Science.gov

Sample records for mapping rover mission

  1. Topographic Mapping and Rover Localization in MER 2003 Mission Landing Sites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, R.; di, K.; Matthies, L.; Maimone, M.; Arvidson, R.; Crumpler, L.; Xu, F.; Wang, J.; Niu, X.; Serafy, C.; Ming, D.; Richter, L.; Marais, D.; Golombek, M.; Squyres, S.; Johnson, J.; Bell, J.; Maki, J.; Malin, M.; Parker, T.; Edwards, L.; Sims, M.; Wang, A.; Garvin, J.; Soderblom, L.

    2004-05-01

    This presentation illustrates results of topographic mapping and rover localization in Spirit and Opportunity landing sites. MOC/NA images, DIMES descent images, and surface Pancam and Navcam images are used to map regional and local topographic features of the landing sites. A new bundle adjustment method builds an image network with improved visual odometric data to supply enhance pointing data that are essential for high accuracy mapping and rover localization. Special 3D mapping products of the crater where Opportunity spacecraft landed are produced first time using rover images acquired from inside of a planetary crater. Traverse maps will show the comparison result of rover positions computed from the rover telemetry data with those from the image-based localization method. Analysis of the differences will be performed considering wheel slippage, IMU drift, and other factors. High quality topographic mapping products such as orthoimage base maps, 3D digital terrain models, and 3D interactive viewing tools are developed to support a series of mission operations and outreach activities, including long term science planning, rover path planning, geological mapping, wheel track property investigation, rock distribution estimation, crater modeling, and TV simulation scenes.

  2. Mars Exploration Rover Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cohen, Barbara A.

    2008-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation reviews the Mars Exploration Rover Mission. The design of the Rover along with the Athena science payload is also described. Photographs of the Gusev Crater and Meridiani rocks are also shown.

  3. Requirements assessment and operational demands for a resource mapping rover mission to the lunar polar regions

    SciTech Connect

    KLARER,PAUL R.; BINDER,ALAN B.; LENARD,ROGER X.

    2000-01-26

    A preliminary set of requirements for a robotic rover mission to the lunar polar region are described and assessed. Tasks to be performed by the rover include core drill sample acquisition, mineral and volatile soil content assay, and significant wide area traversals. Assessment of the postulated requirements is performed using first order estimates of energy, power, and communications throughput issues. Two potential rover system configurations are considered, a smaller rover envisioned as part of a group of multiple rovers, and a larger single rover envisioned along more traditional planetary surface rover concept lines.

  4. Mars Exploration Rover mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crisp, Joy A.; Adler, Mark; Matijevic, Jacob R.; Squyres, Steven W.; Arvidson, Raymond E.; Kass, David M.

    2003-10-01

    In January 2004 the Mars Exploration Rover mission will land two rovers at two different landing sites that show possible evidence for past liquid-water activity. The spacecraft design is based on the Mars Pathfinder configuration for cruise and entry, descent, and landing. Each of the identical rovers is equipped with a science payload of two remote-sensing instruments that will view the surrounding terrain from the top of a mast, a robotic arm that can place three instruments and a rock abrasion tool on selected rock and soil samples, and several onboard magnets and calibration targets. Engineering sensors and components useful for science investigations include stereo navigation cameras, stereo hazard cameras in front and rear, wheel motors, wheel motor current and voltage, the wheels themselves for digging, gyros, accelerometers, and reference solar cell readings. Mission operations will allow commanding of the rover each Martian day, or sol, on the basis of the previous sol's data. Over a 90-sol mission lifetime, the rovers are expected to drive hundreds of meters while carrying out field geology investigations, exploration, and atmospheric characterization. The data products will be delivered to the Planetary Data System as integrated batch archives.

  5. Mars Exploration Rover Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Adler, M.

    2004-01-01

    Two rovers with a sophisticated geological payload have been operating on the surface of Mars since January of 2004. Future missions and their related technology developments will benefit from the lessons learned during these surface operations. The planning cycle was dictated by the communications opportunities and the times of day that the rovers could operate, and the team and tools were tuned to optimize the mission return for that cycle time. The ability to traverse and to approach and perform in situ investigations on targets was limited in speed by the same cycle time, due to required human involvement in the related planning and risk decisions. In addition traverse was limited by the speed of the on-board terrain and hazard assessment, and in situ operations were limited by a lack of autonomy. Different planning cycles and levels of autonomy should be considered for future surface missions, which will result in different approaches to science decision making.

  6. Site characterization rover missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pivirotto, Donna Shirley

    1990-01-01

    Concepts for site characterization rovers capable of efficient operation on Mars with human supervision from earth are discussed. In particular, attention is given to strategies for developing and evaluating the necessary technology for implementing the roving vehicles and process technologies required for a systematic and integrated implementation of technologically advanced rovers. A vehicle testbed program is also described.

  7. Early lunar rover mission studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gillespie, Vernon P.

    1993-01-01

    Results of lunar mission studies aimed at developing mission goals and high level requirements are reported. A mission concept to meet the mission requirements was developed and the design of mission hardware was to follow. Mission concepts not only included operations analysis and plans but also fabrication and test planning, quality control measures, and project organization. The design of mission concepts and hardware identified issues that are not easily resolved. Although none of the issues identified appear to be unresolvable, many will be difficult to resolve within Space Exploration Initiative constraints. These issues discussed which appear to have the potential for negative project impact are rover mobility, power, imaging, telemanagment, and remote control.

  8. Mars rover sample return missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cunningham, Glenn E.; Rea, Donald G.; Pivirotto, Donna; Kwok, Johnny; Craig, Mark K.

    1988-01-01

    An important intermediate step in the path to human exploration of Mars is the accomplishment of a mission which lands an unmanned rover on the Martian surface, selects and collects various samples of the terrain and atmosphere, and returns them to earth for analysis. Such a mission is being developed under the management of NASA's JPL and the Johnson Space Center. The concepts for a wide range of rover capabilities are studied and an assessment of the driving technological developments required to implement these capabilities is made.

  9. Photogrammetric processing of rover imagery of the 2003 Mars Exploration Rover mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Di, Kaichang; Xu, Fengliang; Wang, Jue; Agarwal, Sanchit; Brodyagina, Evgenia; Li, Rongxing; Matthies, Larry

    In the 2003 Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission, the twin rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, carry identical Athena instrument payloads and engineering cameras for exploration of the Gusev Crater and Meridiani Planum landing sites. This paper presents the photogrammetric processing techniques for high accuracy topographic mapping and rover localization at the two landing sites. Detailed discussions about camera models, reference frames, interest point matching, automatic tie point selection, image network construction, incremental bundle adjustment, and topographic product generation are given. The developed rover localization method demonstrated the capability of correcting position errors caused by wheel slippages, azimuthal angle drift and other navigation errors. A comparison was also made between the bundle-adjusted rover traverse and the rover track imaged from the orbit. Mapping products including digital terrain models, orthophotos, and rover traverse maps have been generated for over two years of operations, and disseminated to scientists and engineers of the mission through a web-based GIS. The maps and localization information have been extensively used to support tactical operations and strategic planning of the mission.

  10. The Extended Mission Rover (EMR)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Shields, W.; Halecki, Anthony; Chung, Manh; Clarke, Ken; Frankle, Kevin; Kassemkhani, Fariba; Kuhlhoff, John; Lenzini, Josh; Lobdell, David; Morgan, Sam

    1992-01-01

    A key component in ensuring America's status as a leader in the global community is its active pursuit of space exploration. On the twentieth anniversary of Apollo 11, President George Bush challenged the nation to place a man on the moon permanently and to conduct human exploration of Mars in the 21st century. The students of the FAMU/FSU College of Engineering hope to make a significant contribution to this challenge, America's Space Exploration Initiative (SEI), with their participation in the NASA/USRA Advanced Design Program. The project selected by the 1991/1992 Aerospace Design group is the design of an Extended Mission Rover (EMR) for use on the lunar surface. This vehicle will serve as a mobile base to provide future astronauts with a 'shirt-sleeve' living and working environment. Some of the proposed missions are planetary surface exploration, construction and maintenance, hardware setup, and in situ resource experimentation. This vehicle will be put into use in the 2010-2030 time frame.

  11. Mars Rover and Sample Return Mission design

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kwok, Johnny H.; Friedlander, Alan L.

    1989-01-01

    The current reference Mars Rover and Sample Return mission is described. Technical issues are outlined, including high-resolution image acquisition and reconstruction, approach navigation, ground and flight systems operational complexity, rover autonomy, autonomous rendezvous and docking in Mars orbit, aerocapture and aeromaneuver, estimating the probability of mission success, and end-to-end information system design. Focus is placed on lander hazard identification and avoidance, pinpoint landing guidance and control, Mars ascent vehicle guidance and control, planetary protection and quarantine, sample acquisition and preservation, project management and control, systems requirements and interface control, and costing. In addition, program issues such as international participation, fiscal constraints, and launch-vehicle availability are considered.

  12. Autonomous Navigation Results from the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Maimone, Mark; Johnson, Andrew; Cheng, Yang; Willson, Reg; Matthies, Larry H.

    2004-01-01

    In January, 2004, the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission landed two rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, on the surface of Mars. Several autonomous navigation capabilities were employed in space for the first time in this mission. ]n the Entry, Descent, and Landing (EDL) phase, both landers used a vision system called the, Descent Image Motion Estimation System (DIMES) to estimate horizontal velocity during the last 2000 meters (m) of descent, by tracking features on the ground with a downlooking camera, in order to control retro-rocket firing to reduce horizontal velocity before impact. During surface operations, the rovers navigate autonomously using stereo vision for local terrain mapping and a local, reactive planning algorithm called Grid-based Estimation of Surface Traversability Applied to Local Terrain (GESTALT) for obstacle avoidance. ]n areas of high slip, stereo vision-based visual odometry has been used to estimate rover motion, As of mid-June, Spirit had traversed 3405 m, of which 1253 m were done autonomously; Opportunity had traversed 1264 m, of which 224 m were autonomous. These results have contributed substantially to the success of the mission and paved the way for increased levels of autonomy in future missions.

  13. Mission Operations of the Mars Exploration Rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bass, Deborah; Lauback, Sharon; Mishkin, Andrew; Limonadi, Daniel

    2007-01-01

    A document describes a system of processes involved in planning, commanding, and monitoring operations of the rovers Spirit and Opportunity of the Mars Exploration Rover mission. The system is designed to minimize command turnaround time, given that inherent uncertainties in terrain conditions and in successful completion of planned landed spacecraft motions preclude planning of some spacecraft activities until the results of prior activities are known by the ground-based operations team. The processes are partitioned into those (designated as tactical) that must be tied to the Martian clock and those (designated strategic) that can, without loss, be completed in a more leisurely fashion. The tactical processes include assessment of downlinked data, refinement and validation of activity plans, sequencing of commands, and integration and validation of sequences. Strategic processes include communications planning and generation of long-term activity plans. The primary benefit of this partition is to enable the tactical portion of the team to focus solely on tasks that contribute directly to meeting the deadlines for commanding the rover s each sol (1 sol = 1 Martian day) - achieving a turnaround time of 18 hours or less, while facilitating strategic team interactions with other organizations that do not work on a Mars time schedule.

  14. Extended mission/lunar rover, executive summary

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1992-01-01

    The design project selected to be undertaken by the 1991/92 Aerospace Design Group was that of conceptually designing an Extended Mission Rover for use on the Lunar Surface. This vehicle would serve the function as a mobile base of sorts, and be able to provide future astronauts with a mobile 'shirt-sleeve' self-sufficient living and working environment. Some of the proposed missions would be planetary surface exploration, construction and maintenance, hardware set-up and in-situ resource experimentation. The need for this type of vehicle has already been declared in the Stafford Group's report on the future of America's Space Program, entitled 'America at the Threshold: America's Space Exploration Initiative'. In the four architectures described within the report, the concept of a pressurized vehicle occurred multiple times. The approximate time frame that this vehicle would be put into use is 2010-2030.

  15. (abstract) Telecommunications for Mars Rovers and Robotic Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cesarone, Robert J.; Hastrup, Rolf C.; Horne, William; McOmber, Robert

    1997-01-01

    Telecommunications plays a key role in all rover and robotic missions to Mars both as a conduit for command information to the mission and for scientific data from the mission. Telecommunications to the Earth may be accomplished using direct-to-Earth links via the Deep Space Network (DSN) or by relay links supported by other missions at Mars. This paper reviews current plans for missions to Mars through the 2005 launch opportunity and their capabilities in support of rover and robotic telecommunications.

  16. Mars Rover/Sample Return (MRSR) Mission: Mars Rover Technology Workshop

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1987-01-01

    A return to the surface of Mars has long been an objective of NASA mission planners. The ongoing Mars Rover and Sample Return (MRSR) mission study represents the latest stage in that interest. As part of NASA's preparation for a possible MRSR mission, a technology planning workshop was held to attempt to define technology requirements, options, and preliminary plans for the principal areas of Mars rover technology. The proceedings of that workshop are presented.

  17. Launch vehicle accident assessment for Mars Exploration Rover missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yau, M.; Reinhart, L.; Guarro, S.

    2002-01-01

    This paper presents the methodology used in the launch and space vehicle portion of the nuclear risk assessment for the two Mars Exploration Rover (MER) missions, which includes the assessment of accident scenarios and associated probabilities.

  18. The Collaborative Information Portal and NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mak, Ronald; Walton, Joan

    2005-01-01

    The Collaborative Information Portal was enterprise software developed jointly by the NASA Ames Research Center and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory for NASA's Mars Exploration Rover mission. Mission managers, engineers, scientists, and researchers used this Internet application to view current staffing and event schedules, download data and image files generated by the rovers, receive broadcast messages, and get accurate times in various Mars and Earth time zones. This article describes the features, architecture, and implementation of this software, and concludes with lessons we learned from its deployment and a look towards future missions.

  19. NASA Mars 2020 Rover Mission: New Frontiers in Science

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Calle, Carlos I.

    2014-01-01

    The Mars 2020 rover mission is the next step in NASAs robotic exploration of the red planet. The rover, based on the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover now on Mars, will address key questions about the potential for life on Mars. The mission would also provide opportunities to gather knowledge and demonstrate technologies that address the challenges of future human expeditions to Mars.Like the Mars Science Laboratory rover, which has been exploring Mars since 2012, the Mars 2020 spacecraft will use a guided entry, descent, and landing system which includes a parachute, descent vehicle, and, during the provides the ability to land a very large, heavy rover on the surface of Mars in a more precise landing area. The Mars 2020 mission is designed to accomplish several high-priority planetary science goals and will be an important step toward meeting NASAs challenge to send humans to Mars in the 2030s. The mission will conduct geological assessments of the rover's landing site, determine the habitability of the environment, search for signs of ancient Martian life, and assess natural resources and hazards for future human explorers. The science instruments aboard the rover also will enable scientists to identify and select a collection of rock and soil samples that will be stored for potential return to Earth in the future. The rover also may help designers of a human expedition understand the hazards posed by Martian dust and demonstrate how to collect carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, which could be a valuable resource for producing oxygen and rocket fuel.

  20. MRSR: Rationale for a Mars Rover/Sample Return mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Carr, Michael H.

    1992-01-01

    The Solar System Exploration Committee of the NASA Advisory Council has recommended that a Mars Rover/Sample Return mission be launched before the year 2000. The recommendation is consistent with the science objectives as outlined by the National Academy of Sciences committees on Planetary and Lunar Exploration, and Planetary Biology and Chemical Evolution. Interest has also focused on Mars Rover/Sample Return (MRSR) missions, because of their crucial role as precursors for human exploration. As a result of this consensus among the advisory groups, a study of an MRSR mission began early in 1987. The study has the following goals: (1) to assess the technical feasibility of the mission; (2) to converge on two or three options for the general architecture of the mission; (3) to determine what new technologies need to be developed in order to implement the mission; (4) to define the different options sufficiently well that preliminary cost estimates can be made; and (5) to better define the science requirements. This chapter briefly describes Mars Rover/Sample Return missions that were examined in the late 1980s. These missions generally include a large (1000 kg) rover and return of over 5 kg of sample.

  1. A preliminary study of Mars rover/sample return missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1987-01-01

    The Solar System Exploration Committee (SSEC) of the NASA Advisory Council recommends that a Mars Sample Return mission be undertaken before the year 2000. Comprehensive studies of a Mars Sample Return mission have been ongoing since 1984. The initial focus of these studies was an integrated mission concept with the surface rover and sample return vehicle elements delivered to Mars on a single launch and landed together. This approach, to be carried out as a unilateral U.S. initiative, is still a high priority goal in an Augmented Program of exploration, as the SSEC recommendation clearly states. With this background of a well-understood mission concept, NASA decided to focus its 1986 study effort on a potential opportunity not previously examined; namely, a Mars Rover/Sample Return (MRSR) mission which would involve a significant aspect of international cooperation. As envisioned, responsibility for the various mission operations and hardware elements would be divided in a logical manner with clearly defined and acceptable interfaces. The U.S. and its international partner would carry out separately launched but coordinated missions with the overall goal of accomplishing in situ science and returning several kilograms of surface samples from Mars. Important considerations for implementation of such a plan are minimum technology transfer, maximum sharing of scientific results, and independent credibility of each mission role. Under the guidance and oversight of a Mars Exploration Strategy Advisory Group organized by NASA, a study team was formed in the fall of 1986 to develop a preliminary definition of a flight-separable, cooperative mission. The selected concept assumes that the U.S. would undertake the rover mission with its sample collection operations and our international partner would return the samples to Earth. Although the inverse of these roles is also possible, this study report focuses on the rover functions of MRSR because rover operations have not

  2. Pressurized Rover for Moon and Mars Surface Missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Imhof, Barbara; Ransom, Stephen; Mohanty, Susmita; Özdemir, Kürsad; Häuplik-Meusburger, Sandra; Frischauf, Norbert; Hoheneder, Waltraut; Waclavicek, René

    The work described in this paper was done under ESA and Thales Alenia Space contract in the frame of the Analysis of Surface Architecture for European Space Exploration -Element Design. Future manned space missions to the Moon or to Mars will require a vehicle for transporting astronauts in a controlled and protected environment and in relative comfort during surface traverses of these planetary bodies. The vehicle that will be needed is a pressurized rover which serves the astronauts as a habitat, a refuge and a research laboratory/workshop. A number of basic issues influencing the design of such a rover, e.g. habitability, human-machine interfaces, safety, dust mitigation, interplanetary contamination and radiation protection, have been analysed in detail. The results of these analyses were subsequently used in an investigation of various designs for a rover suitable for surface exploration, from which a single concept was developed that satisfied scientific requirements as well as environmental requirements encoun-tered during surface exploration of the Moon and Mars. This concept was named in memory of the late Sir Arthur C. Clark RAMA (Rover for Advanced Mission Applications, Rover for Advanced Moon Applications, Rover for Advanced Mars Applications) The concept design of the pressurized rover meets the scientific and operational requirements defined during the course of the Surface Architecture Study. It is designed for surface missions with a crew of two or three lasting up to approximately 40 days, its source of energy, a liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen fuel cell, allowing it to be driven and operated during the day as well as the night. Guidance, navigation and obstacle avoidance systems are foreseen as standard equipment to allow it to travel safely over rough terrain at all times of the day. The rover allows extra-vehicular activity and a remote manipulator is provided to recover surface samples, to deploy surface instruments and equipment and, in general

  3. A Conceptual Venus Rover Mission Using Advanced Radioisotope Power Systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Evans, Michael; Shirley, James H.; Abelson, Robert Dean

    2006-01-01

    This concept study demonstrates that a long lived Venus rover mission could be enabled by a novel application of advanced RPS technology. General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) modules would be employed to drive an advanced thermoacoustic Stirling engine, pulse tube cooler and linear alternator that provides electric power and cooling for the rover. The Thermoacoustic Stirling Heat Engine (TASHE) is a system for converting high-temperature heat into acoustic power which then drives linear alternators and a pulse tube cooler to provide both electric power and coolin6g for the rover. A small design team examined this mission concept focusing on the feasibility of using the TASHE system in this hostile environment. A rover design is described that would provide a mobile platform for science measurements on the Venus surface for 60 days, with the potential of operating well beyond that. A suite of science instruments is described that collects data on atmospheric and surface composition, surface stratigraphy, and subsurface structure. An Earth-Venus-Venus trajectory would be used to deliver the rover to a low entry angle allowing an inflated ballute to provide a low deceleration and low heat descent to the surface. All rover systems would be housed in a pressure vessel in vacuum with the internal temperature maintained by the TASHE at under 50 °C.

  4. Rover traverse science for increased mission science return

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Castano, Rebecca; Anderson, Robert C.; Estlin, Tara; DeCoste, Dennis; Fisher, Forest; Gaines, Daniel; Mazzoni, Dominic; Judd, Michele

    2003-01-01

    In this paper, we will describe out methods for the prioritization of geologic data acquired by an in-situ rover. Our techniques are applicable to a wide range of data modalites, however out initial demonstration is focused on image analysis, as images consume a large volume of the downlink bandwidth for such missions.

  5. A Long Range Science Rover For Future Mars Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Hayati, Samad

    1997-01-01

    This paper describes the design and implementation currently underway at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of a long range science rover for future missions to Mars. The small rover prototype, called Rocky 7, is capable of long traverse. autonomous navigation. and science instrument control, carries three science instruments, and can be commanded from any computer platform and any location using the World Wide Web. In this paper we describe the mobility system, the sampling system, the sensor suite, navigation and control, onboard science instruments. and the ground command and control system.

  6. Accessing Information on the Mars Exploration Rovers Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walton, J. D.; Schreiner, J. A.

    2005-12-01

    In January 2004, the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) mission successfully deployed two robotic geologists - Spirit and Opportunity - to opposite sides of the red planet. Onboard each rover is an array of cameras and scientific instruments that send data back to Earth, where ground-based systems process and store the information. During the height of the mission, a team of about 250 scientists and engineers worked around the clock to analyze the collected data, determine a strategy and activities for the next day and then carefully compose the command sequences that would instruct the rovers in how to perform their tasks. The scientists and engineers had to work closely together to balance the science objectives with the engineering constraints so that the mission achieved its goals safely and quickly. To accomplish this coordinated effort, they adhered to a tightly orchestrated schedule of meetings and processes. To keep on time, it was critical that all team members were aware of what was happening, knew how much time they had to complete their tasks, and could easily access the information they need to do their jobs. Computer scientists and software engineers at NASA Ames Research Center worked closely with the mission managers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) to create applications that support the mission. One such application, the Collaborative Information Portal (CIP), helps mission personnel perform their daily tasks, whether they work inside mission control or the science areas at JPL, or in their homes, schools, or offices. With a three-tiered, service-oriented architecture (SOA) - client, middleware, and data repository - built using Java and commercial software, CIP provides secure access to mission schedules and to data and images transmitted from the Mars rovers. This services-based approach proved highly effective for building distributed, flexible applications, and is forming the basis for the design of future mission software systems. Almost two

  7. 3D Vision on Mars: Stereo processing and visualizations for NASA and ESA rover missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Huber, Ben

    2016-07-01

    Three dimensional (3D) vision processing is an essential component of planetary rover mission planning and scientific data analysis. Standard ground vision processing products are digital terrain maps, panoramas, and virtual views of the environment. Such processing is currently developed for the PanCam instrument of ESA's ExoMars Rover mission by the PanCam 3D Vision Team under JOANNEUM RESEARCH coordination. Camera calibration, quality estimation of the expected results and the interfaces to other mission elements such as operations planning, rover navigation system and global Mars mapping are a specific focus of the current work. The main goals of the 3D Vision team in this context are: instrument design support & calibration processing: Development of 3D vision functionality Visualization: development of a 3D visualization tool for scientific data analysis. 3D reconstructions from stereo image data during the mission Support for 3D scientific exploitation to characterize the overall landscape geomorphology, processes, and the nature of the geologic record using the reconstructed 3D models. The developed processing framework PRoViP establishes an extensible framework for 3D vision processing in planetary robotic missions. Examples of processing products and capabilities are: Digital Terrain Models, Ortho images, 3D meshes, occlusion, solar illumination-, slope-, roughness-, and hazard-maps. Another important processing capability is the fusion of rover and orbiter based images with the support of multiple missions and sensors (e.g. MSL Mastcam stereo processing). For 3D visualization a tool called PRo3D has been developed to analyze and directly interpret digital outcrop models. Stereo image products derived from Mars rover data can be rendered in PRo3D, enabling the user to zoom, rotate and translate the generated 3D outcrop models. Interpretations can be digitized directly onto the 3D surface, and simple measurements of the outcrop and sedimentary features

  8. Path planning for planetary rover using extended elevation map

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nakatani, Ichiro; Kubota, Takashi; Yoshimitsu, Tetsuo

    1994-01-01

    This paper describes a path planning method for planetary rovers to search for paths on planetary surfaces. The planetary rover is required to travel safely over a long distance for many days over unfamiliar terrain. Hence it is very important how planetary rovers process sensory information in order to understand the planetary environment and to make decisions based on that information. As a new data structure for informational mapping, an extended elevation map (EEM) has been introduced, which includes the effect of the size of the rover. The proposed path planning can be conducted in such a way as if the rover were a point while the size of the rover is automatically taken into account. The validity of the proposed methods is verified by computer simulations.

  9. Mars Exploration Rover surface mission flight thermal performance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Novak, Keith S.; Phillips, Charles J.; Sunada, Eric T.; Kinsella, Gary M.

    2005-01-01

    NASA launched two rovers in June and July of 2003 as a part of the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) project. MER-A (Spirit) landed on Mars in Gusev Crater at 15 degrees South latitude and 175 degree East longitude on January 4, 2004 (Squyres, et al., Dec. 2004)). MER-B (Opportunity) landed on Mars in Terra Meridiani at 2 degrees South latitude and 354 degrees East longitude on January 25, 2004 (Squyres, et al., August 2004) Both rovers have well exceeded their design lifetime (90 Sols) by more than a factor of 4. Spirit and Opportunity are still healthy and continue to execute their roving science missions at the time of this writing. This paper discusses rover flight thermal performance during the surface missions of both vehicles, covering roughly the time from the MER-A landing in late Southern Summer (Ls = 328, Sol 1A) through the Southern Winter solstice (Ls = 90, Sol 255A) to nearly Southern Vernal equinox (Ls = 160 , Sol 398A).

  10. NASA Selects Mars Exploration Program Rover for 2003 Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2000-01-01

    In 2003, NASA plans to launch a relative of the now-famous 1997 Mars Pathfinder rover. Using drop, bounce and roll technology, this larger cousin is expected to reach the surface of the red planet in January 2004 and begin the longest journey of scientific exploration ever undertaken across the surface of that alien world. The rover will weigh about nearly 150 kilograms (about 300 pounds) and has a range of up to about 100 meters (110 yards) per sol, or Martian day. Surface operations will last for at least 90 sols, extending to late April 2004, but could continue longer, depending on the health of the rover. One aspect of the Mars rover's mission is to determine history of climate and water at a site or sites on Mars where conditions may once have been warmer and wetter and thus potentially favorable to life as we know it here on Earth. The exact landing site has not yet been chosen, but is likely to be a location such as a former lakebed or channel deposit -- a place where scientists believe there was once water. A site will be selected on the basis of intensive study of orbital data collected by the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft, as well as the Mars 2001 orbiter and other missions.

  11. Rover Traverse Planning to Support a Lunar Polar Volatiles Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Heldmann, J.L.; Colaprete, A.C.; Elphic, R. C.; Bussey, B.; McGovern, A.; Beyer, R.; Lees, D.; Deans, M. C.; Otten, N.; Jones, H.; Wettergreen, D.

    2015-01-01

    Studies of lunar polar volatile depositsare of interest for scientific purposes to understandthe nature and evolution of the volatiles, and alsofor exploration reasons as a possible in situ resource toenable long term exploration and settlement of theMoon. Both theoretical and observational studies havesuggested that significant quantities of volatiles exist inthe polar regions, although the lateral and horizontaldistribution remains unknown at the km scale and finerresolution. A lunar polar rover mission is required tofurther characterize the distribution, quantity, andcharacter of lunar polar volatile deposits at thesehigher spatial resolutions. Here we present two casestudies for NASA’s Resource Prospector (RP) missionconcept for a lunar polar rover and utilize this missionarchitecture and associated constraints to evaluatewhether a suitable landing site exists to support an RPflight mission.

  12. Mars rover/sample return mission requirements affecting space station

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1988-01-01

    The possible interfaces between the Space Station and the Mars Rover/Sample Return (MRSR) mission are defined. In order to constrain the scope of the report a series of seven design reference missions divided into three major types were assumed. These missions were defined to span the probable range of Space Station-MRSR interactions. The options were reduced, the MRSR sample handling requirements and baseline assumptions about the MRSR hardware and the key design features and requirements of the Space Station are summarized. Only the aspects of the design reference missions necessary to define the interfaces, hooks and scars, and other provisions on the Space Station are considered. An analysis of each of the three major design reference missions, is reported, presenting conceptual designs of key hardware to be mounted on the Space Station, a definition of weights, interfaces, and required hooks and scars.

  13. Rover technology for manned Mars missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Klein, Gail

    1986-01-01

    A set of roving vehicle design requirements were postulated, corresponding to an idealized Mars transport vehicle operational scenario which could serve as a reference for a manned Mars mission. The ability of conventional vehicles to satisfy these requirements were examined. The study indicated that no conventional vehicle could satisfy all of the requirements, as the vehicles are presently configured. Consequently, the requirements have to either be relaxed and/or an alternative, less conventional vehicle design will have to be developed. A possible unconventional vehicle design which has received considerable attention for DARPA and the Army is the walker vehicle. The design issues associated with this vehicle are presented, along with a comparison of the performance capabilities of this technology vs. conventional vehicle technology.

  14. FIDO Rover Trials, Silver Lake, California, in Preparation for the Mars Sample Return Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Arvidson, R. E.; Squyres, S. W.; Baumgartner, E. T.; Blaney, D. L.; Haldemann, A. F.; Klingelhoefer, G.

    2000-01-01

    During field trials in the Mojave Desert, the Mars Sample Return (MSR) prototype rover, FIDO, simulated sampling and exploration activities with a science payload similar to what will be on the MSR rover, validating the mission operations approach.

  15. Mars Exploration Rover Spirit End of Mission Report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Callas, John L.

    2015-01-01

    The Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Spirit landed in Gusev crater on Mars on January 4, 2004, for a prime mission designed to last three months (90 sols). After more than six years operating on the surface of Mars, the last communication received from Spirit occurred on Sol 2210 (March 22, 2010). Following the loss of signal, the Mars Exploration Rover Project radiated over 1400 commands to Mars in an attempt to elicit a response from the rover. Attempts were made utilizing Deep Space Network X-Band and UHF relay via both Mars Odyssey and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Search and recovery efforts concluded on July 13, 2011. It is the MER project's assessment that Spirit succumbed to the extreme environmental conditions experienced during its fourth winter on Mars. Focusing on the time period from the end of the third Martian winter through the fourth winter and end of recovery activities, this report describes possible explanations for the loss of the vehicle and the extent of recovery efforts that were performed. It offers lessons learned and provides an overall mission summary.

  16. Science Results from the Mars Exploration Rover Mission

    SciTech Connect

    Squyres, Steven

    2007-10-05

    NASA launched two Mars Exploration Rovers, on June 10 and July 7, 2003, primarily to probe the history of water on the red planet. After landing on Mars in January 2004, the robots began to explore the planet. One of the most important scientific goals of the mission was to find and identify a variety of rocks and soils that provide evidence of the past presence of water on the planet. To obtain this information, Squyres is studying the data obtained on Mars by several sophisticated scientific instruments. In his talk, he will discuss his conclusions about water on Mars and other observations about the nature of the planet.

  17. Mars 2020 Science Rover: Science Goals and Mission Concept

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mustard, John F.; Beaty, D.; Bass, D.

    2013-10-01

    The Mars 2020 Science Definition Team (SDT), chartered in January 2013 by NASA, formulated a spacecraft mission concept for a science-focused, highly mobile rover to explore and investigate in detail a site on Mars that likely was once habitable. The mission, based on the Mars Science Laboratory landing and rover systems, would address, within a cost- and time-constrained framework, four objectives: (A) Explore an astrobiologically relevant ancient environment on Mars to decipher its geological processes and history, including the assessment of past habitability; (B) Assess the biosignature preservation potential within the selected geological environment and search for potential biosignatures; (C) Demonstrate significant technical progress towards the future return of scientifically selected, well-documented samples to Earth; and (D) provide an opportunity for contributed instruments from Human Exploration or Space Technology Programs. The SDT addressed the four mission objectives and six additional charter-specified tasks independently while specifically looking for synergy among them. Objectives A and B are each ends unto themselves, while Objective A is also the means by which samples are selected for objective B, and together they motivate and inform Objective C. The SDT also found that Objective D goals are well aligned with A through C. Critically, Objectives A, B, and C as an ensemble brought the SDT to the conclusion that exploration oriented toward both astrobiology and the preparation of a returnable cache of scientifically selected, well documented surface samples is the only acceptable mission concept. Importantly the SDT concluded that the measurements needed to attain these objectives were essentially identical, consisting of six types of field measurements: 1) context imaging 2) context mineralogy, 3) fine-scale imaging, 4) fine-scale mineralogy, 5) fine-scale elemental chemistry, and 6) organic matter detection. The mission concept fully addresses

  18. Ground Image Based High Precision Mars Rover Localization and Landing Site Mapping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, R.; di, K.; Xu, F.; Matthies, L. H.; Olson, C. F.; Arvidson, R. E.

    2002-12-01

    High precision topographic information is critical to many landing site geological and engineering applications. Precise navigation and localization of the Mars rover is important both for its own safety as well as for its ability to accomplish engineering and scientific objectives as it traverses the Martian surface. Thus high precision landing site mapping and rover localization is very desirable for the support of future long-range rover missions such as the 600-meter to 1,000-meter traverse planned for the 2003 MER mission. We have developed algorithms and software for the integrated bundle adjustment of ground images. An incremental bundle adjustment model has also been developed that adjusts descent and rover images in a progressive process that results in increased computational efficiency. An innovative approach has been investigated for automatic feature extraction and tie-point selection based on interesting point filtering and image matching techniques. Two field tests were conducted (April 1999 and May 2000) at Silver Lake, CA. Various rover localization experiments were carried out. Using descent and rover images and either an integrated or incremental adjustment, rover localization accuracy of one percent was achieved of about 1m for a traverse length of 1km from the landing center. Experiment results also showed that if no descent images are available (as will be the case in the 2003 MER mission), it is still feasible to localize a rover using only rover images. In addition to using simulated descent and rover images, we tested our methods and software with actual Mars data - IMP lander (Imager for Mars Pathfinder) and rover images form 1997 Mars pathfinder mission. With the bundle adjustment, the image errors were reduced from several - tens of pixels to a sub-pixel level. This indicates that the bundle adjustment has improved the exterior orientation (EO) parameters significantly. Seamless DEM and orthoimage can then be generated using the improved

  19. Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) : the US 2009 Mars rover mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Palluconi, Frank; Tampari, Leslie; Steltzner, Adam; Umland, Jeff

    2003-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory mission is the 2009 United States Mars Exploration Program rover mission. The MSL Project expects to complete its pre-Phase A definition activity this fiscal year (FY2003), investigations in mid-March 2004, launch in 2009, arrive at Mars in 2010 during Northern hemisphere summer and then complete a full 687 day Mars year of surface exploration. MSL will assess the potential for habitability (past and present) of a carefully selected landing region on Mars by exploring for the chemical building blocks of life, and seeking to understand quantitatively the chemical and physical environment with which these components have interacted over the geologic history of the planet. Thus, MSL will advance substantially our understanding of the history of Mars and potentially, its capacity to sustain life.

  20. Heat Capacity Mapping Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nilsson, C. S.; Andrews, J. C.; Scully-Power, P.; Ball, S.; Speechley, G.; Latham, A. R. (Principal Investigator)

    1980-01-01

    The Tasman Front was delineated by airborne expendable bathythermograph survey; and an Heat Capacity Mapping Mission (HCMM) IR image on the same day shows the same principal features as determined from ground-truth. It is clear that digital enhancement of HCMM images is necessary to map ocean surface temperatures and when done, the Tasman Front and other oceanographic features can be mapped by this method, even through considerable scattered cloud cover.

  1. Mars Exploration Rover Mission: Entry, Descent, and Landing System Validation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mitcheltree, Robert A.; Lee, Wayne; Steltzner, Adam; SanMartin, Alejanhdro

    2004-01-01

    System validation for a Mars entry, descent, and landing system is not simply a demonstration that the electrical system functions in the associated environments. The function of this system is its interaction with the atmospheric and surface environment. Thus, in addition to traditional test-bed, hardware-in-the-loop, testing, a validation program that confirms the environmental interaction is required. Unfortunately, it is not possible to conduct a meaningful end-to-end test of a Mars landing system on Earth. The validation plan must be constructed from an interconnected combination of simulation, analysis and test. For the Mars Exploration Rover mission, this combination of activities and the logic of how they combined to the system's validation was explicitly stated, reviewed, and tracked as part of the development plan.

  2. Preliminary assessment of rover power systems for the Mars Rover Sample Return Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bents, D. J.

    1989-01-01

    Four isotope power system concepts were presented and compared on a common basis for application to on-board electrical prime power for an autonomous planetary rover vehicle. A representative design point corresponding to the Mars Rover Sample Return (MRSR) preliminary mission requirements (500 W) was selected for comparison purposes. All systems concepts utilize the General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) isotope heat source developed by DOE. Two of the concepts employ thermoelectric (TE) conversion: one using the GPHS Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG) used as a reference case, the other using an advanced RTG with improved thermoelectric materials. The other two concepts employed are dynamic isotope power systems (DIPS): one using a closed Brayton cycle (CBC) turboalternator, and the other using a free piston Stirling cycle engine/linear alternator (FPSE) with integrated heat source/heater head. Near-term technology levels have been assumed for concept characterization using component technology figure-of-merit values taken from the published literature. For example, the CBC characterization draws from the historical test database accumulated from space Brayton cycle subsystems and components from the NASA B engine through the mini-Brayton rotating unit. TE system performance is estimated from Voyager/multihundred Watt (MHW)-RTG flight experience through Mod-RTG performance estimates considering recent advances in TE materials under the DOD/DOE/NASA SP-100 and NASA Committee on Scientific and Technological Information programs. The Stirling DIPS system is characterized from scaled-down Space Power Demonstrator Engine (SPDE) data using the GPHS directly incorporated into the heater head. The characterization/comparison results presented here differ from previous comparison of isotope power (made for LEO applications) because of the elevated background temperature on the Martian surface compared to LEO, and the higher sensitivity of dynamic systems to elevated

  3. Preliminary assessment of rover power systems for the Mars Rover Sample Return Mission

    SciTech Connect

    Bents, D.J.

    1989-01-01

    Four isotope power system concepts were presented and compared on a common basis for application to on-board electrical prime power for an autonomous planetary rover vehicle. A representative design point corresponding to the Mars Rover Sample Return (MRSR) preliminary mission requirements (500 W) was selected for comparison purposes. All systems concepts utilize the General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) isotope heat source developed by DOE. Two of the concepts employ thermoelectric (TE) conversion: one using the GPHS Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG) used as a reference case, the other using an advanced RTG with improved thermoelectric materials. The other two concepts employed are dynamic isotope power systems (DIPS): one using a closed Brayton cycle (CBC) turboalternator, and the other using a free piston Stirling cycle engine/linear alternator (FPSE) with integrated heat source/heater head. Near term technology levels have been assumed for concept characterization using component technology figure-of-merit values taken from the published literature. For example, the CBC characterization draws from the historical test database accumulated from space Brayton cycle subsystems and components from the NASA B engine through the mini-Brayton rotating unit. TE system performance is estimated from Voyager/multihundred Watt (MHW)-RTG flight experience through Mod-RTG performance estimates considering recent advances in TE materials under the DOD/DOE/NASA SP-100 and NASA Committee on Scientific and Technological Information programs. The Stirling DIPS system is characterized from scaled-down Space Power Demonstrator Engine (SPDE) data using the GPHS directly incorporated into the heater head.

  4. Preliminary assessment of rover power systems for the Mars Rover Sample Return Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bents, David J.

    1989-01-01

    Four isotope power system concepts were presented and compared on a common basis for application to on-board electrical prime power for an autonomous planetary rover vehicle. A representative design point corresponding to the Mars Rover Sample Return (MRSR) preliminary mission requirements (500 W) was selected for comparison purposes. All systems concepts utilize the General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) isotope heat source developed by DOE. Two of the concepts employ thermoelectric (TE) conversion: one using the GPHS Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG) used as a reference case, the other using an advanced RTG with improved thermoelectric materials. The other two concepts employed are dynamic isotope power systems (DIPS): one using a closed Brayton cycle (CBC) turboalternator, and the other using a free piston Stirling cycle engine/linear alternator (FPSE) with integrated heat source/heater head. Near term technology levels have been assumed for concept characterization using component technology figure-of-merit values taken from the published literature. For example, the CBC characterization draws from the historical test database accumulated from space Brayton cycle subsystems and components from the NASA B engine through the mini-Brayton rotating unit. TE system performance is estimated from Voyager/multihundred Watt (MHW)-RTG flight experience through Mod-RTG performance estimates considering recent advances in TE materials under the DOD/DOE/NASA SP-100 and NASA Committee on Scientific and Technological Information programs. The Stirling DIPS system is characterized from scaled-down Space Power Demonstrator Engine (SPDE) data using the GPHS directly incorporated into the heater head. The characterization/comparison results presented here differ from previous comparison of isotope power (made for Low Earth Orbit (LEO) applications) because of the elevated background temperature on the Martian surface compared to LEO, and the higher sensitivity of dynamic

  5. Scientific exploration of lunar surface using a rover in Japanese future lunar mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sasaki, S.; Kubota, T.; Okada, T.; Saiki, K.; Kuroda, Y.; Kunii, Y.; Shibamura, E.; Akiyama, N.; Ohtake, M.; Ichikawa, M.; Higa, M.; Hirata, N.; Sugihara, T.; Haruyama, J.; Otake, H.; Yoshioka, N.; Terazono, J.; Yamada, M.; Yamaguchi, Y.; Kodama, S.; Rover Group in Japan

    A new lunar mission (SELENE-B) including a lander is now in consideration in Japan. The mission will follow up SELENE (SELenological and ENgineering Explorer, a global remote sensing mission of the moon in 2004). Scientific investigation plans using a rover are proposed: exploration of a crater central peak to discover subsurface materials and exploration of the polar region to discover the trapped ice. We have already developed a 5-wheel engineering-model rover, Micro5, which has a long manipulator with a camera on top. The rover can climb over 15cm steps and rocks by a new suspension system PEGASUS.

  6. The Mars 2020 Rover Mission: EISD Participation in Mission Science and Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fries, M.; Bhartia, R.; Beegle, L.; Burton, A. S.; Ross, A.

    2014-01-01

    The Mars 2020 Rover mission will search for potential biosignatures on the martian surface, use new techniques to search for and identify tracelevel organics, and prepare a cache of samples for potential return to Earth. Identifying trace organic compounds is an important tenet of searching for potential biosignatures. Previous landed missions have experienced difficulty identifying unambiguously martian, unaltered organic compounds, possibly because any organic species have been destroyed on heating in the presence of martian perchlorates and/or other oxidants. The SHERLOC instrument on Mars 2020 will use ultraviolet (UV) fluorescence and Raman spectroscopy to identify trace organic compounds without heating the samples.

  7. The 1999 Marsokhod rover mission simulation at Silver Lake, California: Mission overview, data sets, and summary of results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stoker, C. R.; Bishop, J.; Chapman, M.; Clifford, S.; Cockell, C.; Crumpler, L.; Craddock, R.; De Hon, R.; Foster, T.; Gulick, V.; Grin, E.; Horton, K.; Hovde, G.; Johnson, J. R.; Lee, P. C.; Lemmon, M. T.; Marshall, J.; Newsom, H. E.; Ori, G. G.; Reagan, M.; Rice, J. W.; Ruff, S. W.; Schreiner, J.; Sims, M.; Smith, P. H.; Tanaka, K.; Thomas, H. J.; Thomas, G.; Yingst, R. A.

    2001-04-01

    We report on a field experiment held near Silver Lake playa in the Mojave Desert in February 1999 with the Marsokhod rover. The payload (Descent Imager, PanCam, Mini-TES, and Robotic Arm Camera), data volumes, and data transmission/receipt windows simulated those planned for the Mars Surveyor mission selected for 2001. A central mast with a pan and tilt platform at 150 cm height carried a high-resolution color stereo imager to simulate the PanCam and a visible/near-infrared fiberoptic spectrometer (operating range 0.35-2.5 μm). Monochrome stereo navigation cameras were mounted on the mast and the front and rear of the rover near the wheels. A field portable infrared spectroradiometer (operating range 8-14 μm) simulated the Mini-TES. A Robotic Arm Camera, capable of close-up color imaging at 23 μm/pixel resolution, was used in conjunction with the excavation of a trench into the subsurface. The science team was also provided with simulated images from the Mars Descent Imager and orbital panchromatic and multispectral imaging of the site obtained with the French SPOT, airborne Thermal Infrared Mapping Spectrometer, and Landsat Thematic Mapper instruments. Commands sequences were programmed and sent daily to the rover, and data returned were limited to 40 Mbits per communication cycle. During the simulated mission, 12 commands were uplinked to the rover, it traversed ~90 m, six sites were analyzed, 11 samples were collected for laboratory analysis, and over 5 Gbits of data were collected. Twenty-two scientists, unfamiliar with the location of the field site, participated in the science mission from a variety of locations, accessing data via the World Wide Web. Remote science interpretations were compared with ground truth from the field and laboratory analysis of collected samples. Using this payload and mission approach, the science team synergistically interpreted orbital imaging and infrared spectroscopy, descent imaging, rover-based imaging, infrared

  8. The Artemis Jr. rover: Mobility platform for lunar ISRU mission simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reid, Ewan; Iles, Peter; Muise, Jason; Cristello, Nick; Jones, Brad; Faragalli, Michele; Visscher, Peter; Boucher, Dale; Simard-Bilodeau, Vincent; Apostolopoulos, Dimi; Rocco, Paul; Picard, Martin

    2015-05-01

    The Regolith and Environment Science and Oxygen and Lunar Volatiles Extraction (RESOLVE) project aims to verify the presence of water and other volatiles on the Moon, and to serve as a precursor for future prospecting missions. The Artemis Jr. rover was developed as the surface mobility component of the RESOLVE project, and was specifically designed to accommodate the RESOLVE payload in a six-day NASA-CSA mission simulation carried out on Mauna Kea, Hawaii in July 2012. This paper describes the preparation, results, and lessons learned as they apply to the Artemis Jr. rover. Areas of focus include the operations as well as the rover software and hardware. Key results include support for the skid-steer configuration of the rover and the success of the absolute and relative localization functions of the rover.

  9. Site Selection and Automatically Calculated Rover Traverse for a Lunar Teleoperated Landing Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kamps, Oscar; Foing, Bernard; Flahaut, Jessica

    2016-04-01

    With the recent interest for the Moon, and the plans from the ESA side to do a tele-operated mission from Earth or lunar orbit, it is important to target a well-defined location. One of the major topics to study on the Moon is the existence and availability of volatiles and ices. Because no lander ever visited one of the poles on the Moon the theories with respect to water ice are only based on data from orbiters. In a four month research project the data from the orbiters was used for assessing potential landing sites and a rover traverse planning. Mainly data from the Prospector and LRO were used to select regions of interest. The prior selection was based on slope, temperature and a geological map from the USGS. Three sites on both the North as South Pole were used to test a proposed method for rover traverse planning. Besides the scientific interest, the sites where assessed on its accessibility for landing and roving. This assessment was done based on some assumptions what would be possible for landing and roving. For landing sites it was proposed to pick a site larger than 1km in diameter, in a (partial) illuminated area with a slope lower than 5o, which was inside an area which would be accessible for a rover. The requirements to be selected as accessible area was a slope lower than 20o, the largest polygon which meets this requirement was chosen as accessible area. As destination a site in the PSR was selected which was inside the accessible area and had extremely low temperatures. The boundary for extremely low was defined as 54K which is the sublimation temperature of CO2 in lunar atmospheric pressure. As additional target for the rover a site was selected where the temperature difference would be more than 150K to study volatile migration processes. A combination of tools in ArcGIS were used to do the site selection and rover traverse planning. In the end Rozhdestvensky and Amundsen were selected as most accessible and interesting. After comparing both

  10. A Wind-powered Rover for a Low-Cost Venus Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Benigno, Gina; Hoza, Kathleen; Motiwala, Samira; Landis, Geoffrey A.; Colozza, Anthony J.

    2013-01-01

    Venus, with a surface temperature of 450 C and an atmospheric pressure 90 times higher than that of the Earth, is a difficult target for exploration. However, high-temperature electronics and power systems now being developed make it possible that future missions may be able to operate in the Venus environment. Powering such a rover within the scope of a Discovery class mission will be difficult, but harnessing Venus' surface winds provides a possible way to keep a powered rover small and light. This project scopes out the feasibility of a wind-powered rover for Venus surface missions. Two rover concepts, a land-sailing rover and a wind-turbine-powered rover, were considered. The turbine-powered rover design is selected as being a low-risk and low-cost strategy. Turbine detailed analysis and design shows that the turbine can meet mission requirements across the desired range of wind speeds by utilizing three constant voltage generators at fixed gear ratios.

  11. PDS MSL Analyst's Notebook: Supporting Active Rover Missions and Adding Value to Planetary Data Archives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stein, Thomas

    , instruments, and data formats. In addition, observation planning and targeting information is extracted from each sol’s tactical science plan. A number of methods allow user access to the Notebook contents. The mission summary provides a high level overview of science operations. The Sol Summaries are the primary interface to integrated data and documents contained within the Notebooks. Data, documents, and planned observations are grouped for easy scanning. Data products are displayed in order of acquisition, and are grouped into logical sequences, such as a series of image data. Sequences and the individual products that comprise them may be viewed in detail, manipulated, and downloaded. Color composites and anaglyph stereo images may be created on demand. Graphs of some non-image data, such as spectra, may be viewed. Data may be downloaded as zip or gzip files, or as multiband ENVI image files. The Notebook contains a map with the rover traverse plotted on a HiRISE basemap using the raw and corrected drive telemetry provided by the project. Users may zoom and pan the map. Clicking on a traverse location brings up links to corresponding data. Three types of searching through data and documents are available within the Notebook. Free text searching of data set and sol documents are supported. Data are searchable by instrument, acquisition time, data type, and product ID. Results may be downloaded in a single collection or selected individually for detailed viewing. Additional resources include data set documents, references to published mission, links to related web resources, and online help. Finally, feedback is handled through an online forum. Work continues to improve functionality, including locating features of interest and a spectral library search/view/download tool. A number of Notebook functions are based on previous user suggestions, and feedback continues to be sought. The Analyst’s Notebook is available at http://an.rsl.wustl.edu.

  12. The Preparation for and Execution of Engineering Operations for the Mars Curiosity Rover Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Samuels, Jessica A.

    2013-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover mission is the most complex and scientifically packed rover that has ever been operated on the surface of Mars. The preparation leading up to the surface mission involved various tests, contingency planning and integration of plans between various teams and scientists for determining how operation of the spacecraft (s/c) would be facilitated. In addition, a focused set of initial set of health checks needed to be defined and created in order to ensure successful operation of rover subsystems before embarking on a two year science journey. This paper will define the role and responsibilities of the Engineering Operations team, the process involved in preparing the team for rover surface operations, the predefined engineering activities performed during the early portion of the mission, and the evaluation process used for initial and day to day spacecraft operational assessment.

  13. BISMARC: a biologically inspired system for map-based autonomous rover control.

    PubMed

    Huntsberger, Terry; Rose, John

    1998-10-01

    As the complexity of the missions to planetary surfaces increases, so too does the need for autonomous rover systems. This need is complicated by the power, mass and computer storage restrictions on such systems (Miller, D. P. (1992). Reducing software mass through behaviour control. In Proceedings SPIE conference on cooperative intelligent robotics in space III (Vol. 1829, pp. 472-475, 1992). Boston, MA. To address these problems, we have recently developed a system called BISMARC (Biologically Inspired System for Map-based Autonomous Rover Control) for planetary missions involving multiple small, lightweight surface rovers (Huntsberger, T. L. (1997). Autonomous multirover system for complex planetary retrieval operations. In P. S. Schenker, and G. T. McKee (Eds.), Proceedings SPIE symposium on sensor fusion and decentralized control in autonomous robotic systems (pp. 221-227). Pittsburgh, PA). BISMARC is capable of cooperative planetary surface retrieval operations such as a multiple cache recovery mission to Mars. The system employs autonomous navigation techniques, behavior-based control for surface retrieval operations, and an action selection mechanism based on a modified form of free flow hierarchy (Rosenblatt, J. K. and Payton, D. W. (1989). A fine-grained alternative to the subsumption architecture for mobile robot control. In Proceedings IEEE/INNS joint conference on neural networks (pp. 317-324). Washington, DC). This paper primarily describes the navigation and map-mapping subsystems of BISMARC. They are inspired by some recent studies of London taxi drivers indicating that the right hippocampal region of the brain is activated for path planning but not for landmark identification (Maguire, E. A. et al. (1997). Recalling routes around London: activation of the right hippocampus in taxi drivers. Journal of Neuroscience, 17(18), 7103-7110). We also report the results of some experimental studies of simulated navigation in planetary environments. PMID

  14. 1999 Marsokhod Field Experiment: A Simulation of a Mars Rover Science Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stoker, C.; Cabrol, N.; Roush, T.; Gulick, V.; Hovde, G.; Moersch, J.

    1999-01-01

    A field experiment to simulate a rover mission to Mars was performed in February 1999. This experiment, the latest in a series of rover field experiments, was designed to demonstrate and validate technologies and investigation strategies for high-science, high-technology performance, and cost-effective planetary rover operations. Objectives: The experiment objectives were to: (1) train scientists in a mission configuration relevant to Surveyor program rover missions at a terrestrial analog field site simulating the criteria of high-priority candidate landing-sites on Mars; (2) develop optimal exploration strategies; (3) evaluate the effectiveness of imaging and spectroscopy in addressing science objectives; (4) assess the value and limitation of descent imaging in supporting rover operations; and (5) evaluate the ability of a science team to correctly interpret the geology of the field site using rover observations. A field site in the California Mojave Desert was chosen for its relevance to the criteria for landing site selection for the Mars Surveyor program. These criteria are: (1) evidence of past water activity; (2) presence of a mechanism to concentrate life; (3) presence of thermal energy sources; (4) evidence of rapid burial; and (5) excavation mechanisms that could expose traces of life.

  15. Field Experiments using Telepresence and Virtual Reality to Control Remote Vehicles: Application to Mars Rover Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stoker, Carol

    1994-01-01

    This paper will describe a series of field experiments to develop and demonstrate file use of Telepresence and Virtual Reality systems for controlling rover vehicles on planetary surfaces. In 1993, NASA Ames deployed a Telepresence-Controlled Remotely Operated underwater Vehicle (TROV) into an ice-covered sea environment in Antarctica. The goal of the mission was to perform scientific exploration of an unknown environment using a remote vehicle with telepresence and virtual reality as a user interface. The vehicle was operated both locally, from above a dive hole in the ice through which it was launched, and remotely over a satellite communications link from a control room at NASA's Ames Research center, for over two months. Remote control used a bidirectional Internet link to the vehicle control computer. The operator viewed live stereo video from the TROV along with a computer-gene rated graphic representation of the underwater terrain showing file vehicle state and other related information. Tile actual vehicle could be driven either from within the virtual environment or through a telepresence interface. In March 1994, a second field experiment was performed in which [lie remote control system developed for the Antarctic TROV mission was used to control the Russian Marsokhod Rover, an advanced planetary surface rover intended for launch in 1998. Marsokhod consists of a 6-wheel chassis and is capable of traversing several kilometers of terrain each day, The rover can be controlled remotely, but is also capable of performing autonomous traverses. The rover was outfitted with a manipulator arm capable of deploying a small instrument, collecting soil samples, etc. The Marsokhod rover was deployed at Amboy Crater in the Mojave desert, a Mars analog site, and controlled remotely from Los Angeles. in two operating modes: (1) a Mars rover mission simulation with long time delay and (2) a Lunar rover mission simulation with live action video. A team of planetary

  16. A conceptual design and operational characteristics for a Mars rover for a 1979 or 1981 Viking science mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Darnell, W. L.; Wessel, V. W.

    1974-01-01

    The feasibility of a small Mars rover for use on a 1979 or 1981 Viking mission was studied and a preliminary design concept was developed. Three variations of the concept were developed to provide comparisons in mobility and science capability of the rover. Final masses of the three rover designs were approximately 35 kg, 40 kg, and 69 kg. The smallest rover is umbilically connected to the lander for power and communications purposes whereas the larger two rovers have secondary battery power and a 2-way very high frequency communication link to the lander. The capability for carrying Viking rovers (including development system) to the surface of Mars was considered first. It was found to be feasible to carry rovers of over 100 kg. Virtually all rover systems were then studied briefly to determine a feasible system concept and a practical interface with the comparable system of a 1979 or 1981 lander vehicle.

  17. NEXT Lunar Lander Mission - Overview and Challenges of the Lunar Rover Design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allouis, Elie

    Looking ahead at the 2015-2018 timeframe, the European Space Agency (ESA) has recently started the investigation of the Next Exploration Science and Technology missions (NEXT) to demonstrate a number of key technologies for future programmes such as the Mars Sample Return (MSR). This paper provides the first insights into the mobile rover concept investigated as part of the NEXT Lunar Lander Study. Operating at the South Pole of the Moon, the rover will face a very challenging environment. Subjected to 200-hours long cold lunar nights at -200C for an initial mission duration of 1 year, and a total traverse of 20km, the design and operation of the rover requires careful attention. Its design is initially based on the knowledge developed for the ESA ExoMars mission, but the major differences in the environment and operation of the rover, means that most of the systems need a thorough assessment of their capabilities under Lunar condition and, where required, the development of new solutions. From the locomotion system designed to cope with uncertain lunar terrain, the thermal system dealing with gradients of hundreds of degrees, to the navigation through dark shadows, this paper illustrates some of the challenges future missions will face when targeting location such as the south pole on the Moon, but it will also provide details of the enabling technologies leading to the Mars Sample Return Mission and beyond.

  18. Mars methane analogue mission: Mission simulation and rover operations at Jeffrey Mine and Norbestos Mine Quebec, Canada

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qadi, A.; Cloutis, E.; Samson, C.; Whyte, L.; Ellery, A.; Bell, J. F.; Berard, G.; Boivin, A.; Haddad, E.; Lavoie, J.; Jamroz, W.; Kruzelecky, R.; Mack, A.; Mann, P.; Olsen, K.; Perrot, M.; Popa, D.; Rhind, T.; Sharma, R.; Stromberg, J.; Strong, K.; Tremblay, A.; Wilhelm, R.; Wing, B.; Wong, B.

    2015-05-01

    The Canadian Space Agency (CSA), through its Analogue Missions program, supported a microrover-based analogue mission designed to simulate a Mars rover mission geared toward identifying and characterizing methane emissions on Mars. The analogue mission included two, progressively more complex, deployments in open-pit asbestos mines where methane can be generated from the weathering of olivine into serpentine: the Jeffrey mine deployment (June 2011) and the Norbestos mine deployment (June 2012). At the Jeffrey Mine, testing was conducted over 4 days using a modified off-the-shelf Pioneer rover and scientific instruments including Raman spectrometer, Picarro methane detector, hyperspectral point spectrometer and electromagnetic induction sounder for testing rock and gas samples. At the Norbestos Mine, we used the research Kapvik microrover which features enhanced autonomous navigation capabilities and a wider array of scientific instruments. This paper describes the rover operations in terms of planning, deployment, communication and equipment setup, rover path parameters and instrument performance. Overall, the deployments suggest that a search strategy of “follow the methane” is not practical given the mechanisms of methane dispersion. Rather, identification of features related to methane sources based on image tone/color and texture from panoramic imagery is more profitable.

  19. Distributed Operations for the Mars Exploration Rover Mission with the Science Activity Planner

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wick, Justin V.; Callas, John L.; Norris, Jeffrey S.; Powell, Mark W.; Vona, Marsette A., III

    2005-01-01

    Due to the length of the Mars Exploration Rover Mission, most scientists were unable to stay at the central operations facility at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. This created a need for distributed operations software, in the form of the Distributed Science Activity Planner. The distributed architecture saved a considerable amount of money and increased the number of individuals who could be actively involved in the mission, contributing to its success.

  20. First results from the Mojave Volatiles Prospector (MVP) Field Campaign, a Lunar Polar Rover Mission Analog

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heldmann, J. L.; Colaprete, A.; Cook, A.; Deans, M. C.; Elphic, R. C.; Lim, D. S. S.; Skok, J. R.

    2014-12-01

    The Mojave Volatiles Prospector (MVP) project is a science-driven field program with the goal to produce critical knowledge for conducting robotic exploration of the Moon. MVP will feed science, payload, and operational lessons learned to the development of a real-time, short-duration lunar polar volatiles prospecting mission. MVP achieves these goals through a simulated lunar rover mission to investigate the composition and distribution of surface and subsurface volatiles in a natural and a priori unknown environment within the Mojave Desert, improving our understanding of how to find, characterize, and access volatiles on the Moon. The MVP field site is the Mojave Desert, selected for its low, naturally occurring water abundance. The Mojave typically has on the order of 2-6% water, making it a suitable lunar analog for this field test. MVP uses the Near Infrared and Visible Spectrometer Subsystem (NIRVSS), Neutron Spectrometer Subsystem (NSS), and a downward facing GroundCam camera on the KREX-2 rover to investigate the relationship between the distribution of volatiles and soil crust variation. Through this investigation, we mature robotic in situ instruments and concepts of instrument operations, improve ground software tools for real time science, and carry out publishable research on the water cycle and its connection to geomorphology and mineralogy in desert environments. A lunar polar rover mission is unlike prior space missions and requires a new concept of operations. The rover must navigate 3-5 km of terrain and examine multiple sites in in just ~6 days. Operational decisions must be made in real time, requiring constant situational awareness, data analysis and rapid turnaround decision support tools. This presentation will focus on the first science results and operational architecture findings from the MVP field deployment relevant to a lunar polar rover mission.

  1. Key findings from the first 360 sols of the Curiosity rover mission in Gale crater, Mars (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crisp, J. A.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Vasavada, A. R.; Team, M.

    2013-12-01

    The goal of the Curiosity rover mission is to search for habitable environments. Since its landing in Gale crater early August 2012, the Curiosity rover has been exploring primarily the area in vicinity of where it landed and 450 m to the east in the Glenelg region. Measurements of energetic particle radiation during the cruise to Mars and on the martian surface reveal the effects of shielding by spacecraft materials and Mars' variable atmosphere. The unique setting of Curiosity within a deep and large crater has allowed its meteorological instruments to capture phenomena not accessible to other missions. Atmospheric volume mixing and isotope ratios point to significant loss from the top of the martian atmosphere, supportive of early conditions on Mars being more suitable for life. Geologic mapping using orbital data sets provided regional context that was used by the science team to plan where the rover should go and to interpret the findings. The most intensive geologic investigations included the study of conglomeratic sediments deposited by sustained stream flow; highly alkaline igneous rocks and minerals that expand the range of known volcanic compositions on Mars; correlations between hydration signatures and geologic features; a basaltic aeolian sand shadow that records an environment with low water activity; and a smectite-rich relatively higher thermal inertia mudstone that records an ancient, habitable environment of shallow lake waters with low salinity, neutral acidity, and variable but not strongly oxidizing conditions. The rover has begun a several-kilometer drive to Aeolis Mons (informally known as Mount Sharp), where close-up examination of a thick succession of layered deposits is expected to reveal information about the evolution of past environmental conditions on Mars, from the study of older clay-bearing to younger hydrated-sulfate-bearing deposits.

  2. Entry Trajectory and Atmosphere Reconstruction Methodologies for the Mars Exploration Rover Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Desai, Prasun N.; Blanchard, Robert C.; Powell, Richard W.

    2003-01-01

    The Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission will land two landers on the surface of Mars, arriving in January 2004. Both landers will deliver the rovers to the surface by decelerating with the aid of an aeroshell, a supersonic parachute, retro-rockets, and air bags for safely landing on the surface. The reconstruction of the MER descent trajectory and atmosphere profile will be performed for all the phases from hypersonic flight through landing. A description of multiple methodologies for the flight reconstruction is presented from simple parameter identification methods through a statistical Kalman filter approach.

  3. Real-time science operations to support a lunar polar volatiles rover mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heldmann, Jennifer L.; Colaprete, Anthony; Elphic, Richard C.; Mattes, Greg; Ennico, Kimberly; Fritzler, Erin; Marinova, Margarita M.; McMurray, Robert; Morse, Stephanie; Roush, Ted L.; Stoker, Carol R.

    2015-05-01

    Future human exploration of the Moon will likely rely on in situ resource utilization (ISRU) to enable long duration lunar missions. Prior to utilizing ISRU on the Moon, the natural resources (in this case lunar volatiles) must be identified and characterized, and ISRU demonstrated on the lunar surface. To enable future uses of ISRU, NASA and the CSA are developing a lunar rover payload that can (1) locate near subsurface volatiles, (2) excavate and analyze samples of the volatile-bearing regolith, and (3) demonstrate the form, extractability and usefulness of the materials. Such investigations are important both for ISRU purposes and for understanding the scientific nature of these intriguing lunar volatile deposits. Temperature models and orbital data suggest near surface volatile concentrations may exist at briefly lit lunar polar locations outside persistently shadowed regions. A lunar rover could be remotely operated at some of these locations for the ∼ 2-14 days of expected sunlight at relatively low cost. Due to the limited operational time available, both science and rover operations decisions must be made in real time, requiring immediate situational awareness, data analysis, and decision support tools. Given these constraints, such a mission requires a new concept of operations. In this paper we outline the results and lessons learned from an analog field campaign in July 2012 which tested operations for a lunar polar rover concept. A rover was operated in the analog environment of Hawaii by an off-site Flight Control Center, a rover navigation center in Canada, a Science Backroom at NASA Ames Research Center in California, and support teams at NASA Johnson Space Center in Texas and NASA Kennedy Space Center in Florida. We find that this type of mission requires highly efficient, real time, remotely operated rover operations to enable low cost, scientifically relevant exploration of the distribution and nature of lunar polar volatiles. The field

  4. Learning from the Mars Rover Mission: Scientific Discovery, Learning and Memory

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Linde, Charlotte

    2005-01-01

    Purpose: Knowledge management for space exploration is part of a multi-generational effort. Each mission builds on knowledge from prior missions, and learning is the first step in knowledge production. This paper uses the Mars Exploration Rover mission as a site to explore this process. Approach: Observational study and analysis of the work of the MER science and engineering team during rover operations, to investigate how learning occurs, how it is recorded, and how these representations might be made available for subsequent missions. Findings: Learning occurred in many areas: planning science strategy, using instrumen?s within the constraints of the martian environment, the Deep Space Network, and the mission requirements; using software tools effectively; and running two teams on Mars time for three months. This learning is preserved in many ways. Primarily it resides in individual s memories. It is also encoded in stories, procedures, programming sequences, published reports, and lessons learned databases. Research implications: Shows the earliest stages of knowledge creation in a scientific mission, and demonstrates that knowledge management must begin with an understanding of knowledge creation. Practical implications: Shows that studying learning and knowledge creation suggests proactive ways to capture and use knowledge across multiple missions and generations. Value: This paper provides a unique analysis of the learning process of a scientific space mission, relevant for knowledge management researchers and designers, as well as demonstrating in detail how new learning occurs in a learning organization.

  5. Recent Results from the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Squyres, S. W.

    2005-05-01

    Since arriving at the Columbia Hills, the Spirit rover's primary area of geologic investigation has been the West Spur of Husband Hill. Pancam images of West Spur rocks show morphology ranging from massive to finely layered. Microscopic Imager images show the rocks to be clastic in nature, with a substantial range in grain sizes. Grains vary from rounded to angular. Mini-TES data show little variability from one rock to the next, and the best fit to the IR spectral signature of the rocks is dominated by basaltic glass. The chemistry revealed by the APXS is broadly basaltic in nature, but substantially enhanced in P, S, Cl, and Br relative to plains rocks. Moessbauer data show that olivine is absent in West Spur rocks, and pyroxene signatures are weak. Fe oxides and oxyhydroxides are present. We interpret the rocks of the West Spur to be aqueously altered basaltic materials of volcaniclastic or impact origin. Since leaving the West Spur, Spirit has explored toward the northeast, higher onto Husband Hill. Loose rocks ("float") on the north flank of the hill are dominated by another poorly sorted clastic lithology that contains olivine and that has strikingly high abundances of Ti and P. Only a few bedrock outcrops have been identified on the main body of Husband Hill. All of these examined to date consist of a coarse-grained clastic rock dominated by basaltic chemistry and cemented by sulfate salts. Grain sizes range up to several mm, and sub-cm layering is present. Moessbauer data show pyroxene, olivine, and a high abundance of magnetite in the basaltic component. APXS data are consistent with the rock being up to 20 percent magnesium sulfate salts by mass, and microscopic images show a high degree of cementation by these salts.

  6. Science Results from the Mars Exploration Rover Mission

    ScienceCinema

    Squyres, Steven [Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, United States

    2010-09-01

    One of the most important scientific goals of the mission was to find and identify a variety of rocks and soils that provide evidence of the past presence of water on the planet. To obtain this information, Squyres is studying the data obtained on Mars by several sophisticated scientific instruments.

  7. Science Results from the Mars Exploration Rover Mission

    SciTech Connect

    Squyres, Steven

    2007-10-05

    One of the most important scientific goals of the mission was to find and identify a variety of rocks and soils that provide evidence of the past presence of water on the planet. To obtain this information, Squyres is studying the data obtained on Mars by several sophisticated scientific instruments.

  8. Mars Exploration Rover Terminal Descent Mission Modeling and Simulation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Raiszadeh, Behzad; Queen, Eric M.

    2004-01-01

    Because of NASA's added reliance on simulation for successful interplanetary missions, the MER mission has developed a detailed EDL trajectory modeling and simulation. This paper summarizes how the MER EDL sequence of events are modeled, verification of the methods used, and the inputs. This simulation is built upon a multibody parachute trajectory simulation tool that has been developed in POST I1 that accurately simulates the trajectory of multiple vehicles in flight with interacting forces. In this model the parachute and the suspended bodies are treated as 6 Degree-of-Freedom (6 DOF) bodies. The terminal descent phase of the mission consists of several Entry, Descent, Landing (EDL) events, such as parachute deployment, heatshield separation, deployment of the lander from the backshell, deployment of the airbags, RAD firings, TIRS firings, etc. For an accurate, reliable simulation these events need to be modeled seamlessly and robustly so that the simulations will remain numerically stable during Monte-Carlo simulations. This paper also summarizes how the events have been modeled, the numerical issues, and modeling challenges.

  9. Rover Family Photo

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    Members of the Mars Exploration Rovers Assembly, Test and Launch Operations team gather around Rover 2 and its predecessor, a flight spare of the Pathfinder mission's Sojourner rover, named Marie Curie.

  10. A Reliable Service-Oriented Architecture for NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mak, Ronald; Walton, Joan; Keely, Leslie; Hehner, Dennis; Chan, Louise

    2005-01-01

    The Collaborative Information Portal (CIP) was enterprise software developed jointly by the NASA Ames Research Center and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for NASA's highly successful Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission. Both MER and CIP have performed far beyond their original expectations. Mission managers and engineers ran CIP inside the mission control room at JPL, and the scientists ran CIP in their laboratories, homes, and offices. All the users connected securely over the Internet. Since the mission ran on Mars time, CIP displayed the current time in various Mars and Earth time zones, and it presented staffing and event schedules with Martian time scales. Users could send and receive broadcast messages, and they could view and download data and image files generated by the rovers' instruments. CIP had a three-tiered, service-oriented architecture (SOA) based on industry standards, including J2EE and web services, and it integrated commercial off-the-shelf software. A user's interactions with the graphical interface of the CIP client application generated web services requests to the CIP middleware. The middleware accessed the back-end data repositories if necessary and returned results for these requests. The client application could make multiple service requests for a single user action and then present a composition of the results. This happened transparently, and many users did not even realize that they were connecting to a server. CIP performed well and was extremely reliable; it attained better than 99% uptime during the course of the mission. In this paper, we present overviews of the MER mission and of CIP. We show how CIP helped to fulfill some of the mission needs and how people used it. We discuss the criteria for choosing its architecture, and we describe how the developers made the software so reliable. CIP's reliability did not come about by chance, but was the result of several key design decisions. We conclude with some of the important

  11. Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator Heat Exchangers for the Mars Science Laboratory Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Mastropietro, A. J.; Beatty, John S.; Kelly, Frank P.; Bhandari, Pradeep; Bame, David P.; Liu, Yuanming; Birux, Gajanana C.; Miller, Jennifer R.; Pauken, Michael T.; Illsley, Peter M.

    2012-01-01

    The addition of the Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG) to the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Rover requires an advanced thermal control system that is able to both recover and reject the waste heat from the MMRTG as needed in order to maintain the onboard electronics at benign temperatures despite the extreme and widely varying environmental conditions experienced both on the way to Mars and on the Martian surface. Based on the previously successful Mars landed mission thermal control schemes, a mechanically pumped fluid loop (MPFL) architecture was selected as the most robust and efficient means for meeting the MSL thermal requirements. The MSL heat recovery and rejection system (HRS) is comprised of two Freon (CFC-11) MPFLs that interact closely with one another to provide comprehensive thermal management throughout all mission phases. The first loop, called the Rover HRS (RHRS), consists of a set of pumps, thermal control valves, and heat exchangers (HXs) that enables the transport of heat from the MMRTG to the rover electronics during cold conditions or from the electronics straight to the environment for immediate heat rejection during warm conditions. The second loop, called the Cruise HRS (CHRS), is thermally coupled to the RHRS during the cruise to Mars, and provides a means for dissipating the waste heat more directly from the MMRTG as well as from both the cruise stage and rover avionics by promoting circulation to the cruise stage radiators. A multifunctional structure was developed that is capable of both collecting waste heat from the MMRTG and rejecting the waste heat to the surrounding environment. It consists of a pair of honeycomb core sandwich panels with HRS tubes bonded to both sides. Two similar HX assemblies were designed to surround the MMRTG on the aft end of the rover. Heat acquisition is accomplished on the interior (MMRTG facing) surface of each HX while heat rejection is accomplished on the exterior surface of

  12. Middleware and Web Services for the Collaborative Information Portal of NASA's Mars Exploration Rovers Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sinderson, Elias; Magapu, Vish; Mak, Ronald

    2004-01-01

    We describe the design and deployment of the middleware for the Collaborative Information Portal (CIP), a mission critical J2EE application developed for NASA's 2003 Mars Exploration Rover mission. CIP enabled mission personnel to access data and images sent back from Mars, staff and event schedules, broadcast messages and clocks displaying various Earth and Mars time zones. We developed the CIP middleware in less than two years time usins cutting-edge technologies, including EJBs, servlets, JDBC, JNDI and JMS. The middleware was designed as a collection of independent, hot-deployable web services, providing secure access to back end file systems and databases. Throughout the middleware we enabled crosscutting capabilities such as runtime service configuration, security, logging and remote monitoring. This paper presents our approach to mitigating the challenges we faced, concluding with a review of the lessons we learned from this project and noting what we'd do differently and why.

  13. Preface: The Chang'e-3 lander and rover mission to the Moon

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ip, Wing-Huen; Yan, Jun; Li, Chun-Lai; Ouyang, Zi-Yuan

    2014-12-01

    The Chang'e-3 (CE-3) lander and rover mission to the Moon was an intermediate step in China's lunar exploration program, which will be followed by a sample return mission. The lander was equipped with a number of remote-sensing instruments including a pair of cameras (Landing Camera and Terrain Camera) for recording the landing process and surveying terrain, an extreme ultraviolet camera for monitoring activities in the Earth's plasmasphere, and a first-ever Moon-based ultraviolet telescope for astronomical observations. The Yutu rover successfully carried out close-up observations with the Panoramic Camera, mineralogical investigations with the VIS-NIR Imaging Spectrometer, study of elemental abundances with the Active Particle-induced X-ray Spectrometer, and pioneering measurements of the lunar subsurface with Lunar Penetrating Radar. This special issue provides a collection of key information on the instrumental designs, calibration methods and data processing procedures used by these experiments with a perspective of facilitating further analyses of scientific data from CE-3 in preparation for future missions.

  14. Validation of Lithium-ion cell technology for JPL's 2003 Mars Exploration Rover Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smart, Marshall C.; Ratnakumar, Bugga V.; Ewell, R. C.; Whitcanack, L. D.; Chin, K. B.; Surampudi, S.

    2004-01-01

    n early 2004 JPL successfully landed two Rovers, named Spirit and Opportunity, on the surface of Mars after traveling >300 million miles over a 6-7 month period. In order to operate for extended duration on the surface of Mars, both Rovers are equipped with rechargeable Lithium-ion batteries, which were designed to aid in the launch, correct anomalies during cruise, and support surface operations in conjunction with a triple-junction deployable solar arrays. The requirements of the Lithium-ion battery include the ability to provide power at least 90 sols on the surface of Mars, operate over a wide temperature range (-20 C to +40 C), withstanding long storage periods (e.g., cruise period), operate in an inverted position, and support high currents (e.g., firing pyro events). In order to determine the viability of Lithium-ion technology to meet these stringent requirements, a comprehensive test program was implemented aimed at demonstrating the performance capability of prototype cells fabricated by Lithion, Inc. (Yardney Technical Products, Inc.). The testing performed includes, determining the (a) room temperature cycle life, (b) pulse capability as a function of temperature, (e) self-discharge and storage characteristics mission profile capability, (f) cycle life under mission simulation conditions, (g) impedance characteristics, (h) impact of cell orientation, and (i) performance in 8-cell engineering batteries. As will be discussed, the Lithium-ion prototype cells and batteries were demonstrated to meet, as well as, exceed the requirements defined by the mission.

  15. MAPGEN: Mixed-Initiative Activity Planning for the Mars Exploration Rover Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ai-Chang, Mitchell; Bresina, John; Hsu, Jennifer; Jonsson, Ari; Kanefsky, Bob; McCurdy, Michael; Morris, Paul; Rajan, Kanna; Vera, Alonso; Yglesias, Jeffrey

    2004-01-01

    This document describes the Mixed initiative Activity Plan Generation system MAPGEN. This system is one of the critical tools in the Mars Exploration Rover mission surface operations, where it is used to build activity plans for each of the rovers, each Martian day. The MAPGEN system combines an existing tool for activity plan editing and resource modeling, with an advanced constraint-based reasoning and planning framework. The constraint-based planning component provides active constraint and rule enforcement, automated planning capabilities, and a variety of tools and functions that are useful for building activity plans in an interactive fashion. In this demonstration, we will show the capabilities of the system and demonstrate how the system has been used in actual Mars rover operations. In contrast to the demonstration given at ICAPS 03, significant improvement have been made to the system. These include various additional capabilities that are based on automated reasoning and planning techniques, as well as a new Constraint Editor support tool. The Constraint Editor (CE) as part of the process for generating these command loads, the MAPGEN tool provides engineers and scientists an intelligent activity planning tool that allows them to more effectively generate complex plans that maximize the science return each day. The key to the effectiveness of the MAPGEN tool is an underlying constraint-based planning and reasoning engine.

  16. Preliminary Geological Map of the Peace Vallis Fan Integrated with In Situ Mosaics From the Curiosity Rover, Gale Crater, Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sumner, D. Y.; Palucis, M.; Dietrich, B.; Calef, F.; Stack, K. M.; Ehlmann, B.; Bridges, J.; Dromart, J.; Eigenbrode, J.; Farmer, J.; Grant, J.; Grotzinger, J.; Hamilton, V.; Hardgrove, C.; Kah, L.; Leveille, R.; Mangold, N.; Rowland, S.; Williams, R.

    2013-01-01

    A geomorphically defined alluvial fan extends from Peace Vallis on the NW wall of Gale Crater, Mars into the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover landing ellipse. Prior to landing, the MSL team mapped the ellipse and surrounding areas, including the Peace Vallis fan. Map relationships suggest that bedded rocks east of the landing site are likely associated with the fan, which led to the decision to send Curiosity east. Curiosity's mast camera (Mastcam) color images are being used to refine local map relationships. Results from regional mapping and the first 100 sols of the mission demonstrate that the area has a rich geological history. Understanding this history will be critical for assessing ancient habitability and potential organic matter preservation at Gale Crater.

  17. Rover exploration on the lunar surface; a science proposal for SELENE-B mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sasaki, S.; Kubota, T.; Akiyama, H.; Hirata, N.; Kunii, Y.; Matsumoto, K.; Okada, T.; Otake, M.; Saiki, K.; Sugihara, T.

    LUNARSURFACE:ASCIENCES. Sasaki (1), T. Kubota (2) , H. Akiyama (1) , N. Hirata (3), Y. Kunii (4), K. Matsumoto (5), T. Okada (2), M. Otake (3), K. Saiki (6), T. Sugihara (3) (1) Department of Earth and Planetary Science, Univ. Tokyo, (2) Institute of Space and Astronautical Sciences, (3) National Space Development Agency of Japan, (4) Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Chuo Univ., (5) National Aerospace Laboratory of Japan, (6) Research Institute of Materials and Resources, Akita Univ. sho@eps.s.u -tokyo.ac.jp/Fax:+81-3-5841-4569 A new lunar landing mission (SELENE-B) is now in consideration in Japan. Scientific investigation plans using a rover are proposed. To clarify the origin and evolution of the moon, the early crustal formation and later mare volcanic processes are still unveiled. We proposed two geological investigation plans: exploration of a crater central peak to discover subsurface materials and exploration of dome-cone structures on young mare region. We propose multi-band macro/micro camera using AOTF, X-ray spectrometer/diffractometer and gamma ray spectrometer. Since observation of rock fragments in brecciaed rocks is necessary, the rover should have cutting or scraping mechanism of rocks. In our current scenario, landing should be performed about 500m from the main target (foot of a crater central peak or a cone/dome). After the spectral survey by multi-band camera on the lander, the rover should be deployed for geological investigation. The rover should make a short (a few tens meter) round trip at first, then it should perform traverse observation toward the main target. Some technological investigations on SELENE-B project will be also presented.

  18. 2003 Mars Exploration Rover Mission: Robotic Field Geologists for a Mars Sample Return Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ming, Douglas W.

    2008-01-01

    The Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Spirit landed in Gusev crater on Jan. 4, 2004 and the rover Opportunity arrived on the plains of Meridiani Planum on Jan. 25, 2004. The rovers continue to return new discoveries after 4 continuous Earth years of operations on the surface of the red planet. Spirit has successfully traversed 7.5 km over the Gusev crater plains, ascended to the top of Husband Hill, and entered into the Inner Basin of the Columbia Hills. Opportunity has traveled nearly 12 km over flat plains of Meridiani and descended into several impact craters. Spirit and Opportunity carry an integrated suite of scientific instruments and tools called the Athena science payload. The Athena science payload consists of the 1) Panoramic Camera (Pancam) that provides high-resolution, color stereo imaging, 2) Miniature Thermal Emission Spectrometer (Mini-TES) that provides spectral cubes at mid-infrared wavelengths, 3) Microscopic Imager (MI) for close-up imaging, 4) Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) for elemental chemistry, 5) Moessbauer Spectrometer (MB) for the mineralogy of Fe-bearing materials, 6) Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) for removing dusty and weathered surfaces and exposing fresh rock underneath, and 7) Magnetic Properties Experiment that allow the instruments to study the composition of magnetic martian materials [1]. The primary objective of the Athena science investigation is to explore two sites on the martian surface where water may once have been present, and to assess past environmental conditions at those sites and their suitability for life. The Athena science instruments have made numerous scientific discoveries over the 4 plus years of operations. The objectives of this paper are to 1) describe the major scientific discoveries of the MER robotic field geologists and 2) briefly summarize what major outstanding questions were not answered by MER that might be addressed by returning samples to our laboratories on Earth.

  19. The heat capacity mapping mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Short, N. M.

    1981-01-01

    The first in a series of low cost Atmospheric Explorer Satellites, the Heat Capacity Mapping Mission (HCMM) was designed to evaluate the utility of thermal inertial and other thermal and reflectance data for: (1) discriminating bedrock and unconsolidated regolith types; (2) mapping soil moisture; (3) measuring plant canopy temperatures; (4) examining thermal circulation in large bodies of water; and (5) monitoring urban heat islands. Final reports from the HCMM investigator's program are beginning to define the utility of day/the night thermal data. Under favorable circumstances, some major rock types can be identified, soil moisture in extensive agricultural and alluvial terrains can be detected and at least semiqualitatively assessed; and circulation of currents in large bodies of water can be followed by noting thermal patterns.

  20. Mars rover sample return mission utilizing in situ production of the return propellants

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bruckner, A. P.; Nill, L.; Schubert, H.; Thill, B.; Warwick, R.

    1993-01-01

    This paper presents an unmanned Mars sample return mission that utilizes propellants manufactured in situ from the Martian atmosphere for the return trip. A key goal of the mission is to demonstrate the considerable benefits that can be realized through the use of indigenous resources and to test the viability of this approach as a precursor to manned missions to Mars. Two in situ propellant combinations, methane/oxygen and carbon monoxide/oxygen, are compared to imported terrestrial hydrogen/oxygen within a single mission architecture, using a single Earth launch vehicle. The mission is assumed to be launched from Earth in 2003. Upon reaching Mars, the landing vehicle aerobrakes, deploys a small satellite, and lands on the Martian surface. Once on the ground, the propellant production unit is activated, and the product gases are liquefied and stored in the empty tanks of the Earth Return Vehicle (ERV). Power for these activities is provided by a dynamic isotope power system. A semiautonomous rover, powered by the indigenous propellants, gathers between 25 and 30 kg of soil and rock samples which are loaded aboard the ERV for return to Earth. After a surface stay time of approximately 1.5 years, the ERV leaves Mars for the return voyage to Earth. When the vehicle reaches the vicinity of Earth, the sample return capsule detaches, and is captured and circularized in LEO via aerobraking maneuvers.

  1. Preliminary Results of a New Type of Surface Property Measurement Ideal for a Future Mars Rover Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Buhler, C. R.; Calle, C. I.; Mantovani, J. G.; Buehler, M. G.; Nowicki, A. W.; Ritz, M.

    2004-01-01

    The success of the recent rover missions to Mars has stressed the importance of acquiring the maximum amount of geological information with the least amount of data possible. We have designed, tested and implemented special sensors mounted on a rover s wheel capable of detecting minute changes in surface topology thus eliminating the need for specially- made science platforms. These sensors, based on the previously designed, flight qualified Mars Environmental Compatibility Assessment (MECA) Electrometer, measure the static electricity (triboelectricity) generated between polymer materials and the Martian regolith during rover transverses. The sensors are capable of detecting physical changes in the soil that may not be detectable by other means, such as texture, size and moisture content. Although triboelectricity is a surface phenomenon, the weight of a rover will undoubtedly protrude the sensors below the dust covered layers, exposing underlying regolith whose properties may not be detectable through other means.

  2. Using Mars Rover Missions as a Vehicle for Introducing Space Science and Engineering in Grades 3-8

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bering, Edgar A.; Slagle, Elana M.; Nieser, Kenneth; Carlson, Coleen; Kapral, Andrew J.; Jacobs, Laura A.

    2014-11-01

    The Mars Rover Celebration and Mars Rover Curriculum (MRC) for grades 3-8 are centered around an open-ended, student-led collaborative project to design a mission to Mars. This curriculum incorporates up-to-date SMD education resources and science and mission data relating to NASA’s explorations of Mars. The MRC focuses on the adventure of learning and discovery, asking participating teams to propose their own scientific mission to Mars, design a rover to carry it out, and present a mock-up at an open house. The curriculum is structured to be inquiry-based throughout. The “students choose the mission” structure is highly engaging. The latter half of the curriculum presents the Engineering Design Process and walks the students through the steps of designing and engineering a spacecraft/rover to meet the mission objectives chosen by the students. Students are introduced to engineering using the design-project approach. The six-week project period culminates in a public celebration at which students present their missions to members of the community including undergraduate and graduate students in science, engineering, and education fields; university faculty in these fields; and professionals from associated industries.

  3. Field Reconnaissance Geologic Mapping of the Columbia Hills, Gusev Crater from MER Spirit Rover and HiRISE Observations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Crumpler, L.; Arvidson, R.; Blaney, D.; Cabrol, N.; Desouza, P.; Farrand, W.; Farmer, J.; Greeley, R.; Hurowitz, J.; Lewis, K.; McCoy, T. J.; McEwen, A. S.; McSween, H.; Ming, D. W.; Morris, R. V.; Rice, J. W.; Rice, M.; Ruff, S. W.; Schmidt, M.; Schröder, C.; Squyres, S. W.; Yen, A.; Yingst, A.

    2009-03-01

    This study presents the results of the first field reconnaissance geologic mapping on another planetary surface. We show that geologic units on Mars are complex like their terrestrial counterparts, but can mapped at human and rover scales of observation.

  4. Designing and Implementing a Distributed System Architecture for the Mars Rover Mission Planning Software (Maestro)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Goldgof, Gregory M.

    2005-01-01

    Distributed systems allow scientists from around the world to plan missions concurrently, while being updated on the revisions of their colleagues in real time. However, permitting multiple clients to simultaneously modify a single data repository can quickly lead to data corruption or inconsistent states between users. Since our message broker, the Java Message Service, does not ensure that messages will be received in the order they were published, we must implement our own numbering scheme to guarantee that changes to mission plans are performed in the correct sequence. Furthermore, distributed architectures must ensure that as new users connect to the system, they synchronize with the database without missing any messages or falling into an inconsistent state. Robust systems must also guarantee that all clients will remain synchronized with the database even in the case of multiple client failure, which can occur at any time due to lost network connections or a user's own system instability. The final design for the distributed system behind the Mars rover mission planning software fulfills all of these requirements and upon completion will be deployed to MER at the end of 2005 as well as Phoenix (2007) and MSL (2009).

  5. Mars Exploration Rover Surface Mission: Thermal Performance for More Than an Entire Martian Year

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Novak, Keith; Porter, Dan; Phillips, Charles; Sunada, Eric; Kinsella, Gary

    2006-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation reviews the thermal performance of the Mars Exploration Rovers. The Mars Exploration Rover (MER) project landed two identical roving science vehicles on Mars in January 2004; they have continued to perform geological science data collection well beyond their surface design lifetime of 90 sols. The design of the thermal system is described. Pictures from the rovers are also included,

  6. Performance Testing of Lithium Li-ion Cells and Batteries in Support of JPL's 2003 Mars Exploration Rover Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smart, Marshall C.; Ratnakumar, B. V.; Ewell, R. C.; Whitcanack, L. D.; Surampudi, S.; Puglia, F.; Gitzendanner, R.

    2007-01-01

    In early 2004, JPL successfully landed two Rovers, named Spirit and Opportunity, on the surface of Mars after traveling > 300 million miles over a 6-7 month period. In order to operate for extended duration on the surface of Mars, both Rovers are equipped with rechargeable Lithium-ion batteries, which were designed to aid in the launch, correct anomalies during cruise, and support surface operations in conjunction with a triple-junction deployable solar arrays. The requirements of the Lithium-ion battery include the ability to provide power at least 90 sols on the surface of Mars, operate over a wide temperature range (-20(super 0)C to +40(super 0)C), withstand long storage periods (e.g., including pre-launch and cruise period), operate in an inverted position, and support high currents (e.g., firing pyro events). In order to determine the inability of meeting these requirements, ground testing was performed on a Rover Battery Assembly Unit RBAU), consisting of two 8-cell 8 Ah lithium-ion batteries connected in parallel. The RBAU upon which the performance testing was performed is nearly identical to the batteries incorporated into the two Rovers currently on Mars. The primary focus of this paper is to communicate the latest results regarding Mars surface operation mission simulation testing, as well as, the corresponding performance capacity loss and impedance characteristics as a function of temperature and life. As will be discussed, the lithium-ion batteries (fabricated by Yardney Technical Products, Inc.) have been demonstrated to far exceed the requirements defined by the mission, being able to support the operation of the rovers for over three years, and are projected to support an even further extended mission.

  7. Potential scientific objectives for a 2018 2-rover mission to Mars and implications for the landing site and landed operations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grant, J. A.; Westall, F.; Beaty, D.; Cady, S. L.; Carr, M. H.; Ciarletti, V.; Coradini, A.; Elfving, A.; Glavin, D.; Goesmann, F.; Hurowitz, J. A.; Ori, G. G.; Phillips, R. J.; Salvo, C.; Sephton, M.; Syvertson, M.; Vago, J. L.

    2010-12-01

    A study sponsored by MEPAG has defined the possibilities for cooperative science using two rovers under consideration for launch to Mars in 2018 (ESA’s ExoMars, and a NASA-sourced rover concept for which we use the working name of MAX-C). The group considered collaborative science opportunities both without change to either proposed rover, as well as with some change allowed. Planning focused on analysis of shared and separate objectives, with concurrence on two high priority shared objectives that could form the basis of highly significant collaborative exploration activity. The first shared objective relates to sending the proposed rovers to a site interpreted to contain evidence of past environments with high habitability potential, and with high preservation potential for physical and chemical biosignatures where they would evaluate paleoenvironmental conditions, assess the potential for preservation of biotic and/or prebiotic signatures, and search for possible evidence of past life and prebiotic chemistry. The second shared objective relates to the collection, documentation, and suitable packaging of a set of samples by the rovers that would be sufficient to achieve the scientific objectives of a possible future sample return mission. Achieving cooperative science with the two proposed rovers implies certain compromises that might include less time available for pursuing each rover’s independent objectives, implementation of some hardware modifications, and the need to share a landing site that may not be optimized for either rover. Sharing a landing site has multiple implications, including accepting a common latitude restriction, accepting the geological attributes of the common landing site, and creation of a potential telecommunications bottleneck. Moreover, ensuring a safe landing with the sky crane and pallet system envisioned for the mission would likely result in landing terrain engineering requirements more constraining than those for MSL

  8. Self-Directed Cooperative Planetary Rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zilberstein, Shlomo; Morris, Robert (Technical Monitor)

    2003-01-01

    The project is concerned with the development of decision-theoretic techniques to optimize the scientific return of planetary rovers. Planetary rovers are small unmanned vehicles equipped with cameras and a variety of sensors used for scientific experiments. They must operate under tight constraints over such resources as operation time, power, storage capacity, and communication bandwidth. Moreover, the limited computational resources of the rover limit the complexity of on-line planning and scheduling. We have developed a comprehensive solution to this problem that involves high-level tools to describe a mission; a compiler that maps a mission description and additional probabilistic models of the components of the rover into a Markov decision problem; and algorithms for solving the rover control problem that are sensitive to the limited computational resources and high-level of uncertainty in this domain.

  9. Rover Slip Validation and Prediction Algorithm

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yen, Jeng

    2009-01-01

    A physical-based simulation has been developed for the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission that applies a slope-induced wheel-slippage to the rover location estimator. Using the digital elevation map from the stereo images, the computational method resolves the quasi-dynamic equations of motion that incorporate the actual wheel-terrain speed to estimate the gross velocity of the vehicle. Based on the empirical slippage measured by the Visual Odometry software of the rover, this algorithm computes two factors for the slip model by minimizing the distance of the predicted and actual vehicle location, and then uses the model to predict the next drives. This technique, which has been deployed to operate the MER rovers in the extended mission periods, can accurately predict the rover position and attitude, mitigating the risk and uncertainties in the path planning on high-slope areas.

  10. A Simulated Geochemical Rover Mission to the Taurus-Littrow Valley of the Moon

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Korotev, Randy L.; Haskin, Larry A.; Jolliff, Bradley L.

    1995-01-01

    We test the effectiveness of using an alpha backscatter, alpha-proton, X ray spectrometer on a remotely operated rover to analyze soils and provide geologically useful information about the Moon during a simulated mission to a hypothetical site resembling the Apollo 17 landing site. On the mission, 100 soil samples are "analyzed" for major elements at moderate analytical precision (e.g., typical relative sample standard deviation from counting statistics: Si[11%], Al[18%], Fe[6%], Mg[20%], Ca[5%]). Simulated compositions of soils are generated by combining compositions of components representing the major lithologies occurring at the site in known proportions. Simulated analyses are generated by degrading the simulated compositions according to the expected analytical precision of the analyzer. Compositions obtained from the simulated analyses are modeled by least squares mass balance as mixtures of the components, and the relative proportions of those components as predicted by the model are compared with the actual proportions used to generate the simulated composition. Boundary conditions of the modeling exercise are that all important lithologic components of the regolith are known and are represented by model components, and that the compositions of these components are well known. The effect of having the capability of determining one incompatible element at moderate precision (25%) is compared with the effect of the lack of this capability. We discuss likely limitations and ambiguities that would be encountered, but conclude that much of our knowledge about the Apollo 17 site (based on the return samples) regarding the distribution and relative abundances of lithologies in the regolith could be obtained. This success requires, however, that at least one incompatible element be determined.

  11. The WISDOM Radar onboard the Rover of the ExoMars mission (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ciarletti, V.; Corbel, C.; Plettemeier, D.; Clifford, S. M.; Cais, P.; Hamran, S.

    2009-12-01

    The most fundamental and basic aspect of the geologic characterization of any environment is understanding its stratigraphy and structure - which provides invaluable insights into its origin, the processes and events by which it evolved, and (through the examination of superpositional and cross-cutting relationships) their relative timing. The WISDOM GPR onboard the Rover of the ESA ExoMars mission (2016) has the ability to investigate and characterize the nature of the subsurface remotely, providing high-resolution (several cm-scale) data on subsurface stratigraphy, structure, and the magnitude and scale of spatial heterogeneity, to depths in excess of 3 m. Unlike traditional imaging systems or spectrometers, which are limited to characterization of the visible surface, WISDOM can access what lies beneath - providing an understanding of the 3-dimensional geologic context of the landing site along the Rover path. WISDOM will address a variety of high-priority scientific objectives: (1) Understand the geology and geologic evolution of the landing site, including local lithology, stratigraphy and structure. (2) Characterize the 3-D electromagnetic properties of the Landing Site - including the scale and magnitude of spatial heterogeneity - for comparison with those measured at larger scales by MARSIS, SHARAD and any future orbital radars. (3) Understand the local distribution and state of shallow subsurface H2O and other volatiles, including the potential presence of segregated ground ice (as ice lenses and wedges), the persistent or transient occurrence of liquid water/brine, and deposits of methane hydrate and (4) identify the most promising locations for drilling that combine targets of high scientific interest. In addition to these objectives, there are also clear scientific and operational benefits when WISDOM is operated in concert with the rover’s drill and its associated analytical instruments, which will determine the compositional and physical properties

  12. The Mars Astrobiology Explorer-Cacher (MAX-C): a potential rover mission for 2018. Final report of the Mars Mid-Range Rover Science Analysis Group (MRR-SAG) October 14, 2009.

    PubMed

    2010-03-01

    This report documents the work of the Mid-Range Rover Science Analysis Group (MRR-SAG), which was assigned to formulate a concept for a potential rover mission that could be launched to Mars in 2018. Based on programmatic and engineering considerations as of April 2009, our deliberations assumed that the potential mission would use the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) sky-crane landing system and include a single solar-powered rover. The mission would also have a targeting accuracy of approximately 7 km (semimajor axis landing ellipse), a mobility range of at least 10 km, and a lifetime on the martian surface of at least 1 Earth year. An additional key consideration, given recently declining budgets and cost growth issues with MSL, is that the proposed rover must have lower cost and cost risk than those of MSL--this is an essential consideration for the Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group (MEPAG). The MRR-SAG was asked to formulate a mission concept that would address two general objectives: (1) conduct high priority in situ science and (2) make concrete steps toward the potential return of samples to Earth. The proposed means of achieving these two goals while balancing the trade-offs between them are described here in detail. We propose the name Mars Astrobiology Explorer-Cacher(MAX-C) to reflect the dual purpose of this potential 2018 rover mission. PMID:20298148

  13. Automated science target selection for future Mars rovers: A machine vision approach for the future ESA ExoMars 2018 rover mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tao, Yu; Muller, Jan-Peter

    2013-04-01

    The ESA ExoMars 2018 rover is planned to perform autonomous science target selection (ASTS) using the approaches described in [1]. However, the approaches shown to date have focused on coarse features rather than the identification of specific geomorphological units. These higher-level "geoobjects" can later be employed to perform intelligent reasoning or machine learning. In this work, we show the next stage in the ASTS through examples displaying the identification of bedding planes (not just linear features in rock-face images) and the identification and discrimination of rocks in a rock-strewn landscape (not just rocks). We initially detect the layers and rocks in 2D processing via morphological gradient detection [1] and graph cuts based segmentation [2] respectively. To take this further requires the retrieval of 3D point clouds and the combined processing of point clouds and images for reasoning about the scene. An example is the differentiation of rocks in rover images. This will depend on knowledge of range and range-order of features. We show demonstrations of these "geo-objects" using MER and MSL (released through the PDS) as well as data collected within the EU-PRoViScout project (http://proviscout.eu). An initial assessment will be performed of the automated "geo-objects" using the OpenSource StereoViewer developed within the EU-PRoViSG project (http://provisg.eu) which is released in sourceforge. In future, additional 3D measurement tools will be developed within the EU-FP7 PRoViDE2 project, which started on 1.1.13. References: [1] M. Woods, A. Shaw, D. Barnes, D. Price, D. Long, D. Pullan, (2009) "Autonomous Science for an ExoMars Rover-Like Mission", Journal of Field Robotics Special Issue: Special Issue on Space Robotics, Part II, Volume 26, Issue 4, pages 358-390. [2] J. Shi, J. Malik, (2000) "Normalized Cuts and Image Segmentation", IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, Volume 22. [3] D. Shin, and J.-P. Muller (2009

  14. Conceptual studies on the integration of a nuclear reactor system to a manned rover for Mars missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    El-Genk, Mohamed S.; Morley, Nicholas J.

    1991-07-01

    Multiyear civilian manned missions to explore the surface of Mars are thought by NASA to be possible early in the next century. Expeditions to Mars, as well as permanent bases, are envisioned to require enhanced piloted vehicles to conduct science and exploration activities. Piloted rovers, with 30 kWe user net power (for drilling, sampling and sample analysis, onboard computer and computer instrumentation, vehicle thermal management, and astronaut life support systems) in addition to mobility are being considered. The rover design, for this study, included a four car train type vehicle complete with a hybrid solar photovoltaic/regenerative fuel cell auxiliary power system (APS). This system was designed to power the primary control vehicle. The APS supplies life support power for four astronauts and a limited degree of mobility allowing the primary control vehicle to limp back to either a permanent base or an accent vehicle. The results showed that the APS described above, with a mass of 667 kg, was sufficient to provide live support power and a top speed of five km/h for 6 hours per day. It was also seen that the factors that had the largest effect on the APS mass were the life support power, the number of astronauts, and the PV cell efficiency. The topics covered include: (1) power system options; (2) rover layout and design; (3) parametric analysis of total mass and power requirements for a manned Mars rover; (4) radiation shield design; and (5) energy conversion systems.

  15. Conceptual studies on the integration of a nuclear reactor system to a manned rover for Mars missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    El-Genk, Mohamed S.; Morley, Nicholas J.

    1991-01-01

    Multiyear civilian manned missions to explore the surface of Mars are thought by NASA to be possible early in the next century. Expeditions to Mars, as well as permanent bases, are envisioned to require enhanced piloted vehicles to conduct science and exploration activities. Piloted rovers, with 30 kWe user net power (for drilling, sampling and sample analysis, onboard computer and computer instrumentation, vehicle thermal management, and astronaut life support systems) in addition to mobility are being considered. The rover design, for this study, included a four car train type vehicle complete with a hybrid solar photovoltaic/regenerative fuel cell auxiliary power system (APS). This system was designed to power the primary control vehicle. The APS supplies life support power for four astronauts and a limited degree of mobility allowing the primary control vehicle to limp back to either a permanent base or an accent vehicle. The results showed that the APS described above, with a mass of 667 kg, was sufficient to provide live support power and a top speed of five km/h for 6 hours per day. It was also seen that the factors that had the largest effect on the APS mass were the life support power, the number of astronauts, and the PV cell efficiency. The topics covered include: (1) power system options; (2) rover layout and design; (3) parametric analysis of total mass and power requirements for a manned Mars rover; (4) radiation shield design; and (5) energy conversion systems.

  16. Ground testing of the Li-ion batteries in support of JPL's 2003 Mars Exploration Rover Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smart, M. C.; Ratnakumar, B. V.; Ewell, R. C.; Whitcanack, L. D.; Chin, K. B.; Surampudi, S.; Puglia, F.; Gitzendanner, R.

    2005-01-01

    In early 2004, JPL successfully landed two Rovers, named Spirit and Opportunity, on the surface of Mars after traveling > 300 million miles over a 6-7 month period. In order to operate for extended duration on the surface of Mars, both Rovers are equipped with rechargeable Lithium-ion batteries, which were designed to aid in the launch, correct anomalies during cruise, and support surface operations in conjunction with a triple-junction deployable solar arrays. The requirements of the Lithium-ion battery include the ability to provide power at least 90 sols on the surface of Mars, operate over a wide temperature range (-20(deg)C to +4O(deg)C), withstand long storage periods (e.g., cruise period), operate in an inverted position, and support high currents (e.g., firing pyro events). In order to determine the viability of meeting these requirements, ground testing was performed on a Rover Battery Assembly Unit (RBAU), consisting of two 8-cell 8 Ah lithium-ion batteries connected in parallel. The RBAU upon which the performance testing was performed is nearly identical to the batteries incorporated into the two Rovers currently on Mars. The testing performed includes, (a) performing initial characterization tests (discharge capacity at different temperatures), (b) simulating the launch conditions, (c) simulating the cruise phase conditions (including trajectory corrections), (d) simulating the entry, decent, and landing pulse load profile (if required to support the pyros) (e) simulating the Mars surface operation mission simulation conditions, as well as, (f) assessing performance capacity loss and impedance characteristics as a function of temperature and life. As will be discussed, the lithium-ion batteries (fabricated by LithiodYardney, Inc.) were demonstrated to far exceed the requirements defined by the mission, and are projected to support an extended mission (> 2 years) with margin to spare.

  17. Tumbleweed Rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Behar, Alberto; Jones, Jack; Carsey, Frank; Matthews, Jaret

    2005-01-01

    Tumbleweed rovers, now undergoing development, are lightweight, inflatable, approximately spherical exploratory robotic vehicles designed to roll across terrain, using only wind for propulsion. Tumbleweed rovers share many features with beach-ball rovers, which were discussed in several prior NASA Tech Briefs articles. Conceived for use in exploring remote planets, tumbleweed rovers could also be used for exploring relatively inaccessible terrain on Earth. A fully developed tumbleweed rover would consist of an instrumentation package suspended in an inflated twolayer (nylon/polypropylene) ball. The total mass of the rover would be of the order of 10 kg, the diameter of the ball when inflated would be 2 meters, and the minimum wind speed needed for propulsion would be about 5 m/s. The instrumentation package would contain a battery power supply, sensors, a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver, and a radio transmitter that would send the sensor readings and the GPS position and time readings to a monitoring station via a satellite communication system. Depending on the specific exploratory mission, the sensors could include a thermometer, a barometer, a magnetometer (for studying the terrestrial magnetic field and/or detecting buried meteorites), a subsurface radar system (for measuring ice thickness and/or detecting buried meteorites), and/or one or two diametrally opposed cameras that would take the part of sending two side-looking images out. In the planned Antarctic field test, a prototype tumbleweed rover was released at a location near the South Pole. Using the global Iridium satellite network to send information about its position, the rover transmitted temperature, pressure, humidity, and light intensity data to NASA s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The rover reached speeds of 30 km per hour over the Antarctic ice cap, and traveled at an average speed of about 6 km per hour. The test was designed to confirm the rover s long-term durability in an extremely

  18. Determining Wheel-Soil Interaction Loads Using a Meshfree Finite Element Approach Assisting Future Missions with Rover Wheel Design

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Contreras, Michael T.; Peng, Chia-Yen; Wang, Dongdong; Chen, Jiun-Shyan

    2012-01-01

    A wheel experiencing sinkage and slippage events poses a high risk to rover missions as evidenced by recent mobility challenges on the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) project. Because several factors contribute to wheel sinkage and slippage conditions such as soil composition, large deformation soil behavior, wheel geometry, nonlinear contact forces, terrain irregularity, etc., there are significant benefits to modeling these events to a sufficient degree of complexity. For the purposes of modeling wheel sinkage and slippage at an engineering scale, meshfree finite element approaches enable simulations that capture sufficient detail of wheel-soil interaction while remaining computationally feasible. This study demonstrates some of the large deformation modeling capability of meshfree methods and the realistic solutions obtained by accounting for the soil material properties. A benchmark wheel-soil interaction problem is developed and analyzed using a specific class of meshfree methods called Reproducing Kernel Particle Method (RKPM). The benchmark problem is also analyzed using a commercially available finite element approach with Lagrangian meshing for comparison. RKPM results are comparable to classical pressure-sinkage terramechanics relationships proposed by Bekker-Wong. Pending experimental calibration by future work, the meshfree modeling technique will be a viable simulation tool for trade studies assisting rover wheel design.

  19. Working on Mars: Understanding How Scientists, Engineers and Rovers Interacted Across Space and Time during the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wales, Roxana C.

    2005-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation summarizes the scheduling and planning difficulties inherent in operating the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) during the overlapping terrestrial day and Martian sol. The presentation gives special empahsis to communication between the teams controlling the rovers from Earth, and keeping track of time on the two planets.

  20. Spirit rover localization and topographic mapping at the landing site of Gusev crater, Mars

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Li, R.; Archinal, B.A.; Arvidson, R. E.; Bell, J.; Christensen, P.; Crumpler, L.; Des Marais, D.J.; Di, K.; Duxbury, T.; Golombek, M.P.; Grant, J. A.; Greeley, R.; Guinn, J.; Johnson, Aaron H.; Kirk, R.L.; Maimone, M.; Matthies, L.H.; Malin, M.; Parker, T.; Sims, M.; Thompson, S.; Squyres, S. W.; Soderblom, L.A.

    2006-01-01

    By sol 440, the Spirit rover has traversed a distance of 3.76 km (actual distance traveled instead of odometry). Localization of the lander and the rover along the traverse has been successfully performed at the Gusev crater landing site. We localized the lander in the Gusev crater using two-way Doppler radio positioning and cartographic triangulations through landmarks visible in both orbital and ground images. Additional high-resolution orbital images were used to verify the determined lander position. Visual odometry and bundle adjustment technologies were applied to compensate for wheel slippage, azimuthal angle drift, and other navigation errors (which were as large as 10.5% in the Husband Hill area). We generated topographic products, including 72 ortho maps and three-dimensional (3-D) digital terrain models, 11 horizontal and vertical traverse profiles, and one 3-D crater model (up to sol 440). Also discussed in this paper are uses of the data for science operations planning, geological traverse surveys, surveys of wind-related features, and other science applications. Copyright 2006 by the American Geophysical Union.

  1. FIDO Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    The Field Integrated Design and Operations (FIDO) rover is being used in ongoing NASA field tests to simulate driving conditions on Mars. FIDO is at a geologically interesting site in central Nevada while it is controlled from the mission control room at JPL's Planetary Robotics Laboratory in Pasadena. FIDO uses a robot arm to manipulate science instruments and it has a new mini-corer or drill to extract and cache rock samples. Several camera systems onboard allow the rover to collect science and navigation images by remote-control. The rover is about the size of a coffee table and weighs as much as a St. Bernard, about 70 kilograms (150 pounds). It is approximately 85 centimeters (about 33 inches) wide, 105 centimeters (41 inches) long, and 55 centimeters (22 inches) high. The rover moves up to 300 meters an hour (less than a mile per hour) over smooth terrain, using its onboard stereo vision systems to detect and avoid obstacles as it travels 'on-the-fly.' During these tests, FIDO is powered by both solar panels that cover the top of the rover and by replaceable, rechargeable batteries.

  2. "Where On Mars?": A Web Map Visualisation of the ExoMars 2018 Rover Candidate Landing Sites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Manaud, N.; Boix, O.; Vago, J.; Hill, A.; Iriberri, C.; Carrión, D.

    2015-10-01

    The ExoMars 2018 mission will deliver a European rover and a Russian surface platform to the surface of Mars. Armed with a drill that can bore 2 metres into rock, the ExoMars rover will travel across the Martian surface to search for signs of life, past or present. But where on Mars to land? - The search for a suitable ExoMars rover landing site began in December 2013, when the planetary science community was asked to propose candidates. Eight proposals were considered during a workshop held by the ExoMars Landing Site Selection Working Group (LSSWG). By the end of the workshop, there were four clear front-runners. Following additional review, the four sites have now been formally recommended for further detailed analysis [1]: Mawrth Vallis, Oxia Planum, Hypanis Vallis and Aram Dorsum. Scientists will continue working on the characterisation of these four sites until they provide their final recommendation in October 2017.

  3. The Microwave Anisotropy Probe (MAP) Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Markley, F. Landis; Andrews, Stephen F.; ODonnell, James R., Jr.; Ward, David K.; Ericsson, Aprille J.; Bauer, Frank H. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    The Microwave Anisotropy Probe mission is designed to produce a map of the cosmic microwave background radiation over the entire celestial sphere by executing a fast spin and a slow precession of its spin axis about the Sun line to obtain a highly interconnected set of measurements. The spacecraft attitude is sensed and controlled using an Inertial Reference Unit, two Autonomous Star Trackers, a Digital Sun Sensor, twelve Coarse Sun Sensors, three Reaction Wheel Assemblies, and a propulsion system. This paper describes the design of the attitude control system that carries out this mission and presents some early flight experience.

  4. The Microwave Anisotropy Probe (MAP) Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Markley, F. Landis; Andrews, Stephen F.; ODonnell, James R., Jr.; Ward, David K.; Bauer, Frank H. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    The Microwave Anisotropy Probe mission is designed to produce a map of the cosmic microwave background radiation over the entire celestial sphere by executing a fast spin and a slow precession of its spin axis about the Sun line to obtain a highly interconnected set of measurements. The spacecraft attitude is sensed and controlled using an inertial reference unit, two star trackers, a digital sun sensor, twelve coarse sun sensors, three reaction wheel assemblies, and a propulsion system. This paper presents an overview of the design of the attitude control system to carry out this mission and presents some early flight experience.

  5. Pancam: A Multispectral Imaging Investigation on the NASA 2003 Mars Exploration Rover Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bell, J. F., III; Squyres, S. W.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Maki, J.; Schwochert, M.; Dingizian, A.; Brown, D.; Morris, R. V.; Arneson, H. M.; Johnson, M. J.

    2003-01-01

    One of the six science payload elements carried on each of the NASA Mars Exploration Rovers (MER; Figure 1) is the Panoramic Camera System, or Pancam. Pancam consists of three major components: a pair of digital CCD cameras, the Pancam Mast Assembly (PMA), and a radiometric calibration target. The PMA provides the azimuth and elevation actuation for the cameras as well as a 1.5 meter high vantage point from which to image. The calibration target provides a set of reference color and grayscale standards for calibration validation, and a shadow post for quantification of the direct vs. diffuse illumination of the scene. Pancam is a multispectral, stereoscopic, panoramic imaging system, with a field of regard provided by the PMA that extends across 360 of azimuth and from zenith to nadir, providing a complete view of the scene around the rover in up to 12 unique wavelengths. The major characteristics of Pancam are summarized.

  6. Preliminary assessment of the power requirements of a manned rover for Mars missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    El-Genk, Mohamed S.; Morley, Nicholas J.; Cataldo, Robert; Bloomfield, Harvey

    1990-01-01

    A preliminary study to determine the total mass and power requirements of a manned Mars rover is presented. Estimates of the power requirements for the nuclear reactor power system are determined as functions of the number of crew members, the emergency return trip scenario in case of a total malfunction of the reactor system, the cruising speed and range of the vehicle, and the specific mass of the power system. It is shown that the cruising speed of the vehicle and the soil traction factor significantly affect the traversing power requirement and therefore the mass of the nuclear power system. The cruising speed of the vehicle must be limited to 14.5 and 24 km/hr for power system specific masses of 150 kg/kWe and 50 kg/kWe, respectively, for the nuclear power system mass not to exceed 50 percent of the total mass of the rover.

  7. The MAP Autonomous Mission Control System

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Breed, Juile; Coyle, Steven; Blahut, Kevin; Dent, Carolyn; Shendock, Robert; Rowe, Roger

    2000-01-01

    The Microwave Anisotropy Probe (MAP) mission is the second mission in NASA's Office of Space Science low-cost, Medium-class Explorers (MIDEX) program. The Explorers Program is designed to accomplish frequent, low cost, high quality space science investigations utilizing innovative, streamlined, efficient management, design and operations approaches. The MAP spacecraft will produce an accurate full-sky map of the cosmic microwave background temperature fluctuations with high sensitivity and angular resolution. The MAP spacecraft is planned for launch in early 2001, and will be staffed by only single-shift operations. During the rest of the time the spacecraft must be operated autonomously, with personnel available only on an on-call basis. Four (4) innovations will work cooperatively to enable a significant reduction in operations costs for the MAP spacecraft. First, the use of a common ground system for Spacecraft Integration and Test (I&T) as well as Operations. Second, the use of Finite State Modeling for intelligent autonomy. Third, the integration of a graphical planning engine to drive the autonomous systems without an intermediate manual step. And fourth, the ability for distributed operations via Web and pager access.

  8. Three Dimensional Rover/Lander/Orbiter Mission-Planning (3D-ROMPS) System: A Modern Approach to Mission Planning

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Scharfe, Nathan D.

    2005-01-01

    NASA's current mission planning system is based on point design, two-dimensional display, spread sheets, and report technology. This technology does not enable engineers to analyze the results of parametric studies of missions plans. This technology will not support the increased observational complexity and data volume of missions like Cassini, Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), and Mars Sample Return (MSR). The goal of the 3D-ROMPS task has been to establish a set of operational mission planning and analysis tools in the Image Processing Laboratory (IPL) Mission Support Area (MSA) that will respond to engineering requirements for planning future Solar System Exploration (SSE) missions using a three-dimensional display.

  9. Searching for microbial life remotely: Satellite-to-rover habitat mapping in the Atacama Desert, Chile

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Warren-Rhodes, K.; Weinstein, S.; Dohm, J.; Piatek, J.; Minkley, E.; Hock, A.; Cockell, C.; Pane, D.; Ernst, L. A.; Fisher, G.; Emani, S.; Waggoner, A. S.; Cabrol, N. A.; Wettergreen, D. S.; Apostolopoulos, D.; Coppin, P.; Grin, E.; Diaz, Chong; Moersch, J.; Oril, G. G.; Smith, T.; Stubbs, K.; Thomas, G.; Wagner, M.; Wyatt, M.

    2007-12-01

    The Atacama Desert, one of the most arid landscapes on Earth, serves as an analog for the dry conditions on Mars and as a test bed in the search for life on other planets. During the Life in the Atacama (LITA) 2004 field experiment, satellite imagery and ground-based rover data were used in concert with a `follow-the-water' exploration strategy to target regions of biological interest in two (1 coastal, 1 inland) desert study sites. Within these regions, environments were located, studied and mapped with spectroscopic and fluorescence imaging (FI) for habitats and microbial life. Habitats included aqueous sedimentary deposits (e.g., evaporites), igneous materials (e.g., basalt, ash deposits), rock outcrops, drainage channels and basins, and alluvial fans. Positive biological signatures (chlorophyll, DNA, protein) were detected at 81% of the 21 locales surveyed with the FI during the long-range, autonomous traverses totaling 30 km. FI sensitivity in detecting microbial life in extreme deserts explains the high percentage of positives despite the low actual abundance of heterotrophic soil bacteria in coastal (<1-104 CFU/g-soil) and interior (<1-102 CFU/g-soil) desert soils. Remote habitat, microbial and climate observations agreed well with ground-truth, indicating a drier and less microbially rich interior compared to the relatively wetter and abundant biology of the coastal site where rover sensors detected the presence of fog and abundant surface lichens. LITA project results underscore the importance of an explicit focus by all engineering and science disciplines on microbially relevant scales (mm to nm), and highlight the success of satellite-based and `follow-the-water' strategies for locating diverse habitats of biological promise and detecting the microbial hotspots within them.

  10. Mineralogic Context of the Circum-Chryse Planitia Candidate Landing Sites for the ExoMars Rover Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carter, John; Loizeau, Damien; Quantin, Cathy; Balme, Matt; Poulet, Francois; Gupta, Sanjeev; Vago, Jorge; Bibring, Jean-Pierre

    2015-04-01

    The ExoMars rover mission [1] will sample ancient, aqueously altered terrains to search for traces of extinct life and characterize the water history of Early Mars. These objectives translate into site-specific constraints in order to maximize the opportunity to access morphological and/or chemical markers for past aqueous environments and possibly life [2]. Currently, four candidate landing sites are being considered, all located on the margin of Chryse Planitia and all exhibiting hydrous clays within or near the ellipse. Assessing the composition and morphologic/stratigraphic context of these clays is necessary to narrow down possible formation scenarios and help rank the sites according to their relevance to the science goals. This work investigates the aqueous mineralogy of the circum-Chyrse region -where the LS are proposed-, in order to provide a framework for future in-depth investigations. Regional mapping of the clay mineralogy was performed using the OMEGA and CRISM NIR imaging spectrometers [3,4]. Global coverage of the circum-Chryse margin was achieved with OMEGA while detailed mapping was carried out locally with OMEGA and CRISM. Over 250 observations with pixel scales ranging 20 m - 4 km were investigated. Additionally, detailed analysis of the clay chemical composition was carried out using linear unmixing which provided the relative abundances of several Fe/Mg-rich phyllosilicate endmembers in the region. The analysis revealed large exposures of dominantly Fe/Mg-rich phyllosilicates over most of the preserved Noachian-aged margins of Chryse Planitia. These minerals have spectral features which are generally similar to what is found elsewhere on Mars [5], consistent with either vermiculites or smectite-bearing mixed-layered clays [6,7]. A regional outlier exists at and around the Mawrth Vallis LS: the most common clay there is likely Fe-rich nontronite associated with Al-rich phyllosilicates within layered deposits [8,9], indicating a different

  11. CLUPI, a high-performance imaging system on the rover of the 2018 mission to discover biofabrics on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Josset, J.-L.; Westall, F.; Hofmann, B. A.; Spray, J. G.; Cockell, C.; Kempe, S.; Griffiths, A. D.; Coradini, A.; Colangeli, L.; Koschny, D.; Pullan, D.; Föllmi, K.; Diamond, L.; Josset, M.; Javaux, E.; Esposito, F.

    2011-10-01

    The scientific objectives of the 2018 ExoMars rover mission are to search for traces of past or present life and to characterise the near-sub surface. Both objectives require study of the rock/regolith materials in terms of structure, textures, mineralogy, and elemental and organic composition. The 2018 ExoMars rover payload consists of a suite of complementary instruments designed to reach these objectives. CLUPI, the high-performance colour close up imager, on board the 2018 ExoMars Rover plays an important role in attaining the mission objectives: it is the equivalent of the hand lens that no geologist is without when undertaking field work. CLUPI is a powerful, highly integrated miniaturized (<700g) low-power robust imaging system, able to operate at very low temperatures (-120°C). CLUPI has a working distance from 10cm to infinite providing outstanding pictures with a color detector of 2652x1768. At 10cm, the resolution is 7 micrometer/pixel in color. The optical-mechanical interface is a smart assembly in titanium that can sustain a wide temperature range. The concept benefits from well-proven heritage: Proba, Rosetta, MarsExpress and Smart-1 missions… In a typical field scenario, the geologist will use his/her eyes to make an overview of an area and the outcrops within it to determine sites of particular interest for more detailed study. In the ExoMars scenario, the PanCam wide angle cameras (WACS) will be used for this task. After having made a preliminary general evaluation, the geologist will approach a particular outcrop for closer observation of structures at the decimetre to subdecimeter scale (ExoMars' High Resolution Camera) before finally getting very close up to the surface with a hand lens (ExoMars' CLUPI), and/or taking a hand specimen, for detailed observation of textures and minerals. Using structural, textural and preliminary compositional analysis, the geologist identifies the materials and makes a decision as to whether they are of

  12. An Ontology for Requesting Distant Robotic Action: A Case Study in Naming and Action Identification for Planning on the Mars Exploration Rover Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wales, Roxana C.; Shalin, Valerie L.; Bass, Deborah S.

    2004-01-01

    This paper focuses on the development and use of the abbreviated names as well as an emergent ontology associated with making requests for action of a distant robotic rover during the 2003-2004 NASA Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission, run by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The infancy of the domain of Martian telerobotic science, in which specialists request work from a rover moving through the landscape, as well as the need to consider the interdisciplinary teams involved in the work required an empirical approach. The formulation of this ontology is grounded in human behavior and work practice. The purpose of this paper is to identify general issues for an ontology of action (specifically for requests for action), while maintaining sensitivity to the users, tools and the work system within a specific technical domain. We found that this ontology of action must take into account a dynamic environment, changing in response to the movement of the rover, changes on the rover itself, as well as be responsive to the purposeful intent of the science requestors. Analysis of MER mission events demonstrates that the work practice and even robotic tool usage changes over time. Therefore, an ontology must adapt and represent both incremental change and revolutionary change, and the ontology can never be more than a partial agreement on the conceptualizations involved. Although examined in a rather unique technical domain, the general issues pertain to the control of any complex, distributed work system as well as the archival record of its accomplishments.

  13. Heat Capacity Mapping Mission (HCMM) Notification Efforts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1980-01-01

    To encourage wide use of the Heat Capacity Mapping Mission (HCMM) data, especially among the scientific community, special notifications were prepared to inform them about the data's availability, its form, and the procedures for obtaining them. To achieve the widest distribution to the primary audiences of interest, mailings were made to scientists associated with the OSTA Resource Observation Division programs and to scientific and professional societies and journals. Accompanying the notifications to the societies and journals were samples of the HCMM imagery and a description of the image's predominant characteristics. A follow-up survey was completed to determine the effectiveness of the HCMM notifications.

  14. Acid Sulfate Weathering on Mars: Results from the Mars Exploration Rover Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ming, Douglas W.; Morris, R. V.; Golden, D. C.

    2006-01-01

    Sulfur has played a major role in the formation and alteration of outcrops, rocks, and soils at the Mars Exploration Rover landing sites on Meridiani Planum and in Gusev crater. Jarosite, hematite, and evaporite sulfates (e.g., Mg and Ca sulfates) occur along with siliciclastic sediments in outcrops at Meridiani Planum. The occurrence of jarosite is a strong indicator for an acid sulfate weathering environment at Meridiani Planum. Some outcrops and rocks in the Columbia Hills in Gusev crater appear to be extensively altered as suggested by their relative softness as compared to crater floor basalts, high Fe(3+)/FeT, iron mineralogy dominated by nanophase Fe(3+) oxides, hematite and/or goethite, corundum-normative mineralogies, and the presence of Mg- and Casulfates. One scenario for aqueous alteration of these rocks and outcrops is that vapors and/or fluids rich in SO2 (volcanic source) and water interacted with rocks that were basaltic in bulk composition. Ferric-, Mg-, and Ca-sulfates, phosphates, and amorphous Si occur in several high albedo soils disturbed by the rover's wheels in the Columbia Hills. The mineralogy of these materials suggests the movement of liquid water within the host material and the subsequent evaporation of solutions rich in Fe, Mg, Ca, S, P, and Si. The presence of ferric sulfates suggests that these phases precipitated from highly oxidized, low-pH solutions. Several hypotheses that invoke acid sulfate weathering environments have been suggested for the aqueous formation of sulfate-bearing phases on the surface of Mars including (1) the oxidative weathering of ultramafic igneous rocks containing sulfides; (2) sulfuric acid weathering of basaltic materials by solutions enriched by volcanic gases (e.g., SO2); and (3) acid fog (i.e., vapors rich in H2SO4) weathering of basaltic or basaltic-derived materials.

  15. Overview of the Opportunity Mars Exploration Rover Mission to Meridiani Planum: Eagle Crater to Purgatory Ripple

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Squyres, S. W.; Arvidson, R. E.; Bollen, D.; Bell, J. F.; Brückner, J.; Cabrol, N. A.; Calvin, W. M.; Carr, M. H.; Christensen, P. R.; Clark, B. C.; Crumpler, L.; Des Marais, D. J.; d'Uston, C.; Economou, T.; Farmer, J.; Farrand, W. H.; Folkner, W.; Gellert, R.; Glotch, T. D.; Golombek, M.; Gorevan, S.; Grant, J. A.; Greeley, R.; Grotzinger, J.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Hviid, S.; Johnson, J. R.; Klingelhöfer, G.; Knoll, A. H.; Landis, G.; Lemmon, M.; Li, R.; Madsen, M. B.; Malin, M. C.; McLennan, S. M.; McSween, H. Y.; Ming, D. W.; Moersch, J.; Morris, R. V.; Parker, T.; Rice, J. W.; Richter, L.; Rieder, R.; Schröder, C.; Sims, M.; Smith, M.; Smith, P.; Soderblom, L. A.; Sullivan, R.; Tosca, N. J.; Wänke, H.; Wdowiak, T.; Wolff, M.; Yen, A.

    2006-12-01

    The Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity touched down at Meridiani Planum in January 2004 and since then has been conducting observations with the Athena science payload. The rover has traversed more than 5 km, carrying out the first outcrop-scale investigation of sedimentary rocks on Mars. The rocks of Meridiani Planum are sandstones formed by eolian and aqueous reworking of sand grains that are composed of mixed fine-grained siliciclastics and sulfates. The siliciclastic fraction was produced by chemical alteration of a precursor basalt. The sulfates are dominantly Mg-sulfates and also include Ca-sulfates and jarosite. The stratigraphic section observed to date is dominated by eolian bedforms, with subaqueous current ripples exposed near the top of the section. After deposition, interaction with groundwater produced a range of diagenetic features, notably the hematite-rich concretions known as ``blueberries.'' The bedrock at Meridiani is highly friable and has undergone substantial erosion by wind-transported basaltic sand. This sand, along with concretions and concretion fragments eroded from the rock, makes up a soil cover that thinly and discontinuously buries the bedrock. The soil surface exhibits both ancient and active wind ripples that record past and present wind directions. Loose rocks on the soil surface are rare and include both impact ejecta and meteorites. While Opportunity's results show that liquid water was once present at Meridiani Planum below and occasionally at the surface, the environmental conditions recorded were dominantly arid, acidic, and oxidizing and would have posed some significant challenges to the origin of life.

  16. Mobile Payload Element (MPE): Concept study for a sample fetching rover for the ESA Lunar Lander Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haarmann, R.; Jaumann, R.; Claasen, F.; Apfelbeck, M.; Klinkner, S.; Richter, L.; Schwendner, J.; Wolf, M.; Hofmann, P.

    2012-12-01

    In late 2010, the DLR Space Administration invited the German industry to submit a proposal for a study about a Mobile Payload Element (MPE), which could be a German national contribution to the ESA Lunar Lander Mission. Several spots in the south polar region of the moon come into consideration as landing site for this mission. All possible spots provide sustained periods of solar illumination, interrupted by darkness periods of several 10 h. The MPE is outlined to be a small, autonomous, innovative vehicle in the 10 kg class for scouting and sampling the environment in the vicinity of the lunar landing site. The novel capabilities of the MPE will be to acquire samples of lunar regolith from surface, subsurface as well as shadowed locations, define their geological context and bring them back to the lander. This will enable access to samples that are not contaminated by the lander descent propulsion system plumes to increase the chances of detecting any indigenous lunar volatiles contained within the samples. Kayser-Threde, as prime industrial contractor for Phase 0/A, has assembled for this study a team of German partners with relevant industrial and institutional competence in space robotics and lunar science. The primary scientific objective of the MPE is to acquire clearly documented samples and to bring them to the lander for analysis with the onboard Lunar Dust Analysis Package (L-DAP) and Lunar Volatile Resources Analysis Package (L-VRAP). Due to the unstable nature of volatiles, which are of particular scientific interest, the MPE design needs to provide a safe storage and transportation of the samples to the lander. The proposed MPE rover concept has a four-wheeled chassis configuration with active suspension, being a compromise between innovation and mass efficiency. The suspension chosen allows a compact stowage of the MPE on the lander as well as precise alignment of the solar generators and instruments. Since therefore no further complex mechanics are

  17. The SuperCam Remote-Sensing Instrument Suite for the Mars 2020 Rover Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wiens, R. C.; Maurice, S.; Clegg, S. M.; Rull, F.; Sharma, S. K.; Anderson, R. B.; Beyssac, O.; Bonal, L.; DeFlores, L. P.; Dromart, G.; Fischer, W. W.; Forni, O.; Gasnault, O.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Johnson, J. R.; Martinez-Frias, J.; Mangold, N.; McLennan, S. M.; Montmessin, F.

    2015-12-01

    The SuperCam remote-sensing instrument suite in development for the Mars 2020 rover represents a significant advance from its precursor, ChemCam, by adding Raman spectroscopy (to 12 m distance) and visible and near-infrared (VISIR) reflectance spectroscopy. For Raman spectroscopy the LIBS Nd:YAG laser is frequency-doubled to 532 nm (green Raman). A transmission spectrometer with an intensified CCD covers 150-4400 cm-1 spectral range at a resolution of 10 cm-1. The system is adjustably time-gated, removing much of the mineral fluorescence from the Raman spectra and also facilitating time-resolved fluorescence studies. The infrared range covers 1.3-2.6 microns in addition to the existing 400-840 nm range on ChemCam. Additional upgrades include doubling the LIBS resolution in the 535-860 nm range and adding color to the Remote Micro-Imager (RMI), which is the highest resolution remote imager on the rover. A large-scale effort is being applied to the on-board standards, being led by U. Valladolid in Spain, with targets contributed by many institutions. The number of geological targets will be increased from 8 (on ChemCam) to 22, planned to include end-member plagioclase feldspars, hi- and low-Ca pyroxene, olivines, several fine-grained basalts, hematite, jarosite, carbonates, apatite, and several synthetic targets doped with trace elements. Three Spectralon targets are planned for IR calibration and several color bands for the RMI. All but the Spectralon and color bands should be available for LIBS calibration, and many are also being designed for Raman and VISIR calibration. For LIBS this collection of standards will significantly improve the accuracy relative to ChemCam; other precision improvements are anticipated to come from correcting for variable plasma temperature. The presentation will illustrate how Mars datasets will be significantly improved via this multi-technique approach and will give a first look at prototype SuperCam spectra.

  18. Overview of the Spirit Mars Exploration Rover Mission to Gusev Crater: Landing Site to Backstay Rock in the Columbia Hills

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Arvidson, R. E.; Squyres, S. W,; Anderson, R. C.; Bell, J. F., III; Blaney, D.; Brueckner, J.; Cabrol, N. A.; Calvin, W. M.; Carr, M. H.; Christensen, P. R.; Clark, B. C.; Crumpler, L.; Des Marais, D. J.; deSouza, P. A., Jr.; d'Uston, C.; Economou, T.

    2005-01-01

    Spirit landed on the floor of Gusev Crater and conducted initial operations on soil covered, rock-strewn cratered plains underlain by olivine-bearing basalts. Plains surface rocks are covered by wind-blown dust and show evidence for surface enrichment of soluble species as vein and void-filling materials and coatings. The surface enrichment is the result of a minor amount of transport and deposition by aqueous processes. Layered granular deposits were discovered in the Columbia Hills, with outcrops that tend to dip conformably with the topography. The granular rocks are interpreted to be volcanic ash and/or impact ejecta deposits that have been modified by aqueous fluids during and/or after emplacement. Soils consist of basaltic deposits that are weakly cohesive, relatively poorly sorted, and covered by a veneer of wind blown dust. The soils have been homogenized by wind transport over at least the several kilometer length scale traversed by the rover. Mobilization of soluble species has occurred within at least two soil deposits examined. The presence of mono-layers of coarse sand on wind-blown bedforms, together with even spacing of granule-sized surface clasts, suggest that some of the soil surfaces encountered by Spirit have not been modified by wind for some time. On the other hand, dust deposits on the surface and rover deck have changed during the course of the mission. Detection of dust devils, monitoring of the dust opacity and lower boundary layer, and coordinated experiments with orbiters provided new insights into atmosphere-surface dynamics.

  19. Panoramic camera on the Yutu lunar rover of the Chang'e-3 mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Jian-Feng; Li, Chun-Lai; Xue, Bin; Ruan, Ping; Gao, Wei; Qiao, Wei-Dong; Lu, Di; Ma, Xiao-Long; Li, Fu; He, Ying-Hong; Li, Ting; Ren, Xin; Yan, Xing-Tao

    2015-11-01

    The Chang'e-3 panoramic camera, which is composed of two cameras with identical functions, performances and interfaces, is installed on the lunar rover mast. It can acquire 3D images of the lunar surface based on the principle of binocular stereo vision. By rotating and pitching the mast, it can take several photographs of the patrol area. After stitching these images, panoramic images of the scenes will be obtained. Thus the topography and geomorphology of the patrol area and the impact crater, as well as the geological structure of the lunar surface, will be analyzed and studied. In addition, it can take color photographs of the lander using the Bayer color coding principle. It can observe the working status of the lander by switching between static image mode and dynamic video mode with automatic exposure time. The focal length of the lens on the panoramic camera is 50 mm and the field of view is 19.7° × 14.5°. Under the best illumination and viewing conditions, the largest signal-to-noise ratio of the panoramic camera is 44 dB. Its static modulation transfer function is 0.33. A large number of ground testing experiments and on-orbit imaging results show that the functional interface of the panoramic camera works normally. The image quality of the panoramic camera is satisfactory. All the performance parameters of the panoramic camera satisfy the design requirements.

  20. Lunar polar rover science operations: Lessons learned and mission architecture implications derived from the Mojave Volatiles Prospector (MVP) terrestrial field campaign

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heldmann, Jennifer L.; Colaprete, Anthony; Elphic, Richard C.; Lim, Darlene; Deans, Matthew; Cook, Amanda; Roush, Ted; Skok, J. R.; Button, Nicole E.; Karunatillake, S.; Stoker, Carol; Marquez, Jessica J.; Shirley, Mark; Kobayashi, Linda; Lees, David; Bresina, John; Hunt, Rusty

    2016-08-01

    The Mojave Volatiles Prospector (MVP) project is a science-driven field program with the goal of producing critical knowledge for conducting robotic exploration of the Moon. Specifically, MVP focuses on studying a lunar mission analog to characterize the form and distribution of lunar volatiles. Although lunar volatiles are known to be present near the poles of the Moon, the three dimensional distribution and physical characteristics of lunar polar volatiles are largely unknown. A landed mission with the ability to traverse the lunar surface is thus required to characterize the spatial distribution of lunar polar volatiles. NASA's Resource Prospector (RP) mission is a lunar polar rover mission that will operate primarily in sunlit regions near a lunar pole with near-real time operations to characterize the vertical and horizontal distribution of volatiles. The MVP project was conducted as a field campaign relevant to the RP lunar mission to provide science, payload, and operational lessons learned to the development of a real-time, short-duration lunar polar volatiles prospecting mission. To achieve these goals, the MVP project conducted a simulated lunar rover mission to investigate the composition and distribution of surface and subsurface volatiles in a natural environment with an unknown volatile distribution within the Mojave Desert, improving our understanding of how to find, characterize, and access volatiles on the Moon.

  1. Activity Scratchpad Prototype: Simplifying the Rover Activity Planning Cycle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Abramyan, Lucy

    2005-01-01

    The Mars Exploration Rover mission depends on the Science Activity Planner as its primary interface to the Spirit and Opportunity Rovers. Scientists alternate between a series of mouse clicks and keyboard inputs to create a set of instructions for the rovers. To accelerate planning by minimizing mouse usage, a rover planning editor should receive the majority of inputted commands from the keyboard. Thorough investigation of the Eclipse platform's Java editor has provided the understanding of the base model for the Activity Scratchpad. Desirable Eclipse features can be mapped to specific rover planning commands, such as auto-completion for activity titles and content assist for target names. A custom editor imitating the Java editor's features was created with an XML parser for experimenting purposes. The prototype editor minimized effort for redundant tasks and significantly improved the visual representation of XML syntax by highlighting keywords, coloring rules, folding projections, and providing hover assist, templates and an outline view of the code.

  2. Risk analysis of earth return options for the Mars rover/sample return mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1988-01-01

    Four options for return of a Mars surface sample to Earth were studied to estimate the risk of mission failure and the risk of a sample container breach that might result in the release of Martian life forms, should such exist, in the Earth's biosphere. The probabilities calculated refer only to the time period from the last midcourse correction burn to possession of the sample on Earth. Two extreme views characterize this subject. In one view, there is no life on Mars, therefore there is no significant risk and no serious effort is required to deal with back contamination. In the other view, public safety overrides any desire to return Martian samples, and any risk of damaging contamination greater than zero is unacceptable. Zero risk requires great expense to achieve and may prevent the mission as currently envisioned from taking place. The major conclusion is that risk of sample container breach can be reduced to a very low number within the framework of the mission as now envisioned, but significant expense and effort, above that currently planned is needed. There are benefits to the public that warrant some risk. Martian life, if it exists, will be a major discovery. If it does not, there is no risk.

  3. Sensitivity of simulated Martian atmospheric temperature to prescribed dust opacity distribution: Comparison of model results with reconstructed data from Mars Exploration Rover missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Natarajan, Murali; Dwyer Cianciolo, Alicia; Fairlie, T. Duncan; Richardson, Mark I.; McConnochie, Timothy H.

    2015-11-01

    We use the Mars Weather Research and Forecasting (MarsWRF) general circulation model to simulate the atmospheric structure corresponding to the landing location and time of the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) Spirit (A) and Opportunity (B) in 2004. The multiscale capability of MarsWRF facilitates high-resolution nested model runs centered near the landing site of each of the rovers. Dust opacity distributions based on measurements by Thermal Emission Spectrometer (TES) aboard the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft, and those from an old version of the Mars Climate Database (MCD v3.1 released in 2001) are used to study the sensitivity of the model temperature profile to variations in the dust prescription. The reconstructed entry, descent, and landing (EDL) data from the rover missions are used for comparisons. We show that the model using dust opacity from TES limb and nadir data for the year of MER EDL, Mars Year 26 (MY26), yields temperature profiles in closer agreement with the reconstructed data than the prelaunch EDL simulations and models using other dust opacity specifications. The temperature at 100 Pa from the model (MY26) and the reconstruction are within 5°K. These results highlight the role of vertical dust opacity distribution in determining the atmospheric thermal structure. Similar studies involving data from past missions and models will be useful in understanding the extent to which atmospheric variability is captured by the models and in developing realistic preflight characterization required for future lander missions to Mars.

  4. Conceptual studies on the integration of a nuclear reactor system to a manned rover for Mars missions. Final Report, Feb. 1989 - Nov. 1990

    SciTech Connect

    El-genk, M.S.; Morley, N.J.

    1991-07-01

    Multiyear civilian manned missions to explore the surface of Mars are thought by NASA to be possible early in the next century. Expeditions to Mars, as well as permanent bases, are envisioned to require enhanced piloted vehicles to conduct science and exploration activities. Piloted rovers, with 30 kWe user net power (for drilling, sampling and sample analysis, onboard computer and computer instrumentation, vehicle thermal management, and astronaut life support systems) in addition to mobility are being considered. The rover design, for this study, included a four car train type vehicle complete with a hybrid solar photovoltaic/regenerative fuel cell auxiliary power system (APS). This system was designed to power the primary control vehicle. The APS supplies life support power for four astronauts and a limited degree of mobility allowing the primary control vehicle to limp back to either a permanent base or an accent vehicle. The results showed that the APS described above, with a mass of 667 kg, was sufficient to provide live support power and a top speed of five km/h for 6 hours per day. It was also seen that the factors that had the largest effect on the APS mass were the life support power, the number of astronauts, and the PV cell efficiency. The topics covered include: (1) power system options; (2) rover layout and design; (3) parametric analysis of total mass and power requirements for a manned Mars rover; (4) radiation shield design; and (5) energy conversion systems.

  5. Opportunity Mars Rover mission: Overview and selected results from Purgatory ripple to traverses to Endeavour crater

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arvidson, R. E.; Ashley, J. W.; Bell, J. F.; Chojnacki, M.; Cohen, J.; Economou, T. E.; Farrand, W. H.; Fergason, R.; Fleischer, I.; Geissler, P.; Gellert, R.; Golombek, M. P.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Guinness, E. A.; Haberle, R. M.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Herman, J. A.; Iagnemma, K. D.; Jolliff, B. L.; Johnson, J. R.; Klingelhöfer, G.; Knoll, A. H.; Knudson, A. T.; Li, R.; McLennan, S. M.; Mittlefehldt, D. W.; Morris, R. V.; Parker, T. J.; Rice, M. S.; Schröder, C.; Soderblom, L. A.; Squyres, S. W.; Sullivan, R. J.; Wolff, M. J.

    2011-02-01

    Opportunity has been traversing the Meridiani plains since 25 January 2004 (sol 1), acquiring numerous observations of the atmosphere, soils, and rocks. This paper provides an overview of key discoveries between sols 511 and 2300, complementing earlier papers covering results from the initial phases of the mission. Key new results include (1) atmospheric argon measurements that demonstrate the importance of atmospheric transport to and from the winter carbon dioxide polar ice caps; (2) observations showing that aeolian ripples covering the plains were generated by easterly winds during an epoch with enhanced Hadley cell circulation; (3) the discovery and characterization of cobbles and boulders that include iron and stony-iron meteorites and Martian impact ejecta; (4) measurements of wall rock strata within Erebus and Victoria craters that provide compelling evidence of formation by aeolian sand deposition, with local reworking within ephemeral lakes; (5) determination that the stratigraphy exposed in the walls of Victoria and Endurance craters show an enrichment of chlorine and depletion of magnesium and sulfur with increasing depth. This result implies that regional-scale aqueous alteration took place before formation of these craters. Most recently, Opportunity has been traversing toward the ancient Endeavour crater. Orbital data show that clay minerals are exposed on its rim. Hydrated sulfate minerals are exposed in plains rocks adjacent to the rim, unlike the surfaces of plains outcrops observed thus far by Opportunity. With continued mechanical health, Opportunity will reach terrains on and around Endeavour's rim that will be markedly different from anything examined to date.

  6. Opportunity Mars Rover mission: Overview and selected results from Purgatory ripple to traverses to Endeavour crater

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Arvidson, R. E.; Ashley, James W.; Bell, J.F., III; Chojnacki, M.; Cohen, J.; Economou, T.E.; Farrand, W. H.; Fergason, R.; Fleischer, I.; Geissler, P.; Gellert, Ralf; Golombek, M.P.; Grotzinger, J.P.; Guinness, E.A.; Haberle, R.M.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Herman, J.A.; Iagnemma, K.D.; Jolliff, B.L.; Johnson, J. R.; Klingelhofer, G.; Knoll, A.H.; Knudson, A.T.; Li, R.; McLennan, S.M.; Mittlefehldt, D. W.; Morris, R.V.; Parker, T.J.; Rice, M.S.; Schroder, C.; Soderblom, L.A.; Squyres, S. W.; Sullivan, R.J.; Wolff, M.J.

    2011-01-01

    Opportunity has been traversing the Meridiani plains since 25 January 2004 (sol 1), acquiring numerous observations of the atmosphere, soils, and rocks. This paper provides an overview of key discoveries between sols 511 and 2300, complementing earlier papers covering results from the initial phases of the mission. Key new results include (1) atmospheric argon measurements that demonstrate the importance of atmospheric transport to and from the winter carbon dioxide polar ice caps; (2) observations showing that aeolian ripples covering the plains were generated by easterly winds during an epoch with enhanced Hadley cell circulation; (3) the discovery and characterization of cobbles and boulders that include iron and stony-iron meteorites and Martian impact ejecta; (4) measurements of wall rock strata within Erebus and Victoria craters that provide compelling evidence of formation by aeolian sand deposition, with local reworking within ephemeral lakes; (5) determination that the stratigraphy exposed in the walls of Victoria and Endurance craters show an enrichment of chlorine and depletion of magnesium and sulfur with increasing depth. This result implies that regional-scale aqueous alteration took place before formation of these craters. Most recently, Opportunity has been traversing toward the ancient Endeavour crater. Orbital data show that clay minerals are exposed on its rim. Hydrated sulfate minerals are exposed in plains rocks adjacent to the rim, unlike the surfaces of plains outcrops observed thus far by Opportunity. With continued mechanical health, Opportunity will reach terrains on and around Endeavour's rim that will be markedly different from anything examined to date.

  7. Spirit's Extended-Mission Destination

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    The drive route planned for NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit during its extended mission is represented by the green line in this traverse map. The gold line traces the path Spirit drove during its prime mission of 90 sols.

    One objective for the rover's extended mission is to continue eastward to reach the high ground named 'Columbia Hills,' still about 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) away at the beginning of the extended mission.

    The base image for this map was taken from orbit by NASA's Mars Global Surveyor. The entire area is within Gusev Crater.

  8. Opportunity Mars Rover mission: Overview and selected results from Purgatory ripple to traverses to Endeavour crater

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Arvidson, R. E.; Ashley, James W.; Bell, J.F., III; Chojnacki, M.; Cohen, J.; Economou, T.E.; Farrand, W. H.; Fergason, R.; Fleischer, I.; Geissler, P.; Gellert, Ralf; Golombek, M.P.; Grotzinger, J.P.; Guinness, E.A.; Haberle, R.M.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Herman, J.A.; Iagnemma, K.D.; Jolliff, B.L.; Johnson, J. R.; Klingelhofer, G.; Knoll, A.H.; Knudson, A.T.; Li, R.; McLennan, S.M.; Mittlefehldt, D. W.; Morris, R.V.; Parker, T.J.; Rice, M.S.; Schroder, C.; Soderblom, L.A.; Squyres, S. W.; Sullivan, R.J.; Wolff, M.J.

    2011-01-01

    Opportunity has been traversing the Meridiani plains since 25 January 2004 (sol 1), acquiring numerous observations of the atmosphere, soils, and rocks. This paper provides an overview of key discoveries between sols 511 and 2300, complementing earlier papers covering results from the initial phases of the mission. Key new results include (1) atmospheric argon measurements that demonstrate the importance of atmospheric transport to and from the winter carbon dioxide polar ice caps; (2) observations showing that aeolian ripples covering the plains were generated by easterly winds during an epoch with enhanced Hadley cell circulation; (3) the discovery and characterization of cobbles and boulders that include iron and stony-iron meteorites and Martian impact ejecta; (4) measurements of wall rock strata within Erebus and Victoria craters that provide compelling evidence of formation by aeolian sand deposition, with local reworking within ephemeral lakes; (5) determination that the stratigraphy exposed in the walls of Victoria and Endurance craters show an enrichment of chlorine and depletion of magnesium and sulfur with increasing depth. This result implies that regional-scale aqueous alteration took place before formation of these craters. Most recently, Opportunity has been traversing toward the ancient Endeavour crater. Orbital data show that clay minerals are exposed on its rim. Hydrated sulfate minerals are exposed in plains rocks adjacent to the rim, unlike the surfaces of plains outcrops observed thus far by Opportunity. With continued mechanical health, Opportunity will reach terrains on and around Endeavour's rim that will be markedly different from anything examined to date. Copyright 2011 by the American Geophysical Union.

  9. Instrument Deployment for Mars Rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pedersen, Liam; Bualat, Maria; Kunz, C.; Lee, Susan; Sargent, Randy; Washington, Rich; Wright, Anne; Clancy, Daniel (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    Future Mars rovers, such as the planned 2009 MSL rover, require sufficient autonomy to robustly approach rock targets and place an instrument in contact with them. It took the 1997 Sojourner Mars rover between 3 and 5 communications cycles to accomplish this. This paper describes the technologies being developed and integrated onto the NASA Ames K9 prototype Mars rover to both accomplish this in one cycle, and to extend the complexity and duration of operations that a Mars rover can accomplish without intervention from mission control.

  10. EXPLORING MARS WITH SOLAR-POWERED ROVERS

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.

    2006-01-01

    The Mars Exploration Rover (MER) project landed two solar-powered rovers, "Spirit" and "Opportunity," on the surface of Mars in January of 2003. This talk reviews the history of solar-powered missions to Mars and looks at the science mission of the MER rovers, focusing on the solar energy and array performance.

  11. NASA Planetary Rover Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lavery, David; Bedard, Roger J., Jr.

    1991-01-01

    The NASA Planetary Rover Project was initiated in 1989. The emphasis of the work to date has been on development of autonomous navigation technology within the context of a high mobility wheeled vehicle at the JPL and an innovative legged locomotion concept at Carnegie Mellon University. The status and accomplishments of these two efforts are discussed. First, however, background information is given on the three rover types required for the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) whose objective is a manned mission to Mars.

  12. Mapping Venus: Modeling the Magellan Mission.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Richardson, Doug

    1997-01-01

    Provides details of an activity designed to help students understand the relationship between astronomy and geology. Applies concepts of space research and map-making technology to the construction of a topographic map of a simulated section of Venus. (DDR)

  13. An Update of the Ground Testing of the Li-ion Batteries in Support of JPL's 2003 Mars Exploration Rover Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smart, Marshall C.; Ratnakumar, B. V.; Ewell, R. C.; Whitcanack, L. D.; Surampudi, S.; Puglia, F.; Gitzendanner, R.

    2006-01-01

    In early 2004, JPL successfully landed two Rovers, named Spirit and Opportunity, on the surface of Mars after traveling > 300 million miles over a 6-7 month period. In order to operate for extended duration (>9 months), both Rovers are equipped with rechargeable Lithium-ion batteries, which have enabled operation for over 854 and 834 Sols of operation, respectively, to date. Given that the batteries were required to support the mission for 90 Sols of operation by design, it is significant that the batteries have demonstrated over a nine fold increase in life over mission objectives. In addition to supporting the surface operations in conjunction with a triple-junction deployable solar arrays, the batteries were designed to aid in the launch and the EDL pyros, and allow for anomalies during cruise. In summary, the requirements of the Lithium-ion battery include the ability to provide power at least 90 sols on the surface of Mars, operate over a wide temperature range (-20 C to +30 C), withstand long storage periods (e.g., cruise period), operate in an inverted orientation, and support high current pulses (e.g., firing pyro events). In order to determine the viability of meeting these requirements, ground testing was performed on a Rover Battery Assembly Unit (RBAU), consisting of two 8-cell 10 Ah lithium-ion batteries connected in parallel. The RBAU upon which the performance testing was performed is nearly identical to the batteries incorporated into the two Rovers currently on Mars. The testing includes, (a) performing initial characterization tests (discharge capacity at different temperatures), (b) simulating the launch conditions, (c) simulating the cruise phase conditions (including trajectory correction maneuvers), (d) simulating the entry, decent, and landing (EDL) pulse load profile (required to support the pyros) (e) simulating the Mars surface operation mission simulation conditions, as well as, (f) assessing capacity loss and impedance characteristics as

  14. Mission opportunity maps for rendezvous with earth-crossing asteroids

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yen, C.-W. L.

    1984-01-01

    Rendezvous missions for earth-crossing asteroids are of interest to NASA, for scientific purposes as well as for technological applications and ecological implications. To provide a comprehensive data base for planners of such missions, a mission opportunity map (MOM) has been created for eight relatively easy-to-access asteroids. A MOM presents such mission data as launch dates, flight times, and launch and postlaunch delta-V requirements for all useful mission opportunities. The merits of a MOM are: (1) searches for all useful mission opportunities are completed in the process of generating a MOM, and (2) a clear view of good and bad opportunities, the extent of performance variations, and the repeatability of the missions.

  15. Mission opportunity maps for rendezvous with earth-crossing asteroids

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yen, Chen-Wan L.

    1989-01-01

    Rendezvous missions to earth-crossing asteroids are of interest to NASA, for scientific purposes as well as for technological applications and ecological implications. To provide a comprehensive data base for planners of such missions, a mission opportunity map (MOM) has been created for eight relatively easy-to-access asteroids. A MOM presents such mission data as launch dates, flight times, and launch and postlaunch delta V requirements for all useful mission opportunities. The merits of a MOM are: (1) searches for all useful mission oportunities are completed in the process of generating a MOM, and (2) a MOM provides a clear view of good and bad opportunities, the extent of performance variations, and the repeatability of the missions.

  16. A lunar L2-Farside exploration and science mission concept with the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle and a teleoperated lander/rover

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burns, Jack O.; Kring, David A.; Hopkins, Joshua B.; Norris, Scott; Lazio, T. Joseph W.; Kasper, Justin

    2013-07-01

    A novel concept is presented in this paper for a human mission to the lunar L2 (Lagrange) point that would be a proving ground for future exploration missions to deep space while also overseeing scientifically important investigations. In an L2 halo orbit above the lunar farside, the astronauts aboard the Orion Crew Vehicle would travel 15% farther from Earth than did the Apollo astronauts and spend almost three times longer in deep space. Such a mission would serve as a first step beyond low Earth orbit and prove out operational spaceflight capabilities such as life support, communication, high speed re-entry, and radiation protection prior to more difficult human exploration missions. On this proposed mission, the crew would teleoperate landers/rovers on the unexplored lunar farside, which would obtain samples from the geologically interesting farside and deploy a low radio frequency telescope. Sampling the South Pole-Aitken basin, one of the oldest impact basins in the solar system, is a key science objective of the 2011 Planetary Science Decadal Survey. Observations at low radio frequencies to track the effects of the Universe's first stars/galaxies on the intergalactic medium are a priority of the 2010 Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey. Such telerobotic oversight would also demonstrate capability for human and robotic cooperation on future, more complex deep space missions such as exploring Mars.

  17. CLUPI, a high-performance imaging system on the ESA-NASA rover of the 2018 ExoMars mission to discover biofabrics on Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Josset, J.-L.; Westall, F.; Hofmann, B. A.; Spray, J. G.; Cockell, C.; Kempe, S.; Griffiths, A. D.; De Sanctis, M. C.; Colangeli, L.; Koschny, D.; Pullan, D.; Föllmi, K.; Diamond, L.; Josset, M.; Javaux, E.; Esposito, F.; Barnes, D.

    2012-04-01

    The scientific objectives of the ESA-NASA rover of the 2018 mission of the ExoMars Programme are to search for traces of past or present life and to characterise the near-sub surface. Both objectives require study of the rock/regolith materials in terms of structure, textures, mineralogy, and elemental and organic composition. The 2018 rover ExoMars payload consists of a suite of complementary instruments designed to reach these objectives. CLUPI, the high-performance colour close up imager, on board the 2018 ESA-NASA Rover plays an important role in attaining the mission objectives: it is the equivalent of the hand lens that no geologist is without when undertaking field work. CLUPI is a powerful, highly integrated miniaturized (<700g) low-power robust imaging system, able to operate at very low temperatures (-120°C). CLUPI has a working distance from 10cm to infinite providing outstanding pictures with a color detector of 2652x1768. At 10cm, the resolution is 7 micrometer/pixel in color. The focus mechanism and the optical-mechanical interface are a smart assembly in titanium that can sustain a wide temperature range. The concept benefits from well-proven heritage: Proba, Rosetta, MarsExpress and Smart-1 missions… Because the main science objective of ExoMars concerns the search for life, whose traces on Mars are likely to be cryptic, close up observation of the rocks and granular regolith will be critical to the decision as whether to drill and sample the nearby underlying materials. Thus, CLUPI is the essential final step in the choice of drill site. But not only are CLUPI's observations of the rock outcrops important, but they also serve other purposes. CLUPI, could observe the placement of the drill head. It will also be able to observe the fines that come out of the drill hole, including any colour stratification linked to lithological changes with depth. Finally, CLUPI will provide detailed observation of the surface of the core drilled materials when

  18. Mission Design for Global Mapping Orbits at Primitive Bodies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lantoine, Gregory; Broschart, Stephen B.; Grebow, Daniel J.

    2013-01-01

    Global mapping campaigns are part of most primitive body exploration missions. However, designing a mapping orbit without station keeping maneuvers is challenging due to the highly perturbed environment near small bodies. In this paper, we present a new design methodology to support mapping campaigns using 'quasi-terminator' orbits, a class of quasi-periodic orbits that exist in the vicinity of the well-known terminator orbits. The inherent stability of quasi-terminator trajectories and their wide variety of viewing geometries make them a very compelling option for mapping campaigns. A high-fidelity test case solution is also presented to prove the existence of these mapping orbits in full ephemeris.

  19. Mars Rover RTG Study

    SciTech Connect

    Schock, Alfred

    1989-11-27

    This report summarizes the results of a Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG) design study conducted by Fairchild Space Company at the direction of the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Special Applications, in support of the Mars Rover and Sample Return mission under investigation at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Presented at the 40th Congress of the IAF, Oct. 7-13, 1989 in Torremolinos, Malaga-Spain. The paper describes the design and analysis of Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) for powering the Mars Rover vehicle, which is a critical element of the unmanned Mars Rover and Sample Return mission (MRSR). The RTG design study was conducted by Fairchild Space for the U.S. DOE in support of the JPL MRSR Project. The paper briefly describes a reference mission scenario, an illustrative Rover design and activity pattern on Mars, and its power system requirements and environmental constraints, including the RTG cooling requirements during transit to Mars. It summarizes the baseline RTG's mass breakdown, and presents a detailed description of its thermal, thermoelectric, and electrical analysis. The results presented show the RTG performance achievable with current technology, and the performance improvements that would be achievable with various technology developments. It provides a basis for selecting the optimum strategy for meeting the Mars Rover design goals with minimal programmatic risk and cost. Cross Reference CID #7135 dated 10/1989. There is a duplicate copy. This document is not relevant to the OSTI Library. Do not send.

  20. A Lunar L2-Farside Exploration and Science Mission Concept with the ORion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle and a Teleoperated Lander/Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burns, Jack O.; Kring, David; Norris, Scott; Hopkins, Josh; Lazio, Joseph; Kasper, Justin

    2012-01-01

    A novel concept is presented in this paper for a human mission to the lunar L2 (Lagrange) point that would be a proving ground for future exploration missions to deep space while also overseeing scientifically important investigations. In an L2 halo orbit above the lunar farside, the astronauts would travel 15% farther from Earth than did the Apollo astronauts and spend almost three times longer in deep space. Such missions would validate the Orion MPCV's life support systems, would demonstrate the high-speed re-entry capability needed for return from deep space, and would measure astronauts' radiation dose from cosmic rays and solar flares to verify that Orion would provide sufficient protection, as it is designed to do. On this proposed mission, the astronauts would teleoperate landers and rovers on the unexplored lunar farside, which would obtain samples from the geologically interesting farside and deploy a low radio frequency telescope. Sampling the South Pole-Aitkin basin (one of the oldest impact basins in the solar system) is a key science objective of the 2011 Planetary Science Decadal Survey. Observations of the Universe's first stars/galaxies at low radio frequencies are a priority of the 2010 Astronomy & Astrophysics Decadal Survey. Such telerobotic oversight would also demonstrate capability for human and robotic cooperation on future, more complex deep space missions.

  1. A comparison of energy conversion systems for meeting the power requirements of manned rover for Mars missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    El-Genk, Mohamed S.; Morley, Nicholas; Cataldo, Robert; Bloomfield, Harvey

    1990-01-01

    Several types of conversion systems of interest for a nuclear Mars manned application are examined, including: free-piston Stirling engines (FPSE), He/Xe closed Brayton cycle (CBC), CO2 open Brayton, and SiGe/GaP thermoelectric systems. Optimization studies were conducted to determine the impact of the conversion system on the overall mass of the nuclear power system and the mobility power requirement of the rover vehicle. The results of an analysis of a manned Mars rover equipped with a nuclear reactor power system show that the free-piston Stirling engine and the He/Xe closed Brayton cycle are the best available options for minimizing the overall mass and electric power requirements of the rover vehicle. While the current development of Brayton technology is further advanced than that of FPSE, the FPSE could provide approximately 13.5 percent lower mass than the He/Xe closed Brayton system. Results show that a specific mass of 160 is achievable with FPSE, for which the mass of the radiation shield (2.8 tons) is about half that for He/Xe CBC (5 tons).

  2. Parametric study of the factors affecting wheel slip and sinkage for the Mars Exploration Rovers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Johnson, J.; Kulchitsky, A. V.; Duvoy, P.; Arvidson, R. E.; Iagnemma, K.; Senatore, C.

    2013-12-01

    In 2004 two rovers landed on Mars to conduct scientific investigations of the Martian surface in an effort to better understand its surface geology, climate, and potential to support life. During the mission, both rovers experienced events of severe rover wheel sinkage and slip in the highly variable Martian regolith. Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Opportunity experienced high wheel slip and sinkage when it attempted to cross a series of wind-blown ripples. MER rover Spirit became immobilized after breaking through a soil crust into highly deformable poorly sorted sands. Events of MER rover wheel high-sinkage and slip make mobility difficult, creating challenges for rover drive planners and increasing the risk of ending a mission early due to a lack of rover mobility. The ARTEMIS (Adams- based Rover Terramechanics and Mobility Interaction Simulator) MER rover simulation tool was developed in an effort to improve the ability to simulate rover mobility on planetary surfaces to aid planning of rover drives and to extract a rover if it becomes embedded in soil [1]. While ARTEMIS has demonstrated its ability to simulate a wide variety of rover mobility scenarios using a library of empirically based terramechanics subroutines and high-resolution digital elevation maps of Mars, it has had less success at simulating the high-sinkage, high-slip conditions that pose the highest risk to rover mobility. To improve ARTEMIS's high-slip, high-sinkage terramechanics subroutines, the COUPi discrete element method (DEM) model of MER rover wheel motion under conditions of high-sinkage and slip is being used to examine the effects of soil particle size distribution (PSD), shape, and bulk density. DEM simulations of MER wheel digging tests and the resistance forces of penetrometers in soil have demonstrated the importance of particle shape and bulk density on soil strength [2, 3]. Simulations of the densification of particle beds as functions of the spread (ratio of largest to smallest

  3. Rover tracks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    Tracks made by the Sojourner rover are visible in this image, taken by one of the cameras aboard Sojourner on Sol 3. The tracks represent the rover maneuvering towards the rock dubbed 'Barnacle Bill.' The rover, having exited the lander via the rear ramp, first traveled towards the right portion of the image, and then moved forward towards the left where Barnacle Bill sits. The fact that the rover was making defined tracks indicates that the soil is made up of particles on a micron scale.

    Mars Pathfinder was developed and managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

  4. Spirit's Prime-Mission Traverse

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    A traverse map for NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit traces the path Spirit drove during its prime mission of 90 sols. The base image for this map was taken seconds before landing by Spirit's downward-looking descent image motion estimation system camera.

  5. Arusha Rover Deployable Medical Workstation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Boswell, Tyrone; Hopson, Sonya; Marzette, Russell; Monroe, Gilena; Mustafa, Ruqayyah

    2014-01-01

    The NSBE Arusha rover concept offers a means of human transport and habitation during long-term exploration missions on the moon. This conceptual rover calls for the availability of medical supplies and equipment for crew members in order to aid in mission success. This paper addresses the need for a dedicated medical work station aboard the Arusha rover. The project team investigated multiple options for implementing a feasible deployable station to address both the medical and workstation layout needs of the rover and crew. Based on layout specifications and medical workstation requirements, the team has proposed a deployable workstation concept that can be accommodated within the volumetric constraints of the Arusha rover spacecraft

  6. Field trial of a dual-wavelength fluorescent emission (L.I.F.E.) instrument and the Magma White rover during the MARS2013 Mars analog mission.

    PubMed

    Groemer, Gernot; Sattler, Birgit; Weisleitner, Klemens; Hunger, Lars; Kohstall, Christoph; Frisch, Albert; Józefowicz, Mateusz; Meszyński, Sebastian; Storrie-Lombardi, Michael; Bothe, Claudia; Boyd, Andrea; Dinkelaker, Aline; Dissertori, Markus; Fasching, David; Fischer, Monika; Föger, Daniel; Foresta, Luca; Frischauf, Norbert; Fritsch, Lukas; Fuchs, Harald; Gautsch, Christoph; Gerard, Stephan; Goetzloff, Linda; Gołebiowska, Izabella; Gorur, Paavan; Groemer, Gerhard; Groll, Petra; Haider, Christian; Haider, Olivia; Hauth, Eva; Hauth, Stefan; Hettrich, Sebastian; Jais, Wolfgang; Jones, Natalie; Taj-Eddine, Kamal; Karl, Alexander; Kauerhoff, Tilo; Khan, Muhammad Shadab; Kjeldsen, Andreas; Klauck, Jan; Losiak, Anna; Luger, Markus; Luger, Thomas; Luger, Ulrich; McArthur, Jane; Moser, Linda; Neuner, Julia; Orgel, Csilla; Ori, Gian Gabriele; Paternesi, Roberta; Peschier, Jarno; Pfeil, Isabella; Prock, Silvia; Radinger, Josef; Ragonig, Christoph; Ramirez, Barbara; Ramo, Wissam; Rampey, Mike; Sams, Arnold; Sams, Elisabeth; Sams, Sebastian; Sandu, Oana; Sans, Alejandra; Sansone, Petra; Scheer, Daniela; Schildhammer, Daniel; Scornet, Quentin; Sejkora, Nina; Soucek, Alexander; Stadler, Andrea; Stummer, Florian; Stumptner, Willibald; Taraba, Michael; Tlustos, Reinhard; Toferer, Ernst; Turetschek, Thomas; Winter, Egon; Zanella-Kux, Katja

    2014-05-01

    Abstract We have developed a portable dual-wavelength laser fluorescence spectrometer as part of a multi-instrument optical probe to characterize mineral, organic, and microbial species in extreme environments. Operating at 405 and 532 nm, the instrument was originally designed for use by human explorers to produce a laser-induced fluorescence emission (L.I.F.E.) spectral database of the mineral and organic molecules found in the microbial communities of Earth's cryosphere. Recently, our team had the opportunity to explore the strengths and limitations of the instrument when it was deployed on a remote-controlled Mars analog rover. In February 2013, the instrument was deployed on board the Magma White rover platform during the MARS2013 Mars analog field mission in the Kess Kess formation near Erfoud, Morocco. During these tests, we followed tele-science work flows pertinent to Mars surface missions in a simulated spaceflight environment. We report on the L.I.F.E. instrument setup, data processing, and performance during field trials. A pilot postmission laboratory analysis determined that rock samples acquired during the field mission exhibited a fluorescence signal from the Sun-exposed side characteristic of chlorophyll a following excitation at 405 nm. A weak fluorescence response to excitation at 532 nm may have originated from another microbial photosynthetic pigment, phycoerythrin, but final assignment awaits development of a comprehensive database of mineral and organic fluorescence spectra. No chlorophyll fluorescence signal was detected from the shaded underside of the samples. PMID:24823800

  7. JPL Power Systems for Current Planned Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Timmerman, Paul J.; Karmon, Dan; Underwood, Mark

    2007-01-01

    The viewgraph presentation includes fact sheets, instrument lists, and mission parameters for 13 future missions. Those missions include Moon Mineralogy Mapping (MMM), Space Interferometry Mission (SIM), New Millennium--Space Technology-8 (ST-8), Ocean Salinity Mapping Orbiter (Aquarius), Ocean Surface Topology Mission (OSTM), Asteroid Rendezvous Mission-SEP (Dawn), Mars Scout Lander Mission (Phoenix), Solar Powered Jupiter Orbiter (Juno), Earth orbiting carbon observatory (OCO), planet finder observatory (Kepler), far infrared/sub-millimeter telescope (Hershel), Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), and Mars Science Laboratory-Rover (MSL). The presentation also contains a table of current missions and instruments.

  8. Multi-resolution mapping using surface, descent and orbit images

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Olson, C.; Matthies, L.; Xiong, Y.; Li, R.; Ma, F.

    2001-01-01

    Our objective is to produce high-accuracy maps of the terrain elevation at landing sites on planetary bodies through the use of all available image data. These technologies are important for performing rover navigation in future space missions and the maps provide a tool for coordinating rovers in a robotic colony.

  9. Mars Science Laboratory Rover System Thermal Test

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Novak, Keith S.; Kempenaar, Joshua E.; Liu, Yuanming; Bhandari, Pradeep; Dudik, Brenda A.

    2012-01-01

    On November 26, 2011, NASA launched a large (900 kg) rover as part of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission to Mars. The MSL rover is scheduled to land on Mars on August 5, 2012. Prior to launch, the Rover was successfully operated in simulated mission extreme environments during a 16-day long Rover System Thermal Test (STT). This paper describes the MSL Rover STT, test planning, test execution, test results, thermal model correlation and flight predictions. The rover was tested in the JPL 25-Foot Diameter Space Simulator Facility at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). The Rover operated in simulated Cruise (vacuum) and Mars Surface environments (8 Torr nitrogen gas) with mission extreme hot and cold boundary conditions. A Xenon lamp solar simulator was used to impose simulated solar loads on the rover during a bounding hot case and during a simulated Mars diurnal test case. All thermal hardware was exercised and performed nominally. The Rover Heat Rejection System, a liquid-phase fluid loop used to transport heat in and out of the electronics boxes inside the rover chassis, performed better than predicted. Steady state and transient data were collected to allow correlation of analytical thermal models. These thermal models were subsequently used to predict rover thermal performance for the MSL Gale Crater landing site. Models predict that critical hardware temperatures will be maintained within allowable flight limits over the entire 669 Sol surface mission.

  10. Next Target for Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    This image shows the area where the Sojourner rover is currently exploring. Having just investigated the Mermaid Dune, at left center, the rover is now heading toward the assemblage of large rocks at right.

    Mars Pathfinder is the second in NASA's Discovery program of low-cost spacecraft with highly focused science goals. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, developed and managed the Mars Pathfinder mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

  11. Cerebellum Augmented Rover Development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    King, Matthew

    2005-01-01

    Bio-Inspired Technologies and Systems (BITS) are a very natural result of thinking about Nature's way of solving problems. Knowledge of animal behaviors an be used in developing robotic behaviors intended for planetary exploration. This is the expertise of the JFL BITS Group and has served as a philosophical model for NMSU RioRobolab. Navigation is a vital function for any autonomous system. Systems must have the ability to determine a safe path between their current location and some target location. The MER mission, as well as other JPL rover missions, uses a method known as dead-reckoning to determine position information. Dead-reckoning uses wheel encoders to sense the wheel's rotation. In a sandy environment such as Mars, this method is highly inaccurate because the wheels will slip in the sand. Improving positioning error will allow the speed of an autonomous navigating rover to be greatly increased. Therefore, local navigation based upon landmark tracking is desirable in planetary exploration. The BITS Group is developing navigation technology based upon landmark tracking. Integration of the current rover architecture with a cerebellar neural network tracking algorithm will demonstrate that this approach to navigation is feasible and should be implemented in future rover and spacecraft missions.

  12. A Classroom Martian Rover

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brown, Todd; Brown, Katrina

    2008-03-01

    Simulating actual space missions beyond computer programs is a challenge for school programs. NASA's current and highly successful Mars Exploration Rovers allows for a classroom equivalent to be made to provide an inexpensive and informative demonstration concerning the perils of extreme off road navigation by remote control. The classroom rover provides an additional opportunity for teachers to easily simulate the perils of alien terrain analysis, the need for stereo (3-D) vision as well as demonstrate the need for teamwork and advance planning. I used a mock Mars Rover in my introductory natural science course geared towards non-science majors at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg. It provided a laboratory-like ending to my section about Solar System exploration.

  13. Mini-rovers for Mars explorations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miller, David P.

    1990-01-01

    Rovers are desirable for surface exploration because they allow sampling, and sample returns from several diverse locations on a planet's surface. Unfortunately, the rovers currently being examined for Mars exploration have several undesirable features. These rovers are quite massive (500 kg to one ton), have very complicated operations, and are very expensive. A possible alternative is described to using large rovers for exploring the surface of Mars. The idea of mini-rovers is proposed. Mini-rovers weigh less than 5 kg, are trivial to control from the ground, and can do a more thorough survey of the terrain (per kilogram of mass) than can be obtained by large rovers. By redesigning the Mars sample return mission to accommodate the idea of mini-rovers and small spacecraft, considerable mass and cost savings can be achieved.

  14. United States planetary rover status: 1989

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pivirotto, Donna L. S.; Dias, William C.

    1990-01-01

    A spectrum of concepts for planetary rovers and rover missions, is covered. Rovers studied range from tiny micro rovers to large and highly automated vehicles capable of traveling hundreds of kilometers and performing complex tasks. Rover concepts are addressed both for the Moon and Mars, including a Lunar/Mars common rover capable of supporting either program with relatively small modifications. Mission requirements considered include both Science and Human Exploration. Studies include a range of autonomy in rovers, from interactive teleoperated systems to those requiring and onboard System Executive making very high level decisions. Both high and low technology rover options are addressed. Subsystems are described for a representative selection of these rovers, including: Mobility, Sample Acquisition, Science, Vehicle Control, Thermal Control, Local Navigation, Computation and Communications. System descriptions of rover concepts include diagrams, technology levels, system characteristics, and performance measurement in terms of distance covered, samples collected, and area surveyed for specific representative missions. Rover development schedules and costs are addressed for Lunar and Mars exploration initiatives.

  15. Virtual Rover on Its Own

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    This image shows a screenshot from the software used by engineers to roll the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity off its lander and onto martian soil. Engineers received confirmation that Opportunity's six wheels had touched ground at 3:01 a.m. PST, January 31, 2004, on the seventh martian day, or sol, of the mission. The software simulates the rover's movements, helping to plot a safe course. The virtual 3-D world around the rover is built from images taken by Opportunity's stereo navigation cameras. Regions for which the rover has not yet acquired 3-D data are represented in beige. The rover is approximately 1 meter (3 feet) in front of the lander, facing north.

  16. Mars Rover RTG Study

    SciTech Connect

    Schock, Alfred

    1989-10-01

    Presented at the 40th Congress of the IAF, Oct. 7-13, 1989 in Torremolinos, Malaga-Spain. The paper describes the design and analysis of Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) for powering the Mars Rover vehicle, which is a critical element of the unmanned Mars Rover and Sample Return mission (MRSR). The RTG design study was conducted by Fairchild Space for the U.S. DOE in support of the JPL MRSR Project. The paper briefly describes a reference mission scenario, an illustrative Rover design and activity pattern on Mars, and its power system requirements and environmental constraints, including the RTG cooling requirements during transit to Mars. It summarizes the baseline RTG's mass breakdown, and presents a detailed description of its thermal, thermoelectric, and electrical analysis. The results presented show the RTG performance achievable with current technology, and the performance improvements that would be achievable with various technology developments. It provides a basis for selecting the optimum strategy for meeting the Mars Rover design goals with minimal programmatic risk and cost. There is a duplicate copy and three copies in the file.

  17. Geoscientific Mapping of Vesta by the Dawn Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jaumann, R.; Pieters, C. M.; Neukum, G.; Mottola, S.; DeSanctis, M. C.; Russell, C. T.; Raymond, C. A.; McSween, H. Y.; Roatsch, T.; Nathues, A.; Preusker, F.; Scholten, F.; Blewett, D.; Buczkowski, D. L.; Hiesinger, H.; McCord, T.; Rayman, M.; Schenk, P.; Stephan, K.; Turrini, D.; Yingst, R. A.

    2011-01-01

    The geologic objectives of the Dawn Mission are to derive Vesta's shape, map the surface geology, understand the geological context and contribute to the determination of the asteroids' origin and evolution. Geomorphology and distribution of surface features will provide evidence for impact cratering, tectonic activity, volcanism, and regolith processes. Spectral measurements of the surface will provide evidence of the compositional characteristics of geological units. Age information, as derived from crater size-frequency distributions, provides the stratigraphic context for the structural and compositional mapping results into the stratigraphic context and thusrevealing the geologic history of Vesta.

  18. The Clementine Mission: Initial Results from lunar mapping

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spudis, P. D.; Shoemaker, E.; Acton, C.; Burratti, B.; Duxbury, T.; Baker, D.; Smith, D.; Blamont, J.; Davies, M.; Eliason, E.

    1994-07-01

    Clementine was a mission designed to test the space-worthiness of a variety of advanced sensors for use on military surveillance satellites while, at the same time, gathering useful scientific information on the composition and structure of the Moon and a near-Earth asteroid. Conducted jointly by the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO, formerly the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization) of the US Department of Defense and NASA, Clementine was dispatched for an extended stay in the vicinity of Earth's moon on 25 January 1994 and arrived at the Moon on 20 February 1994. The spacecraft started systematic mapping on 26 February, completed mapping on 22 April, and left lunar orbit on 3 May. The entire Clementine project, from conception through end-of-mission, lasted approximately 3 years.

  19. The Clementine Mission: Initial Results from lunar mapping

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spudis, P. D.; Shoemaker, E.; Acton, C.; Burratti, B.; Duxbury, T.; Baker, D.; Smith, D.; Blamont, J.; Davies, M.; Eliason, E.

    1994-01-01

    Clementine was a mission designed to test the space-worthiness of a variety of advanced sensors for use on military surveillance satellites while, at the same time, gathering useful scientific information on the composition and structure of the Moon and a near-Earth asteroid. Conducted jointly by the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO, formerly the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization) of the US Department of Defense and NASA, Clementine was dispatched for an extended stay in the vicinity of Earth's moon on 25 January 1994 and arrived at the Moon on 20 February 1994. The spacecraft started systematic mapping on 26 February, completed mapping on 22 April, and left lunar orbit on 3 May. The entire Clementine project, from conception through end-of-mission, lasted approximately 3 years.

  20. Mars dust mineralogy and structure obtained by a simple Mars rover instrumentation development - suggestions for future missions.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nørnberg, Per

    2016-04-01

    Selective spectroscopic observations of the dust on the surface of Mars have neither been possible from Earth nor from orbiters as ESA, Mars Express or NASA, MRO. Even in surface soil sampling detailed chemical or mineralogical information about Martian dust cannot be separated from the soil. Remote spectroscopic data contain a mixture of mineralogical components which do not provide any specific information on the dust. Information about chemical composition and mineralogy of the Martian airborne dust was derived from APXS and Mössbauer data from the MER rovers by Goetz et al. (2005). This paper concluded that magnetite and not maghemite is the magnetic phase of the dust, and also that the presence of olivine indicates that liquid water did not play a dominant role in the formation of atmospheric dust. The dust is most likely formed by mechanical comminution comparable to the fine fractions of dust in dune sand on Earth (Nørnberg, P. 2002). Our Mars dust model operates with particles (2-3 μm) that inside consists of primary minerals which are either oxidized down to tenths of nm below the surface or have captured electrically charged nanoparticles of hematite on the surface giving the dust its red colour. Experiments done by Merrison, J.P. et al. ( 2010) showed that mechanical tumbling (abrasion)of a mixture of 10g quartz and 1 g magnetite in a dry process in a Martian atmosphere transformed magnetite to hematite. This experiment supports the dry comminution process indicated by Goetz et al (2005). The XRD analyses on the NASA, MSL are done on a mixture of soil material in which the dust accounts for only a minor part. However, if dust could have been captured separately from the atmosphere e.g. by magnets on the MSL and taken off by e.g. tape or another mechanism that could be transferred into the target holder of the XRD diffractometer on the rover, it could by Rietveld analyses have provided valuable quantitative information on the mineral content of the

  1. Mars Exploration Rover Surface Operations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Erickson, J. K.; Adler, M.; Crisp, J.; Mishkin, A.; Welch, R.

    2002-01-01

    The Mars Exploration Rover Project is an ambitious mission to land two highly capable rovers on Mars and concurrently explore the Martian surface for three months each. Launching in 2003, surface operations will commence on January 4, 2004 with the first landing, followed by the second landing on January 25. The prime mission for the second rover will end on April 27, 2004. The science objectives of exploring multiple locations within each of two widely separated and scientifically distinct landing sites will be accomplished along with the demonstration of key surface exploration technologies for future missions. This paper will provide an overview of the planned mission, and also focus on the different operations challenges inherent in operating these two very off road vehicles, and the solutions adopted to enable the best utilization of their capabilities for high science return and responsiveness to scientific discovery.

  2. Dust Aerosol, Clouds, and the Atmospheric Optical Depth Record over 5 Mars Years of the Mars Exploration Rover Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lemmon, Mark T.; Wolff, Michael J.; Bell, James F., III; Smith, Michael D.; Cantor, Bruce A.; Smith, Peter H.

    2014-01-01

    Dust aerosol plays a fundamental role in the behavior and evolution of the Martian atmosphere. The first five Mars years of Mars Exploration Rover data provide an unprecedented record of the dust load at two sites. This record is useful for characterization of the atmosphere at the sites and as ground truth for orbital observations. Atmospheric extinction optical depths have been derived from solar images after calibration and correction for time-varying dust that has accumulated on the camera windows. The record includes local, regional, and globally extensive dust storms. Comparison with contemporaneous thermal infrared data suggests significant variation in the size of the dust aerosols, with a 1 micrometer effective radius during northern summer and a 2 micrometer effective radius at the onset of a dust lifting event. The solar longitude (L (sub s)) 20-136 degrees period is also characterized by the presence of cirriform clouds at the Opportunity site, especially near LS = 50 and 115 degrees. In addition to water ice clouds, a water ice haze may also be present, and carbon dioxide clouds may be present early in the season. Variations in dust opacity are important to the energy balance of each site, and work with seasonal variations in insolation to control dust devil frequency at the Spirit site.

  3. Dust aerosol, clouds, and the atmospheric optical depth record over 5 Mars years of the Mars Exploration Rover mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lemmon, Mark T.; Wolff, Michael J.; Bell, James F., III; Smith, Michael D.; Cantor, Bruce A.; Smith, Peter H.

    2015-05-01

    Dust aerosol plays a fundamental role in the behavior and evolution of the martian atmosphere. The first five Mars years of Mars Exploration Rover data provide an unprecedented record of the dust load at two sites. This record is useful for characterization of the atmosphere at the sites and as ground truth for orbital observations. Atmospheric extinction optical depths have been derived from solar images after calibration and correction for time-varying dust that has accumulated on the camera windows. The record includes local, regional, and globally extensive dust storms. Comparison with contemporaneous thermal infrared data suggests significant variation in the size of the dust aerosols, with a 1 μm effective radius during northern summer and a 2 μm effective radius at the onset of a dust lifting event. The solar longitude (LS) 20-136° period is also characterized by the presence of cirriform clouds at the Opportunity site, especially near LS = 50° and 115°. In addition to water ice clouds, a water ice haze may also be present, and carbon dioxide clouds may be present early in the season. Variations in dust opacity are important to the energy balance of each site, and work with seasonal variations in insolation to control dust devil frequency at the Spirit site.

  4. Robotic Arm and Rover Actuator Systems for Mars Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reid, L.; Brawn, D.; Noon, D.

    1999-01-01

    Missions such as the Sojourner Rover, the Robotic Arm for Mars Polar Lander, and the 2003 Mars Rover, Athena, use numerous actuators that must operate reliably in extreme environments for long periods of time.

  5. Mars Rover RTG Study

    SciTech Connect

    Schock, Alfred

    1989-08-25

    This report summarizes the results of a Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (RTG) design study conducted by Fairchild Space Company at the direction of the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of SpecialApplications, in suppport of the Mars Rover and Sample Return mission under investigation at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The report is a rearranged, updated, and significantly expanded amalgam of three interrelated papers presented at the 24th Intersocity Energy Conversion Engineering Conference (IECEC) at Arlington, Virginia, on August 10, 1989.

  6. Modeling and matching of landmarks for automation of Mars Rover localization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Jue

    The Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission, begun in January 2004, has been extremely successful. However, decision-making for many operation tasks of the current MER mission and the 1997 Mars Pathfinder mission is performed on Earth through a predominantly manual, time-consuming process. Unmanned planetary rover navigation is ideally expected to reduce rover idle time, diminish the need for entering safe-mode, and dynamically handle opportunistic science events without required communication to Earth. Successful automation of rover navigation and localization during the extraterrestrial exploration requires that accurate position and attitude information can be received by a rover and that the rover has the support of simultaneous localization and mapping. An integrated approach with Bundle Adjustment (BA) and Visual Odometry (VO) can efficiently refine the rover position. However, during the MER mission, BA is done manually because of the difficulty in the automation of the cross-sitetie points selection. This dissertation proposes an automatic approach to select cross-site tie points from multiple rover sites based on the methods of landmark extraction, landmark modeling, and landmark matching. The first step in this approach is that important landmarks such as craters and rocks are defined. Methods of automatic feature extraction and landmark modeling are then introduced. Complex models with orientation angles and simple models without those angles are compared. The results have shown that simple models can provide reasonably good results. Next, the sensitivity of different modeling parameters is analyzed. Based on this analysis, cross-site rocks are matched through two complementary stages: rock distribution pattern matching and rock model matching. In addition, a preliminary experiment on orbital and ground landmark matching is also briefly introduced. Finally, the reliability of the cross-site tie points selection is validated by fault detection, which

  7. Anomalistic Disturbance Torques during the Entry Phase of the Mars Exploration Rover Missions: A Telemetry and Mars-Surface Investigation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tolson, Robert H.; Willcockson, William H.; Desai, Prasun N.; Thomas, Paige

    2006-01-01

    Shortly after landing on Mars, post-flight analysis of the "Spirit" entry data suggested that the vehicle experienced large, anomalistic oscillations in angle-of-attack starting at about M=6. Similar analysis for "Opportunity " found even larger oscillations starting immediately after maximum dynamic pressure at M=14. Where angles-of-attack of 1-2 degrees were expected from maximum dynamic pressure to drogue deployment, the reconstructions suggested 4 to 9 degrees. The next Mars lander, 2007 Phoenix project, was concerned enough to recommend further exploration of the anomalies. Detailed analysis of "Opportunity" data found significant anomalies in the hypersonic aerodynamic torques. The analysis showed that these torques were essentially fixed in the spinning vehicle. Nearly a year after landing, the "Oportunity" rover took pictures of its aeroshell on the surface, which showed that portions of the aeroshell thermal blanket assembly still remained. This blanket assembly was supposed to burn off very early in the entry. An analysis of the aeroshell photographs led to an estimate of the aerodynamic torques that the remnants could have produced. A comparison of two estimates of the aerodynamic torque perturbations (one extracted from telemetry data and the other from Mars surface photographs) showed exceptional agreement. Trajectory simulations using a simple data derived torque perturbation model provided rigid body motions similar to that observed during the "Opportunity" entry. Therefore, the case of the anomalistic attitude behavior for the "Opportunity" EDL is now considered closed and a suggestion is put forth that a similar event occurred for the "Spirit" entry as well.

  8. Heat capacity mapping mission. [satellite for earth surface temperature measurement

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Price, J. C.

    1978-01-01

    A Heat Capacity Mapping Mission (HCMM), part of a series of Applications Explorers Missions, is designed to provide data on surface heating as a response to solar energy input. The data is obtained by a two channel scanning radiometer, with one channel covering the visible and near-IR band between 0.5 and 1.1 micrometers, and the other covering the thermal-IR between 10.5 and 12.5 micrometers. The temperature range covered lies between 260 and 340 K, in 0.3 deg steps, with an accuracy at 280 K of plus or minus 0.5 K. Nominal altitude is 620 km, with a ground swath 700 km wide.

  9. What We Might Know About Gusev Crater if the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit Mission were Coupled with a Mars Sample Return Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morris, Richard V.

    2008-01-01

    The science instruments on the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Spirit have provided an enormous amount of chemical and mineralogical data during more than 1450 sols of exploration at Gusev crater. The Moessbauer (MB) instrument identified 10 Fe-bearing phases at Gusev Crater: olivine, pyroxene, ilmenite, chromite, and magnetite as primary igneous phases and nanophase ferric oxide (npOx), goethite, hematite, a ferric sulfate, and pyrite/marcusite as secondary phases. The Miniature Thermal Emission Spectrometer (Mini-TES) identified some of these Fe-bearing phases (olivine and pyroxene), non- Fe-bearing phases (e.g., feldspar), and an amorphous high-SiO2 phase near Home Plate. Chemical data from the Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) provided the framework for rock classification, chemical weathering/alteration, and mineralogical constraints. APXS-based mineralogical constraints include normative calculations (with Fe(3+)/FeT from MB), elemental associations, and stoichiometry (e.g., 90% SiO2 implicates opalline silica). If Spirit had cached a set of representative samples and if those samples were returned to the Earth for laboratory analysis, what value is added by Mars Sample return (MSR) over and above the mineralogical and chemical data provided by MER?

  10. Mapping Hydration with the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Pancam Instruments: Recent Results from Opportunity at Endeavour Crater

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rice, Melissa S.; Bell, James F., III; Arvidson, Raymond E.; Farrand, William H.; Johnson, Jeffrey R.; Rice, James W.; Ruff, Steven W.; Squyres, Steven W.; Wang, Alian

    2013-04-01

    Using the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Panoramic Camera (Pancam) instruments, we have developed a "hydration signature" for mapping H2O- and/or OH-bearing materials at Mars landing sites with multispectral visible to near-infrared (Vis-NIR) images. Pancam's 13 narrowband geology filters cover 11 unique wavelengths in the visible and near infrared (434 to 1009 nm) [1-2]. The hydration signature is based on a negative slope from 934 to 1009 nm [3] that characterizes the spectra of hydrated silica-rich rocks and soils observed by MER Spirit; this feature is likely due to the 2ν1 + ν3 H2O combination band and/or the 3νOH overtone centered near ~1000 nm, whose positions vary slightly depending on bonding to nearest-neighbor atoms [4]. The hydration signature is sensitive to many - but not all - hydrated minerals, including silica, gypsum and water ice. At Gusev Crater, the hydration signature is widespread along Spirit's traverse in the Columbia Hills, which adds to the growing body of evidence that aqueous alteration has played a significant role in the complex geologic history of this site [4]. At Meridiani Planum, the hydration signature is associated with a specific stratigraphic layer ("Smith") exposed within the walls of Victoria Crater [5], in addition to light-toned veins composed of calcium sulfate at Cape York on the rim of Endeavour Crater [6]. Recently, Opportunity has completed a traverse loop at Matijevic Hill at the southern end of Cape York and has encountered numerous small, light-toned, fracture-filling veins that may be indicative of fluid flow. Spectra of these veins are also consistent with hydrated materials, as are spectra of "Whitewater Lake" outcrops at Matijevic Hill, which may contain phyllosilicate minerals [7-8]. Here we also discuss limitations to the use of the hydration signature, which can give false detections under specific viewing geometries. For example, the Pancam calibration model assumes that the calibration target behaves as a

  11. A new planetary mapping for future space missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Karachevtseva, Irina; Kokhanov, Alexander; Rodionova, Janna; Zubarev, Anatoliy; Nadezhdina, Irina; Kreslavsky, Mikhail; Oberst, Jürgen

    2015-04-01

    The wide studies of Solar system, including different planetary bodies, were announced by new Russian space program. Their geodesy and cartography support provides by MIIGAiK Extraterrestrial Laboratory (http://mexlab.miigaik.ru/eng) in frames of the new project "Studies of Fundamental Geodetic Parameters and Topography of Planets and Satellites". The objects of study are satellites of the outer planets (satellites of Jupiter - Europa, Calisto and Ganymede; Saturnine satellite Enceladus), some planets (Mercury and Mars) and the satellites of the terrestrial planets - Phobos (Mars) and the Moon (Earth). The new research project, which started in 2014, will address the following important scientific and practical tasks: - Creating new three-dimensional geodetic control point networks of satellites of the outer planets using innovative photogrammetry techniques; - Determination of fundamental geodetic parameters and study size, shape, and spin parameters and to create the basic framework for research of their surfaces; - Studies of relief of planetary bodies and comparative analysis of general surface characteristics of the Moon, Mars, and Mercury, as well as studies of morphometric parameters of volcanic formations on the Moon and Mars; - Modeling of meteoritic bombardment of celestial bodies and the study of the dynamics of particle emissions caused by a meteorite impacts; - Development of geodatabase for studies of planetary bodies, including creation of object catalogues, (craters and volcanic forms, etc.), and thematic mapping using GIS technology. The significance of the project is defined both by necessity of obtaining fundamental characteristics of the Solar System bodies, and practical tasks in preparation for future Russian and international space missions to the Jupiter system (Laplace-P and JUICE), the Moon (Luna-Glob and Luna-Resource), Mars (Exo-Mars), Mercury (Bepi-Colombo), and possible mission to Phobos (project Boomerang). For cartographic support of

  12. Microbial Ecology of a Crewed Rover Traverse in the Arctic: Low Microbial Dispersal and Implications for Planetary Protection on Human Mars Missions.

    PubMed

    Schuerger, Andrew C; Lee, Pascal

    2015-06-01

    Between April 2009 and July 2011, the NASA Haughton-Mars Project (HMP) led the Northwest Passage Drive Expedition (NWPDX), a multi-staged long-distance crewed rover traverse along the Northwest Passage in the Arctic. In April 2009, the HMP Okarian rover was driven 496 km over sea ice along the Northwest Passage, from Kugluktuk to Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, Canada. During the traverse, crew members collected samples from within the rover and from undisturbed snow-covered surfaces around the rover at three locations. The rover samples and snow samples were stored at subzero conditions (-20°C to -1°C) until processed for microbial diversity in labs at the NASA Kennedy Space Center, Florida. The objective was to determine the extent of microbial dispersal away from the rover and onto undisturbed snow. Interior surfaces of the rover were found to be associated with a wide range of bacteria (69 unique taxa) and fungi (16 unique taxa). In contrast, snow samples from the upwind, downwind, uptrack, and downtrack sample sites exterior to the rover were negative for both bacteria and fungi except for two colony-forming units (cfus) recovered from one downwind (1 cfu; site A4) and one uptrack (1 cfu; site B6) sample location. The fungus, Aspergillus fumigatus (GenBank JX517279), and closely related bacteria in the genus Brevibacillus were recovered from both snow (B. agri, GenBank JX517278) and interior rover surfaces. However, it is unknown whether the microorganisms were deposited onto snow surfaces at the time of sample collection (i.e., from the clothing or skin of the human operator) or via airborne dispersal from the rover during the 12-18 h layovers at the sites prior to collection. Results support the conclusion that a crewed rover traveling over previously undisturbed terrain may not significantly contaminate the local terrain via airborne dispersal of propagules from the vehicle. PMID:26060984

  13. Ground water applications of the heat capacity mapping mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Heilman, J. L.; Moore, D. G.

    1981-01-01

    The paper discusses the ground water portion of a hydrologic investigation of eastern South Dakota using data from the Heat Capacity Mapping Mission (HCMM) satellite. The satellite carries a two-channel radiometer (0.5-1.1 and 10.5-12.5 microns) in a sun synchronous orbit and collects data at approximately 0230 and 1330 local standard time with repeat coverage of 5 to 16 days depending on latitude. It is shown that HCMM data acquired at appropriate periods of the diurnal and annual temperature cycle can provide useful information on shallow ground water.

  14. Heat Capacity Mapping Mission investigation no. 25 (Tellus project)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Deparatesi, S. G. (Principal Investigator); Reiniger, P. (Editor)

    1982-01-01

    The TELLUS pilot project, utilizing 0.5 to 1.1 micron and 10.5 to 12.5 micron day and/or night imagery from the Heat Capacity Mapping Mission, is described. The application of remotely sensed data to synoptic evaluation of evapotranspiration and moisture in agricultural soils was considered. The influence of topography, soils, land use, and meteorology on surface temperature distribution was evaluated. Anthropogenic heat release was investigated. Test areas extended from semi-arid land in southern Italy to polders in the Netherlands, and from vine-growing hills in the Rhineland to grasslands in Buckinghamshire.

  15. The geological mapping project of the Mars Express mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ori, G. G.; di Iorio, A.

    2003-04-01

    The ESA mission Mars Express will send three instruments with geological mapping capability: HRSC, OMEGA, and MARSIS. The HRSC is a camera that will provide medium to high-resolution images (about 10m/pixel to 2m/pixel) in colour and stereo. OMEGA will provide maps of the surface mineralogy. MARSIS is a subsurface penetrating radar that will bring back data at depth in excess of 2000 metres. The data of Mars Express will provide a good opportunity to match different geological data sets including the subsurface geology. ESA through a peer-reviewed open competition has selected a project dealing with the geological mapping of the Mars Express data and their distribution in electronic formats. The aim of the project is to perform the geological mapping of the surface and subsurface data from HRSC, OMEGA, and MARSIS. The mapping operations will be coordinated by a scientific panel that will take care of the distribution among the scientific community of the tasks, the standardization of the geological nomenclature and of the interpretation of the data sets, and the evaluation and validation of the final products. The distribution of the tasks to the mapping teams will be done through a peer-reviewed process by the scientific panel. In order to have in Europe a community ready for such a kind of large-scale planetary project, a continuing educational programme is under way. This programme is financed by the Commission of the European Union, the European Space Agency, and the Italian Space Agency. Short Courses, summer schools, and workshop have been organized in 2001 and 2002 and more will be held in the next two years. The response to this activity has been positive and the interested community has grown up to cover a large number of scientists from State members of the European Union and other European Countries. The current activity of the project deals with two tasks. The first one is to provide the proper electronic configurations and formats (hardware and

  16. Rover Sequencing and Visualization Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cooper, Brian; Hartman, Frank; Maxwell, Scott; Yen, Jeng; Wright, John; Balacuit, Carlos

    2005-01-01

    The Rover Sequencing and Visualization Program (RSVP) is the software tool for use in the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission for planning rover operations and generating command sequences for accomplishing those operations. RSVP combines three-dimensional (3D) visualization for immersive exploration of the operations area, stereoscopic image display for high-resolution examination of the downlinked imagery, and a sophisticated command-sequence editing tool for analysis and completion of the sequences. RSVP is linked with actual flight-code modules for operations rehearsal to provide feedback on the expected behavior of the rover prior to committing to a particular sequence. Playback tools allow for review of both rehearsed rover behavior and downlinked results of actual rover operations. These can be displayed simultaneously for comparison of rehearsed and actual activities for verification. The primary inputs to RSVP are downlink data products from the Operations Storage Server (OSS) and activity plans generated by the science team. The activity plans are high-level goals for the next day s activities. The downlink data products include imagery, terrain models, and telemetered engineering data on rover activities and state. The Rover Sequence Editor (RoSE) component of RSVP performs activity expansion to command sequences, command creation and editing with setting of command parameters, and viewing and management of rover resources. The HyperDrive component of RSVP performs 2D and 3D visualization of the rover s environment, graphical and animated review of rover-predicted and telemetered state, and creation and editing of command sequences related to mobility and Instrument Deployment Device (IDD) operations. Additionally, RoSE and HyperDrive together evaluate command sequences for potential violations of flight and safety rules. The products of RSVP include command sequences for uplink that are stored in the Distributed Object Manager (DOM) and predicted rover

  17. Mare Imbrium Regolith and Rock Information Retrieved from Imaging Spectrometer and Panorama Cameras onboard the Yutu Rover of Chang'E 3 Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Hao; Jin, Weidong; Yuan, Ye; Yang, Yazhou; Wang, Ziwei; Xiao, Long

    2014-11-01

    The Chang’E 3 mission successfully landed on the Mare Imbrium region on December 14, 2013 and deployed the Yutu Rover to roam near the Chang’E A Crater. Although the rover roamed just over 100 meters before its premature failure, its onboard visible and near-infrared (VisNIR) imaging spectrometer was able to collect 4 spectra at 4 different sites which are the first in-situ lunar surface spectra ever taken. The onboard panorama cameras (PCAM) also photographed large amount of surface features since the Apollo era and some images have clearly shown the lunar opposition effect. The VisNIR spectrometer spans the wavelength from 450 to 2395 nm with a step of 5 nm. By performing radiometric and photometric calibrations, the absolute reflectance are obtained and it is found that the in-situ spectra are much bighter than that of the same area measured by the M3 instrument. The in-situ spectra also have a much deeper 1 μm absorption feature than that of the M3 spectra measured remotely. We conjecture that such differences are caused by the fact that the lander’s descent engines must have blown away the top-most layers which are much more mature than the exposed underlying layers. A comparison of the continuum-removed in-situ spectra with that of the mineral spectral library gives the concentrations of major lunar rock-forming minerals including olivine, pyroxenes and plagioclase at these 4 different sites. The phase curve retrieved from the PCAM shows a strong opposition surge below 10-deg phase angle and the phase reddening effect. We attempt to retrieve the regolith physical properties using both the Hapke and Shkuratov photometric models. At a close distance the PCAM also captured high resolution images of a 4-meter across boulder at the edge of the Chang’E A Crater. Centimeter-sized bright clasts on its surface may indicate its basaltic nature. By comparing the VisNIR spectra of its nearby regoliths with that of the Apollo samples, we believe this boulder

  18. Mars rover RTG study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schock, A.; Hamrick, T.; Or, T.; Sankarankandath, V.; Skrabek, E.; Shirbacheh, M.

    1989-01-01

    The paper describes the design and analysis of radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTGs) for powering the Mars rover vehicle, which is a critical element of the unmanned Mars Rover and Sample Return mission (MRSR). A brief description is given of a reference mission scenario, an illustrative rover design and activity pattern on Mars, power system requirements, and environmental constraints, including the RTG cooling requirements during transit to Mars. The key RTG design problem, i.e. venting the helium generated by the fuel's alpha decay without intrusion of the Martian atmosphere into the RTG, is identified and a design approach to solve that problem is proposed. The study's primary objective is to quantify the performance improvements achievable in new successfully developed technologies, to estimate the required time, effort, success probability, and programmatic risk in developing these new technologies, and thus to help identify the best strategy for meeting the MRSR system goals. Finally, the paper compares the RTGs' specific powers for different power levels (250W vs 125W), different thermoelectric element designs (standard vs short unicouples vs multicouples), and different thermoelectric figures of merit (0.00058K to the -1 to 0.00140K to the -1).

  19. Aerokats and Rover

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bland, G.; Miles, T.; Nagchaudhuri, A.; Henry, A.; Coronado, P.; Smith, S.; Bydlowski, D.; Gaines, J.; Hartman, C.

    2015-12-01

    Two novel tools are being developed for team-based environmental and science observations suitable for use in Middle School through Undergraduate settings. Partnerships with NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center are critical for this work, and the concepts and practices are aimed at providing affordable and easy-to-field hardware to the classroom. The Advanced Earth Research Observation Kites and Atmospheric and Terrestrial Sensors (AEROKATS) system brings affordable and easy-to-field remote sensing and in-situ measurements within reach for local-scale Earth observations and data gathering. Using commercial kites, a wide variety of sensors, and a new NASA technology, AEROKATS offers a quick-to-learn method to gather airborne remote sensing and in-situ data for classroom analysis. The Remotely Operated Vehicle for Education and Research (ROVER) project introduces team building for mission operations and research, using modern technologies for exploring aquatic environments. ROVER projects use hobby-type radio control hardware and common in-water instrumentation, to highlight the numerous roles and responsibilities needed in real-world research missions, such as technology, operations, and science disciplines. NASA GSFC's partnerships have enabled the fielding of several AEROKATS and ROVER prototypes, and results suggest application of these methods is feasible and engaging.

  20. Euclid Mission: Mapping the Geometry of the Dark Universe. Mission and Consortium Status

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rhodes, Jason

    2011-01-01

    Euclid concept: (1) High-precision survey mission to map the geometry of the Dark Universe (2) Optimized for two complementary cosmological probes: (2a) Weak Gravitational Lensing (2b) Baryonic Acoustic Oscillations (2c) Additional probes: clusters, redshift space distortions, ISW (3) Full extragalactic sky survey with 1.2m telescope at L2: (3a) Imaging: (3a-1) High precision imaging at visible wavelengths (3a-2) Photometry/Imaging in the near-infrared (3b) Near Infrared Spectroscopy (4) Synergy with ground based surveys (5) Legacy science for a wide range of in astronomy

  1. Lunar Surface Rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Plescia, J. B.; Lane, A. L.; Miller, D.

    1992-01-01

    Many questions of lunar science remain unanswered because of a lack of specific data. With the potential for returning humans to the Moon and establishing a long-term presence there, a new realm of exploration is possible. Numerous plans have been outlined for orbital and surface missions. The capabilities and objectives of a small class of rovers to be deployed on the lunar surface are described. The objective of these small rovers is to collect detailed in situ information about the composition and distribution of materials on the lunar surface. Those data, in turn, would be applied to a variety of lunar geoscience questions and form a basis for planning human activities on the lunar surface.

  2. Strategic Map for Enceladus Plume Biosignature Sample Return Missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sherwood, Brent; Yano, Hajime

    The discovery of jets emitting salty water from the interior of Saturn’s small moon Enceladus is one of the most astounding results of the Cassini mission to date. The measured presence of organic species in the resulting plume, the finding that the jet activity is valved by tidal stretching at apochrone, and the modeled lifetime of E-ring particles, all indicate that the textbook conditions for habitability are met at Enceladus today: liquid water, biologically available elements, and source of energy, longevity of conducive conditions. Enceladus may be the best place in our solar system to search for direct evidence of biomarkers, and the plume provides a way to sample for and even return them to Earth for detailed analysis. It is straightforward to imagine a Stardust-like, fly-through, plume particle and gas collection and return mission for Enceladus. An international team (LIFE, Life Investigation For Enceladus) has dedicated itself to pursuing such a flight project. Concept engineering and evaluation indicate that the associated technical, programmatic, regulatory, and cost issues are quite unlike the Stardust precedent however, not least because of such a mission’s Category-V, Restricted Earth Return, classification. The paper presents a strategic framework that systematically integrates the cultivation of science advocacy, resolution of diverse stakeholder issues, development of verifiable and affordable technical solutions, validation of cost estimation methods, alignment with other candidate astrobiology missions, complementarity of international agency goals, and finally the identification of appropriate research and flight-mission opportunities. Resolving and using this map is essential if we are to know the astrobiological state of Enceladus in our lifetime.

  3. Rover Team Decides: Safety First

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2006-01-01

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit recorded this view while approaching the northwestern edge of 'Home Plate,' a circular plateau-like area of bright, layered outcrop material roughly 80 meters (260 feet) in diameter. The images combined into this mosaic were taken by Spirit's navigation camera during the rover's 746th, 748th and 750th Martian days, or sols (Feb. 7, 9 and 11, 2006).

    With Martian winter closing in, engineers and scientists working with NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit decided to play it safe for the time being rather than attempt to visit the far side of Home Plate in search of rock layers that might show evidence of a past watery environment. This feature has been one of the major milestones of the mission. Though it's conceivable that rock layers might be exposed on the opposite side, sunlight is diminishing on the rover's solar panels and team members chose not to travel in a counterclockwise direction that would take the rover to the west and south slopes of the plateau. Slopes in that direction are hidden from view and team members chose, following a long, thorough discussion, to have the rover travel clockwise and remain on north-facing slopes rather than risk sending the rover deeper into unknown terrain.

    In addition to studying numerous images from Spirit's cameras, team members studied three-dimensional models created with images from the Mars Orbiter Camera on NASA's Mars Globel Surveyor orbiter. The models showed a valley on the southern side of Home Plate, the slopes of which might cause the rover's solar panels to lose power for unknown lengths of time. In addition, images from Spirit's cameras showed a nearby, talus-covered section of slope on the west side of Home Plate, rather than exposed rock layers scientists eventually hope to investigate.

    Home Plate has been on the rover's potential itinerary since the early days of the mission, when it stood out in images taken by the Mars Orbiter Camera shortly after

  4. Opportunity Mars Rover Mission: Overview and Selected Results from Leaving Purgatory Ripple to Traverses Toward Endeavour Crater

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arvidson, R. E.; Athena Team

    2010-12-01

    Opportunity has been traversing the plains of Meridiani since January 25, 2004, acquiring remote sensing and in-situ observations of soils, cobbles, and bedrock, together with atmospheric observations. This paper provides an overview of discoveries between sols 511 (July 1, 2005) and 2300 (July 13, 2010), complementing a similar paper by Squyres et al., [2006] covering results from the initial phase of the mission. Use of the Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer to measure atmospheric argon shows the importance of the southern seasonal ice cap in controlling atmospheric dynamics, with inter-annual variations evident over the three Mars years of observations. The plains are partially covered by aeolian ripples produced by easterly winds during a previous epoch with enhanced Hadley cell circulation. During the current climatic regime, fine-grained particles continue to be reworked locally and trapped. Ripple surfaces are composed of basaltic sand mixed with varying amounts of dust and hematitic concretions. Cobbles examined by Opportunity include iron and stony iron meteorites and both sedimentary and basaltic impact ejecta. Hematite-rich deposits in fractures within ejecta from Concepcion crater, together with iron oxide deposits on meteorites, imply on-going aqueous alteration at low rates. Measurements of sulfate-rich rock strata within the walls of Erebus and Victoria craters provide compelling evidence of sand deposition by wind, with local reworking within ephemeral lakes. We continue to search for the lacustrine facies that would confirm or refute the hypothesis that the sands were produced in an acid-sulfate evaporitic environment. Rocks examined in the upper walls of Victoria and Endurance craters also show enrichment of Cl and a decrease in Mg and S with increasing depth. This pattern implies that regional-scale aqueous alteration took place before formation of these craters. Opportunity has been traversing toward the rim of the 20 km wide Endeavour crater

  5. Mars 2001 Orbiter, Lander and Rover

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Saunders, R. S.

    1999-09-01

    The Mars 2001 mission is well equipped to analyze the surface of Mars. The mission: 1) completes MO objectives with gamma ray spectrometer elemental mapping, 2) explores a new region of the Martian surface, and 3) is the first in the combined Mars strategy of the Human Exploration and Development of Space (HEDS) and Space Science Enterprises of NASA. The mission demonstrates technologies and collects environmental data that provide the basis for permanent outposts or a decision to send humans to Mars. Potential sites include ancient crust and ancient aqueous environments. The orbiter carries the gamma ray spectrometer, a thermal emission spectrometer (THEMIS) and imager that will map the mineral abundance at selected sites and a radiation experiment, Marie, to assess radiation hazards. The lander carries a suite of Space Science and HEDS instruments including a robotic arm with camera. The arm will deploy a Moessbauer spectrometer to determine the state of iron in the soil. The arm will deploy the rover and dig up to 0.5 m to deliver soil to MECA, the soil and dust characterization experiments. The Mars In Situ Propellant Precursor Experiment (MIP) will assess in situ propellant production technology and produce oxygen from the Martian atmosphere. The landed Marie radiation experiment will assess radiation hazards on the surface. The lander carries a panoramic camera bore-sighted with a thermal emission spectrometer (PanCam/MiniTES) to allow comparison between mineralogical data and elemental data. The descent imaging system (MARDI) will image from parachute deployment to the surface. The rover is Sojourner class, with an upgraded Alpha Proton X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) experiment carefully calibrated on Earth and on Mars. The instruments will be operated in an integrated mode to provide maximum capability to explore and characterize a new region on Mars. MSP-01 is a NASA/JPL Mission.

  6. Soil moisture applications of the heat capacity mapping mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Heilman, J. L.; Moore, D. G.

    1981-01-01

    Results are presented of ground, aircraft and satellite investigations conducted to evaluate the potential of the Heat Capacity Mapping Mission (HCMM) to monitor soil moisture and the depth of shallow ground water. The investigations were carried out over eastern South Dakota to evaluate the relation between directly measured soil temperatures and water content at various stages of canopy development, aircraft thermal scanner measurements of apparent canopy temperature and the reliability of actual HCMM data. The results demonstrate the possibility of evaluating soil moisture on the basis of HCMM apparent canopy temperature and day-night soil temperature difference measurements. Limitations on the use of thermal data posed by environmental factors which influence energy balance interactions, including phase transformations, wind patterns, topographic variations and atmospheric constituents are pointed out.

  7. Electrostatic Charging of the Pathfinder Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Siebert, Mark W.; Kolecki, Joseph C.

    1996-01-01

    The Mars Pathfinder mission will send a lander and a rover to the martian surface. Because of the extremely dry conditions on Mars, electrostatic charging of the rover is expected to occur as it moves about. Charge accumulation may result in high electrical potentials and discharge through the martian atmosphere. Such discharge could interfere with the operation of electrical elements on the rover. A strategy was sought to mitigate this charge accumulation as a precautionary measure. Ground tests were performed to demonstrate charging in laboratory conditions simulating the surface conditions expected at Mars. Tests showed that a rover wheel, driven at typical rover speeds, will accumulate electrical charge and develop significant electrical potentials (average observed, 110 volts). Measurements were made of wheel electrical potential, and wheel capacitance. From these quantities, the amount of absolute charge was estimated. An engineering solution was developed and recommended to mitigate charge accumulation. That solution has been implemented on the actual rover.

  8. Microbial Ecology of a Crewed Rover Traverse in the Arctic: Low Microbial Dispersal and Implications for Planetary Protection on Human Mars Missions

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Pascal

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Between April 2009 and July 2011, the NASA Haughton-Mars Project (HMP) led the Northwest Passage Drive Expedition (NWPDX), a multi-staged long-distance crewed rover traverse along the Northwest Passage in the Arctic. In April 2009, the HMP Okarian rover was driven 496 km over sea ice along the Northwest Passage, from Kugluktuk to Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, Canada. During the traverse, crew members collected samples from within the rover and from undisturbed snow-covered surfaces around the rover at three locations. The rover samples and snow samples were stored at subzero conditions (−20°C to −1°C) until processed for microbial diversity in labs at the NASA Kennedy Space Center, Florida. The objective was to determine the extent of microbial dispersal away from the rover and onto undisturbed snow. Interior surfaces of the rover were found to be associated with a wide range of bacteria (69 unique taxa) and fungi (16 unique taxa). In contrast, snow samples from the upwind, downwind, uptrack, and downtrack sample sites exterior to the rover were negative for both bacteria and fungi except for two colony-forming units (cfus) recovered from one downwind (1 cfu; site A4) and one uptrack (1 cfu; site B6) sample location. The fungus, Aspergillus fumigatus (GenBank JX517279), and closely related bacteria in the genus Brevibacillus were recovered from both snow (B. agri, GenBank JX517278) and interior rover surfaces. However, it is unknown whether the microorganisms were deposited onto snow surfaces at the time of sample collection (i.e., from the clothing or skin of the human operator) or via airborne dispersal from the rover during the 12–18 h layovers at the sites prior to collection. Results support the conclusion that a crewed rover traveling over previously undisturbed terrain may not significantly contaminate the local terrain via airborne dispersal of propagules from the vehicle. Key Words: Planetary protection

  9. Microbial Ecology of a Crewed Rover Traverse in the Arctic: Low Microbial Dispersal and Implications for Planetary Protection on Human Mars Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schuerger, Andrew C.; Lee, Pascal

    2015-01-01

    Between April 2009 and July 2011, the NASA Haughton-Mars Project (HMP) led the Northwest Passage Drive Expedition (NWPDX), a multi-staged long-distance crewed rover traverse along the Northwest Passage in the Arctic. In April 2009, the HMP Okarian rover was driven 496 km over sea ice along the Northwest Passage, from Kugluktuk to Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, Canada. During the traverse, crew members collected samples from within the rover and from undisturbed snow-covered surfaces around the rover at three locations. The rover samples and snow samples were stored at subzero conditions (-20C to -1C) until processed for microbial diversity in labs at the NASA Kennedy Space Center, Florida. The objective was to determine the extent of microbial dispersal away from the rover and onto undisturbed snow. Interior surfaces of the rover were found to be associated with a wide range of bacteria (69 unique taxa) and fungi (16 unique taxa). In contrast, snow samples from the upwind, downwind, uptrack, and downtrack sample sites exterior to the rover were negative for both bacteria and fungi except for two colony-forming units (cfus) recovered from one downwind (1 cfu; site A4) and one uptrack (1 cfu; site B6) sample location. The fungus, Aspergillus fumigatus (GenBank JX517279), and closely related bacteria in the genus Brevibacillus were recovered from both snow (B. agri, GenBank JX517278) and interior rover surfaces. However, it is unknown whether the microorganisms were deposited onto snow surfaces at the time of sample collection (i.e., from the clothing or skin of the human operator) or via airborne dispersal from the rover during the 12-18 h layovers at the sites prior to collection. Results support the conclusion that a crewed rover traveling over previously undisturbed terrain may not significantly contaminate the local terrain via airborne dispersal of propagules from the vehicle. Key Words: Planetary protection-Contamination-Habitability-Haughton Crater-Mars. Astrobiology

  10. Using Planning, Scheduling and Execution for Autonomous Mars Rover Operations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Estlin, Tara A.; Gaines, Daniel M.; Chouinard, Caroline M.; Fisher, Forest W.; Castano, Rebecca; Judd, Michele J.; Nesnas, Issa A.

    2006-01-01

    With each new rover mission to Mars, rovers are traveling significantly longer distances. This distance increase raises not only the opportunities for science data collection, but also amplifies the amount of environment and rover state uncertainty that must be handled in rover operations. This paper describes how planning, scheduling and execution techniques can be used onboard a rover to autonomously generate and execute rover activities and in particular to handle new science opportunities that have been identified dynamically. We also discuss some of the particular challenges we face in supporting autonomous rover decision-making. These include interaction with rover navigation and path-planning software and handling large amounts of uncertainty in state and resource estimations. Finally, we describe our experiences in testing this work using several Mars rover prototypes in a realistic environment.

  11. MSLICE Science Activity Planner for the Mars Science Laboratory Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Powell, Mark W.; Shams, Khawaja S.; Wallick, Michael N.; Norris, Jeffrey S.; Joswig, Joseph C.; Crockett, Thomas M.; Fox, Jason M.; Torres, Recaredo J.; Kurien, James A.; McCurdy, Michael P.; Pyrzak, Guy; Aghevli, Arash; Bachmann, Andrew G.

    2009-01-01

    MSLICE (Mars Science Laboratory InterfaCE) is the tool used by scientists and engineers on the Mars Science Laboratory rover mission to visualize the data returned by the rover and collaboratively plan its activities. It enables users to efficiently and effectively search all mission data to find applicable products (e.g., images, targets, activity plans, sequences, etc.), view and plan the traverse of the rover in HiRISE (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) images, visualize data acquired by the rover, and develop, model, and validate the activities the rover will perform. MSLICE enables users to securely contribute to the mission s activity planning process from their home institutions using off-the-shelf laptop computers. This software has made use of several plug-ins (software components) developed for previous missions [e.g., Mars Exploration Rover (MER), Phoenix Mars Lander (PHX)] and other technology tasks. It has a simple, intuitive, and powerful search capability. For any given mission, there is a huge amount of data and associated metadata that is generated. To help users sort through this information, MSLICE s search interface is provided in a similar fashion as major Internet search engines. With regard to the HiRISE visualization of the rover s traverse, this view is a map of the mission that allows scientists to easily gauge where the rover has been and where it is likely to go. The map also provides the ability to correct or adjust the known position of the rover through the overlaying of images acquired from the rover on top of the HiRISE image. A user can then correct the rover s position by collocating the visible features in the overlays with the same features in the underlying HiRISE image. MSLICE users can also rapidly search all mission data for images that contain a point specified by the user in another image or panoramic mosaic. MSLICE allows the creation of targets, which provides a way for scientists to collaboratively name

  12. Launch Lock Mechanism for Resource Prospector Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tamasy, Gabor J.; Smith, Jonathan D.; Mueller, Robert P.; Townsend, Ivan I., III

    2016-01-01

    The Resource Prospector Rover is being designed to carry the RESOLVE (Regolith Environment Science, and Oxygen Lunar Volatile Extraction) payload on a mission to the Moon to prospect for water ice. This is a joint project between KSC Swamp Works UB-R1 and JSC. JSC is building the Resource Prospector 2015 (RP15) rover and KSC designed and fabricated a Launch-Lock (LL) hold down mechanism for the rover. The LL mechanism will attach and support the rover on a Lunar Lander during launch and transit to the moon, then release the RP15 rover after touchdown on the lunar surface. This report presents the design and development of the LL mechanism and its unique features which make it suitable for this lunar exploration mission. An EDU (engineering development unit) prototype of the LL has been built and tested at KSC which is the subject of this paper.

  13. Targeting and Localization for Mars Rover Operations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Powell, Mark W.; Crockett, Thomas; Fox, Jason M.; Joswig, Joseph C.; Norris, Jeffrey S.; Rabe, Kenneth J.; McCurdy, Michael; Pyrzak, Guy

    2006-01-01

    In this work we discuss how the quality of localization knowledge impacts the remote operation of rovers on the surface of Mars. We look at the techniques of localization estimation used in the Mars Pathfinder and Mars Exploration Rover missions. We examine the motivation behind the modes of targeting for different types of activities, such as navigation, remote science, and in situ science. We discuss the virtues and shortcomings of existing approaches and new improvements in the latest operations tools used to support the Mars Exploration Rover missions and rover technology development tasks at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. We conclude with future directions we plan to explore in improving the localization knowledge available for operations and more effective targeting of rovers and their instrument payloads.

  14. Pressurized Lunar Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Creel, Kenneth; Frampton, Jeffrey; Honaker, David; Mcclure, Kerry; Zeinali, Mazyar

    1992-01-01

    The pressurized lunar rover (PLR) consists of a 7 m long, 3 m diameter cylindrical main vehicle and a trailer which houses the power and heat rejection systems. The main vehicle carries the astronauts, life support systems, navigation and communication systems, directional lighting, cameras, and equipment for exploratory experiments. The PLR shell is constructed of a layered carbon-fiber/foam composite. The rover has six 1.5 m diameter wheels on the main body and two 1.5 m diameter wheels on the trailer. The wheels are constructed of composites and flex to increase traction and shock absorption. The wheels are each attached to a double A-arm aluminum suspension, which allows each wheel 1 m of vertical motion. In conjunction with a 0.75 m ground clearance, the suspension aids the rover in negotiating the uneven lunar terrain. The 15 N-m torque brushless electric motors are mounted with harmonic drive units inside each of the wheels. The rover is steered by electrically varying the speeds of the wheels on either side of the rover. The PLR trailer contains a radiosotope thermoelectric generator providing 6.7 kW. A secondary back-up energy storage system for short-term high-power needs is provided by a bank of batteries. The trailer can be detached to facilitate docking of the main body with the lunar base via an airlock located in the rear of the PLR. The airlock is also used for EVA operation during missions. Life support is a partly regenerative system with air and hygiene water being recycled. A layer of water inside the composite shell surrounds the command center. The water absorbs any damaging radiation, allowing the command center to be used as a safe haven during solar flares. Guidance, navigation, and control are supplied by a strapdown inertial measurement unit that works with the on-board computer. Star mappers provide periodic error correction. The PLR is capable of voice, video, and data transmission. It is equipped with two 5 W X-band transponder

  15. Pressurized lunar rover

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Creel, Kenneth; Frampton, Jeffrey; Honaker, David; McClure, Kerry; Zeinali, Mazyar

    1992-05-01

    The pressurized lunar rover (PLR) consists of a 7 m long, 3 m diameter cylindrical main vehicle and a trailer which houses the power and heat rejection systems. The main vehicle carries the astronauts, life support systems, navigation and communication systems, directional lighting, cameras, and equipment for exploratory experiments. The PLR shell is constructed of a layered carbon-fiber/foam composite. The rover has six 1.5 m diameter wheels on the main body and two 1.5 m diameter wheels on the trailer. The wheels are constructed of composites and flex to increase traction and shock absorption. The wheels are each attached to a double A-arm aluminum suspension, which allows each wheel 1 m of vertical motion. In conjunction with a 0.75 m ground clearance, the suspension aids the rover in negotiating the uneven lunar terrain. The 15 N-m torque brushless electric motors are mounted with harmonic drive units inside each of the wheels. The rover is steered by electrically varying the speeds of the wheels on either side of the rover. The PLR trailer contains a radiosotope thermoelectric generator providing 6.7 kW. A secondary back-up energy storage system for short-term high-power needs is provided by a bank of batteries. The trailer can be detached to facilitate docking of the main body with the lunar base via an airlock located in the rear of the PLR. The airlock is also used for EVA operation during missions. Life support is a partly regenerative system with air and hygiene water being recycled. A layer of water inside the composite shell surrounds the command center. The water absorbs any damaging radiation, allowing the command center to be used as a safe haven during solar flares. Guidance, navigation, and control are supplied by a strapdown inertial measurement unit that works with the on-board computer. Star mappers provide periodic error correction.

  16. Quantifying mesoscale soil moisture with the cosmic-ray rover

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chrisman, B.; Zreda, M.

    2013-06-01

    Soil moisture governs the surface fluxes of mass and energy and is a major influence on floods and drought. Existing techniques measure soil moisture either at a point or over a large area many kilometers across. To bridge these two scales we used the cosmic-ray rover, an instrument similar to the recently developed COSMOS probe, but bigger and mobile. This paper explores the challenges and opportunities for mapping soil moisture over large areas using the cosmic-ray rover. In 2012, soil moisture was mapped 22 times in a 25 km × 40 km survey area of the Tucson Basin at 1 km2 resolution, i.e., a survey area extent comparable to that of a pixel for the Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) satellite mission. The soil moisture distribution is dominated by climatic variations, notably by the North American monsoon, that results in a systematic increase in the standard deviation, observed up to 0.022 m3 m-3, as a function of the mean, between 0.06 and 0.14 m3 m-3. Two techniques are explored to use the cosmic-ray rover data for hydrologic applications: (1) interpolation of the 22 surveys into a daily soil moisture product by defining an approach to utilize and quantify the observed temporal stability producing an average correlation coefficient of 0.82 for the soil moisture distributions that were surveyed and (2) estimation of soil moisture profiles by combining surface moisture from satellite microwave sensors with deeper measurements from the cosmic-ray rover. The interpolated soil moisture and soil moisture profile estimates allow for basin-wide mass balance calculation of evapotranspiration, totaling 241 mm for the year 2012. Generating soil moisture maps with cosmic-ray rover at this intermediate scale may help in the calibration and validation of satellite campaigns and may also aid in various large scale hydrologic studies.

  17. Autonomous Path Tracking Steering Controller for Extraterrestrial Terrain Exporation Rover

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahmed, Mohammed; Sonsalla, Roland; Kirchner, Frank

    Extraterrestrial surface missions typically use a robotic rover platform to carry the science instrumentation (e.g.,the twin MER rovers). Due to the risks in the rover path (i.e. low trafficability of unrecognized soil patches), it is proposed in the FASTER footnote{\\url{https://www.faster-fp7-space.eu}} project that two rovers should be used. A micro scout rover is used for determining the traversability of the terrain and collaborate with a primary rover to lower the risk of entering hazardous areas. That will improve the mission safety and the effective traverse speed for planetary rover exploration. This paper presents the design and implementation of the path following controller for micro scout rover. The objective to synthesize a control law which allows the rover to autonomously follow a desired path in a stable manner. Furthermore, the software architecture controlling the rover and all its subsystems is depicted. The performance of the designed controller is discussed and demonstrated with realistic simulations and experiments, conclusions and an outlook of future work are also given. Key words: Micro Rover, Scout Rover, Mars Exploration, Multi-Rover Team, Mobile, All-Terrain, Hybrid-Legged Wheel, Path Following, Automatic Steer, nonlinear systems.

  18. Lightweight rovers for Mars science exploration and sample return

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schenker, Paul S.; Sword, Lee F.; Ganino, A. J.; Bickler, Donald B.; Hickey, G. S.; Brown, D. K.; Baumgartner, Eric T.; Matthies, Larry H.; Wilcox, Brian H.; Balch, T.; Aghazarian, H.; Garrett, M. S.

    1997-09-01

    We report on the development of new mobile robots for Mars exploration missions. These 'lightweight survivable rover (LSR)' systems are of potential interest to both space and terrestrial applications, and are distinguished from more conventional designs by their use of new composite materials, collapsible running gear, integrated thermal-structural chassis, and other mechanical features enabling improved mobility and environmental robustness at reduced mass, volume, and power. Our first demonstrated such rover architecture, LSR-1, introduces running gear based on 2D composite struts and 3D machined composite joints, a novel collapsible hybrid composite-aluminum wheel design, a unit-body structural- thermal chassis with improved internal temperature isolation and stabilization, and a spot-pushbroom laser/CCD sensor enabling accurate, fast hazard detection and terrain mapping. LSR-1 is an approximately .7 $MIL 1.0 meter(Lambda) 2(W X L) footprint six-wheel (20 cm dia.) rocker-bogie geometry vehicle of approximately 30 cm ground clearance, weighing only 7 kilograms with an onboard .3 kilogram multi-spectral imager and spectroscopic photometer. By comparison, NASA/JPL's recently flown Mars Pathfinder rover Sojourner is an 11+ kilogram flight experiment (carrying a 1 kg APXS instrument) having approximately .45 X .6 meter(Lambda) 2(WXL) footprint and 15 cm ground clearance, and about half the warm electronics enclosure (WEE) volume with twice the diurnal temperature swing (-40 to +40 degrees Celsius) of LSR- 1 in nominal Mars environments. We are also developing a new, smaller 5 kilogram class LSR-type vehicle for Mars sample return -- the travel to, localization of, pick-up, and transport back to an Earth return ascent vehicle of a sample cache collected by earlier science missions. This sample retrieval rover R&D prototype has a completely collapsible mobility system enabling rover stowage to approximately 25% operational volume, as well an actively articulated axle

  19. Pathfinder Rover Atop Mermaid Dune

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    Mars Pathfinder Lander camera image of Sojourner Rover atop the Mermaid 'dune' on Sol 30. Note the dark material excavated by the rover wheels. These, and other excavations brought materials to the surface for examination and allowed estimates of mechanical properties of the deposits.

    NOTE: original caption as published in Science Magazine

    Mars Pathfinder is the second in NASA's Discovery program of low-cost spacecraft with highly focused science goals. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, developed and manages the Mars Pathfinder mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

  20. Planetary rover technology development requirements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bedard, Roger J., Jr.; Muirhead, Brian K.; Montemerlo, Melvin D.; Hirschbein, Murray S.

    1989-01-01

    Planetary surface (including lunar) mobility and sampling capability is required to support proposed future National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) solar system exploration missions. The NASA Office of Aeronautics and Space Technology (OAST) is addressing some of these technology needs in its base research and development program, the Civil Space Technology Initiative (CSTI) and a new technology initiative entitled Pathfinder. The Pathfinder Planetary Rover (PPR) and Sample Acquisition, Analysis and Preservation (SAAP) programs will develop and validate the technologies needed to enable both robotic and piloted rovers on various planetary surfaces. The technology requirements for a planetary roving vehicle and the development plans of the PPR and SAAP programs are discussed.

  1. Antenna Designs for the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) Spacecraft, Lander, and Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vacchione, Joseph; Thelen, Michael; Brown, Paula; Huang, John; Kelly, Ken; Krishnan, Satish

    2001-01-01

    This presentation focuses on the design of antennas for the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER). Specific topics covered include: MER spacecraft architecture, the evolution of an antenna system, MER cruise stage antennas, antenna stacks, the heat-shield/back shell antenna, and lander and rover antennas. Additionally, the mission's science objectives are reviewed.

  2. International testing of a Mars rover prototype

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kemurjian, Alexsandr Leonovich; Linkin, V.; Friedman, L.

    1993-01-01

    Tests on a prototype engineering model of the Russian Mars 96 Rover were conducted by an international team in and near Death Valley in the United States in late May, 1992. These tests were part of a comprehensive design and testing program initiated by the three Russian groups responsible for the rover development. The specific objectives of the May tests were: (1) evaluate rover performance over different Mars-like terrains; (2) evaluate state-of-the-art teleoperation and autonomy development for Mars rover command, control and navigation; and (3) organize an international team to contribute expertise and capability on the rover development for the flight project. The range and performance that can be planned for the Mars mission is dependent on the degree of autonomy that will be possible to implement on the mission. Current plans are for limited autonomy, with Earth-based teleoperation for the nominal navigation system. Several types of television systems are being investigated for inclusion in the navigation system including panoramic camera, stereo, and framing cameras. The tests used each of these in teleoperation experiments. Experiments were included to consider use of such TV data in autonomy algorithms. Image processing and some aspects of closed-loop control software were also tested. A micro-rover was tested to help consider the value of such a device as a payload supplement to the main rover. The concept is for the micro-rover to serve like a mobile hand, with its own sensors including a television camera.

  3. Mars Exploration Rovers: 4 Years on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.

    2008-01-01

    This January, the Mars Exploration Rovers "Spirit" and "Opportunity" are starting their fifth year of exploring the surface of Mars, well over ten times their nominal 90-day design lifetime. This lecture discusses the Mars Exploration Rovers, presents the current mission status for the extended mission, some of the most results from the mission and how it is affecting our current view of Mars, and briefly presents the plans for the coming NASA missions to the surface of Mars and concepts for exploration with robots and humans into the next decade, and beyond.

  4. Mission Statements--Rhetoric, Reality, or Road Map to Success?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Keeling, Mary

    2013-01-01

    Mission statements are expected elements of business plans and corporate communications. Yet, practice in creating them and monitoring their impact varies and skeptics wonder about their usefulness. A survey of business literature provides a context for school library mission statements. Mission statements define the nature, purpose, and role of…

  5. The Muses CN Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jones, R.; Wilcox, B. H.; Newell, M. A.; Tarsala, J. A.; Sirota, A. R.; Johnson, M. R.; Thompson, A. D.; Jones, R.

    1998-01-01

    This paper will describe the scope and the state of the JPL MUSES CN rover design. The following topics will be included: 1) rover system description and its intended operations on the surface of the asteroid, 2) rover electrical subsystems and 3) rover mechanical subsystems.

  6. The Mars Exploration Rover Project

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Squyres, S. W.

    2001-12-01

    In mid-2003 NASA will launch two identical rovers to Mars. The Mars Exploration Rovers will be delivered using cruise, entry, and landing systems with Mars Pathfinder heritage. After landing in January of 2004, the rovers will use their set of instruments -- the Athena Science Payload -- to test hypotheses for the presence of past water at two separate sites on Mars where conditions may once have been favorable for life. Particular emphasis will be placed on assessing environmental conditions at the time of water activity. The landing sites are being selected on the basis of community-wide study of orbital data collected by the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft and other missions. Possibilities include former lakebeds or hydrothermal deposits. The Athena Science Payload includes two mast-mounted remote-sensing instruments: a color stereo imager (Pancam) and a thermal emission infrared point spectrometer (Mini-TES). Mounted on the end of a five degree-of-freedom robotic arm are three more in-situ instruments: an Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer, a Mössbauer Spectrometer, and a Microscopic Imager. A Rock Abrasion Tool is also mounted on the arm, and will be used to remove the surface layers of rocks and expose underlying material for investigation. The rovers are substantially larger than Mars Pathfinder's Sojourner rover. They have substantial onboard autonomy capability, and can traverse many tens of meters per martian day. The combined capabilities of the MER rovers and the Athena payload will make these rovers the first robotic field geologists to operate on another planet.

  7. A study of an orbital radar mapping mission to Venus. Volume 1: Summary

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1973-01-01

    A preliminary design of a Venus radar mapping orbiter mission and spacecraft was developed. The important technological problems were identified and evaluated. The study was primarily concerned with trading off alternate ways of implementing the mission and examining the most attractive concepts in order to assess technology requirements. Compatible groupings of mission and spacecraft parameters were analyzed by examining the interaction of their functioning elements and assessing their overall cost effectiveness in performing the mission.

  8. Autonomous Rock Tracking and Acquisition from a Mars Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Maimone, Mark W.; Nesnas, Issa A.; Das, Hari

    1999-01-01

    Future Mars exploration missions will perform two types of experiments: science instrument placement for close-up measurement, and sample acquisition for return to Earth. In this paper we describe algorithms we developed for these tasks, and demonstrate them in field experiments using a self-contained Mars Rover prototype, the Rocky 7 rover. Our algorithms perform visual servoing on an elevation map instead of image features, because the latter are subject to abrupt scale changes during the approach. 'This allows us to compensate for the poor odometry that results from motion on loose terrain. We demonstrate the successful grasp of a 5 cm long rock over 1m away using 103-degree field-of-view stereo cameras, and placement of a flexible mast on a rock outcropping over 5m away using 43 degree FOV stereo cameras.

  9. Robust Coordination for Large Sets of Simple Rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tumer, Kagan; Agogino, Adrian

    2006-01-01

    The ability to coordinate sets of rovers in an unknown environment is critical to the long-term success of many of NASA;s exploration missions. Such coordination policies must have the ability to adapt in unmodeled or partially modeled domains and must be robust against environmental noise and rover failures. In addition such coordination policies must accommodate a large number of rovers, without excessive and burdensome hand-tuning. In this paper we present a distributed coordination method that addresses these issues in the domain of controlling a set of simple rovers. The application of these methods allows reliable and efficient robotic exploration in dangerous, dynamic, and previously unexplored domains. Most control policies for space missions are directly programmed by engineers or created through the use of planning tools, and are appropriate for single rover missions or missions requiring the coordination of a small number of rovers. Such methods typically require significant amounts of domain knowledge, and are difficult to scale to large numbers of rovers. The method described in this article aims to address cases where a large number of rovers need to coordinate to solve a complex time dependent problem in a noisy environment. In this approach, each rover decomposes a global utility, representing the overall goal of the system, into rover-specific utilities that properly assign credit to the rover s actions. Each rover then has the responsibility to create a control policy that maximizes its own rover-specific utility. We show a method of creating rover-utilities that are "aligned" with the global utility, such that when the rovers maximize their own utility, they also maximize the global utility. In addition we show that our method creates rover-utilities that allow the rovers to create their control policies quickly and reliably. Our distributed learning method allows large sets rovers be used unmodeled domains, while providing robustness against

  10. Mars Exploration Rover engineering cameras

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Maki, J.N.; Bell, J.F., III; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Squyres, S. W.; Kiely, A.; Klimesh, M.; Schwochert, M.; Litwin, T.; Willson, R.; Johnson, Aaron H.; Maimone, M.; Baumgartner, E.; Collins, A.; Wadsworth, M.; Elliot, S.T.; Dingizian, A.; Brown, D.; Hagerott, E.C.; Scherr, L.; Deen, R.; Alexander, D.; Lorre, J.

    2003-01-01

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Mission will place a total of 20 cameras (10 per rover) onto the surface of Mars in early 2004. Fourteen of the 20 cameras are designated as engineering cameras and will support the operation of the vehicles on the Martian surface. Images returned from the engineering cameras will also be of significant importance to the scientific community for investigative studies of rock and soil morphology. The Navigation cameras (Navcams, two per rover) are a mast-mounted stereo pair each with a 45?? square field of view (FOV) and an angular resolution of 0.82 milliradians per pixel (mrad/pixel). The Hazard Avoidance cameras (Hazcams, four per rover) are a body-mounted, front- and rear-facing set of stereo pairs, each with a 124?? square FOV and an angular resolution of 2.1 mrad/pixel. The Descent camera (one per rover), mounted to the lander, has a 45?? square FOV and will return images with spatial resolutions of ???4 m/pixel. All of the engineering cameras utilize broadband visible filters and 1024 x 1024 pixel detectors. Copyright 2003 by the American Geophysical Union.

  11. Newest is Biggest: Three Generations of NASA Mars Rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    Full-scale models of three generations of NASA Mars rovers show the increase in size from the Sojourner rover of the Mars Pathfinder project that landed on Mars in 1997 (center), to the twin Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity that landed in 2004 (left), to the Mars Science Laboratory rover for a mission to land in 2012 (right).

    The Mars Science Laboratory rover is about 9 feet wide, 10 feet long (not counting its robotic arm) and 7 feet tall.

    The Mars Science Laboratory rover will have a mass of about 875 kilograms (1,929 pounds), compared with 174 kilograms (384 pounds) for each of the Mars Exploration Rovers and with 11 kilograms (24 pounds) for Sojourner. The main reason for the growth is to carry a larger payload of science instruments: about 83 kilograms (183 pounds) for the Mars Science Laboratory rover compared with 16 kilograms (35 pounds) for the Mars Exploration Rover and 1.4 kilograms (3 pounds) for Sojourner.

    This image was taken in May 2008 at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., which has built the real Mars rovers and managed the rover missions for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology.

  12. Searching for Life with Rovers: Exploration Methods & Science Results from the 2004 Field Campaign of the "Life in the Atacama" Project and Applications to Future Mars Missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cabrol, N. A.; Wettergreen, D. S.; Whittaker, R.; Grin, E. A.; Moersch, J. E.; Chong-Diaz, G.; Cockell, C. S.; Coppin, P.; Dohm, J. M.; Fisher, G.; Hock, A. N.; Marinangeli, L.; Minkley, N.; Ori, G. G.; Piatek, J. L.; Waggoner, A.; Warren-Rhodes, K.; Weinstein, S.; Wyatt, M.; Apostolopoulos, D.; Smith, T.; Wagner, M.; Stubbs, K.; Thomas, G.; Glasgow, J.

    2005-03-01

    LITA develops and field tests a long-range automated rover and a science payload to search for microbial life in the Atacama. The Atacama's evolution provides a unique training ground for designing and testing exploration strategies and life detection methods for the search for life on Mars.

  13. Planning for rover opportunistic science

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gaines, Daniel M.; Estlin, Tara; Forest, Fisher; Chouinard, Caroline; Castano, Rebecca; Anderson, Robert C.

    2004-01-01

    The Mars Exploration Rover Spirit recently set a record for the furthest distance traveled in a single sol on Mars. Future planetary exploration missions are expected to use even longer drives to position rovers in areas of high scientific interest. This increase provides the potential for a large rise in the number of new science collection opportunities as the rover traverses the Martian surface. In this paper, we describe the OASIS system, which provides autonomous capabilities for dynamically identifying and pursuing these science opportunities during longrange traverses. OASIS uses machine learning and planning and scheduling techniques to address this goal. Machine learning techniques are applied to analyze data as it is collected and quickly determine new science gods and priorities on these goals. Planning and scheduling techniques are used to alter the behavior of the rover so that new science measurements can be performed while still obeying resource and other mission constraints. We will introduce OASIS and describe how planning and scheduling algorithms support opportunistic science.

  14. Viking '79 Rover study. Volume 1: Summary report

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1974-01-01

    The results of a study to define a roving vehicle suitable for inclusion in a 1979 Viking mission to Mars are presented. The study focused exclusively on the 1979 mission incorporating a rover that would be stowed on and deployed from a modified Viking lander. The overall objective of the study was to define a baseline rover, the lander/rover interfaces, a mission operations concept, and a rover development program compatible with the 1979 launch opportunity. During the study, numerous options at the rover system and subsystem levels were examined and a baseline configuration was selected. Launch vehicle, orbiter, and lander performance capabilities were examined to ensure that the baseline rover could be transported to Mars using minimum-modified Viking '75 hardware and designs.

  15. Supporting Increased Autonomy for a Mars Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Estlin, Tara; Castano, Rebecca; Gaines, Dan; Bornstein, Ben; Judd, Michele; Anderson, Robert C.; Nesnas, Issa

    2008-01-01

    This paper presents an architecture and a set of technology for performing autonomous science and commanding for a planetary rover. The MER rovers have outperformed all expectations by lasting over 1100 sols (or Martian days), which is an order of magnitude longer than their original mission goal. The longevity of these vehicles will have significant effects on future mission goals, such as objectives for the Mars Science Laboratory rover mission (scheduled to fly in 2009) and the Astrobiology Field Lab rover mission (scheduled to potentially fly in 2016). Common objectives for future rover missions to Mars include the handling of opportunistic science, long-range or multi-sol driving, and onboard fault diagnosis and recovery. To handle these goals, a number of new technologies have been developed and integrated as part of the CLARAty architecture. CLARAty is a unified and reusable robotic architecture that was designed to simplify the integration, testing and maturation of robotic technologies for future missions. This paper focuses on technology comprising the CLARAty Decision Layer, which was designed to support and validate high-level autonomy technologies, such as automated planning and scheduling and onboard data analysis.

  16. Rapid Generation of Image Mosaics and Maps for the OSIRIS-REx Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kinney-Spano, Ellyne K.; DellaGiustina, Daniella; Tanquary, Hannah E.; Rizk, Bashar; Golish, Dathon R.; Ko, Wenjeng

    2014-11-01

    The OSIRIS-REx mission will rely on image mosaics and maps of asteroid Bennu to support critical mission operations such as sample site selection and long-term science investigations. These mosaics and maps provide a convenient method for visualizing the surface of Bennu and serve as the foundation for the geology maps required to carry out the science investigation for the mission. During proximity operations at Bennu, rapid turnaround of calibrated images into image mosaics and maps will be required to support mission planning and sample site selection. Updated operational and publication quality science maps will be needed as improved spacecraft information, photometric models, and shape models of Bennu become available. Quick turnaround image mosaics and map products will also support the public engagement activities of the mission.Semi-automated image mosaic and map generation software is being developed based on the ISIS software package from the USGS. This software suite will consist of scripts, workflows and data quality checks that support automated control network development and image mosaic generation. Reprocessing capabilities will be incorporated in the software suite to support quick turnaround generation of updated image mosaics and maps resulting from new instrument calibration files, spacecraft trajectory and pointing kernels, photometric correction models and shape model information. Images from the NEAR-Shoemaker rendezvous mission to asteroid Eros provide a test dataset for verification and validation of the software. We present the results of our initial implementation of the system using MSI images of asteroid Eros.

  17. Mission maps for use in the choice of specific impulse for manned Mars missions

    SciTech Connect

    Madsen, W.W.; Neuman, J.E.; Olson, T.S.; Siahpush, A.S.

    1991-01-01

    The choice of engine concept for the initial manned missions to Mars should be driven by what can be feasibly built and flight qualified in the near term, and by the level of engine performance that is required for these missions. This paper addresses how mission requirements affect the choice of specific impulse, and consequently what values of the specific impulse best serve these missions. Broad mission surveys and sensitivity studies were performed to determine the specific impulse values that allow for fast transfer times and wide launch windows. We find that a specific impulse of around 1000 to 1200 sec is sufficient. Choosing an engine concept that has a higher specific impulse value is not justified for these missions because the modest reduction in propellant requirements and further widening of the launch windows does not compensate for the substantially greater technical risk. 3 refs., 8 figs.

  18. Mars Exploration Rover Heat Shield Recontact Analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Raiszadeh, Behzad; Desai, Prasun N.; Michelltree, Robert

    2011-01-01

    The twin Mars Exploration Rover missions landed successfully on Mars surface in January of 2004. Both missions used a parachute system to slow the rover s descent rate from supersonic to subsonic speeds. Shortly after parachute deployment, the heat shield, which protected the rover during the hypersonic entry phase of the mission, was jettisoned using push-off springs. Mission designers were concerned about the heat shield recontacting the lander after separation, so a separation analysis was conducted to quantify risks. This analysis was used to choose a proper heat shield ballast mass to ensure successful separation with low probability of recontact. This paper presents the details of such an analysis, its assumptions, and the results. During both landings, the radar was able to lock on to the heat shield, measuring its distance, as it descended away from the lander. This data is presented and is used to validate the heat shield separation/recontact analysis.

  19. Newly Deployed Sojourner Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    This 8-image mosaic was acquired during the late afternoon (near 5pm LST, note the long shadows) on Sol 2 as part of the predeploy 'insurance panorama' and shows the newly deployed rover sitting on the Martian surface. This color image was generated from images acquired at 530,600, and 750 nm. The insurance panorama was designed as 'insurance' against camera failure upon deployment. Had the camera failed, the losslessly-compressed, multispectral insurance panorama would have been the main source of image data from the IMP.

    However, the camera deployment was successful, leaving the insurance panorama to be downlinked to Earth several weeks later. Ironically enough, the insurance panorama contains some of the best quality image data because of the lossless data compression and relatively dust-free state of the camera and associated lander/rover hardware on Sol 2.

    Mars Pathfinder is the second in NASA's Discovery program of low-cost spacecraft with highly focused science goals. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, developed and manages the Mars Pathfinder mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. JPL is an operating division of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). The IMP was developed by the University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory under contract to JPL. Peter Smith is the Principal investigator.

  20. Analytic investigation of the AEM-A/HCMM attitude control system performance. [Application Explorer Missions/Heat Capacity Mapping Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lerner, G. M.; Huang, W.; Shuster, M. D.

    1977-01-01

    The Heat Capacity Mapping Mission (HCMM), scheduled for launch in 1978, will be three-axis stabilized relative to the earth in a 600-kilometer altitude, polar orbit. The autonomous attitude control system consists of three torquing coils and a momentum wheel driven in response to error signals computed from data received from an infrared horizon sensor and a magnetometer. This paper presents a simple model of the attitude dynamics and derives the equations that determine the stability of the system during both attitude acquisition (acquisition-mode) and mission operations (mission-mode). Modifications to the proposed mission-mode control laws which speed the system's response to transient attitude errors and reduce the steady-state attitude errors are suggested. Numerical simulations are performed to validate the results obtained with the simple model.

  1. Beam-powered lunar rover design

    SciTech Connect

    Dagle, J.E.; Coomes, E.P.; Antoniak, Z.I.; Bamberger, J.A.; Bates, J.M.; Chiu, M.A.; Dodge, R.E.; Wise, J.A.

    1992-03-01

    Manned exploration of our nearest neighbors in the solar systems is the primary goal of the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI). An integral part of any manned lunar or planetary outpost will be a system for manned excursions over the surface of the planet. This report presents a preliminary design for a lunar rover capable of supporting four astronauts on long-duration excursions across the lunar landscape. The distinguishing feature of this rover design is that power is provided to rover via a laser beam from an independent orbiting power satellite. This system design provides very high power availability with minimal mass on the rover vehicle. With this abundance of power, and with a relatively small power-system mass contained in the rover, the vehicle can perform an impressive suite of mission-related activity. The rover might be used as the first outpost for the lunar surface (i.e., a mobile base). A mobile base has the advantage of providing extensive mission activities without the expense of establishing a fixed base. This concept has been referred to as Rove First.'' A manned over, powered through a laser beam, has been designed for travel on the lunar surface for round-trip distances in the range of 1000 km, although the actual distance traveled is not crucial since the propulsion system does not rely on energy storage. The life support system can support a 4-person crew for up to 30 days, and ample power is available for mission-related activities. The 8000-kg rover has 30 kW of continuous power available via a laser transmitter located at the Earth-moon L1 libration point, about 50,000 km above the surface of the moon. This rover, which is designed to operate in either day or night conditions, has the flexibility to perform a variety of power-intensive missions. 24 refs.

  2. Beam-powered lunar rover design

    SciTech Connect

    Dagle, J.E.; Coomes, E.P.; Antoniak, Z.I.; Bamberger, J.A.; Bates, J.M.; Chiu, M.A.; Dodge, R.E.; Wise, J.A.

    1992-03-01

    Manned exploration of our nearest neighbors in the solar systems is the primary goal of the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI). An integral part of any manned lunar or planetary outpost will be a system for manned excursions over the surface of the planet. This report presents a preliminary design for a lunar rover capable of supporting four astronauts on long-duration excursions across the lunar landscape. The distinguishing feature of this rover design is that power is provided to rover via a laser beam from an independent orbiting power satellite. This system design provides very high power availability with minimal mass on the rover vehicle. With this abundance of power, and with a relatively small power-system mass contained in the rover, the vehicle can perform an impressive suite of mission-related activity. The rover might be used as the first outpost for the lunar surface (i.e., a mobile base). A mobile base has the advantage of providing extensive mission activities without the expense of establishing a fixed base. This concept has been referred to as ``Rove First.`` A manned over, powered through a laser beam, has been designed for travel on the lunar surface for round-trip distances in the range of 1000 km, although the actual distance traveled is not crucial since the propulsion system does not rely on energy storage. The life support system can support a 4-person crew for up to 30 days, and ample power is available for mission-related activities. The 8000-kg rover has 30 kW of continuous power available via a laser transmitter located at the Earth-moon L1 libration point, about 50,000 km above the surface of the moon. This rover, which is designed to operate in either day or night conditions, has the flexibility to perform a variety of power-intensive missions. 24 refs.

  3. Searching for Life with Rovers: Exploration Methods & Science Results from the 2004 Field Campaign of the "Life in the Atacama" Project and Applications to Future Mars Missions

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cabrol, N. A.a; Wettergreen, D. S.; Whittaker, R.; Grin, E. A.; Moersch, J.; Diaz, G. Chong; Cockell, C.; Coppin, P.; Dohm, J. M.; Fisher, G.

    2005-01-01

    The Life In The Atacama (LITA) project develops and field tests a long-range, solarpowered, automated rover platform (Zo ) and a science payload assembled to search for microbial life in the Atacama desert. Life is barely detectable over most of the driest desert on Earth. Its unique geological, climatic, and biological evolution have created a unique training site for designing and testing exploration strategies and life detection methods for the robotic search for life on Mars.

  4. Design and structural analysis of Mars Rover RTG

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schock, Alfred; Hamrick, Thomas; Sankarankandath, Kumar; Shirbacheh, Michael

    1992-01-01

    The Mars Rover and Sample Return mission's radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) is presently subjected to a structural and mass analysis in view of a reference mission scenario, an illustrative Rover design and Martian activities agenda, and RTG power system requirements and environmental constraints. The modular heat-source stack in the Rover RTG can be held together by axial load springs. The RTGs should be mounted on the Rover with a vertical orientation, in order to avoid the buildup of windborne Martian sand on its heat-rejection surfaces.

  5. THERMAL-INERTIA MAPPING IN VEGETATED TERRAIN FROM HEAT CAPACITY MAPPING MISSION SATELLITE DATA.

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Watson, Ken; Hummer-Miller, Susanne

    1984-01-01

    Thermal-inertia data, derived from the Heat Capacity Mapping Mission (HCMM) satellite, were analyzed in areas of varying amounts of vegetation cover. Thermal differences which appear to correlate with lithologic differences have been observed previously in areas of substantial vegetation cover. However, the energy exchange occurring within the canopy is much more complex than that used to develop the methods employed to produce thermal-inertia images. Because adequate models are lacking at present, the interpretation is largely dependent on comparison, correlation, and inference. Two study areas were selected in the western United States: the Richfield, Utah and the Silver City, Arizona-New Mexico, 1 degree multiplied by 2 degree quadrangles. Many thermal-inertia highs were found to be associated with geologic-unit boundaries, faults, and ridges. Lows occur in valleys with residual soil cover.

  6. Terrain Modelling for Immersive Visualization for the Mars Exploration Rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wright, J.; Hartman, F.; Cooper, B.; Maxwell, S.; Yen, J.; Morrison, J.

    2004-01-01

    Immersive environments are being used to support mission operations at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. This technology contributed to the Mars Pathfinder Mission in planning sorties for the Sojourner rover and is being used for the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) missions. The stereo imagery captured by the rovers is used to create 3D terrain models, which can be viewed from any angle, to provide a powerful and information rich immersive visualization experience. These technologies contributed heavily to both the mission success and the phenomenal level of public outreach achieved by Mars Pathfinder and MER. This paper will review the utilization of terrain modelling for immersive environments in support of MER.

  7. Automated Targeting for the MER Rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Estlin, Tara; Castano, Rebecca; Anderson, Robert C.; Bornstein, Benjamin; Gaines, Daniel; de Granville, Charles; Thompson, David; Burl, Michael; Chien, Steve; Judd, Michele

    2009-01-01

    The Autonomous Exploration for Gathering Increased Science System (AEGIS) will soon provide automated targeting for remote sensing instruments on the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission, which currently which currently has two rovers exploring the surface of Mars. Currently, targets for rover remote-sensing instruments, especially narrow field-of-view instruments (such as the MER Mini- TES spectrometer or the 2011 Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Mission ChemCam Spectrometer), must be selected manually based on imagery already on the ground with the operations team. AEGIS enables the rover flight software to analyze imagery onboard in order to autonomously select and sequence targeted remote-sensing observations in an opportunistic fashion. In this paper, we first provide some background information on the larger autonomous science framework in which AEGIS was developed. We then describe how AEGIS was specifically developed and tested on the JPL FIDO rover. Finally we discuss how AEGIS will be uploaded and used on the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission in early 2009.

  8. Electric Propulsion Options for a Magnetospheric Mapping Mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Oleson, Steven; Russell, Chris; Hack, Kurt; Riehl, John

    1998-01-01

    The Twin Electric Magnetospheric Probes Exploring on Spiral Trajectories mission concept was proposed as a Middle Explorer class mission. A pre-phase-A design was developed which utilizes the advantages of electric propulsion for Earth scientific spacecraft use. This paper presents propulsion system analyses performed for the proposal. The proposed mission required two spacecraft to explore near circular orbits 0.1 to 15 Earth radii in both high and low inclination orbits. Since the use of chemical propulsion would require launch vehicles outside the Middle Explorer class a reduction in launch mass was sought using ion, Hall, and arcjet electric propulsion system. Xenon ion technology proved to be the best propulsion option for the mission requirements requiring only two Pegasus XL launchers. The Hall thruster provided an alternative solution but required two larger, Taurus launch vehicles. Arcjet thrusters did not allow for significant launch vehicle reduction in the Middle Explorer class.

  9. Maps for Planning, Situation Assessment and Mission Control

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Taylor, R. M.; MacLeod, I. S.

    Maps are familiar objects that need little introduction. By strict definition, a map is a diagrammatic representation of the spatial environment - for example, the Earth's surface, the stars or parts thereof. The techniques of map-making, or cartography, are basically concerned with reducing the spatial characteristics of large surface areas to a form that makes them observable. Cartography has been considered as both a science and an art. As an art form and craft tradition with printed maps, cartography traditionally has sought to address aesthetic criteria for human appreciation and visual attractiveness, in addition to considerations of functional utility.

  10. Update on Rover Sequencing and Visualization Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cooper, Brian; Hartman, Frank; Maxwell, Scott; Yen, Jeng; Wright, John; Balacuit, Carlos

    2005-01-01

    The Rover Sequencing and Visualization Program (RSVP) has been updated. RSVP was reported in Rover Sequencing and Visualization Program (NPO-30845), NASA Tech Briefs, Vol. 29, No. 4 (April 2005), page 38. To recapitulate: The Rover Sequencing and Visualization Program (RSVP) is the software tool to be used in the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission for planning rover operations and generating command sequences for accomplishing those operations. RSVP combines three-dimensional (3D) visualization for immersive exploration of the operations area, stereoscopic image display for high-resolution examination of the downlinked imagery, and a sophisticated command-sequence editing tool for analysis and completion of the sequences. RSVP is linked with actual flight code modules for operations rehearsal to provide feedback on the expected behavior of the rover prior to committing to a particular sequence. Playback tools allow for review of both rehearsed rover behavior and downlinked results of actual rover operations. These can be displayed simultaneously for comparison of rehearsed and actual activities for verification. The primary inputs to RSVP are downlink data products from the Operations Storage Server (OSS) and activity plans generated by the science team. The activity plans are high-level goals for the next day s activities. The downlink data products include imagery, terrain models, and telemetered engineering data on rover activities and state. The Rover Sequence Editor (RoSE) component of RSVP performs activity expansion to command sequences, command creation and editing with setting of command parameters, and viewing and management of rover resources. The HyperDrive component of RSVP performs 2D and 3D visualization of the rover s environment, graphical and animated review of rover predicted and telemetered state, and creation and editing of command sequences related to mobility and Instrument Deployment Device (robotic arm) operations. Additionally, RoSE and

  11. Ring Around the Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    This polar projection of an image from the navigation camera on the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity shows an overhead perspective of the rover. Opportunity's view of the martian horizon can also be seen in this image, taken shortly after the rover touched down at Meridiani Planum, Mars at 9:05 p.m. PST on Saturday, Jan. 24.

  12. Over the Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    This image from the navigation camera on the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has been projected to show an overhead perspective of the rover. This image was taken shortly after the rover touched down at Meridiani Planum, Mars, at approximately 9:05 p.m. PST on Saturday, Jan. 24.

  13. Mars Sample Return mission: Two alternate scenarios

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1991-01-01

    Two scenarios for accomplishing a Mars Sample Return mission are presented herein. Mission A is a low cost, low mass scenario, while Mission B is a high technology, high science alternative. Mission A begins with the launch of one Titan IV rocket with a Centaur G' upper stage. The Centaur performs the trans-Mars injection burn and is then released. The payload consists of two lander packages and the Orbital Transfer Vehicle, which is responsible for supporting the landers during launch and interplanetary cruise. After descending to the surface, the landers deploy small, local rovers to collect samples. Mission B starts with 4 Titan IV launches, used to place the parts of the Planetary Transfer Vehicle (PTV) into orbit. The fourth launch payload is able to move to assemble the entire vehicle by simple docking routines. Once complete, the PTV begins a low thrust trajectory out from low Earth orbit, through interplanetary space, and into low Martian orbit. It deploys a communication satellite into a 1/2 sol orbit and then releases the lander package at 500 km altitude. The lander package contains the lander, the Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV), two lighter than air rovers (called Aereons), and one conventional land rover. The entire package is contained with a biconic aeroshell. After release from the PTV, the lander package descends to the surface, where all three rovers are released to collect samples and map the terrain.

  14. Mars Exploration Rover Operations with the Science Activity Planner

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jeffrey S. Norris; Powell, Mark W.; Vona, Marsette A.; Backes, Paul G.; Wick, Justin V.

    2005-01-01

    The Science Activity Planner (SAP) is the primary science operations tool for the Mars Exploration Rover mission and NASA's Software of the Year for 2004. SAP utilizes a variety of visualization and planning capabilities to enable the mission operations team to direct the activities of the Spirit and Opportunity rovers. This paper outlines some of the challenging requirements that drove the design of SAP and discusses lessons learned from the development and use of SAP in mission operations.

  15. Using SFOC to fly the Magellan Venus mapping mission

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bucher, Allen W.; Leonard, Robert E., Jr.; Short, Owen G.

    1993-01-01

    Traditionally, spacecraft flight operations at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) have been performed by teams of spacecraft experts utilizing ground software designed specifically for the current mission. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory set out to reduce the cost of spacecraft mission operations by designing ground data processing software that could be used by multiple spacecraft missions, either sequentially or concurrently. The Space Flight Operations Center (SFOC) System was developed to provide the ground data system capabilities needed to monitor several spacecraft simultaneously and provide enough flexibility to meet the specific needs of individual projects. The Magellan Spacecraft Team utilizes the SFOC hardware and software designed for engineering telemetry analysis, both real-time and non-real-time. The flexibility of the SFOC System has allowed the spacecraft team to integrate their own tools with SFOC tools to perform the tasks required to operate a spacecraft mission. This paper describes how the Magellan Spacecraft Team is utilizing the SFOC System in conjunction with their own software tools to perform the required tasks of spacecraft event monitoring as well as engineering data analysis and trending.

  16. Mars rover 1988 concepts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pivirotto, Donna Shirley; Penn, Thomas J.; Dias, William C.

    1989-01-01

    Results of FY88 studies of a sample-collecting Mars rover are presented. A variety of rover concepts are discussed which include different technical approaches to rover functions. The performance of rovers with different levels of automation is described and compared to the science requirement for 20 to 40 km to be traversed on the Martian surface and for 100 rock and soil samples to be collected. The analysis shows that a considerable amount of automation in roving and sampling is required to meet this requirement. Additional performance evaluation shows that advanced RTG's producing 500 W and 350 WHr of battery storage are needed to supply the rover.

  17. Exploration Rover Concepts and Development Challenges

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zakrajsek, James J.; McKissock, David B.; Woytach, Jeffrey M.; Zakrajsek, June F.; Oswald, Fred B.; McEntire, Kelly J.; Hill, Gerald M.; Abel, Phillip; Eichenberg, Dennis J.; Goodnight, Thomas W.

    2005-01-01

    This paper presents an overview of exploration rover concepts and the various development challenges associated with each as they are applied to exploration objectives and requirements for missions on the Moon and Mars. A variety of concepts for surface exploration vehicles have been proposed since the initial development of the Apollo-era lunar rover. This paper provides a brief description of the rover concepts, along with a comparison of their relative benefits and limitations. In addition, this paper outlines, and investigates a number of critical development challenges that surface exploration vehicles must address in order to successfully meet the exploration mission vision. These include: mission and environmental challenges, design challenges, and production and delivery challenges. Mission and environmental challenges include effects of terrain, extreme temperature differentials, dust issues, and radiation protection. Design methods are discussed that focus on optimum methods for developing highly reliable, long-life and efficient systems. In addition, challenges associated with delivering a surface exploration system is explored and discussed. Based on all the information presented, modularity will be the single most important factor in the development of a truly viable surface mobility vehicle. To meet mission, reliability, and affordability requirements, surface exploration vehicles, especially pressurized rovers, will need to be modularly designed and deployed across all projected Moon and Mars exploration missions.

  18. Mars Exploration Rover thermal test program overview

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Pauken, Michael T.; Kinsella, Gary; Novak, Keith; Tsuyuki, Glenn

    2004-01-01

    In January 2004, two Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) landed on the surface of Mars to begin their mission as robotic geologists. A year prior to these historic landings, both rovers and the spacecraft that delivered them to Mars, were completing a series of environmental tests in facilities at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. This paper describes the test program undertaken to validate the thermal design and verify the workmanship integrity of both rovers and the spacecraft. The spacecraft, which contained the rover within the aeroshell, were tested in a 7.5 m diameter thermal vacuum chamber. Thermal balance was performed for the near earth (hot case) condition and for the near Mars (cold case) condition. A solar simulator was used to provide the solar boundary condition on the solar array. IR lamps were used to simulate the solar heat load on the aeroshell for the off-sun attitudes experienced by the spacecraft during its cruise to Mars. Each rover was tested separately in a 3.0 m diameter thermal vacuum chamber over conditions simulating the warmest and coldest expected Mars diurnal temperature cycles. The environmental tests were conducted in a quiescent nitrogen atmosphere at a pressure of 8 to 10 Torr. In addition to thermal balance testing, the science instruments on board the rovers were tested successfully in the extreme environmental conditions anticipated for the mission. A solar simulator was not used in these tests.

  19. Essential Autonomous Science Inference on Rovers (EASIR)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Roush, Ted L.; Shipman, Mark; Morris, Robert; Gazis, Paul; Pedersen, Liam

    2003-01-01

    Existing constraints on time, computational, and communication resources associated with Mars rover missions suggest on-board science evaluation of sensor data can contribute to decreasing human-directed operational planning, optimizing returned science data volumes, and recognition of unique or novel data. All of which act to increase the scientific return from a mission. Many different levels of science autonomy exist and each impacts the data collected and returned by, and activities of, rovers. Several computational algorithms, designed to recognize objects of interest to geologists and biologists, are discussed. The algorithms represent various functions that producing scientific opinions and several scenarios illustrate how the opinions can be used.

  20. Mars pathfinder Rover egress deployable ramp assembly

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Spence, Brian R.; Sword, Lee F.

    1996-01-01

    The Mars Pathfinder Program is a NASA Discovery Mission, led by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, to launch and place a small planetary Rover for exploration on the Martian surface. To enable safe and successful egress of the Rover vehicle from the spacecraft, a pair of flight-qualified, deployable ramp assemblies have been developed. This paper focuses on the unique, lightweight deployable ramp assemblies. A brief mission overview and key design requirements are discussed. Design and development activities leading to qualification and flight systems are presented.

  1. Mars rover local navigation and hazard avoidance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilcox, B. H.; Gennery, D. B.; Mishkin, A. H.

    1989-01-01

    A Mars rover sample return mission has been proposed for the late 1990's. Due to the long speed-of-light delays between earth and Mars, some autonomy on the rover is highly desirable. JPL has been conducting research in two possible modes of rover operation, Computer-Aided Remote Driving and Semiautonomous Navigation. A recently-completed research program used a half-scale testbed vehicle to explore several of the concepts in semiautonomous navigation. A new, full-scale vehicle with all computational and power resources on-board will be used in the coming year to demonstrate relatively fast semiautonomous navigation. The computational and power requirements for Mars rover local navigation and hazard avoidance are discussed.

  2. Two Years Onboard the MER Opportunity Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Estlin, Tara; Anderson, Robert C.; Bornstein, Benjamin; Burl, Michael; Castano, Rebecca; Gaines, Daniel; Judd, Michele; Thompson, David R.

    2012-01-01

    The Autonomous Exploration for Gathering Increased Science (AEGIS) system provides automated data collection for planetary rovers. AEGIS is currently being used onboard the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission's Opportunity to provide autonomous targeting of the MER Panoramic camera. Prior to AEGIS, targeted data was collected in a manual fashion where targets were manually identified in images transmitted to Earth and the rover had to remain in the same location for one to several communication cycles. AEGIS enables targeted data to be rapidly acquired with no delays for ground communication. Targets are selected by AEGIS through the use of onboard data analysis techniques that are guided by scientist-specified objectives. This paper provides an overview of the how AEGIS has been used on the Opportunity rover, focusing on usage that occurred during a 21 kilometer historic trek to the Mars Endeavour crater.

  3. Mars Rover Local Navigation And Hazard Avoidance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilcox, B. H.; Gennery, D. B.; Mishkin, A. H.

    1989-03-01

    A Mars rover sample return mission has been proposed for the late 1990's. Due to the long speed-of-light delays between Earth and Mars, some autonomy on the rover is highly desirable. JPL has been conducting research in two possible modes of rover operation, Computer-Aided Remote Driving and Semiautonomous Navigation. A recently-completed research program used a half-scale testbed vehicle to explore several of the concepts in semiautonomous navigation. A new, full-scale vehicle with all computational and power resources on-board will be used in the coming year to demonstrate relatively fast semiautonomous navigation. The computational and power requirements for Mars rover local navigation and hazard avoidance are discussed.

  4. Global climatological maps of ionospheric parameters from recent satellite missions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stolle, Claudia; Luehr, Hermann; Liu, Huixin; Park, Jaeheung; Förster, Matthias; Olsen, Nils; Friis-Christensen, Eigil

    Satellite observations have always been crucial in determining and regularizing the IRI model by providing global data bases for empirical models. Special attraction may have local time precessing, polar orbiting satellites which cover the Earth ionosphere from polar to equatorial regions at all local times and longitudes. Out of these, CHAMP is a successful example with a presently unique orbit altitude of 400 km, and a live time and continuous data base of 10 years at the time of COSPAR 2010. We want to present results of global climatologies on plasma parameters, such as electron density and temperature and emphasis their special characteristics. CHAMP magnetic field and electron density observations have also enabled the statistical global review of the occurrence rates of equatorial plasma irregularities. Even enhanced knowledge on the climatological distribution of these parameters is expected from multi-spacecraft satellite missions, such as is the upcoming ESA Swarm mission. It will provide a multitude of ionospheric and magnetospheric parameters, such as plasma densities and temperatures, the electric and the magnetic field, neutral density and wind, as well as GPS Total Electron Content at three satellites in two different altitudes. We will present products and scientific possibilities arising from the Swarm mission in view of enriching the development of empirical models.

  5. Position and orientation measurement during Lunar Rover movement test

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yang, Zaihua; Tang, Laiying; Yi, Wangmin; Wan, Bile; Liu, Tao

    2015-02-01

    During the development of the Lunar Rover, a posture tracking measurement scheme was designed to verify its movement control ability and path planning performance. The principle is based on the indoor GPS measurement system. Four iGPS transmitters were set around the test site. By tracking the positions of four receivers that were installed on the rover, the position and orientation of the rover can be acquired in real time. The rotation matrix and translation vector from the Lunar Rover coordinate system to the test site coordinate system were calculated by using the software. The measurement precision reached 0.25mm in the range of 30m2. The real time position and posture datum of the rover was overlaid onto 3-D terrain map of the test site. The trajectory of the rover was displayed, and the time-displacement curve, time-velocity curve, time-acceleration curve were analyzed. The rover's performances were verified.

  6. Tomographic reconstructions using map algorithms - application to the SPIDR mission

    SciTech Connect

    Ghosh Roy, D.N.; Wilton, K.; Cook, T.A.; Chakrabarti, S.; Qi, J.; Gullberg, G.T.

    2004-01-21

    The spectral image of an astronomical scene is reconstructed from noisy tomographic projections using maximum a posteriori (MAP) and filtered backprojection (FBP) algorithms. Both maximum entropy (ME) and Gibbs prior are used in the MAP reconstructions. The scene, which is a uniform background with a localized emissive source superimposed on it, is reconstructed for a broad range of source counts. The algorithms are compared regarding their ability to detect the source in the background. Detectability is defined in terms of a contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) which is a Monte Carlo ensemble average of spatially averaged CNRs for the individual reconstructions. Overall, MAP was found to yield improved CNR relative to FBP. Moreover, as a function of the total source counts, the CNR varies distinctly different for source and background regions. This may be important in separating a weak source from the background.

  7. Rover and Telerobotics Technology Program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Weisbin, Charles R.

    1998-01-01

    The Jet Propulsion Laboratory's (JPL's) Rover and Telerobotics Technology Program, sponsored by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), responds to opportunities presented by NASA space missions and systems, and seeds commerical applications of the emerging robotics technology. The scope of the JPL Rover and Telerobotics Technology Program comprises three major segments of activity: NASA robotic systems for planetary exploration, robotic technology and terrestrial spin-offs, and technology for non-NASA sponsors. Significant technical achievements have been reached in each of these areas, including complete telerobotic system prototypes that have built and tested in realistic scenarios relevant to prospective users. In addition, the program has conducted complementary basic research and created innovative technology and terrestrial applications, as well as enabled a variety of commercial spin-offs.

  8. Rover Soil Experiments Near Yogi

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    Sojourner, while on its way to the rock Yogi, performed several soil mechanics experiments. Piles of loose material churned up from the experiment are seen in front of and behind the Rover. The rock Pop-Tart is visible near the front right rover wheel. Yogi is at upper right. The image was taken by the Imager for Mars Pathfinder.

    Mars Pathfinder is the second in NASA's Discovery program of low-cost spacecraft with highly focused science goals. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, developed and manages the Mars Pathfinder mission for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). The Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP) was developed by the University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory under contract to JPL. Peter Smith is the Principal Investigator.

  9. Registration of Heat Capacity Mapping Mission day and night images

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Watson, K.; Hummer-Miller, S.; Sawatzky, D. L. (Principal Investigator)

    1982-01-01

    Neither iterative registration, using drainage intersection maps for control, nor cross correlation techniques were satisfactory in registering day and night HCMM imagery. A procedure was developed which registers the image pairs by selecting control points and mapping the night thermal image to the daytime thermal and reflectance images using an affine transformation on a 1300 by 1100 pixel image. The resulting image registration is accurate to better than two pixels (RMS) and does not exhibit the significant misregistration that was noted in the temperature-difference and thermal-inertia products supplied by NASA. The affine transformation was determined using simple matrix arithmetic, a step that can be performed rapidly on a minicomputer.

  10. Zephyr: A Landsailing Rover for Venus

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Landis, Geoffrey A.; Oleson, Steven R.; Grantier, David

    2014-01-01

    With an average temperature of 450C and a corrosive atmosphere at a pressure of 90 bars, the surface of Venus is the most hostile environment of any planetary surface in the solar system. Exploring the surface of Venus would be an exciting goal, since Venus is a planet with significant scientific mysteries, and interesting geology and geophysics. Technology to operate at the environmental conditions of Venus is under development. A rover on the surface of Venus with capability comparable to the rovers that have been sent to Mars would push the limits of technology in high-temperature electronics, robotics, and robust systems. Such a rover would require the ability to traverse the landscape on extremely low power levels. We have analyzed an innovative concept for a planetary rover: a sail-propelled rover to explore the surface of Venus. Such a rover can be implemented with only two moving parts; the sail, and the steering. Although the surface wind speeds are low (under 1 m/s), at Venus atmospheric density even low wind speeds develop significant force. Under funding by the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts office, a conceptual design for such a rover has been done. Total landed mass of the system is 265 kg, somewhat less than that of the MER rovers, with a 12 square meter rigid sail. The rover folds into a 3.6 meter aeroshell for entry into the Venus atmosphere and subsequent parachute landing on the surface. Conceptual designs for a set of hightemperature scientific instruments and a UHF communication system were done. The mission design lifetime is 50 days, allowing operation during the sunlit portion of one Venus day. Although some technology development is needed to bring the high-temperature electronics to operational readiness, the study showed that such a mobility approach is feasible, and no major difficulties are seen.