Open Science Research Excellence
@article{(International Science Index):,
  title    = {Micro-Penetrator for Canadian Planetary Exploration},
  author    = {Michaela Skulinova and  Wanping Zheng and  Yan-Ru Hu and  Yvan Soucy},
  country   = {},
  abstract  = {Space exploration is a highly visible endeavour of
humankind to seek profound answers to questions about the origins
of our solar system, whether life exists beyond Earth, and how we
could live on other worlds. Different platforms have been utilized in
planetary exploration missions, such as orbiters, landers, rovers, and
Having low mass, good mechanical contact with the surface,
ability to acquire high quality scientific subsurface data, and ability to
be deployed in areas that may not be conducive to landers or rovers,
Penetrators provide an alternative and complimentary solution that
makes possible scientific exploration of hardly accessible sites (icy
areas, gully sites, highlands etc.).
The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) has put space exploration as
one of the pillars of its space program, and established ExCo program
to prepare Canada for future international planetary exploration.
ExCo sets surface mobility as its focus and priority, and invests
mainly in the development of rovers because of Canada's niche space
robotics technology. Meanwhile, CSA is also investigating how
micro-penetrators can help Canada to fulfill its scientific objectives
for planetary exploration.
This paper presents a review of the micro-penetrator technologies,
past missions, and lessons learned. It gives a detailed analysis of the
technical challenges of micro-penetrators, such as high impact
survivability, high precision guidance navigation and control, thermal
protection, communications, and etc. Then, a Canadian perspective of
a possible micro-penetrator mission is given, including Canadian
scientific objectives and priorities, potential instruments, and flight
  {International Journal of Mechanical and Materials Engineering },  volume    = {5},
  number    = {7},
  year      = {2011},
  pages     = {1332 - 1339},
  ee        = {},
  url       = {},
  bibsource = {},
  issn      = {eISSN:1307-6892},
  publisher = {World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology},
  index     = {International Science Index 55, 2011},