Titan Terrestrial and Nautical Investigation Craft (TiTANIC)
Anthony Bentley, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM; Nathan Boll, University of Montana Western, Dillon, MT, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI; Kier Fortier, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO; Nikhil Garg and Denise Salazar, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX; Elizabeth Pickering, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA; David Riesland,
Montana State University, Bozeman, MT; and Christopher Stelter, Minnesota State University, Mankato, MN
TiTANIC, or the Titan Terrestrial and Nautical Investigation Craft, was a project undertaken by the 2013 Glenn Research Center Space Academy. This project has three key components: a COMPASS style conceptual study of an aquatic lander on the hydrocarbon lakes of Titan; a prototype with an integrated sensor package designed for and tested on two separate vehicles; and outreach aimed at encouraging young students to pursue a STEM career. Our project proposal was motivated by several factors. We wanted to hone our system engineering skills, we desired a hands-on team-building component, and we believe in NASA’s outreach goals. This report contains our conceptual study, a description of and results from the prototype experiments, and images from and links to our outreach production and documentation. The conceptual study underwent several iterations of subsystems, and the final analysis includes specific science goals, an overarching mission plan, and detailed analysis on multiple subsystems, including power; guidance, navigation and control; propulsion; and the sensor package. The prototype team successfully built a sensor package and a propulsion system that was thrown high into the air, landed in the water, and moved around through remote control. The sensor package was also launched on a submarine, MADI, built by the Mobile and Remote Sensing Lab at Glenn Research Center. Overall, the team accomplished its goals of both learning more about systems engineering and gaining hands on building experience. Furthermore, the team was able to contribute to the development of a potential platform for research at Glenn through its work with the MADI team.