On the Analytical Models of Protoplanetary Formation in Extrasolar SystemsRead the full article
Open Access journal Space: Science & Technology, published in association with BIT, promotes the interplay of science and technology for the benefit of all application domains of space activities. It particularly welcomes articles illustrating successful synergies in space programs and missions.
Space: Science & Technology’s editorial board is led by Peijian Ye (China Academy of Space Technology), and it includes experts who have been carefully selected to include all domains of sciences and technologies covered by space missions of different types.
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Overview of the CHILL-ICE 2021 Science Experiments and Research Campaign
The main objective of the CHILL-ICE (Construction of a Habitat Inside a Lunar-analogue Lava tube—Iceland; a campaign by ICEE Space and EuroMoonMars) prototype mission was to deploy an inflatable habitat and its systems inside a lunar analogue lava tube. This took place during an 8-hour extra vehicular activity (EVA) with three analogue astronauts as part of a three-day mission. CHILL-ICE 2021 was carried out in July/August 2021 and consisted of two missions and was accomplished through successful collaboration of nonprofit research organizations, agencies, companies, and universities across 16 nations. The pilot campaign successfully reached its main objective: the testing of emergency equipment designed to help astronauts survive when first arriving to a new celestial body and to perform experiments similar to those that would be carried out off-planet. This article is a review of the scientific research experiments carried out during and after the mission: SpotNet, an artificial intelligence (AI) astronaut detection vision system; training for studies of the geological surroundings examined during EVAs; astronaut vigilance experiments carried out before, during, and after the mission; and Lunar Zebro, a legged rover intended to assist the crew in traversing and exploring harsh terrain.
Karst Cave as Terrestrial Simulation Platform to Test and Design Human Base in Lunar Lava Tube
Developing efficient approaches to building a suitable environment for humans on the moon play a key role in future long-term sustainable lunar exploration activities, which has motivated many countries to propose diverse plans to build a lunar base. The lava tubes discovered by the Kaguya mission offer huge potential sites to host such bases. Through computation and analysis, we show that lunar lava tubes offer stable structures, suitable temperatures, low radiation doses, and low meteorite impact rates. We summarize previous research results and put forward the conditions to find and use a suitable lunar lava tube for human habitation on the moon. The establishment of extraterrestrial bases still faces many technical bottlenecks; many countries have begun to use the earth’s environment for extraterrestrial exploration and simulation missions. In this regard, we proposed the idea of using the Earth’s karst caves to simulate extraterrestrial lava tubes, selected caves in Chongqing as the simulation site, and demonstrated the feasibility from both structural and environmental aspects. Finally, we proposed a karst cave simulation platform with three main research directions: cave sealing technology, efficient daylight system, and internal circulation research of artificial ecosystems containing natural soil and rock. We hope to promote the development of related research on extraterrestrial bases through simulation experiments.
Challenges of Artificial Intelligence in Space Medicine
The human body undergoes many changes during long-duration spaceflight including musculoskeletal, visual, and behavioral changes. Several of these microgravity-induced effects serve as potential barriers to future exploration missions. The advent of artificial intelligence (AI) in medicine has progressed rapidly and has many promising applications for maintaining and monitoring astronaut health during spaceflight. However, the austere environment and unique nature of spaceflight present with challenges in successfully training and deploying successful systems for upholding astronaut health and mission performance. In this article, the dynamic barriers facing AI development in space medicine are explored. These diverse challenges range from limited astronaut data for algorithm training to ethical/legal considerations in deploying automated diagnostic systems in the setting of the medically limited space environment. How to address these challenges is then discussed and future directions for this emerging field of research.
Angle-Only Target Tracking Method for Optical Imaging Micro-/Nanosatellite Based on APSO-SSUKF
To ensure the safety of the space station and improve the accuracy of the estimated trajectory tracking of noncooperative target, an optical imaging micro-/nanosatellite based on APSO-SSUKF (adaptive particle swarm optimization-spherical simplex unscented Kalman filter) is proposed to track low-orbit target using angle-only measurement. First, the algorithm considers the effect of J2 perturbation, uses the angle-only data as the observation vector, and uses spherical simplex unscented Kalman filter (SSUKF) to reduce the cost of calculation of the UKF in space noncooperative target tracking. Secondly, it is proposed to use the actual and theoretical covariance of the innovation sequence for real-time estimation of measurement noise, designing the adaptive particle swarm optimization (APSO) algorithm for real-time tracking of the process noise in the SSUKF that improves the accuracy of the filter in angle-only tracking. Finally, the tracking simulation of low-orbit satellite is carried out by using optical imaging micro-/nanosatellite, and the result shows that, compared with UKF, SSUKF, and PSO-SSUKF, APSO-SSUKF reduces the root mean square of the error in predicting the position in space target tracking by 45.44%, 35.26%, and 20.94%, and APSO-SSUKF reduces the root mean square of the error in velocity by 45.58%, 33.53%, and 16.33%, respectively; in the angle-tracking target, APSO-SSUKF improves the convergence and estimated accuracy of the algorithm in tracking.
Numerical Study on Aerodynamic Performance of Mars Parachute Models with Geometric Porosities
The supersonic flows around rigid parachute-like two-body configurations are numerically simulated at Mach number of 1.978 by solving three-dimensional compressible Navier-Stokes equations, where the two-body model consists of a capsule and a canopy, and a geometric structure (i.e., gap) is located on the canopy surface. The objective of this study is to investigate the effects of gaps with different porosities and positions on the aerodynamic performance of supersonic parachute. The complicated periodic aerodynamic interactions between the capsule wake and canopy shock occur around these two-body models. From the formation of canopy shock and drag coefficient variation, the cycled flow structures can be divided into three types:(1) narrow wake period, (2) open wake period, and (3) middle wake period. In addition, it was found that the geometric gaps have no obvious influences on the flow modes. However, compared with models with different gap positions, the two-body model with an upper gap (gap is close to the canopy vent, UG model) has a smaller drag coefficient fluctuation and better lateral stability. On the other side, the increase of porosity has a more significant impact on UG models.
Advances in Space Robots