Thermal Design of the BEAGLE 2 Gas Analysis Package – The Martian Life Detector 2001-01-2281
Beagle 2 is the British led Martian Lander which will be transported to Mars by the Mars Express spacecraft, due for launch in 2003.
The Beagle2 Gas Analysis Package (GAP) is designed to analyse samples of the Martian soil and atmosphere collected by the Beagle2 lander equipment, for evidence of the chemical signatures of the biological processes associated with life.
The GAP has been designed to process complex gas mixtures obtained both from the Martian atmosphere and as a result of thermal (pyrolysis) and chemical (combustion and fluorination) processing of solid samples within the Sample Handling and Distribution System (SHADS).
The temperature requirement within the heated section of the chemical reactors is upward of 1000°C. However there is a need to maintain the external surface of the reactor at a low temperature, so as not to have adverse effects on others parts of the equipment. The design of the Beagle 2 reactors has to be such as to perform the life detection analysis in a Martian atmosphere while minimising their effect on other GAP components.
This paper discusses the thermal needs, modelling and design of the GAP Martian Life Detector.