Study of the rotational state of Titan using radio tracking data of the Dragonfly mission

Prokazov, Roman (2022) Study of the rotational state of Titan using radio tracking data of the Dragonfly mission. [Laurea magistrale], Università di Bologna, Corso di Studio in Aerospace engineering / ingegneria aerospaziale [LM-DM270] - Forli', Documento ad accesso riservato.
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Our solar system contains an impressive amount of celestial bodies. For example Saturn posses a huge variety of natural satellites, the diversity in size and physical proprieties of which might amaze imagination. The observational data gathered in 30 years range of deep space missions revealed, that some of these bodies can hide subsurface oceans under their crust. The water, as we know, serves as a fundamental base for a possible appearance of life. This statement is quite exited for the scientific society and serves as a reason for studying so called ”ocean worlds”. In order to detect the celestial bodies with the hidden subsurface ocean, one of the key aspects is the study of their rotational state, which is strongly coupled with the body internal structure. It can be done through the various techniques mentioned in Chapter 1. The main goal of the thesis is the study of rotational state of Titan, whose interior structure expectedly contains liquid ocean layer under its icy crust. Titan is the largest moon of Saturn and it is the second largest moon in the solar system in general. This natural satellite is of particular scientific interest, because it is one of a kind which has substantial atmosphere. The present work was done using radio tracking data of the Dragonfly mission which is one of the next NASA’s missions destined for Titan selected as a part of the New Frontiers Program in 2019. The detailed characteristic of the Dragonfly regarding the landing site and mission lifetime was reported in Chapter 2. The radio-tracking communication link from Titan side was performed using Dragonfly X band transponder according to the schedule tracking opportunity. From Earth side according to the mission, Deep Space Station 25 which is a part of NASA’s Deep Space Network was considered. Only Doppler data was used for studying Titan rotational state, even though there are other reliable techniques described in Chapter 3, that in general could be implemented.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di laurea (Laurea magistrale)
Autore della tesi
Prokazov, Roman
Relatore della tesi
Correlatore della tesi
Corso di studio
Ordinamento Cds
Parole chiave
Titan, rotational state, Dragonfly, uncertainties, Doppler, MONTE
Data di discussione della Tesi
26 Maggio 2022

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