InSight - Beneath the surface of Mars

DLR took part in NASA's InSight Mars mission with the HP3 instrument, whose nail-shaped thermal sensor. "Mole", drove itself up to five metres into the Martian soil to measure the heat flow there.

At the SR Institute, a multi-body dynamics model of the "Mole" was coupled with complex particle models of the Martian soil in a co-simulation in order to predict the impact performance with high precision. Optimisations of the "Mole" based on these models led to adjustments to the internal spring-mass systems of the impact mechanism, whereby

The number of blows required to achieve the required penetration depth could be reduced to 25 % compared to the original design while maintaining the same power consumption.