KECK INSTITUTE FOR SPACE STUDIES

       

Accessing the Subsurface Oceans of Icy Worlds Accessing the Subsurface Oceans of Icy Worlds

Accessing the Subsurface Oceans of Icy Worlds

October 9-12, 2017
California Institute of Technology - Pasadena, CA 91125

Christophe Sotin

Christophe Sotin

JPL

Jose Andrade

Jose Andrade

Caltech

Tom Cwik

Tom Cwik

JPL

Louise Prockter (LPI)

Louise Prockter

LPI

Curt Niebur

Curt Niebur

NASA HQ

Workshop Overview:

This KISS study is devoted to the question of accessing the subsurface oceans of icy worlds in order to explore these water oceans and to discover the presence of alien extant life. Two of those icy worlds, Europa and Enceladus, are believed to be the most likely places in the solar system where extraterrestrial life may be discovered. A third ocean world, Titan, has a deep water ocean and abundant organic material in its atmosphere, but it is not clear that the water ocean is in contact with the rocky interior, an interface that is believed to be favorable for the emergence of life.

The Galileo and Cassini missions have revealed the presence of global oceans under the icy crust of several moons of Jupiter and Saturn. Among those moons, Europa and Enceladus have their ocean in contact with the rocky core, providing an environment similar to the conditions existing on the terrestrial sea-floor where life has developed at hydrothermal vents. At Enceladus, the Cassini mission made several discoveries (nano particles of silica, H2 in the jets, large heat power dissipated at the South Pole, …) that point to the existence of hydrothermal activities at the ocean-rocky interface. Europa, a moon 6 times as large as Enceladus, will be scrutinized by two missions: the multi-flybys mission Clipper that will determine the thickness of its crust, and the Europa lander mission that will investigate its habitability potential. A following and most exciting step in the exploration of those moons is to explore their ocean.

Deep oceans are clearly not the easiest place to explore. Sending submarines into the ocean of either Europa or Enceladus requires getting access to the ocean. The goal of this workshop is to review the different technologies that have been developed and to define the technologies that are still required. Although Europa has got much attention on this topic, the study broadens its goal to Enceladus and other icy moons such as Titan where the ocean was once in contact with the rocky core and may still be.

During this workshop, the participants will:

  • specify the characteristics and capabilities of the system (e.g., communications to the surface/Earth, deployment to the surface, operations, …). For resources, we will start with a design that can deliver 500 kg on the surface and would provide 4 MMRTGs worth of electric and thermal power.
  • describe design options and technology for each capability (e.g., tether/wireless/etc. to the surface),
  • discuss the pros and cons of each of those options,
  • define the preferred option for each characteristic.


Monday, October 9, 2017 - Salvatori Seminar Room
South Mudd Building (3rd floor) - Caltech

Short Course
Introductory Lectures - Open to all interested students, researchers and faculty

Time
Event
Speaker
8:15 - 8:45

Coffee and Refreshments

8:45 - 9:00

Logistics / Introduction

Michele Judd
Team Lead

9:00 - 9:45 Earth-Europa-Enceladus: Ocean/Rock Interactions and Prospects for Life (30 minute talk, 15 minutes Q & A) Christophe Sotin
9:45 - 10:30 Structure and Thickness of Europa's Ice Shell: What We Think We Know and What We Hope to Learn from the Europa Clipper (30 minute talk, 15 minutes Q & A) Louise Prockter
10:30 - 11:00 Break
11:00 - 11:45 Challenges in Designing a Mission that Travels through Europa’s Crust: Deployment, Operations, Communication (30 minute talk, 15 minutes Q & A) Tom Cwik
11:45 - 12:30 Lessons Learned from Drilling through the Antarctic Ice Sheet: The WISSARD and SALSA Subglacial Lake Projects (30 talk, 15 minutes Q & A) John Priscu and
Dennis Duling
12:30 - 1:15 Short Course Ends: Informal Lunch is provided outside Salvatori Seminar Room

Invitation-Only Workshop Begins
Keck Center - Think Tank, Room 155

1:15 - 1:30 Walk to Keck Center, pick up badge and welcome packet, find seat in the Think Tank
1:30 - 2:15 Workshop Logistics and Participant Introductions Michele Judd
2:15 - 2:45 Study Vision and Goals, Including Resource Constraints for the System Curt Niebur
2:45 - 4:15 Brainstorming Session – Characteristics of the System and Solicitation of Lightning Talks Tom Cwik / All
4:15 - 4:45 Break
4:45 - 6:00 Lightning Talks - (20 minutes at the end to revisit the characteristics of the system based on the lightning talks) Curt Niebur - moderator
6:15 Dinner at the Athenaeum

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Keck Center - Think Tank, Room 155

Time
Event
Speaker
8:00 - 8:30 Institute Opens - FREE THINK TIME
8:30 - 9:00 Coffee and Refreshments at Keck Center

Special Topic Area: Penetration Techniques

9:00 - 9:15 Logistics and Team Lead Goals for the Day

Michele Judd and Team Leads

9:15 - 9:45 Melt Probe and Water Jetting Bill Stone
9:45 - 10:15 Drilling

Kris Zacny

10:15 - 10:45 Break
10:45 - 11:15 Using Natural Faults Alyssa Rhoden
11:15 - 11:45

Other Ideas to Get Into the Ocean

All
11:45 - 12:30 Plenary Session on Pros and Cons of Each Technique and How Compatible They Are Against Characteristics Defined on Day 1 All
12:30 - 2:00 Group Picture and Lunch at the Athenaeum
2:00 -3:15 Plenary Session on Pros and Cons of Each Technique and How Compatible They Are Against Characteristics Defined on Day 1 continued All
3:15 - 3:45 Lightning Talks on critical issues identified previously TBD
3:45 - 4:15 Break
4:15 - 5:00 Lightning Talks TBD
5:00 - 5:30 Plenary Discussion TBD
5:30 - 7:30 POSTER SESSION posters address one aspect of the access to icy moons’ oceans whether it is technology, instrument, science - possibility of whiteboards with one question - and Informal food truck dinner at the Keck Center
(dinner starts at 6:30 pm)

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Keck Center - Think Tank, Room 155

Time
Event
Speaker
8:00 - 8:30 Institute Opens - FREE THINK TIME
8:30 - 9:00 Coffee and Refreshments at Keck Center
9:00 - 9:15 Logistics and Team Lead Goals for the Day Michele Judd and Team Leads
9:15 - 10:15 Revisit Characteristics of the System Based on Lightning Talks All
9:45 - 10:30 Lightning Talks or Breakout Session Set Up TBD
10:30 - 11:00 Break
11:30 - 12:30 Lightning Talks or Breakout Groups Meet TBD
12:30 - 2:00  Lunch at the Athenaeum
2:00 -3:00 Delta Europa to Enceladus Alyssa Rhoden
3:00 - 4:00 Delta Europa to Titan Christophe Sotin
4:00 - 4:30 Break
4:30 - 6:00 Formulate Performance Goals Curt Niebur / All
6:30 Dinner at the Athenaeum

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Keck Center - Think Tank, Room 155

Time
Event
Speaker
8:00 - 8:30

Institute Opens - FREE THINK TIME

8:30 - 9:00

Coffee and Refreshments at Keck Center

9:00 - 9:15 Logistics and Team Lead Goals for the Day Michele Judd and
Team Leads
9:15 - 10:45 Plenary Session
– Write requirements document
– Give writing assignments for report assignments on missing pieces that need to be covered to complete the document
– Synthesis on technics, pros and cons, and potential showstoppers
Moderated by Christophe Sotin
10:45 - 11:15 Break
11:15 - 1:00 Presentation of the report followed by a writing session around the requirement document All
1:00

Workshop Ends


Workshop Participants:

  • Jose Andrade - Caltech
  • Dan Arthur - University of Western Australia
  • Julie Castillo – JPL/Caltech
  • Kate Craft - John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
  • Tom Cwik - JPL/Caltech
  • Dennis Duling – University of Nebraska Lincoln
  • Oliver Funke - DLR German Aerospace Center
  • Christopher German - Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
  • Kevin Hand - JPL/Caltech
  • Kenneth Hibbard - John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
  • Samuel Howell – JPL/Caltech
  • Jonathan Kay - USRA LPI
  • Emily Martin – Smithsonian Institution National Air and Space Museum
  • Christine McCarthy - Columbia University
  • Matthew Meister - Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Carolyn Mercer – NASA Glenn Research Center
  • Jamie Molaro - JPL/Caltech
  • Curt Niebur - NASA Headquarters
  • John Priscu - Montana State University
  • Louise Prockter - Lunar and Planetary Institute
  • Alyssa Rhoden - Arizona State Universtiy
  • Britney Schmidt - Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Vickie Siegel - Stone Aerospace, Inc.
  • Christophe Sotin – JPL/Caltech
  • Bill Stone - Stone Aerospace, Inc.
  • Brian Wilcox - JPL/Caltech
  • Dale  Winebrenner - University of Washington
  • Kris Zacny - Honeybee Robotics
  • Wayne  Zimmerman - JPL/Caltech

Short Course Presentations

Tom Cwik
JPL/Caltech
Challenges in Designing a Mission that Travels through Europa’s Crust: Deployment, Operations, Communication
(8 MB .pdf)
John Priscu
Montana State University
and
Dennis Duling
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Lessons Learned From Drilling Through the Antarctic Ice Sheet: The WISSARD and SALSA Projects (127 MB .pdf)

Problems and Lessons Learned Drilling into Subglacial Lake Whillans
(5.6 MB .pdf)

Louise Prockter
Lunar and Planetary Science Institute

The Structure and Thickness of Europa's Ice Shell
(7.3 MB .pdf)
Christophe Sotin
JPL/Caltech
Earth-Europa-Enceladus: Ocean/Rock Interactions and Prospects for Life
(2.14 MB .pdf)

Workshop Presentations

Kevin Hand
JPL/Caltech
Ocean Worlds Lab: Overview & Highlights
(1.16 MB .pdf)
Kenneth Hibbard
John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators for Deep Space Science Missions
(2.95 MB .pdf)
Christine McCarthy
Columbia University
Some Mechanical Properties for Ice Ih
(1.75 MB .pdf)
Jamie Molaro
JPL/Caltech
Ice Sintering Timescales at the Surface of Europa and Implications for Surface Properties
(1.4 MB .pdf)

John Priscu
Montana State University

Antarctic Subglacial Lakes: What if we Could Look Beneath the Antarctic Ice Sheet?
(929 KB .pdf)

Brian Wilcox
JPL/Caltech
A Deep Subsurface Ice Probe for Europa
(902 KB .pdf)
Dale  Winebrenner
University of Washington
Applied Physics Laboratory Ice Diver
(16.77 MB .pdf)