Giancarlo Genta

Giancarlo Genta
Politecnico di Torino | polito · DIMEAS - Department of Mechanical and Aerospace

Degrees in Aeronautical and Aerospace Eng.

About

301
Publications
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2,397
Citations
Citations since 2017
32 Research Items
821 Citations
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2017201820192020202120222023020406080100120140
2017201820192020202120222023020406080100120140

Publications

Publications (301)
Presentation
Full-text available
Nel 1984 da un esperimento condotto da un equipe di scienziati per controllare la coincidenza fra massa inerziale e massa gravitazionale, per verificare cioè l'accuratezza dell'esperimento condotto da Galileo che affermava la coincidenza delle due masse mise in evidenza un valore delle due masse che non rispondeva a quanto affermato da Galileo, New...
Article
Full-text available
To develop a spacefaring civilization, humankind must develop technologies which enable safe, affordable and repeatable mobility through the solar system. One such technology is nuclear fusion propulsion which is at present under study mostly as a breakthrough toward the first interstellar probes. The aim of the present paper is to show that direct...
Preprint
Full-text available
To develop a spacefaring civilization, humankind must develop technologies which enable safe, affordable and repeatable mobility through the solar system. One such technology is nuclear fusion propulsion which is at present under study mostly as a breakthrough toward the first interstellar probes. The aim of the present paper is to show that fusion...
Chapter
Man is a “technological animal”. This is one of the many definitions which were proposed in an attempt to outline the difference between humans and the other animals. Actually, one of the basic characteristics of the human species, and partially also of the hominids who preceded it, is its ability to develop the technology that, from the early adva...
Chapter
At the beginning of the eighteenth century, Britain introduced agricultural innovations designed to increase labor productivity significantly. They reduced the number of workers engaged in agriculture and freed up the manpower which subsequently enabled the Industrial Revolution to take place. Actually, agriculture had already seen productivity inc...
Chapter
Weapons appeared very early in human history. Indeed, we can say that technology began with weapons, at least those for hunting. It has been said that, from the beginning, humans felt the need to complete their diet with proteins from animals, but their physical structure was never designed to be a natural predator. Therefore, they had to resort to...
Chapter
The history we have related so far has attempted to summarize the journey of homo sapiens from prehistory to the beginning of the conquest of space, paying particular attention to the events that saw Western civilization take on the role of protagonist. The focal point of this path is the increasing role of the logical-rational component of humanki...
Chapter
Between the beginning of the sixteenth and the middle of the eighteenth century, Europe experienced an expansion that was nothing short of astonishing. In a short time, and without meeting particular opposition, the small states of the Old Continent gained control of the American and African continents, establishing a network of colonies. In the fo...
Chapter
As mentioned in the previous chapter, it is possible that the world’s civilization is at a crossroads. Could the abandonment of its technological roots and its relapse into irrationalism and pseudo-sciences bring a halt to future developments in the West? Or will this crisis prove to be temporary and allow the Fourth Industrial Revolution to contin...
Chapter
For almost six hundred years, “barbarism, superstition and ignorance covered the face of the earth” [1]. “The inhabitants of this part of the earth (...) lived in a condition worse than ignorance” [2]. “It was the era of the triumph of barbarism and religion” [3].
Chapter
In the previous chapters, reference was made to the birth of agriculture, the specialization of the work of craftsmen, technological development and the use of slave labor. All of this holds true for the Fertile Crescent, as well as for the Indian city-states of Harappa and Mohenjo Daro, the ancient Chinese dynasties Shang, Zhou, Qin and Han, the p...
Chapter
The first attempt to implement a ‘scientific technology’ in the Hellenistic age was aborted with the return of traditional empirical technology, before a revolutionary turnaround in the Middle Ages which introduced many innovations into everyday life.
Chapter
“The whole world was turned into a delightful garden by you, Romans [...]. Before your rule, life had to be hard, wild, like even now in the mountains [...]. Everywhere there are gymnasiums, fountains, temples, factories, schools [...]. All that is produced by the seasons and what the various regions, rivers, lakes and techniques of the Greeks and...
Chapter
Conventionally, the transition from prehistory to history is linked to the introduction of writing. The period we refer to here as ‘history’ begins with the possibility of permanently documenting human events. This passage also has great significance from a technological point of view.
Chapter
The encounter between the rationality of the Greek philosophers and the Olympic religion immediately gave rise to a severe conflict. The attempt to claim for humankind the ability to know and describe reality using only the human intellect (nous) aroused scandal and accusations of impiety, as evidenced by the trials that led to the exile of Anaxago...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Saturn's moon Enceladus represents one of the most promising places in the Solar System that might potentially host the life beyond Earth, as suggested by the Cassini mission. A potential future mission landing on the surface of Enceladus would have the goal of collecting surface samples for in-situ analysis. Pneumatics represents one of the emergi...
Chapter
Interplanetary missions are strictly dependent on the launch date. Mission planning requires a knowledge not only of the technological and cost constraints but also the study of the influence of the launch opportunity on the spacecraft performance and on the feasibility of the mission. Pork-chop plots are effective tools to design interplanetary mi...
Article
Full-text available
While solar electric propulsion (SEP) is being widely considered for cargo transport to Mars, its value for propelling fast human missions is often viewed as marginal. This conclusion is driven by the high electric power requirement (multi megawatts) of a fast human spacecraft, coupled to the low power density of traditional solar arrays. For these...
Book
Our natural world has been irretrievably altered by humans, for humans. From domesticated wheat fields to nuclear power plants and spacecraft, everything we see and interact with has in some way been changed by the presence of our species, starting from the Neolithic era so many centuries ago. This book provides a crash course on the issues and de...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Spherical inflated light sails have been considered to push ultra-light nanocrafts at a significant fraction of the light speed. The light sail, which is essentially an extremely thin shell, would be subjected to extremely high accelerations and deformations. The purpose of this research is to perform a non-stationary 3D numerical analysis to study...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
When dealing with human long duration missions beyond low Earth orbit the danger due to radiation must be carefully accounted for. This is even more important when dealing with missions aimed to the constructions of outposts on the Moon and on Mars, aimed to the colonization of these bodies. The possibility of screening the human beings from radiat...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The purpose of this paper is to present a 3 DoF underactuated mechanism with one flexible component. It is called FLEGX (FLEXible LEG) and it would be the first step in the design of a jumping humanoid robot with flexible limbs. An early system-level design validation of the FLEGX mechanical configuration was performed using the software MSC.Nastra...
Article
Full-text available
Human two-way missions to Mars may be of two types: long-stay and short-stay missions. Both require that the crew spends several months in space, with all the problems related with exposure to radiation and microgravity. Using advanced propulsion the travel time may be reduced, but this requires developing nuclear propulsion, either NTP or NEP. Sho...
Article
Full-text available
Designing an interplanetary mission is a complex task and requires the choice of the launch opportunity and of the exact launch and arrival dates. Depending on these choices, the trajectory must be defined and, in case of continuous thrust, also the thrust profile needs to be optimized.. Traditionally, these choices are made using some plots which...
Chapter
Mars is a small, arid planet of major geological and topographical complexity. Conditions on the surface in the remote past appear to have been rather more favorable to life than they are today. Whilst it is unlikely Mars still hosts life, particularly on its surface, things may have been different earlier on. The search for life, in particular for...
Chapter
A human is a costly, dangerous, and difficult enterprise which cannot be undertaken unless we really understand the for doing so. The natural urge which drives human beings to explore the world that surrounds us, is insufficient to perform such an expedition, and above all to undertake it within a short period of time. For sure, a is a great scient...
Chapter
Radiation is not the only danger to human health posed by long space journeys. is the other important stressor that threatens the health of people in space. Being isolated at a great distance from Earth is itself a source of danger in case of . Cognitive and psychological problems must also be faced, and they are important in designing the mission...
Chapter
Once on Mars, a human mission must rely on a set of facilities, including at least a, a power system, and one or more rovers to allow the explorers to travel to the most interesting zones of the planet. Since it is difficult to imagine that the astronauts would carry with them all that is necessary for their stay and their return trip, an In Situ R...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Inflated spherical light sails have been considered to push ultra-light nanocrafts at a significant fraction of light speed. The purpose of this study is to perform a first approximation study of the deformed shape of an inflated spherical light sail riding on a laser beam. A numerical analysis has been conducted to study the effect of sail reflect...
Article
This book covers the possible manned mission to Mars first discussed in the 1950s and still a topic of much debate, addressing historic and future plans to visit the Red Planet. Considering the environmental dangers and the engineering and design needed for a successful trip, it covers every aspect of a possible mission and outpost. The chapters ex...
Conference Paper
The consensus to a study phase for an IXV (Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle) successor, a preoperational vehicle called PRIDE (Programme for Reusable In-orbit Demonstrator in Europe), has been recently enlarged, as approved during last EU Ministerial Council. One of the main project task consists in developing PRIDE to conduct on orbit servicing a...
Chapter
The main scientific theme of the novel is extraterrestrial intelligence (ETI). Bioastronomy and SETI are, generally speaking, controversial subjects, because the basic issue of both, the existence of extraterrestrial life, is still an unproved statement. Even if there is a substantial difference of opinion, with astronomers and physicists generally...
Chapter
In an incredibly far future, when the human species inhabiting the galaxies of the local group to which the Milky way belongs have reached a peaceful and orderly structure, an archeological discovery seems to shed some light on the forgotten and troubled times in which we lived: the wreck of an ancient starship is found adrift in the interstellar s...
Book
Full-text available
This document is the result of a Cosmic Study of the International Academy of Astronautics.
Article
Sometime in the not-too-distant future ... unbeknownst to Earth, the Galaxy is home to a number of spacefaring societies. This confederation enforces a strict protocol forbidding any contact with civilizations that have not yet achieved both a substantial spacefaring capability and sufficient maturity to control the technology explosion before trig...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The International Academy of Astronautics has set up a Study Group (SG 3.16) to produce a Cosmic Study dealing with human Mars missions. After publishing a first draft at the Heads of Space Agencies meeting in Washington D.C. in January 2014, the final version of the Cosmic Study is being reviewed by the IAA Commission 3. A brief summary of the fin...
Article
The optimization of the trajectory and of the thrust profile of a low-thrust interplanetary transfer is usually solved under the assumption that the specific mass of the power generator is constant. While this is reasonable in the case of nuclear electric propulsion, if solar electric propulsion is used the specific mass depends on the distance of...
Article
Full-text available
The idea of taking inspiration from nature, and in particular from living systems, in the design of technological systems is fairly widespread and originated much research work. However, while in the field of materials this approach allowed the construction of systems of high complexity but at the same time inexpensive and able to be mass produced,...
Article
Full-text available
One of the causes of rotor instability is the damping of the rotating parts of the system. Its de-stabilizing effect can be counteracted only by introducing a suitable non rotating damping, with the instability threshold increasing with increasing ratio between non rotating and rotating damping. The aim of the present paper is showing that support...
Article
Full-text available
Since the beginning space was an exclusive domain of public organizations, the role of privates is becoming more and more important, and not only in commercial activities. However, the main international treaties dealing with this subject are still based on the assumption that space activities are mostly reserved to states. In the last decade the i...
Conference Paper
Robotic planetary rovers and human rated rovers used since the beginning of space exploration and planned for the future missions are mostly based on wheels. The wheels are connected with the rover’s body through a suspension system having different tasks, like correctly distributing the load among the various wheels, granting the required terraina...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Human missions to Mars have been studied individually by several Space Agencies over the past decades. However, a cooperative Human Mars mission framework including, but not limited to, requirements and technologies, is still missing. The International Academy of Astronautics has set up a study group to deal with this subject with the goal of ident...
Chapter
The corridors of the space station were empty, dimly lit by the night lights. Mike Edwards, second-class technician from the maintenance department, was walking slowly, trying to reach his quarters. He realized he was stumbling: twelve hours working outside were clearly too much. ‘Safety rules would not allow shifts of this kind in any civilized pl...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Electrodynamic bearings exploit repulsive forces due to eddy currents to produce positive stiffness by passive means without violating the Earnshaw stability criterion. This remarkable characteristic makes this type of bearing a suitable alternative to active magnetic bearings in fields such as kinetic energy storage flywheels, turbo pumps, high sp...
Chapter
For hundreds of thousands of years human beings lived without using any particular means of transportation. When they had to move an object, they simply lifted and carried it, if they were strong enough. If the object was too heavy, they arranged to drag it.
Chapter
Technology evolves mostly by small incremental steps and, as stated in Part I, true revolution are quite rare. However, there are cases where a strong technology transfer occurs between different fields of technology, and this can cause sudden changes that are felt as true revolutions.
Chapter
In the last century, the automotive industry went through a number of deep transformations, developing from a group of minor mechanical shops, where the individual cars were crafted and repaired by hand, to the present-day situation.
Chapter
As stated in Part II, two of the problems the automotive industry had to solve starting from the 1960s were related to the environmental impact due to the widespread use of road vehicles, in particular in highly populated areas like cities, and the use of energy, and in particular fossil fuels. Since then strict regulations have been imposed regard...
Chapter
The ideas that our way of providing mobility for most people—by producing cars and other vehicles suitable for private operation—are basically wrong, are not uncommon; these views are voiced strongly by a motivated and determined minority. These ideas are motivated by a variety of ideologies and political, economical or ethical beliefs, from sheer...
Chapter
A description of how the automobile evolved from its very beginning to our days would not be complete without a description of the evolution of the technologies aimed to design and build this product and of the evolution of the related market. If this is true for any industry, this link between product, production process and market is even closer...
Chapter
The structure of early cars consisted in a chassis and a body.
Chapter
The powertrain includes the engine, in modern cars mostly a reciprocating internal combustion engine, and the gearbox, that converts the engine torque into the torque needed for vehicle traction.
Chapter
This section deals with the evolution of the chassis subsystems in its broader meaning, and thus includes suspensions, steering system, wheels, tires, brakes and transmission systems. This order does not imply any priority, even if suspensions and steering system had a more significant influence on vehicle architecture and its evolution. The steeri...
Chapter
Motor vehicles must comply with the Technical Regulations applicable in the country they are offered for sale. In European Countries, compliance with the above Regulations, required to obtain European Certification, is verified through the Type Approval process performed by the manufacturer who must either test the car in front of the Government’s...
Chapter
The evolutionary lines along which the future development of motor cars will proceed are well traced from some points of view and quite fuzzy from others. The problems the designer will face in the future have been known for decades and have not changed much in the past years, and the basic lines along which to look for adequate solutions are also...
Chapter
As discussed in detail in Chap. 2, before the introduction of the unitized body, the term chassis was used to indicate a self-propelled system, sometimes capable of being driven, consisting of a load-bearing structure (a frame made of sidemembers and crosspieces) carrying the engine, the suspensions, the wheels, the driveline connecting the engine...
Chapter
Most motor vehicles need a transmission, since the speed requirements of the wheels are different from those of the engine. This is particularly true when the engine is a reciprocating internal combustion engine: in this case the transmission includes a start-up device (either clutch or torque converter), a variable ratio gearbox and the final driv...
Chapter
Most road vehicles are powered by reciprocating internal combustion engines of either the spark ignition (SI or Otto-cycle) or the compression ignition (CI or Diesel-cycle) type. Moreover, almost all engines powering motor cars work following a four-stroke cycle sequence.
Chapter
At present, the large majority of road vehicles are powered by fossil fuels derived from oil, even if a growing number of electric vehicles and of vehicles powered by alternative fuels can be seen on the road. Since these alternative energy sources and vehicle schemes are more a perspective for the future than a reality of today, a thorough discuss...
Article
There is no doubt that the discovery of exoplanets has made interstellar space mission much more interesting than they were in the past. The possible discovery of a terrestrial planet at a reasonable distance will give a strong impulse in this direction. While precursor interstellar missions are feasible with present technology, true interstellar t...
Chapter
The action is set in the year 2328, in the system of the double star BD–05 1844 (or Gliese 250) at 28.4 light years (9.2 parsecs) from the Sun. The primary star, BD-05 1844 A is an orange-red dwarf star (K3V), with a mass about 80 % of the mass of the Sun but a luminosity of only 14.6 %. BD-05 1844 B is a red dwarf, (M2.5V), with 50 % the mass of t...
Chapter
The car body is the external shell of the vehicle designed to accommodate and protect the people on board and their luggage from the external environment (unfavorable climate, noise, etc.) and the dangers motion may involve.
Article
Full-text available
The centrifugal softening effect is an alleged and elusive reduction of the natural frequencies of a rotating system with increasing speed which is sometimes found in finite element rotordynamics. This reduction may, in some instances, be large enough to cause some of the natural frequencies to vanish, leading to a sort of elastic instability. Some...
Article
Full-text available
Many elements of machines, like shafts, blades, connecting rods, etc., are often modeled using the so-called beam theory and, when these elements rotate with respect to an inertial reference frame, this rotation can deeply affect their dynamic behavior. The position of the beam with respect to the rotation axis and the possibility that the rotation...
Article
Full-text available
The status and the main results achieved by Project 242 are presented. Project 242 is a programme (funded by ASI—1999/2002 from an idea of Carlo Rubbia) that studied a new concept of space propulsion motor by using direct conversion of the kinetic energy of fission fragments into increasing of enthalpy of a propellant gas. Project 242 studied the a...
Article
Contrifugal softening effect is an alleged and elusive reduction of the natural frequencies of a rotating system with increasing speed sometimes found infinite element rotordynamics. This reduction may, in some instances, be large enough to cause some of the natural frequencies to vanish, leading to a sort of elastic instability. Some doubts can be...
Article
The data regarding the properties of the wheels needed for dynamic modeling of wheeled vehicles must be obtained experimentally, on specifically designed test rigs. This is standard practice in automotive technology, but in the case of the wheels used in planetary rovers there is a substantial lack of experimental data even if many tests were perfo...
Article
The paper deals with the dynamic modeling of wheeled planetary rovers operating on rough terrain. The dedicated model here presented, although kept as simple as possible, includes the effect of nonlinearities and models the suspensions in a realistic, albeit simplified, way. It can be interfaced with a model of the control system so that different...
Chapter
Providing the required power is an open problem in mobile robotics, and in the case of space robotics things are no better. Experimental robots often receive the energy required for moving and performing their tasks through an umbilical cord, but this is not possible in the case of operational devices. Actual space robots must carry with them a pow...
Article
Full-text available
Planetary rovers are a key asset in most planetary exploration and exploitation missions. Their size may span from that of miniature or small automatic machines, to medium sized vehicles similar to the well known LRV used by the astronauts of the Apollo program on the Moon, to huge self-moving habitats or construction machines, but in all cases it...
Chapter
Exploration vehicles, either manned or automatic, can use a variety of means of locomotion to achieve their goal. A first distinction must be made between ground vehicles, i.e. vehicles supported by a solid surface, atmospheric or sea vehicles, i.e. vehicles that move in a fluid without contact with the surface, be it a gas or a liquid, and space v...
Chapter
Robots are active system and require a source of energy to power all their functions. The energy needed for operation must be distributed to the various functions and duly modulated, by power converters, which are themselves managed by a suitable low level controller. Finally, a set of transducers, the actuators, operates the various parts of the r...
Chapter
Space robots are often provided with manipulatory devices, which are essential to perform tasks like grasping spacecraft or specimens, operating tools or cameras for inspection and many other duties. In most cases these manipulatory devices are open kinematic chains, which may bear some similarity with human arms or at least animal limbs. The gener...
Chapter
This chapter deals in a synthetic way with the main characteristics of the environments space robots are facing and will face in the future. The environments in which exploration and exploitation robots operate can be roughly subdivided into four types Low Earth orbit Deep space Interstellar medium Planets and small celestial bodies The latter can...
Book
Based on lecture notes on a space robotics course, this book offers a pedagogical introduction to the mechanics of space robots. After presenting an overview of the environments and conditions space robots have to work in, the author discusses a variety of manipulatory devices robots may use to perform their tasks. This is followed by a discussion...
Chapter
At present there is a limited experience in operating rovers on Mars and an even smaller experience on robotic Moon rovers, At present there is a limited experience in operating rovers on Mars and an even smaller experience on robotic Moon rovers, while the experience regarding man-carrying vehicles is limited to the Moon and a single case (althoug...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
A dynamic model for wheeled planetary rovers based on the pseudo-coordinates approach is presented. The model allows any number of wheels and different types of suspensions to be considered and can used for rovers steered by steering wheels or by slip steering. As an example, the dynamics of a large 8-wheels pressurized rover for lunar exploration...
Article
Full-text available
Dynamic modeling of rotors is usually performed under the assumption that the rotating parts of the machine are axially symmetrical, while the non-rotating ones may have no particular symmetry properties. The rotor model, based on the FEM, can be reduced in modal form and then assembled in the FEM model of the stator of the machine. Different rotor...
Article
Full-text available
Annular finite elements for the computation of second and higher order harmonics modes of bladed rotating discs are developed. The elements take into account gyroscopic effect and stiffening due to centrifugal and thermal stresses (the latter not present in arrays of blades). The displacement field is expressed by a truncated Fourier series along t...
Article
Full-text available
The hysteretic damping model cannot be applied to time domain dynamic simulations: this is a well-known feature that has been discussed in the literature since the time when analog computers were widespread. The constant equivalent damping often introduced to overcome this problem is also discussed, and its limitations are stated, in particular tho...
Article
Full-text available
The paper provides an overview of the conceptual design of the Lunar Rover conceived by Team Italia for the AMALIA Mission, candidate for the Google Lunar X Prize Challenge. The name of the mission is an acronym of the Latin language sentence "Ascensio Machinae Ad Lunam Italica Arte". With the Lunar Challenge initiative, the X Prize Foundation inte...
Conference Paper
The paper provides an overview of the conceptual design of the Lunar Rover conceived by Team Italia for the AMALIA Mission, candidate for the Google Lunar X Prize Challenge. With this initiative, the X Prize Foundation intends to promote the involvement of private actors in the access to space, by endowing a prize to the first privately funded luna...
Chapter
Unlike their manual counterpart, automatic gearboxes employ a wide variety of technical solutions, a possible demonstration that this kind of gearbox has yet to attain his technical maturity. Automatic gearboxes were created for comfortable family cars with high displacement engines. They are now increasing their market share in small cars and spo...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Electrodynamic bearings exploit the eddy current effects that take place in a conductor rotating in a constant magnetic field to achieve passive levitation without the need of additional devices, as sensors, power electronics, etc. Nevertheless, the instability issues require a dynamic analysis that would guarantee the rotor stability. In the lite...