ConOps Checklist

IMPORTANT:  With all questions, be able to answer:  Why?

Initial Conditions

1.      What vehicle are you on?  (Orbiter, balloon, or Lander)

2.      What are the initial conditions?

a.       If on the orbiter, what is your orbital velocity?  Do you deorbit? 

b.      If on the balloon, is the balloon moving?

c.       If on the lander, do you deploy during descent or after landing?  If during descent, what is your initial velocity?


1.      How do you deploy?  Describe.

a.       What do you use to propel you?

b.      Which direction?  What angle?

c.       Where are you on the vehicle are you? (Top, bottom, side, etc?)

d.      What is your velocity when you exit the vehicle?

e.       What acceleration did you experience inside the muzzle?

2.      What do you do after deployment?  Describe.

a.       If on the orbiter, do you enter the atmosphere?  At what angle and velocity?  What kind of thermal protection system do you have?  What is its size?

b.      In the atmosphere, do you fall, float, glide, etc?  If so, how long and where?

c.       Do you experience drag?  Is it active or passive?  How much drag?

3.      What precision is required with your deployment?  (Are you aiming for a specific event or location?  If so, how large is this location?  How far away are you from the location?  Can you hit the location?)

4.      Do you deploy one probe or multiple?  How?

5.      Do you deploy at one point in time, or at intervals?


1.      Where do your measurements take place?  (Give specific measurements from a reference location – e.g., what altitudes, what locations, etc)

2.      What is the environment like (temperature, pressure, chemistry, etc) where you are taking your measurements?

3.      What are your probes characteristics while taking measurements?  Velocity, time-of-flight, … etc

4.      Does your payload have to “do” anything to take measurements?  Must it be oriented in a specific way?

5.      How does your payload take measurements?

6.      Does it take measurements continuously or at intervals?  What are the intervals?

7.      How long (time wise) do you take measurements?

8.      What instruments do you use to take the measurements?  Do you have single or multiple of the instruments?

Sending Data

1.      When do you send your data back?

a.       Do you send it back while you are taking measurements, or after your measurement collection is complete?

b.      If during measurement collection, how often?  What intervals?

c.       If after measurement collection, for how long?  How long does it take?  Is there a waiting period after measurement collection and before sending data?

2.      How long does it take (total time) to send all of your data back?

3.      Where do you send your data?  (Lander, Balloon, or Orbiter)

4.      Where are you when you are sending your data?  What are the conditions at this location (there locations)?

5.      What are the probe characteristics while you are sending data?  Velocity, time-of-flight, … etc?

6.      Does your probe have to “do” anything to send data back?  Must it be oriented in any specific way?

7.      Does your probe have to wait for the orbiter/lander/balloon, to become viewable?  If so, how long is it viewable?  How often?  How long do you wait?

8.      Do you have time to send all your data back?


1.      Do you impact the surface?

a.       Do you need to survive?

b.      If so, at what velocity and angle?  What is your deceleration distance?  What is your g-load?

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