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"ICICLES" Project Completes Early Mission Infusion Review for the Science Mission Directorate
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"ICICLES" Project Completes Early Mission Infusion Review for the Science Mission Directorate

The Intelligence for Choosing Icy Candidate Landing and Exploration Sites (ICICLES) project has completed a Technical Infusion Gap Review (TIGR) for the Science Mission Directorate (SMD). The TIGR confirmed the relevance of the lander perception technology developed by the project for Icy Worlds lander missions. Routes for Technology Readiness Level (TRL) maturation and eventual infusion to the Europa Lander mission were also explored. The project was evaluated by an independent panel of mission and science experts from Ames and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). ICICLES was the first such TIGR review completed by any project under the SMD Concepts for Ocean worlds Life Detection TECHnology (COLDTech) program, a major milestone for a low-TRL research project.

BACKGROUND: ICICLES is a two-year, openly competed project funded by SMD. ICICLES is developing novel robotic technologies to reduce risk and improve science outcomes when landing on icy surfaces, such as the frozen moons of Europa (orbiting Jupiter) and Enceladus (orbiting Saturn). The project is tackling two main technology gaps with its current approaches: 1) robust perception of features and hazards on icy surfaces, and 2) incorporating science-valued decision-making in the autonomous Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL) process. ICICLES is adapting non-traditional sensors such as thermal and multispectral imagers for real-time navigation, and developing software for predicting the science value of landing sites from remote sensing information.

NASA PROGRAM FUNDING: Concepts for Ocean worlds Life Detection TECHnology (COLDTech) program, Science Mission Directorate

COLLABORATORS: Xavier Bouyssounousse, Michael Dille, Terry Fong, Michael Furlong, and Uland Wong (PI)

POINT OF CONTACT: Uland Wong, uland.wong@nasa.gov

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