Science.gov

Sample records for rover reactors

  1. Design Concept for a Nuclear Reactor-Powered Mars Rover

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elliott, John O.; Lipinski, Ronald J.; Poston, David I.

    2003-01-01

    A study was recently carried out by a team from JPL and the DOE to investigate the utility of a DOE-developed 3 kWe surface fission power system for Mars missions. The team was originally tasked to perform a study to evaluate the usefulness and feasibility of incorporation of such a power system into a landed mission. In the course of the study it became clear that the application of such a power system was enabling to a wide variety of potential missions. Of these, two missions were developed, one for a stationary lander and one for a reactor-powered rover. This paper discusses the design of the rover mission, which was developed around the concept of incorporating the fission power system directly into a large rover chassis to provide high power, long range traverse capability. The rover design is based on a minimum extrapolation of technology, and adapts existing concepts developed at JPL for the 2009 Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover, lander and EDL systems. The small size of the reactor allowed its incorporation directly into an existing large MSL rover chassis design, allowing direct use of MSL aeroshell and pallet lander elements, beefed up to support the significantly greater mass involved in the nuclear power system and its associated shielding. This paper describes the unique design challenges encountered in the development of this mission architecture and incorporation of the fission power system in the rover, and presents a detailed description of the final design of this innovative concept for providing long range, long duration mobility on Mars.

  2. Shelding analysis for a manned Mars rover powered by an Sp-100 type reactor

    SciTech Connect

    Morley, N.J.; El-Genk, M.S. )

    1991-01-01

    Shield design is one of the most crucial tasks in the integration of a nuclear reactor power system to a manned Mars rover. A multilayered W and LiH shield is found to minimize the shield mass and satisfy the dose rate limit of 30 rem/y to the rover crew. The effect on dose rate of tungsten layers thicknesses and position within the lithium hydride shields is investigated. Due to the large cross section for the W (n,{gamma}) reaction, secondary gammas become a significant radiation source. The man-rated shield mass for the Mars rover vehicle is correlated to the reactor thermal power. The correlation fits to within 9% of the calculated shield mass and results in an uncertainty of {lt}4% in the overall rover mass. The shield mass varied from 8600 kg to 20580 kg for a reactor thermal power of 100 to 1000 kW{sub t}, respectively.

  3. Shielding analysis for a manned Mars rover powered by an SP-100 type reactor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1991-01-01

    Shield design is one of the most crucial tasks in the integration of a nuclear reactor power system to a manned Mars rover. A multilayered W and LiH shield is found to minimize the shield mass and satisfy the dose rate limit of 30 rem/y to the rover crew. The effect on dose rate of tungsten layers thicknesses and position within the lithium hydride shields is investigated. Due to the large cross section for the W (n,gamma) reaction, secondary gammas become a significant radiation source. The man-rated shield mass for the Mars rover vehicle is correlated to the reactor thermal power. The correlation fits to within 9 percent of the calculated shield mass and results in an uncertainty of below 4 percent in the overall rover mass. The shield mass varied from 8600 kg to 20580 kg for a reactor thermal power of 100 to 1000 kW(t), respectively.

  4. Design Concept for a Nuclear Reactor-Powered Mars Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Elliott, John; Poston, Dave; Lipinski, Ron

    2007-01-01

    A report presents a design concept for an instrumented robotic vehicle (rover) to be used on a future mission of exploration of the planet Mars. The design incorporates a nuclear fission power system to provide long range, long life, and high power capabilities unachievable through the use of alternative solar or radioisotope power systems. The concept described in the report draws on previous rover designs developed for the 2009 Mars Science laboratory (MSL) mission to minimize the need for new technology developments.

  5. Manned mars rover powered by a nuclear reactor; Radiation shield analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Morley, N.J.; El-Genk, M. . Dept. of Chemical and Nuclear Engineering)

    1992-08-01

    This paper discusses a key element in the conceptual design of a nuclear reactor power system for a manned Mars rover is the analysis, design, and integration of the radiation shield. A shield analysis is carried out to characterize the thickness and spacing of shield layers to provide the minimum mass configuration that meets a dose rate requirement of 300 mSv/yr. The analysis utilizes a two-dimensional transport code to model the reactor and to provide a source term that is subsequently used to calculate dose rates as a function of reactor power level and shield layer thickness. Results show that a multilayered tungsten and lithium hydride (LiH) shield would satisfy the dose rate limit of 300 mSv/yr (30 rem/yr) to the rover crew. The position of two tungsten and LiH layers is varied to minimize secondary gamma-ray production and to optimize shield mass.

  6. Estimates of power requirements for a manned Mars rover powered by a nuclear reactor

    SciTech Connect

    Morley, N.J.; El-Genk, M.S. Cataldo, R. Bloomfield, H.)

    1991-01-01

    This paper assesses the power requirement for a Manned Mars Rover vehicle. Auxiliary power needs are fulfilled using a hybrid solar photovoltaic/regenerative fuel cell system, while the primary power needs are met using an SP-100 type reactor. The primary electric power needs, which include 30-kW{sub e} net user power, depend on the reactor thermal power and the efficiency of the power conversion system. Results show that an SP-100 type reactor coupled to a Free Piston Stirling Engine (FPSE) yields the lowest total vehicle mass and lowest specific mass for the power system. The second lowest mass was for a SP-100 reactor coupled to a Closed Brayton Cycle (CBC) using He/Xe as the working fluid. The specific mass of the nuclear reactor power systrem, including a man-rated radiation shield, ranged from 150-kg/kW{sub e} to 190-kg/kW{sub e} and the total mass of the Rover vehicle varied depend upon the cruising speed.

  7. Estimates of power requirements for a Manned Mars Rover powered by a nuclear reactor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    This paper assesses the power requirement for a Manned Mars Rover vehicle. Auxiliary power needs are fulfilled using a hybrid solar photovoltaic/regenerative fuel cell system, while the primary power needs are meet using an SP-100 type reactor. The primary electric power needs, which include 30-kW(e) net user power, depend on the reactor thermal power and the efficiency of the power conversion system. Results show that an SP-100 type reactor coupled to a Free Piston Stirling Engine yields the lowest total vehicle mass and lowest specific mass for the power system. The second lowest mass was for a SP-100 reactor coupled to a Closed Brayton Cycle using He/Xe as the working fluid. The specific mass of the nuclear reactor power system, including a man-rated radiation shield, ranged from 150-kg/kW(e) to 190-kg/KW(e) and the total mass of the Rover vehicle varied depend upon the cruising speed.

  8. Estimates of power requirements for a manned Mars rover powered by a nuclear reactor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    1991-01-01

    This paper assesses the power requirement for a Manned Mars Rover vehicle. Auxiliary power needs are fulfilled using a hybrid solar photovoltaic/regenerative fuel cell system, while the primary power needs are met using an SP-100 type reactor. The primary electric power needs, which include 30-kWe net user power, depend on the reactor thermal power and the efficiency of the power conversion system. Results show that an SP-100 type reactor coupled to a Free Piston Stirling Engine (FPSE) yields the lowest total vehicle mass and lowest specific mass for the power system. The second lowest mass was for a SP-100 reactor coupled to a Closed Brayton Cycle (CBC) using He/Xe as the working fluid. The specific mass of the nuclear reactor power systrem, including a man-rated radiation shield, ranged from 150-kg/kWe to 190-kg/kWe and the total mass of the Rover vehicle varied depend upon the cruising speed.

  9. Estimates of power requirements for a Manned Mars Rover powered by a nuclear reactor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1991-01-01

    This paper assesses the power requirement for a Manned Mars Rover vehicle. Auxiliary power needs are fulfilled using a hybrid solar photovoltaic/regenerative fuel cell system, while the primary power needs are meet using an SP-100 type reactor. The primary electric power needs, which include 30-kW(e) net user power, depend on the reactor thermal power and the efficiency of the power conversion system. Results show that an SP-100 type reactor coupled to a Free Piston Stirling Engine yields the lowest total vehicle mass and lowest specific mass for the power system. The second lowest mass was for a SP-100 reactor coupled to a Closed Brayton Cycle using He/Xe as the working fluid. The specific mass of the nuclear reactor power system, including a man-rated radiation shield, ranged from 150-kg/kW(e) to 190-kg/KW(e) and the total mass of the Rover vehicle varied depend upon the cruising speed.

  10. Estimates of power requirements for a Manned Mars Rover powered by a nuclear reactor

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1991-01-01

    This paper assesses the power requirement for a Manned Mars Rover vehicle. Auxiliary power needs are fulfilled using a hybrid solar photovoltaic/regenerative fuel cell system, while the primary power needs are meet using an SP-100 type reactor. The primary electric power needs, which include 30-kW(e) net user power, depend on the reactor thermal power and the efficiency of the power conversion system. Results show that an SP-100 type reactor coupled to a Free Piston Stirling Engine yields the lowest total vehicle mass and lowest specific mass for the power system. The second lowest mass was for a SP-100 reactor coupled to a Closed Brayton Cycle using He/Xe as the working fluid. The specific mass of the nuclear reactor power system, including a man-rated radiation shield, ranged from 150-kg/kW(e) to 190-kg/KW(e) and the total mass of the Rover vehicle varied depend upon the cruising speed.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Rover Tracks

    NASA Image and Video Library

    1997-07-07

    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. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA00633

  15. Rover 2

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-11-07

    In the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility, the lander petals of the Mars Exploration Rover 2 MER-2 have been reopened and its solar panels deployed to allow technicians access to the spacecraft to remove one of its circuit boards.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Rover Family Photo

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-02-26

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Rover localization results for the FIDO rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Baumgartner, E. T.; Aghazarian, H.; Trebi-Ollennu, A.

    2001-01-01

    This paper describes the development of a two-tier state estimation approach for NASA/JPL's FIDO Rover that utilizes wheel odometry, inertial measurement sensors, and a sun sensor to generate accurate estimates of the rover's position and attitude throughout a rover traverse.

  2. Rover nuclear rocket engine program: Overview of rover engine tests

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Finseth, J. L.

    1991-01-01

    The results of nuclear rocket development activities from the inception of the ROVER program in 1955 through the termination of activities on January 5, 1973 are summarized. This report discusses the nuclear reactor test configurations (non cold flow) along with the nuclear furnace demonstrated during this time frame. Included in the report are brief descriptions of the propulsion systems, test objectives, accomplishments, technical issues, and relevant test results for the various reactor tests. Additionally, this document is specifically aimed at reporting performance data and their relationship to fuel element development with little or no emphasis on other (important) items.

  3. 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.

  4. Rover Pre-Turn

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    This image shows the view from the front hazard avoidance cameras on the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit before the rover begins a crucial 3-point turn to face in a west direction and roll off the lander.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Major accomplishments of America's nuclear rocket program (Rover)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Finseth, J. L.

    The United States embarked on a program called Rover to develop nuclear rocket engines in 1955. Initially, nuclear rockets were considered as a potential backup for intercontinental ballistic missile propulsion, but later proposed applications included both a lunar second stage and use in manned Mars flights. Under the Rover program, 19 different reactors were built and tested during the period of 1959-1969. Additionally, several cold flow (non-fuelled) reactors were tested, as well as a nuclear fuels test cell. The Rover program was terminated in 1973 due to budget constraints and an evolving political climate. The author reviews the engine test program and discusses several subsystems.

  8. Piloted rover technology study

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Thrasher, D. L.

    1990-01-01

    This is the May 25, 1990 summary report for Space Transfer Concepts and Analyses (STCA) Study, special study task 9.1, Piloted Rovers Technology Study. Piloted rover concepts, mission scenarios, and the requirements necessary for completion of these missions resulting in the establishment of a lunar base. These tasks were intended to lead to a logical conclusion concerning which piloted rovers technologies are needed to accomplish the various missions, along with a recommended schedule for the development of these technologies.

  9. Airbags and Sojourner Rover

    NASA Image and Video Library

    1997-07-05

    This image from the Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP) camera shows the rear part of the Sojourner rover, the rolled-up rear ramp, and portions of the partially deflated airbags. The Alpha Proton X-ray Spectrometer instrument is protruding from the rear (right side) of the rover. The airbags behind the rover are presently blocking the ramp from being safely unfurled. The ramps are a pair of deployable metal reels that will provide a track for the rover as it slowly rolls off the lander, and onto the surface of Mars, once Pathfinder scientists determine it is safe to do so. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA00614

  10. Mars Rover Concept Vehicle

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-06-05

    The scientifically-themed Mars rover concept vehicle operates on an electric motor, powered by solar panels and a 700-volt battery. The back section opens and serves as a laboratory which can disconnect for autonomous research. While this exact rover is not expected to operate on Mars, one or more of its elements could make its way into a rover astronauts will drive on the Red Planet. The "Summer of Mars" promotion is designed to provide guests with a better understanding of NASA's studies of the Red Planet. The builders of the rover, Parker Brothers Concepts of Port Canaveral, Florida, incorporated input into its design from NASA subject matter experts.

  11. Observing a Rover Pivot Test

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2009-07-16

    Rover team members Kim Lichtenberg and Joseph Carsten watch motions of a test rover at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., as the rover carries out commands for driving forward with an arc toward the right.

  12. Mars Rover Concept Vehicle

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-06-05

    Crowds gather around the scientifically-themed Mars rover concept vehicle at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. It is a part of the "Summer of Mars" program designed to provide a survey of NASA's studies of the Red Planet. The builders of the rover, Parker Brothers Concepts of Port Canaveral, Florida, incorporated input into its design from NASA subject matter experts.

  13. "Name the Rovers" contest

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-06-08

    Sofi Collis, the third grade student winner of the "Name the Rovers" contest, poses with a model of a rover. The names she proposed -- Spirit and Opportunity -- were announced today in a press conference held by NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe. NASA's twin Mars Exploration Rovers are designed to study the history of water on Mars. These robotic geologists are equipped with a robotic arm, a drilling tool, three spectrometers, and four pairs of cameras that allow them to have a human-like, 3D view of the terrain. Each rover could travel as far as 100 meters in one day to act as Mars scientists' eyes and hands, exploring an environment where humans are not yet able to go. MER-A, with the rover Spirit aboard, is scheduled to launch on June 8 at 2:06 p.m. EDT, with two launch opportunities each day during a launch period that closes on June 24.

  14. A lunar rover powered by an orbiting laser diode array

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    De Young, R. J.; Williams, M. D.; Walker, G. H.; Schuster, G. L.; Lee, J. H.

    1991-01-01

    A conceptual design of a high-power, long-duration lunar rover powered by a laser beam is proposed. The laser transmitter in lunar orbit consists of an SP-100 nuclear reactor prime power source providing 100 kW of electricity to a laser array that emits 50 kW of laser radiation. The laser radiation is beamed to the lunar surface where it is received by a GaAlAs solid-state, laser-to-electric converter. This converter provides 22 kW of electrical power to the rover vehicle for science, locomotion, and crew needs. The mass of the laser transmitter is approximately 5000 kg, whereas the mass of the rover power supply is 520 kg. The rover power unit is significantly less massive than alternative rover power units.

  15. Curiosity Rover's First Anniversary

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2013-08-06

    A small-scaled model of NASA's Curiosity rover is seen at a public event observing the first anniversary of the Curiosity rover's landing on Mars, Tuesday, August 6th, 2013 in Washington. The Mars Science Laboratory mission successfully placed the one-ton Curiosity rover on the surface of Mars on Aug. 6, 2012, about 1 mile from the center of its 12-mile-long target area. Within the first eight months of a planned 23-months primary mission, Curiosity met its major science objective of finding evidence of a past environment well-suited to support microbial life. Photo Credit: (NASA/Carla Cioffi)

  16. Mars Rover Concept Vehicle

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-06-05

    The scientifically-themed Mars rover concept vehicle operates on an electric motor, powered by solar panels and a 700-volt battery. The rover separates in the middle with the front area designed for scouting and equipped with a radio and navigation provided by the Global Positioning System. The back section serves as a full laboratory which can disconnect for autonomous research. The "Summer of Mars" promotion is designed to provide guests with a better understanding of NASA's studies of the Red Planet. The builders of the rover, Parker Brothers Concepts of Port Canaveral, Florida, incorporated input into its design from NASA subject matter experts.

  17. Reading the Rover Tracks

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-08-29

    The straight lines in Curiosity zigzag track marks are Morse code for JPL. The footprint is an important reference mark that the rover can use to drive more precisely via a system called visual odometry.

  18. 2016 ROVER CHALLENGE EVENTS

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2015-01-08

    2016 ROVER CHALLENGE EVENTS AT THE U.S. SPACE AND ROCKET CENTER IN HUNTSVILLE, ALABAMA. NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL COLLEGE AND HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS COME TOGETHER TO TEST THEIR ENGINEERING SKILLS OVER A SIMULATED OUTER PLANET OBSTACLE COURSE.

  19. 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.

  20. REACTOR

    DOEpatents

    Szilard, L.

    1963-09-10

    A breeder reactor is described, including a mass of fissionable material that is less than critical with respect to unmoderated neutrons and greater than critical with respect to neutrons of average energies substantially greater than thermal, a coolant selected from sodium or sodium--potassium alloys, a control liquid selected from lead or lead--bismuth alloys, and means for varying the quantity of control liquid in the reactor. (AEC)

  1. REACTOR

    DOEpatents

    Christy, R.F.

    1961-07-25

    A means is described for co-relating the essential physical requirements of a fission chain reaction in order that practical, compact, and easily controllable reactors can be built. These objects are obtained by employing a composition of fissionsble isotope and moderator in fluid form in which the amount of fissionsble isotcpe present governs the reaction. The size of the reactor is no longer a critical factor, the new criterion being the concentration of the fissionable isotope.

  2. REACTOR

    DOEpatents

    Roman, W.G.

    1961-06-27

    A pressurized water reactor in which automatic control is achieved by varying the average density of the liquid moderator-cooiant is patented. Density is controlled by the temperature and power level of the reactor ftself. This control can be effected by the use of either plate, pellet, or tubular fuel elements. The fuel elements are disposed between upper and lower coolant plenum chambers and are designed to permit unrestricted coolant flow. The control chamber has an inlet opening communicating with the lower coolant plenum chamber and a restricted vapor vent communicating with the upper coolant plenum chamber. Thus, a variation in temperature of the fuel elements will cause a variation in the average moderator density in the chamber which directly affects the power level of the reactor.

  3. Nuclear rocket performance based on Rover/NERVA technology

    SciTech Connect

    Kirk, W.L.

    1990-01-01

    It has been suggested that the 1955-1972 nuclear rocket development (Rover) program provides a strong foundation for a renewed nuclear engine development effort. It is concluded that there is an extensive development base deriving from the Rover/NERVA program for bead-loaded graphite-fueled reactors (Isp = 825-900 s), a moderate base for composite fuel (Isp = 875-925 s), and a modest base for carbide fuel (Isp = 975-1025 s). For carbide fuel and to some extent for composite fuel, there is a potential for considerable increase in reactor core and presumable engine lifetime with only modest reduction in Isp.

  4. REACTORS

    DOEpatents

    Spitzer, L. Jr.

    1961-10-01

    Thermonuclear reactors, methods, and apparatus are described for controlling and confining high temperature plasma. Main axial confining coils in combination with helical windings provide a rotational transform that avoids the necessity of a figure-eight shaped reactor tube. The helical windings provide a multipolar helical magnetic field transverse to the axis of the main axial confining coils so as to improve the effectiveness of the confining field by counteracting the tendency of the more central lines of force in the stellarator tube to exchange positions with the magnetic lines of force nearer the walls of the tube. (AEC)

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Size Comparison: Three Generations of Mars Rovers

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2008-11-19

    Full-scale models of three generations of NASA Mars rovers show the increase in size from the Sojourner rover of the Mars Pathfinder project, to the twin Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity, to the Mars Science Laboratory rover.

  8. Rover waste assay system

    SciTech Connect

    Akers, D.W.; Stoots, C.M.; Kraft, N.C.; Marts, D.J.

    1997-11-01

    The Rover Waste Assay System (RWAS) is a nondestructive assay system designed for the rapid assay of highly-enriched {sup 235}U contaminated piping, tank sections, and debris from the Rover nuclear rocket fuel processing facility at the Idaho Chemical Processing Plant. A scanning system translates a NaI(Tl) detector/collimator system over the structural components where both relative and calibrated measurements for {sup 137}Cs are made. Uranium-235 concentrations are in operation and is sufficiently automated that most functions are performed by the computer system. These functions include system calibration, problem identification, collimator control, data analysis, and reporting. Calibration of the system was done through a combination of measurements on calibration standards and benchmarked modeling. A description of the system is presented along with the methods and uncertainties associated with the calibration and analysis of the system for components from the Rover facility. 4 refs., 2 figs., 4 tabs.

  9. 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.

  10. Next Mars Rover Starts Rolling

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2010-07-29

    A test operator in clean-room garb holds umbilical cables for NASA Mars rover Curiosity during the rover first drive test, on July 23, 2010. NASA will launch Curiosity in late 2011 for arrival at Mars in August 2012.

  11. Preparing for Rover Pivot Test

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2009-07-16

    In this view from behind a test rover at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., the rear wheels of the rover are turned toward the left, and the left-front wheel is turned toward the the right.

  12. 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).

  13. 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).

  14. Curiosity Rover's First Anniversary

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2013-08-06

    NASA Administrator Charles Bolden speaks at a public event at NASA Headquarters observing the first anniversary of the Curiosity rover's landing on Mars, Tuesday, August 6th, 2013 in Washington. The Mars Science Laboratory mission successfully placed the one-ton Curiosity rover on the surface of Mars on Aug. 6, 2012, about 1 mile from the center of its 12-mile-long target area. Within the first eight months of a planned 23-months primary mission, Curiosity met its major science objective of finding evidence of a past environment well-suited to support microbial life. Photo Credit: (NASA/Carla Cioffi)

  15. Curiosity Rover's First Anniversary

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2013-08-06

    Jim Green, director, Planetary Division, NASA's Science Mission Directorate, answers a question at a public event at NASA Headquarters observing the first anniversary of the Curiosity rover's landing on Mars, Tuesday, August 6th, 2013 in Washington. The Mars Science Laboratory mission successfully placed the one-ton Curiosity rover on the surface of Mars on Aug. 6, 2012, about 1 mile from the center of its 12-mile-long target area. Within the first eight months of a planned 23-months primary mission, Curiosity met its major science objective of finding evidence of a past environment well-suited to support microbial life. Photo Credit: (NASA/Carla Cioffi)

  16. Curiosity Rover's First Anniversary

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2013-08-06

    Jim Green, director, Planetary Division, NASA's Science Mission Directorate, speaks at a public event at NASA Headquarters observing the first anniversary of the Curiosity rover's landing on Mars, Tuesday, August 6th, 2013 in Washington. The Mars Science Laboratory mission successfully placed the one-ton Curiosity rover on the surface of Mars on Aug. 6, 2012, about 1 mile from the center of its 12-mile-long target area. Within the first eight months of a planned 23-months primary mission, Curiosity met its major science objective of finding evidence of a past environment well-suited to support microbial life. Photo Credit: (NASA/Carla Cioffi)

  17. Curiosity Rover's First Anniversary

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2013-08-06

    Sam Scimemi, director, NASA's International Space Station Program, speaks at a public event at NASA Headquarters observing the first anniversary of the Curiosity rover's landing on Mars, Tuesday, August 6th, 2013 in Washington. The Mars Science Laboratory mission successfully placed the one-ton Curiosity rover on the surface of Mars on Aug. 6, 2012, about 1 mile from the center of its 12-mile-long target area. Within the first eight months of a planned 23-months primary mission, Curiosity met its major science objective of finding evidence of a past environment well-suited to support microbial life. Photo Credit: (NASA/Carla Cioffi)

  18. Curiosity Rover's First Anniversary

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2013-08-06

    Prasun Desai, acting director, Strategic Integration, NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate, speaks at a public event at NASA Headquarters observing the first anniversary of the Curiosity rover's landing on Mars, Tuesday, August 6th, 2013 in Washington. The Mars Science Laboratory mission successfully placed the one-ton Curiosity rover on the surface of Mars on Aug. 6, 2012, about 1 mile from the center of its 12-mile-long target area. Within the first eight months of a planned 23-months primary mission, Curiosity met its major science objective of finding evidence of a past environment well-suited to support microbial life. Photo Credit: (NASA/Carla Cioffi)

  19. Rover Magnets All Around

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    This illustration shows the locations of the various magnets on the Mars Exploration Rover, which are: its front side, or chest; its back, near the color calibration target; and on its rock abrasion tool. Scientists will use these tools to collect dust for detailed studies. The origins of martian dust are a mystery, although it is believed to come from at least one of three sources: volcanic ash, pulverized rocks or mineral precipitates from liqiud water. By studying the dust with the rover's two spectrometers, scientists hope to find an answer.

  20. Rover Magnets All Around

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    This illustration shows the locations of the various magnets on the Mars Exploration Rover, which are: its front side, or chest; its back, near the color calibration target; and on its rock abrasion tool. Scientists will use these tools to collect dust for detailed studies. The origins of martian dust are a mystery, although it is believed to come from at least one of three sources: volcanic ash, pulverized rocks or mineral precipitates from liqiud water. By studying the dust with the rover's two spectrometers, scientists hope to find an answer.

  1. Dusty Mars Rover Self Portrait

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-02-17

    This mosaic of images was taken by NASA Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity during December of 2011. The accumulation of dust reduces the rover power supply, and the rover mobility is limited until the winter is over or wind cleans the panels.

  2. 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.

  3. Curiosity Rover's First Anniversary

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2013-08-06

    Expedition 35/36 NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg, right on screen, is seen on a live feed from the International Space Station as they participate in a public event at NASA Headquarters observing the first anniversary of the Curiosity rover's landing on Mars, Tuesday, August 6th, 2013 in Washington. Photo Credit: (NASA/Carla Cioffi)

  4. Curiosity Rover's First Anniversary

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2013-08-06

    Expedition 35/36 NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy, left on screen, is seen on a live feed from the International Space Station as they participate in a public event at NASA Headquarters observing the first anniversary of the Curiosity rover's landing on Mars, Tuesday, August 6th, 2013 in Washington. Photo Credit: (NASA/Carla Cioffi)

  5. "Name the Rovers" contest

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-06-08

    Siberian-born Sofi Collis (second from left), the third grade student winner of the "Name the Rovers" contest, poses with her adopted American family. The names she proposed -- Spirit and Opportunity -- were announced today in a press conference held by NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe. NASA's twin Mars Exploration Rovers are designed to study the history of water on Mars. These robotic geologists are equipped with a robotic arm, a drilling tool, three spectrometers, and four pairs of cameras that allow them to have a human-like, 3D view of the terrain. Each rover could travel as far as 100 meters in one day to act as Mars scientists' eyes and hands, exploring an environment where humans are not yet able to go. MER-A, with the rover Spirit aboard, is scheduled to launch on June 8 at 2:06 p.m. EDT, with two launch opportunities each day during a launch period that closes on June 24.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Rover nuclear rocket engine program: Overview of rover engine tests. Final Report

    SciTech Connect

    Finseth, J.L.

    1991-02-01

    The results of nuclear rocket development activities from the inception of the ROVER program in 1955 through the termination of activities on January 5, 1973 are summarized. This report discusses the nuclear reactor test configurations (non cold flow) along with the nuclear furnace demonstrated during this time frame. Included in the report are brief descriptions of the propulsion systems, test objectives, accomplishments, technical issues, and relevant test results for the various reactor tests. Additionally, this document is specifically aimed at reporting performance data and their relationship to fuel element development with little or no emphasis on other (important) items.

  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. Virtual Rover Drives Toward Rock

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    This image shows a screenshot from the software used by engineers to test and drive the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit. The software simulates the rover's movements across the martian terrain, helping to plot a safe course. Here, engineers simulated Spirit's first post-egress drive on Mars Sunday. The 3-meter (10-foot) drive totaled approximately 30 minutes, including time to stop and take images. The rover drove toward its first rock target, a mountain-shaped rock called Adirondack. The blue line denotes the path of the rover's 'belly button,' as engineers like to call it, as the rover drove toward Adirondack. The virtual 3-D world around the rover was built from images taken by Spirit's stereo navigation cameras. Regions for which the rover has not yet acquired 3-D data are represented in beige.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Reactor

    DOEpatents

    Evans, Robert M.

    1976-10-05

    1. A neutronic reactor having a moderator, coolant tubes traversing the moderator from an inlet end to an outlet end, bodies of material fissionable by neutrons of thermal energy disposed within the coolant tubes, and means for circulating water through said coolant tubes characterized by the improved construction wherein the coolant tubes are constructed of aluminum having an outer diameter of 1.729 inches and a wall thickness of 0.059 inch, and the means for circulating a liquid coolant through the tubes includes a source of water at a pressure of approximately 350 pounds per square inch connected to the inlet end of the tubes, and said construction including a pressure reducing orifice disposed at the inlet ends of the tubes reducing the pressure of the water by approximately 150 pounds per square inch.

  14. Curiosity Rover's First Anniversary

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2013-08-06

    Jason Townsend, NASA's Deputy Social Media Manager, asks a question on behalf of a NASA Twitter follower at a public event at NASA Headquarters observing the first anniversary of the Curiosity rover's landing on Mars, Tuesday, August 6th, 2013 in Washington. The Mars Science Laboratory mission successfully placed the one-ton Curiosity rover on the surface of Mars on Aug. 6, 2012, about 1 mile from the center of its 12-mile-long target area. Within the first eight months of a planned 23-months primary mission, Curiosity met its major science objective of finding evidence of a past environment well-suited to support microbial life. Photo Credit: (NASA/Carla Cioffi)

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Rover, Airbags & Martian Terrain

    NASA Image and Video Library

    1997-07-04

    This picture from Mars Pathfinder was taken at 9:30 AM in the martian morning (2:30 PM Pacific Daylight Time), after the spacecraft landed earlier today (July 4, 1997). The Sojourner rover is perched on one of three solar panels. The rover is 65 cm (26 inches) long by 18 cm (7 inches) tall; each of its wheels is about 13 cm (5 inches) high. The white material to the left of the front of the rover is part of the airbag system used to cushion the landing. Many rocks of different of different sizes can be seen, set in a background of reddish soil. The landing site is in the mouth of an ancient channel carved by water. The rocks may be primarily flood debris. The horizon is seen towards the top of the picture. The light brown hue of the sky results from suspended dust. Pathfinder, a low-cost Discovery mission, is the first of a new fleet of spacecraft that are planned to explore Mars over the next ten years. Mars Global Surveyor, already en route, arrives at Mars on September 11 to begin a two year orbital reconnaissance of the planet's composition, topography, and climate. Additional orbiters and landers will follow every 26 months. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA00608

  18. Rover, Airbags, & Surrounding Rocks

    NASA Image and Video Library

    1997-07-05

    This image of the Martian surface was taken by the Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP) before sunset on July 4, 1997 (Sol 1), the spacecraft's first day on Mars. The airbags have been partially retracted, and portions the petal holding the undeployed rover Sojourner can be seen at lower left. The rock in the center of the image may be a future target for chemical analysis. The soil in the foreground has been disturbed by the movement of the airbags as they retracted. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA00619

  19. NASA Curiosity Rover in Profile

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2011-12-09

    About the size of a small SUV, NASA Curiosity rover is well equipped for a tour of Gale Crater on Mars. This impressive rover has six-wheel drive and the ability to turn in place a full 360 degrees, as well as the agility to climb steep hills.

  20. 2017 Exploration Rover Challenge event.

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-03-03

    2017 Exploration Rover Challenge events at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. High school and college students from around the U.S. and the world come together for this 2 day event which challenges them to compete for the fastest time as well as technical design of the actual rover itself.

  1. Sandbox Tracks from Rover Testing

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2009-07-24

    Rover team members at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., on July 24, 2009, discuss the next step in preparing for a new phase in testing of possible moves for getting NASA Mars rover Spirit out of a sandtrap on Mars.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Power transmission by laser beam from lunar-synchronous satellites to a lunar rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Williams, M. D.; Deyoung, R. J.; Schuster, G. L.; Choi, S. H.; Dagle, J. E.; Coomes, E. P.; Antoniak, Z. I.; Bamberger, J. A.; Bates, J. M.; Chiu, M. A.

    1992-01-01

    This study addresses the possibility of beaming laser power from synchronous lunar orbits (L1 and L2 LaGrange points) to a manned long-range lunar rover. The rover and two versions of a satellite system (one powered by a nuclear reactor; the other by photovoltaics) are described in terms of their masses, geometry, power needs, mission and technological capabilities. Laser beam power is generated by a laser diode array in the satellite and converted to 30 kW of electrical power at the rover. Present technological capabilities, with some extrapolation to near future capabilities, are used in the descriptions. The advantages of the two satellite/rover systems over other such systems and over rovers with on-board power are discussed along with the possibility of enabling other missions.

  6. Power transmission by laser beam from lunar-synchronous satellites to a lunar rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Williams, M. D.; Deyoung, R. J.; Schuster, G. L.; Choi, S. H.; Dagle, J. E.; Coomes, E. P.; Antoniak, Z. I.; Bamberger, J. A.; Bates, J. M.; Chiu, M. A.

    1992-01-01

    This study addresses the possibility of beaming laser power from synchronous lunar orbits (L1 and L2 LaGrange points) to a manned long-range lunar rover. The rover and two versions of a satellite system (one powered by a nuclear reactor; the other by photovoltaics) are described in terms of their masses, geometry, power needs, mission and technological capabilities. Laser beam power is generated by a laser diode array in the satellite and converted to 30 kW of electrical power at the rover. Present technological capabilities, with some extrapolation to near future capabilities, are used in the descriptions. The advantages of the two satellite/rover systems over other such systems and over rovers with on-board power are discussed along with the possibility of enabling other missions.

  7. Power transmission by laser beam from lunar-synchronous satellites to a lunar rover

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, M. D.; De Young, R. J.; Schuster, G. L.; Choi, S. H.; Dagle, J. E.; Coomes, E. P.; Antoniak, Z. I.; Bamberger, J. A.; Bates, J. M.; Chiu, M. A.

    This study addresses the possibility of beaming laser power from synchronous lunar orbits (L1 and L2 LaGrange points) to a manned long-range lunar rover. The rover and two versions of a satellite system (one powered by a nuclear reactor; the other by photovoltaics) are described in terms of their masses, geometry, power needs, mission and technological capabilities. Laser beam power is generated by a laser diode array in the satellite and converted to 30 kW of electrical power at the rover. Present technological capabilities, with some extrapolation to near future capabilities, are used in the descriptions. The advantages of the two satellite/rover systems over other such systems and over rovers with on-board power are discussed along with the possibility of enabling other missions.

  8. Pressurized Lunar Rover (PLR)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Creel, Kenneth; Frampton, Jeffrey; Honaker, David; Mcclure, Kerry; Zeinali, Mazyar; Bhardwaj, Manoj; Bulsara, Vatsal; Kokan, David; Shariff, Shaun; Svarverud, Eric

    1992-01-01

    The objective of this project was to design a manned pressurized lunar rover (PLR) for long-range transportation and for exploration of the lunar surface. The vehicle must be capable of operating on a 14-day mission, traveling within a radius of 500 km during a lunar day or within a 50-km radius during a lunar night. The vehicle must accommodate a nominal crew of four, support two 28-hour EVA's, and in case of emergency, support a crew of six when near the lunar base. A nominal speed of ten km/hr and capability of towing a trailer with a mass of two mt are required. Two preliminary designs have been developed by two independent student teams. The PLR 1 design proposes a seven meter long 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, lighting, robotic arms, tools, and equipment for exploratory experiments. The rover uses a simple mobility system with six wheels on the main vehicle and two on the trailer. The nonpressurized trailer contains a modular radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) supplying 6.5 kW continuous power. A secondary energy storage for short-term peak power needs is provided by a bank of lithium-sulfur dioxide batteries. The life support system is partly a regenerative system with air and hygiene water being recycled. A layer of water inside the composite shell surrounds the command center allowing the center to be used as a safe haven during solar flares. The PLR 1 has a total mass of 6197 kg. It has a top speed of 18 km/hr and is capable of towing three metric tons, in addition to the RTG trailer. The PLR 2 configuration consists of two four-meter diameter, cylindrical hulls which are passively connected by a flexible passageway, resulting in the overall vehicle length of 11 m. The vehicle is driven by eight independently suspended wheels. The dual-cylinder concept allows articulated as well as double

  9. Pressurized Lunar Rover (PLR)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Creel, Kenneth; Frampton, Jeffrey; Honaker, David; McClure, Kerry; Zeinali, Mazyar; Bhardwaj, Manoj; Bulsara, Vatsal; Kokan, David; Shariff, Shaun; Svarverud, Eric

    The objective of this project was to design a manned pressurized lunar rover (PLR) for long-range transportation and for exploration of the lunar surface. The vehicle must be capable of operating on a 14-day mission, traveling within a radius of 500 km during a lunar day or within a 50-km radius during a lunar night. The vehicle must accommodate a nominal crew of four, support two 28-hour EVA's, and in case of emergency, support a crew of six when near the lunar base. A nominal speed of ten km/hr and capability of towing a trailer with a mass of two mt are required. Two preliminary designs have been developed by two independent student teams. The PLR 1 design proposes a seven meter long 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, lighting, robotic arms, tools, and equipment for exploratory experiments. The rover uses a simple mobility system with six wheels on the main vehicle and two on the trailer. The nonpressurized trailer contains a modular radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) supplying 6.5 kW continuous power. A secondary energy storage for short-term peak power needs is provided by a bank of lithium-sulfur dioxide batteries. The life support system is partly a regenerative system with air and hygiene water being recycled. A layer of water inside the composite shell surrounds the command center allowing the center to be used as a safe haven during solar flares. The PLR 1 has a total mass of 6197 kg. It has a top speed of 18 km/hr and is capable of towing three metric tons, in addition to the RTG trailer. The PLR 2 configuration consists of two four-meter diameter, cylindrical hulls which are passively connected by a flexible passageway, resulting in the overall vehicle length of 11 m. The vehicle is driven by eight independently suspended wheels. The dual-cylinder concept allows articulated as well as double

  10. Rover, airbags, & surrounding rocks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    This image of the Martian surface was taken by the Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP) before sunset on July 4 (Sol 1), the spacecraft's first day on Mars. The airbags have been partially retracted, and portions the petal holding the undeployed rover Sojourner can be seen at lower left. The rock in the center of the image may be a future target for chemical analysis. The soil in the foreground has been disturbed by the movement of the airbags as they retracted.

    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.

  11. Control technique for planetary rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nakatani, Ichiro; Kubota, Takashi; Adachi, Tadashi; Saitou, Hiroaki; Okamoto, Sinya

    1994-01-01

    Beginning next century, several schemes for sending a planetary rover to the moon or Mars are being planned. As part of the development program, autonomous navigation technology is being studied to allow the rover the ability to move autonomously over a long range of unknown planetary surface. In the previous study, we ran the autonomous navigation experiment on an outdoor test terrain by using a rover test-bed that was controlled by a conventional sense-plan-act method. In some cases during the experiment, a problem occurred with the rover moving into untraversable areas. To improve this situation, a new control technique has been developed that gives the rover the ability of reacting to the outputs of the proximity sensors, a reaction behavior if you will. We have developed a new rover test-bed system on which an autonomous navigation experiment was performed using the newly developed control technique. In this outdoor experiment, the new control technique effectively produced the control command for the rover to avoid obstacles and be guided to the goal point safely.

  12. Autonomous Rovers for Mars Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Anderson, Corin; Bresina, John; Golden, Keith; Smith, David E.; Smith, Trey; Washington, Richard; Koga, Dennis (Technical Monitor)

    1999-01-01

    Rovers will play a critical role in the exploration of Mars. Near-term mission plans call for long traverses over unknown terrain, robust navigation and instrument placement, and reliable operations for extended periods of time. Longer-term missions may visit multiple science sites in a single day and perform opportunistic science data collection, as well as complex scouting, construction, and maintenance tasks in preparation for an eventual human presence. The Pathfinder mission demonstrated the potential for robotic Mars exploration but at the same time indicated the need for more rover autonomy. The highly ground-intensive control with infrequent communication and high latency limited the effectiveness of the Sojourner rover. When failures occurred, Sojourner often sat idle for extended periods of time, awaiting further commands from earth. In future missions, the tasks will be more complex and extended; hence there will be even more situations where things do not go exactly as planned. Significant advances in rover autonomy are needed to cope with increasing task complexity and greater execution uncertainty. Towards this end, we have designed an on-board executive architecture that incorporates robust operation, resource utilization, and failure recovery. In addition, we have designed ground tools to produce and refine contingent schedules that take advantage of the on-board architecture's flexible execution characteristics. Together, the on-board executive and the ground tools constitute an integrated rover autonomy architecture. This work draws from our experience with the Deep Space One autonomy experiment, with enhancements to ensure robust operation in the face of the unpredictable, complex environment that the rover will encounter on Mars. The rover autonomy architecture is currently being developed and deployed on the Marsokhod rover platform at NASA Ames Research Center. The capabilities of the rover autonomy architecture to support autonomous

  13. The Little Rover that Could

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    This image taken at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory shows a rover test drive up a manmade slope. The slope simulates one that the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity will face on Mars if it is sent commands to explore rock outcrop that lies farther into 'Endurance Crater.' Using sand, dirt and rocks, scientists and engineers at JPL constructed the overall platform of the slope at a 25-degree angle, with a 40-degree step in the middle. The test rover successfully descended and climbed the platform, adding confidence that Opportunity could cross a similar hurdle in Endurance Crater.

  14. Mars Rovers, Past and Future

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Muirhead, Brian K.

    2004-01-01

    This paper discusses the history of planetary rovers, including research vehicles, from the initial concepts in the early 1960's to the present. General characteristics and their evolution are discussed including mission drivers, technology limitations, controls approach, mobility and overall performance. Special emphasis is given to the next generation mission of rovers, the Mars Science Laboratory rover. This vehicle is being designed for a 2009 launch with the capability to operate over 80% of the surface of Mars for a full Martian year (687 days). It is designed to visit numerous sites, with a science payload capable of making measurements that will enable understanding the past or present habitability of Mars.

  15. Circuit Boards on Rover 2

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

    April 15, 2003Prelaunch at Kennedy Space Center

    In the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility, technicians remove one of the circuit boards on the Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-2). To gain access to the spacecraft, its lander petals were reopened and its solar panels deployed. A concern arose during prelaunch testing regarding how the spacecraft interprets signals sent from its main computer to peripherals in the cruise stage, lander and small deep space transponder. The MER Mission consists of two identical rovers set to launch in June 2003. The problem will be fixed on both rovers.

  16. Pathfinder Rover, Airbags, & Martian Terrain

    NASA Image and Video Library

    1997-07-05

    This is one of the first pictures taken by the camera on the Mars Pathfinder lander shortly after its touchdown at 10:07 AM Pacific Daylight Time on July 4, 1997. The small rover, named Sojourner, is seen in the foreground in its position on a solar panel of the lander. The white material on either side of the rover is part of the deflated airbag system used to absorb the shock of the landing. Between the rover and the horizon is the rock-strewn martian surface. Two hills are seen in the right distance, profiled against the light brown sky. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA00611

  17. 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

  18. The Little Rover that Could

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    This image taken at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory shows a rover test drive up a manmade slope. The slope simulates one that the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity will face on Mars if it is sent commands to explore rock outcrop that lies farther into 'Endurance Crater.' Using sand, dirt and rocks, scientists and engineers at JPL constructed the overall platform of the slope at a 25-degree angle, with a 40-degree step in the middle. The test rover successfully descended and climbed the platform, adding confidence that Opportunity could cross a similar hurdle in Endurance Crater.

  19. A Clear Look at the Rover Deck

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-08-09

    This full-resolution image shows part of the deck of NASA Curiosity rover taken from one of the rover Navigation cameras looking toward the back left of the rover. On the left, part of the rover power supply is visible.

  20. Mars Science Laboratory Rover Closeout

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2011-11-10

    The Mars Science Laboratory mission rover, Curiosity, is prepared for final integration into the complete NASA spacecraft in this photograph taken inside the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility at NASA Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

  1. Mars Exploration Rover 2 Fairing

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-04-30

    At Launch Complex 17-A, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the second half of the fairing for the Mars Exploration Rover 2 (MER-2/MER-A) arrives at the top level, next to the first half of the fairing. The fairing will be installed around the payload for protection during launch on a Delta II rocket. The MER Mission consists of two identical rovers designed to cover roughly 110 yards each Martian day over various terrain. Each rover will carry five scientific instruments that will allow it to search for evidence of liquid water that may have been present in the planet's past. Identical to each other, the rovers will land at different regions of Mars. Launch date for MER-A is scheduled for June 5.

  2. 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

  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. Spirit Rover on 'Husband Hill'

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2006-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Figure 1: Location of Spirit

    Two Earth years ago, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit touched down in Gusev Crater. The rover marked its first Mars-year (687 Earth days) anniversary in November 2005. Shortly before Spirit's Martian anniversary, the Mars Orbiter Camera on NASA's Mars Global Surveyor acquired an image covering approximately 3 kilometers by 3 kilometers (1.9 miles by 1.9 miles) centered on the rover's location at that time in the 'Columbia Hills.'

    'Husband Hill,' the tallest in the range, is just below the center of the image. The image has a resolution of about 50 centimeters (1.6 feet) per pixel. North is up; illumination is from the left. The location is near 14.8 degrees south latitude, 184.6 degrees west longitude.

    The image was acquired on Nov. 2, 2005. A white box (see Figure 1) indicates the location of an excerpted portion on which the location of Spirit on that date is marked. Dr. Timothy J. Parker of the Mars Exploration Rover team at the NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., confirmed the location of the rover in the image. The region toward the bottom of the image shows the area where the rover is currently headed. The large dark patch and other similar dark patches are accumulations of windblown sand and granules.

  5. Spirit Rover on 'Husband Hill'

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2006-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Figure 1: Location of Spirit

    Two Earth years ago, NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit touched down in Gusev Crater. The rover marked its first Mars-year (687 Earth days) anniversary in November 2005. Shortly before Spirit's Martian anniversary, the Mars Orbiter Camera on NASA's Mars Global Surveyor acquired an image covering approximately 3 kilometers by 3 kilometers (1.9 miles by 1.9 miles) centered on the rover's location at that time in the 'Columbia Hills.'

    'Husband Hill,' the tallest in the range, is just below the center of the image. The image has a resolution of about 50 centimeters (1.6 feet) per pixel. North is up; illumination is from the left. The location is near 14.8 degrees south latitude, 184.6 degrees west longitude.

    The image was acquired on Nov. 2, 2005. A white box (see Figure 1) indicates the location of an excerpted portion on which the location of Spirit on that date is marked. Dr. Timothy J. Parker of the Mars Exploration Rover team at the NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., confirmed the location of the rover in the image. The region toward the bottom of the image shows the area where the rover is currently headed. The large dark patch and other similar dark patches are accumulations of windblown sand and granules.

  6. Lunar rover navigation concepts

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burke, James D.

    1993-01-01

    With regard to the navigation of mobile lunar vehicles on the surface, candidate techniques are reviewed and progress of simulations and experiments made up to now are described. Progress that can be made through precursor investigations on Earth is considered. In the early seventies the problem was examined in a series of relevant tests made in the California desert. Meanwhile, Apollo rovers made short exploratory sorties and robotic Lunokhods traveled over modest distances on the Moon. In these early missions some of the required methods were demonstrated. The navigation problem for a lunar traverse can be viewed in three parts: to determine the starting point with enough accuracy to enable the desired mission; to determine the event sequence required to reach the site of each traverse objective; and to redetermine actual positions enroute. The navigator's first tool is a map made from overhead imagery. The Moon was almost completely photographed at moderate resolution by spacecraft launched in the sixties, but that data set provides imprecise topographic and selenodetic information. Therefore, more advanced orbital missions are now proposed as part of a resumed lunar exploration program. With the mapping coverage expected from such orbiters, it will be possible to use a combination of visual landmark navigation and external radio and optical references (Earth and Sun) to achieve accurate surface navigation almost everywhere on the near side of the Moon. On the far side and in permanently dark polar areas, there are interesting exploration targets where additional techniques will have to be used.

  7. Polar Traverse Rover Instrument

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Karlsson, Henrik; Radulescu, Andreea; Behar, Alberto; Pegors, Mika

    2008-01-01

    A Polar Traverse Rover (PTR) is a device designed to determine the role of Antarctica in the global climate system by determining typical paths of continental air that passes the South Pole, and by obtaining insight into the relationship between events at the Antarctic and the meteorology of sub-polar altitudes. The PTR is a 2-m-diameter ball in which an Iridium modem, with an integrated global positioning system (GPS) receiver and a commercial lithium battery pack, is suspended. The modem is attached to an aluminum plate and is surrounded by shock-absorbing plastic for protection. This core is attached to the interior walls of the shell by strings on three axis points. The unit s total weight is 10 kg, and it returns data regarding location, altitude, ground velocity, and vertical velocity. The PTR traverses the terrain solely through being blown around by the wind. The unit is much lighter than its predecessor, the Tumbleweed, and requires less wind to put it in motion and to sustain motion. The system is autonomous, requiring minimal monitoring, and enables long-range, unmanned scientific surface surveys in harsh environments.

  8. Next-Generation Tumbleweed Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nosanov, Jeffrey P.

    2012-01-01

    A document describes a next-generation tumbleweed rover that involves a split balloon system that is made up of two half-spherical air bladders with a disc between them. This disc contains all the electronics and instruments. By deflating only the bottom balloon, the rover can sit, bringing the surface probe into contact with the ground. The bottom balloon has a channel passing through it, allowing the surface probe to reach the surface through the balloon. Once the sample has been gathered and analyzed, the rover can re-inflate the lower air bladder and continue rolling. The rover will use a small set of instruments and electronics situated at the center of its inflatable spherical hull. The current version is a large beach-ball-like construction, about 1.8 m in diameter and weighing roughly 15 kg. The rover comprises two major parts, an outer spherical hull (split in half at the central disc) and an inner, disc-shaped cylindrical section. The balloons are attached to the bottom and top of the disc. Inside the disc, there are temperature and pressure sensors to keep track of the inner and outer conditions of the rover. A system of pumps and valves is responsible for independently inflating and deflating the balloons as necessary. There are also accelerometers to record the movement, together with a GPS receiver. The data are then sent through a modem to a control station. This work builds upon the project Tumbleweed rover for planetary exploration, described in the Technical Support Package.

  9. 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.

  10. Virtual Rover Takes its First Turn

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2004-01-13

    This image shows a screenshot from the software used by engineers to drive the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit. The software simulates the rover's movements across the martian terrain, helping to plot a safe course for the rover. The virtual 3-D world around the rover is built from images taken by Spirit's stereo navigation cameras. Regions for which the rover has not yet acquired 3-D data are represented in beige. This image depicts the state of the rover before it backed up and turned 45 degrees on Sol 11 (01-13-04). http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA05063

  11. Virtual Rover Takes its First Turn

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    This image shows a screenshot from the software used by engineers to drive the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit. The software simulates the rover's movements across the martian terrain, helping to plot a safe course for the rover. The virtual 3-D world around the rover is built from images taken by Spirit's stereo navigation cameras. Regions for which the rover has not yet acquired 3-D data are represented in beige. This image depicts the state of the rover before it backed up and turned 45 degrees on Sol 11 (01-13-04).

  12. Mars Exploration Rover engineering cameras

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Maki, J.N.; Bell, J.F.; 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.

  13. Mars Exploration Rover Engineering Cameras

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maki, J. N.; Bell, J. F.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Squyres, S. W.; Kiely, A.; Klimesh, M.; Schwochert, M.; Litwin, T.; Willson, R.; Johnson, A.; 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.

    2003-12-01

    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 × 1024 pixel detectors.

  14. Design of a nuclear-powered rover for lunar or Martian exploration

    SciTech Connect

    Trellue, H.R.; Trautner, R.; Houts, M.G.; Poston, D.I.; Giovig, K.; Baca, J.A.; Lipinski, R.J.

    1998-08-01

    To perform more advanced studies on the surface of the moon or Mars, a rover must provide long-term power ({ge}10 kW{sub e}). However, a majority of rovers in the past have been designed for much lower power levels (i.e., on the order of watts) or for shorter operating periods using stored power. Thus, more advanced systems are required to generate additional power. One possible design for a more highly powered rover involves using a nuclear reactor to supply energy to the rover and material from the surface of the moon or Mars to shield the electronics from high neutron fluxes and gamma doses. Typically, one of the main disadvantages of using a nuclear-powered rover is that the required shielding would be heavy and expensive to include as part of the payload on a mission. Obtaining most of the required shielding material from the surface of the moon or Mars would reduce the cost of the mission and still provide the necessary power. This paper describes the basic design of a rover that uses the Heatpipe Power System (HPS) as an energy source, including the shielding and reactor control issues associated with the design. It also discusses briefly the amount of power that can be produced by other power methods (solar/photovoltaic cells, radioisotope power supplies, dynamic radioisotope power systems, and the production of methane or acetylene fuel from the surface of Mars) as a comparison to the HPS.

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

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2008-11-19

    Full-scale models of three generations of NASA Mars rovers show the increase in size from the Sojourner rover of the Mars Pathfinder project, to the twin Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity, to the Mars Science Laboratory rover.

  16. Top of Mars Rover Curiosity Remote Sensing Mast

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2011-04-06

    The remote sensing mast on NASA Mars rover Curiosity holds two science instruments for studying the rover surroundings and two stereo navigation cameras for use in driving the rover and planning rover activities.

  17. Checking out the Rover Deck in Full Resolution

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-08-09

    This full-resolution self-portrait shows the deck of NASA Curiosity rover from the rover Navigation cameras. This full-resolution self-portrait shows the deck of NASA Curiosity rover from the rover Navigation cameras.

  18. Lunar rover developments at JPL

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burke, James D.; Bickler, Donald B.; Pivirotto, Donna L.

    1990-01-01

    Results of previous JPL developments are summarized and the current work related to lunar roving missions is discussed. Objectives of a long lunar transverse are reviewed and include lunar resource prospecting and base site surveys. Rover design criteria are presented, noting that payload instrumentation would include both television cameras for driving and cameras producing panoramic facsimile for high-fidelity scientific imaging and landmark navigation, as well as a multipurpose imaging system with multispectral, close-up, and microscopic capabilities. Instrumentation providing for chemical and mineral analysis, a gravimeter, and a magnetometer are also important. Rover performance requirements include a capability to support a 50 kg payload mass with a rover mass of 500 to 600 kg, powering and supporting the payload, managing the on-board resources available to each instrument, and handling all of the mission data. Desert tests of lunar roving navigation and field geology are discussed.

  19. Prospecting Rovers for Lunar Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Graham, Jerry B.; Vaughn, Jason A.; Farmer, Jeffery T.

    2007-01-01

    A study of lunar rover options for exploring the permanently shadowed regions of the lunar environment is presented. The potential for nearly continuous solar illumination coupled with the potential for water ice, focus exploration planner's attention on the polar regions of the moon. These regions feature craters that scientists have reason to believe may contain water ice. Water ice can be easily converted to fuel cell reactants, breathing oxygen, potable water, and rocket propellant. For these reasons, the NASA Robotic Lunar Exploration Program (RLEP) sponsored a study of potential prospecting rover concepts as one part of the RLEP-2 Pre-Phase A. Numerous vehicle configurations and power, thermal, and communication options are investigated. Rover options in the 400kg to 530kg class are developed which are capable of either confirming the presence of water ice at the poles, or conclusively demonstrating its absence.

  20. Color Mosaic of Rover & Terrain

    NASA Image and Video Library

    1997-07-05

    NASA's Sojourner rover and undeployed ramps onboard the Mars Pathfinder spacecraft can be seen in this image, by the Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP) on July 4 (Sol 1). This image has been corrected for the curvature created by parallax. The microrover Sojourner is latched to the petal, and has not yet been deployed. The ramps are a pair of deployable metal reels which will provide a track for the rover as it slowly rolls off the lander, over the spacecraft's deflated airbags, and onto the surface of Mars. Pathfinder scientists will use this image to determine whether it is safe to deploy the ramps. One or both of the ramps will be unfurled, and then scientists will decide whether the rover will use either the forward or backward ramp for its descent. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA00621

  1. Prospecting Rovers for Lunar Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Graham, Jerry B.; Vaughn, Jason A.; Farmer, Jeffery T.

    2007-01-01

    A study of lunar rover options for exploring the permanently shadowed regions of the lunar environment is presented. The potential for nearly continuous solar illumination coupled with the potential for water ice, focus exploration planner's attention on the polar regions of the moon. These regions feature craters that scientists have reason to believe may contain water ice. Water ice can be easily converted to fuel cell reactants, breathing oxygen, potable water, and rocket propellant. For these reasons, the NASA Robotic Lunar Exploration Program (RLEP) sponsored a study of potential prospecting rover concepts as one part of the RLEP-2 Pre-Phase A. Numerous vehicle configurations and power, thermal, and communication options are investigated. Rover options in the 400kg to 530kg class are developed which are capable of either confirming the presence of water ice at the poles, or conclusively demonstrating its absence.

  2. Opportunity Rover Nears Mars Marathon Feat

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2015-02-10

    In February 2015, NASA Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity is approaching a cumulative driving distance on Mars equal to the length of a marathon race. This map shows the rover position relative to where it could surpass that distance.

  3. Three Generations of Rovers with Standing Engineers

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-01-17

    Two spacecraft engineers stand with three generations of Mars rovers developed at NASA JPL, Pasadena, Ca. Front and center is a flight spare of Sojourner, left is a working sibling to Spirit and Opportunity, right is test rover Curiosity.

  4. Three Generations of Rovers in Mars Yard

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-01-17

    This grouping of two test rovers and a flight spare provides a graphic comparison of three generations of Mars rovers developed at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. The setting is JPL Mars Yard testing area.

  5. Three Generations of Rovers with Crouching Engineers

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-01-17

    Two spacecraft engineers stand with three generations of Mars rovers developed at NASA JPL, Pasadena, Ca. Front and center is a flight spare of Sojourner, left is a working sibling to Spirit and Opportunity, right is test rover Curiosity.

  6. Next Red Planet Rover: Mars Science Laboratory

    NASA Image and Video Library

    Did Mars once have an environment capable of supporting life? NASA's next rover -- the Mars Science Laboratory, or Curiosity, will further unravel that mystery. The rover carries a whole laboratory...

  7. Opportunity Rover on Valentine Day 2014

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2014-04-09

    This is the latest image of NASA Opportunity rover at Solander Point, where it spend a few week investigation Pinnacle rock the jelly donut that was flipper over by the rover wheel. This observation is from NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

  8. Lunar Rover Drivetrain Development to TRL-6

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Visscher, P.; Edmundson, P.; Ghafoor, N.; Jones, H.; Kleinhenz, J.; Picard, M.

    2015-10-01

    The LRPDP and SPRP rovers are designed to provide high mobility and robustness in a lunar working environment and are compatible with various lunar surface activities. TRL-6 testing is scheduled for late 2015 on the rover drivetrain components.

  9. Cassini-Huygens Mars Exploration Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Liepack, Otfrid G.

    2006-01-01

    A viewgraph presentation on the Cassini-Huygens Mars Exploration Rover is shown. The contents include: 1) Deep Space Network (DSN); 2) Saturn Cassini-Huygens; 3) Mars Exploration Rover; and 4) References.

  10. Bright Days Ahead for Curiosity Mars Rover

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2011-03-18

    This image shows preparation for March 2011 testing of the Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity, in a space-simulation chamber; the rover will go through operational sequences in environmental conditions similar to what it will experience on Mars.

  11. Scooped Material on Rover Observation Tray

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-10-25

    Sample material from the fourth scoop of Martian soil collected by NASA Mars rover Curiosity is on the rover observation tray in this image taken during the mission 78th Martian sol, Oct. 24, 2012 by Curiosity left Navigation Camera.

  12. 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).

  13. 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).

  14. Hybrid Aerial/Rover Vehicle

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bachelder, Aaron

    2003-01-01

    A proposed instrumented robotic vehicle called an "aerover" would fly, roll along the ground, and/or float on bodies of liquid, as needed. The aerover would combine features of an aerobot (a robotic lighter-than-air balloon) and a wheeled robot of the "rover" class. An aerover would also look very much like a variant of the "beach-ball" rovers. Although the aerover was conceived for use in scientific exploration of Titan (the largest moon of the planet Saturn), the aerover concept could readily be adapted to similar uses on Earth.

  15. Rover Takes a Sunday Drive

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    This animation, made with images from the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit hazard-identification camera, shows the rover's perspective of its first post-egress drive on Mars Sunday. Engineers drove Spirit approximately 3 meters (10 feet) toward its first rock target, a football-sized, mountain-shaped rock called Adirondack. The drive took approximately 30 minutes to complete, including time stopped to take images. Spirit first made a series of arcing turns totaling approximately 1 meter (3 feet). It then turned in place and made a series of short, straightforward movements totaling approximately 2 meters (6.5 feet).

  16. NASA Mars Science Laboratory Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Olson, Tim

    2017-01-01

    Since August 2012, the NASA Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover Curiosity has been operating on the Martian surface. The primary goal of the MSL mission is to assess whether Mars ever had an environment suitable for life. MSL Science Team member Dr. Tim Olson will provide an overview of the rover's capabilities and the major findings from the mission so far. He will also share some of his experiences of what it is like to operate Curiosity's science cameras and explore Mars as part of a large team of scientists and engineers.

  17. Delivering Images for Mars Rover Science Planning

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Edmonds, Karina

    2008-01-01

    A methodology has been developed for delivering, via the Internet, images transmitted to Earth from cameras on the Mars Explorer Rovers, the Phoenix Mars Lander, the Mars Science Laboratory, and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft. The images in question are used by geographically dispersed scientists and engineers in planning Rover scientific activities and Rover maneuvers pertinent thereto.

  18. Next NASA Mars Rover Gets Its Wheels

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    Wheels were first attached to NASA's Mars Science Laboratory rover in August 2008. The rover and its descent stage and cruise stage are being assembled and tested at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., for launch in 2009.

    The rover has a ground clearance of about 60 centimeters, or 2 feet. The wheel base is 2.2 meters, or 7 feet.

  19. 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.

  20. Curiosity: The Next Mars Rover Artist Concept

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2011-05-19

    This artist concept features NASA Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover, a mobile robot for investigating Mars past or present ability to sustain microbial life. The rover examines a rock on Mars with a set of tools at the end of the rover arm.

  1. Robotic Arm of Rover 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

    JPL engineers examine the robotic arm of Mars Exploration Rover 1. The arm is modeled after a human arm, complete with joints, and holds four devices on its end, the Rock Abrasion Tool which can grind into Martian rocks, a microscopic imager, and two spectrometers for elemental and iron-mineral identification.

  2. Early lunar rover mission studies

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gillespie, V. P.

    1993-01-01

    Viewgraphs on Early Lunar Rover Mission studies are included. The chronology of events and study project description are addressed. Issues identified for analysis and basic questions to be addressed are listed. LaRC Early Lunar Mission study results are included.

  3. 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.

  4. Robotic Arm of Rover 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

    JPL engineers examine the robotic arm of Mars Exploration Rover 1. The arm is modeled after a human arm, complete with joints, and holds four devices on its end, the Rock Abrasion Tool which can grind into Martian rocks, a microscopic imager, and two spectrometers for elemental and iron-mineral identification.

  5. Summit Panorama with Rover Deck

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Click on the image for Summit Panorama with Rover (QTVR)

    The panoramic camera on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit took the hundreds of images combined into this 360-degree view, the 'Husband Hill Summit' panorama. The images were acquired on Spirit's sols 583 to 586 (Aug. 24 to 27, 2005), shortly after the rover reached the crest of 'Husband Hill' inside Mars' Gusev Crater. This is the largest panorama yet acquired from either Spirit or Opportunity. The panoramic camera shot 653 separate images in 6 different filters, encompassing the rover's deck and the full 360 degrees of surface rocks and soils visible to the camera from this position. This is the first time the camera has been used to image the entire rover deck and visible surface from the same position. Stitching together of all the images took significant effort because of the large changes in resolution and parallax across the scene.

    The image is an approximately true-color rendering using the 750-nanometer, 530-nanometer and 480-nanometer filters for the surface, and the 600-nanometer and 480-nanometer filters for the rover deck. Image-to-image seams have been eliminated from the sky portion of the mosaic to better simulate the vista a person standing on Mars would see.

    This panorama provided the team's first view of the 'Inner Basin' region (center of the image), including the enigmatic 'Home Plate' feature seen from orbital data. After investigating the summit area, Spirit drove downhill to get to the Inner Basin region. Spirit arrived at the summit from the west, along the direction of the rover tracks seen in the middle right of the panorama. The peaks of 'McCool Hill' and 'Ramon Hill' can be seen on the horizon near the center of the panorama. The summit region itself is a broad, windswept plateau. Spirit spent more than a month exploring the summit region, measuring the chemistry and mineralogy of soils and rocky outcrops at the peak

  6. Spirit Ascent Movie, Rover's-Eye View

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2005-01-01

    A movie assembled from frames taken by the rear hazard-identification camera on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit shows the last few days of the rover's ascent to the crest of 'Husband Hill' inside Mars' Gusev Crater. The rover was going in reverse. Rover planners often drive Spirit backwards to keep wheel lubrication well distributed. The images in this clip span a timeframe from Spirit's 573rd martian day, or sol (Aug, 13, 2005) to sol 582 (Aug. 22, 2005), the day after the rover reached the crest. During that period, Spirit drove 136 meters (446 feet),

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  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. Size Comparison: Three Generations of 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 2010 (right).

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

    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.

  11. Size Comparison: Three Generations of 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 2010 (right).

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

    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. Radiation shield analysis for a manned Mars rover

    SciTech Connect

    Morley, N.J.; ElGenk, M.S. )

    1991-01-01

    Radiation shielding for unmanned space missions has been extensively studied; however, designs of man-rated shields are minimal. Engle et al.'s analysis of a man-rated, multilayered shield composed of two and three cycles (a cycle consists of a tungsten and a lithium hydride layer) is the basis for the work reported in this paper. The authors present the results of a recent study of shield designs for a manned Mars rover powered by a 500-kW(thermal) nuclear reactor. A train-type rover vehicle was developed, which consists of four cars and is powered by an SP-100-type nuclear reactor heat source. The maximum permissible dose rate (MPD) from all sources is given by the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements as 500 mSv/yr (50 rem/yr) A 3-yr Mars mission (2-yr round trip and 1-yr stay) will deliver a 1-Sv natural radiation dose without a solar particle event, 450 mSv/yr in flight, and an additional 100 mSv on the planet surface. An anomalously large solar particle event could increase the natural radiation dose for unshielded astronauts on the Martian surface to 200 mSv. This limits the MPD to crew members from the nuclear reactor to 300 mSv.

  13. 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.

  14. Frost on Mars Rover Opportunity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    Frost can form on surfaces if enough water is present and the temperature is sufficiently low. On each of NASA's Mars Exploration Rovers, the calibration target for the panoramic camera provides a good place to look for such events. A thin frost was observed by Opportunity's panoramic camera on the rover's 257th sol (Oct. 13, 2004) 11 minutes after sunrise (left image). The presence of the frost is most clearly seen on the post in the center of the target, particularly when compared with the unsegmented outer ring of the target, which is white. The post is normally black. For comparison, note the difference in appearance in the image on the right, taken about three hours later, after the frost had dissipated. Frost has not been observed at Spirit, where the amount of atmospheric water vapor is observed to be appreciably lower. Both images were taken through a filter centered at a wavelength of 440 nanometers (blue).

  15. The Athena Mars Rover Investigation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Squyres, S. W.; Arvidson, R. E.; Bell, J. F., III; Carr, M.; Christensen, P.; DesMarais, D.; Economou, T.; Gorevan, S.; Haskin, L.; Herkenhoff, K.

    2000-01-01

    The Mars Surveyor program requires tools for martian surface exploration, including remote sensing, in-situ sensing, and sample collection. The Athena Mars rover payload is a suite of scientific instruments and sample collection tools designed to: (1) Provide color stereo imaging of martian surface environments, and remotely-sensed point discrimination of mineralogical composition; (2) Determine the elemental and mineralogical composition of martian surface materials; (3) Determine the fine-scale textural properties of these materials; and (4) Collect and store samples. The Athena payload is designed to be implemented on a long-range rover such as the one now under consideration for the 2003 Mars opportunity. The payload is at a high state of maturity, and most of the instruments have now been built for flight.

  16. Frost on Mars Rover Opportunity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    Frost can form on surfaces if enough water is present and the temperature is sufficiently low. On each of NASA's Mars Exploration Rovers, the calibration target for the panoramic camera provides a good place to look for such events. A thin frost was observed by Opportunity's panoramic camera on the rover's 257th sol (Oct. 13, 2004) 11 minutes after sunrise (left image). The presence of the frost is most clearly seen on the post in the center of the target, particularly when compared with the unsegmented outer ring of the target, which is white. The post is normally black. For comparison, note the difference in appearance in the image on the right, taken about three hours later, after the frost had dissipated. Frost has not been observed at Spirit, where the amount of atmospheric water vapor is observed to be appreciably lower. Both images were taken through a filter centered at a wavelength of 440 nanometers (blue).

  17. 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.

  18. Rover concepts for lunar exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Connolly, John F.

    1993-01-01

    The paper describes the requirements and design concepts developed for the First Lunar Outpost (FLO) and the follow-on lunar missions by the Human Planet Surface Project Office at the Johnson Space Center, which include inputs from scientists, technologists, operators, personnel, astronauts, mission designers, and program managers. Particular attention is given to the requirements common to all rover concepts, the precursor robotic missions, the FLO scenario and capabilities, and the FLO evolution.

  19. 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.

  20. Test Rover Aids Preparations in California for Curiosity Rover on Mars

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-05-11

    NASA Mars Science Laboratory mission team members ran mobility tests on the test rover called Scarecrow on sand dunes near Death Valley, Ca. in early May 2012 in preparation for operating the Curiosity rover, currently en route to Mars.

  1. Mars Rover Opportunity Examines Bright Athens

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2015-03-27

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has extended its robotic arm for studying a light-toned rock target called "Athens" in this image from the rover's front hazard avoidance camera. The camera recorded this image during the 3,970th Martian day, or sol, of Opportunity's work on Mars (March 25, 2015). This camera is mounted low on the rover and has a wide-angle lens. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA19160

  2. Design issues for Mars planetary rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lee, Gordon K. F.; Dejarnette, Fred R.; Walberg, Gerald D.

    1993-01-01

    The paper presents some of the design issues and vehicle requirements that need to be addressed for the Mars planetary rovers. Some of the designs currently being investigated, including the JPL rover, the Martin Marietta vehicle, and the French Space Agency's VAP project, are examined. The rover must satisfy such mission requirements as surveying the terrain, preparing the landing sites, loading and unloading components for base operations, and aiding in the recovery of in situ materials.

  3. Method for remotely powering a device such as a lunar rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Deyoung, Russell J. (Inventor); Williams, Michael D. (Inventor); Walker, Gilbert H. (Inventor); Schuster, Gregory L. (Inventor); Lee, Ja H. (Inventor)

    1993-01-01

    A method of supplying power to a device such as a lunar rover located on a planetary surface is provided. At least one, and preferably three, laser satellites are set in orbit around the planet. Each satellite contains a nuclear reactor for generating electrical power. This electrical power is converted into a laser beam which is passed through an amplifying array and directed toward the device such as a lunar rover. The received laser beam is then converted into electrical power for use by the device.

  4. Method for remotely powering a device such as a lunar rover

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Young, Russell J.; Williams, Michael D.; Walker, Gilbert H.; Schuster, Gregory L.; Lee, Ja H.

    1992-01-01

    A method of supplying power to a device such as a lunar rover located on a planetary surface is provided. At least one, and preferably three, laser satellites are set in orbit around the planet. Each satellite contains a nuclear reactor for generating electrical power. This electrical power is converted into a laser beam which is passed through an amplifying array and directed toward the device such as a lunar rover. The received laser beam is then converted into electrical power for use by the device.

  5. Method for remotely powering a device such as a lunar rover

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Young, Russell J.; Williams, Michael D.; Walker, Gilbert H.; Schuster, Gregory L.; Lee, Ja H.

    1993-11-01

    A method of supplying power to a device such as a lunar rover located on a planetary surface is provided. At least one, and preferably three, laser satellites are set in orbit around the planet. Each satellite contains a nuclear reactor for generating electrical power. This electrical power is converted into a laser beam which is passed through an amplifying array and directed toward the device such as a lunar rover. The received laser beam is then converted into electrical power for use by the device.

  6. Visual Feedback for Rover-based Coring

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Backes, Paul; Helmick, Daniel; Bajracharya, Max

    2008-01-01

    Technology for coring from a low-mass rover has been developed to enable core sample acquisition where a planetary rover experiences moderate slip during the coring operation. A new stereo vision technique, Absolute Motion Visual Odometry, is used to measure rover slip during coring and the slip is accommodated through corresponding arm pose updating. Coring rate is controlled by feedback of themeasured force of the coring tool against the environment. Test results in the JPL Marsyard show for the first time that coring from a low-mass rover with slip is feasible.

  7. Athena Mars rover science investigation

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Squyres, S. W.; Arvidson, R. E.; Baumgartner, E.T.; Bell, J.F.; Christensen, P.R.; Gorevan, S.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Klingelhofer, G.; Madsen, M.B.; Morris, R.V.; Rieder, R.; Romero, R.A.

    2003-01-01

    Each Mars Exploration Rover carries an integrated suite of scientific instruments and tools called the Athena science payload. 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 remote sensing portion of the payload uses a mast called the Pancam Mast Assembly (PMA) that provides pointing for two instruments: the Panoramic Camera (Pancam), and the Miniature Thermal Emission Spectrometer (Mini-TES). Pancam provides high-resolution, color, stereo imaging, while Mini-TES provides spectral cubes at mid-infrared wavelengths. For in-situ study, a five degree-of-freedom arm called the Instrument Deployment Device (IDD) carries four more tools: a Microscopic Imager (MI) for close-up imaging, an Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) for elemental chemistry, a Mo??ssbauer Spectrometer (MB) for the mineralogy of Fe-bearing materials, and a Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) for removing dusty and weathered surfaces and exposing fresh rock underneath. The payload also includes magnets that allow the instruments to study the composition of magnetic Martian materials. All of the Athena instruments have undergone extensive calibration, both individually and using a set of geologic reference materials that are being measured with all the instruments. Using a MER-like rover and payload in a number of field settings, we have devised operations processes that will enable us to use the MER rovers to formulate and test scientific hypotheses concerning past environmental conditions and habitability at the landing sites. Copyright 2003 by the American Geophysical Union.

  8. Athena Mars rover science investigation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Squyres, Steven W.; Arvidson, Raymond E.; Baumgartner, Eric T.; Bell, James F.; Christensen, Philip R.; Gorevan, Stephen; Herkenhoff, Kenneth E.; Klingelhöfer, Göstar; Madsen, Morten Bo; Morris, Richard V.; Rieder, Rudolf; Romero, Raul A.

    2003-12-01

    Each Mars Exploration Rover carries an integrated suite of scientific instruments and tools called the Athena science payload. 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 remote sensing portion of the payload uses a mast called the Pancam Mast Assembly (PMA) that provides pointing for two instruments: the Panoramic Camera (Pancam), and the Miniature Thermal Emission Spectrometer (Mini-TES). Pancam provides high-resolution, color, stereo imaging, while Mini-TES provides spectral cubes at mid-infrared wavelengths. For in-situ study, a five degree-of-freedom arm called the Instrument Deployment Device (IDD) carries four more tools: a Microscopic Imager (MI) for close-up imaging, an Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) for elemental chemistry, a Mössbauer Spectrometer (MB) for the mineralogy of Fe-bearing materials, and a Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) for removing dusty and weathered surfaces and exposing fresh rock underneath. The payload also includes magnets that allow the instruments to study the composition of magnetic Martian materials. All of the Athena instruments have undergone extensive calibration, both individually and using a set of geologic reference materials that are being measured with all the instruments. Using a MER-like rover and payload in a number of field settings, we have devised operations processes that will enable us to use the MER rovers to formulate and test scientific hypotheses concerning past environmental conditions and habitability at the landing sites.

  9. Rover-based visual target tracking validation and mission infusion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kim, Won S.; Steele, Robert D.; Ansar, Adnan I.; Ali, Khaled; Nesnas, Issa

    2005-01-01

    The Mars Exploration Rovers (MER'03), Spirit and Opportunity, represent the state of the art in rover operations on Mars. This paper presents validation experiments of different visual tracking algorithms using the rover's navigation camera.

  10. Automation Rover for Extreme Environments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Sauder, Jonathan; Hilgemann, Evan; Johnson, Michael; Parness, Aaron; Hall, Jeffrey; Kawata, Jessie; Stack, Kathryn

    2017-01-01

    Almost 2,300 years ago the ancient Greeks built the Antikythera automaton. This purely mechanical computer accurately predicted past and future astronomical events long before electronics existed1. Automata have been credibly used for hundreds of years as computers, art pieces, and clocks. However, in the past several decades automata have become less popular as the capabilities of electronics increased, leaving them an unexplored solution for robotic spacecraft. The Automaton Rover for Extreme Environments (AREE) proposes an exciting paradigm shift from electronics to a fully mechanical system, enabling longitudinal exploration of the most extreme environments within the solar system.

  11. 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.

  12. Design of a Mars Rover Mobility System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trunins, J.; Curley, A.; Osborne, B.

    Future space exploration requires close study of extraterrestrial bodies such as Mars. The Mars micro-rover proposal was configured to closely meet the requirements of scientists and budget criteria. Due to the hostility of the Martian environment a reliable mobility system must be integrated to the rover concept. This project demonstrates the feasibility of such a design drawing on current data. The design was governed by the operational lifespan of the vehicle, a period of one Martian year at latitude of 30 degrees. The project provides a step-by-step simulation of the rover's mobility system design. Furthermore the design provides and integrates all vital sub-systems required for successful operation of the Mars rover. A primary consideration during the design process of the rover was ease of integration with an array of different payloads. Potential payloads are constrained by the mass of 1067 g., space availability of 110 by 100 by 45 mm and the availability of power 85.4 W. Although only a conceptual design, this report summarises of all required design parameters for future rover development.Today Mars exploration is one of the most popular areas of research. Different methodologies are implemented accord- ingly to various mission requirements. Observation satellite use can give wide area cover, while surface landing probes give accurate details. Mobile vehicles allow achieving both, how- ever at a cost to pay. The mission that involves mobile rover is extremely costly and requires high reliability.The use of small size rovers will allow minimising expenditure on a project. The design of the multi-purpose rover with possibility to use different payloads will give higher mission safety. This will be achieved by utilisation of the same structure bus.This project will present preliminary studies for the concep- tual design of Mars micro rover mobility system. Furthermore, it will summarise the steps required for the rover sub-system architecture. It is proposed

  13. 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.

  14. Mars Exploration Rover, Vertical Artist Concept

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-12-15

    An artist's concept portrays a NASA Mars Exploration Rover on the surface of Mars. Two rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, will reach Mars in January 2004. Each has the mobility and toolkit to function as a robotic geologist. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA04928

  15. Test Rover Sinks into Prepared Soil

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2009-06-30

    While a test rover rolls off a plywood surface into a prepared bed of soft soil, rover team members Colette Lohr left and Kim Lichtenberg center eye the wheels digging into the soil and Paolo Bellutta enters the next driving command.

  16. Laser-powered Martian rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Harries, W. L.; Meador, W. E.; Miner, G. A.; Schuster, Gregory L.; Walker, G. H.; Williams, M. D.

    1989-01-01

    Two rover concepts were considered: an unpressurized skeleton vehicle having available 4.5 kW of electrical power and limited to a range of about 10 km from a temporary Martian base and a much larger surface exploration vehicle (SEV) operating on a maximum 75-kW power level and essentially unrestricted in range or mission. The only baseline reference system was a battery-operated skeleton vehicle with very limited mission capability and range and which would repeatedly return to its temporary base for battery recharging. It was quickly concluded that laser powering would be an uneconomical overkill for this concept. The SEV, on the other hand, is a new rover concept that is especially suited for powering by orbiting solar or electrically pumped lasers. Such vehicles are visualized as mobile habitats with full life-support systems onboard, having unlimited range over the Martian surface, and having extensive mission capability (e.g., core drilling and sampling, construction of shelters for protection from solar flares and dust storms, etc.). Laser power beaming to SEV's was shown to have the following advantages: (1) continuous energy supply by three orbiting lasers at 2000 km (no storage requirements as during Martian night with direct solar powering); (2) long-term supply without replacement; (3) very high power available (MW level possible); and (4) greatly enhanced mission enabling capability beyond anything currently conceived.

  17. Laser-powered Martian rover

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harries, W. L.; Meador, W. E.; Miner, G. A.; Schuster, Gregory L.; Walker, G. H.; Williams, M. D.

    1989-07-01

    Two rover concepts were considered: an unpressurized skeleton vehicle having available 4.5 kW of electrical power and limited to a range of about 10 km from a temporary Martian base and a much larger surface exploration vehicle (SEV) operating on a maximum 75-kW power level and essentially unrestricted in range or mission. The only baseline reference system was a battery-operated skeleton vehicle with very limited mission capability and range and which would repeatedly return to its temporary base for battery recharging. It was quickly concluded that laser powering would be an uneconomical overkill for this concept. The SEV, on the other hand, is a new rover concept that is especially suited for powering by orbiting solar or electrically pumped lasers. Such vehicles are visualized as mobile habitats with full life-support systems onboard, having unlimited range over the Martian surface, and having extensive mission capability (e.g., core drilling and sampling, construction of shelters for protection from solar flares and dust storms, etc.). Laser power beaming to SEV's was shown to have the following advantages: (1) continuous energy supply by three orbiting lasers at 2000 km (no storage requirements as during Martian night with direct solar powering); (2) long-term supply without replacement; (3) very high power available (MW level possible); and (4) greatly enhanced mission enabling capability beyond anything currently conceived.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Mars Science Laboratory Rover and Descent Stage

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2009-01-01

    In this February 17, 2009, image, NASA's Mars Science Laboratory rover is attached to the spacecraft's descent stage. The image was taken inside the Spacecraft Assembly Facility at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

    This is the way the spacecraft will look after it comes out of its protective aeroshell and is descending to the Martian surface in 2012. Here, the descent stage sits on top of the rover, with its eight main engines straddling the rover structure. The rover is the big white box below the descent stage. At this point, the rover lacks its appendages (robotic arm, mast and most wheels), as these elements are still being assembled and were not needed for space-simulation testing of the spacecraft in late 2008.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. First Astronaut- Rover Interaction Field Test

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kosmo, Joseph J.; Ross, Amy; Cabrol, Nathalie A.

    2000-01-01

    The first Astronaut - Rover (ASRO) Interaction field test was conducted successfully on February 22-27, 1999, in Silver Lake, Mojave Desert, California in a representative planetary surface terrain. This test was a joint effort between the NASA Ames Research Center , Moffett Field, California and the NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas. As prototype advanced planetary surface space suit and rover technologies are being developed for human planetary surface exploration , it has been determined that it is important to better understand the potential interaction and benefits of an EVA astronaut interacting with a robotic rover . This interaction between an EVA astronaut and a robotic rover is seen as complementary and can greatly enhance the productivity and safety of surface excursions . This test also identified design requirements and options in an advanced space suit and robotic rover. The test objectives were: 1. To identify the operational domains where the EVA astronauts and rover are complementary and can interact and thus collaborate in a safe , productive and cost- effective way, 2. To identify preliminary requirements and recommendations for advanced space suits and rovers that facilitate their cooperative and complementary interaction, 3. To develop operational procedures for the astronaut-rover teams in the identified domains, 4. To test these procedures during representative mission scenarios during field tests by simulating the exploration of a planetary surface by an EVA crew interacting with a robotic rover, 5. To train a space suited test subject, simulated Earth-based and l or lander-based science teams, and robotic vehicle operators in mission configurations, and 6. To evaluate and understand socio-technical aspects of the astronaut - rover interaction experiment in order to guide future technologies and designs. Test results and areas for future research in the design of planetary space suits will be discussed .

  6. Lunar exploration rover program developments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Klarer, P. R.

    1994-01-01

    The Robotic All Terrain Lunar Exploration Rover (RATLER) design concept began at Sandia National Laboratories in late 1991 with a series of small, proof-of-principle, working scale models. The models proved the viability of the concept for high mobility through mechanical simplicity, and eventually received internal funding at Sandia National Laboratories for full scale, proof-of-concept prototype development. Whereas the proof-of-principle models demonstrated the mechanical design's capabilities for mobility, the full scale proof-of-concept design currently under development is intended to support field operations for experiments in telerobotics, autonomous robotic operations, telerobotic field geology, and advanced man-machine interface concepts. The development program's current status is described, including an outline of the program's work over the past year, recent accomplishments, and plans for follow-on development work.

  7. Lunar exploration rover program developments

    SciTech Connect

    Klarer, P.R.

    1993-09-01

    The Robotic All Terrain Lunar Exploration Rover (RATLER) design concept began at Sandia National Laboratories in late 1991 with a series of small, proof-of-principle, working scale models. The models proved the viability of the concept for high mobility through mechanical simplicity, and eventually received internal funding at Sandia National Laboratories for full scale, proof-of-concept prototype development. Whereas the proof-of-principle models demonstrated the mechanical design`s capabilities for mobility, the full scale proof-of-concept design currently under development is intended to support field operations for experiments in telerobotics, autonomous robotic operations, telerobotic field geology, and advanced man-machine interface concepts. The development program`s current status is described, including an outline of the program`s work over the past year, recent accomplishments, and plans for follow-on development work.

  8. Rover deployment system for lunar landing mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sutoh, Masataku; Hoshino, Takeshi; Wakabayashi, Sachiko

    2017-09-01

    For lunar surface exploration, a deployment system is necessary to allow a rover to leave the lander. The system should be as lightweight as possible and stored retracted when launched. In this paper, two types of retractable deployment systems for lunar landing missions, telescopic- and fold-type ramps, are discussed. In the telescopic-type system, a ramp is stored with the sections overlapping and slides out during deployment. In the fold-type system, it is stored folded and unfolds for the deployment. For the development of these ramps, a design concept study and structural analysis were conducted first. Subsequently, ramp deployment and rover release tests were performed using the developed ramp prototypes. Through these tests, the validity of their design concepts and functions have been confirmed. In the rover release test, it was observed that the developed lightweight ramp was sufficiently strong for a 50-kg rover to descend. This result suggests that this ramp system is suitable for the deployment of a 300-kg-class rover on the Moon, where the gravity is about one-sixth that on Earth. The lightweight and sturdy ramp developed in this study will contribute to both safe rover deployment and increase of lander/rover payload.

  9. Lifting Mechanism for the Mars Explorer Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Melko, Joseph; Iskenderian, Theodore; Harrington, Brian; Voorhees, Christopher

    2005-01-01

    A report discusses the design of a rover lift mechanism (RLM) -- a major subsystem of each of the Mars Exploration Rover vehicles, which were landed on Mars in January 2004. The RLM had to satisfy requirements to (1) be foldable as part of an extremely dense packing arrangement and (2) be capable of unfolding itself in a complex, multistep process for disengaging the rover from its restraints in the lander, lifting the main body of the rover off its landing platform, and placing the rover wheels on the platform in preparation for driving the rover off the platform. There was also an overriding requirement to minimize the overall mass of the rover and lander. To satisfy the combination of these and other requirements, it was necessary to formulate an extremely complex design that integrated components and functions of the RLM with those of a rocker-bogie suspension system, the aspects of which have been described in several prior NASA Tech Briefs articles. In this design, suspension components also serve as parts of a 4- bar linkage in the RLM.

  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.

  11. 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.

  12. Mars Rover Studies Soil on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    Both out on the plains of Gusev Crater and in the 'Columbia Hills,' NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit has encountered a thin (approximately 1 millimeter or 0.04 inch thick), light-colored, fine-grained layer of material on top of a dark-colored, coarser layer of soil. In the hills, Spirit stopped to take a closer look at soil compacted by one of the rover's wheels. Spirit took this image with the front hazard-avoidance camera during the rover's 314th martian day, or sol (Nov. 19, 2004).

  13. Enhanced Engineering Cameras (EECAMs) for the Mars 2020 Rover

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maki, J. N.; McKinney, C. M.; Sellar, R. G.; Copley-Woods, D. S.; Gruel, D. C.; Nuding, D. L.; Valvo, M.; Goodsall, T.; McGuire, J.; Litwin, T. E.

    2016-10-01

    The Mars 2020 Rover will be equipped with a next-generation engineering camera imaging system that represents an upgrade over the previous Mars rover engineering cameras flown on the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission and the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover mission.

  14. PIXL Investigation on the Mars 2020 Rover

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Allwood, A. C.; Wade, L. A.; Hurowitz, J. A.

    2016-10-01

    PIXL data, together with other instruments on the 2020 Mars rover, will make it possible to carry out astrobiological field investigations with sufficient detail and quality to credibly address the search for signs of ancient life on Mars.

  15. Rover Rehearses Roll-Off at JPL

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2004-01-15

    Footage from the JPL In-Situ Instruments Laboratory, or testbed, shows engineers rehearsing a crucial maneuver called egress in which NASA Mars Exploration Rover Spirit rolls off its lander platform and touches martian soil.

  16. Laying the Groundwork for a Rover Test

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2009-08-13

    A test setup at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory enables experiments with maneuvers being considered for use by NASA Mars Exploration Rover Spirit to get Spirit out of soft soil where it has become embedded.

  17. President Obama Phones Mars Rover Team

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-08-13

    President Barack Obama talks on the phone with NASA Curiosity Mars rover team aboard Air Force One during a flight to Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska, Aug. 13, 2012. Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

  18. Curiosity Mars Rover Flexes its Robotic Arm

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2010-09-16

    Test operators in a clean room at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory monitor some of the first motions by the robotic arm on the Mars rover Curiosity after installation in August 2010. The arm is shown in a partially extended position.

  19. Autonomous Instrument Placement for Mars Exploration Rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Leger, P. Chris; Maimone, Mark

    2009-01-01

    Autonomous Instrument Placement (AutoPlace) is onboard software that enables a Mars Exploration Rover to act autonomously in using its manipulator to place scientific instruments on or near designated rock and soil targets. Prior to the development of AutoPlace, it was necessary for human operators on Earth to plan every motion of the manipulator arm in a time-consuming process that included downlinking of images from the rover, analysis of images and creation of commands, and uplinking of commands to the rover. AutoPlace incorporates image analysis and planning algorithms into the onboard rover software, eliminating the need for the downlink/uplink command cycle. Many of these algorithms are derived from the existing groundbased image analysis and planning algorithms, with modifications and augmentations for onboard use.

  20. 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.

  1. Mars Science Laboratory Rover and Descent Stage

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2008-11-19

    In this February 17, 2009, image, NASA Mars Science Laboratory rover is attached to the spacecraft descent stage. The image was taken inside the Spacecraft Assembly Facility at NASA JPL, Pasadena, Calif.

  2. Artist Concept of Mars 2020 Rover, Annotated

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2013-07-09

    Planning for NASA 2020 Mars rover envisions a basic structure that capitalizes on existing design and engineering, but with new science instruments selected through competition for accomplishing different science objectives.

  3. Artist Concept of Mars 2020 Rover

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2013-07-09

    Planning for NASA 2020 Mars rover envisions a basic structure that capitalizes on existing design and engineering, but with new science instruments selected through competition for accomplishing different science objectives.

  4. 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.

  5. Mars Rover Curiosity in Artist Concept, Wide

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2011-05-26

    This artist concept features NASA Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover, a mobile robot for investigating Mars past or present ability to sustain microbial life. Curiosity is being tested in preparation for launch in the fall of 2011.

  6. Mars Rover Curiosity in Artist Concept, Tall

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2011-05-26

    This artist concept features NASA Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover, a mobile robot for investigating Mars past or present ability to sustain microbial life. Curiosity is being tested in preparation for launch in the fall of 2011.

  7. Installing SAM Instrument into Curiosity Mars Rover

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2011-01-18

    In this photograph, technicians and engineers inside a clean room at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., position NASA Sample Analysis at Mars SAM above the mission Mars rover, Curiosity, for installing the instrument.

  8. Lowering SAM Instrument into Curiosity Mars Rover

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2011-01-18

    In this photograph, technicians and engineers inside a clean room at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., position NASA Sample Analysis at Mars SAM above the mission Mars rover, Curiosity, for installing the instrument.

  9. Unmanned lunar rovers: Utilization for exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1993-01-01

    A small lunar rover and its use for lunar exploration are described. Constraints on a rover mission in the fields of communications, power, speed, navigation/hazard avoidance, and operational time are discussed. The rover design concept consistent with the constraints is described. The instruments to be used, again constrained by mass and power requirements, are listed. Three mission objectives are examined: geological exploration; resource assessment; and a geotechnical survey. It was determined that a small rover, with a mass of less than 60 kg and which would be compatible with being carried on the first Artemis lunar lander, could be built and could accomplish significant scientific exploration or the collection of engineering information.

  10. Design of a pressurized lunar rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bhardwaj, Manoj; Bulsara, Vatsal; Kokan, David; Shariff, Shaun; Svarverud, Eric; Wirz, Richard

    1992-01-01

    A pressurized lunar rover is necessary for future long-term habitation of the moon. The rover must be able to safely perform many tasks, ranging from transportation and reconnaissance to exploration and rescue missions. Numerous designs were considered in an effort to maintain a low overall mass and good mobility characteristics. The configuration adopted consists of two cylindrical pressure hulls passively connected by a pressurized flexible passageway. The vehicle has an overall length of 11 meters and a total mass of seven metric tons. The rover is driven by eight independently powered two meter diameter wheels. The dual-cylinder concept allows a combination of articulated frame and double Ackermann steering for executing turns. In an emergency, the individual drive motors allow the option of skid steering as well. Two wheels are connected to either side of each cylinder through a pinned bar which allows constant ground contact. Together, these systems allow the rover to easily meet its mobility requirements. A dynamic isotope power system (DIPS), in conjunction with a closed Brayton cycle, supplied the rover with a continuous supply of 8.5 kW. The occupants are all protected from the DIPS system's radiation by a shield of tantalum. The large amount of heat produced by the DIPS and other rover systems is rejected by thermal radiators. The thermal radiators and solar collectors are located on the top of the rear cylinder. The solar collectors are used to recharge batteries for peak power periods. The rover's shell is made of graphite-epoxy coated with multi-layer insulation (MLI). The graphite-epoxy provides strength while the thermally resistant MLI gives protection from the lunar environment. An elastomer separates the two materials to compensate for the thermal mismatch. The communications system allows for communication with the lunar base with an option for direct communication with earth via a lunar satellite link. The various links are combined into one

  11. Design of a pressurized lunar rover

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bhardwaj, Manoj; Bulsara, Vatsal; Kokan, David; Shariff, Shaun; Svarverud, Eric; Wirz, Richard

    1992-04-01

    A pressurized lunar rover is necessary for future long-term habitation of the moon. The rover must be able to safely perform many tasks, ranging from transportation and reconnaissance to exploration and rescue missions. Numerous designs were considered in an effort to maintain a low overall mass and good mobility characteristics. The configuration adopted consists of two cylindrical pressure hulls passively connected by a pressurized flexible passageway. The vehicle has an overall length of 11 meters and a total mass of seven metric tons. The rover is driven by eight independently powered two meter diameter wheels. The dual-cylinder concept allows a combination of articulated frame and double Ackermann steering for executing turns. In an emergency, the individual drive motors allow the option of skid steering as well. Two wheels are connected to either side of each cylinder through a pinned bar which allows constant ground contact. Together, these systems allow the rover to easily meet its mobility requirements. A dynamic isotope power system (DIPS), in conjunction with a closed Brayton cycle, supplied the rover with a continuous supply of 8.5 kW. The occupants are all protected from the DIPS system's radiation by a shield of tantalum. The large amount of heat produced by the DIPS and other rover systems is rejected by thermal radiators. The thermal radiators and solar collectors are located on the top of the rear cylinder. The solar collectors are used to recharge batteries for peak power periods. The rover's shell is made of graphite-epoxy coated with multi-layer insulation (MLI). The graphite-epoxy provides strength while the thermally resistant MLI gives protection from the lunar environment. An elastomer separates the two materials to compensate for the thermal mismatch.

  12. Mars Rover Curiosity Traverses of Sand Ripples

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stein, N.; Arvidson, R. E.; Zhou, F.; Heverly, M.; Maimone, M.; Hartman, F.; Bellutta, P.; Iagnemma, K.; Senatore, C.

    2014-12-01

    Martian sand ripples present a challenge for rover mobility, with drives over ripples often characterized by high wheel sinkage and slippage that can lead to incipient embedding. Since landing in Gale Crater, Curiosity has traversed multiple sand ripples, including the transverse aeolian ridge (TAR) straddling Dingo Gap on sols 533 and 535. On sol 672, Curiosity crossed backward over a series of sand ripples before ending its drive after high motor currents initiated visual odometry (VO) processing, which detected 77% slip, well in excess of the imposed 60% slip limit. At the end of the drive, the right front wheel was deeply embedded at the base of a ripple flank with >20 cm sinkage and the rear wheels were near a ripple crest. As Curiosity continues its approach to Mount Sharp it will have to cross multiple ripples, and thus it is important to understand Curiosity's performance on sol 672 and over similar ripples. To this end the sol 672 drive was simulated in ARTEMIS (Adams-Based Rover Terramechanics Interaction Simulator), a software tool consisting of realistic rover mechanical models, a wheel-terrain interaction module for deformable and non-deformable surfaces, and realistic terrain models. ARTEMIS results, Dumont Dunes tests performed in the Mojave Desert using the Scarecrow test rover, and single wheel tests performed at MIT indicate that the high slip encountered on sol 672 likely occurred due to a combination of rover attack angle, ripple geometry, and soil properties. When ripple wavelength approaches vehicle length, the rover can reach orientations in which the leading wheels carry minimal normal loads and the trailing wheels sink deeply, resulting in high slippage and insufficient thrust to propel the rover over ripples. Even on relatively benign (i.e. low tilt) terrains, local morphology can impose high sinkage, thus impeding rover motion. Work is underway to quantify Curiosity's drive performance over various ripple geometries to retrieve soil

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Mars Exploration Rovers navigation results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    D'Amario, Louis A.

    2004-01-01

    The twin Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, were launched on June 10, 2003(dagger), and July 8, 2003, from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Spirit and Opportunity were targeted for landings at Gusev Crater (arrival on January 4, 2004) and Meridiani Planum (arrival on January 25, 2004). The primary navigation challenge was to deliver each spacecraft to the desired atmospheric entry interface point with sufficient accuracy such that each lander would touch down within a specified landing ellipse (about 70 km x 5 km) determined to be safe for landing and also judged to be scientifically interesting. In order to achieve landing within the target ellipse, precise control of the inertial entry flight path angle (FPA) at atmospheric entry was required. The maximum allowable errors in FPA following TCM-5 (trajectory correction maneuver #5) at Entry (E) - 2 days were +/-0.12(deg) (3(sigma)) for Spirit and +/-0.14(deg) (3(sigma)) for Opportunity. Achieving these entry delivery accuracies necessitated significant improvements to the interplanetary avigation system used for MER. These improvements included new processes and software for orbit determination, propulsive maneuver design, and entry, descent, and landing (EDL) trajectory simulation. The actual achieved atmospheric entry accuracies for Spirit and Opportunity significantly exceeded the requirements. At the navigation data cutoff for the TCM-5 final design, the orbit determination FPA knowledge error was +/-0.028(deg) (3(sigma) ) for Spirit and +/-0.035(deg) (3(sigma)) for Opportunity. Because of exceptionally accurate navigation performance, TCM-5 (E - 2 days) and TCM-6 (E - 4 hours) were canceled for both Spirit and Opportunity. The actual landing locations (determined from in-situ Doppler tracking between the MER rovers and the Mars Odyssey orbiter) differed from the target landing points by 10.1 km (downtrack) for Spirit and 24.6 km (downtrack) for Opportunity. The majority of the landing position offsets

  16. Mars Exploration Rovers navigation results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    D'Amario, Louis A.

    2004-01-01

    The twin Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, were launched on June 10, 2003, and July 8, 2003, from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Spirit and Opportunity were targeted for landings at Gusev Crater (arrival on January 4, 2004) and Meridiani Planum (arrival on January 25, 2004). The primary navigation challenge was to deliver each spacecraft to the desired atmospheric entry interface point with sufficient accuracy such that each lander would touch down within a specified landing ellipse (about 70 km x 5 km) determined to be safe for landing and also judged to be scientifically interesting. In order to achieve landing within the target ellipse, precise control of the inertial entry flight path angle (FPA) at atmospheric entry was required. The maximum allowable errors in FPA following TCM-5 (trajectory correction maneuver #5) at Entry (E) -2 days were +/-0.12 deg(3 sigma) for Spirit and +/-0.14 deg(3 sigma) for Opportunity. Achieving these entry delivery accuracies necessitated significant improvements to the interplanetary navigation system used for MER. These improvements included new processes and software for orbit determination, propulsive maneuver design, and entry, descent, and landing (EDL) trajectory simulation. The actual achieved atmospheric entry accuracies for Spirit and Opportunity significantly exceeded the requirements. At the navigation data cutoff for the TCM-5 final design, the orbit determination FPA knowledge error was 0.028 deg(3 sigma) for Spirit and 0.035 deg(3 sigma) for Opportunity. Because of exceptionally accurate navigation performance, TCM-5 (E - 2 days) and TCM-6 (E - 4 hours) were canceled for both Spirit and Opportunity. The actual landing locations (determined from in-situ Doppler tracking between the MER rovers and the Mars Odyssey orbiter) differed from the target landing points by 10.1 km (downtrack) for Spirit and 24.6 km (downtrack) for Opportunity. The majority of the landing position offsets for both landers was

  17. Ground-Based Localization of Mars Rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Trebi-Ollennu, Ashitey

    2006-01-01

    The document discusses a procedure for localizing the Mars rovers in site frame, a locally defined reference frame on the Martian surface. MER onboard position within a site frame is estimated onboard and is based on wheel odometry. Odometry estimation of rover position is only reliable over relatively short distances assuming no wheel slip, sinkage, etc. As the rover traverses, its onboard estimate of position in the current site frame accumulates errors and will need to be corrected on occasions via relocalization on the ground (mission operations). The procedure provides a systematic process for ground operators to localize the rover. The method focuses on analysis of acquired images used to declare a site frame and images acquired post-drive. Target selection is performed using two main steps. In the first step, the user identifies features of interest from the images used to declare the current site. Each of the selected target s position in site frame is recorded. In the second step, post-traverse measurements of the selected features positions are recorded again, this time in rover frame, using images acquired post-traverse. In the third step, we transform the post-traverse target s positions to local level frame. In the fourth step, we compute the delta differences in the pre- and post-traverse target s position. In the fifth step, we analyze the delta differences with techniques that compute their statistics to determine the rover s position in the site frame.

  18. Design of a wheeled articulating land rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stauffer, Larry; Dilorenzo, Mathew; Yandle, Barbara

    1994-01-01

    The WALRUS is a wheeled articulating land rover that will provide Ames Research Center with a reliable, autonomous vehicle for demonstrating and evaluating advanced technologies. The vehicle is one component of the Ames Research Center's on-going Human Exploration Demonstration Project. Ames Research Center requested a system capable of traversing a broad spectrum of surface types and obstacles. In addition, this vehicle must have an autonomous navigation and control system on board and its own source of power. The resulting design is a rover that articulates in two planes of motion to allow for increased mobility and stability. The rover is driven by six conical shaped aluminum wheels, each with an independent, internally coupled motor. Mounted on the rover are two housings and a removable remote control system. In the housings, the motor controller board, tilt sensor, navigation circuitry, and QED board are mounted. Finally, the rover's motors and electronics are powered by thirty C-cell rechargeable batteries, which are located in the rover wheels and recharged by a specially designed battery charger.

  19. VIPER: Virtual Intelligent Planetary Exploration Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Edwards, Laurence; Flueckiger, Lorenzo; Nguyen, Laurent; Washington, Richard

    2001-01-01

    Simulation and visualization of rover behavior are critical capabilities for scientists and rover operators to construct, test, and validate plans for commanding a remote rover. The VIPER system links these capabilities. using a high-fidelity virtual-reality (VR) environment. a kinematically accurate simulator, and a flexible plan executive to allow users to simulate and visualize possible execution outcomes of a plan under development. This work is part of a larger vision of a science-centered rover control environment, where a scientist may inspect and explore the environment via VR tools, specify science goals, and visualize the expected and actual behavior of the remote rover. The VIPER system is constructed from three generic systems, linked together via a minimal amount of customization into the integrated system. The complete system points out the power of combining plan execution, simulation, and visualization for envisioning rover behavior; it also demonstrates the utility of developing generic technologies. which can be combined in novel and useful ways.

  20. 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.

  1. Rover/NERVA-derived near-term nuclear propulsion

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1993-01-01

    FY-92 accomplishments centered on conceptual design and analyses for 25, 50, and 75 K engines with emphasis on the 50 K engine. During the first period of performance, flow and energy balances were prepared for each of these configurations and thrust-to-weight values were estimated. A review of fuel technology and key data from the Rover/NERVA program established a baseline for proven reactor performance and areas of enhancement to meet near-term goals. Studies were performed of the criticality and temperature profiles for probable fuel and moderator loadings for the three engine sizes, with a more detailed analysis of the 50 K size. During the second period of performance, analyses of the 50 K engine continued. A chamber/nozzle contour was selected and heat transfer and fatigue analyses were performed for likely construction materials. Reactor analyses were performed to determine component radiation heating rates, reactor radiation fields, water immersion poisoning requirements, temperature limits for restartability, and a tie-tube thermal analysis. Finally, a brief assessment of key enabling technologies was made, with a view toward identifying development issues and identification of the critical path toward achieving engine qualification within 10 years.

  2. Rover/NERVA-derived near-term nuclear propulsion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    FY-92 accomplishments centered on conceptual design and analyses for 25, 50, and 75 K engines with emphasis on the 50 K engine. During the first period of performance, flow and energy balances were prepared for each of these configurations and thrust-to-weight values were estimated. A review of fuel technology and key data from the Rover/NERVA program established a baseline for proven reactor performance and areas of enhancement to meet near-term goals. Studies were performed of the criticality and temperature profiles for probable fuel and moderator loadings for the three engine sizes, with a more detailed analysis of the 50 K size. During the second period of performance, analyses of the 50 K engine continued. A chamber/nozzle contour was selected and heat transfer and fatigue analyses were performed for likely construction materials. Reactor analyses were performed to determine component radiation heating rates, reactor radiation fields, water immersion poisoning requirements, temperature limits for restartability, and a tie-tube thermal analysis. Finally, a brief assessment of key enabling technologies was made, with a view toward identifying development issues and identification of the critical path toward achieving engine qualification within 10 years.

  3. Contingency Planning for Planetary Rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Dearden, Richard; Meuleau, Nicolas; Ramakrishnan, Sailesh; Smith, David; Washington, Rich; Clancy, Daniel (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    There has been considerable work in AI on planning under uncertainty. But this work generally assumes an extremely simple model of action that does not consider continuous time and resources. These assumptions are not reasonable for a Mars rover, which must cope with uncertainty about the duration of tasks, the power required, the data storage necessary, along with its position and orientation. In this paper, we outline an approach to generating contingency plans when the sources of uncertainty involve continuous quantities such as time and resources. The approach involves first constructing a "seed" plan, and then incrementally adding contingent branches to this plan in order to improve utility. The challenge is to figure out the best places to insert contingency branches. This requires an estimate of how much utility could be gained by building a contingent branch at any given place in the seed plan. Computing this utility exactly is intractable, but we outline an approximation method that back propagates utility distributions through a graph structure similar to that of a plan graph.

  4. The Extended Mission Rover (EMR)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    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.

  5. 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.

  6. Viking and Mars Rover exobiology

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schwartz, D. E.; Mancinelli, Rocco L.; Ohara, B. J.

    1989-01-01

    Other than Earth, Mars is the planet generating the greatest interest among those researching and contemplating the origin and distribution of life throughout the universe. The similarity of the early environments of Earth and Mars, and the biological evolution on early Earth provides the motivation to seriously consider the possibility of a primordial Martian biosphere. In 1975 the Viking project launched two unmanned spacecraft to Mars with the intent of finding evidence of the existence of present or past life on this planet. Three Viking Biology experiments were employed: the Labeled Release experiment, the Gas Exchange Experiment, and the Pyrolytic Release experiment. Each of these three experiments tested for microbial existence and utilization of a substrate by examining the gases evolved from specific chemical reactions. Although the results of these experiments were inconclusive, they inferred that there are no traces of extant life on Mars. However, the experiments did not specifically look for indication of extinct life. Therefore, most of the exobiologic strategies and experiments suggested for the Mars Rover Sample Return Mission involve searching for signature of extinct life. The most significant biological signatures and chemical traces to detect include: isotopic and chemical signatures of metabolic activity, anomalous concentrations of certain metals, trace and microfossils, organically preserved materials, carbonates, nitrates, and evaporites.

  7. Chimp as Viewed by Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    This anaglyph view of Chimp, south southwest of the lander, was produced by combining two right eye frames taken from different viewing angles by Sojourner Rover. One of the right eye frames was distorted using Photoshop to approximate the projection of the left eye view (without this, the stereo pair is painful to view). The left view is assigned to the red color plane and the right view to the green and blue color planes (cyan), to produce a stereo anaglyph mosaic. This mosaic can be viewed in 3-D on your computer monitor or in color print form by wearing red-blue 3-D glasses.

    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).

    Click below to see the left and right views individually. [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Left [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Right

  8. LED minilidar for Mars rover

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shiina, Tatsuo; Yamada, Sonoko; Senshu, Hiroki; Otobe, Naohito; Hashimoto, George; Kawabata, Yasuhiro

    2016-10-01

    A mini-lidar to observe the activity of Martian atmosphere is developed. The 10cm-cube LED mini-lidar was designed to be onboard a Mars rover. The light source of the mini-lidar is a high powered LED of 385nm. LED was adopted as light source because of its toughness against circumference change and physical shock for launch. The pulsed power and the pulse repetition frequency of LED beam were designed as 0.75W (=7.5nJ/10ns) and 500kHz, respectively. Lidar echoes were caught by the specially designed Cassegrain telescope, which has the shorter telescope tube than the usual to meet the 10cm-cube size limit. The high-speed photon counter was developed to pursue to the pulse repetition frequency of the LED light. The measurement range is no shorter than 30m depending back-ground condition. Its spatial resolution was improved as 0.15m (=1ns) by this photon counter. The demonstrative experiment was conducted at large wind tunnel facility of Japan Meteorological Agency. The measurement target was smoke of glycerin particles. The smoke was flowed in the wind tunnel with wind speed of 0 - 5m. Smoke diffusion and its propagation due to the wind flow were observed by the LED mini-lidar. This result suggests that the developed lidar can pursue the structure and the motion of dust devil of >2m.

  9. Rover Touchdown on Martian Surface

    NASA Image and Video Library

    1997-07-06

    This picture taken by the IMP (Imager for Mars Pathfinder) aboard the Mars Pathfinder spacecraft depicts the rover Sojourner's position after driving onto the Martian surface. Sojourner has become the first autonomous robot ever to traverse the surface of Mars. This image reflects the success of Pathfinder's principle objective -- to place a payload on Mars in a safe, operational configuration. The primary mission of Sojourner, scheduled to last seven days, will be to use its Alpha Proton X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) instrument to determine the elements that make up the rocks and soil on Mars. A full study using the APXS takes approximately ten hours, and can measure all elements except hydrogen at any time of the Martian day or night. The APXS will conduct its studies by bombarding rocks and soil samples with alpha particle radiation -- charged particles equivalent to the nucleus of a helium atom, consisting of two protons and two neutrons. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA00623

  10. Chimp as Viewed by Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    This anaglyph view of Chimp, south southwest of the lander, was produced by combining two right eye frames taken from different viewing angles by Sojourner Rover. One of the right eye frames was distorted using Photoshop to approximate the projection of the left eye view (without this, the stereo pair is painful to view). The left view is assigned to the red color plane and the right view to the green and blue color planes (cyan), to produce a stereo anaglyph mosaic. This mosaic can be viewed in 3-D on your computer monitor or in color print form by wearing red-blue 3-D glasses.

    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).

    Click below to see the left and right views individually. [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Left [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Right

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. The White Cliffs of "Rover"

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-06-15

    This image from NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter is reminiscent of the rugged and open terrain of a stark shore-line, perhaps of an island nation, such as the British Isles. A close-up in enhanced color produces a striking effect, giving the impression of a cloud-covered cliff edge with foamy waves crashing against it. The reality is that the surface of Mars is much dryer than our imaginations might want to suggest. This is only a tiny part of a much larger structure; an inverted crater -- a crater that has been infilled by material that is more resistant to erosion than the rocks around it -- surrounded by bluish basaltic dunes. The edge of these elevated light-toned deposits are degraded, irregular and cliff-forming. Dunes visible below the cliff, give the impression of an ocean surface, complete with foam capped waves crashing against the "shore line," demonstrating the abstract similarity between the nature of a turbulent ocean and a Martian dune field. Meridiani Planum has an overall smooth terrain, which starkly contrasts with the more common boulder- and crater-laden landscapes observed over much of the rest of Mars. This makes it relatively younger in character than many other areas of the planet. Meridiani is one of the Mars Exploration Rover landing sites, and, is known for its layers and sediments. The orbital detection of hematite was one of the main reasons for sending Opportunity to this area. Salt-bearing rocks -- also called sulphates -- were observed in the very first image from Opportunity, so perhaps it's apt that this HiRISE image reminds us of the turmoil and rugged beauty of a cliff-face, a coastline, being worn down by a relentless sea. https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21760

  15. Overview of the Mars Exploration Rover Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adler, M.

    2002-12-01

    The Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Project is an ambitious mission to land two highly capable rovers at different sites in the equatorial region of Mars. The two vehicles are launched separately in May through July of 2003. Mars surface operations begin on January 4, 2004 with the first landing, followed by the second landing three weeks later on January 25. The useful surface lifetime of each rover will be at least 90 sols. 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. The two MER spacecraft are planned to be identical. The rovers are landed using the Mars Pathfinder approach of a heatshield and parachute to slow the vehicle relative to the atmosphere, solid rockets to slow the lander near the surface, and airbags to cushion the surface impacts. During entry, descent, and landing, the vehicles will transmit coded tones directly to Earth, and in the terminal descent phase will also transmit telemetry to the MGS orbiter to indicate progress through the critical events. Once the lander rolls to a stop, a tetrahedral structure opens to right the lander and to reveal the folded rover, which then deploys and later by command will roll off of the lander to begin its exploration. Each six-wheeled rover carries a suite of instruments to collect contextual information about the landing site using visible and thermal infrared remote sensing, and to collect in situ information on the composition, mineralogy, and texture of selected Martian soils and rocks using an arm-mounted microscopic imager, rock abrasion tool, and spectrometers. During their surface missions, the rovers will communicate with Earth directly through the Deep Space Network as well as indirectly through the Odyssey and MGS orbiters. The solar-powered rovers will be commanded in the morning of each Sol, with the

  16. Simulating Operation of a Planetary Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Jain, Abhinandan; Yen, Jeng; Sohl, Garrett; Steele, Robert; Balaram, J.

    2004-01-01

    Simulating Operation of a Planetary Rover Rover Analysis, Modeling, and Simulations (ROAMS) is a computer program that simulates the operation of a robotic vehicle (rover) engaged in exploration of a remote planet. ROAMS is a roverspecific extension of the DARTS and Dshell programs, described in prior NASA Tech Briefs articles, which afford capabilities for mathematical modeling of the dynamics of a spacecraft as a whole and of its instruments, actuators, and other subsystems. ROAMS incorporates mathematical models of kinematics and dynamics of rover mechanical subsystems, sensors, interactions with terrain, solar panels and batteries, and onboard navigation and locomotion-control software. ROAMS provides a modular simulation framework that can be used for analysis, design, development, testing, and operation of rovers. ROAMS can be used alone for system performance and trade studies. Alternatively, ROAMS can be used in an operator-in-the-loop or flight-software closed-loop environment. ROAMS can also be embedded within other software for use in analysis and development of algorithms, or for Monte Carlo studies, using a variety of terrain models, to generate performance statistics. Moreover, taking advantage of realtime features of the underlying DARTS/Dshell simulation software, ROAMS can also be used for real-time simulations.

  17. FIDO Rover Retracted Arm and Camera

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    The Field Integrated Design and Operations (FIDO) rover extends the large mast that carries its panoramic camera. The FIDO is being used in ongoing NASA field tests to simulate driving conditions on Mars. FIDO 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Terrain Adaptive Navigation for Mars Rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Matthies, Larry H.; Helmick, Daniel M.; Angelova, Anelia; Livianu, Matthew

    2007-01-01

    A navigation system for Mars rovers in very rough terrain has been designed, implemented, and tested on a research rover in Mars analog terrain. This navigation system consists of several technologies that are integrated to increase the capabilities compared to current rover navigation algorithms. These technologies include: goodness maps and terrain triage, terrain classification, remote slip prediction, path planning, high-fidelity traversability analysis (HFTA), and slip-compensated path following. The focus of this paper is not on the component technologies, but rather on the integration of these components. Results from the onboard integration of several of the key technologies described here are shown. Additionally, the results from independent demonstrations of several of these technologies are shown. Future work will include the demonstration of the entire integrated system described here.

  2. 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.

  3. Tracking Positions and Attitudes of Mars Rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ali, Khaled; vanelli, Charles; Biesiadecki, Jeffrey; Martin, Alejandro San; Maimone, Mark; Cheng, Yang; Alexander, James

    2006-01-01

    The Surface Attitude Position and Pointing (SAPP) software, which runs on computers aboard the Mars Exploration Rovers, tracks the positions and attitudes of the rovers on the surface of Mars. Each rover acquires data on attitude from a combination of accelerometer readings and images of the Sun acquired autonomously, using a pointable camera to search the sky for the Sun. Depending on the nature of movement commanded remotely by operators on Earth, the software propagates attitude and position by use of either (1) accelerometer and gyroscope readings or (2) gyroscope readings and wheel odometry. Where necessary, visual odometry is performed on images to fine-tune the position updates, particularly on high-wheel-slip terrain. The attitude data are used by other software and ground-based personnel for pointing a high-gain antenna, planning and execution of driving, and positioning and aiming scientific instruments.

  4. Terrain Adaptive Navigation for Mars Rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Matthies, Larry H.; Helmick, Daniel M.; Angelova, Anelia; Livianu, Matthew

    2007-01-01

    A navigation system for Mars rovers in very rough terrain has been designed, implemented, and tested on a research rover in Mars analog terrain. This navigation system consists of several technologies that are integrated to increase the capabilities compared to current rover navigation algorithms. These technologies include: goodness maps and terrain triage, terrain classification, remote slip prediction, path planning, high-fidelity traversability analysis (HFTA), and slip-compensated path following. The focus of this paper is not on the component technologies, but rather on the integration of these components. Results from the onboard integration of several of the key technologies described here are shown. Additionally, the results from independent demonstrations of several of these technologies are shown. Future work will include the demonstration of the entire integrated system described here.

  5. Activity Planning for the Mars Exploration Rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bresina, John L.; Jonsson, Ari K.; Morris, Paul H.; Rajan, Kanna

    2004-01-01

    Operating the Mars Exploration Rovers is a challenging, time-pressured task. Each day, the operations team must generate a new plan describing the rover activities for the next day. These plans must abide by resource limitations, safety rules, and temporal constraints. The objective is to achieve as much science as possible, choosing from a set of observation requests that oversubscribe rover resources. In order to accomplish this objective, given the short amount of planning time available, the MAPGEN (Mixed-initiative Activity Plan GENerator) system was made a mission-critical part of the ground operations system. MAPGEN is a mixed-initiative system that employs automated constraint-based planning, scheduling, and temporal reasoning to assist operations staff in generating the daily activity plans. This paper describes the adaptation of constraint-based planning and temporal reasoning to a mixed-initiative setting and the key technical solutions developed for the mission deployment of MAPGEN.

  6. Decision-Theoretic Control of Planetary Rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Zilberstein, Shlomo; Washington, Richard; Bernstein, Daniel S.; Mouaddib, Abdel-Illah; Morris, Robert (Technical Monitor)

    2003-01-01

    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 describe two decision-theoretic approaches to maximize the productivity of planetary rovers: one based on adaptive planning and the other on hierarchical reinforcement learning. Both approaches map the problem into a Markov decision problem and attempt to solve a large part of the problem off-line, exploiting the structure of the plan and independence between plan components. We examine the advantages and limitations of these techniques and their scalability.

  7. The NASA Langley Mars Tumbleweed Rover Prototype

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Antol, Jeffrey; Chattin, Richard L.; Copeland, Benjamin M.; Krizann, Shawn A.

    2005-01-01

    Mars Tumbleweed is a concept for an autonomous rover that would achieve mobility through use of the natural winds on Mars. The wind-blown nature of this vehicle make it an ideal platform for conducting random surveys of the surface, scouting for signs of past or present life as well as examining the potential habitability of sites for future human exploration. NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC) has been studying the dynamics, aerodynamics, and mission concepts of Tumbleweed rovers and has recently developed a prototype Mars Tumbleweed Rover for demonstrating mission concepts and science measurement techniques. This paper will provide an overview of the prototype design, instrumentation to be accommodated, preliminary test results, and plans for future development and testing of the vehicle.

  8. Martian Terrain, Unfurled Rover Ramps & Deflated Airbags

    NASA Image and Video Library

    1997-07-05

    The Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP) took this image of surrounding terrain in the mid-morning on Mars (2:30 PM Pacific Daylight Time) earlier today. Part of the small rover, Sojourner, is visible on the left side of the picture. The tan cylinder to the right of the rover is one of two rolled-up ramps by which the rover will descend to the ground. The white, billowy material in the center of the picture is part of the airbag system. Many rocks of different shapes and sizes are visible between the lander and the horizon. Two hills are visible on the horizon. The notch on the left side of the leftmost conical hill is an artifact of the processing of this picture. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA00613

  9. Planetary Rover local navigation and hazard avoidance

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miller, David P.; Wilcox, Brian H.; Varsi, Giulio

    1989-01-01

    A Planetary Rover will have to be able to navigate through its local environment autonomously, due to communication delays. This implies that the vehicle must be able to sense its environment, plan a course through that environment, and react appropriately to unexpected situations as they appear. All this must be done while guiding the vehicle toward the goals that have been given to it from its operators on the earth. This paper describes research at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory which concentrates on the sensing, perception, planning and execution monitoring that must be carried out by the rover to ensure that a safe and efficient path is found by the rover, and that that path is performed correctly.

  10. 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.

  11. Exomars 2018 Rover Pasteur Payload Sample Analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Debus, Andre; Bacher, M.; Ball, A.; Barcos, O.; Bethge, B.; Gaubert, F.; Haldemann, A.; Kminek, G.; Lindner, R.; Pacros, A.; Rohr, T.; Trautner, R.; Vago, J.

    The ExoMars programme is a joint ESA-NASA program having exobiology as one of the key science objectives. It is divided into 2 missions: the first mission is ESA-led with an ESA orbiter and an ESA Entry, Descent and Landing (EDL) demonstrator, launched in 2016 by NASA, and the second mission is NASA-led, launched in 2018 by NASA including an ESA rover and a NASA rover both deployed by a single NASA EDL system. For ESA, the ExoMars programme will demonstrate key flight and in situ enabling technologies in support of the European ambitions for future exploration missions, as outlined in the Aurora Declaration. The ExoMars 2018 ESA Rover will carry a comprehensive and coherent suite of analytical instruments dedicated to exobiology and geology research: the Pasteur Payload (PPL). This payload includes a selection of complementary instruments, having the following goals: to search for signs of past and present life on Mars and to investigate the water/geochemical environment as a function of depth in the shallow subsurface. The ExoMars Rover will travel several kilometres searching for sites warranting further investigation. The Rover includes a drill and a Sample Preparation and Distribution System which will be used to collect and analyse samples from within outcrops and from the subsurface. The Rover systems and instruments, in particular those located inside the Analytical Laboratory Drawer must meet many stringent requirements to be compatible with exobiologic investigations: the samples must be maintained in a cold and uncontaminated environment, requiring sterile and ultraclean preparation of the instruments, to preserve volatile materials and to avoid false positive results. The value of the coordinated observations suggests that a significant return on investment is to be expected from this complex development. We will present the challenges facing the ExoMars PPL, and the plans for sending a robust exobiology laboratory to Mars in 2018.

  12. The selection and infusion of autonomy for Mars rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Woerner, D. F.

    2002-01-01

    This paper describes the process MSL in using to infuse autonomy into a rover, and describes attributes, and evaluation criteria and their use pertinent to autonomy technologies for Mars rovers in general.

  13. Mars Exploration Rover surface operations: driving opportunity at Meridiani Planum

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Biesiadecki, Jeffrey J.; Baumgartner, E.; Bonitz, R.; Cooper, B.; Hartman, F.; Leger, C.; Maimone, M.; Maxwell, S.; Trebi-Ollenu, A.; Wright, J.

    2005-01-01

    This paper will detail the experience of driving Opportunity through this alien landscape from the point of view of the Rover Planners, the people who tell the rover where to drive and how to use its robotic arm.

  14. Biomimetic Planetary Rovers for Ocean Exploration in Space

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Babu Mannam, N. P.; Krishnankutty, P.

    2016-10-01

    Conventional planetary rover designs are wheel operated on firm ground surfaces and proved successful in the exploration of Mars environment. In order to explore liquid medium on Jupiter's Europa, biomimetic planetary rovers are discussed in the current research.

  15. Rover Tracks in Northward View Along West Rim of Endeavour

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2014-09-09

    This scene from the Pancam on NASA Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity looks back toward part of the west rim of Endeavour Crater that the rover drove along, heading southward, during the summer of 2014.

  16. Rover Tracks in Stereo View Along Rim of Endeavour Crater

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2014-09-09

    This stereo 3D scene from the Pancam on NASA Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity looks back toward part of the west rim of Endeavour Crater that the rover drove along, heading southward, during the summer of 2014.

  17. Cumberland Target for Drilling by Curiosity Mars Rover

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2013-05-09

    Cumberland has been selected as the second target for drilling by NASA Mars rover Curiosity. The rover has the capability to collect powdered material from inside the target rock and analyze that powder with laboratory instruments.

  18. Curiosity Mars Rover Drilling Into Its Second Rock

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2013-06-05

    This frame from an animation from NASA Mars rover Curiosity shows the rover drilling into rock target Cumberland. The drilling was performed during the 279th Martian day, or sol, of the Curiosity work on Mars May 19, 2013.

  19. Mars Exploration Rover surface operations: driving opportunity at Meridiani Planum

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Biesiadecki, Jeffrey J.; Baumgartner, E.; Bonitz, R.; Cooper, B.; Hartman, F.; Leger, C.; Maimone, M.; Maxwell, S.; Trebi-Ollenu, A.; Wright, J.

    2005-01-01

    This paper will detail the experience of driving Opportunity through this alien landscape from the point of view of the Rover Planners, the people who tell the rover where to drive and how to use its robotic arm.

  20. Mast Camera and Its Calibration Target on Curiosity Rover

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2013-03-18

    This set of images illustrates the twin cameras of the Mastcam instrument on NASA Curiosity Mars rover upper left, the Mastcam calibration target lower center, and the locations of the cameras and target on the rover.

  1. Preparing for Solar and Thermal Testing of Curiosity Mars Rover

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2011-03-18

    This image shows preparation for March 2011 testing of the Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity, in a space-simulation chamber; the rover will go through operational sequences in environmental conditions similar to what it will experience on Mars.

  2. NASA Lands Car-sized Rover on Martian Surface

    NASA Image and Video Library

    NASA's most advanced Mars rover Curiosity has landed on the Red Planet. The one-ton rover, hanging by ropes from a rocket backpack, touched down onto Mars Sunday to end a 36-week flight and begin a...

  3. Within Rover Reach at Mars Target Area Alexander Hills

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2014-11-25

    This view from ASA Curiosity Mars rover shows a swath of bedrock called Alexander Hills, which the rover approached for close-up inspection of selected targets. It is a mosaic of six frames taken on Nov. 23, 2014.

  4. The selection and infusion of autonomy for Mars rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Woerner, D. F.

    2002-01-01

    This paper describes the process MSL in using to infuse autonomy into a rover, and describes attributes, and evaluation criteria and their use pertinent to autonomy technologies for Mars rovers in general.

  5. Rover's Eye View of Three-Year Trek on Mars

    NASA Image and Video Library

    During the three-year trek of NASA's Mars Rover Opportunity from Victoria crater to Endeavour crater, rover planners captured a horizon photograph at the end of each drive. 309 images taken during ...

  6. 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.

  7. Lunar rovers and local positioning system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Avery, James; Su, Renjeng

    1991-01-01

    Telerobotic rovers equipped with adequate actuators and sensors are clearly necessary for extraterrestrial construction. They will be employed as substitutes for humans, to perform jobs like surveying, sensing, signaling, manipulating, and the handling of small materials. Important design criteria for these rovers include versatility and robustness. They must be easily programmed and reprogrammed to perform a wide variety of different functions, and they must be robust so that construction work will not be jeopardized by parts failures. The key qualities and functions necessary for these rovers to achieve the required versatility and robustness are modularity, redundancy, and coordination. Three robotic rovers are being built by CSC as a test bed to implement the concepts of modularity and coordination. The specific goal of the design and construction of these robots is to demonstrate the software modularity and multirobot control algorithms required for the physical manipulation of constructible elements. Each rover consists of a transporter platform, bus manager, simple manipulator, and positioning receivers. These robots will be controlled from a central control console via a radio-frequency local area network (LAN). To date, one prototype transporter platform frame was built with batteries, motors, a prototype single-motor controller, and two prototype internal LAN boards. Software modules were developed in C language for monitor functions, i/o, and parallel port usage in each computer board. Also completed are the fabrication of half of the required number of computer boards, the procurement of 19.2 Kbaud RF modems for inter-robot communications, and the simulation of processing requirements for positioning receivers. In addition to the robotic platform, the fabrication of a local positioning system based on infrared signals is nearly completed. This positioning system will make the rovers into a moving reference system capable of performing site surveys. In

  8. 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.

  9. Super Rover's X-Ray Vision

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2004-01-01

    Located on the arm of the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit, the alpha particle X-ray spectrometer uses alpha particles and X-rays to determine the chemical make up of martian rocks and soils. This type of information helps scientists understand how the planet's crust was weathered and formed. Mars Exploration Rover team members used this palm-sized instrument on a small patch of martian soil just after Spirit rolled off the Columbia Memorial Station. They found that although the soil was very similar to what they had seen previously on Mars, the instrument's improved sensitivity allowed them to see new elements and subtle differences not detected before.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Shark as viewed by Sojourner Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    This close-up image of Shark, in the Bookshelf at the back of the Rock Garden, was taken by Sojourner Rover on Sol 75. Also in the image are Half Dome (right) and Desert Princess (lower right). At the bottom left, a thin 'crusty' soil layer has been disturbed by the rover wheels.

    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).

  13. Mars 2020 Rover SHERLOC Calibration Target

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Graff, Trevor; Fries, Marc; Burton, Aaron; Ross, Amy; Larson, Kristine; Garrison, Dan; Calaway, Mike; Tran, Vinh; Bhartia, Roh; Beegle, Luther

    2016-01-01

    The Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman & Luminescence for Organics & Chemicals (SHERLOC) instrument is a deep ultraviolet (UV) Raman Fluorescence instrument selected as part of the Mars 2020 rover instrument suite. SHERLOC will be mounted on the rover arm and its primary role is to identify carbonaceous species in martian samples. The SHERLOC instrument requires a calibration target which is being designed and fabricated at JSC as part of our continued science participation in Mars robotic missions. The SHERLOC calibration target will address a wide range of NASA goals to include basic science of interest to both the Science Mission Directorate and Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate.

  14. Shark as viewed by Sojourner Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    This close-up image of Shark, in the Bookshelf at the back of the Rock Garden, was taken by Sojourner Rover on Sol 75. Also in the image are Half Dome (right) and Desert Princess (lower right). At the bottom left, a thin 'crusty' soil layer has been disturbed by the rover wheels.

    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).

  15. NASA Mars Rover Curiosity at JPL, Side View

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2011-04-06

    The rover for NASA Mars Science Laboratory mission, named Curiosity, is about 3 meters 10 feet long, not counting the additional length that the rover arm can be extended forward. The front of the rover is on the left in this side view.

  16. Artemis Simulation of Curiosity Rover Traverse Across Dingo Gap

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stein, N. T.; Arvidson, R. E.; Bellutta, P.; Heverly, M.

    2014-07-01

    Artemis was employed to model the Curiosity Rover traverse of Dingo Gap on Sols 533 and 535. The simulated performance of the Opportunity Rover over Dingo Gap is compared with that of Curiosity and results are compared with rover field tests.

  17. Magnetically Attached Multifunction Maintenance Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bar-Cohen, Yoseph; Joffe, Benjamin

    2005-01-01

    A versatile mobile telerobot, denoted the magnetically attached multifunction maintenance rover (MAGMER), has been proposed for use in the inspection and maintenance of the surfaces of ships, tanks containing petrochemicals, and other large ferromagnetic structures. As its name suggests, this robot would utilize magnetic attraction to adhere to a structure. As it moved along the surface of the structure, the MAGMER would perform tasks that could include close-up visual inspection by use of video cameras, various sensors, and/or removal of paint by water-jet blasting, laser heating, or induction heating. The water-jet nozzles would be mounted coaxially within compressed-air-powered venturi nozzles that would collect the paint debris dislodged by the jets. The MAGMER would be deployed, powered, and controlled from a truck, to which it would be connected by hoses for water, compressed air, and collection of debris and by cables for electric power and communication (see Figure 1). The operation of the MAGMER on a typical large structure would necessitate the use of long cables and hoses, which can be heavy. To reduce the load of the hoses and cables on the MAGMER and thereby ensure its ability to adhere to vertical and overhanging surfaces, the hoses and cables would be paid out through telescopic booms that would be parts of a MAGMER support system. The MAGMER would move by use of four motorized, steerable wheels, each of which would be mounted in an assembly that would include permanent magnets and four pole pieces (see Figure 2). The wheels would protrude from between the pole pieces by only about 3 mm, so that the gap between the pole pieces and the ferromagnetic surface would be just large enough to permit motion along the surface but not so large as to reduce the magnetic attraction excessively. In addition to the wheel assemblies, the MAGMER would include magnetic adherence enhancement fixtures, which would comprise arrays of permanent magnets and pole pieces

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Test Scooping for Mars Rover Curiosity

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-10-04

    This image shows a test using an engineering model of the soil scoop for NASA Mars rover Curiosity. The scoop dips to about 1.4 inches 3.5 centimeters deep. This test took place at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena , Calif., in 2011.

  1. Mars Science Laboratory Rover Actuator Thermal Design

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Novak, Keith S.; Liu, Yuanming; Lee, Chern-Jiin; Hendricks, Steven

    2010-01-01

    NASA will launch a 900 kg rover, part of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission, to Mars in October of 2011. The MSL rover is scheduled to land on Mars in August of 2012. The rover employs 31, electric-motor driven actuators to perform a variety of engineering and science functions including: mobility, camera pointing, telecommunications antenna steering, soil and rock sample acquisition and sample processing. This paper describes the MSL rover actuator thermal design. The actuators have stainless steel housings and planetary gearboxes that are lubricated with a "wet" lubricant. The lubricant viscosity increases with decreasing temperature. Warm-up heaters are required to bring the actuators up to temperature (above -55 C) prior to use in the cold wintertime environment of Mars (when ambient atmosphere temperatures are as cold as -113 C). Analytical thermal models of all 31 MSL actuators have been developed. The actuators have been analyzed and warm-up heaters have been designed to improve actuator performance in cold environments. Thermal hardware for the actuators has been specified, procured and installed. This paper presents actuator thermal analysis predicts, and describes the actuator thermal hardware and its operation. In addition, warm-up heater testing and thermal model correlation efforts for the Remote Sensing Mast (RSM) elevation actuator are discussed.

  2. The Curiosity Mars Rover's Fault Protection Engine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Benowitz, Ed

    2014-01-01

    The Curiosity Rover, currently operating on Mars, contains flight software onboard to autonomously handle aspects of system fault protection. Over 1000 monitors and 39 responses are present in the flight software. Orchestrating these behaviors is the flight software's fault protection engine. In this paper, we discuss the engine's design, responsibilities, and present some lessons learned for future missions.

  3. Manipulator control for rover planetary exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cameron, Jonathan M.; Tunstel, Edward; Nguyen, Tam; Cooper, Brian K.

    1992-11-01

    An anticipated goal of Mars surface exploration missions will be to survey and sample surface rock formations which appear scientifically interesting. In such a mission, a planetary rover would navigate close to a selected sampling site and the remote operator would use a manipulator mounted on the rover to perform a sampling operation. Techniques for accomplishing the necessary manipulation for the sampling components of such a mission have been developed and are presented. We discuss the implementation of a system for controlling a seven (7) degree of freedom Puma manipulator, equipped with a special rock gripper mounted on a planetary rover prototype, intended for the purpose of performing the sampling operation. Control is achieved by remote teleoperation. This paper discusses the real-time force control and supervisory control aspects of the rover manipulation system. Integration of the Puma manipulator with the existing distributed computer architecture is also discussed. The work described is a contribution toward achieving the coordinated manipulation and mobility necessary for a Mars sample acquisition and return scenario.

  4. Mars Science Laboratory Rover Mobility Bushing Development

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Riggs, Benjamin

    2008-01-01

    NASA s Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Project will send a six-wheeled rover to Mars in 2009. The rover will carry a scientific payload designed to search for organic molecules on the Martian surface during its primary mission. This paper describes the development and testing of a bonded film lubricated bushing system to be used in the mobility system of the rover. The MSL Rover Mobility System contains several pivots that are tightly constrained with respect to mass and volume. These pivots are also exposed to relatively low temperatures (-135 C) during operation. The combination of these constraints led the mobility team to consider the use of solid film lubricated metallic bushings and dry running polymeric bushings in several flight pivot applications. A test program was developed to mitigate the risk associated with using these materials in critical pivots on the MSL vehicle. The program was designed to characterize bushing friction and wear performance over the expected operational temperature range (-135 C to +70 C). Seven different bushing material / lubricant combinations were evaluated to aid in the selection of the final flight pivot bushing material / lubricant combination.

  5. Mars Rover Curiosity Arm Held High

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2011-06-13

    This photograph of the NASA Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity, was taken during testing on June 3, 2011. The turret at the end of Curiosity robotic arm holds five devices. In this view, the drill is at the six oclock position.

  6. 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.

  7. Revised Landing Target for Mars Rover Curiosity

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-06-11

    This image shows changes in the target landing area for Curiosity, NASA Mars Science Laboratory rover. The larger ellipse for the target area has been revised to the smaller ellipse centered nearer to the foot of Mount Sharp, inside Gale Crater.

  8. Where Boron? Mars Rover Detects It

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2016-12-13

    This map shows the route driven by NASA's Curiosity Mars rover (blue line) and locations where the rover's Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) instrument detected the element boron (dots, colored by abundance of boron according to the key at right). The main map shows the traverse from landing day (Sol 0) in August 2012 to the rover's location in September 2016, with boron detections through September 2015. The inset at upper left shows a magnified version of the most recent portion of that traverse, with boron detections during that portion. Overlapping dots represent cases when boron was detected in multiple ChemCam observation points in the same target and non-overlapping dots represent cases where two different targets in the same location have boron. Most of the mission's detections of boron have been made in the most recent seven months (about 200 sols) of the rover's uphill traverse. The base image for the map is from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. North is up. The scale bar at lower right represents one kilometer (0.62 mile). http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21150

  9. Mars Science Laboratory Rover Taking Shape

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2008-11-19

    This image taken in August 2008 in a clean room at NASA JPL, Pasadena, Calif., shows NASA next Mars rover, the Mars Science Laboratory, in the course of its assembly, before additions of its arm, mast, laboratory instruments and other equipment.

  10. The Curiosity Mars Rover's Fault Protection Engine

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Benowitz, Ed

    2014-01-01

    The Curiosity Rover, currently operating on Mars, contains flight software onboard to autonomously handle aspects of system fault protection. Over 1000 monitors and 39 responses are present in the flight software. Orchestrating these behaviors is the flight software's fault protection engine. In this paper, we discuss the engine's design, responsibilities, and present some lessons learned for future missions.

  11. Comparative Field Tests of Pressurised Rover Prototypes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mann, G. A.; Wood, N. B.; Clarke, J. D.; Piechochinski, S.; Bamsey, M.; Laing, J. H.

    The conceptual designs, interior layouts and operational performances of three pressurised rover prototypes - Aonia, ARES and Everest - were field tested during a recent simulation at the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah. A human factors experiment, in which the same crew of three executed the same simulated science mission in each of the three vehicles, yielded comparative data on the capacity of each vehicle to safely and comfortably carry explorers away from the main base, enter and exit the vehicle in spacesuits, perform science tasks in the field, and manage geological and biological samples. As well as offering recommendations for design improvements for specific vehicles, the results suggest that a conventional Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) would not be suitable for analog field work; that a pressurised docking tunnel to the main habitat is essential; that better provisions for spacesuit storage are required; and that a crew consisting of one driver/navigator and two field science crew specialists may be optimal. From a field operations viewpoint, a recurring conflict between rover and habitat crews at the time of return to the habitat was observed. An analysis of these incidents leads to proposed refinements of operational protocols, specific crew training for rover returns and again points to the need for a pressurised docking tunnel. Sound field testing, circulating of results, and building the lessons learned into new vehicles is advocated as a way of producing ever higher fidelity rover analogues.

  12. Structural Design Challenges for Mars Rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schenker, Paul; Hickey, Gregory S.

    1997-01-01

    On July 4, 1997 the Pathfinder Mission Successfully began a new era of robotic exploration of Mars. The primary scientific payload of the Pathfinder Lander is the Sojourner Truth Mars Rover, an autonomous robotic vehicle, which is exploring and conducting scientific measurements on the Mars surface.

  13. Software for Displaying Data from Planetary Rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Powell, Mark; Backers, Paul; Norris, Jeffrey; Vona, Marsette; Steinke, Robert

    2003-01-01

    Science Activity Planner (SAP) DownlinkBrowser is a computer program that assists in the visualization of processed telemetric data [principally images, image cubes (that is, multispectral images), and spectra] that have been transmitted to Earth from exploratory robotic vehicles (rovers) on remote planets. It is undergoing adaptation to (1) the Field Integrated Design and Operations (FIDO) rover (a prototype Mars-exploration rover operated on Earth as a test bed) and (2) the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission. This program has evolved from its predecessor - the Web Interface for Telescience (WITS) software - and surpasses WITS in the processing, organization, and plotting of data. SAP DownlinkBrowser creates Extensible Markup Language (XML) files that organize data files, on the basis of content, into a sortable, searchable product database, without the overhead of a relational database. The data-display components of SAP DownlinkBrowser (descriptively named ImageView, 3DView, OrbitalView, PanoramaView, ImageCubeView, and SpectrumView) are designed to run in a memory footprint of at least 256MB on computers that utilize the Windows, Linux, and Solaris operating systems.

  14. Mars Science Laboratory Rover Actuator Thermal Design

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Novak, Keith S.; Liu, Yuanming; Lee, Chern-Jiin; Hendricks, Steven

    2010-01-01

    NASA will launch a 900 kg rover, part of the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission, to Mars in October of 2011. The MSL rover is scheduled to land on Mars in August of 2012. The rover employs 31, electric-motor driven actuators to perform a variety of engineering and science functions including: mobility, camera pointing, telecommunications antenna steering, soil and rock sample acquisition and sample processing. This paper describes the MSL rover actuator thermal design. The actuators have stainless steel housings and planetary gearboxes that are lubricated with a "wet" lubricant. The lubricant viscosity increases with decreasing temperature. Warm-up heaters are required to bring the actuators up to temperature (above -55 C) prior to use in the cold wintertime environment of Mars (when ambient atmosphere temperatures are as cold as -113 C). Analytical thermal models of all 31 MSL actuators have been developed. The actuators have been analyzed and warm-up heaters have been designed to improve actuator performance in cold environments. Thermal hardware for the actuators has been specified, procured and installed. This paper presents actuator thermal analysis predicts, and describes the actuator thermal hardware and its operation. In addition, warm-up heater testing and thermal model correlation efforts for the Remote Sensing Mast (RSM) elevation actuator are discussed.

  15. ROVER: A prototype active vision system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coombs, David J.; Marsh, Brian D.

    1987-08-01

    The Roving Eyes project is an experiment in active vision. We present the design and implementation of a prototype that tracks colored balls in images from an on-line charge coupled device (CCD) camera. Rover is designed to keep up with its rapidly changing environment by handling best and average case conditions and ignoring the worst case. This allows Rover's techniques to be less sophisticated and consequently faster. Each of Rover's major functional units is relatively isolated from the others, and an executive which knows all the functional units directs the computation by deciding which jobs would be most effective to run. This organization is realized with a priority queue of jobs and their arguments. Rover's structure not only allows it to adapt its strategy to the environment, but also makes the system extensible. A capability can be added to the system by adding a functional module with a well defined interface and by modifying the executive to make use of the new module. The current implementation is discussed in the appendices.

  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. Test Rover at JPL During Preparation for Mars Rover Low-Angle Selfie

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2015-08-19

    This view of a test rover at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California, results from advance testing of arm positions and camera pointings for taking a low-angle self-portrait of NASA's Curiosity Mars rover. This rehearsal in California led to a dramatic Aug. 5, 2015, selfie of Curiosity, online at PIA19807. Curiosity's arm-mounted Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) camera took 92 of component images that were assembled into that mosaic. The rover team positioned the camera lower in relation to the rover body than for any previous full self-portrait of Curiosity. This practice version was taken at JPL's Mars Yard in July 2013, using the Vehicle System Test Bed (VSTB) rover, which has a test copy of MAHLI on its robotic arm. MAHLI was built by Malin Space Science Systems, San Diego. JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the Mars Science Laboratory Project for the NASA Science Mission Directorate, Washington. JPL designed and built the project's Curiosity rover. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA19810

  18. Rover Attitude and Pointing System Simulation Testbed

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vanelli, Charles A.; Grinblat, Jonathan F.; Sirlin, Samuel W.; Pfister, Sam

    2009-01-01

    The MER (Mars Exploration Rover) Attitude and Pointing System Simulation Testbed Environment (RAPSSTER) provides a simulation platform used for the development and test of GNC (guidance, navigation, and control) flight algorithm designs for the Mars rovers, which was specifically tailored to the MERs, but has since been used in the development of rover algorithms for the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) as well. The software provides an integrated simulation and software testbed environment for the development of Mars rover attitude and pointing flight software. It provides an environment that is able to run the MER GNC flight software directly (as opposed to running an algorithmic model of the MER GNC flight code). This improves simulation fidelity and confidence in the results. Further more, the simulation environment allows the user to single step through its execution, pausing, and restarting at will. The system also provides for the introduction of simulated faults specific to Mars rover environments that cannot be replicated in other testbed platforms, to stress test the GNC flight algorithms under examination. The software provides facilities to do these stress tests in ways that cannot be done in the real-time flight system testbeds, such as time-jumping (both forwards and backwards), and introduction of simulated actuator faults that would be difficult, expensive, and/or destructive to implement in the real-time testbeds. Actual flight-quality codes can be incorporated back into the development-test suite of GNC developers, closing the loop between the GNC developers and the flight software developers. The software provides fully automated scripting, allowing multiple tests to be run with varying parameters, without human supervision.

  19. Small-RPS Enabled Mars Rover Concept

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balint, Tibor S.

    2005-02-01

    Both the MER and the Mars Pathfinder rovers operated on Mars in an energy-limited mode, since the solar panels generated power during daylight hours only. At other times the rovers relied on power stored in batteries. In comparison, Radioisotope Power Systems (RPS) offer a power-enabled paradigm, where power can be generated for long mission durations (measured in years), independently from the Sun, and on a continuous basis. A study was performed at JPL to assess the feasibility of a small-RPS enabled MER-class rover concept and any associated advantages of its mission on Mars, The rover concept relied on design heritage from MER with two significant changes. First, the solar panels were replaced with two single GPHS module based small-RPSs. Second, the Mossbauer spectroscope was substituted with a laser Raman spectroscope, in order to move towards MEPAG defined astrobiology driven science goals. The highest power requirements were contributed to mobility and telecommunication type operating modes, hence influencing power system sizing. The resulting hybrid power system included two small-RPSs and two batteries. Each small-RPS was assumed to generate 50 We of power or 620 Wh/sol of energy (BOL), comparable to that of MER. The two 8 Ah batteries were considered available during peak power usage. Mission architecture, power trades, science instruments, data, communication, thermal and radiation environments, mobility, and mass issues were also addressed. The study demonstrated that a new set of RPS-enabled rover missions could be envisioned for Mars exploration within the next decade, targeting astrobiology oriented science objectives, while powered by 2 to 4 GPHS modules.

  20. Managing PV Power on Mars - MER Rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stella, Paul M.; Chin, Keith; Wood, Eric; Herman, Jennifer; Ewell, Richard

    2009-01-01

    The MER Rovers have recently completed over 5 years of operation! This is a remarkable demonstration of the capabilities of PV power on the Martian surface. The extended mission required the development of an efficient process to predict the power available to the rovers on a day-to-day basis. The performance of the MER solar arrays is quite unlike that of any other Space array and perhaps more akin to Terrestrial PV operation, although even severe by that comparison. The impact of unpredictable factors, such as atmospheric conditions and dust accumulation (and removal) on the panels limits the accurate prediction of array power to short time spans. Based on the above, it is clear that long term power predictions are not sufficiently accurate to allow for detailed long term planning. Instead, the power assessment is essentially a daily activity, effectively resetting the boundary points for the overall predictive power model. A typical analysis begins with the importing of the telemetry from each rover's previous day's power subsystem activities. This includes the array power generated, battery state-of-charge, rover power loads, and rover orientation, all as functions of time. The predicted performance for that day is compared to the actual performance to identify the extent of any differences. The model is then corrected for these changes. Details of JPL's MER power analysis procedure are presented, including the description of steps needed to provide the final prediction for the mission planners. A dust cleaning event of the solar array is also highlighted to illustrate the impact of Martian weather on solar array performance

  1. 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.

  2. A Modular Re-configurable Rover System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bouloubasis, A.; McKee, G.; Active Robotics Lab

    In this paper we present the novel concepts incorporated in a planetary surface exploration rover design that is currently under development. The Multitasking Rover (MTR) aims to demonstrate functionality that will cover many of the current and future needs such as rough-terrain mobility, modularity and upgradeability [1]. The rover system has enhanced mobility characteristics. It operates in conjunction with Science Packs (SPs) and Tool Packs (TPs) - modules attached to the main frame of the rover, which are either special tools or science instruments and alter the operation capabilities of the system. To date, each rover system design is very much task driven for example, the scenario of cooperative transportation of extended payloads [2], comprises two rovers each equipped with a manipulator dedicated to the task [3]. The MTR approach focuses mostly on modularity and upgradeability presenting at the same time a fair amount of internal re-configurability for the sake of rough terrain stability. The rover itself does not carry any scientific instruments or tools. To carry out the scenario mentioned above, the MTR would have to locate and pick-up a TP with the associated manipulator. After the completion of the task the TP could be put away to a storage location enabling the rover to utilize a different Pack. The rover will not only offer mobility to these modules, but also use them as tools, transforming its role and functionality. The advantage of this approach is that instead of sending a large number of rovers to perform a variety of tasks, a smaller number of MTRs could be deployed with a large number of SPs/TPs, offering multiples of the functionality at a reduced payload. Two SPs or TPs (or a combination of) can be carried and deployed. One of the key elements in the design of the four wheeled rover, lies within its suspension system. It comprises a linear actuator located within each leg and also an active differential linking the two shoulders. This novel

  3. A vision system for a Mars rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilcox, Brian H.; Gennery, Donald B.; Mishkin, Andrew H.; Cooper, Brian K.; Lawton, Teri B.; Lay, N. Keith; Katzmann, Steven P.

    1988-01-01

    A Mars rover must be able to sense its local environment with sufficient resolution and accuracy to avoid local obstacles and hazards while moving a significant distance each day. Power efficiency and reliability are extremely important considerations, making stereo correlation an attractive method of range sensing compared to laser scanning, if the computational load and correspondence errors can be handled. Techniques for treatment of these problems, including the use of more than two cameras to reduce correspondence errors and possibly to limit the computational burden of stereo processing, have been tested at JPL. Once a reliable range map is obtained, it must be transformed to a plan view and compared to a stored terrain database, in order to refine the estimated position of the rover and to improve the database. The slope and roughness of each terrain region are computed, which form the basis for a traversability map allowing local path planning. Ongoing research and field testing of such a system is described.

  4. Rover Soil Experiments Near Casper & Shaggy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    The Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP) caught this image of the rover as it was digging in the 'compressible' material near the rock Casper to determine the soil's mechanical properties on Sol 23. Shaggy is the large rock behind the Rover.

    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.

  5. Spatial Coverage Planning for a Planetary Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gaines, Daniel M.; Estlin, Tara; Chouinard, Caroline

    2008-01-01

    We are developing onboard planning and execution technologies to support the exploration and characterization of geological features by autonomous rovers. In order to generate high quality mission plans, an autonomous rover must reason about the relative importance of the observations it can perform. In this paper we look at the scientific criteria of selecting observations that improve the quality of the area covered by samples. Our approach makes use of a priori information, if available, and allows scientists to mark sub-regions of the area with relative priorities for exploration. We use an efficient algorithm for prioritizing observations based on spatial coverage that allows the system to update observation rankings as new information is gained during execution.

  6. Mars Science Laboratory Rover Taking Shape

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    This image taken in August 2008 in a clean room at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., shows NASA's next Mars rover, the Mars Science Laboratory, in the course of its assembly, before additions of its arm, mast, laboratory instruments and other equipment.

    The rover is about 9 feet wide and 10 feet long.

    Viewing progress on the assembly are, from left: NASA Associate Administrator for Science Ed Weiler, California Institute of Technology President Jean-Lou Chameau, JPL Director Charles Elachi, and JPL Associate Director for Flight Projects and Mission Success Tom Gavin.

    JPL, a division of Caltech, manages the Mars Science Laboratory project for the NASA Science Mission Directorate, Washington.

  7. Adaptive Inner-Loop Rover Control

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kulkarni, Nilesh; Ippolito, Corey; Krishnakumar, Kalmanje; Al-Ali, Khalid M.

    2006-01-01

    Adaptive control technology is developed for the inner-loop speed and steering control of the MAX Rover. MAX, a CMU developed rover, is a compact low-cost 4-wheel drive, 4-wheel steer (double Ackerman), high-clearance agile durable chassis, outfitted with sensors and electronics that make it ideally suited for supporting research relevant to intelligent teleoperation and as a low-cost autonomous robotic test bed and appliance. The design consists of a feedback linearization based controller with a proportional - integral (PI) feedback that is augmented by an online adaptive neural network. The adaptation law has guaranteed stability properties for safe operation. The control design is retrofit in nature so that it fits inside the outer-loop path planning algorithms. Successful hardware implementation of the controller is illustrated for several scenarios consisting of actuator failures and modeling errors in the nominal design.

  8. Ambler - An autonomous rover for planetary exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bares, John; Hebert, Martial; Kanade, Takeo; Krotkov, Eric; Mitchell, Tom

    1989-01-01

    The authors are building a prototype legged rover, called the Ambler (loosely an acronym for autonomous mobile exploration robot) and testing it on full-scale, rugged terrain of the sort that might be encountered on the Martian surface. They present an overview of their research program, focusing on locomotion, perception, planning, and control. They summarize some of the most important goals and requirements of a rover design and describe how locomotion, perception, and planning systems can satisfy these requirements. Since the program is relatively young (one year old at the time of writing) they identify issues and approaches and describe work in progress rather than report results. It is expected that many of the technologies developed will be applicable to other planetary bodies and to terrestrial concerns such as hazardous waste assessment and remediation, ocean floor exploration, and mining.

  9. Mars Science Laboratory Rover Taking Shape

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    This image taken in August 2008 in a clean room at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., shows NASA's next Mars rover, the Mars Science Laboratory, in the course of its assembly, before additions of its arm, mast, laboratory instruments and other equipment.

    The rover is about 9 feet wide and 10 feet long.

    Viewing progress on the assembly are, from left: NASA Associate Administrator for Science Ed Weiler, California Institute of Technology President Jean-Lou Chameau, JPL Director Charles Elachi, and JPL Associate Director for Flight Projects and Mission Success Tom Gavin.

    JPL, a division of Caltech, manages the Mars Science Laboratory project for the NASA Science Mission Directorate, Washington.

  10. A vision system for a Mars rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wilcox, Brian H.; Gennery, Donald B.; Mishkin, Andrew H.; Cooper, Brian K.; Lawton, Teri B.; Lay, N. Keith; Katzmann, Steven P.

    1988-01-01

    A Mars rover must be able to sense its local environment with sufficient resolution and accuracy to avoid local obstacles and hazards while moving a significant distance each day. Power efficiency and reliability are extremely important considerations, making stereo correlation an attractive method of range sensing compared to laser scanning, if the computational load and correspondence errors can be handled. Techniques for treatment of these problems, including the use of more than two cameras to reduce correspondence errors and possibly to limit the computational burden of stereo processing, have been tested at JPL. Once a reliable range map is obtained, it must be transformed to a plan view and compared to a stored terrain database, in order to refine the estimated position of the rover and to improve the database. The slope and roughness of each terrain region are computed, which form the basis for a traversability map allowing local path planning. Ongoing research and field testing of such a system is described.

  11. NASA's Mars 2020 Rover Artist's Concept #1

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-05-23

    This artist's concept depicts NASA's Mars 2020 rover on the surface of Mars. The mission takes the next step by not only seeking signs of habitable conditions on Mars in the ancient past, but also searching for signs of past microbial life itself. The Mars 2020 rover introduces a drill that can collect core samples of the most promising rocks and soils and set them aside on the surface of Mars. A future mission could potentially return these samples to Earth. Mars 2020 is targeted for launch in July/August 2020 aboard an Atlas V 541 rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21635

  12. Rover Panorama from Sols 75 & 76

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    This Sojourner rover panorama from Sols 75 and 76 is the only true panorama product (as opposed to the normal 'tiled' full frames) produced by the rover. This panorama ranges from Big Crater on the left (about azimuth 160 degrees), past the Twin Peaks and almost all the way to the north horizon, for a swath of about 200 degrees in azimuth.

    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).

  13. Electrical power technology for robotic planetary rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bankston, C. P.; Shirbacheh, M.; Bents, D. J.; Bozek, J. M.

    1993-01-01

    Power technologies which will enable a range of robotic rover vehicle missions by the end of the 1990s and beyond are discussed. The electrical power system is the most critical system for reliability and life, since all other on board functions (mobility, navigation, command and data, communications, and the scientific payload instruments) require electrical power. The following are discussed: power generation, energy storage, power management and distribution, and thermal management.

  14. Onboard autonomous mineral detectors for Mars rovers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gilmore, M. S.; Bornstein, B.; Castano, R.; Merrill, M.; Greenwood, J.

    2005-12-01

    Mars rovers and orbiters currently collect far more data than can be downlinked to Earth, which reduces mission science return; this problem will be exacerbated by future rovers of enhanced capabilities and lifetimes. We are developing onboard intelligence sufficient to extract geologically meaningful data from spectrometer measurements of soil and rock samples, and thus to guide the selection, measurement and return of these data from significant targets at Mars. Here we report on techniques to construct mineral detectors capable of running on current and future rover and orbital hardware. We focus on carbonate and sulfate minerals which are of particular geologic importance because they can signal the presence of water and possibly life. Sulfates have also been discovered at the Eagle and Endurance craters in Meridiani Planum by the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Opportunity and at other regions on Mars by the OMEGA instrument aboard Mars Express. We have developed highly accurate artificial neural network (ANN) and Support Vector Machine (SVM) based detectors capable of identifying calcite (CaCO3) and jarosite (KFe3(SO4)2(OH)6) in the visible/NIR (350-2500 nm) spectra of both laboratory specimens and rocks in Mars analogue field environments. To train the detectors, we used a generative model to create 1000s of linear mixtures of library end-member spectra in geologically realistic percentages. We have also augmented the model to include nonlinear mixing based on Hapke's models of bidirectional reflectance spectroscopy. Both detectors perform well on the spectra of real rocks that contain intimate mixtures of minerals, rocks in natural field environments, calcite covered by Mars analogue dust, and AVIRIS hyperspectral cubes. We will discuss the comparison of ANN and SVM classifiers for this task, technical challenges (weathering rinds, atmospheric compositions, and computational complexity), and plans for integration of these detectors into both the Coupled Layer

  15. The Mars Rover Spirit FLASH anomaly

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Reeves, Glenn E.; Neilson, Tracy C.

    2005-01-01

    The Mars Exploration Rover 'Spirit' suffered a debilitating anomaly that prevented communication with Earth for several anxious days. With the eyes of the world upon us, the anomaly team used each scrap of information, our knowledge of the system, and sheer determination to analyze and fix the problem, then return the vehicle to normal operation. This paper will discuss the Spirit FLASH anomaly, including the drama of the investigation, the root cause and the lessons learned from the experience.

  16. Young and Rover on the Descartes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1972-01-01

    Astronaut John W. Young, Commander of the Apollo 16 mission, replaces tools in the hand tool carrier at the aft end of the 'Rover' Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV) during the second Apollo 16 extravehicular activity (EVA-2) at the Descartes landing site. This photograph was taken by Astronaut Charles M. Duke Jr., Lunar Module pilot. Smokey Mountain, with the large Ravine crater on its flank, is in the left background. This view is looking Northeast.

  17. Electrical power technology for robotic planetary rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bankston, C. P.; Shirbacheh, M.; Bents, D. J.; Bozek, J. M.

    1993-01-01

    Power technologies which will enable a range of robotic rover vehicle missions by the end of the 1990s and beyond are discussed. The electrical power system is the most critical system for reliability and life, since all other on board functions (mobility, navigation, command and data, communications, and the scientific payload instruments) require electrical power. The following are discussed: power generation, energy storage, power management and distribution, and thermal management.

  18. Science Operations for Onboard Autonomous Rover Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Estlin, T.; Castano, R.; Haldemann, A. F.; McHenry, M.; Bornstein, B.; Gaines, D.; Burl, M.; Anderson, R. C.; Powell, M.; Shu, I.; Farr, T.; Nesnas, I.; Jain, A.; Judd, M.

    2006-12-01

    Onboard autonomous science represents one means to balance the large amounts of scientific data that current and future rovers can acquire with the limited ability to download it to Earth. Several systems are under development to perform autonomous rover science. The use of such systems represents a departure from standard operations, which closely resemble batch tele-operation. It is important for the science operations team to understand the capabilities and limitations of the onboard system to effectively use the tool of autonomous onboard science to increase overall mission science return, however it is difficult for the science team to get a feel for the onboard system without hands on experience in an operational system setting. This past year, the OASIS (Onboard Autonomous Science Investigation System) team has been working with the SOOPS (Science Operations On Planetary Surfaces) task to investigate how science returns for surface missions can be improved through the use of science autonomy. A limited version of OASIS was tested at the system level. The test involved a high-fidelity software simulation of a rover exploring a remote terrain using realistic operational interfaces. By using the simulation environment it is feasible to run many more experiments than testing with physical rover. Further, the simulation environment combined with the integrated operational system provides situational awareness for the science operations team along with greater flexibility and control over experiments to help answer "what if" questions that can lead to identifying the most effective ways to use the onboard system. In the tests, OASIS applied predetermined criteria provided by the scientists to prioritize which data collected during a traverse to send home, given specified bandwidth constraints. In addition, rock summary information (which requires very little bandwidth) was returned and provided as both a table and a map to the science team. We discuss the results

  19. Student Participation in Rover Field Trials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bowman, C. D.; Arvidson, R. E.; Nelson, S. V.; Sherman, D. M.; Squyres, S. W.

    2001-12-01

    The LAPIS program was developed in 1999 as part of the Athena Science Payload education and public outreach, funded by the JPL Mars Program Office. For the past three years, the Athena Science Team has been preparing for 2003 Mars Exploration Rover Mission operations using the JPL prototype Field Integrated Design and Operations (FIDO) rover in extended rover field trials. Students and teachers participating in LAPIS work with them each year to develop a complementary mission plan and implement an actual portion of the annual tests using FIDO and its instruments. LAPIS is designed to mirror an end-to-end mission: Small, geographically distributed groups of students form an integrated mission team, working together with Athena Science Team members and FIDO engineers to plan, implement, and archive a two-day test mission, controlling FIDO remotely over the Internet using the Web Interface for Telescience (WITS) and communicating with each other by email, the web, and teleconferences. The overarching goal of LAPIS is to get students excited about science and related fields. The program provides students with the opportunity to apply knowledge learned in school, such as geometry and geology, to a "real world" situation and to explore careers in science and engineering through continuous one-on-one interactions with teachers, Athena Science Team mentors, and FIDO engineers. A secondary goal is to help students develop improved communication skills and appreciation of teamwork, enhanced problem-solving skills, and increased self-confidence. The LAPIS program will provide a model for outreach associated with future FIDO field trials and the 2003 Mars mission operations. The base of participation will be broadened beyond the original four sites by taking advantage of the wide geographic distribution of Athena team member locations. This will provide greater numbers of students with the opportunity to actively engage in rover testing and to explore the possibilities of

  20. Rovers as Geological Helpers for Planetary Surface Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stoker, Carol; DeVincenzi, Donald (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    Rovers can be used to perform field science on other planetary surfaces and in hostile and dangerous environments on Earth. Rovers are mobility systems for carrying instrumentation to investigate targets of interest and can perform geologic exploration on a distant planet (e.g. Mars) autonomously with periodic command from Earth. For nearby sites (such as the Moon or sites on Earth) rovers can be teleoperated with excellent capabilities. In future human exploration, robotic rovers will assist human explorers as scouts, tool and instrument carriers, and a traverse "buddy". Rovers can be wheeled vehicles, like the Mars Pathfinder Sojourner, or can walk on legs, like the Dante vehicle that was deployed into a volcanic caldera on Mt. Spurr, Alaska. Wheeled rovers can generally traverse slopes as high as 35 degrees, can avoid hazards too big to roll over, and can carry a wide range of instrumentation. More challenging terrain and steeper slopes can be negotiated by walkers. Limitations on rover performance result primarily from the bandwidth and frequency with which data are transmitted, and the accuracy with which the rover can navigate to a new position. Based on communication strategies, power availability, and navigation approach planned or demonstrated for Mars missions to date, rovers on Mars will probably traverse only a few meters per day. Collecting samples, especially if it involves accurate instrument placement, will be a slow process. Using live teleoperation (such as operating a rover on the Moon from Earth) rovers have traversed more than 1 km in an 8 hour period while also performing science operations, and can be moved much faster when the goal is simply to make the distance. I will review the results of field experiments with planetary surface rovers, concentrating on their successful and problematic performance aspects. This paper will be accompanied by a working demonstration of a prototype planetary surface rover.

  1. Rovers as Geological Helpers for Planetary Surface Exploration

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stoker, Carol; DeVincenzi, Donald (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    Rovers can be used to perform field science on other planetary surfaces and in hostile and dangerous environments on Earth. Rovers are mobility systems for carrying instrumentation to investigate targets of interest and can perform geologic exploration on a distant planet (e.g. Mars) autonomously with periodic command from Earth. For nearby sites (such as the Moon or sites on Earth) rovers can be teleoperated with excellent capabilities. In future human exploration, robotic rovers will assist human explorers as scouts, tool and instrument carriers, and a traverse "buddy". Rovers can be wheeled vehicles, like the Mars Pathfinder Sojourner, or can walk on legs, like the Dante vehicle that was deployed into a volcanic caldera on Mt. Spurr, Alaska. Wheeled rovers can generally traverse slopes as high as 35 degrees, can avoid hazards too big to roll over, and can carry a wide range of instrumentation. More challenging terrain and steeper slopes can be negotiated by walkers. Limitations on rover performance result primarily from the bandwidth and frequency with which data are transmitted, and the accuracy with which the rover can navigate to a new position. Based on communication strategies, power availability, and navigation approach planned or demonstrated for Mars missions to date, rovers on Mars will probably traverse only a few meters per day. Collecting samples, especially if it involves accurate instrument placement, will be a slow process. Using live teleoperation (such as operating a rover on the Moon from Earth) rovers have traversed more than 1 km in an 8 hour period while also performing science operations, and can be moved much faster when the goal is simply to make the distance. I will review the results of field experiments with planetary surface rovers, concentrating on their successful and problematic performance aspects. This paper will be accompanied by a working demonstration of a prototype planetary surface rover.

  2. Requirements and Designs for Mars Rover RTGs

    SciTech Connect

    Schock, Alfred; Shirbacheh, M; Sankarankandath, V

    2012-01-19

    The current-generation RTGs (both GPHS and MOD) are designed for operation in a vacuum environment. The multifoil thermal insulation used in those RTGs only functions well in a good vacuum. Current RTGs are designed to operate with an inert cover gas before launch, and to be vented to space vacuum after launch. Both RTGs are sealed with a large number of metallic C-rings. Those seals are adequate for retaining the inert-gas overpressure during short-term launch operations, but would not be adequate to prevent intrusion of the Martian atmospheric gases during long-term operations there. Therefore, for the Mars Rover application, those RTGs just be modified to prevent the buildup of significant pressures of Mars atmosphere or of helium (from alpha decay of the fuel). In addition, a Mars Rover RTG needs to withstand a long-term dynamic environment that is much more severe than that seen by an RTG on an orbiting spacecraft or on a stationary planetary lander. This paper describes a typical Rover mission, its requirements, the environment it imposes on the RTG, and a design approach for making the RTG operable in such an environment. Specific RTG designs for various thermoelectric element alternatives are presented.; Reference CID #9268 and CID #9276.

  3. Mars Rover Opportunity's View of 'Orion Crater'

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-06-16

    NASA's Opportunity Mars rover passed near this small, relatively fresh crater in April 2017, during the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 16 mission to the moon. The rover team chose to call it "Orion Crater," after the Apollo 16 lunar module. The rover's Panoramic Camera (Pancam) recorded this view. The crater's diameter is about 90 feet (27 meters). From the small amount of erosion or filling that Orion Crater has experienced, its age is estimated at no more than 10 million years. It lies on the western rim of Endeavour Crater. For comparison, Endeavor is about 14 miles (22 kilometers) in diameter and more than 3.6 billion years old. This view combines multiple images taken through three different Pancam filters. The selected filters admit light centered on wavelengths of 753 nanometers (near-infrared), 535 nanometers (green) and 432 nanometers (violet). The three color bands are combined here to show approximately true color. The component images were taken on April 26, 2017, during the 4,712th Martian day, or sol, of Opportunity's work on Mars. Apollo 16 astronauts John Young and Charles Duke flew in the Orion lunar module to and from the first human landing in the lunar highlands while Ken Mattingly orbited the moon in the command module, Casper. On the moon, Young and Duke investigated Plum Crater, which is approximately the same size as Mars' Orion Crater. https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21708

  4. Mars Exploration Rover Heatshield Observation Campaign

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Szalai, Christine E.; Thoma, Benjamin L.; Lee, Wayne; Maki, Justin; Willcockson, William H.; Wright, Michael; Venkatapathy, Ethiraj

    2011-01-01

    For the first time ever, engineers were able to observe a heatshield on the surface of another planet after a successful entry through the atmosphere. A three-week heatshield observation campaign was conducted in December 2004 after the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity rover exited "Endurance Crater." By utilizing the rover's scientific instruments, data was collected to make a qualitative assessment of the performance of the heatshield. This data was gathered to gain a better understanding of how the heatshield performed during entry through the Martian atmosphere. In addition, this unprecedented look at the heatshield offered engineers the opportunity to assess if any unexpected anomalies occurred. Once a survey of the heatshield debris was completed, multiple targets of interest were chosen for the collection of imaging data. This data was then used to assess the char depth of the thermal protection material, which compared well with computational predictions. Extensive imaging data was collected and showed the main seal in pristine conditions, and no observable indications of structure overheating. Additionally, unexpected vehicle dynamics during the atmospheric entry were explained by the observation of thermal blanket remnants attached to the heatshield.

  5. Mars rover mechanisms designed for Rocky 4

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rivellini, Tommaso P.

    1993-01-01

    A Mars rover prototype vehicle named Rocky 4 was designed and built at JPL during the fall of 1991 and spring 1992. This vehicle is the fourth in a series of rovers designed to test vehicle mobility and navigation software. Rocky 4 was the first attempt to design a vehicle with 'flight like' mass and functionality. It was consequently necessary to develop highly efficient mechanisms and structures to meet the vehicles very tight mass limit of 3 Kg for the entire mobility system (7 Kg for the full system). This paper will discuss the key mechanisms developed for the rover's innovative drive and suspension system. These are the wheel drive and strut assembly, the rocker-bogie suspension mechanism and the differential pivot. The end-to-end design, analysis, fabrication and testing of these components will also be discussed as will their performance during field testing. The lessons learned from Rocky 4 are already proving invaluable for the design of Rocky 6. Rocky 6 is currently being designed to fly on NASA's MESUR mission to Mars scheduled to launch in 1996.

  6. Mars Exploration Rover Heatshield Observation Campaign

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Szalai, Christine E.; Thoma, Benjamin L.; Lee, Wayne; Maki, Justin; Willcockson, William H.; Wright, Michael; Venkatapathy, Ethiraj

    2011-01-01

    For the first time ever, engineers were able to observe a heatshield on the surface of another planet after a successful entry through the atmosphere. A three-week heatshield observation campaign was conducted in December 2004 after the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity rover exited "Endurance Crater." By utilizing the rover's scientific instruments, data was collected to make a qualitative assessment of the performance of the heatshield. This data was gathered to gain a better understanding of how the heatshield performed during entry through the Martian atmosphere. In addition, this unprecedented look at the heatshield offered engineers the opportunity to assess if any unexpected anomalies occurred. Once a survey of the heatshield debris was completed, multiple targets of interest were chosen for the collection of imaging data. This data was then used to assess the char depth of the thermal protection material, which compared well with computational predictions. Extensive imaging data was collected and showed the main seal in pristine conditions, and no observable indications of structure overheating. Additionally, unexpected vehicle dynamics during the atmospheric entry were explained by the observation of thermal blanket remnants attached to the heatshield.

  7. 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.

  8. Ender as Viewed by the Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    These anaglyph views of Ender, due south of the lander, were produced by combining left and right views from the IMP (left image) and two right eye frames taken from different viewing angles from the rover (right image). For the rover, one of the right eye frames was distorted using Photoshop to approximate the projection of the left eye view (without this, the stereo pair is painful to view). Then, for both the lander and rover, the left view is assigned to the red color plane and the right view to the green and blue color planes (cyan), to produce a stereo anaglyph mosaic. This mosaic can be viewed in 3-D on your computer monitor or in color print form by wearing red-blue 3-D glasses.

    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).

    Click below to see the left and right views individually. [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Left [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Right

  9. Ender as Viewed by the Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    These anaglyph views of Ender, due south of the lander, were produced by combining left and right views from the IMP (left image) and two right eye frames taken from different viewing angles from the rover (right image). For the rover, one of the right eye frames was distorted using Photoshop to approximate the projection of the left eye view (without this, the stereo pair is painful to view). Then, for both the lander and rover, the left view is assigned to the red color plane and the right view to the green and blue color planes (cyan), to produce a stereo anaglyph mosaic. This mosaic can be viewed in 3-D on your computer monitor or in color print form by wearing red-blue 3-D glasses.

    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).

    Click below to see the left and right views individually. [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Left [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Right

  10. Rover Landing Hardware at Eagle Crater, Mars

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-04-21

    The bright landing platform left behind by NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity in 2004 is visible inside Eagle Crater, at upper right in this April 8, 2017, observation by NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter arrived at Mars in March 2006, more than two years after Opportunity's landing on Jan. 25, 2004, Universal Time (Jan. 24, PDT). This is the first image of Eagle Crater from the orbiter's High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera, which has optics that include the most powerful telescope ever sent to Mars. Eagle Crater is about 72 feet (22 meters) in diameter, at 1.95 degrees south latitude, 354.47 degrees east longitude, in the Meridiani Planum region of Mars. The airbag-cushioned lander, with Opportunity folded-up inside, first hit Martian ground near the crater, then bounced and rolled right into the crater. The lander structure was four triangles, folded into a tetrahedron until after the airbags deflated. The triangular petals then opened, exposing the rover. A week later, the rover drove off (see PIA05214), and the landing platform's job was done. The spacecraft's backshell and parachute, jettisoned during final descent, are visible near the lower left corner of this scene. The blue tint of the backshell is an effect of exaggerated color, because HiRISE combines color information from red, blue-green and infrared portions of the spectrum, rather than three different visible-light colors, so its color images are not true color. Opportunity examined Eagle Crater for more than half of the rover's originally planned three-month mission, before driving east and south to larger craters. At Eagle, it found headline-making evidence that water once flowed over the surface and soaked the subsurface of the area. By the time this orbital image of the landing site was taken, about 13 years after the rover departed Eagle, Opportunity had driven more than 27 miles (44 kilometers) and was actively exploring the rim of

  11. Mars Rover Curriculum: Impact Assessment and Evaluation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bering, E. A., III; Carlson, C.; Nieser, K.; Slagle, E. M.; Jacobs, L. T.; Kapral, A. J.

    2014-12-01

    The University of Houston is in the process of developing a flexible program that offers children an in-depth educational experience culminating in the design and construction of their own model Mars rover: the Mars Rover Model Celebration (MRC). It focuses on students, teachers and parents in grades 3-8. Students design and build a model of a Mars rover to carry out a student selected science mission on the surface of Mars. A total of 140 Mars Rover teachers from the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 cohorts were invited to complete the Mars Rover Teacher Evaluation Survey. The survey was administered online and could be taken at the convenience of the participant. So far ~40 teachers have participated with responses still coming in. A total of 675 students from the 2013-2014 cohort were invited to submit brief self-assessments of their participation in the program. Teachers were asked to rate their current level of confidence in their ability to teach specific topics within the Earth and Life Science realms, as well as their confidence in their ability to implement teaching strategies with their students. The majority of teachers (81-90%) felt somewhat to very confident in their ability to effectively teach concepts related to earth and life sciences to their students. In addition, many of the teachers felt that their confidence in teaching these concepts increased somewhat to quite a bit as a result of their participation in the MRC program (54-88%). The most striking increase in this area was the reported 48% of teachers who felt their confidence in teaching "Earth and the solar system and universe" increased "Quite a bit" as a result of their participation in the MRC program. The vast majority of teachers (86-100%) felt somewhat to very confident in their ability to effectively implement all of the listed teaching strategies. The most striking increases were the percentage of teachers who felt their confidence increased "Quite a bit" as a result of their participation

  12. 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.

  13. Enabling Autonomous Rover Science through Dynamic Planning and Scheduling

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    2005-01-01

    This paper describes how dynamic planning and scheduling techniques can be used onboard a rover to autonomously adjust rover activities in support of science goals. These goals could be identified by scientists on the ground or could be identified by onboard data-analysis software. Several different types of dynamic decisions are described, including the handling of opportunistic science goals identified during rover traverses, preserving high priority science targets when resources, such as power, are unexpectedly over-subscribed, and dynamically adding additional, ground-specified science targets when rover actions are executed more quickly than expected. After describing our specific system approach, we discuss some of the particular challenges we have examined to support 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.

  14. Concept for coring from a low-mass rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Backes, Paul G.; Khatib, Oussama; Diaz-Calderon, Antonio; Warren, James; Collins, Curtis; Chang, Zensheu

    2006-01-01

    Future Mars missions, such as the Mars Sample Return (MSR) mission, may benefit from core sample acquisition from a low-mass rover where the rover cannot be assumed to be stationary during a coring operation. Manipulation from Mars rovers is currently done under the assumption that the rover acts as a stationary, stable platform for the arm. An MSR mission scenario with a low-mass rover has been developed and the technology needs have been investigated. Models for alternative types of coring tools and tool-environment interaction have been developed and input along with wheel-soil interaction models into the Stanford Simulation & Active Interfaces (SAI) simulation environment to enable simulation of coring operations from a rover. Coring tests using commercial coring tools indicate that the quality of the core is a critical criterion in the system design. Current results of the models, simulation, and coring tests are provided.

  15. 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.

  16. Path planning for planetary rover using extended elevation map

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nakatani, Ichiro; Kubota, Takashi; Yoshimitsu, Tetsuo

    1994-10-01

    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.

  17. Concept for coring from a low-mass rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Backes, Paul G.; Khatib, Oussama; Diaz-Calderon, Antonio; Warren, James; Collins, Curtis; Chang, Zensheu

    2006-01-01

    Future Mars missions, such as the Mars Sample Return (MSR) mission, may benefit from core sample acquisition from a low-mass rover where the rover cannot be assumed to be stationary during a coring operation. Manipulation from Mars rovers is currently done under the assumption that the rover acts as a stationary, stable platform for the arm. An MSR mission scenario with a low-mass rover has been developed and the technology needs have been investigated. Models for alternative types of coring tools and tool-environment interaction have been developed and input along with wheel-soil interaction models into the Stanford Simulation & Active Interfaces (SAI) simulation environment to enable simulation of coring operations from a rover. Coring tests using commercial coring tools indicate that the quality of the core is a critical criterion in the system design. Current results of the models, simulation, and coring tests are provided.

  18. The Challenges in Applying Magnetroesistive Sensors on the 'Curiosity' Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Michael R.

    2013-01-01

    Magnetoresistive Sensors were selected for use on the motor encoders throughout the Curiosity Rover for motor position feedback devices. The Rover contains 28 acuators with a corresponding number of encoder assemblies. The environment on Mars provides opportunities for challenges to any hardware design. The encoder assemblies presented several barriers that had to be vaulted in order to say the rover was ready to fly. The environment and encoder specific design features provided challenges that had to be solved in time to fly.

  19. Rovers minimize human disturbance in research on wild animals.

    PubMed

    Le Maho, Yvon; Whittington, Jason D; Hanuise, Nicolas; Pereira, Louise; Boureau, Matthieu; Brucker, Mathieu; Chatelain, Nicolas; Courtecuisse, Julien; Crenner, Francis; Friess, Benjamin; Grosbellet, Edith; Kernaléguen, Laëtitia; Olivier, Frédérique; Saraux, Claire; Vetter, Nathanaël; Viblanc, Vincent A; Thierry, Bernard; Tremblay, Pascale; Groscolas, René; Le Bohec, Céline

    2014-12-01

    Investigating wild animals while minimizing human disturbance remains an important methodological challenge. When approached by a remote-operated vehicle (rover) which can be equipped to make radio-frequency identifications, wild penguins had significantly lower and shorter stress responses (determined by heart rate and behavior) than when approached by humans. Upon immobilization, the rover-unlike humans-did not disorganize colony structure, and stress rapidly ceased. Thus, rovers can reduce human disturbance of wild animals and the resulting scientific bias.

  20. The Challenges in Applying Magnetroesistive Sensors on the 'Curiosity' Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Johnson, Michael R.

    2013-01-01

    Magnetoresistive Sensors were selected for use on the motor encoders throughout the Curiosity Rover for motor position feedback devices. The Rover contains 28 acuators with a corresponding number of encoder assemblies. The environment on Mars provides opportunities for challenges to any hardware design. The encoder assemblies presented several barriers that had to be vaulted in order to say the rover was ready to fly. The environment and encoder specific design features provided challenges that had to be solved in time to fly.

  1. Liquid hydrogen flow problems in Kiwi reactors

    SciTech Connect

    Thurston, R.S.

    1992-09-01

    The Kiwi series of reactors were the first ones tested in the US Rover Program in the development of nuclear rocket engines for space propulsion. The early experiments with liquid hydrogen showed that parallel flow systems were prone to uneven flow distributions and violent fluctuations in pressure and flow that were capable of destroying a reactor core. Kiwi flow distribution problems were solved by using multiple feed lines into the nozzle cooling system and carefully balancing impedance among them. The violent pressure and flow fluctuations were eliminated after their cause was identified as resonance phenomena driven by the response to flow disturbances of heat transfer through a superheated hydrogen layer. Smooth flow operations were assured by rapidly bringing operating pressures beyond several times the critical pressure of hydrogen. After this initial rough start, solid core nuclear rocket engines successfully passed milestones of achievements during the remainder of the Rover program.

  2. Martian Surface Mineralogy from Rovers with Spirit, Opportunity, and Curiosity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Morris, Richard V.

    2016-01-01

    Beginning in 2004, NASA has landed three well-instrumented rovers on the equatorial martian surface. The Spirit rover landed in Gusev crater in early January, 2004, and the Opportunity rover landed on the opposite side of Mars at Meridian Planum 21 days later. The Curiosity rover landed in Gale crater to the west of Gusev crater in August, 2012. Both Opportunity and Curiosity are currently operational. The twin rovers Spirit and Opportunity carried Mossbauer spectrometers to determine the oxidation state of iron and its mineralogical composition. The Curiosity rover has an X-ray diffraction instrument for identification and quantification of crystalline materials including clay minerals. Instrument suites on all three rovers are capable of distinguishing primary rock-forming minerals like olivine, pyroxene and magnetite and products of aqueous alteration in including amorphous iron oxides, hematite, goethite, sulfates, and clay minerals. The oxidation state of iron ranges from that typical for unweathered rocks and soils to nearly completely oxidized (weathered) rocks and soils as products of aqueous and acid-sulfate alteration. The in situ rover mineralogy also serves as ground-truth for orbital observations, and orbital mineralogical inferences are used for evaluating and planning rover exploration.

  3. Automated Planning and Scheduling for Planetary Rover Distributed Operations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Backes, Paul G.; Rabideau, Gregg; Tso, Kam S.; Chien, Steve

    1999-01-01

    Automated planning and Scheduling, including automated path planning, has been integrated with an Internet-based distributed operations system for planetary rover operations. The resulting prototype system enables faster generation of valid rover command sequences by a distributed planetary rover operations team. The Web Interface for Telescience (WITS) provides Internet-based distributed collaboration, the Automated Scheduling and Planning Environment (ASPEN) provides automated planning and scheduling, and an automated path planner provided path planning. The system was demonstrated on the Rocky 7 research rover at JPL.

  4. State Identification for Planetary Rovers: Learning and Recognition

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Aycard, Olivier; Washington, Richard

    1999-01-01

    A planetary rover must be able to identify states where it should stop or change its plan. With limited and infrequent communication from ground, the rover must recognize states accurately. However, the sensor data is inherently noisy, so identifying the temporal patterns of data that correspond to interesting or important states becomes a complex problem. In this paper, we present an approach to state identification using second-order Hidden Markov Models. Models are trained automatically on a set of labeled training data; the rover uses those models to identify its state from the observed data. The approach is demonstrated on data from a planetary rover platform.

  5. Soviet developments of planet rovers in period of 1964 - 1990

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kemurdjian, A. L.; Gromov, V. V.; Kazhukalo, I. F.; Kozlov, G. V.; Komissarov, V. I.; Korepanov, G. N.; Martinov, B. N.; Malenkov, V. I.; Mitskevich, A. V.; Mishkinyuk, V. K.

    1993-01-01

    The history of Soviet planetary rovers, which were intended for work on the surface of planets and other heavenly bodies, is traced starting with Lunokhod 1, which was designed to survey the Moon. The equipment and methodology of ground tests which simulated lunar conditions--lunar vacuum, gravitation, and soil--are reported. Examples of planetary rovers which followed the Lunokhod program are given. These examples include machines of the following types: wheel walkers; machines that used skiing for locomotion; and two articulated modules. Planet rovers for Venus, Mars, and its satellite Phobos are addressed. The f ocus ison the performance of Marsokhod, the Mars rover.

  6. Path planning and execution monitoring for a planetary rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gat, Erann; Slack, Marc G.; Miller, David P.; Firby, R. James

    1990-01-01

    A path planner and an execution monitoring planner that will enable the rover to navigate to its various destinations safely and correctly while detecting and avoiding hazards are described. An overview of the complete architecture is given. Implementation and testbeds are described. The robot can detect unforseen obstacles and take appropriate action. This includes having the rover back away from the hazard and mark the area as untraversable in the in the rover's internal map. The experiments have consisted of paths roughly 20 m in length. The architecture works with a large variety of rover configurations with different kinematic constraints.

  7. Visual Target Tracking on the Mars Exploration Rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kim, Won; Biesiadecki, Jeffrey; Ali, Khaled

    2008-01-01

    Visual target tracking (VTT) software has been incorporated into Release 9.2 of the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) flight software, now running aboard the rovers Spirit and Opportunity. In the VTT operation (see figure), the rover is driven in short steps between stops and, at each stop, still images are acquired by actively aimed navigation cameras (navcams) on a mast on the rover (see artistic rendition). The VTT software processes the digitized navcam images so as to track a target reliably and to make it possible to approach the target accurately to within a few centimeters over a 10-m traverse.

  8. Fast Reactors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Esposito, S.; Pisanti, O.

    The following sections are included: * Elementary Considerations * The Integral Equation to the Neutron Distribution * The Critical Size for a Fast Reactor * Supercritical Reactors * Problems and Exercises

  9. Autonomous Rovers for Polar Science Campaigns

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lever, J. H.; Ray, L. E.; Williams, R. M.; Morlock, A. M.; Burzynski, A. M.

    2012-12-01

    We have developed and deployed two over-snow autonomous rovers able to conduct remote science campaigns on Polar ice sheets. Yeti is an 80-kg, four-wheel-drive (4WD) battery-powered robot with 3 - 4 hr endurance, and Cool Robot is a 60-kg 4WD solar-powered robot with unlimited endurance during Polar summers. Both robots navigate using GPS waypoint-following to execute pre-planned courses autonomously, and they can each carry or tow 20 - 160 kg instrument payloads over typically firm Polar snowfields. In 2008 - 12, we deployed Yeti to conduct autonomous ground-penetrating radar (GPR) surveys to detect hidden crevasses to help establish safe routes for overland resupply of research stations at South Pole, Antarctica, and Summit, Greenland. We also deployed Yeti with GPR at South Pole in 2011 to identify the locations of potentially hazardous buried buildings from the original 1950's-era station. Autonomous surveys remove personnel from safety risks posed during manual GPR surveys by undetected crevasses or buried buildings. Furthermore, autonomous surveys can yield higher quality and more comprehensive data than manual ones: Yeti's low ground pressure (20 kPa) allows it to cross thinly bridged crevasses or other voids without interrupting a survey, and well-defined survey grids allow repeated detection of buried voids to improve detection reliability and map their extent. To improve survey efficiency, we have automated the mapping of detected hazards, currently identified via post-survey manual review of the GPR data. Additionally, we are developing machine-learning algorithms to detect crevasses autonomously in real time, with reliability potentially higher than manual real-time detection. These algorithms will enable the rover to relay crevasse locations to a base station for near real-time mapping and decision-making. We deployed Cool Robot at Summit Station in 2005 to verify its mobility and power budget over Polar snowfields. Using solar power, this zero

  10. A Lab-on-Chip Design for Miniature Autonomous Bio-Chemoprospecting Planetary Rovers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Santoli, S.

    The performance of the so-called ` Lab-on-Chip ' devices, featuring micrometre size components and employed at present for carrying out in a very fast and economic way the extremely high number of sequence determinations required in genomic analyses, can be largely improved as to further size reduction, decrease of power consumption and reaction efficiency through development of nanofluidics and of nano-to-micro inte- grated systems. As is shown, such new technologies would lead to robotic, fully autonomous, microwatt consumption and complete ` laboratory on a chip ' units for accurate, fast and cost-effective astrobiological and planetary exploration missions. The theory and the manufacturing technologies for the ` active chip ' of a miniature bio/chemoprospecting planetary rover working on micro- and nanofluidics are investigated. The chip would include micro- and nanoreactors, integrated MEMS (MicroElectroMechanical System) components, nanoelectronics and an intracavity nanolaser for highly accurate and fast chemical analysis as an application of such recently introduced solid state devices. Nano-reactors would be able to strongly speed up reaction kinetics as a result of increased frequency of reactive collisions. The reaction dynamics may also be altered with respect to standard macroscopic reactors. A built-in miniature telemetering unit would connect a network of other similar rovers and a central, ground-based or orbiting control unit for data collection and transmission to an Earth-based unit through a powerful antenna. The development of the ` Lab-on-Chip ' concept for space applications would affect the economy of space exploration missions, as the rover's ` Lab-on-Chip ' development would link space missions with the ever growing terrestrial market and business concerning such devices, largely employed in modern genomics and bioinformatics, so that it would allow the recoupment of space mission costs.

  11. Mars Rover Opportunity Panorama of Marathon Valley

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2016-06-14

    "Marathon Valley" on Mars opens northeastward to a view across the floor of Endeavour Crater in this scene from the panoramic camera (Pancam) of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity. The scene merges multiple Pancam exposures taken during the period April 16 through May 15, 2016, corresponding to sols (Martian days) 4,347 through 4,375 of Opportunity's work on Mars. It spans from north, at the left, to west-southwest, at the right. The high point in the right half of the scene is "Knudsen Ridge," which forms part of the southern edge of Marathon Valley. Portions of the northeastern and eastern rim of Endeavour crater appear on the distant horizon. Endeavour Crater is 14 miles (22 kilometers) in diameter. The fractured texture of Marathon Valley's floor is visible in the foreground. The view merges exposures taken through three of the Pancam's color filters, centered on wavelengths of 753 nanometers (near-infrared), 535 nanometers (green) and 432 nanometers (violet). It is presented in approximately true color. The rover team calls this image the mission's "Sacagawea Panorama," for the Lemhi Shoshone woman, also commemorated on U.S. dollar coins, whose assistance to the Lewis and Clark expedition helped enable its successes in 1804-1806. Many rocks and other features in Marathon Valley were informally named for members of Lewis and Clark's "Corps of Discovery" expedition. Opportunity entered Marathon Valley in July 2015. The valley's informal name was chosen because Opportunity's arrival at this point along the western rim of Endeavour Crater coincided closely with the rover surpassing marathon-footrace distance in its total driving odometry since landing on Mars in January 2004. The team's planned investigations in the valley were nearing completion when the component images for this scene were taken. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA20749

  12. Extreme Mobility: Next Generation Tetrahedral Rovers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clark, P. E.; Curtis, S. A.; Rilee, M. L.; Cheung, C. Y.; Wesenberg, R.; Brown, G.; Cooperrider, C.

    2007-01-01

    This paper describes the development and testing of a patented rover concept called Tetrahedral Explorer Technologies (TET), designed to provide extreme mobility and plug-and-play utility through reconfigurable addressable architecture. Here, we present the results of preliminary lab and field tests of Prototype III. Reconfigurable architecture is essential in exploration because reaching features of the great potential interest will require crossing a wide range of terrains largely inaccessible to permanently appendaged vehicles. One surface might be relatively flat and navigable, while another could be rough, variably sloping, broken, or dominated by unconsolidated debris. To be totally functional, structures must form pseudo-appendages varying in size, rate, and manner of deployment (gait) and moving at a speed approaching that of a human in rugged terrain. TET architecture is based on the tetrahedron, the basic space-filling shape, as building block. Tetrahedra are interconnected, their apices acting as nodes from which struts reversibly deploy. The tetrahedral framework acts as a simple skeletal muscular structure. Two simple robotic walker prototypes have already been developed from a single reconfigurable tetrahedron capable of tumbling. This paper presents the results of our attempts to simulate motions, improve the hardware, and develop gaits for a more evolved 12Tetrahedral Walker (Prototype 3) which high degrees of freedom locomotion commandable through a user friendly interface. Our rover is an early level mission concept, realized as an electromechanical system at present, which would allow autonomous in situ exploration of lunar sites when we return to the Moon. Such a rover could carry into inaccessible terrain an in situ analysis payload designed to provide not only details of composition of traversed terrain, but the identification of sites with resources useful for permanent bases, including water and high Ti glass.

  13. Lunar Surface Operations with Dual Rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Horz, Friedrich; Lofgren, Gary E.; Eppler, Dean E.; Ming, Douglas

    2010-01-01

    Lunar Electric Rovers (LER) are currently being developed that are substantially more capable than the Apollo vehicle (LRN ,"). Unlike the LRV, the new LERs provide a pressurized cabin that serves as short-sleeve environment for the crew of two, including sleeping accommodations and other provisions that allow for long tern stays, possibly up to 60 days, on the hear surface, without the need to replenish consumables from some outside source, such as a lander or outpost. As a consequence, significantly larger regions may be explored in the future and traverse distances may be measured in a few hundred kilometers (1, 2). However, crew safety remains an overriding concern, and methods other than "walk back", the major operational constraint of all Apollo traverses, must be implemented to assure -at any time- the safe return of the crew to the lander or outpost. This then causes current Constellation plans to envision long-tern traverses to be conducted with 2 LERs exclusively, each carrying a crew of two: in case one rover fails, the other will rescue the stranded crew and return all 4 astronauts in a single LER to base camp. Recent Desert Research and Technology Studies (DRATS) analog field tests simulated a continuous 14 day traverse (3), covering some 135 km, and included a rescue operation that transferred the crew and diverse consumables from one LER to another these successful tests add substantial realism to the development of long-term, dual rover operations. The simultaneous utilization of 2 LERs is of course totally unlike Apollo and raises interesting issues regarding science productivity and mission operations, the thrust of this note.

  14. A Comparison of the Unpressurized Rover and Small Pressurized Rover During a Desert Field Evaluation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Litaker, Harry; Thompson, Shelby; Howard, Robert

    2009-01-01

    To effectively explore the lunar surface, astronauts will need a transportation vehicle which can traverse all types of terrain. Currently, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration s (NASA) is investigating two lunar rover configurations to meet such a requirement. Under the Lunar Electric Rover (LER) project, a comparison study between the unpressurized rover (UPR) and the small pressurized rover (SPR) was conducted at the Black Point Lava Flow in Arizona. The objective of the study was to obtain human-in-the-loop performance data on the vehicles with respect to human-machine interfaces, vehicle impacts on crew productivity, and scientific observations. Four male participants took part in four, one-day field tests using the exact same terrain and scientific sites for an accurate comparison between vehicle configurations. Subjective data was collected using several human factors performance measures. Results indicate either vehicle configuration was generally acceptable for a lunar mission; however, the SPR configuration was preferred over the UPR configuration primarily for the SPR s ability to cause less fatigue and enabling greater crew productivity.

  15. Self-Portrait by Freshly Cleaned Opportunity Mars Rover in March 2014

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2014-04-17

    A self-portrait of NASA Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity taken by the rover panoramic camera Pancam in late March 2014 shows effects of recent winds removing much of the dust from the rover solar arrays.

  16. Exploring Mars with Balloons and Inflatable Rovers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, Jack A.; Cutts, James A.; Kerzhanovich, Viktor V.; Yavrouian, Andre; Hall, Jeffrey L.; Raque, Steven; Fairbrother, Debbie A.

    2000-07-01

    Until now, the exploration of Mars has taken place with global coverage of the planet by satellites in orbit or with landers providing very detailed coverage of extremely limited local areas. New developments in inflatable technology, however, now offer the possibility of in situ surface and atmospheric global studies of Mars using very lightweight rovers and balloons that can travel hundreds or even thousands of kilometers relatively quickly and safely. Both systems are currently being tested at JPL; preliminary results show great promise. One of the balloon technologies offers the additional bonus of being able to land payloads on Mars much more gently than parachutes, yet with considerably less mass.

  17. Design considerations for a Martian Balloon Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Redd, F.; Levesque, R. J.; Williams, G. E.

    1987-01-01

    The present NASA-sponsored design feasibility study for a balloon-borne sensor platform that is to be used over environmentally dissimilar sites on Mars gives attention to specific environmental and configurational parameters of a baseline balloon design, with a view to day/night altitude variations in response to temperature extremes. It is concluded that a Martian Balloon Rover can be developed using current technology; projected reductions in high-strength fabric density and radiation-resistant coatings will further enhance mission effectiveness, permitting either balloon size reductions or payload capacity increases.

  18. Science Instruments on NASA Mars 2020 Rover

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2015-06-10

    This 2015 diagram shows components of the investigations payload for NASA's Mars 2020 rover mission. Mars 2020 will re-use the basic engineering of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory to send a different rover to Mars, with new objectives and instruments, launching in 2020. The rover will carry seven instruments to conduct its science and exploration technology investigations. They are: Mastcam-Z, an advanced camera system with panoramic and stereoscopic imaging capability and the ability to zoom. The instrument also will determine mineralogy of the Martian surface and assist with rover operations. The principal investigator is James Bell, Arizona State University in Tempe. SuperCam, an instrument that can provide imaging, chemical composition analysis, and mineralogy. The instrument will also be able to detect the presence of organic compounds in rocks and regolith from a distance. The principal investigator is Roger Wiens, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, New Mexico. This instrument also has a significant contribution from the Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales, Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie (CNES/IRAP) France. Planetary Instrument for X-ray Lithochemistry (PIXL), an X-ray fluorescence spectrometer that will also contain an imager with high resolution to determine the fine-scale elemental composition of Martian surface materials. PIXL will provide capabilities that permit more detailed detection and analysis of chemical elements than ever before. The principal investigator is Abigail Allwood, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California. Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman & Luminescence for Organics and Chemicals (SHERLOC), a spectrometer that will provide fine-scale imaging and uses an ultraviolet (UV) laser to determine fine-scale mineralogy and detect organic compounds. SHERLOC will be the first UV Raman spectrometer to fly to the surface of Mars and will provide complementary measurements with other

  19. Adams-Based Rover Terramechanics and Mobility Simulator - ARTEMIS

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Trease, Brian P.; Lindeman, Randel A.; Arvidson, Raymond E.; Bennett, Keith; VanDyke, Lauren P.; Zhou, Feng; Iagnemma, Karl; Senatore, Carmine

    2013-01-01

    The Mars Exploration Rovers (MERs), Spirit and Opportunity, far exceeded their original drive distance expectations and have traveled, at the time of this reporting, a combined 29 kilometers across the surface of Mars. The Rover Sequencing and Visualization Program (RSVP), the current program used to plan drives for MERs, is only a kinematic simulator of rover movement. Therefore, rover response to various terrains and soil types cannot be modeled. Although sandbox experiments attempt to model rover-terrain interaction, these experiments are time-intensive and costly, and they cannot be used within the tactical timeline of rover driving. Imaging techniques and hazard avoidance features on MER help to prevent the rover from traveling over dangerous terrains, but mobility issues have shown that these methods are not always sufficient. ARTEMIS, a dynamic modeling tool for MER, allows planned drives to be simulated before commands are sent to the rover. The deformable soils component of this model allows rover-terrain interactions to be simulated to determine if a particular drive path would take the rover over terrain that would induce hazardous levels of slip or sink. When used in the rover drive planning process, dynamic modeling reduces the likelihood of future mobility issues because high-risk areas could be identified before drive commands are sent to the rover, and drives planned over these areas could be rerouted. The ARTEMIS software consists of several components. These include a preprocessor, Digital Elevation Models (DEMs), Adams rover model, wheel and soil parameter files, MSC Adams GUI (commercial), MSC Adams dynamics solver (commercial), terramechanics subroutines (FORTRAN), a contact detection engine, a soil modification engine, and output DEMs of deformed soil. The preprocessor is used to define the terrain (from a DEM) and define the soil parameters for the terrain file. The Adams rover model is placed in this terrain. Wheel and soil parameter files

  20. Improvement of the lunar rover with two parallel wheels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bi, Z. F.; Deng, Z. Q.; Tao, J. G.

    With raising the new upsurge for lunar exploration the lunar rover with two parallel wheels is proposed for lunar exploration The lunar rover is driven by the offset of the driving weight and it is selected as the subsystem of the lunar rover group system The communication among the lunar rover group is simulated with blue-tooth technology In the group system the characteristic and the stability are the key problems for application The lunar rover has simple structure and it is controlled easily and also it has more performance such as motion flexibility antidumping combinability The lunar rover is composed of two wheels and a case platform Each wheel is controlled independently On the top of the case platform CCD is used for navigation In the front and the back of the case platform there are docking mechanism for combination The precise speed and position of the lunar rover is controlled by PMAC With PC 104 the actual load such as the information of sensors and real-time communication via blue-tooth is processed The good stability of the lunar rover is favorable for vision navigation and combination of several rovers Focused on the stability the lunar rover with changeable radius is proposed Screw pair is used in the lunar rover system for adjusting the driving radius Through adjusting the driving radius the tilt angle of the case platform can be variant value under the same driving moment and also the tilt angle can keep equal under the variant driving moment For testing the feasibility of the scheme based on the

  1. The Athena Mars Rover Science Payload

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Squyes, S. W.; Arvidson, R.; Bell, J. F., III; Carr, M.; Christensen, P.; DesMarais, D.; Economou, T.; Gorevan, S.; Klingelhoefer, G.; Haskin, L.

    1998-01-01

    The Mars Surveyor missions that will be launched in April of 2001 will include a highly capable rover that is a successor to the Mars Pathfinder mission's Sojourner rover. The design goals for this rover are a total traverse distance of at least 10 km and a total lifetime of at least one Earth year. The rover's job will be to explore a site in Mars' ancient terrain, searching for materials likely to preserve a record of ancient martian water, climate, and possibly biology. The rover will collect rock and soil samples, and will store them for return to Earth by a subsequent Mars Surveyor mission in 2005. The Athena Mars rover science payload is the suite of scientific instruments and sample collection tools that will be used to perform this job. The specific science objectives that NASA has identified for the '01 rover payload are to: (1) Provide color stereo imaging of martian surface environments, and remotely-sensed point discrimination of mineralogical composition. (2) Determine the elemental and mineralogical composition of martian surface materials. (3) Determine the fine-scale textural properties of these materials. (4) Collect and store samples. The Athena payload has been designed to meet these objectives. The focus of the design is on field operations: making sure the rover can locate, characterize, and collect scientifically important samples in a dusty, dirty, real-world environment. The topography, morphology, and mineralogy of the scene around the rover will be revealed by Pancam/Mini-TES, an integrated imager and IR spectrometer. Pancam views the surface around the rover in stereo and color. It uses two high-resolution cameras that are identical in most respects to the rover's navigation cameras. The detectors are low-power, low-mass active pixel sensors with on-chip 12-bit analog-to-digital conversion. Filters provide 8-12 color spectral bandpasses over the spectral region from 0.4 to 1.1 micron Narrow-angle optics provide an angular resolution of 0

  2. The Athena Mars Rover Science Payload

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Squyes, S. W.; Arvidson, R.; Bell, J. F., III; Carr, M.; Christensen, P.; DesMarais, D.; Economou, T.; Gorevan, S.; Klingelhoefer, G.; Haskin, L.

    1998-01-01

    The Mars Surveyor missions that will be launched in April of 2001 will include a highly capable rover that is a successor to the Mars Pathfinder mission's Sojourner rover. The design goals for this rover are a total traverse distance of at least 10 km and a total lifetime of at least one Earth year. The rover's job will be to explore a site in Mars' ancient terrain, searching for materials likely to preserve a record of ancient martian water, climate, and possibly biology. The rover will collect rock and soil samples, and will store them for return to Earth by a subsequent Mars Surveyor mission in 2005. The Athena Mars rover science payload is the suite of scientific instruments and sample collection tools that will be used to perform this job. The specific science objectives that NASA has identified for the '01 rover payload are to: (1) Provide color stereo imaging of martian surface environments, and remotely-sensed point discrimination of mineralogical composition. (2) Determine the elemental and mineralogical composition of martian surface materials. (3) Determine the fine-scale textural properties of these materials. (4) Collect and store samples. The Athena payload has been designed to meet these objectives. The focus of the design is on field operations: making sure the rover can locate, characterize, and collect scientifically important samples in a dusty, dirty, real-world environment. The topography, morphology, and mineralogy of the scene around the rover will be revealed by Pancam/Mini-TES, an integrated imager and IR spectrometer. Pancam views the surface around the rover in stereo and color. It uses two high-resolution cameras that are identical in most respects to the rover's navigation cameras. The detectors are low-power, low-mass active pixel sensors with on-chip 12-bit analog-to-digital conversion. Filters provide 8-12 color spectral bandpasses over the spectral region from 0.4 to 1.1 micron Narrow-angle optics provide an angular resolution of 0

  3. NEUTRONIC REACTOR

    DOEpatents

    Fermi, E.; Zinn, W.H.; Anderson, H.L.

    1958-09-16

    Means are presenied for increasing the reproduction ratio of a gaphite- moderated neutronic reactor by diminishing the neutron loss due to absorption or capture by gaseous impurities within the reactor. This means comprised of a fluid-tight casing or envelope completely enclosing the reactor and provided with a valve through which the casing, and thereby the reactor, may be evacuated of atmospheric air.

  4. Preliminary Surface Thermal Design of the Mars 2020 Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Novak, Keith S.; Kempenaar, Jason G.; Redmond, Matthew J.; Bhandari, Pradeep

    2015-01-01

    The Mars 2020 rover, scheduled for launch in July 2020, is currently being designed at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The Mars 2020 rover design is derived from the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover, Curiosity, which has been exploring the surface of Mars in Gale Crater for over 2.5 years. The Mars 2020 rover will carry a new science payload made up of 7 instruments. In addition, the Mars 2020 rover is responsible for collecting a sample cache of Mars regolith and rock core samples that could be returned to Earth in a future mission. Accommodation of the new payload and the Sampling Caching System (SCS) has driven significant thermal design changes from the original MSL rover design. This paper describes the similarities and differences between the heritage MSL rover thermal design and the new Mars 2020 thermal design. Modifications to the MSL rover thermal design that were made to accommodate the new payload and SCS are discussed. Conclusions about thermal design flexibility are derived from the Mars 2020 preliminary thermal design experience.

  5. Shadow Portrait of NASA Rover Opportunity on Martian Slope

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2014-03-27

    NASA Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity caught its own silhouette in this late-afternoon image from the rover rear HAZCAM on Mar, 20, 2014; its shadow falls across a slope called McClure-Beverlin Escarpment on the western rim of Endeavour Crater.

  6. Opportunity Rover on Murray Ridge Seen From Orbit

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2014-02-19

    NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter caught this view of NASA Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity on Feb. 14, 2014. The red arrow points to Opportunity at the center of the image. Blue arrows point to tracks left by the rover in October 2013.

  7. Drill Bit Tip on Mars Rover Curiosity, Side View

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2013-02-04

    The shape of the tip of the bit in the drill of NASA Mars rover Curiosity is apparent in this view recorded by the remote micro-imager in the rover ChemCam instrument on Mars. Jan. 29, 2012; the bit is about 0.6 inch 1.6 centimeters wide.

  8. Preparatory Test for First Rock Drilling by Mars Rover Curiosity

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2013-02-04

    The bit in the rotary-percussion drill of NASA Mars rover Curiosity left its mark in a target patch of rock called John Klein during a test on Feb. 2, 2013, in preparation for the first drilling of a rock by the rover.

  9. Mars Exploration Rover surface operations: driving spirit at Gusev Crater

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Leger, Chris; Trebi-Ollennu, Ashitey; Wright, John; Maxwell, Scott; Bonitz, Bob; Biesiadecki, Jeff; Hartman, Frank; Cooper, Brian; Baumgartner, Eric; Maimone, Mark

    2005-01-01

    Spirit is one of two rovers, that landed on Mars in January 2004 as part of NASA's Mars Exploration Rovers mission. Since then, Spirit has traveled over 4 kilometers accross the Martian surface while investigating rocks and soils, digging trenches to examine the subsurface environment, and climbing hills to reach outcrops of bedrock.

  10. NASA to Launch Mars Rover in 2020 Artist Concept

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2016-07-14

    NASA's Mars 2020 Project will re-use the basic engineering of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory/Curiosity to send a different rover to Mars, with new objectives and instruments. This artist's concept depicts the top of the 2020 rover's mast. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA20760

  11. Curiosity Mars Rover First Image of Earth and Earth Moon

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2014-02-06

    The two bodies in this portion of an evening-sky view by NASA Mars rover Curiosity are Earth and Earth moon. The rover Mast Camera Mastcam imaged them in the twilight sky of Curiosity 529th Martian day, or sol Jan. 31, 2014.

  12. The use of harmonic drives on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Krishnan, S.; Voorhees, C.

    2001-01-01

    The Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission will send two 185 kg rovers to Mars in 2003 to continue the scientific community's search for evidence of past water on Mars. These twin robotic vehicles will carry harmonic drives and their performance will be characterized at various temperatures, speeds and loads.

  13. Slip Validation and Prediction for Mars Exploration Rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yen, Jeng

    2007-01-01

    This paper presents a novel technique to validate and predict the rover slips on Martian surface for NASA's Mars Exploration Rovers. Different from the traditional approach, the proposed method uses the actual velocity profile of the wheels and the digital elevation map (DEM) from the stereo images of the terrain to formulate simplified equations of motion of the rovers. A weighted factor to the wheel-ground speed from the empirical data comprises the velocity equations of the simplified differential-algebraic system of the rover motion. Applying the discretization operator to these equations, the full kinematics state of the rover is then resolved by the configuration kinematics solution in the Robot Sequencing and Visualization Program (RSVP). This method produced accurate simulation of the rover movements compared with these of the earth testing vehicle. Using the telemetry from the onboard Visual Odometry, the simulated rover path also compares well with the actual track of the vehicle. Preliminary results indicated that the proposed computational method is very effective in planning the path of the rovers on the high-slope areas.

  14. Anomaly Recovery and the Mars Exploration Rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Matijevic, Jacob R.; Dewell, Elizabeth A.

    2006-01-01

    The premise of the design of operations for the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) is that the vehicles will drive each day. As a result, they will encounter some aspect of the terrain environment that cannot be anticipated or otherwise accommodated by the sequences linked onboard that day. The operations team then must correct the problem by planning then commanding the execution of a different drive the next day. Often other aspects of the operation on the surface of Mars: environmental changes, component degradation, errors in sequence design or execution, etc., lead to anomalies which must be addressed before normal operations can resume. The operational design that makes it possible to recover from a driving error each day also reduces the time needed to recover from anomalies. As an example of the efficiency achieved, less than 5% (about 30 sols out of 700 sols of operations) of the time on the surface has been devoted to recovery from anomalies for each vehicle. In this paper the major anomalies experienced by the MER rovers will be recounted and the streamlined approaches to addressing these problems described. The operational flexibility developed for these missions is also a function of the system design that anticipated a number of likely faults and conditions arising from uncertainty in sequence execution and environmental change. This design will be described as well as the considerations in operation that motivated this design. These considerations will likely be present in any future surface mission.

  15. Dual rover human habitation field study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Litaker, Harry L.; Thompson, Shelby G.; Szabo, Richard; Twyford, Evan S.; Conlee, Carl S.; Howard, Robert L.

    2013-10-01

    For the last 3 years, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has been testing a pressurized rover prototype in the deserts of Arizona to obtain human-in-the-loop performance data. This year's field trial consisted of operating two rovers simultaneously while embarking on two 7-day flight-like exploration missions. During the 2010 Desert Research and Technology Studies (DRATS) at Black Point Lava Flow and SP Mountain in Arizona, NASA human factors investigators, in cooperation with other engineers and scientists, collected data on both the daily living and working within and around the Space Exploration Vehicle (SEV). Both objective and subjective data were collected using standard human factors metrics. Over 305 h of crew habitability data were recorded during the field trial with 65 elements of habitation examined. Acceptability of the vehicles over the course of the missions was considered satisfactory by the majority of the crews. As with previous testing, habitation was considered acceptable by the crews, but some issues concerning stowage, Waste Containment System (WCS) volume, and sleep curtains need to be considered for redesign for the next generation vehicle.

  16. Rover wheel charging on the lunar surface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jackson, Telana L.; Farrell, William M.; Zimmerman, Michael I.

    2015-03-01

    The environment at the Moon is dynamic, with highly variable solar wind plasma conditions at the lunar dayside, terminator, and night side regions. Moving objects such as rover wheels will charge due to contact electrification with the surface, but the degree of charging is controlled by the local plasma environment. Using a dynamic charging model of a wheel, it is demonstrated herein that moving tires will tribocharge substantially when venturing into plasma-current starved regions such as polar craters or the lunar nightside. The surface regolith distribution and the overall effect on charge accumulation of grains cohesively sticking to the rover tire has been incorporated into the model. It is shown that dust sticking can limit the overall charge accumulated on the system. However charge dissipation times are greatly increased in shadowed regions and can present a potential hazard to astronauts and electrical systems performing extra-vehicular activities. We show that dissipation times change with wheel composition and overall system tribocharging is dependent upon wheel velocity.

  17. Anomaly Recovery and the Mars Exploration Rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Matijevic, Jacob R.; Dewell, Elizabeth A.

    2006-01-01

    The premise of the design of operations for the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) is that the vehicles will drive each day. As a result, they will encounter some aspect of the terrain environment that cannot be anticipated or otherwise accommodated by the sequences linked onboard that day. The operations team then must correct the problem by planning then commanding the execution of a different drive the next day. Often other aspects of the operation on the surface of Mars: environmental changes, component degradation, errors in sequence design or execution, etc., lead to anomalies which must be addressed before normal operations can resume. The operational design that makes it possible to recover from a driving error each day also reduces the time needed to recover from anomalies. As an example of the efficiency achieved, less than 5% (about 30 sols out of 700 sols of operations) of the time on the surface has been devoted to recovery from anomalies for each vehicle. In this paper the major anomalies experienced by the MER rovers will be recounted and the streamlined approaches to addressing these problems described. The operational flexibility developed for these missions is also a function of the system design that anticipated a number of likely faults and conditions arising from uncertainty in sequence execution and environmental change. This design will be described as well as the considerations in operation that motivated this design. These considerations will likely be present in any future surface mission.

  18. Mars Exploration Rover Heatshield Observation Campaign

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Szalai, Christine E.; Thoma, Benjamin L.; Lee, Wayne J.; Maki, Justin N.; Willcockson, William H.; Venkatapathy, Ethiraj; White, Todd R.

    2011-01-01

    For the first time ever, engineers were able to observe a heatshield on the surface of another planet after a successful entry through the atmosphere. A three-week heatshield observation campaign was conducted in December 2004 after the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity exited "Endurance Crater." By utilizing the rover's scientific instruments, data was collected to make a qualitative assessment of the performance of the heatshield. This data was gathered to gain a better understanding of how the heatshield performed during entry through the Martian atmosphere. In addition, this unprecedented look at the heatshield offered engineers the opportunity to assess if any unexpected anomalies occurred. Once a survey of the heatshield debris was completed, multiple targets of interest were chosen for the collection of imaging data. This data was then used to assess the char depth of the thermal protection material, which compared well with design and post-flight computational predictions. Extensive imaging data was collected and showed the main seal in pristine conditions, and no observable indications of structure overheating. Additionally, unexpected vehicle dynamics during the atmospheric entry were explained by the observation of thermal blanket remnants attached to the heatshield.

  19. Mars Rover Opportunity Panorama of Wharton Ridge

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2016-10-07

    This scene from NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity shows "Wharton Ridge," which forms part of the southern wall of "Marathon Valley" on the western rim of Endeavour Crater. The full extent of Wharton Ridge is visible, with the floor of Endeavour Crater beyond it and the far wall of the crater in the distant background. Near the right edge of the scene is "Lewis and Clark Gap," through which Opportunity crossed from Marathon Valley to "Bitterroot Valley" in September 2016. Before the rover departed Marathon Valley, its panoramic camera (Pancam) acquired the component images for this scene on Aug. 30, 2016, during the 4,480th Martian day, or sol, of Opportunity's work on Mars. Opportunity's science team chose the ridge's name to honor the memory of Robert A. Wharton (1951-2012), an astrobiologist who was a pioneer in the use of terrestrial analog environments, particularly in Antarctica, to study scientific problems connected to the habitability of Mars. Over the course of his career, he was a visiting senior scientist at NASA Headquarters, vice president for research at the Desert Research Institute, provost at Idaho State University, and president of the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. The view spans from east-northeast at left to southeast at right. It merges exposures taken through three of the Pancam's color filters, centered on wavelengths of 753 nanometers (near-infrared), 535 nanometers (green) and 432 nanometers (violet). It is presented in approximately true color. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA20849

  20. Mars Exploration Rover Heatshield Observation Campaign

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Szalai, Christine E.; Thoma, Benjamin L.; Lee, Wayne J.; Maki, Justin N.; Willcockson, William H.; Venkatapathy, Ethiraj; White, Todd R.

    2011-01-01

    For the first time ever, engineers were able to observe a heatshield on the surface of another planet after a successful entry through the atmosphere. A three-week heatshield observation campaign was conducted in December 2004 after the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity exited "Endurance Crater." By utilizing the rover's scientific instruments, data was collected to make a qualitative assessment of the performance of the heatshield. This data was gathered to gain a better understanding of how the heatshield performed during entry through the Martian atmosphere. In addition, this unprecedented look at the heatshield offered engineers the opportunity to assess if any unexpected anomalies occurred. Once a survey of the heatshield debris was completed, multiple targets of interest were chosen for the collection of imaging data. This data was then used to assess the char depth of the thermal protection material, which compared well with design and post-flight computational predictions. Extensive imaging data was collected and showed the main seal in pristine conditions, and no observable indications of structure overheating. Additionally, unexpected vehicle dynamics during the atmospheric entry were explained by the observation of thermal blanket remnants attached to the heatshield.

  1. Mars Rover Enters New Phase of Mission

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Showstack, Randy

    2010-02-01

    The wandering days for NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit appear to be over. Spirit, which has been exploring the planet on a science mission since January 2004, is embedded in sandy soil and will remain at its current location at 14.6°S, 175.5°E, at the “Home Plate” plateau within Gusev crater, through the coming Martian winter and for the rest of its days. Despite NASA's best efforts to extricate the six-wheeled Spirit from the sulfate salt-rich soil for the past 8 months, mission scientists indicated on 26 January that they now believe the rover is stuck for good, aside from minor movements on its four remaining operational wheels and other small adjustments. For the next several weeks, NASA will continue efforts to slightly reposition the robot so that it can better catch the Sun, endure the coming Martian winter in a state of hibernation, and remain at least in infrequent communication with the science team.

  2. Rover odometry aided by a star tracker

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gammell, J. D.; Tong, Chi Hay; Berczi, P.; Anderson, S.; Barfoot, T. D.; Enright, J.

    This paper develops a practical framework for estimating rover position in full-dark conditions by correcting relative odometric estimates with periodic, absolute-attitude measurements from a star tracker. The framework is validated using just under 2.5 kilometres of field data gathered at the University of Toronto's Koffler Scientific Reserve at Jokers Hill (KSR) comprised of both wheel odometry and lidar-based Visual Odometry (VO). It is shown that for the wheel odometry solution, the final estimate of rover position was within 21 metres of the groundtruth as calculated by a differential GPS receiver, or 0.85% of the total traverse distance. When the star tracker measurements are artificially limited to occurring approximately every 250 metres, the algorithm still performs well, giving a final position error of 75.8 metres or 3.0%. Preliminary results to replace wheel odometry with lidar-based VO for the development a full-dark visual solution are also presented. The lidar-based VO solution is shown to be capable of outperforming wheel odometry, but more work is required to develop methods to handle the variety of terrain conditions encountered.

  3. Computer-Design Drawing for NASA 2020 Mars Rover

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2016-07-15

    NASA's 2020 Mars rover mission will go to a region of Mars thought to have offered favorable conditions long ago for microbial life, and the rover will search for signs of past life there. It will also collect and cache samples for potential return to Earth, for many types of laboratory analysis. As a pioneering step toward how humans on Mars will use the Red Planet's natural resources, the rover will extract oxygen from the Martian atmosphere. This 2016 image comes from computer-assisted-design work on the 2020 rover. The design leverages many successful features of NASA's Curiosity rover, which landed on Mars in 2012, but it adds new science instruments and a sampling system to carry out the new goals for the mission. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA20759

  4. Criticality safety for deactivation of the Rover dry headend process

    SciTech Connect

    Henrikson, D.J.

    1995-12-31

    The Rover dry headend process combusted Rover graphite fuels in preparation for dissolution and solvent extraction for the recovery of {sup 235}U. At the end of the Rover processing campaign, significant quantities of {sup 235}U were left in the dry system. The Rover Dry Headend Process Deactivation Project goal is to remove the remaining uranium bearing material (UBM) from the dry system and then decontaminate the cells. Criticality safety issues associated with the Rover Deactivation Project have been influenced by project design refinement and schedule acceleration initiatives. The uranium ash composition used for calculations must envelope a wide range of material compositions, and yet result in cost effective final packaging and storage. Innovative thinking must be used to provide a timely safety authorization basis while the project design continues to be refined.

  5. The Effects of Clock Drift on the Mars Exploration Rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ali, Khaled S.; Vanelli, C. Anthony

    2012-01-01

    All clocks drift by some amount, and the mission clock on the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) is no exception. The mission clock on both MER rovers drifted significantly since the rovers were launched, and it is still drifting on the Opportunity rover. The drift rate is temperature dependent. Clock drift causes problems for onboard behaviors and spacecraft operations, such as attitude estimation, driving, operation of the robotic arm, pointing for imaging, power analysis, and telecom analysis. The MER operations team has techniques to deal with some of these problems. There are a few techniques for reducing and eliminating the clock drift, but each has drawbacks. This paper presents an explanation of what is meant by clock drift on the rovers, its relationship to temperature, how we measure it, what problems it causes, how we deal with those problems, and techniques for reducing the drift.

  6. The Mars Exploration Rovers : hitting the road on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cox, Nagin

    2005-01-01

    Since the beginning of time, people have been fascinated by Mars. From the earliest mission to now-Mars has been (and is) a challenging destination. The Rovers were developed at a breakneck pace in 3 years and landed successfully on Mars in January 2004. This paper will discuss how the Mars Rover mission fits into the overall Mars Program and NASA's program of planetary exploration. Building the rovers in such a short time period created some difficult design challenges that were mainly schedule driven. in addition, it will cover the process of selecting the rover landing sites as well as the engineering challenges faced in the entry, descent and landing process. The rovers have a great deal of autonomous control ability on the surface and the process of developing and testing those was part of the challenge of doing this in 3 years.

  7. The Effects of Clock Drift on the Mars Exploration Rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ali, Khaled S.; Vanelli, C. Anthony

    2012-01-01

    All clocks drift by some amount, and the mission clock on the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) is no exception. The mission clock on both MER rovers drifted significantly since the rovers were launched, and it is still drifting on the Opportunity rover. The drift rate is temperature dependent. Clock drift causes problems for onboard behaviors and spacecraft operations, such as attitude estimation, driving, operation of the robotic arm, pointing for imaging, power analysis, and telecom analysis. The MER operations team has techniques to deal with some of these problems. There are a few techniques for reducing and eliminating the clock drift, but each has drawbacks. This paper presents an explanation of what is meant by clock drift on the rovers, its relationship to temperature, how we measure it, what problems it causes, how we deal with those problems, and techniques for reducing the drift.

  8. 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.

  9. Delta II Heavy launch of "Opportunity" MER-B Rover

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2003-07-07

    On Launch Complex 17-B, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, the Delta II Heavy launch vehicle carrying the rover "Opportunity" for the second Mars Exploration Rover mission launches at 11:18:15 p.m. EDT. Opportunity will reach Mars on Jan. 25, 2004. Together the two MER rovers, Spirit (launched June 10) and Opportunity, seek to determine the history of climate and water at two sites on Mars where conditions may once have been favorable to life. The rovers are identical. They will navigate themselves around obstacles as they drive across the Martian surface, traveling up to about 130 feet each Martian day. Each rover carries five scientific instruments including a panoramic camera and microscope, plus a rock abrasion tool that will grind away the outer surfaces of rocks to expose their interiors for examination. Each rover’s prime mission is planned to last three months on Mars.

  10. High-Performance Micro-Rover for Planetary Surface Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gao, Y.; Chen, X.

    2009-04-01

    Planetary robotic missions rely on rovers to produce surface mobility for multiple sites sampling and exploration. For example, the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) have been extremely successful in the exploring a wide area of the Martian surface in the past four years. Each of the MER has the size of a golf car and weights ~170 kg. They both result in a massive launch of nearly 1100 kg. Small rovers (5-30 kg) can help to provide moderate surface traverse and greatly reduce cost of the mission, e.g. the Sojourner rover of the Mars Pathfinder mission. There is a growing interest in the micro-rover design and how to maximize performance of a miniaturized system. For example, the rover traversability and locomotion capability will be compromised if the objective is to reduce the size of the vehicle. Undoubtedly, this affects the rover performance in terms of mobility and usefulness to the mission. We propose to overcome this problem by investigating a new generation of rover chassis design to maximize its terrian capability. This paper presents a chassis concept suited for a micro-rover system and negotiating with different planetary terrains such as the Moon and Mars. The proposed tracked-wheel is motivated by bringing together advantages of wheels and tracks, in the same time keeping the design simple and easy to implement. The chassis is built based on four tracked-wheels and offers 10 DOF for the vehicle. Analysis based on Bekker theories suggests this design can generate larger tractive effort (drawbar pull) compared to the wheeled design for the same rover dimensions. As a result, a more effective and efficent chassis can be achieved and leave a large design margin for the science payload.

  11. Planetary rover robotics experiment in education: carbonate rock collecting experiment of the Husar-5 rover

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szalay, Kristóf; Lang, Ágota; Horváth, Tamás; Prajczer, Péter; Bérczi, Szaniszló

    2013-04-01

    Introduction: The new experiment for the Husar-5 educational space probe rover consists of steps of the technology of procedure of finding carbonate speci-mens among the rocks on the field. 3 main steps were robotized: 1) identification of carbonate by acid test, 2) measuring the gases liberated by acid, and 3) magnetic test. Construction of the experiment: The basis of the robotic realization of the experiment is a romote-controlled rover which can move on the field. Onto this rover the mechanism of the experiments were built from Technics LEGO elements and we used LEGO-motors for making move these experiments. The operation was coordinated by an NXT-brick which was suitable to programming. Fort he acetic-test the drops should be passed to the selected area. Passing a drop to a locality: From the small holder of the acid using densified gas we pump some drop onto the selected rock. We promote this process by pumpig the atmospheric gas into another small gas-container, so we have another higher pressure gas there. This is pumped into the acid-holder. The effect of the reaction is observed by a wireless onboard camera In the next step we can identify the the liberated gas by the gas sensor. Using it we can confirm the liberation of the CO2 gas without outer observer. The third step is the controll of the paramagnetic properties.. In measuring this feature a LEGO-compass is our instrumentation. We use a electric current gener-ated magnet. During the measurements both the coil and the gas-sensor should be positioned to be near to the surface. This means, that a lowering and an uplifting machinery should be constructed. Summary: The sequence of the measurement is the following. 1) the camera - after giving panorama images - turns toward the soil surface, 2) the dropping onto the rock surface 3) at the same time the gas-sensor starts to move down above the rock 4) the compass sensor also moves down on the arm which holds both the gas-sensor and the compass-sensor 5

  12. Revolutionary High Mobility Rovers for Rugged Terrain

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clark, P. E.; Curtis, S. A.; Rilee, M. L.; Cheung, C. Y.; Wesenberg, R. P.; Dorband, J. E.; Lunsford, A. W.

    2006-05-01

    Reconfigurable architecture is essential in exploration because reaching features of the great potential interest, whether searching for life in volcanic terrain or water in at the bottom of craters, will require crossing a wide range of terrains. Such areas of interest are largely inaccessible to permanently appendaged vehicles. For example, morphology and geochemistry of interior basins, walls, and ejecta blankets of volcanic or impact structures must all be studied to understand the nature of a geological event. One surface might be relatively flat and navigable, while another could be rough, variably sloping, broken, or dominated by unconsolidated debris. To be totally functional, structures must form pseudo-appendages varying in size, rate, and manner of deployment (gait). We have already prototyped a simple robotic walker from a single reconfigurable tetrahedron (with struts as sides and nodes as apices) capable of tumbling and are simulating and building a prototype of the more evolved 12Tetrahedral Walker (Autonomous Moon or Mars Investigator) which has interior nodes for payload, more continuous motion, and is commandable through a user friendly interface. We are currently developing a more differentiated architecture to form detachable, reconfigurable, reshapable linearly extendable bodies to act as manual assistant subsystems on rovers, with extensions terminating in a wider range of sensors. We are now simulating gaits for and will be building a prototype rover arm. Ultimately, complex continuous n-tetrahedral structures will have deployable outer skin, and even higher degrees of freedom. Tetrahedral rover advantages over traditional wheeled or tread robots are being demonstrated and include abilities to: 1) traverse terrain more rugged in terms of slope, roughness, and obstacle size; 2) precisely place and lower instruments into hard-to-reach crevices; 3) sample more locations per unit time; 4) conform to virtually any terrain; 5) avoid falling down or

  13. Autonomous Rover for Polar GPR Surveys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ray, L.; Lever, J. H.; Courville, Z.; Walker, B.; Arcone, S. A.

    2015-12-01

    We deployed Yeti, an 80-kg, 4WD battery-powered rover to conduct ground-penetrating radar (GPR) surveys over crevasse-ridden ice sheets in Antarctica and Greenland. The rover navigated using GPS waypoint following and had 3 - 4 hr endurance at 5 km/hr while towing 60 - 70 kg of GPR equipment. Yeti's low ground pressure allowed it to cross thinly bridged crevasses without interrupting a survey. In Feb - Mar 2014, Yeti executed 23 autonomous GPR surveys covering 94 km of terrain on the ice transition to the main ice sheet in northwest Greenland. This was the first robotic effort directly to support manual crevasse surveys to map a safe route for vehicle travel, in this case a resupply traverse to Summit Station. Yeti towed a radar controller, 400 MHz antenna, GPS receiver and battery pack. Radar scan rate was 16 scans/m and pulse timing allowed good spatial resolution to about 20-m depth. The resulting data allowed us to map hundreds of subsurface crevasses and provide the results nightly to the manual survey team to compliment its efforts. We met our objectives: (a) to enhance operational efficiency of the concurrent manual surveys, and (b) to create a geo-referenced database of crevasse signatures to validate aerial- and satellite-based crevasse-mapping platforms. In Oct - Nov 2014, we deployed Yeti in Antarctica to conduct systematic GPR surveys across a crevasse-ridden section of the shear margin between the Ross and McMurdo ice shelves and thereby gain insight into its state of fracture and long-term stability. Yeti flawlessly executed a total of 613 km of autonomous GPR surveys at temperatures as low as - 33ºC. The rover towed a a radar controlling a 400 MHz and a 200 MHz antenna, the latter added to profile 160 m through the ice sheet. The main survey grid covered 5.7 km x 5.0 km, with survey lines at 50-m spacing oriented west-east across the Shear Zone (575 km total length). Yeti's tracks normally deviated only 1 - 2 m from a straight line between the two

  14. Electrostatic Dust Control for Planetary Rovers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Clark, P. E.; Curtis, S. A.; Farrell, W. M.; Nuth, J. A.; Stubbs, T. J.; Rilee, M. L.

    2005-12-01

    Detailed study of the physical and chemical nature of the fine particulate portion of the regoliths of these bodies is a key to understanding micrometeorite bombardment and the nature of regolith formation. Thus, missions to sample the surfaces of atmosphereless bodies, including the Moon, asteroids, and Mercury, have been identified as crucial components of solar system exploration over the next decades. We have proposed autonomous reconfigurable robotic manual assistants and lander/rovers for such missions. On the other hand, dust poses problems for mechanisms and exposed surfaces on landers/rovers sent to such bodies. Compromise of seals and loss of sample material, as well as mechanical damage to systems and surfaces, occurred after hours of operation during the Apollo missions. Thus both dust mitigation and dust collection are issues which must be addressed for sampling missions. Dust activity on atmosphereless bodies is ubiquitous and induced by complex interactions of fine particulates, environmentally-dependent fields, and charged particles with vehicle surfaces and mechanisms. Dust particles are both abrasive and adhesive as a result of the melting and crushing from micrometeorite bombardment. Thus, dust dynamics result from the interplay between mechanical and electrostatic forces and are a critical environmental factor with which all rover technologies must deal. We have considered various strategies for dust mitigation. Passive ones include the use of conducting surfaces and O-ring sealing of all mechanisms. Several active mechanisms for not only removing but collecting dust are under consideration. Our inter-disciplinary team is investigating the feasibility of an electrostatically based concept for a dust control. Relatively little work has been done on empirically simulating what happens when another surface is introduced into a non-conducting, dusty regolith. We plan to test our concept by performing empirical simulations of the interaction between

  15. Bringing Terramechanics to bear on Planetary Rover Design

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richter, L.

    2007-08-01

    Thus far, planetary rovers have been successfully operated on the Earth's moon and on Mars. In particular, the two NASA Mars Exploration Rovers (MERs) ,Spirit' and ,Opportunity' are still in sustained daily operations at two sites on Mars more than 3 years after landing there. Currently, several new planetary rover missions are in development targeting Mars (the US Mars Science Lab vehicle for launch in 2009 and ESA's ExoMars rover for launch in 2013), with lunar rover missions under study by China and Japan for launches around 2012. Moreover, the US Constellation program is preparing pre-development of lunar rovers for initially unmanned and, subsequently, human missions to the Moon with a corresponding team dedicated to mobility system development having been set up at the NASA Glenn Research Center. Given this dynamic environment, it was found timely to establish an expert group on off-the-road mobility as relevant for robotic vehicles that would involve individuals representing the various on-going efforts on the different continents. This was realized through the International Society of Terrain-Vehicle Systems (ISTVS), a research organisation devoted to terramechanics and to the ,science' of off-the-road vehicle development which as a result is just now establishing a Technical Group on Terrestrial and Planetary Rovers. Members represent space-related as well as military research institutes and universities from the US, Germany, Italy, and Japan. The group's charter for 2007 is to define its objectives, functions, organizational structure and recommended research objectives to support planetary rover design and development. Expected areas of activity of the ISTVS-sponsored group include: the problem of terrain specification for planetary rovers; identification of limitations in modelling of rover mobility; a survey of existing rover mobility testbeds; the consolidation of mobility predictive models and their state of validation; sensing and real

  16. Characterization of the Martian surface deposits by the Mars Pathfinder rover, Sojourner. Rover Team.

    PubMed

    1997-12-05

    Sojourner, the Mars Pathfinder rover, discovered pebbles on the surface and in rocks that may be sedimentary-not volcanic-in origin. Surface pebbles may have been rounded by Ares flood waters or liberated by weathering of sedimentary rocks called conglomerates. Conglomerates imply that water existed elsewhere and earlier than the Ares flood. Most soil-like deposits are similar to moderately dense soils on Earth. Small amounts of dust are currently settling from the atmosphere.

  17. APXS on board Chandrayaan-2 Rover

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shanmugam, M.; Sripada, V. S. Murty; Acharya, Y. B.; Goyal, S. K.

    2012-07-01

    Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) is a well proven instrument for quantitative in situ elemental analysis of the planetary surfaces and has been successfully employed for Mars surface exploration. Chandrayaan-2, ISRO's second lunar mission having an Orbiter, Lander and Rover has provided an opportunity to explore the lunar surface with superior detectors such as Silicon Drift Detector (SDD) with energy resolution of about 150eV @ 5.9keV. The objective of the APXS instrument is to analyse several soil/rock samples along the rover traverse for the major elements with characteristic X-rays in 1 to 25keV range. The working principle of APXS involves measuring the intensity of characteristic X-rays emitted from the sample due to Alpha Particle Induced X-ray Emission (PIXE) and X-ray florescence (XRF) processes using suitable radioactive sources, allowing the determination of elements from Na to Br, spanning the energy range of 0.9 to 16keV. For this experiment ^{244}Cm radioactive source has been chosen which emits both Alpha particles (5.8MeV) and X-rays (14.1keV, 18keV). APXS uses six Alpha sources, each about 5mCi activity. Unlike Mars, lunar environment poses additional challenges due to the regolith and extreme surface temperature changes, to operate the APXS. Our APXS instrument consists of two packages namely APXS sensor head and APXS signal electronics. The sensor head assembly contains SDD, six alpha sources and front end electronic circuits such as preamplifier and shaper circuits and will be mounted on a robotic arm which on command brings the sensor head close to the lunar surface at a height of 35±10mm. SDD module to be used in the experiment has 30mm ^{2} active detector area with in-built peltier cooler and heat sink to maintain the detector at about -35°C. The detector is covered with 8 micron thick Be window which results in the low energy threshold of about 1keV. The size of the APXS sensor head is 70x70x70mm ^{3} (approx). APXS signal

  18. Dynamic modeling and simulation of planetary rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lindemann, Randel A.

    1992-01-01

    This paper documents a preliminary study into the dynamic modeling and computer simulation of wheeled surface vehicles. The research centered on the feasibility of using commercially available multibody dynamics codes running on engineering workstations to perform the analysis. The results indicated that physically representative vehicle mechanics can be modeled and simulated in state-of-the-art Computer Aided Engineering environments, but at excessive cost in modeling and computation time. The results lead to the recommendation for the development of an efficient rover mobility-specific software system. This system would be used for vehicle design and simulation in planetary environments; controls prototyping, design, and testing; as well as local navigation simulation and expectation planning.

  19. Mars Exploration Rover Flight Operations Technical Consultation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Leckrone, Dave S.; Null, Cynthia H.; Caldwell, John; Graves, Claude; Konitinos, Dean A.

    2009-01-01

    The Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Project at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory developed two golf-cart size robotic vehicles, Spirit and Opportunity, for geological exploration of designated target areas on the surface of Mars. The primary scientific objective of these missions was the search for evidence of the presence of water on or near the surface of the planet during its history. Spirit and Opportunity were launched on June 10 and July 7, 2003, with their respective landings scheduled for January 4 and January 25, 2004 (UTC). NASA views the MER missions as particularly critical because of their scientific importance in the ongoing search for conditions under which life might have existed elsewhere in the solar system, because of their high level of public interest and because more than half of all prior missions launched to Mars internationally have failed. This report summarizes the findings and recommendations of the NASA Engineering and Safety Center review of the project.

  20. Data Management for Mars Exploration Rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Snyder, Joseph F.; Smyth, David E.

    2004-01-01

    Data Management for the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) project is a comprehensive system addressing the needs of development, test, and operations phases of the mission. During development of flight software, including the science software, the data management system can be simulated using any POSIX file system. During testing, the on-board file system can be bit compared with files on the ground to verify proper behavior and end-to-end data flows. During mission operations, end-to-end accountability of data products is supported, from science observation concept to data products within the permanent ground repository. Automated and human-in-the-loop ground tools allow decisions regarding retransmitting, re-prioritizing, and deleting data products to be made using higher level information than is available to a protocol-stack approach such as the CCSDS File Delivery Protocol (CFDP).

  1. Pancam Mast Assembly on Mars Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Warden, Robert M.; Cross, Mike; Harvison, Doug

    2004-01-01

    The Pancam Mast Assembly (PMA) for the 2003 Mars Rover is a deployable structure that provides an elevated platform for several cameras. The PMA consists of several mechanisms that enable it to raise the cameras as well as point the cameras in all directions. This paper describes the function of the various mechanisms as well as a description of the mechanisms and some test parameters. Designing these mechanisms to operate on the surface of Mars presented several challenges. Typical spacecraft mechanisms must operate in zero-gravity and high vacuum. These mechanisms needed to be designed to operate in Martian gravity and atmosphere. Testing conditions were a little easier because the mechanisms are not required to operate in a vacuum. All of the materials are vacuum compatible, but the mechanisms were tested in a dry nitrogen atmosphere at various cold temperatures.

  2. Adaptive multisensor fusion for planetary exploration rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Collin, Marie-France; Kumar, Krishen; Pampagnin, Luc-Henri

    1992-01-01

    The purpose of the adaptive multisensor fusion system currently being designed at NASA/Johnson Space Center is to provide a robotic rover with assured vision and safe navigation capabilities during robotic missions on planetary surfaces. Our approach consists of using multispectral sensing devices ranging from visible to microwave wavelengths to fulfill the needs of perception for space robotics. Based on the illumination conditions and the sensors capabilities knowledge, the designed perception system should automatically select the best subset of sensors and their sensing modalities that will allow the perception and interpretation of the environment. Then, based on reflectance and emittance theoretical models, the sensor data are fused to extract the physical and geometrical surface properties of the environment surface slope, dielectric constant, temperature and roughness. The theoretical concepts, the design and first results of the multisensor perception system are presented.

  3. 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.

  4. Extended mission/lunar rover, executive summary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  5. 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.

    2008-01-01

    A design and a partially developed application framework were presented for improving localization and targeting for surface spacecraft. The program has value for the Mars Science Laboratory mission, and has been delivered to support the Mars Exploration Rovers as part of the latest version of the Maestro science planning tool. It also has applications for future missions involving either surface-based or low-altitude atmospheric robotic vehicles. The targeting and localization solutions solve the problem of how to integrate localization estimate updates into operational planning tools, operational data product generalizations, and flight software by adding expanded flexibility to flight software, the operations data product pipeline, and operations planning tools based on coordinate frame updates during a planning cycle.

  6. Data Management for Mars Exploration Rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Snyder, Joseph F.; Smyth, David E.

    2004-01-01

    Data Management for the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) project is a comprehensive system addressing the needs of development, test, and operations phases of the mission. During development of flight software, including the science software, the data management system can be simulated using any POSIX file system. During testing, the on-board file system can be bit compared with files on the ground to verify proper behavior and end-to-end data flows. During mission operations, end-to-end accountability of data products is supported, from science observation concept to data products within the permanent ground repository. Automated and human-in-the-loop ground tools allow decisions regarding retransmitting, re-prioritizing, and deleting data products to be made using higher level information than is available to a protocol-stack approach such as the CCSDS File Delivery Protocol (CFDP).

  7. Martian Sand Disturbed by Rover Wheel

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2015-12-10

    This view shows grains of sand where NASA's Curiosity Mars rover was driven into a shallow sand sheet near a large dune. The disturbance by the wheel exposed interior material of the sand body, including finer sand grains than on the undisturbed surface. Sunlight is coming from the left. The scene covers an area 1.3 inches by 1.0 inch (3.3 by 2.5 centimeters). This is a focus-merge product from Curiosity's Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI), combining multiple images taken at different focus settings to yield sharper focus at varying distances from the lens. The component images were taken on Dec. 3, 2015, during the 1,182nd Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity's work on Mars. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA20170

  8. Curiosity Rover Martian Mission, Exaggerated Cross Section

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2016-12-13

    This graphic depicts aspects of the driving distance, elevation, geological units and time intervals of NASA's Curiosity Mars rover mission, as of late 2016. The vertical dimension is exaggerated 14-fold compared with the horizontal dimension, for presentation-screen proportions. As of early December 2016, Curiosity had driven 9.3 miles (15 kilometers) since its August 2012 landing on the floor of Gale Crater near the base of Mount Sharp. It had climbed 541 feet (165 meters) in elevation. Elevation values shown on the vertical scale of this chart denote meters below an established zero-elevation level on Mars, which lacks a planetary "sea level." Because Curiosity is below the zero elevation, the numbers are negative. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21145

  9. Rover's Wheel Churns Up Bright Martian Soil

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2009-01-01

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit acquired this mosaic on the mission's 1,202nd Martian day, or sol (May 21, 2007), while investigating the area east of the elevated plateau known as 'Home Plate' in the 'Columbia Hills.' The mosaic shows an area of disturbed soil, nicknamed 'Gertrude Weise' by scientists, made by Spirit's stuck right front wheel.

    The trench exposed a patch of nearly pure silica, with the composition of opal. It could have come from either a hot-spring environment or an environment called a fumarole, in which acidic, volcanic steam rises through cracks. Either way, its formation involved water, and on Earth, both of these types of settings teem with microbial life.

    Spirit acquired this mosaic with the panoramic camera's 753-nanometer, 535-nanometer, and 432-nanometer filters. The view presented here is an approximately true-color rendering.

  10. Rover's Wheel Churns Up Bright Martian Soil

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2009-01-01

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit acquired this mosaic on the mission's 1,202nd Martian day, or sol (May 21, 2007), while investigating the area east of the elevated plateau known as 'Home Plate' in the 'Columbia Hills.' The mosaic shows an area of disturbed soil, nicknamed 'Gertrude Weise' by scientists, made by Spirit's stuck right front wheel.

    The trench exposed a patch of nearly pure silica, with the composition of opal. It could have come from either a hot-spring environment or an environment called a fumarole, in which acidic, volcanic steam rises through cracks. Either way, its formation involved water, and on Earth, both of these types of settings teem with microbial life.

    Spirit acquired this mosaic with the panoramic camera's 753-nanometer, 535-nanometer, and 432-nanometer filters. The view presented here is an approximately true-color rendering.

  11. Diversity of soils near rover deploy region

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    The surface near the rover's egress from the lander contains mainly bright red drift (#1), dark gray rocks such as Cradle (# 3), soil intermediate in color to the rocks and drift (#2), and dark red soil on and around the rock Lamb (#4). Globally, Mars is characterized by similar color variations. The spectra, measured using the full 13-color capability of the Imager for Mars Pathfinder (IMP), provide evidence for the mineralogy of the unweathered rocks and highly weathered red soils.

    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).

  12. Mars Exploration Rovers orbit determination filter strategy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McElrath, Tim; Watkins, Michael L.; Portock, Brian; Graat, Eric; Baird, Darren; Wawrzyniak, Geoffrey; Guinn, Joseph; Antreasian, Peter; Attiyah, Amy; Baalke, Ronald; hide

    2004-01-01

    The successful delivery of the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) landers to well with in the boundaries of their surface target areas in January of 2004 was the culmination of years of orbit determination analysis. The process began with a careful consideration of the filter parameters used for pre-launch covariance studies, and continued with the refinement of the filter after launch based on operational experience. At the same time, tools were developed to run a plethora of variations around the nominal filter and anlyze the results in ways that had never been previously attempted for an interplanetary mission. In addition to the achieved sub-kilometer Mars B plane orbit determination knowledge, the filter strategy and process responded to unexpected error sources by both detecting them and proving robust. All these facets of the MER orbit determination filter strategy are described in this paper.

  13. Mars Exploration Rovers orbit determination filter strategy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McElrath, Timothy P.; Watkins, Michael M.; Portock, Brian M.; Graat, Eric J; Baird, Darren T; Wawrzyniak, Geoffrey G.; Attiyah, Amy A.; Guinn, Joseph R.; Antreasian, Peter G.; Baalke, Ronald C.; hide

    2004-01-01

    The successful delivery of the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) landers to well within the boundaries of their surface target areas in January of 2004 was the culmination of years of orbit determination analysis. The process began with a careful consideration of the filter parameters used for pre-launch covariance studies, and continued with the refinement of the filter after launch based on operational experience. At the same time, tools were developed to run a plethora of variations around the nominal filter and analyze the results in ways that had never been previously attempted for an interplanetary mission. In addition to achieving sub-kilometer Mars-relative orbit determination knowledge, the filter strategy and process detected unexpected error sources, while at the same time proving robust by indicating thecorrect solution. Consequently, MER orbit determination set a new standard for interplanetary navigation.

  14. Progress in Development of the Axel Rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Nesnas, Issa A.; Helmick, Daniel M.; Volpe, Richard A.; Abad-Manterola, Pablo; Edlund, Jeffrey A.

    2010-01-01

    Progress has been made in the development of a family of robotic land vehicles having modular and minimalist design features chosen to impart a combination of robustness, reliability, and versatility. These vehicles at earlier stages of development were described in two previous NASA Tech Briefs articles: "Reconfigurable Exploratory Robotic Vehicles" (NPO-20944), Vol. 25, No. 7 (July 2001), page 56; and "More About Reconfigurable Exploratory Robotic Vehicles" (NPO-30890), Vol. 33, No. 8 (August 2009), page 40. Conceived for use in exploration of the surfaces of Mars and other remote planets, these vehicles could also be adapted to terrestrial applications, including exploration of volcanic craters or other hostile terrain, military reconnaissance, inspection of hazardous sites, and searching for victims of earthquakes, landslides, avalanches, or mining accidents. In addition, simplified versions of these vehicles might be marketable as toys. The most basic module in this family of reconfigurable robots is the Axel rover, which has a cylindrical body with two main wheels and a trailing link. Inside its body are three motors and associated mechanisms for driving the two wheels and for rotating the link 360 around its symmetrical body. The actuated link serves several purposes: It is used as a lever arm to react to the wheels thrust to move Axel in multiple directions. It is used to rotate the Axel housing in order to tilt, to the desired angle, any sensors and instruments mounted on or in the Axel housing. It provides an alternative mobility mode, which is primarily used in its tethered configuration. Turn ing the link into the ground in lieu of driving the wheels causes the Axel housing and wheels to roll as a unit and thereby leads to a tumbling motion along the ground. With a tether mounted around Axel s cylindrical body, the link serves as a winch mechanism to reel and unreel the tether raising and lowering Axel over steep and vertical surfaces (Figure 1

  15. The Mars Lander/Rover (MLR)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1987-01-01

    Growing interest in a future manned mission to Mars illuminated a critical need for more information on the Martian environment, surface conditions, weather patterns, topography, etc. While the Viking landers provided valuable information of this type, the information came from fixed locations. There is a real need for Viking type of information from a number of locations on the Martian surface in order to adequately survey the planet for future landing and exploration sites. Current site survey mission discussions range from Mars orbiters to sample return missions. The limited data return from the former and the extreme expense of the latter suggest consideration of a 'middle ground' mission which provides needed survey information for an acceptable investment. Utah State University (USU) designed a Mars Lander/Rover (MLR) for use in gathering needed environmental and surface information from Mars. Philosophically, the MLR resembles a mobile Viking; that is, it moves from location to location on the Martian surface, measuring environmental conditions, analyzing soil samples, charting topographical features etc. Measured data is then telemetered to earth for further analysis. Conceptually, it was envisioned that MLR survey locations would be rather widely separated. In that sense the MLR was not a terrestrial vehicle limited to local movement about a fixed location. Rather, it would have the capability for movement over long distances to reach widely separated locations. The design focus, then, was upon a Mars Lander/Rover that leaves an orbit around Mars, reenters and soft lands on the Martian surface and moves sequentially to widely scattered locations to sample, measure, and analyze Martian environmental and surface conditions. Primary goals were payload mass and size definition, characterization of the Martian atmosphere, selection of sampling locations, identification of alternative design concepts, selection of a preferred concept, team organization, and

  16. 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.

  17. A predictive wheel-soil interaction model for planetary rovers validated in testbeds and against MER Mars rover performance data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Richter, L.; Ellery, A.; Gao, Y.; Michaud, S.; Schmitz, N.; Weiss, S.

    Successful designs of vehicles intended for operations on planetary objects outside the Earth demand, just as for terrestrial off-the-road vehicles, a careful assessment of the terrain relevant for the vehicle mission and predictions of the mobility performance to allow rational trade-off's to be made for the choice of the locomotion concept and sizing. Principal issues driving the chassis design for rovers are the stress-strain properties of the planetary surface soil, the distribution of rocks in the terrain representing potential obstacles to movement, and the gravity level on the celestial object in question. Thus far, planetary rovers have been successfully designed and operated for missions to the Earth's moon and to the planet Mars, including NASA's Mars Exploration Rovers (MER's) `Spirit' and `Opportunity' being in operation on Mars since their landings in January 2004. Here we report on the development of a wheel-soil interaction model with application to wheel sizes and wheel loads relevant to current and near-term robotic planetary rovers, i.e. wheel diameters being between about 200 and 500 mm and vertical quasistatic wheel loads in operation of roughly 100 to 200 N. Such a model clearly is indispensable for sizings of future rovers to analyse the aspect of rover mobility concerned with motion across soils. This work is presently funded by the European Space Agency (ESA) as part of the `Rover Chassis Evaluation Tools' (RCET) effort which has developed a set of S/W-implemented models for predictive mobility analysis of rovers in terms of movement on soils and across obstacles, coupled with dedicated testbeds to validate the wheel-soil models. In this paper, we outline the details of the wheel-soil modelling performed within the RCET work and present comparisons of predictions of wheel performance (motion resistance, torque vs. slip and drawbar pull vs. slip) for specific test cases with the corresponding measurements performed in the RCET single wheel

  18. A Mars Rover Mission Simulation on Kilauea Volcano

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stoker, Carol; Cuzzi, Jeffery N. (Technical Monitor)

    1995-01-01

    A field experiment to simulate a rover mission on Mars was performed using the Russian Marsokhod rover deployed on Kilauea Volcano HI in February, 1995. A Russian Marsokhod rover chassis was equipped with American avionics equipment, stereo cameras on a pan and tilt platform, a digital high resolution body-mounted camera, and a manipulator arm on which was mounted a camera with a close-up lens. The six wheeled rover is 2 meters long and has a mass of 120 kg. The imaging system was designed to simulate that used on the planned "Mars Together" mission. The rover was deployed on Kilauea Volcano HI and operated from NASA Ames by a team of planetary geologists and exobiologists. Two modes of mission operations were simulated for three days each: (1) long time delay, low data bandwidth (simulating a Mars mission), and (2) live video, wide-bandwidth data (allowing active control simulating a Lunar rover mission or a Mars rover mission controlled from on or near the Martian surface). Simulated descent images (aerial photographs) were used to plan traverses to address a detailed set of science questions. The actual route taken was determined by the science team and the traverse path was frequently changed in response to the data acquired and to unforeseen operational issues. Traverses were thereby optimized to efficiently answer scientific questions. During the Mars simulation, the rover traversed a distance of 800 m. Based on the time delay between Earth and Mars, we estimate that the same operation would have taken 30 days to perform on Mars. This paper will describe the mission simulation and make recommendations about incorporating rovers into the Mars surveyor program.

  19. A Mars Rover Mission Simulation on Kilauea Volcano

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stoker, Carol; Cuzzi, Jeffery N. (Technical Monitor)

    1995-01-01

    A field experiment to simulate a rover mission on Mars was performed using the Russian Marsokhod rover deployed on Kilauea Volcano HI in February, 1995. A Russian Marsokhod rover chassis was equipped with American avionics equipment, stereo cameras on a pan and tilt platform, a digital high resolution body-mounted camera, and a manipulator arm on which was mounted a camera with a close-up lens. The six wheeled rover is 2 meters long and has a mass of 120 kg. The imaging system was designed to simulate that used on the planned "Mars Together" mission. The rover was deployed on Kilauea Volcano HI and operated from NASA Ames by a team of planetary geologists and exobiologists. Two modes of mission operations were simulated for three days each: (1) long time delay, low data bandwidth (simulating a Mars mission), and (2) live video, wide-bandwidth data (allowing active control simulating a Lunar rover mission or a Mars rover mission controlled from on or near the Martian surface). Simulated descent images (aerial photographs) were used to plan traverses to address a detailed set of science questions. The actual route taken was determined by the science team and the traverse path was frequently changed in response to the data acquired and to unforeseen operational issues. Traverses were thereby optimized to efficiently answer scientific questions. During the Mars simulation, the rover traversed a distance of 800 m. Based on the time delay between Earth and Mars, we estimate that the same operation would have taken 30 days to perform on Mars. This paper will describe the mission simulation and make recommendations about incorporating rovers into the Mars surveyor program.

  20. Sources Sought for Innovative Scientific Instrumentation for Scientific Lunar Rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Meyer, C.

    1993-01-01

    Lunar rovers should be designed as integrated scientific measurement systems that address scientific goals as their main objective. Scientific goals for lunar rovers are presented. Teleoperated robotic field geologists will allow the science team to make discoveries using a wide range of sensory data collected by electronic 'eyes' and sophisticated scientific instrumentation. rovers need to operate in geologically interesting terrain (rock outcrops) and to identify and closely examine interesting rock samples. Enough flight-ready instruments are available to fly on the first mission, but additional instrument development based on emerging technology is desirable. Various instruments that need to be developed for later missions are described.

  1. 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.

  2. Using Multi-Core Systems for Rover Autonomy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Clement, Brad; Estlin, Tara; Bornstein, Benjamin; Springer, Paul; Anderson, Robert C.

    2010-01-01

    Task Objectives are: (1) Develop and demonstrate key capabilities for rover long-range science operations using multi-core computing, (a) Adapt three rover technologies to execute on SOA multi-core processor (b) Illustrate performance improvements achieved (c) Demonstrate adapted capabilities with rover hardware, (2) Targeting three high-level autonomy technologies (a) Two for onboard data analysis (b) One for onboard command sequencing/planning, (3) Technologies identified as enabling for future missions, (4)Benefits will be measured along several metrics: (a) Execution time / Power requirements (b) Number of data products processed per unit time (c) Solution quality

  3. Mixed-Initiative Activity Planning for Mars Rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bresina, John; Jonsson, Ari; Morris, Paul; Rajan, Kanna

    2005-01-01

    One of the ground tools used to operate the Mars Exploration Rovers is a mixed-initiative planning system called MAPGEN. The role of the system is to assist operators building daily plans for each of the rovers, maximizing science return, while maintaining rover safety and abiding by science and engineering constraints. In this paper, we describe the MAPGEN system, focusing on the mixed-initiative planning aspect. We note important challenges, both in terms of human interaction and in terms of automated reasoning requirements. We then describe the approaches taken in MAPGEN, focusing on the novel methods developed by our team.

  4. Autonomous navigation and control of a Mars rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Miller, D. P.; Atkinson, D. J.; Wilcox, B. H.; Mishkin, A. H.

    1990-01-01

    A Mars rover will need to be able to navigate autonomously kilometers at a time. This paper outlines the sensing, perception, planning, and execution monitoring systems that are currently being designed for the rover. The sensing is based around stereo vision. The interpretation of the images use a registration of the depth map with a global height map provided by an orbiting spacecraft. Safe, low energy paths are then planned through the map, and expectations of what the rover's articulation sensors should sense are generated. These expectations are then used to ensure that the planned path is correctly being executed.

  5. BOILING REACTORS

    DOEpatents

    Untermyer, S.

    1962-04-10

    A boiling reactor having a reactivity which is reduced by an increase in the volume of vaporized coolant therein is described. In this system unvaporized liquid coolant is extracted from the reactor, heat is extracted therefrom, and it is returned to the reactor as sub-cooled liquid coolant. This reduces a portion of the coolant which includes vaporized coolant within the core assembly thereby enhancing the power output of the assembly and rendering the reactor substantially self-regulating. (AEC)

  6. 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

  7. NEUTRONIC REACTOR

    DOEpatents

    Daniels, F.

    1959-10-27

    A reactor in which at least a portion of the moderator is in the form of movable refractory balls is described. In addition to their moderating capacity, these balls may serve as carriers for fissionable material or fertile material, or may serve in a coolant capacity to remove heat from the reactor. A pneumatic system is used to circulate the balls through the reactor.

  8. NUCLEAR REACTOR

    DOEpatents

    Treshow, M.

    1961-09-01

    A boiling-water nuclear reactor is described wherein control is effected by varying the moderator-to-fuel ratio in the reactor core. This is accomplished by providing control tubes containing a liquid control moderator in the reactor core and providing means for varying the amount of control moderatcr within the control tubes.

  9. 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.

  10. CONVECTION REACTOR

    DOEpatents

    Hammond, R.P.; King, L.D.P.

    1960-03-22

    An homogeneous nuclear power reactor utilizing convection circulation of the liquid fuel is proposed. The reactor has an internal heat exchanger looated in the same pressure vessel as the critical assembly, thereby eliminating necessity for handling the hot liquid fuel outside the reactor pressure vessel during normal operation. The liquid fuel used in this reactor eliminates the necessity for extensive radiolytic gas rocombination apparatus, and the reactor is resiliently pressurized and, without any movable mechanical apparatus, automatically regulates itself to the condition of criticality during moderate variations in temperature snd pressure and shuts itself down as the pressure exceeds a predetermined safe operating value.

  11. Research reactors

    SciTech Connect

    Tonneson, L.C.; Fox, G.J.

    1996-04-01

    There are currently 284 research reactors in operation, and 12 under construction around the world. Of the operating reactors, nearly two-thirds are used exclusively for research, and the rest for a variety of purposes, including training, testing, and critical assembly. For more than 50 years, research reactor programs have contributed greatly to the scientific and educational communities. Today, six of the world`s research reactors are being shut down, three of which are in the USA. With government budget constraints and the growing proliferation concerns surrounding the use of highly enriched uranium in some of these reactors, the future of nuclear research could be impacted.

  12. Snake River Rock Feature Viewed by Curiosity Mars Rover

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2013-01-04

    The sinuous rock feature in the lower center of this mosaic of images recorded by the NASA Mars rover Curiosity is called Snake River. Curiosity gets a closer look at Snake River for before proceeding to other nearby rocks.

  13. Camera-Only Kinematics for Small Lunar Rovers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fang, E.; Suresh, S.; Whittaker, W.

    2016-11-01

    Knowledge of the kinematic state of rovers is critical. Existing methods add sensors and wiring to moving parts, which can fail and adds mass and volume. This research presents a method to optically determine kinematic state using a single camera.

  14. Mars Orbiter Sees Rover Opportunity at Crater Edge

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2011-01-04

    NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter acquired this image of the Opportunity rover on the southwest rim of Santa Maria crater on New Year Eve 2010. Opportunity is imaging the crater interior to better reveal the geometry of rock layers.

  15. MER Caching Rover for 2018 Exploration of Ancient Mars

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ehlmann, B. L.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Manning, R. M.; Rivellini, T. P.; Backes, P. G.; Ganino, A. J.; Shiraishi, L. R.; Klein, K. J.; Allen, W. C.; Kahn, C. L.; Ziemer, J. K.; Sherwood, B.; Eisen, H. J.

    2012-06-01

    A modern, minimally updated MER rover can begin sample return in 2018. We demonstrate MER accommodates a caching system and robust science payload. A guided entry airbag landing system enables exploration and sample collection at high priority sites.

  16. Rovers for intelligent, agile traverse of challenging terrain

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schenker, P.; Huntsberger, T.; Pirjanian, P.; Dubowsky, S.; Iagnemma, K.; Sujan, V.

    2003-01-01

    Planetary surface mobility has to date been limited to benign locations. If rover systems could be developed for more challenging terrain, e.g., sloped and irregularly feathered areas, then planetary science opportunities would be greatly expanded.

  17. X-Ray Instrument for Mars 2020 Rover is PIXL

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2014-07-31

    This diagram depicts the sensor head of the Planetary Instrument for X-RAY Lithochemistry, or PIXL, which has been selected as one of seven investigations for the payload of NASA Mars 2020 rover mission.

  18. Autonomous Hazard Checks Leave Patterned Rover Tracks on Mars Stereo

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2011-05-18

    A dance-step pattern is visible in the wheel tracks near the left edge of this scene recorded by NASA Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity on Mars on April 1, 2011. 3D glasses are necessary to view this image.

  19. The Mars Exploration Rover Project : 2005 surface operations results

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Erickson, James K.; Callas, John L.; Haldemann, Albert F. C.

    2005-01-01

    The intent of this paper is to provide the aerospace community a status report of the progress of the Mars Rovers exploration of the Martian surface, picking up after the landings and continuing through fiscal year 2005.

  20. Rovers Eye View of 3 Year Trek on Mars

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2010-06-11

    309 images of the Martian horizon taken during 13-mile journey from Victoria crater to Endeavour crater. Numbers at top left are Martian day numbers (sols). Audio comes from rover accelerometer data adjusted to an audible frequency.

  1. Getting the Most from the Twin Mars Rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Laufenberg, Larry

    2003-01-01

    The report discusses the Mixed-initiative Activity Planning GENerator (MARGEN) automatically generates activity plans for rovers. Decision support system mixes autonomous planning/scheduling with user modifications. Accommodating change. Technology spotlight

  2. Mars Exploration Rover Science Operations and Physical Properties Experiments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Arvidson, R. E.; Athena Science Team

    2004-05-01

    The two Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, landed in January 2004 and have been operating on the surface on the floor of Gusev Crater and Meridiani Planum, respectively. In addition to acquiring multi-spectral imaging, emission spectra, elemental abundance, and iron mineralogy data from the Athena Payload, the rover engineering telemetry and camera data have been used to reconstruct topography and soil properties along rover traverses, and soil mechanical properties from wheel-trenching operations. During traverses two types of science sequences have been developed, one focused on detailed soil and rock characterization, and one focused on a reconnaissance measurements of surface materials and a campaign of atmospheric observations, including optical depth, sky brightness, sky temperature profiles, and thermal sky ``stares." Results from the traverse and trenching experiments will be discussed in detail, along with approaches for conducting remote science operations with planetary rovers.

  3. 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.

  4. Preliminary Results of Hydrogen Prospecting with a Planetary Rover

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Elphic, R. C.; Utz, H.; Allan, M.; Bualat, M.; Deans, M.; Fong, T.; Kobayashi, L.; Lee, S.; To, V.

    2008-03-01

    We have used the HYDRA miniature neutron spectrometer integrated onto a NASA Ames K10 rover to field test mobile robotic prospecting for hydrogen enhancements, as would be carried out in a future landed lunar polar robotic mission.

  5. Attitude and position estimation on the Mars Exploration Rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ali, Khaled S.; Vanelli, C. Anthony; Biesiadecki, Jeffrey J.; Maimone, Mark W.; Cheng, Yang; San Martin, A. Miguel; Alexander, James W.

    2005-01-01

    This paper describes the techniques used by the rovers to acquire and maintain attitude and position knowledge, the accuracy which is obtainable, and lessons learned after more than one year in operation.

  6. Attitude and position estimation on the Mars Exploration Rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ali, Khaled S.; Vanelli, C. Anthony; Biesiadecki, Jeffrey J.; Maimone, Mark W.; Yang Cheng, A.; San Martin, Miguel; Alexander, James W.

    2005-01-01

    NASA/JPL 's Mars Exploration Rovers acquire their attitude upon command and autonomously propagate their attitude and position. The rovers use accelerometers and images of the sun to acquire attitude, autonomously searching the sky for the sun with a pointable camera. To propagate the attitude and position the rovers use either accelerometer and gyro readings or gyro readings and wheel odometiy, depending on the nature of the movement ground operators are commanding. Where necessary, visual odometry is performed on images to fine tune the position updates, particularly in high slip environments. The capability also exists for visual odometry attitude updates. This paper describes the techniques used by the rovers to acquire and maintain attitude and position knowledge, the accuracy which is obtainable, and lessons learned after more than one year in operation.

  7. Curiosity Rover Self Portrait at John Klein Drilling Site

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2013-02-07

    The rover is positioned at a patch of flat outcrop called John Klein, which was selected as the site for the first rock-drilling activities by NASA Curiosity. This self-portrait was acquired to document the drilling site.

  8. Curiosity Mars Rover Route from Landing to Pahrump Hills

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2014-09-25

    This map shows the route driven by NASA Curiosity Mars rover from the Bradbury Landing location where it landed in August 2012 to the Pahrump Hills outcrop where it drilled into the lowest part of Mount Sharp.

  9. Getting the Most from the Twin Mars Rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Laufenberg, Larry

    2003-01-01

    The report discusses the Mixed-initiative Activity Planning GENerator (MARGEN) automatically generates activity plans for rovers. Decision support system mixes autonomous planning/scheduling with user modifications. Accommodating change. Technology spotlight

  10. First Image from a Mars Rover Choosing a Target

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2010-03-23

    This true-color image is the result of the first observation of a target selected autonomously by NASA Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity using newly developed and uploaded software named Autonomous Exploration for Gathering Increased Science, or AEGIS.

  11. Ultraviolet Instrument for Mars 2020 Rover is SHERLOC

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2014-07-31

    This illustration depicts the mechanism and conceptual research targets for an instrument named SHERLOC, which has been selected as one of seven investigations for the payload of NASA Mars 2020 rover mission.

  12. Thermal Design Overview of the Mars Exploration Rover Project

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tsuyuki, Glenn

    2001-01-01

    This slide presentation reviews the thermal design for the Mars exploration rover project. It includes information on the spacecraft configuration, the cruise scenario, landing scenario, instrument package, thermal environment, and spacecraft schematics.

  13. Deployment Process, Mechanization, and Testing for the Mars Exploration Rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Iskenderian, Ted

    2004-01-01

    NASA's Mar Exploration Rover (MER) robotic prospectors were produced in an environment of unusually challenging schedule, volume, and mass restrictions. The technical challenges pushed the system s design towards extensive integration of function, which resulted in complex system engineering issues. One example of the system's integrated complexity can be found in the deployment process for the rover. Part of this process, rover "standup", is outlined in this paper. Particular attention is given to the Rover Lift Mechanism's (RLM) role and its design. Analysis methods are presented and compared to test results. It is shown that because prudent design principles were followed, a robust mechanism was created that minimized the duration of integration and test, and enabled recovery without perturbing related systems when reasonably foreseeable problems did occur. Examples of avoidable, unnecessary difficulty are also presented.

  14. NASA Unveils Xbox Kinect 'Mars Rover Landing' Game

    NASA Image and Video Library

    Danielle Roosa, granddaughter of Apollo 14 astronaut Stuart Roosa, demonstrates NASA and Microsoft's free Kinect interactive Xbox video game, "Mars Rover Landing." The new game lets players try the...

  15. Machine learning challenges in Mars rover traverse science

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Castano, R.; Judd, M.; Anderson, R. C.; Estlin, T.

    2003-01-01

    The successful implementation of machine learning in autonomous rover traverse science requires addressing challenges that range from the analytical technical realm, to the fuzzy, philosophical domain of entrenched belief systems within scientists and mission managers.

  16. Mars Rover Opportunity at Rock Abrasion Target Potts

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2016-01-25

    The target beneath the tool turret at the end of the rover's robotic arm in this image from NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity is "Private John Potts." It lies high on the southern side of "Marathon Valley," which slices through the western rim of Endeavour Crater. The target's informal name refers to a member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition's Corps of Discovery. The image was taken by Opportunity's front hazard avoidance camera on Jan. 5, 2016, during the 4,248th Martian day, or sol, of the rover's work on Mars. This camera is mounted low on the rover and has a wide-angle lens. In this image, the microscopic imager on the turret is pointed downward. Opportunity's examination of this target also used the turret's rock abrasion tool for removing the surface crust and alpha particle X-ray spectrometer for identifying chemical elements in the rock. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA20285

  17. Animation of Curiosity Rover's First 'Touch and Go'

    NASA Image and Video Library

    Animation shows NASA's Mars Curiosity rover touching a rock with aninstrument on its arm, then stowing the arm and driving on.Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech› Curiosity's mission site › Related s...

  18. The Mars Exploration Rover Surface Mobility Flight Software: Driving Ambition

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Biesiadecki, Jeffrey J.; Maimone, Mark W.

    2006-01-01

    In this paper we describe the software that has driven these rovers more than a combined 11,000 meters over the Martian surface, including its design and implementation, and summarize current mobility performance results from Mars.

  19. NASA Ames Celebrates Curiosity Rover's Landing on Mars

    NASA Image and Video Library

    Nearly 7,000 people came to NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., to watch the Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity land on Mars. A full day's worth of activities and discussions wit...

  20. Mount Remarkable and Surrounding Outcrops at Mars Rover Waypoint

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2014-04-16

    NASA Curiosity Mars rover used its Navigation Camera Navcam on April 11, 2014, to record this scene of a butte called Mount Remarkable and surrounding outcrops at a waypoint called the Kimberley inside Gale Crater.

  1. Microbiological cleanliness of the Mars Exploration Rover spacecraft

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Newlin, L.; Barengoltz, J.; Chung, S.; Kirschner, L.; Koukol, R.; Morales, F.

    2002-01-01

    Planetary protection for Mars missions is described, and the approach being taken by the Mars Exploration Rover Project is discussed. Specific topics include alcohol wiping, dry heat microbial reduction, microbiological assays, and the Kennedy Space center's PHSF clean room.

  2. A Framework for Distributed Rover Control and Three Sample Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    McGuire, Steve

    2001-01-01

    In order to develop quality control software for multiple robots, a common interface is required. By developing components in a modular fashion with well-defined boundaries, roboticists can write code to program a generic rover, and only require very simple modifications to run on any robot with a properly implemented framework. The proposed framework advances a Generic Rover that could be any rover, from Real World Interface's All Terrain Robot Vehicle Jr. series to the Fido-class rovers from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to any other research robot. Using these generic hardware interfaces, software designers and engineers can concentrate on the actual code, and not have to worry about hardware details. In addition to the hardware support framework, three sample applications have been developed to demonstrate the flexibility and extensibility of the framework.

  3. Watching Test Drives in California for Rover Mission to Mars

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2012-05-11

    Michael Malin, left, principal investigator for three science cameras on NASA Curiosity Mars rover, comments to a news reporter during tests with Curiosity mobility-test stand-in, Scarecrow, on Dumont Dunes in California Mojave Desert.

  4. Development of a Rover Deployed Ground Penetrating Radar

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Grant, J. A.; Schutz, A. E.; Campbell, B. A.

    2000-01-01

    Development of a rover deployable Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) involves: the nearly finished design and testing of a transducer array with high frequency (bistatic) and low frequency (monostatic) components; and design and development of a complete impulse GPR system.

  5. Planning for execution monitoring on a planetary rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gat, Erann; Firby, R. James; Miller, David P.

    1990-01-01

    A planetary rover will be traversing largely unknown and often unknowable terrain. In addition to geometric obstacles such as cliffs, rocks, and holes, it may also have to deal with non-geometric hazards such as soft soil and surface breakthroughs which often cannot be detected until rover is in imminent danger. Therefore, the rover must monitor its progress throughout a traverse, making sure to stay on course and to detect and act on any previously unseen hazards. Its onboard planning system must decide what sensors to monitor, what landmarks to take position readings from, and what actions to take if something should go wrong. The planning systems being developed for the Pathfinder Planetary Rover to perform these execution monitoring tasks are discussed. This system includes a network of planners to perform path planning, expectation generation, path analysis, sensor and reaction selection, and resource allocation.

  6. Machine learning challenges in Mars rover traverse science

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Castano, R.; Judd, M.; Anderson, R. C.; Estlin, T.

    2003-01-01

    The successful implementation of machine learning in autonomous rover traverse science requires addressing challenges that range from the analytical technical realm, to the fuzzy, philosophical domain of entrenched belief systems within scientists and mission managers.

  7. Arm and Mast of NASA Mars Rover Curiosity

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2011-04-06

    The arm and the remote sensing mast of the Mars rover Curiosity each carry science instruments and other tools for NASA Mars Science Laboratory mission. This image shows the arm on the left and the mast just right of center.

  8. Intelligent rover decision-making in response to exogenous events

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Chouinard, C.; Estlin, T.; Gaines, D.; Fisher, F.

    2005-01-01

    This paper presents an introduction to the CLEAR system which performs rover command generation and re-planning, the challenges faced maintaining domain specific information in an uncertain environment, and the successes demonstrated with several methods of system testing.

  9. Design of a Day/Night Lunar Rover

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berkelman, Peter; Easudes, Jesse; Martin, Martin C.; Rollins, Eric; Silberman, Jack; Chen, Mei; Hancock, John; Mor, Andrew B.; Sharf, Alex; Warren, Tom; Bapna, Deepak

    1995-06-01

    The pair of lunar rovers discussed in this report will return video and state data to various ventures, including theme park and marketing concerns, science agencies, and educational institutions. The greatest challenge accepted by the design team was to enable operations throughout the extremely cold and dark lunar night, an unprecedented goal in planetary exploration. This is achieved through the use of the emerging technology of Alkali Metal Thermal to Electric Converters (AMTEC), provided with heat from a innovative beta-decay heat source, Krypton-85 gas. Although previous space missions have returned still images, our design will convey panoramic video from a ring of cameras around the rover. A six-wheel rocker bogie mechanism is implemented to propel the rover. The rovers will also provide the ability to safeguard their operation to allow untrained members of the general public to drive the vehicle. Additionally, scientific exploration and educational outreach will be supported with a user operable, steerable and zoomable camera.

  10. Second Test Rover Added for Free Spirit Tests

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2009-08-21

    Testing at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in August 2009 is assessing possible maneuvers that the Mars rover Spirit might use for escaping from a patch of soft soil where it is embedded at a Martian site called Troy.

  11. Results of Lunar Rover Drivetrain TRL-6 Environmental Testing

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Visscher, P.; Edmundson, P.; Ghafoor, N.; Jones, H.; Kleinhenz, J.; Picard, M.

    2016-11-01

    Latest results of work performed by Ontario Drive and Gear Ltd., Canadensys Aerospace Corporation, and partners on Canadian lunar rover development activities for the Canadian Space Agency, including "dirty" thermal vacuum testing of drivetrain unit.

  12. Rover Finds Mars Past Could Have Supported Life

    NASA Image and Video Library

    Rocks examined by NASA's Spirit Mars Rover hold evidence of a wet, non-acidic ancient environment that may have been favorable for life. Confirming this mineral clue took four years of analysis by ...

  13. 78 FR 19742 - Centennial Challenges: 2014 Night Rover Challenge

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-04-02

    ... technologies or application of existing storage technologies in unique ways for application in extreme space..., Associate Administrator, Space Technology Mission Directorate, National Aeronautics and Space Administration... SPACE ADMINISTRATION Centennial Challenges: 2014 Night Rover Challenge AGENCY: National Aeronautics and...

  14. Rig Rover System views wellhead from every angle

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1983-09-01

    The Rig Rover System (RRS), a new type of submersible remotely operated vehicle (ROV), has been introduced by Deep Ocean Technology, Oakland, California. It is described as a sophisticated wellhead TV with remote controlled arms, or a remotely controlled vehicle that is deployed like a wellhead TV. The RRS is available in 2 models. Rig Rover was designed specifically to support offshore exploration drilling to 2000 ft. of water.

  15. Development of Testing Station for Prototype Rover Thermal Subsystem

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burlingame, Kaitlin

    2010-01-01

    In order to successfully and efficiently explore the moon or other planets, a vehicle must be built to assist astronauts as they travel across the surface. One concept created to meet this need is NASA's Space Exploration Vehicle (SEV). The SEV, a small pressurized cabin integrated onto a 12-wheeled chassis, can support two astronauts up to 14 days. Engineers are currently developing the second generation of the SEV, with the goal of being faster, more robust, and able to carry a heavier payload. In order to function properly, the rover must dissipate heat produced during operation and maintain an appropriate temperature profile inside the rover. If these activities do not occur, components of the rover will start to break down, eventually leading to the failure of the rover. On the rover, these requirements are the responsibility of the thermal subsystem. My project for the summer was to design and build a testing station to facilitate the design and testing of the new thermal subsystem. As the rover develops, initial low fidelity parts can be interchanged for the high fidelity parts used on the rover. Based on a schematic of the proposed thermal system, I sized and selected parts for each of the components in the thermal subsystem. For the components in the system that produced heat but had not yet been finalized or fabricated, I used power resistors to model their load patterns. I also selected all of the fittings to put the system together and a mounting platform to support the testing station. Finally, I implemented sensors at various points in the system to measure the temperature, pressure, and flow rate, and a data acquisition system to collect this information. In the future, the information from these sensors will be used to study the behavior of the subsystem under different conditions and select the best part for the rover.

  16. Mars Exploration Rover airbag landing loads testing and analsysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Adams, Douglas S.

    2004-01-01

    This paper presents a summary of the testing and analysis used to quantify the expected airbag landing loads for the Mars Exploration Rovers. The airbag drop test setup, lander instrumentation, and the test data reduction method are discussed in order to provide an understanding of the empirical loads. A set of limiting cases that bound the empirical data are developed for use in finite element modeling of the lander and rover models.

  17. (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.

  18. Mars Exploration Rover: thermal design is a system engineering activity

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tsuyuki, Glenn T.; Avila, Arturo; Awaya, Henry I.; Krylo, Robert; Novak, Keith; Phillips, Charles

    2003-01-01

    The Mars Exploration Rovers (MER), were launched in June and July of 2003, repsectively and successfully landed on Mars in early and late January of 2004, repectively. The flight system architecture implemented many successful features of the Mars Pathfinder (MPF) system: A cruise stage that transported an entry vehicle that housed the Lander, which in turn, used airbags to cushion the Rover during the landing event.

  19. (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.

  20. ASTRONAUT EUGENE CERNAN [APOLLO 17] IN LUNAR ROVER TRAINING

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1972-01-01

    Apollo 17 commander Eugene A. Cernan waves to NASA Tours bus passengers from Lunar Rover trainer during extravehicular activity [EVA] training at the Spaceport. Cernan was enroute to the Center's Lunar Rover training area as tour buses were departing the Flight Crew Training Building after passengers had viewed the trainers from a balcony. The Flight Crew Training Building is a regular stop on the NASA Tours route. Cernan, command module pilot is scheduled to liftoff sometime in December 1972.

  1. NASA/JPL tumbleweed rover for planetary exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jonsson, J.; Behar, A.; Nicaise, F.; Lorenz, R.

    pagestyle empty begin document Planetary exploration rovers should be tough constructions able to travel swift and long distances on the surface This also means big and heavy something one wants to avoid when launching missions to space The Tumbleweed rover will use a small set of instruments and electronics at the core of its inflatable spherical outer hull Deflated this is a small and light package easily launched to a distant world for instance Mars Well there the hull inflates into a large spherical ball Moving around over rocks and out of craters powered only by the wind the rover makes its scientific measurements The motion can be controlled by the amount of inflation of the hull even stopping by deflation at a certain spot and reaching the ground for sampling The winds on Mars are strong but the atmosphere is also thinner than that of the Earths The force that acts on the Tumbleweed rover from the wind corresponds to the cross-sectional area of the rover the larger the diameter the larger the force The Tumbleweed rover concept is currently under development On Greenland a prototype version was tested and during two days traversed a distance of 130 km over the frozen landscape During the journey the rover sent back data of its position and the environmental conditions through an Iridium satellite network connection In February 2006 another prototype tumbleweed rover will be tested in the desert of Arizona with a new type of inflatable outer hull Wind models will be made with wind anemometers and GPS data which shows the path taken

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Positive-Buoyancy Rover for Under Ice Mobility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Leichty, John M.; Klesh, Andrew T.; Berisford, Daniel F.; Matthews, Jaret B.; Hand, Kevin P.

    2013-01-01

    A buoyant rover has been developed to traverse the underside of ice-covered lakes and seas. The rover operates at the ice/water interface and permits direct observation and measurement of processes affecting freeze- over and thaw events in lake and marine environments. Operating along the 2- D ice-water interface simplifies many aspects of underwater exploration, especially when compared to submersibles, which have difficulty in station-keeping and precision mobility. The buoyant rover consists of an all aluminum body with two aluminum sawtooth wheels. The two independent body segments are sandwiched between four actuators that permit isolation of wheel movement from movement of the central tether spool. For normal operations, the wheels move while the tether spool feeds out line and the cameras on each segment maintain a user-controlled fixed position. Typically one camera targets the ice/water interface and one camera looks down to the lake floor to identify seep sources. Each wheel can be operated independently for precision turning and adjustments. The rover is controlled by a touch- tablet interface and wireless goggles enable real-time viewing of video streamed from the rover cameras. The buoyant rover was successfully deployed and tested during an October 2012 field campaign to investigate methane trapped in ice in lakes along the North Slope of Alaska.

  6. Multi-rover navigation on the lunar surface

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dabrowski, Borys; Banaszkiewicz, Marek

    2008-07-01

    The paper presents a method of determination an accurate position of a target (rover, immobile sensor, astronaut) on surface of the Moon or other celestial body devoid of navigation infrastructure (like Global Positioning System), by using a group of self-calibrating rovers, which serves as mobile reference points. The rovers are equipped with low-precision clocks synchronized by external broadcasting signal, to measure the moments of receiving radio signals sent by localized target. Based on the registered times, distances between transmitter and receivers installed on beacons are calculated. Each rover determines and corrects its own absolute position and orientation by using odometry navigation and measurements of relative distances and angles to other mobile reference points. Accuracy of navigation has been improved by the use of a calibration algorithm based on the extended Kalman filter, which uses internal encoder readings as inputs and relative measurements of distances and orientations between beacons as feedback information. The key idea in obtaining reliable values of absolute position and orientation of beacons is to first calibrate one of the rovers, using the remaining ones as reference points and then allow the whole group to move together and calibrate all the rovers in-motion. We consider a number of cases, in which basic modeling parameters such as terrain roughness, formation size and shape as well as availability of distance and angle measurements are varied.

  7. 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.

  8. Visual Target Tracking on the Mars Exploration Rovers

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kim, Won S.; Biesiadecki, Jeffrey J.; Ali, Khaled S.

    2008-01-01

    Visual Target Tracking (VTT) has been implemented in the new Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Flight Software (FSW) R9.2 release, which is now running on both Spirit and Opportunity rovers. Applying the normalized cross-correlation (NCC) algorithm with template image magnification and roll compensation on MER Navcam images, VTT tracks the target and enables the rover to approach the target within a few cm over a 10 m traverse. Each VTT update takes 1/2 to 1 minute on the rovers, 2-3 times faster than one Visual Odometry (Visodom) update. VTT is a key element to achieve a target approach and instrument placement over a 10-m run in a single sol in contrast to the original baseline of 3 sols. VTT has been integrated into the MER FSW so that it can operate with any combination of blind driving, Autonomous Navigation (Autonav) with hazard avoidance, and Visodom. VTT can either guide the rover towards the target or simply image the target as the rover drives by. Three recent VTT operational checkouts on Opportunity were all successful, tracking the selected target reliably within a few pixels.

  9. 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).

  10. 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).

  11. Opportunity Rover Full Marathon-Length Traverse

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2015-03-24

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity, working on Mars since January 2004, passed marathon distance in total driving on March 24, 2015, during the mission's 3,968th Martian day, or sol. A drive of 153 feet (46.5 meters) on Sol 3968 brought Opportunity's total odometry to 26.221 miles (42.198 kilometers). Olympic marathon distance is 26.219 miles (42.195 kilometers). The gold line on this image shows Opportunity's route from the landing site inside Eagle Crater, in upper left, to its location after the Sol 3968 drive. The mission has been investigating on the western rim of Endeavour Crater since August 2011. This crater spans about 14 miles (22 kilometers) in diameter. The mapped area is all within the Meridiani Planum region of equatorial Mars, which was chosen as Opportunity's landing area because of earlier detection of the mineral hematite from orbit. North is up. The base image for the map is a mosaic of images taken by the Context Camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. http://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA19154

  12. Rover Wheel-Actuated Tool Interface

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Matthews, Janet; Ahmad, Norman; Wilcox, Brian

    2007-01-01

    A report describes an interface for utilizing some of the mobility features of a mobile robot for general-purpose manipulation of tools and other objects. The robot in question, now undergoing conceptual development for use on the Moon, is the All-Terrain Hex-Limbed Extra-Terrestrial Explorer (ATHLETE) rover, which is designed to roll over gentle terrain or walk over rough or steep terrain. Each leg of the robot is a six-degree-of-freedom general purpose manipulator tipped by a wheel with a motor drive. The tool interface includes a square cross-section peg, equivalent to a conventional socket-wrench drive, that rotates with the wheel. The tool interface also includes a clamp that holds a tool on the peg, and a pair of fold-out cameras that provides close-up stereoscopic images of the tool and its vicinity. The field of view of the imagers is actuated by the clamp mechanism and is specific to each tool. The motor drive can power any of a variety of tools, including rotating tools for helical fasteners, drills, and such clamping tools as pliers. With the addition of a flexible coupling, it could also power another tool or remote manipulator at a short distance. The socket drive can provide very high torque and power because it is driven by the wheel motor.

  13. Mars Rover Opportunity Panorama of Rocheport Stereo

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-04-19

    A ridge called "Rocheport" on the western rim of Mars' Endeavour Crater spans this stereo scene from the panoramic camera (Pancam) on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity. The mosaic combines views from the left eye and right eye of the Pancam to appear three-dimensional when seen through blue-red glasses with the red lens on the left. The view extends from south-southeast on the left to north on the right. Rocheport is near the southern end of an Endeavour rim segment called "Cape Tribulation." The Pancam took the component images for this panorama on Feb. 25, 2017, during the 4,654th Martian day, or sol, of Opportunity's work on Mars. Opportunity began exploring the western rim of Endeavour Crater in 2011 and reached the north end of Cape Tribulation in 2014. This ridge bears some grooves on its side, such as between the two dark shoulders angling down near the left edge of the scene. For scale, those shoulders are about 10 to 16 feet (3 to 5 meters) long. The grooves might have been carved long ago by water or ice or wind. The Rocheport name comes from a riverbank town in Missouri along the route of Lewis and Clark's "Corps of Discovery" Expedition. https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21491

  14. Mars Exploration Rovers Landing Dispersion Analysis

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Knocke, Philip C.; Wawrzyniak, Geoffrey G.; Kennedy, Brian M.; Desai, Prasun N.; Parker, TImothy J.; Golombek, Matthew P.; Duxbury, Thomas C.; Kass, David M.

    2004-01-01

    Landing dispersion estimates for the Mars Exploration Rover missions were key elements in the site targeting process and in the evaluation of landing risk. This paper addresses the process and results of the landing dispersion analyses performed for both Spirit and Opportunity. The several contributors to landing dispersions (navigation and atmospheric uncertainties, spacecraft modeling, winds, and margins) are discussed, as are the analysis tools used. JPL's MarsLS program, a MATLAB-based landing dispersion visualization and statistical analysis tool, was used to calculate the probability of landing within hazardous areas. By convolving this with the probability of landing within flight system limits (in-spec landing) for each hazard area, a single overall measure of landing risk was calculated for each landing ellipse. In-spec probability contours were also generated, allowing a more synoptic view of site risks, illustrating the sensitivity to changes in landing location, and quantifying the possible consequences of anomalies such as incomplete maneuvers. Data and products required to support these analyses are described, including the landing footprints calculated by NASA Langley's POST program and JPL's AEPL program, cartographically registered base maps and hazard maps, and flight system estimates of in-spec landing probabilities for each hazard terrain type. Various factors encountered during operations, including evolving navigation estimates and changing atmospheric models, are discussed and final landing points are compared with approach estimates.

  15. Buoyant Rover for Under-Ice Exploration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Berisford, D. F.; Leichty, J. M.; Klesh, A. T.; Matthews, J. B.; Hand, K. P.

    2012-12-01

    We have designed, constructed and tested a prototype robotic mobility platform for exploring the underside of ice sheets in frozen lake or ocean environments. The ice-water interface often provides some of the most interesting and dynamic chemistry in partially frozen systems, as dissolved impurities are rejected from the advancing freezing front. Higher concentrations of microorganisms can be found in this region, and the topography of the ice underside can help reveal the history of its formation. Furthermore, in lake environments ice cover can serve to trap gases released from biological and geological processes in the subsurface. The rover uses a two-wheeled design with a flexible dragging tail, enabling it to fit into a 10-inch diameter ice borehole. The sealed air-filled cylindrical body, along with closed-cell foam inside of cone-shaped wheels, provides buoyancy force to enable roving along the underside of the ice. The prototype contains two cameras that stream live video via a tethered connection to a ground station and uses semi-autonomous control via a PC. Preliminary testing of the prototype in a cold lab and in northern Alaskan thermokarst lakes demonstrates the utility and simplicity of this type of robotic platform for exploring the ice-water interface. This technology has potential future use in landed missions to icy ocean worlds in the solar system.

  16. Souffle as viewed by the Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    This anaglyph view of Souffle, to the left of Yogi, was produced by combining two right eye frames taken from different viewing angles by Sojourner Rover on Sol 21. One of the right eye frames was distorted using Photoshop to approximate the projection of the left eye view (without this, the stereo pair is painful to view). The left view is assigned to the red color plane and the right view to the green and blue color planes (cyan), to produce a stereo anaglyph mosaic. This mosaic can be viewed in 3-D on your computer monitor or in color print form by wearing red-blue 3-D glasses.

    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).

    Click below to see the left and right views individually. [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Left [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Right

  17. Flat Top as Viewed by the Rover

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1998-01-01

    This anaglyph view of Flat Top, southwest of the lander, was produced by combining two right eye frames taken from different viewing angles by Sojourner Rover. One of the right eye frames was distorted using Photoshop to approximate the projection of the left eye view (without this, the stereo pair is painful to view). The left view is assigned to the red color plane and the right view to the green and blue color planes (cyan), to produce a stereo anaglyph mosaic. This mosaic can be viewed in 3-D on your computer monitor or in color print form by wearing red-blue 3-D glasses.

    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).

    Click below to see the left and right views individually. [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Left [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Right

  18. Diversity of soils near rover deploy region

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1997-01-01

    The surface near the rover's egress from the lander contains bright red drift (#1), dark gray rocks such as Cradle (#3), soil intermediate in color to the rocks and drift (#2), and dark red soil on and around the rock Lamb (#4). Globally, Mars is characterized by similar color variations. The spectra of these sites have been ratioed to the drift to highlight their differences. The rocks are less red and have less of a bend in the spectrum at visible wavelengths, indicating less ferric minerals and a more unweathered composition than drift. The intermediate colored soils appear intermediate in the spectral properties as well. The dark red soil at Lamb is darker than drift by about equally as red; the curvature of spectrum at visible wavelengths indicates either more ferric minerals or a larger particle size.

    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).

  19. Mars Rover Opportunity Panorama of Rocheport.

    NASA Image and Video Library

    2017-04-19

    A ridge called "Rocheport" on the western rim of Mars' Endeavour Crater spans this mosaic of images from the panoramic camera (Pancam) on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity. The view extends from south-southeast on the left to north on the right. Rocheport is near the southern end of an Endeavour rim segment called "Cape Tribulation." The Pancam took the component images for this panorama on Feb. 25, 2017, during the 4,654th Martian day, or sol, of Opportunity's work on Mars. Opportunity began exploring the western rim of Endeavour Crater in 2011 and reached the north end of Cape Tribulation in 2014. This ridge bears some grooves on its side, such as between the two dark shoulders angling down near the left edge of the scene. For scale, those shoulders are about 10 to 16 feet (3 to 5 meters) long. The grooves might have been carved long ago by water or ice or wind. The view merges exposures taken through three of the Pancam's color filters, centered on wavelengths of 753 nanometers (near-infrared), 535 nanometers (green) and 432 nanometers (violet). It is presented in approximately true color. The Rocheport name comes from a riverbank town in Missouri along the route of Lewis and Clark's "Corps of Discovery" Expedition. https://photojournal.jpl.nasa.gov/catalog/PIA21493

  20. Social network analysis and dual rover communications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Litaker, Harry L.; Howard, Robert L.

    2013-10-01

    Social network analysis (SNA) refers to the collection of techniques, tools, and methods used in sociometry aiming at the analysis of social networks to investigate decision making, group communication, and the distribution of information. Human factors engineers at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) conducted a social network analysis on communication data collected during a 14-day field study operating a dual rover exploration mission to better understand the relationships between certain network groups such as ground control, flight teams, and planetary science. The analysis identified two communication network structures for the continuous communication and Twice-a-Day Communication scenarios as a split network and negotiated network respectfully. The major nodes or groups for the networks' architecture, transmittal status, and information were identified using graphical network mapping, quantitative analysis of subjective impressions, and quantified statistical analysis using Sociometric Statue and Centrality. Post-questionnaire analysis along with interviews revealed advantages and disadvantages of each network structure with team members identifying the need for a more stable continuous communication network, improved robustness of voice loops, and better systems training/capabilities for scientific imagery data and operational data during Twice-a-Day Communications.