Tier-scalable reconnaissance missions for the autonomous exploration of planetary bodies

Wolfgang Fink, James M. Dohm, Mark A. Tarbell, Trent M. Hare, Victor Baker, Dirk Schulze-Makuch, Roberto Furfaro, Alberto G. Fairén, Paul A Ferre, Hideaki Miyamoto, Goro Komatsu, William C. Mahaney

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

33 Scopus citations


A fundamentally new (scientific) reconnaissance mission concept, termed tier-scalable reconnaissance, for remote planetary (including Earth) atmospheric, surface and subsurface exploration recently has been devised [1-5] that soon will replace the engineering and safety constrained mission designs of the past, allowing for optimal acquisition of geologic, paleohydrologic, paleoclimatic, and possible astrobiologic information of Venus, Mars, Europa, Ganymede, Titan, Enceladus, Triton, and other extraterrestrial targets [6, 7]. This paradigm is equally applicable to potentially hazardous or inaccessible operational areas on Earth such as those related to military or terrorist activities, or areas that have been exposed to biochemical agents, radiation, or natural disasters. Traditional missions have performed local, ground-level reconnaissance through rovers and immobile landers, or global mapping performed by an orbiter. The former is safety and engineering constrained, affording limited detailed reconnaissance of a single site at the expense of a regional understanding, while the latter returns immense datasets, often overlooking detailed information of local and regional significance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationIEEE Aerospace Conference Proceedings
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Event2007 IEEE Aerospace Conference - Big Sky, MT, United States
Duration: Mar 3 2007Mar 10 2007


Other2007 IEEE Aerospace Conference
CountryUnited States
CityBig Sky, MT


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering

Cite this

Fink, W., Dohm, J. M., Tarbell, M. A., Hare, T. M., Baker, V., Schulze-Makuch, D., ... Mahaney, W. C. (2007). Tier-scalable reconnaissance missions for the autonomous exploration of planetary bodies. In IEEE Aerospace Conference Proceedings [4161289] https://doi.org/10.1109/AERO.2007.352715