drilleau, Matthew Grawe, Matthew Grawe, Jörn Helbert, Jörn Helbert, Ashley Karp, Ashley Karp, Balthasar Kenda, Balthasar Kenda, Attila Komjathy, Attila Komjathy, Siddharth Krishnamoorthy, Siddharth Krishnamoorthy, Gregory Lantoine, Gregory Lantoine, Philippe Lognonné, Philippe Lognonné, Jonathan J. Makela, Jonathan J. Makela, Barry Nakazono, Barry Nakazono, Mayer Rud, Mayer Rud, Mark Wallace, Mark Wallace, "VAMOS: a SmallSat mission concept for remote sensing of Venusian seismic activity from orbit", Proc. SPIE 10698, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2018: Optical, Infrared, and Millimeter Wave, 106985T (6 July 2018); doi: 10.1117/12.2309439; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2309439

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