Validation of the Dynamics Simulator for Entry, Descent and Surface Landing (DSENDS)
High-fidelity physics-based simulations of Entry, Descent and Landing (EDL) on Mars are key to mission success for current and future Mars missions. As these mission get more complex with new features such as guided entry, high-altitude landing and precision targeting, the requirements on fidelity increase. Furthermore, as the simulations get more complex to accommodate these increased fidelity needs, there is a greater need to confirm the results of one simulation with another independent simulation.
Our goal is have a fully validated six degrees-of-freedom (6-DOF) tool to independently validate the NASA Langley POST (Program to Optimize Simulated Trajectories) 6-DOF simulations for future Mars missions. In support of this, we will validate the DSENDS 6-DOF capabilities in two critical domains (i) hypersonic flight, and (ii) parachute flight. While powered descent is also a critical aspect of EDL, the underlying Darts/Dshell capabilities in DSENDS have been fully validated for thruster/multi-body systems and does not need to be addressed in this effort.