- Press Release
- Sep 28, 2022
EDS’ Collaborative Product Development Software Drives Design of European Space Agency’s Mars Express Beagle 2 Lander
Unigraphics and Teamcenter Engineering Software Key To Development of First
European Spacecraft Scheduled To Land On Another Planet
LONDON — EDS today announced its collaborative product development product
lifecycle management (PLM) software has driven the design of the Entry,
Descent and Lander System (EDLS) for the Beagle 2 Mars lander, which will
carry the principal experiments payload in next year’s European Space Agency
Mars Express space mission.
The Mars Express spacecraft is scheduled to blast off from Baikonur, in
Kazakhstan, in May 2003 atop a Soyuz/Fregat rocket for its six month journey
to the red planet. On board the Mars Express will be the Beagle 2 lander,
named to celebrate Charles Darwin’s voyage, which led to the writing of On
The Origin Of Species. Beagle 2’s mission is to search for signs of life on
Mars and to conduct geochemical/atmospheric analyses.
Beagle 2 is a UK-led project operating as a joint academia/industry
consortium and is steered through the mutual cooperation of the Open
University, the University of Leicester and Astrium Limited — formerly
known as Matra Marconi Space (UK).
Several days before the Mars Express goes into orbit around Mars to carry
out remote sensing observations of the planet, Beagle 2 will be ejected from
the spacecraft and sent on a trajectory towards the Martian atmosphere.
From here on, Beagle 2 will be on its own — looking after itself in terms
of stability, power, thermal control and entry sequencing. The three-stage
Entry, Descent and Lander System (EDLS) is therefore a crucial element of
the lander package containing the mission payload.
Among the design team’s challenges, according to lead designer Paul
Kemshall, was the need to keep within Beagle 2’s extremely demanding mass,
size and form constraints of 900mm maximum diameter, 550mm depth and 73kg
maximum mass — around half the typical size and mass of previous space
Others were the limited human and financial resources available for the
project — especially at the outset — coupled with the need to deliver the
finished product in January 2003 in order to meet the scheduled launch date
“In a nutshell,” says Kemshall, “our challenge was to complete our task
faster, cheaper and better than any previous similar project. We therefore
relied heavily on the collaborative design, engineering and manufacturing
facilities provided by EDS’ Unigraphics product development software and
their Teamcenter Engineering product data management software to reduce
design time and keep the project on track.
“The EDS system has enabled us to share design information across different
design and engineering disciplines and to collaborate effectively with
people working on other aspects of Beagle 2, within a concurrent engineering
During the development process, the EDS software was used extensively to
calculate mass properties, determine moments of inertia and centre of
gravity and perform structural analysis of individual components so as to
arrive at the optimum design in terms of strength and weight. It was also
used to create a `virtual’ model of the complete spacecraft in order to
ensure that every component and sub-assembly fitted and operated correctly,
before anything was actually manufactured.
With the design work complete, Beagle 2 has now reached the manufacturing
stage. And while some components are off-the-shelf, the majority need to be
specially manufactured. These are being produced by a number of Beagle 2
sub-contractors which, wherever possible, are using the Unigraphics 3D
design data directly in such manufacturing processes as numerical control
(NC) machine tool path programming for a variety of machining techniques.
This is helping to ensure that precisely what was designed is what is
With everything on schedule for delivery of Beagle 2 in January next year
and blast off in May, not only will ESA’s Mars Express be the first European
mission to Mars, Beagle 2 will be the first European spacecraft to land on
For more information on Beagle 2 visit www.beagle2.com.
EDS, the leading global services company, provides strategy, implementation
and hosting for clients managing the business and technology complexities of
the digital economy. EDS brings together the world’s best technologies to
address critical client business imperatives. It helps clients eliminate
boundaries, collaborate in new ways, establish their customers’ trust and
continuously seek improvement. EDS, with its management-consulting
subsidiary, A.T. Kearney, serves the world’s leading companies and
governments in 60 countries. EDS reported revenues of $21.5 billion in 2001.
The company’s stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: EDS) and
the London Stock Exchange.