Irma: A Graphical Tool for Interplanetary Mission Design
Professor Giancarlo Genta
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Politecnico di Torino, Italy
Designing an interplanetary mission is a complex task and requires the choice of the launch opportunity and of the exact launch and arrival dates. Depending on these choices, the trajectory must be defined and, in case of continuous thrust, also the thrust profile needs to be optimized.
Traditionally, these choices are made using some plots which allow to find a good compromise between the travel duration and the cost of the mission, which is often expressed in terms of initial mass in Earth orbit (IMLEO). IRMA (InterPlanetary Mission Analysis) code, based on the MatLab environment, is here described which allows to deal with both impulsive propulsion (using the patched conics approach) and low continuous thrust (Soral or Nuclear electric or propellantless (solar sails). A specific solver, based on indirect optimization techniques, has been developed specifically for this program, but IRMA can be used also as an interface for standard solvers, based on direct methods, like the FALCON.m code.
The present paper shows a comparison between different approaches and methods, used to solve different interplanetary mission analysis problems, including two-ways journeys, giving particular emphasis to future human planetary missions
Brief Biography of the Speaker:
Giancarlo Genta got a degree in Aeronautical Engineering in 1971 and one in Aerospace Engineering in 1972 at the Politecnico di Torino. The he became assistant professor of Machine Design at the same University. He taught a course in Astronautical Propulsion and then he lectured in Motor Vehicle Mechanics. In 1983 he became Associate Professor of Design of Aircraft Engines at the School of Aerospace Engineering of Politecnico di Torino and then he became full Professor in Machine Design. From 1989 to 1995 he was head of the Department of Mechanics at Politecnico di Torino.
From 1998 to 2015 he coordinated the PhD course in Mechatronics at the PhD School of Politecnico di Torino.
He gave courses in Italy and abroad in the context of different programs for Developing Countries in Kenya, Somalia, India and at the International Labour Office.
He is responsible for the courses in Automotive Engineering of Politecnico di Torino.
Since 1999 he is a member of the Academy of Sciences of Torino and since 2006 he is a member (corresponding member since 2001) of the International Academy of Astronautics.
In 2013 he received the International Yangel Medal for Outstanding Contributions to the development of space sciences and technologies and, in the same year, received the Engineering Science Award for outstanding achievement in engineering science of the International Academy of Astronautics.
He performed research, mainly in the field of machine design, in particular dealing with static and dynamic structural analysis. He worked in the field of magnetic suspension systems and in general of the dynamics of controlled systems. He was one of the promoters of the Interdepartmental Laboratory of Mechatronics which works in the areas of magnetic bearings (active, passive, and superconducting) and mobile robots. Since 1996 he deals with space systems and space robotics.
Since 2012 he heads the IAA Study Group on Human Mars Exploration (SG 3.16, and then SG 3.27).
He is a member of the Advisory Board of the Starshot Project.
He participated to the design and construction of experimental equipment that are currently part of the Laboratory of the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department of the Politecnico di Torino.
He is the author of over 350 scientific papers covering various sectors of mechanical design, published in scientific journals or presented at conferences, and of 4 patents. He is the author of 24 books, including textbooks, research monographies and popular science books.
He is also the author of two science fiction novels, published in Italian and English