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Sample records for exploration rover ratler

  1. A multitasking behavioral control system for the Robotic All Terrain Lunar Exploration Rover (RATLER)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klarer, P.

    1994-01-01

    An alternative methodology for designing an autonomous navigation and control system is discussed. This generalized hybrid system is based on a less sequential and less anthropomorphic approach than that used in the more traditional artificial intelligence (AI) technique. The architecture is designed to allow both synchronous and asynchronous operations between various behavior modules. This is accomplished by intertask communications channels which implement each behavior module and each interconnection node as a stand-alone task. The proposed design architecture allows for construction of hybrid systems which employ both subsumption and traditional AI techniques as well as providing for a teleoperator's interface. Implementation of the architecture is planned for the prototype Robotic All Terrain Lunar Explorer Rover (RATLER) which is described briefly.

  2. A multitasking behavioral control system for the Robotic All-Terrain Lunar Exploration Rover (RATLER)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klarer, Paul

    1993-01-01

    An approach for a robotic control system which implements so called 'behavioral' control within a realtime multitasking architecture is proposed. The proposed system would attempt to ameliorate some of the problems noted by some researchers when implementing subsumptive or behavioral control systems, particularly with regard to multiple processor systems and realtime operations. The architecture is designed to allow synchronous operations between various behavior modules by taking advantage of a realtime multitasking system's intertask communications channels, and by implementing each behavior module and each interconnection node as a stand-alone task. The potential advantages of this approach over those previously described in the field are discussed. An implementation of the architecture is planned for a prototype Robotic All Terrain Lunar Exploration Rover (RATLER) currently under development and is briefly described.

  3. Mars Exploration Rover Heat Shield Recontact Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  4. Ambler - An autonomous rover for planetary exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  5. Planetary rovers robotic exploration of the solar system

    CERN Document Server

    Ellery, Alex

    2016-01-01

    The increasing adoption of terrain mobility – planetary rovers – for the investigation of planetary surfaces emphasises their central importance in space exploration. This imposes a completely new set of technologies and methodologies to the design of such spacecraft – and planetary rovers are indeed, first and foremost, spacecraft. This introduces vehicle engineering, mechatronics, robotics, artificial intelligence and associated technologies to the spacecraft engineer’s repertoire of skills. Planetary Rovers is the only book that comprehensively covers these aspects of planetary rover engineering and more. The book: • discusses relevant planetary environments to rover missions, stressing the Moon and Mars; • includes a brief survey of previous rover missions; • covers rover mobility, traction and control systems; • stresses the importance of robotic vision in rovers for both navigation and science; • comprehensively covers autonomous navigation, path planning and multi-rover formations on ...

  6. Mission Operations of the Mars Exploration Rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  7. Mars Exploration Rovers Propulsive Maneuver Design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potts, Christopher L.; Raofi, Behzad; Kangas, Julie A.

    2004-01-01

    The Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity successfully landed respectively at Gusev Crater and Meridiani Planum in January 2004. The rovers are essentially robotic geologists, sent on a mission to search for evidence in the rocks and soil pertaining to the historical presence of water and the ability to possibly sustain life. In order to conduct NASA's 'follow the water' strategy on opposite sides of the planet Mars, an interplanetary journey of over 300 million miles culminated with historic navigation precision. Rigorous trajectory targeting and control was necessary to achieve the atmospheric entry requirements for the selected landing sites. The propulsive maneuver design challenge was to meet or exceed these requirements while preserving the necessary design margin to accommodate additional project concerns. Landing site flexibility was maintained for both missions after launch, and even after the first trajectory correction maneuver for Spirit. The final targeting strategy was modified to improve delivery performance and reduce risk after revealing constraining trajectory control characteristics. Flight results are examined and summarized for the six trajectory correction maneuvers that were planned for each mission.

  8. Data Management for Mars Exploration Rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    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).

  9. Slip Validation and Prediction for Mars Exploration Rovers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeng Yen

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a novel technique to validate and predict the rover slips on Martian surface for NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover mission (MER. 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 the equations of motion. The six wheel speed from the empirical encoder data comprises the vehicle's velocity, and the rover motion can be estimated using mixed differential and algebraic equations. Applying the discretization operator to these equations, the full kinematics state of the rover is then resolved by the configuration kinematics solution in the Rover Sequencing and Visualization Program (RSVP. This method, with the proper wheel slip and sliding factors, produces accurate simulation of the Mars Exploration rovers, which have been validated with the earth-testing vehicle. This computational technique has been deployed to the operation of the MER rovers in the extended mission period. Particularly, it yields high quality prediction of the rover motion on high slope areas. The simulated path of the rovers has been validated using the telemetry from the onboard Visual Odometry (VisOdom. Preliminary results indicate that the proposed simulation is very effective in planning the path of the rovers on the high-slope areas.

  10. Mars Exploration Rovers Landing Dispersion Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  11. Rover Technologies

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Develop and mature rover technologies supporting robotic exploration including rover design, controlling rovers over time delay and for exploring . Technology...

  12. Microbiological cleanliness of the Mars Exploration Rover spacecraft

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  13. Simulations of the magnetic properties experiment on Mars Exploration Rovers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gunnlaugsson, H. P.; Worm, E. S.; Bertelsen, P.; Goetz, W.; Kinch, K.; Madsen, M. B.; Merrison, J. P.; Nornberg, P.

    2005-01-01

    We present some of the main findings from simulation studies of the Magnetic Properties Experiment on the Mars Exploration Rovers. The results suggest that the dust has formed via mechanical breakdown of surface rocks through the geological history of the planet, and that liquid water need not have played any significant role in the dust formation processes.

  14. Archiving Data From the 2003 Mars Exploration Rover Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arvidson, R. E.

    2002-12-01

    The two Mars Exploration Rovers will touch down on the red planet in January 2004 and each will operate for at least 90 sols, traversing hundreds of meters across the surface and acquiring data from the Athena Science Payload (mast-based multi-spectral, stereo-imaging data and emission spectra; arm-based in-situ Alpha Particle X-Ray (APXS) and Mössbauer Spectroscopy, microscopic imaging, coupled with use of a rock abrasion tool) at a number of locations. In addition, the rovers will acquire science and engineering data along traverses to characterize terrain properties and perhaps be used to dig trenches. An "Analyst's Notebook" concept has been developed to capture, organize, archive and distribute raw and derived data sets and documentation (http://wufs.wustl.edu/rover). The Notebooks will be implemented in ways that will allow users to "playback" the mission, using executed commands to drive animated views of rover activities, and pop-up windows to show why particular observations were acquired, along with displays of raw and derived data products. In addition, the archive will include standard Planetary Data System files and software for processing to higher-level products. The Notebooks will exist both as an online system and as a set of distributable Digital Video Discs or other appropriate media. The Notebooks will be made available through the Planetary Data System within six months after the end of observations for the relevant rovers.

  15. An Analog Rover Exploration Mission for Education and Outreach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moores, John; Campbell, Charissa L.; Smith, Christina L.; Cooper, Brittney A.

    2017-10-01

    This abstract describes an analog rover exploration mission designed as an outreach program for high school and undergraduate students. This program is used to teach them about basic mission control operations, how to manage a rover as if it were on another planetary body, and employing the rover remotely to complete mission objectives. One iteration of this program has been completed and another is underway. In both trials, participants were shown the different operation processes involved in a real-life mission. Modifications were made to these processes to decrease complexity and better simulate a mission control environment in a short time period (three 20-minute-long mission “days”). In the first run of the program, participants selected a landing site, what instruments would be on the rover - subject to cost, size, and weight limitations - and were randomly assigned one of six different mission operations roles, each with specific responsibilities. For example, a Science Planner/Integrator (SPI) would plan science activities whilst a Rover Engineer (RE) would keep on top of rover constraints. Planning consisted of a series of four meetings to develop and verify the current plan, pre-plan the next day's activities and uplink the activities to the “rover” (a human colleague). Participants were required to attend certain meetings depending upon their assigned role. To conclude the mission, students viewed the site to understand any differences between remote viewing and reality in relation to the rover. Another mission is currently in progress with revisions from the earlier run to improve the experience. This includes broader roles and meetings and pre-selecting the landing site and rover. The new roles are: Mission Lead, Rover Engineer and Science Planner. The SPI role was previously popular so most of the students were placed in this category. The meetings were reduced to three but extended in length. We are also planning to integrate this program

  16. Red rover: inside the story of robotic space exploration, from genesis to the mars rover curiosity

    CERN Document Server

    Wiens, Roger

    2013-01-01

    In its eerie likeness to Earth, Mars has long captured our imaginations—both as a destination for humankind and as a possible home to extraterrestrial life. It is our twenty-first century New World; its explorers robots, shipped 350 million miles from Earth to uncover the distant planet’s secrets.Its most recent scout is Curiosity—a one-ton, Jeep-sized nuclear-powered space laboratory—which is now roving the Martian surface to determine whether the red planet has ever been physically capable of supporting life. In Red Rover, geochemist Roger Wiens, the principal investigator for the ChemCam laser instrument on the rover and veteran of numerous robotic NASA missions, tells the unlikely story of his involvement in sending sophisticated hardware into space, culminating in the Curiosity rover's amazing journey to Mars.In so doing, Wiens paints the portrait of one of the most exciting scientific stories of our time: the new era of robotic space exploration. Starting with NASA’s introduction of the Discovery...

  17. The Athena Science Payload for the 2003 Mars Exploration Rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-01-01

    The Athena Mars rover payload is a suite of scientific instruments and tools for geologic exploration of the martian surface. It is 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, including soils, rock surfaces, and rock interiors. (3) Determine the fine-scale textural properties of these materials. Two identical copies of the Athena payload will be flown in 2003 on the two Mars Exploration Rovers. The payload is at a high state of maturity, and first copies of several of the instruments have already been built and tested for flight.

  18. Using Wind Driven Tumbleweed Rovers to Explore Martian Gully Features

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antol, Jeffrey; Woodard, Stanley E.; Hajos, Gregory A.; Heldmann, Jennifer L.; Taylor, Bryant D.

    2005-01-01

    Gully features have been observed on the slopes of numerous Martian crater walls, valleys, pits, and graben. Several mechanisms for gully formation have been proposed, including: liquid water aquifers (shallow and deep), melting ground ice, snow melt, CO2 aquifers, and dry debris flow. Remote sensing observations indicate that the most likely erosional agent is liquid water. Debate concerns the source of this water. Observations favor a liquid water aquifer as the primary candidate. The current strategy in the search for life on Mars is to "follow the water." A new vehicle known as a Tumbleweed rover may be able to conduct in-situ investigations in the gullies, which are currently inaccessible by conventional rovers. Deriving mobility through use of the surface winds on Mars, Tumbleweed rovers would be lightweight and relatively inexpensive thus allowing multiple rovers to be deployed in a single mission to survey areas for future exploration. NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC) is developing deployable structure Tumbleweed concepts. An extremely lightweight measurement acquisition system and sensors are proposed for the Tumbleweed rover that greatly increases the number of measurements performed while having negligible mass increase. The key to this method is the use of magnetic field response sensors designed as passive inductor-capacitor circuits that produce magnetic field responses whose attributes correspond to values of physical properties for which the sensors measure. The sensors do not need a physical connection to a power source or to data acquisition equipment resulting in additional weight reduction. Many of the sensors and interrogating antennae can be directly placed on the Tumbleweed using film deposition methods such as photolithography thus providing further weight reduction. Concepts are presented herein for methods to measure subsurface water, subsurface metals, planetary winds and environmental gases.

  19. Mars Exploration Rover Spirit End of Mission Report

    Science.gov (United States)

    Callas, John L.

    2015-01-01

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

  20. Mars Exploration Rovers Launch Performance and TCM-1 Maneuver Design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kangas, Julie A.; Potts, Christopher L.; Raofi, Behzad

    2004-01-01

    The Mars Exploration Rover (MER) project successfully landed two identical rovers on Mars in order to remotely conduct geologic investigations, including characterization of rocks and soils that may hold clues to past water activity. Two landing sites, Gusev crater and Meridiani Planum, were selected out of nearly 200 candidate sites after balancing science returns and flight system engineering and safety. Precise trajectory targeting and control was necessary to achieve the atmospheric entry requirements for the selected landing sites within the flight system constraints. This paper discusses the expected and achieved launch vehicle performance and the impacts of that performance on the first Trajectory Correction Maneuver (TCM-1) while maintaining targeting flexibility in accommodating additional project concerns about landing site safety and possible in-flight retargeting to alternate landing sites.

  1. Mission-directed path planning for planetary rover exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tompkins, Paul

    2005-07-01

    Robotic rovers uniquely benefit planetary exploration---they enable regional exploration with the precision of in-situ measurements, a combination impossible from an orbiting spacecraft or fixed lander. Mission planning for planetary rover exploration currently utilizes sophisticated software for activity planning and scheduling, but simplified path planning and execution approaches tailored for localized operations to individual targets. This approach is insufficient for the investigation of multiple, regionally distributed targets in a single command cycle. Path planning tailored for this task must consider the impact of large scale terrain on power, speed and regional access; the effect of route timing on resource availability; the limitations of finite resource capacity and other operational constraints on vehicle range and timing; and the mutual influence between traverses and upstream and downstream stationary activities. Encapsulating this reasoning in an efficient autonomous planner would allow a rover to continue operating rationally despite significant deviations from an initial plan. This research presents mission-directed path planning that enables an autonomous, strategic reasoning capability for robotic explorers. Planning operates in a space of position, time and energy. Unlike previous hierarchical approaches, it treats these dimensions simultaneously to enable globally-optimal solutions. The approach calls on a near incremental search algorithm designed for planning and re-planning under global constraints, in spaces of higher than two dimensions. Solutions under this method specify routes that avoid terrain obstacles, optimize the collection and use of rechargable energy, satisfy local and global mission constraints, and account for the time and energy of interleaved mission activities. Furthermore, the approach efficiently re-plans in response to updates in vehicle state and world models, and is well suited to online operation aboard a robot

  2. An Overview of Wind-Driven Rovers for Planetary Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hajos, Gregory A.; Jones, Jack A.; Behar, Alberto; Dodd, Micheal

    2005-01-01

    The use of in-situ propulsion is considered enabling technology for long duration planetary surface missions. Most studies have focused on stored energy from chemicals extracted from the soil or the use of soil chemicals to produce photovoltaic arrays. An older form of in-situ propulsion is the use of wind power. Recent studies have shown potential for wind driven craft for exploration of Mars, Titan and Venus. The power of the wind, used for centuries to power wind mills and sailing ships, is now being applied to modern land craft. Efforts are now underway to use the wind to push exploration vehicles on other planets and moons in extended survey missions. Tumbleweed rovers are emerging as a new type of wind-driven science platform concept. Recent investigations by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) indicate that these light-weight, mostly spherical or quasi-spherical devices have potential for long distance surface exploration missions. As a power boat has unique capabilities, but relies on stored energy (fuel) to move the vessel, the Tumbleweed, like the sailing ships of the early explorers on earth, uses an unlimited resource the wind to move around the surface of Mars. This has the potential to reduce the major mass drivers of robotic rovers as well as the power generation and storage systems. Jacques Blamont of JPL and the University of Paris conceived the first documented Mars wind-blown ball in 1977, shortly after the Viking landers discovered that Mars has a thin CO2 atmosphere with relatively strong winds. In 1995, Jack Jones, et al, of JPL conceived of a large wind-blown inflated ball for Mars that could also be driven and steered by means of a motorized mass hanging beneath the rolling axis of the ball. A team at NASA Langley Research Center started a biomimetic Tumbleweed design study in 1998. Wind tunnel and CFD analysis were applied to a variety of concepts to optimize the aerodynamic

  3. Accessing Information on the Mars Exploration Rovers Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-12-01

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

  4. Recent Accomplishments in Mars Exploration: The Rover Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    McLennan, S. M.; McSween, H. Y.

    2018-04-01

    Mobile rovers have revolutionized our understanding of Mars geology by identifying habitable environments and addressing critical questions related to Mars science. Both the advances and limitations of rovers set the scene for Mars Sample Return.

  5. Scientific Results of the Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banerdt, W. B.

    2006-08-01

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover project launched two robotic geologists, Spirit and Opportunity, toward Mars in June and July of 2003, reaching Mars the following January. The science objectives for this mission are focused on delineating the geologic history for two locations on Mars, with an emphasis on the history of water. Although they were designed for a 90-day mission, both rovers have lasted more than two years on the surface and each has covered more than four miles while investigating Martian geology. Spirit was targeted to Gusev Crater, a 300-km diameter impact basin that was suspected to be the site of an ancient lake. Initial investigations of the plains in the vicinity of the landing site found no evidence of such a lake, but were instead consistent with unaltered (by water) basaltic plains. But after a 3-km trek to an adjacent range of hills it found a quite different situation, with abundant chemical and morphological evidence for a complex geological history. Opportunity has been exploring Meridiani Planum, which was known from orbital data to contain the mineral hematite, which generally forms in the presence of water. The rocks exposed in Meridiani are highly chemically altered, and appear to have been exposed to significant amounts of water. By descending into the 130-m diameter Endurance Crater, Opportunity was able to analyze a 10-m vertical section of this rock unit, which showed significant gradations in chemistry and morphology.

  6. Conceptual Design and Architecture of Mars Exploration Rover (MER) for Seismic Experiments Over Martian Surfaces

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garg, Akshay; Singh, Amit

    2012-07-01

    Keywords: MER, Mars, Rover, Seismometer Mars has been a subject of human interest for exploration missions for quite some time now. Both rover as well as orbiter missions have been employed to suit mission objectives. Rovers have been preferentially deployed for close range reconnaissance and detailed experimentation with highest accuracy. However, it is essential to strike a balance between the chosen science objectives and the rover operations as a whole. The objective of this proposed mechanism is to design a vehicle (MER) to carry out seismic studies over Martian surface. The conceptual design consists of three units i.e. Mother Rover as a Surrogate (Carrier) and Baby Rovers (two) as seeders for several MEMS-based accelerometer / seismometer units (Nodes). Mother Rover can carry these Baby Rovers, having individual power supply with solar cells and with individual data transmission capabilities, to suitable sites such as Chasma associated with Valles Marineris, Craters or Sand Dunes. Mother rover deploys these rovers in two opposite direction and these rovers follow a triangulation pattern to study shock waves generated through firing tungsten carbide shells into the ground. Till the time of active experiments Mother Rover would act as a guiding unit to control spatial spread of detection instruments. After active shock experimentation, the babies can still act as passive seismometer units to study and record passive shocks from thermal quakes, impact cratering & landslides. Further other experiments / payloads (XPS / GAP / APXS) can also be carried by Mother Rover. Secondary power system consisting of batteries can also be utilized for carrying out further experiments over shallow valley surfaces. The whole arrangement is conceptually expected to increase the accuracy of measurements (through concurrent readings) and prolong life cycle of overall experimentation. The proposed rover can be customised according to the associated scientific objectives and further

  7. Assessment of Mars Exploration Rover Landing Site Predictions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golombek, M. P.

    2005-05-01

    Comprehensive analyses of remote sensing data during the 3-year effort to select the Mars Exploration Rover landing sites at Gusev crater and Meridiani Planum correctly predicted the safe and trafficable surfaces explored by the two rovers. Gusev crater was predicted to be a relatively low relief surface that was comparably dusty, but less rocky than the Viking landing sites. Available data for Meridiani Planum indicated a very flat plain composed of basaltic sand to granules and hematite that would look completely unlike any of the existing landing sites with a dark, low albedo surface, little dust and very few rocks. Orbital thermal inertia measurements of 315 J m-2 s-0.5 K-1 at Gusev suggested surfaces dominated by duricrust to cemented soil-like materials or cohesionless sand or granules, which is consistent with observed soil characteristics and measured thermal inertias from the surface. THEMIS thermal inertias along the traverse at Gusev vary from 285 at the landing site to 330 around Bonneville rim and show systematic variations that can be related to the observed increase in rock abundance (5-30%). Meridiani has an orbital bulk inertia of ~200, similar to measured surface inertias that correspond to observed surfaces dominated by 0.2 mm sand size particles. Rock abundance derived from orbital thermal differencing techniques suggested that Meridiani Planum would have very low rock abundance, consistent with the rock free plain traversed by Opportunity. Spirit landed in an 8% orbital rock abundance pixel, consistent with the measured 7% of the surface covered by rocks >0.04 m diameter at the landing site, which is representative of the plains away from craters. The orbital albedo of the Spirit traverse varies from 0.19 to 0.30, consistent with surface measurements in and out of dust devil tracks. Opportunity is the first landing in a low albedo portion of Mars as seen from orbit, which is consistent with the dark, dust-free surface and measured albedos. The

  8. RAT magnet experiment on the Mars Exploration Rovers: Spirit and Opportunity beyond sol 500

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Leer, Kristoffer; Goetz, Walter; Chan, Marjorie A.

    2011-01-01

    The Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) magnet experiment on the Mars Exploration Rovers was designed to collect dust from rocks ground by the RAT of the two rovers on the surface of Mars. The dust collected on the magnets is now a mixture of dust from many grindings. Here the new data from the experiment...

  9. The University Rover Challenge: A competition highlighting Human and Robotic partnerships for exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Heather; Duncan, Andrew

    2016-07-01

    The University Rover Challenge began in 2006 with 4 American college teams competing, now in it's 10th year there are 63 teams from 12 countries registered to compete for the top rover designed to assist humans in the exploration of Mars. The Rovers compete aided by the University teams in four tasks (3 engineering and 1 science) in the Mars analog environment of the Utah Southern Desert in the United States. In this presentation we show amazing rover designs with videos demonstrating the incredible ingenuity, skill and determination of the world's most talented college students. We describe the purpose and results of each of the tasks: Astronaut Assistant, Rover Dexterity, Terrain maneuvering, and Science. We explain the evolution of the competition and common challenges faced by the robotic explorers

  10. Propulsive maneuver design for the Mars Exploration Rover mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potts, Christopher L.; Kangas, Julie A.; Raofi, Behzad

    2006-01-01

    Starting from approximately 150 candidate Martian landing sites, two distinct sites have been selected for further investigation by sophisticated rovers. The two rovers, named 'Spirit' and 'Opportunity', begin the surface mission respectively to Gusec Crater and Meridiani Planum in January 2004. the rovers are essentially robotic geologists, sent on a mission to research for evidence in the rocks and soil pertaining to the historical presence of water and the ability to possibly sustain life. Before this scientific search can commence, precise trajectory targeting and control is necessary to achieve the entry requirements for the selected landing sites within the constraints of the flight system. The maneuver design challenge is to meet or exceed these requirements while maintaining the necessary design flexibility to accommodate additional project concerns. Opportunities to improve performance and reduce risk based on trajectory control characteristics are also evaluated.

  11. Dynamic Modeling and Soil Mechanics for Path Planning of the Mars Exploration Rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trease, Brian; Arvidson, Raymond; Lindemann, Randel; Bennett, Keith; Zhou, Feng; Iagnemma, Karl; Senatore, Carmine; Van Dyke, Lauren

    2011-01-01

    To help minimize risk of high sinkage and slippage during drives and to better understand soil properties and rover terramechanics from drive data, a multidisciplinary team was formed under the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) project to develop and utilize dynamic computer-based models for rover drives over realistic terrains. The resulting tool, named ARTEMIS (Adams-based Rover Terramechanics and Mobility Interaction Simulator), consists of the dynamic model, a library of terramechanics subroutines, and the high-resolution digital elevation maps of the Mars surface. A 200-element model of the rovers was developed and validated for drop tests before launch, using MSC-Adams dynamic modeling software. Newly modeled terrain-rover interactions include the rut-formation effect of deformable soils, using the classical Bekker-Wong implementation of compaction resistances and bull-dozing effects. The paper presents the details and implementation of the model with two case studies based on actual MER telemetry data. In its final form, ARTEMIS will be used in a predictive manner to assess terrain navigability and will become part of the overall effort in path planning and navigation for both Martian and lunar rovers.

  12. Design of Mobility System for Ground Model of Planetary Exploration Rover

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Younkyu Kim

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available In recent years, a number of missions have been planned and conducted worldwide on the planets such as Mars, which involves the unmanned robotic exploration with the use of rover. The rover is an important system for unmanned planetary exploration, performing the locomotion and sample collection and analysis at the exploration target of the planetary surface designated by the operator. This study investigates the development of mobility system for the rover ground model necessary to the planetary surface exploration for the benefit of future planetary exploration mission in Korea. First, the requirements for the rover mobility system are summarized and a new mechanism is proposed for a stable performance on rough terrain which consists of the passive suspension system with 8 wheeled double 4-bar linkage (DFBL, followed by the performance evaluation for the mechanism of the mobility system based on the shape design and simulation. The proposed mobility system DFBL was compared with the Rocker-Bogie suspension system of US space agency National Aeronautics and Space Administration and 8 wheeled mobility system CRAB8 developed in Switzerland, using the simulation to demonstrate the superiority with respect to the stability of locomotion. On the basis of the simulation results, a general system configuration was proposed and designed for the rover manufacture.

  13. Photometric Observations of Soils and Rocks at the Mars Exploration Rover Landing Sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, J. R.; Arvidson, R. A.; Bell, J. F., III; Farrand, W.; Guinness, E.; Johnson, M.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Lemmon, M.; Morris, R. V.; Seelos, F., IV

    2005-01-01

    The Panoramic Cameras (Pancam) on the Spirit and Opportunity Mars Exploration Rovers have acquired multispectral reflectance observations of rocks and soils at different incidence, emission, and phase angles that will be used for photometric modeling of surface materials. Phase angle coverage at both sites extends from approx. 0 deg. to approx. 155 deg.

  14. Reducing Risk and Increasing Exploration Payoff with Symbiotic Rover Pairs

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Planetary explorations missions avoid the destinations that offer the greatest scientific payout because these destinations come with a risk too great for a primary...

  15. Exploration of Extreme Terrain Using a Polyhedral Rover

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Exploring celestial bodies with extreme terrains in our solar system, like Mars, Europa, Enceladus, and asteroids, are of great importance to NASA because these...

  16. Volatiles and Isotopes and the Exploration of Ancient and Modern Martian Habitability with the Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mhaffy, P. R.

    2015-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory Mission was designed to pave the way for the study of life beyond Earth through a search for a habitable environment in a carefully selected landing site on Mars. Its ongoing exploration of Gale Crater with the Curiosity Rover has provided a rich data set that revealed such an environment in an ancient lakebed [1]. Volatile and isotope measurements of both the atmosphere and solids contribute to our growing understanding of both modern and ancient environments.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  18. Brake Failure from Residual Magnetism in the Mars Exploration Rover Lander Petal Actuator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jandura, Louise

    2004-01-01

    In January 2004, two Mars Exploration Rover spacecraft arrived at Mars. Each safely delivered an identical rover to the Martian surface in a tetrahedral lander encased in airbags. Upon landing, the airbags deflated and three Lander Petal Actuators opened the three deployable Lander side petals enabling the rover to exit the Lander. Approximately nine weeks prior to the scheduled launch of the first spacecraft, one of these mission-critical Lander Petal Actuators exhibited a brake stuck-open failure during its final flight stow at Kennedy Space Center. Residual magnetism was the definitive conclusion from the failure investigation. Although residual magnetism was recognized as an issue in the design, the lack of an appropriately specified lower bound on brake drop-out voltage inhibited the discovery of this problem earlier in the program. In addition, the brakes had more unit-to-unit variation in drop-out voltage than expected, likely due to a larger than expected variation in the magnetic properties of the 15-5 PH stainless steel brake plates. Failure analysis and subsequent rework of two other Lander Petal Actuators with marginal brakes was completed in three weeks, causing no impact to the launch date.

  19. Exploration of Mars with the ChemCam LIBS Instrument and the Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newsom, Horton E.

    2016-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover landed on Mars in August 2012, and has been exploring the planet ever since. Dr. Horton E. Newsom will discuss the MSL's design and main goal, which is to characterize past environments that may have been conducive to the evolution and sustainability of life. He will also discuss Curiosity's science payload, and remote sensing, analytical capabilities, and direct discoveries of the Chemistry & Camera (ChemCam) instrument, which is the first Laser Induced Breakdown Spectrometer (LIBS) to operate on another planetary surface and determine the chemistry of the rocks and soils.

  20. Ground Truthing Orbital Clay Mineral Observations with the APXS Onboard Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schroeder, C.; Gellert, R.; VanBommel, S.; Clark, B. C.; Ming, D. W.; Mittlefehldt, D. S.; Yen, A. S.

    2016-01-01

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has been exploring approximately 22 km diameter Endeavour crater since 2011. Its rim segments predate the Hesperian-age Burns formation and expose Noachian-age material, which is associated with orbital Fe3+-Mg-rich clay mineral observations [1,2]. Moving to an orders of magnitude smaller instrumental field of view on the ground, the clay minerals were challenging to pinpoint on the basis of geochemical data because they appear to be the result of near-isochemical weathering of the local bedrock [3,4]. However, the APXS revealed a more complex mineral story as fracture fills and so-called red zones appear to contain more Al-rich clay minerals [5,6], which had not been observed from orbit. These observations are important to constrain clay mineral formation processes. More detail will be added as Opportunity is heading into her 10th extended mission, during which she will investigate Noachian bedrock that predates Endeavour crater, study sedimentary rocks inside Endeavour crater, and explore a fluid-carved gully. ESA's ExoMars rover will land on Noachian-age Oxia Planum where abundant Fe3+-Mg-rich clay minerals have been observed from orbit, but the story will undoubtedly become more complex once seen from the ground.

  1. The development of a virtual camera system for astronaut-rover planetary exploration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Platt, Donald W; Boy, Guy A

    2012-01-01

    A virtual assistant is being developed for use by astronauts as they use rovers to explore the surface of other planets. This interactive database, called the Virtual Camera (VC), is an interactive database that allows the user to have better situational awareness for exploration. It can be used for training, data analysis and augmentation of actual surface exploration. This paper describes the development efforts and Human-Computer Interaction considerations for implementing a first-generation VC on a tablet mobile computer device. Scenarios for use will be presented. Evaluation and success criteria such as efficiency in terms of processing time and precision situational awareness, learnability, usability, and robustness will also be presented. Initial testing and the impact of HCI design considerations of manipulation and improvement in situational awareness using a prototype VC will be discussed.

  2. The new Athena alpha particle X-ray spectrometer for the Mars Exploration Rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rieder, R.; Gellert, R.; Brückner, J.; Klingelhöfer, G.; Dreibus, G.; Yen, A.; Squyres, S. W.

    2003-11-01

    The new alpha particle X-ray spectrometer (APXS) is part of the Athena payload of the two Mars Exploration Rovers (MER). The APXS sensor head is attached to the turret of the instrument deployment device (IDD) of the rover. The APXS is a very light-weight instrument for determining the major and minor elemental composition of Martian soils, rocks, and other geological materials at the MER landing sites. The sensor head has simply to be docked by the IDD on the surface of the selected sample. X-ray radiation, excited by alpha particles and X rays of the radioactive sources, is recorded by a high-resolution X-ray detector. The X-ray spectra show elements starting from sodium up to yttrium, depending on their concentrations. The backscattered alpha spectra, measured by a ring of detectors, provide additional data on carbon and oxygen. By means of a proper calibration, the elemental concentrations are derived. Together with data from the two other Athena instruments mounted on the IDD, the samples under investigation can be fully characterized. Key APXS objectives are the determination of the chemistry of crustal rocks and soils and the examination of water-related deposits, sediments, or evaporates. Using the rock abrasion tool attached to the IDD, issues of weathering can be addressed by measuring natural and abraded surfaces of rocks.

  3. Overview of the magnetic properties experiments on the Mars Exploration Rovers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Madsen, M. B.; Goetz, W.; Bertelsen, P.

    2009-01-01

    , while the weakly magnetic one is bright red. Images returned by the Microscopic Imager reveal the formation of magnetic chains diagnostic of magnetite-rich grains with substantial magnetization (>8 Am-2 kg(-1)). On the basis of Mossbauer spectra the dust contains magnetite, olivine, pyroxene......The Mars Exploration Rovers have accumulated airborne dust on different types of permanent magnets. Images of these magnets document the dynamics of dust capture and removal over time. The strongly magnetic subset of airborne dust appears dark brown to black in Panoramic Camera (Pancam) images......, and nanophase oxides in varying proportions, depending on wind regime and landing site. The dust contains a larger amount of ferric iron (Fe3+/Fe-tot similar to 0.6) than rocks in the Gusev plains (similar to 0.1-0.2) or average Gusev soil (similar to 0.3). Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer data of the dust...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinderson, Elias; Magapu, Vish; Mak, Ronald

    2004-01-01

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

  5. Processing of Mars Exploration Rover Imagery for Science and Operations Planning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alexander, Douglass A.; Deen, Robert G.; Andres, Paul M.; Zamani, Payam; Mortensen, Helen B.; Chen, Amy C.; Cayanan, Michael K.; Hall, Jeffrey R.; Klochko, Vadim S.; Pariser, Oleg; hide

    2006-01-01

    The twin Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) delivered an unprecedented array of image sensors to the Mars surface. These cameras were essential for operations, science, and public engagement. The Multimission Image Processing Laboratory (MIPL) at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory was responsible for the first-order processing of all of the images returned by these cameras. This processing included reconstruction of the original images, systematic and ad hoc generation of a wide variety of products derived from those images, and delivery of the data to a variety of customers, within tight time constraints. A combination of automated and manual processes was developed to meet these requirements, with significant inheritance from prior missions. This paper describes the image products generated by MIPL for MER and the processes used to produce and deliver them.

  6. Paleo-environmental Setting of the Murray Formation of Aeolis Mons, Gale Crater, Mars, as Explored by the Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, K. W.; Fedo, C.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Gupta, S.; Stein, N.; Rivera-Hernandez, F.; Watkins, J. A.; Banham, S.; Edgett, K. S.; Minitti, M. E.; Schieber, J.; Edgar, L. A.; Siebach, K. L.; Stack, K.; Newsom, H. E.; House, C. H.; Sumner, D. Y.; Vasavada, A. R.

    2017-12-01

    Since landing, the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover climbed 300 meters in elevation from the floor of north Gale crater up the lower northwest flank of Aeolis Mons ("Mount Sharp"). Nearly 200 meters of this ascent was accomplished in the 1.5 years alone, as the rover was driven up-section through the sedimentary rocks of the informally designated "Murray" formation. This unit comprises a large fraction of the lower strata of Mt. Sharp along the rover traverse. Our exploration of the Murray formation reveals a diverse suite of fine-grained facies. Grain sizes range from finer grains than can be resolved by the MAHLI imager (particles bearing Vera Rubin Ridge, continues to reveal the complex and long-lived depositional history of the Gale crater basin.

  7. Mars Exploration Rover Pancam Photometric Data QUBs: Definition and Example Uses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soderblom, J. M.; Bell, J. F.; Arvidson, R. E.; Johnson, J. R.; Johnson, M. J.; Seelos, F. P.

    2004-12-01

    Pancam multi-spectral observations acquired at the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit and Opportunity landing sites are being assembled into a multi-layer format know as a QUB. For any given pixel in a Pancam image the QUB will contain values for the radiance factor, incidence (i), emission (e), and phase (g) angles, X, Y, and Z distance in a rover-based coordinate system, disparity in number of pixels between the left and right eye images and range data. Good range data is required for the generation of a Pancam QUB. The radiance factor (I/F, where I is the measured scene radiance on sensor and π F is the incident solar irradiance) is calculated using a combination of preflight calibration data and information obtained from near-simultaneous observations of an onboard reflectance calibration target. The range, X, Y, Z and disparity data, and i, e, and g are calculated using routines developed by JPL's MIPL and Cornell. When possible, these data have been interpolated to maximize parameter coverage; a map of non-interpolated data is also included in each QUB. QUBs should prove very useful in photometric studies (e.g., Johnson et al.; Seelos, et al., this conference), detailed spectral analyses (e.g., Bell et al., this conference), and detailed topographic/DTM studies. Here we present two examples of the utilization of the information contained in Pancam QUBs. In one example we remove the photometric variability from spectra collected from multiple facets of a rock using knowledge of i, e, g and derived photometric functions. This is necessary if one wishes to conduct comparative studies of observations acquired under varying geometries and lighting conditions. In another example we present an analysis using the discrete ordinate multiple scattering radiative transfer code DISORT where we separate the atmosphere and surface contributions of the surface reflectance.

  8. The Design of Two Nano-Rovers for Lunar Surface Exploration in the Context of the Google Lunar X Prize

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gill, E.; Honfi Camilo, L.; Kuystermans, P.; Maas, A. S. B. B.; Buutfeld, B. A. M.; van der Pols, R. H.

    2008-09-01

    This paper summarizes a study performed by ten students at the Delft University of Technology on a lunar exploration vehicle suited for competing in the Google Lunar X Prize1. The design philosophy aimed at a quick and simple design process, to comply with the mission constraints. This is achieved by using conventional technology and performing the mission with two identical rovers, increasing reliability and simplicity of systems. Both rovers are however capable of operating independently. The required subsystems have been designed for survival and operation on the lunar surface for an estimated mission lifetime of five days. This preliminary study shows that it is possible for two nano-rovers to perform the basic exploration tasks. The mission has been devised such that after launch the rovers endure a 160 hour voyage to the Moon after which they will land on Sinus Medii with a dedicated lunar transfer/lander vehicle. The mission outline itself has the two nano-rovers travelling in the same direction, moving simultaneously. This mission characteristic allows a quick take-over of the required tasks by the second rover in case of one rover breakdown. The main structure of the rovers will consist of Aluminium 2219 T851, due to its good thermal properties and high hardness. Because of the small dimensions of the rovers, the vehicles will use rigid caterpillar tracks as locomotion system. The track systems are sealed from lunar dust using closed track to prevent interference with the mechanisms. This also prevents any damage to the electronics inside the tracks. For the movement speed a velocity of 0.055 m/s has been determined. This is about 90% of the maximum rover velocity, allowing direct control from Earth. The rovers are operated by a direct control loop, involving the mission control center. In order to direct the rovers safely, a continuous video link with the Earth is necessary to assess its immediate surroundings. Two forward pointing navigational cameras

  9. Critical Spacecraft-to-Earth Communications for Mars Exploration Rover (MER) entry, descent and landing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hurd, William J.; Estabrook, Polly; Racho, Caroline S.; Satorius, Edgar H.

    2002-01-01

    For planetary lander missions, the most challenging phase of the spacecraft to ground communications is during the entry, descent, and landing (EDL). As each 2003 Mars Exploration Rover (MER) enters the Martian atmosphere, it slows dramatically. The extreme acceleration and jerk cause extreme Doppler dynamics on the X-band signal received on Earth. When the vehicle slows sufficiently, the parachute is deployed, causing almost a step in deceleration. After parachute deployment, the lander is lowered beneath the parachute on a bridle. The swinging motion of the lander imparts high Doppler dynamics on the signal and causes the received signal strength to vary widely, due to changing antenna pointing angles. All this time, the vehicle transmits important health and status information that is especially critical if the landing is not successful. Even using the largest Deep Space Network antennas, the weak signal and high dynamics render it impossible to conduct reliable phase coherent communications. Therefore, a specialized form of frequency-shift-keying will be used. This paper describes the EDL scenario, the signal conditions, the methods used to detect and frequency-track the carrier and to detect the data modulation, and the resulting performance estimates.

  10. Dust Accumulation and Solar Panel Array Performance on the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turgay, Eren H.

    2004-01-01

    One of the most fundamental design considerations for any space vehicle is its power supply system. Many options exist, including batteries, fuel cells, nuclear reactors, radioisotopic thermal generators (RTGs), and solar panel arrays. Solar arrays have many advantages over other types of power generation. They are lightweight and relatively inexpensive, allowing more mass and funding to be allocated for other important devices, such as scientific instruments. For Mars applications, solar power is an excellent option, especially for long missions. One might think that dust storms would be a problem; however, while dust blocks some solar energy, it also scatters it, making it diffuse rather than beamed. Solar cells are still able to capture this diffuse energy and convert it into substantial electrical power. For these reasons, solar power was chosen to be used on the 1997 Mars Pathfinder mission. The success of this mission set a precedent, as NASA engineers have selected solar power as the energy system of choice for all future Mars missions, including the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Project. Solar sells have their drawbacks, however. They are difficult to manufacture and are relatively fragile. In addition, solar cells are highly sensitive to different parts of the solar spectrum, and finding the correct balance is crucial to the success of space missions. Another drawback is that the power generated is not a constant with respect to time, but rather changes with the relative angle to the sun. On Mars, dust accumulation also becomes a factor. Over time, dust settles out of the atmosphere and onto solar panels. This dust blocks and shifts the frequency of the incoming light, degrading solar cell performance. My goal is to analyze solar panel telemetry data from the two MERs (Spirit and Opportunity) in an effort to accurately model the effect of dust accumulation on solar panels. This is no easy process due to the large number of factors involved. Changing solar

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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 (≥10 kW 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

  12. (Nearly) Seven Years on Mars: Adventure, Adversity, and Achievements with the NASA Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, J. F.; Mars Exploration Rover Science; Engineering Teams

    2010-12-01

    NASA successfully landed twin rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, on Mars in January 2004, in the most ambitious mission of robotic exploration attempted to that time. Each rover is outfitted as a robot field geologist with an impressive array of scientific instruments--cameras, spectrometers, other sensors--designed to investigate the composition and geologic history of two distinctly-different landing sites. The sites were chosen because of their potential to reveal clues about the past history of water and climate on Mars, and thus to provide tests of the hypothesis that the planet may once have been an abode for life. In this presentation I will review the images, spectra, and chemical/mineralogic information that the rover team has been acquiring from the landing sites and along the rovers' 7.7 and 22.7 km traverse paths, respectively. The data and interpretations have been widely shared with the public and the scientific community through web sites, frequent press releases, and scientific publications, and they provide quantitative evidence that liquid water has played a role in the modification of the Martian surface during the earliest part of the planet's history. At the Spirit site in Gusev Crater, the role of water appears to have been relatively minor in general, although the recent discovery of enigmatic hydrated sulfate salt and amorphous silica deposits suggests that locally there may have been significant water-rock interactions, and perhaps even sustained hydrothermal activity. At the Opportunity site in Meridiani Planum, geologic and mineralogic evidence suggests that liquid water was stable at the surface and shallow subsurface for significant periods of early Martian geologic history. An exciting implication from both missions is that localized environments on early Mars may have been "habitable" by some terrestrial standards. As of early September 2010, the rovers had operated for 2210 and 2347 Martian days (sols), respectively, with the Spirit

  13. The Geologic Exploration of the Bagnold Dune Field at Gale Crater by the Curiosity Rover.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chojnacki, Matthew; Fenton, Lori K

    2017-11-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity engaged in a monthlong campaign investigating the Bagnold dune field in Gale crater. What represents the first in situ investigation of a dune field on another planet has resulted in a number of discoveries. Collectively, the Curiosity rover team has compiled the most comprehensive survey of any extraterrestrial aeolian system visited to date with results that yield important insights into a number of processes, including sediment transport, bed form morphology and structure, chemical and physical composition of aeolian sand, and wind regime characteristics. These findings and more are provided in detail by the JGR-Planets Special Issue Curiosity's Bagnold Dunes Campaign, Phase I.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-03-01

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

  15. Integrating the Teaching of Space Science, Planetary Exploration And Robotics In Elementary And Middle School with Mars Rover Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bering, E. A.; Ramsey, J.; Smith, H.; Boyko, B. S.; Peck, S.; Arcenaux, W. H.

    2005-05-01

    The present aerospace engineering and science workforce is ageing. It is not clear that the US education system will produce enough qualified replacements to meet the need in the near future. Unfortunately, by the time many students get to high school, it is often too late to get them pointed toward an engineering or science career. Since some college programs require 6 units of high school mathematics for admission, students need to begin consciously preparing for a science or engineering curriculum as early as 6th or 7th grade. The challenge for educators is to convince elementary school students that science and engineering are both exciting, relevant and accessible career paths. This paper describes a program designed to help provide some excitement and relevance. It is based on the task of developing a mobile robot or "Rover" to explore the surface of Mars. There are two components to the program, a curriculum unit and a contest. The curriculum unit is structured as a 6-week planetary science unit for elementary school (grades 3-5). It can also be used as a curriculum unit, enrichment program or extracurricular activity in grades 6-8 by increasing the expected level of scientific sophistication in the mission design. The second component is a citywide competition to select the most outstanding models that is held annually at a local college or University. Primary (Grades 3-5) and middle school (Grades 6-8) students interested in science and engineering will design and build of a model of a Mars Rover to carry out a specific science mission on the surface of Mars. The students will build the models as part of a 6-week Fall semester classroom-learning or homework project on Mars. The students will be given design criteria for a rover, and be required to do basic research on Mars that will determine the operational objectives and structural features of their rover. This module may be used as part of a class studying general science, earth science, solar system

  16. Mars Rover Model Celebration: Using Planetary Exploration To Enrich STEM Teaching In Elementary And Middle School

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bering, E. A.; Ramsey, J.; Dominey, W.; Kapral, A.; Carlson, C.; Konstantinidis, I.; James, J.; Sweaney, S.; Mendez, R.

    2011-12-01

    The present aerospace engineering and science workforce is ageing. It is not clear that the US education system will produce enough qualified replacements to meet the need in the near future. Unfortunately, by the time many students get to high school, it is often too late to get them pointed toward an engineering or science career. Since some college programs require 6 units of high school mathematics for admission, students need to begin consciously preparing for a science or engineering curriculum as early as 6th or 7th grade. The challenge for educators is to convince elementary school students that science and engineering are both exciting, relevant and accessible career paths. The recent NASA Mars Rover missions capture the imagination of children, as NASA missions have done for decades. The University of Houston is in the process of developing a prototype of a flexible program that offers children an in-depth educational experience culminating in the design and construction of their own model rover. The existing prototype program is called the Mars Rover Model Celebration. It focuses on students, teachers and parents in grades 3-8. Students will design and build a model of a Mars rover to carry out a student selected science mission on the surface of Mars. The model will be a mock-up, constructed at a minimal cost from art supplies. The students will build the models as part of a project on Mars. The students will be given design criteria for a rover and will do basic research on Mars that will determine the objectives and features of their rover. This project may be used either informally as an after school club or youth group activity or formally as part of a class studying general science, earth science, solar system astronomy or robotics, or as a multi-disciplinary unit for a gifted and talented program. The program culminates in a capstone event held at the University of Houston (or other central location in the other communities that will be involved

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. Use of Geochemistry Data Collected by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit in Gusev Crater to Teach Geomorphic Zonation through Principal Components Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodrigue, Christine M.

    2011-01-01

    This paper presents a laboratory exercise used to teach principal components analysis (PCA) as a means of surface zonation. The lab was built around abundance data for 16 oxides and elements collected by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit in Gusev Crater between Sol 14 and Sol 470. Students used PCA to reduce 15 of these into 3 components, which,…

  19. In Situ Visible to Short Wavelength Imaging Spectroscopy with the Ultra Compact Imaging Spectrometer (UCIS): Case Studies from the Mars Exploration Rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blaney, D.; Mouroulis, P.; Green, R.; Rodriguez, J.; Sellar, G.; Van Gorp, B.; Wilson, D.

    2011-01-01

    In Situ imaging spectroscopy provides a way to address complex questions of geological evolution for both aqueous and igneous processes by mapping mineral composition at the spatial scale of rocks and outcrops. Examination of locations studied by the Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity can provide examples of the potential utility and define the needed measurement requirements. A compact instrument is needed to be able to adequately address these science questions from a rover platform. The Ultra Compact Imaging Spectrometer (UCIS) is an instrument designed to address the science need and implementation constraints.

  20. Maps of the Martian Landing Sites and Rover Traverses: Viking 1 and 2, Mars Pathfinder, and Phoenix Landers, and the Mars Exploration Rovers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parker, T. J.; Calef, F. J., III; Deen, R. G.; Gengl, H.

    2016-12-01

    The traverse maps produced tactically for the MER and MSL rover missions are the first step in placing the observations made by each vehicle into a local and regional geologic context. For the MER, Phoenix and MSL missions, 25cm/pixel HiRISE data is available for accurately localizing the vehicles. Viking and Mars Pathfinder, however, relied on Viking Orbiter images of several tens of m/pixel to triangulate to horizon features visible both from the ground and from orbit. After Pathfinder, MGS MOC images became available for these landing sites, enabling much better correlations to horizon features and localization predictions to be made, that were then corroborated with HiRISE images beginning 9 years ago. By combining topography data from MGS, Mars Express, and stereo processing of MRO CTX and HiRISE images into orthomosaics (ORRs) and digital elevation models (DEMs), it is possible to localize all the landers and rover positions to an accuracy of a few tens of meters with respect to the Mars global control net, and to better than half a meter with respect to other features within a HiRISE orthomosaic. JPL's MIPL produces point clouds of the MER Navcam stereo images that can be processed into 1cm/pixel ORR/DEMs that are then georeferenced to a HiRISE/CTX base map and DEM. This allows compilation of seamless mosaics of the lander and rover camera-based ORR/DEMs with the HiRISE ORR/DEM that can be viewed in 3 dimensions with GIS programs with that capability. We are re-processing the Viking Lander, Mars Pathfinder, and Phoenix lander data to allow similar ORR/DEM products to be made for those missions. For the fixed landers and Spirit, we will compile merged surface/CTX/HiRISE ORR/DEMs, that will enable accurate local and regional mapping of these landing sites, and allow comparisons of the results from these missions to be made with current and future surface missions.

  1. Initial Results on the Mineralogy and Geochemistry of the Mar Exploration Rover Gusev Landing Site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christensen, P. R.

    2004-05-01

    The Spirit rover has investigated the geochemistry and mineralogy of the Gusev crater site using in situ Alpha Proton X-Ray, Mossbauer, visible, and infrared spectroscopy. The Gusev site is covered with angular to sub-rounded rocks that are typically less than 1 m in maximum dimension. More than 90 percent of these rocks are dark-toned, with the remainder being lighter-toned rocks that may predominantly be dark rocks with a thin (10's of microns) coating of easily removed fines. APXS analysis has been obtained of a rock (Adirondack) following the removal by grinding of the surface dust and the upper few mm of the rock surface. These data give a modal mineralogy corresponding to olivine basalt. High quality Mini-TES data have not been obtained of a completely dust-free rock surface. The Mini-TES data of Adirondack do show long wavelength (15-25 microns) absorptions due to olivine of composition ~Fo60. All of the rocks observed are very compositionally homogeneous in the Mini-TES spectra. These findings are consistent with the detection of olivine-bearing basalt at this site from orbital TES infrared spectroscopy. Mossbauer spectra of Adirondack show the presence of forsteritic olivine and magnetite, with possible pyroxene. The soils at Gusev are a mixture of reddish fine-grained to sandy materials, granular-sized particles that occur in ripple forms, and minor pebbles. Mini-TES spectra of the soil show an excellent match to the TES spectra of high-albedo, fine-grained material found in regional bright regions that is interpreted to be windblown dust. This agreement suggests at least the uppermost layer of the soil at Gusev has been accumulated from airfall dust. By analogy with prior analysis of TES data these materials contain several percent carbonate, minor bound water, and a framework silicate interpreted to be either feldspar or zeolite. APXS spectra show similar oxide abundances to those determined for the Pathfinder site, except for higher MgO, and lower

  2. CRAFT: Collaborative Rover and Astronauts Future Technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Da-Poian, V. D. P.; Koryanov, V. V. K.

    2018-02-01

    Our project is focusing on the relationship between astronauts and rovers to best work together during surface explorations. Robots will help and assist astronauts, and will also work autonomously. Our project is to develop this type of rover.

  3. The Proposed Mars Astrobiology Explorer - Cacher [MAX-C] Rover: First Step in a Potential Sample Return Campaign

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Carlton C.; Beaty, David W.

    2010-01-01

    Sample return from Mars has been advocated by numerous scientific advisory panels for over 30 years, most prominently beginning with the National Research Council s [1] strategy for the exploration of the inner solar system, and most recently by the Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group (MEPAG s) Next Decade Science Analysis Group [2]. Analysis of samples here on Earth would have enormous advantages over in situ analyses in producing the data quality needed to address many of the complex scientific questions the community has posed about Mars. Instead of a small, predetermined set of analytical techniques, state of the art preparative and instrumental resources of the entire scientific community could be applied to the samples. The analytical emphasis could shift as the meaning of each result becomes better appreciated. These arguments apply both to igneous rocks and to layered sedimentary materials, either of which could contain water and other volatile constituents. In 2009 MEPAG formed the Mid-Range Rover Science Analysis Group (MRR-SAG) to formulate a mission concept that would address two general objectives: (1) conduct high-priority in situ science and (2) make concrete steps towards the potential return of samples to Earth. This analysis resulted in a mission concept named the Mars Astrobiology Explorer-Cacher (MAX-C), which was envisioned for launch in the 2018 opportunity. After extensive discussion, this group concluded that by far the most definitive contribution to sample return by this mission would be to collect and cache, in an accessible location, a suite of compelling samples that could potentially be recovered and returned by a subsequent mission. This would have the effect of separating two of the essential functions of MSR, the acquisition of the sample collection and its delivery to martian orbit, into two missions.

  4. A fundamental parameters approach to calibration of the Mars Exploration Rover Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, J. L.; Lee, M.; Jones, B. N.; Andrushenko, S. M.; Holmes, N. G.; Maxwell, J. A.; Taylor, S. M.

    2009-04-01

    The detection sensitivities of the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) instruments on the Mars Exploration Rovers for a wide range of elements were experimentally determined in 2002 using spectra of geochemical reference materials. A flight spare instrument was similarly calibrated, and the calibration exercise was then continued for this unit with an extended set of geochemical reference materials together with pure elements and simple chemical compounds. The flight spare instrument data are examined in detail here using a newly developed fundamental parameters approach which takes precise account of all the physics inherent in the two X-ray generation techniques involved, namely, X-ray fluorescence and particle-induced X-ray emission. The objectives are to characterize the instrument as fully as possible, to test this new approach, and to determine the accuracy of calibration for major, minor, and trace elements. For some of the lightest elements the resulting calibration exhibits a dependence upon the mineral assemblage of the geological reference material; explanations are suggested for these observations. The results will assist in designing the overall calibration approach for the APXS on the Mars Science Laboratory mission.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  6. Cerebellum Augmented Rover Development

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Correlating multispectral imaging and compositional data from the Mars Exploration Rovers and implications for Mars Science Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Ryan B.; Bell, James F.

    2013-03-01

    In an effort to infer compositional information about distant targets based on multispectral imaging data, we investigated methods of relating Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Pancam multispectral remote sensing observations to in situ alpha particle X-ray spectrometer (APXS)-derived elemental abundances and Mössbauer (MB)-derived abundances of Fe-bearing phases at the MER field sites in Gusev crater and Meridiani Planum. The majority of the partial correlation coefficients between these data sets were not statistically significant. Restricting the targets to those that were abraded by the rock abrasion tool (RAT) led to improved Pearson’s correlations, most notably between the red-blue ratio (673 nm/434 nm) and Fe3+-bearing phases, but partial correlations were not statistically significant. Partial Least Squares (PLS) calculations relating Pancam 11-color visible to near-IR (VNIR; ∼400-1000 nm) “spectra” to APXS and Mössbauer element or mineral abundances showed generally poor performance, although the presence of compositional outliers led to improved PLS results for data from Meridiani. When the Meridiani PLS model for pyroxene was tested by predicting the pyroxene content of Gusev targets, the results were poor, indicating that the PLS models for Meridiani are not applicable to data from other sites. Soft Independent Modeling of Class Analogy (SIMCA) classification of Gusev crater data showed mixed results. Of the 24 Gusev test regions of interest (ROIs) with known classes, 11 had >30% of the pixels in the ROI classified correctly, while others were mis-classified or unclassified. k-Means clustering of APXS and Mössbauer data was used to assign Meridiani targets to compositional classes. The clustering-derived classes corresponded to meaningful geologic and/or color unit differences, and SIMCA classification using these classes was somewhat successful, with >30% of pixels correctly classified in 9 of the 11 ROIs with known classes. This work shows that

  8. Chromatographic, Spectroscopic and Mass Spectrometric Approaches for Exploring the Habitability of Mars in 2012 and Beyond with the Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaffy, Paul

    2012-01-01

    The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) suite of instruments on the Curiosity Rover of Mars Science Laboratory Mission is designed to provide chemical and isotopic analysis of organic and inorganic volatiles for both atmospheric and solid samples. The goals of the science investigation enabled by the gas chromatograph mass spectrometer and tunable laser spectrometer instruments of SAM are to work together with the other MSL investigations is to quantitatively assess habitability through a series of chemical and geological measurements. We describe the multi-column gas chromatograph system employed on SAM and the approach to extraction and analysis of organic compounds that might be preserved in ancient martian rocks.

  9. Real‐Time Measurement of Wheel Performance on a Rover

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Wind-blown sand on Mars produces a high risk of entrapment for Mars rovers. This was evident when the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit was immobilized in a wind blown...

  10. Temperature dependence of the hyperfine parameters of the iron bearing phases in the Moessbauer spectra collected by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Van Cromphaut, Caroline; Resende, Valdirene G. de; De Grave, Eddy; Vandenberghe, Robert E.

    2009-01-01

    This contribution focuses on the Moessbauer spectra acquired by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit which carried a MIMOS II Moessbauer spectrometer. Only those spectra which present a reasonable statistical quality were selected to for this study. Twenty five Moessbauer spectra have been considered. Common phases identified from the temperature dependent hyperfine parameters are olivine, pyroxene, hematite and magnetite. It is believed that the applied analysis method has provided accurate values for the various hyperfine data averaged over single 10 K temperature intervals in the range 210-260 K. The obtained results, to some extent forced to evolve consistently over the various ΔT intervals considered for a given soil/rock target, are in many cases different from previously published data. Possible reasons for these differences will be discussed.

  11. Hybrid Aerial/Rover Vehicle

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  12. Mesoscale modeling of the water vapor cycle at Mawrth Vallis: a Mars2020 and ExoMars exploration rovers high-priority landing site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pla-García, Jorge

    2017-04-01

    . During this transition, there is surface convergence into the rising branch (similar to the inter-tropical convergence zone on Earth), and dual Hadley cells with one circulation in each hemisphere. At this time, the mean surface winds flow from the high latitudes to equator in both hemispheres, providing the possibility for a direct vapor connection [5, 6]. It is likely that transient waves (e.g., storm systems) as well as boundary currents associated with planetary-scale stationary waves could advect and mix water equatorward, along the surface, in opposition to the Hadley Cell. Conclusion: We are studying whether moist air in northern spring/summer makes it to the surface of Mawrth at Ls 90, Ls 140 and Ls 180, three periods with high column abundance of water vapor at mid/high latitudes. The objective is to determine if the circulation (mean or regional) is favorable for the transport of water vapor from the north polar cap to MV where it might activate hygroscopic salts and/or chlorides [7]. Relative humidity at those different seasons is estimated to test for consistency with column abundances derived from orbit observations. If moist air makes it to MV during Ls90, 140 and/or 180, it should be a go-to site due to enhanced habitability implications. References: [1] Pla-García, J., & Rafkin, S. C., 2015: Meteorological predictions for Mars 2020 Exploration Rov-er high-priority landing sites throug MRAMS Mesoscale Modeling. In EGU General Assembly Conference Abstracts (Vol. 17, p. 12605). [2] Rafkin, S. C. R., Haberle, R. M., and T. I. Michaels, 2001: The Mars Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (MRAMS): Model description and selected simulations. Icarus, 151, 228-256. [3] Rafkin, S. C. R., M. R. V. Sta. Maria, and T. I. Michaels, 2002: Simulation of the atmospheric thermal circulation of a martian volcano using a mesoscale numerical model. Nature, 419, 697-699. [4] Jakosky, B.M., and C.B. Farmer, 1982: The seasonal and global behavior of water vapor in the Mars

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, Richard V.

    2008-01-01

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

  14. Exomars 2018 Rover Pasteur Payload

    Science.gov (United States)

    Debus, Andre; Bacher, M.; Ball, A.; Barcos, O.; Bethge, B.; Gaubert, F.; Haldemann, A.; Lindner, R.; Pacros, A.; Trautner, R.; Vag, J.

    ars 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 carrying 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. While the ExoMars 2016 mission will accomplish a technological objective (Entry, Descent and Landing of a payload on the surface) and a Scientific objective (investigation of Martian atmospheric trace gases and their sources, focussing particularly on methane), 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 includes a drill for accessing underground materials, and a Sample Preparation and Distribution System. The Rover will travel several kilometres looking for sites warranting further investigation, where it will collect and analyse samples from within outcrops and from the subsurface for traces of complex organic molecules. In addition to further details on this Exomars 2018 rover mission, this presentation will focus on the scientific objectives and the instruments needed to achieve them, including details of how the Pasteur Payload as a whole addresses Mars research objectives.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  16. Rover deployment system for lunar landing mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  17. Pressurized Lunar Rover (PLR)

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  18. Mars Exploration Rover: surface operations

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-01-01

    This paper will provide an overview of the planned mission, and also focus on the different operations challenges inherent in operating these two very off road vehicles, and the solutions adopted to enable the best utilization of their capabilities for high science return and responsiveness to scientific discovery.

  19. Mars rover local navigation and hazard avoidance

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  20. Frost on Mars Rover Opportunity

    Science.gov (United States)

    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).

  1. A Rover Mobility Platform with Autonomous Capability to Enable Mars Sample Return

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fulford, P.; Langley, C.; Shaw, A.

    2018-04-01

    The next step in understanding Mars is sample return. In Fall 2016, the CSA conducted an analogue deployment using the Mars Exploration Science Rover. An objective was to demonstrate the maturity of the rover's guidance, navigation, and control.

  2. Night Rover Challenge

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The objective of the Night Rover Challenge was to foster innovations in energy storage technology. Specifically, this challenge asked competitors to create an energy...

  3. Automation Rover for Extreme Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  5. Rover waste assay system

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Akers, D.W.; Stoots, C.M.; Kraft, N.C.; Marts, D.J. [Idaho National Engineering Lab., Idaho Falls, ID (United States)

    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.

  6. Rover waste assay system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1997-01-01

    The Rover Waste Assay System (RWAS) is a nondestructive assay system designed for the rapid assay of highly-enriched 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 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

  7. Mars 2020 Rover SHERLOC Calibration Target

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  8. Curiosity rover LEGO® version could land soon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Showstack, Randy

    2012-09-01

    Now that NASA's Curiosity rover has landed on Mars, a smaller LEGO® plastic brick construction version could be landing in toy stores. Less than 2 weeks after Curiosity set down on 5 August, a LEGO® set concept model designed by a mechanical and aerospace engineer who worked on the real rover garnered its 10,000th supporter on the Web site of CUUSOO, a Japanese partner of the LEGO® group. That milestone triggered a company review that began in September 2012 to test the model's “playability, safety, and ft with the LEGO® brand,” according to a congratulatory statement from the company to designer Stephen Pakbaz. Pakbaz told Eos that he has been an avid LEGO® and space exploration fan for most of his life. “For me, creating a LEGO® model of Curiosity using my firsthand knowledge of the rover was inevitable. What I enjoyed most was being able to faithfully replicate and subsequently demonstrate the rocker-bogie suspension system to friends, family, and coworkers,” he noted, referring to the suspension system that allows the rover to climb over obstacles while keeping its wheels on the ground. Pakbaz, who is currently with Orbital Sciences Corporation, was involved with aspects of the rover while working at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory from 2007 to 2011 as a mechanical engineer.

  9. Preparing to Test Rover Mobility

    Science.gov (United States)

    2005-01-01

    Rover engineers prepare a mixture of sandy and powdery materials to simulate some difficult Mars driving conditions inside a facility at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. The tests in early May 2005 were designed to help plan the best way for the rover Opportunity to drive off of a soft-sand dune that the rover dug itself into the previous week.

  10. Laser-powered Martian rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  11. Exomars 2018 Rover Pasteur Payload Sample Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Mineral Composition and Abundance of the Rocks and Soils at Gusev and Meridiani from the Mars Exploration Rover Mini-TES Instruments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christensen, P. R.; Wyatt, M. B.; Glotch, T. D.; Rogers, A. D.; Anwar, S.; Arvidson, R. E.; Bandfield, J. L.; Blaney, D. L.; Budney, C.; Calvin, W. M.

    2005-01-01

    The Miniature Thermal Emission Spectrometer (Mini-TES) has provided remote measurements of mineralogy, thermophysical properties, and atmospheric temperature profile and composition of the outcrops, rocks, spherules, and soils surrounding the Spirit and Opportunity Rovers. The mineralogy of volcanic rocks provides insights into the composition of the source regions and the nature of martian igneous processes. Carbonates, sulfates, evaporites, and oxides provide information on the role of water in the surface evolution. Oxides, such as crystalline hematite, provide insight into aqueous weathering processes, as would the occurrence of clay minerals and other weathering products. Diurnal temperature measurements can be used to determine particle size and search for the effects of sub-surface layering, which in turn provide clues to the origin of surficial materials through rock disintegration, aeolian transport, atmospheric fallout, or induration. In addition to studying the surface properties, Mini-TES spectra have also been used to determine the temperature profile in the lower boundary layer, providing evidence for convective activity, and have determined the seasonal trends in atmospheric temperature and dust and cloud opacity.

  13. Comparative Field Tests of Pressurised Rover Prototypes

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  14. Scout Rover Applications for Forward Acquisition of Soil and Terrain Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sonsalla, R.; Ahmed, M.; Fritsche, M.; Akpo, J.; Voegele, T.

    2014-04-01

    As opposed to the present mars exploration missions future mission concepts ask for a fast and safe traverse through vast and varied expanses of terrain. As seen during the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission the rovers suffered a lack of detailed soil and terrain information which caused Spirit to get permanently stuck in soft soil. The goal of the FASTER1 EU-FP7 project is to improve the mission safety and the effective traverse speed for planetary rover exploration by determining the traversability of the terrain and lowering the risk to enter hazardous areas. To achieve these goals, a scout rover will be used for soil and terrain sensing ahead of the main rover. This paper describes a highly mobile, and versatile micro scout rover that is used for soil and terrain sensing and is able to co-operate with a primary rover as part of the FASTER approach. The general reference mission idea and concept is addressed within this paper along with top-level requirements derived from the proposed ESA/NASA Mars Sample Return mission (MSR) [4]. Following the mission concept and requirements [3], a concept study for scout rover design and operations has been performed [5]. Based on this study the baseline for the Coyote II rover was designed and built as shown in Figure 1. Coyote II is equipped with a novel locomotion concept, providing high all terrain mobility and allowing to perform side-to-side steering maneuvers which reduce the soil disturbance as compared to common skid steering [6]. The rover serves as test platform for various scout rover application tests ranging from locomotion testing to dual rover operations. From the lessons learned from Coyote II and for an enhanced design, a second generation rover (namely Coyote III) as shown in Figure 2 is being built. This rover serves as scout rover platform for the envisaged FASTER proof of concept field trials. The rover design is based on the test results gained by the Coyote II trials. Coyote III is equipped with two

  15. Bringing Terramechanics to bear on Planetary Rover Design

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. NASA Mars 2020 Rover Mission: New Frontiers in Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  17. A Modular Re-configurable Rover System

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  18. Circolo enogastronomico "Della Rovere" = The Della Rovere Club

    Index Scriptorium Estoniae

    2012-01-01

    Della Rovere Klubist, mis on Itaalia Önogastronoomiliste Ühenduste Föderatsiooni ja Euroopa Önogastronoomia Vennaskondade Nõukogu liige ja mille missiooniks on kohalike traditsioonide säilitamine, erinevate toiduainete omaduste tutvustamine, veinikultuuri õpetamine jne

  19. Positive-Buoyancy Rover for Under Ice Mobility

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  20. Reconfigurable Autonomy for Future Planetary Rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burroughes, Guy

    Extra-terrestrial Planetary rover systems are uniquely remote, placing constraints in regard to communication, environmental uncertainty, and limited physical resources, and requiring a high level of fault tolerance and resistance to hardware degradation. This thesis presents a novel self-reconfiguring autonomous software architecture designed to meet the needs of extraterrestrial planetary environments. At runtime it can safely reconfigure low-level control systems, high-level decisional autonomy systems, and managed software architecture. The architecture can perform automatic Verification and Validation of self-reconfiguration at run-time, and enables a system to be self-optimising, self-protecting, and self-healing. A novel self-monitoring system, which is non-invasive, efficient, tunable, and autonomously deploying, is also presented. The architecture was validated through the use-case of a highly autonomous extra-terrestrial planetary exploration rover. Three major forms of reconfiguration were demonstrated and tested: first, high level adjustment of system internal architecture and goal; second, software module modification; and third, low level alteration of hardware control in response to degradation of hardware and environmental change. The architecture was demonstrated to be robust and effective in a Mars sample return mission use-case testing the operational aspects of a novel, reconfigurable guidance, navigation, and control system for a planetary rover, all operating in concert through a scenario that required reconfiguration of all elements of the system.

  1. Onboard autonomous mineral detectors for Mars rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  2. Lunar Surface Scenarios: Habitation and Life Support Systems for a Pressurized Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Molly; Hanford, Anthony; Howard, Robert; Toups, Larry

    2006-01-01

    Pressurized rovers will be a critical component of successful lunar exploration to enable safe investigation of sites distant from the outpost location. A pressurized rover is a complex system with the same functions as any other crewed vehicle. Designs for a pressurized rover need to take into account significant constraints, a multitude of tasks to be performed inside and out, and the complexity of life support systems to support the crew. In future studies, pressurized rovers should be given the same level of consideration as any other vehicle occupied by the crew.

  3. Development of "Remotely Operated Vehicles for Education and Research" (ROVERs)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaines, J. E.; Bland, G.; Bydlowski, D.

    2017-12-01

    The University of South Florida is a team member for the AREN project which develops educational technologies for data acquisition. "Remotely Operated Vehicles for Education and Research" (ROVERs) are floatable data acquisition systems used for Earth science measurements. The USF partnership was productive in the first year, resulting in new autonomous ROVER platforms being developed and used during a 5 week STEM summer camp by middle school youth. ROVERs were outfitted with GPS and temperature sensors and programmed to move forward, backwards, and to turn autonomously using the National Instruments myRIO embedded system. GLOBE protocols were used to collect data. The outreach program's structure lended itself to accomplishing an essential development effort for the AREN project towards the use of the ROVER platform in informal educational settings. A primary objective of the partnership is curriculum development to integrate GLOBE protocols and NASA technology and hardware/ROVER development wher new ROVER platforms are explored. The USF partnership resulted in two design prototypes for ROVERs, both of which can be created from recyclable materials for flotation and either 3D printed or laser cut components. In addition, both use the National Instruments myRIO for autonomous control. We will present two prototypes designed for use during the USF outreach program, the structure of the program, and details on the fabrication of prototype Z during the program by middle school students. Considering the 5-year objective of the AREN project is to "develop approaches, learning plans, and specific tools that can be affordably implemented nationwide (globally)", the USF partnership is key as it contributes to each part of the objective in a unique and impactful way.

  4. Robust Path Planning for Space Exploration Rovers

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Motion planning considers the problem of moving a system from a starting position to a desired goal position. This problem has been shown to be a computationally...

  5. Mars Science Laboratory Rover System Thermal Test

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  6. Rover's Wheel Churns Up Bright Martian Soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  7. The Athena Mars Rover Science Payload

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  8. Assessment of Proficiency During Simulated Rover Operations Following Long-Duration Spaceflight

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, S. J.; Dean, S. L.; De Dios, Y. E.; MacDougall, H. G.; Moore, S. T.

    2011-01-01

    Following long-duration space travel, pressurized rovers will enhance crew mobility to explore Mars and other planetary surfaces. Adaptive changes in sensorimotor function may limit the crew s proficiency when performing some rover operations shortly after transition to the new gravitoinertial environment. The primary goal of this investigation is to quantify postflight decrements in operational proficiency in a motion-based rover simulation after International Space Station (ISS) expeditions. Given that postflight performance will also be influenced by the level of preflight proficiency attained, a ground-based normative study was conducted to characterize the acquisition of skills over multiple sessions.

  9. A Raman Spectrometer for the ExoMars 2020 Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moral, A. G.; Rull, F.; Maurice, S.; Hutchinson, I.; Canora, C. P.; Seoane, L.; Rodríguez, P.; Canchal, R.; Gallego, P.; Ramos, G.; López, G.; Prieto, J. A. R.; Santiago, A.; Santamaría, P.; Colombo, M.; Belenguer, T.; Forni, O.

    2017-09-01

    The Raman project is devoted to the development of a Raman spectrometer and the support science associated for the rover EXOMARS mission to be launched in 2020. ExoMars is a double mission with two different launch opportunities, first one launched in March 2016 allowed to put in orbit the TGO with the communication system for the next mission. And the second one in 2020, deploying a rover which includes for the first time in the robotic exploration of Mars, a drill capable to obtain samples from the subsurface up to 2 meters depth. These samples will be crushed into a fine powder and delivered to the analytical instruments suite inside the rover by means of a dosing station. The EQM has been already qualified under a very demanding thermo mechanical environment, and under EMC tests, finally achieving required scientific performances. The RLS Engineering and Qualification Model has been manufactured and is expected to be delivered by May 2017, after a full qualification testing campaign developed during 2016 Q4, and 2017 Q1. It will finally delivered to ESA, by July 2017. December 2017 at TAS-I premises will do RLS FM delivery to ESA, for its final integration on the ExoMars 2020 Rover.

  10. APXS on board Chandrayaan-2 Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  11. International testing of a Mars rover prototype

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1993-03-01

    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.

  12. Autonomous Rover Traverse and Precise Arm Placement on Remotely Designated Targets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Felder, Michael; Nesnas, Issa A.; Pivtoraiko, Mihail; Kelly, Alonzo; Volpe, Richard

    2011-01-01

    Exploring planetary surfaces typically involves traversing challenging and unknown terrain and acquiring in-situ measurements at designated locations using arm-mounted instruments. We present field results for a new implementation of an autonomous capability that enables a rover to traverse and precisely place an arm-mounted instrument on remote targets. Using point-and-click mouse commands, a scientist designates targets in the initial imagery acquired from the rover's mast cameras. The rover then autonomously traverse the rocky terrain for a distance of 10 - 15 m, tracks the target(s) of interest during the traverse, positions itself for approaching the target, and then precisely places an arm-mounted instrument within 2-3 cm from the originally designated target. The rover proceeds to acquire science measurements with the instrument. This work advances what has been previously developed and integrated on the Mars Exploration Rovers by using algorithms that are capable of traversing more rock-dense terrains, enabling tight thread-the-needle maneuvers. We integrated these algorithms on the newly refurbished Athena Mars research rover and fielded them in the JPL Mars Yard. We conducted 43 runs with targets at distances ranging from 5 m to 15 m and achieved a success rate of 93% for placement of the instrument within 2-3 cm.

  13. GIS Methodology for Planning Planetary-Rover Operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, Mark; Norris, Jeffrey; Fox, Jason; Rabe, Kenneth; Shu, I-Hsiang

    2007-01-01

    A document describes a methodology for utilizing image data downlinked from cameras aboard a robotic ground vehicle (rover) on a remote planet for analyzing and planning operations of the vehicle and of any associated spacecraft. Traditionally, the cataloging and presentation of large numbers of downlinked planetary-exploration images have been done by use of two organizational methods: temporal organization and correlation between activity plans and images. In contrast, the present methodology involves spatial indexing of image data by use of the computational discipline of geographic information systems (GIS), which has been maturing in terrestrial applications for decades, but, until now, has not been widely used in support of exploration of remote planets. The use of GIS to catalog data products for analysis is intended to increase efficiency and effectiveness in planning rover operations, just as GIS has proven to be a source of powerful computational tools in such terrestrial endeavors as law enforcement, military strategic planning, surveying, political science, and epidemiology. The use of GIS also satisfies the need for a map-based user interface that is intuitive to rover-activity planners, many of whom are deeply familiar with maps and know how to use them effectively in field geology.

  14. Researches on hazard avoidance cameras calibration of Lunar Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Chunyan; Wang, Li; Lu, Xin; Chen, Jihua; Fan, Shenghong

    2017-11-01

    Lunar Lander and Rover of China will be launched in 2013. It will finish the mission targets of lunar soft landing and patrol exploration. Lunar Rover has forward facing stereo camera pair (Hazcams) for hazard avoidance. Hazcams calibration is essential for stereo vision. The Hazcam optics are f-theta fish-eye lenses with a 120°×120° horizontal/vertical field of view (FOV) and a 170° diagonal FOV. They introduce significant distortion in images and the acquired images are quite warped, which makes conventional camera calibration algorithms no longer work well. A photogrammetric calibration method of geometric model for the type of optical fish-eye constructions is investigated in this paper. In the method, Hazcams model is represented by collinearity equations with interior orientation and exterior orientation parameters [1] [2]. For high-precision applications, the accurate calibration model is formulated with the radial symmetric distortion and the decentering distortion as well as parameters to model affinity and shear based on the fisheye deformation model [3] [4]. The proposed method has been applied to the stereo camera calibration system for Lunar Rover.

  15. Assessment of Spatial Navigation and Docking Performance During Simulated Rover Tasks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wood, S. J.; Dean, S. L.; De Dios, Y. E.; Moore, S. T.

    2010-01-01

    INTRODUCTION: Following long-duration exploration transits, pressurized rovers will enhance surface mobility to explore multiple sites across Mars and other planetary bodies. Multiple rovers with docking capabilities are envisioned to expand the range of exploration. However, adaptive changes in sensorimotor and cognitive function may impair the crew s ability to safely navigate and perform docking tasks shortly after transition to the new gravitoinertial environment. The primary goal of this investigation is to quantify post-flight decrements in spatial navigation and docking performance during a rover simulation. METHODS: Eight crewmembers returning from the International Space Station will be tested on a motion simulator during four pre-flight and three post-flight sessions over the first 8 days following landing. The rover simulation consists of a serial presentation of discrete tasks to be completed within a scheduled 10 min block. The tasks are based on navigating around a Martian outpost spread over a 970 sq m terrain. Each task is subdivided into three components to be performed as quickly and accurately as possible: (1) Perspective taking: Subjects use a joystick to indicate direction of target after presentation of a map detailing current orientation and location of the rover with the task to be performed. (2) Navigation: Subjects drive the rover to the desired location while avoiding obstacles. (3) Docking: Fine positioning of the rover is required to dock with another object or align a camera view. Overall operator proficiency will be based on how many tasks the crewmember can complete during the 10 min time block. EXPECTED RESULTS: Functionally relevant testing early post-flight will develop evidence regarding the limitations to early surface operations and what countermeasures are needed. This approach can be easily adapted to a wide variety of simulated vehicle designs to provide sensorimotor assessments for other operational and civilian populations.

  16. Electrostatic Spectrometer for Mars Rover Wheel

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Develop a simple electrostatic spectrometer that can be mounted on the wheels of a Mars rover to continuously and unobtrusively determine the mineral composition and...

  17. Applied design methodology for lunar rover elastic wheel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardile, Diego; Viola, Nicole; Chiesa, Sergio; Rougier, Alessandro

    2012-12-01

    In recent years an increasing interest in the Moon surface operations has been experienced. In the future robotic and manned missions of Moon surface exploration will be fundamental in order to lay the groundwork for more ambitious space exploration programs. Surface mobility systems will be the key elements to ensure an efficient and safe Moon exploration. Future lunar rovers are likely to be heavier and able to travel longer distances than the previously developed Moon rover systems. The Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV) is the only manned rover, which has so far been launched and used on the Moon surface. Its mobility system included flexible wheels that cannot be scaled to the heavier and longer range vehicles. Thus the previously developed wheels are likely not to be suitable for the new larger vehicles. Taking all these considerations into account, on the basis of the system requirements and assumptions, several wheel concepts have been discussed and evaluated through a trade-off analysis. Semi-empirical equations have been utilized to predict the wheel geometrical characteristics, as well as to estimate the motion resistances and the ability of the system to generate thrust. A numerical model has also been implemented, in order to define more into the details the whole wheel design, in terms of wheel geometry and physical properties. As a result of the trade-off analysis, the ellipse wheel concept has shown the best behavior in terms of stiffness, mass budget and dynamic performance. The results presented in the paper have been obtained in cooperation with Thales Alenia Space-Italy and Sicme motori, in the framework of a regional program called STEPS . STEPS-Sistemi e Tecnologie per l'EsPlorazione Spaziale is a research project co-financed by Piedmont Region and firms and universities of the Piedmont Aerospace District in the ambit of the P.O.R-F.E.S.R. 2007-2013 program.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  19. A Polar Rover for Large-Scale Scientific Surveys: Design, Implementation and Field Test Results

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuqing He

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Exploration of polar regions is of great importance to scientific research. Unfortunately, due to the harsh environment, most of the regions on the Antarctic continent are still unreachable for humankind. Therefore, in 2011, the Chinese National Antarctic Research Expedition (CHINARE launched a project to design a rover to conduct large-scale scientific surveys on the Antarctic. The main challenges for the rover are twofold: one is the mobility, i.e., how to make a rover that could survive the harsh environment and safely move on the uneven, icy and snowy terrain; the other is the autonomy, in that the robot should be able to move at a relatively high speed with little or no human intervention so that it can explore a large region in a limit time interval under the communication constraints. In this paper, the corresponding techniques, especially the polar rover's design and autonomous navigation algorithms, are introduced in detail. Subsequently, an experimental report of the fields tests on the Antarctic is given to show some preliminary evaluation of the rover. Finally, experiences and existing challenging problems are summarized.

  20. Cooperative control of a squad of mobile vehicles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lewis, C.; Feddema, J.; Klarer, P.

    1998-01-01

    Tasks such as the localization of chemical sources, demining, perimeter control, surveillance and search and rescue missions are usually performed by teams of people. At least conceptually, large groups of relatively cheap mobile vehicles outfitted with sensors should be able to automatically accomplish some of these tasks. Sandia National Labs is currently developing a swarm of semi-autonomous all terrain vehicles for remote cooperative sensing applications. This paper will describe the capabilities of this system and outline some of its possible applications. Cooperative control and sensing strategies will also be described. Eight Roving All Terrain Lunar Explorer Rovers (RATLERs) have been built at Sandia as a test platform for cooperative control and sensing applications. This paper will first describe the hardware capabilities of the RATLER system. Then it will describe the basic control algorithm for GPS based navigation and obstacle avoidance. A higher level cooperative control task will then be described

  1. VNIR Multispectral Observations of Rocks at Spirit of St. Louis Crater and Marathon Valley on Th Rim of Endeavour Crater Made by the Opportunity Rover Pancam

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farrand, W. H.; Johnson, J. R.; Bell, J. F., III; Mittlefehldt, D.W.

    2016-01-01

    The Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has been exploring the western rim of the 22 km diameter Endeavour crater since August, 2011. Recently, Opportunity has reached a break in the Endeavour rim that the rover team has named Mara-thon Valley. This is the site where orbital observations from the MRO CRISM imaging spectrometer indicated the presence of iron smectites. On the outer western portion of Marathon Valley, Opportunity explored the crater-form feature dubbed Spirit of St. Louis (SoSL) crater. This presentation describes the 430 to 1009 nm (VNIR) reflectance, measured by the rover's Pancam, of rock units present both at Spirit of St. Louis and within Marathon Valley.

  2. Non-Flow-Through Fuel Cell System Test Results and Demonstration on the SCARAB Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheidegger, Brianne, T.; Burke, Kenneth A.; Jakupca, Ian J.

    2012-01-01

    This paper describes the results of the demonstration of a non-flow-through PEM fuel cell as part of a power system on the SCARAB rover. A 16-cell non-flow-through fuel cell stack from Infinity Fuel Cell and Hydrogen, Inc. was incorporated into a power system designed to act as a range extender by providing power to the rover s hotel loads. This work represents the first attempt at a ground demonstration of this new technology aboard a mobile test platform. Development and demonstration were supported by the Office of the Chief Technologist s Space Power Systems Project and the Advanced Exploration System Modular Power Systems Project.

  3. SEI power source alternatives for rovers and other multi-kWe distributed surface applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bents, David J.; Kohout, L. L.; Mckissock, Barbara I.; Rodriguez, C. D.; Withrow, C. A.; Colozza, A.; Hanlon, James C.; Schmitz, Paul C.

    1991-01-01

    To support the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI), a study was performed to investigate power system alternatives for the rover vehicles and servicers that were subsequently generated for each of these rovers and servicers, candidate power sources incorporating various power generation and energy storage technologies were identified. The technologies were those believed most appropriate to the SEI missions, and included solar, electrochemical, and isotope systems. The candidates were characterized with respect to system mass, deployed area, and volume. For each of the missions a preliminary selection was made. Results of this study depict the available power sources in light of mission requirements as they are currently defined.

  4. A Four-Wheel-Rhombus-Arranged Mobility System for a New Lunar Robotic Rover

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guilin Wen

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Different from traditional ground vehicles, planetary robotic rovers with limited weight and power need to travel in unfamiliar and extremely arduous environments. In this paper, a newly developed four-wheel-rhombus-arranged (FWRA mobility system is presented as a lunar robotic rover with high mobility and a low-weight structure. The mobility system integrates independent active suspensions with a passive rotary link structure. The active suspension with swing arms improves the rover's capacity to escape from a trapped environment whereas the passive rotary link structure guarantees continuous contact between the four wheels and the terrain. The four-wheel-three-axis rhombus configuration of the mobility system gives a high degree of lightweight structure because it has a simple mechanism with the minimum number of wheels among wheeled rovers with three-axis off-road mobility. The performance evaluation of the lightweight nature of the structure, manoeuvrability and the mobility required in a planetary exploring environment are illustrated by theoretical analysis and partly shown by experiments on the developed rover prototype.

  5. Magnetically Attached Multifunction Maintenance Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  6. Rover-Based Instrumentation and Scientific Investigations During the 2012 Analog Field Test on Mauna Kea Volcano, Hawaii

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, L. D.; Graff, T. G.

    2013-01-01

    Rover-based 2012 Moon and Mars Analog Mission Activities (MMAMA) were recently completed on Mauna Kea Volcano, Hawaii. Scientific investigations, scientific input, and operational constraints were tested in the context of existing project and protocols for the field activities designed to help NASA achieve the Vision for Space Exploration [1]. Several investigations were conducted by the rover mounted instruments to determine key geophysical and geochemical properties of the site, as well as capture the geological context of the area and the samples investigated. The rover traverse and associated science investigations were conducted over a three day period on the southeast flank of the Mauna Kea Volcano, Hawaii. The test area was at an elevation of 11,500 feet and is known as "Apollo Valley" (Fig. 1). Here we report the integration and operation of the rover-mounted instruments, as well as the scientific investigations that were conducted.

  7. The Curiosity Mars Rover's Fault Protection Engine

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  8. A vision system for a Mars rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  9. Real-Time Science Operations to Support a Lunar Polar Volatiles Rover Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  10. Autonomous Warplanes: NASA Rovers Lead the Way

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-04-01

    Warplanes NASA Rovers Lead the Way Michael R. Schroer Major, Air National Guard Wright Flyer No. 54 Air University Press Air Force Research Institute...between most airports across the continent proved an excellent further education in aviation. Piloting a business jet on a weeklong, 11- hop trek across...Research con- ducted by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration ( NASA ) offers useful lessons for the development of future military RPAs

  11. Electrical power technology for robotic planetary rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  12. Requirements and Designs for Mars Rover RTGs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

  13. Low Cost Mars Surface Exploration: The Mars Tumbleweed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antol, Jeffrey; Calhoun, Philip; Flick, John; Hajos, Gregory; Kolacinski, Richard; Minton, David; Owens, Rachel; Parker, Jennifer

    2003-01-01

    The "Mars Tumbleweed," a rover concept that would utilize surface winds for mobility, is being examined as a low cost complement to the current Mars exploration efforts. Tumbleweeds carrying microinstruments would be driven across the Martian landscape by wind, searching for areas of scientific interest. These rovers, relatively simple, inexpensive, and deployed in large numbers to maximize coverage of the Martian surface, would provide a broad scouting capability to identify specific sites for exploration by more complex rover and lander missions.

  14. Cross-Coupled Control for All-Terrain Rovers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giulio Reina

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Mobile robots are increasingly being used in challenging outdoor environments for applications that include construction, mining, agriculture, military and planetary exploration. In order to accomplish the planned task, it is critical that the motion control system ensure accuracy and robustness. The achievement of high performance on rough terrain is tightly connected with the minimization of vehicle-terrain dynamics effects such as slipping and skidding. This paper presents a cross-coupled controller for a 4-wheel-drive/4-wheel-steer robot, which optimizes the wheel motors’ control algorithm to reduce synchronization errors that would otherwise result in wheel slip with conventional controllers. Experimental results, obtained with an all-terrain rover operating on agricultural terrain, are presented to validate the system. It is shown that the proposed approach is effective in reducing slippage and vehicle posture errors.

  15. Rover's Wheel Churns Up Bright Martian Soil (False Color)

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. The image is presented here in false color that is used to bring out subtle differences in color.

  16. Rover's Wheel Churns Up Bright Martian Soil (Stereo)

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Multiple images taken with Spirit's panoramic camera are combined here into a stereo view that appears three-dimensional when seen through red-blue glasses, with the red lens on the left.

  17. Rover's Wheel Churns Up Bright Martian Soil (Vertical)

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. The image is presented here as a vertical projection, as if looking straight down, and in false color, which brings out subtle color differences.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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. Automated Planning and Scheduling for Planetary Rover Distributed Operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  20. Mars Exploration Rover Terminal Descent Mission Modeling and Simulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raiszadeh, Behzad; Queen, Eric M.

    2004-01-01

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

  1. Exploration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lohrenz, J.

    1992-01-01

    Oil and gas exploration is a unique kind of business. Businesses providing a vast and ever-changing panoply of products to markets are a focus of several disciplines' energetic study and analysis. The product inventory problem is robust, pertinent, and meaningful, and it merits the voluminous and protracted attention received from keen business practitioners. Prototypical business practitioners, be they trained by years of business hurly-burly, or sophisticated MBAs with arrays of mathematical algorithms and computers, are not normally prepared, however, to recognize the unique nature of exploration's inventories. Put together such a business practitioner with an explorationist and misunderstandings, hidden and open, are inevitable and predictably rife. The first purpose of this paper is to articulate the inherited inventory handling paradigms of business practitioners in relation to exploration's inventories. To do so, standard pedagogy in business administration is used and a case study of an exploration venture is presented. A second purpose is to show the burdens that the misunderstandings create. The result is not just business plans that go awry, but public policies that have effects opposite from those intended

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  3. Autonomous Vision-Based Tethered-Assisted Rover Docking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsai, Dorian; Nesnas, Issa A.D.; Zarzhitsky, Dimitri

    2013-01-01

    Many intriguing science discoveries on planetary surfaces, such as the seasonal flows on crater walls and skylight entrances to lava tubes, are at sites that are currently inaccessible to state-of-the-art rovers. The in situ exploration of such sites is likely to require a tethered platform both for mechanical support and for providing power and communication. Mother/daughter architectures have been investigated where a mother deploys a tethered daughter into extreme terrains. Deploying and retracting a tethered daughter requires undocking and re-docking of the daughter to the mother, with the latter being the challenging part. In this paper, we describe a vision-based tether-assisted algorithm for the autonomous re-docking of a daughter to its mother following an extreme terrain excursion. The algorithm uses fiducials mounted on the mother to improve the reliability and accuracy of estimating the pose of the mother relative to the daughter. The tether that is anchored by the mother helps the docking process and increases the system's tolerance to pose uncertainties by mechanically aligning the mating parts in the final docking phase. A preliminary version of the algorithm was developed and field-tested on the Axel rover in the JPL Mars Yard. The algorithm achieved an 80% success rate in 40 experiments in both firm and loose soils and starting from up to 6 m away at up to 40 deg radial angle and 20 deg relative heading. The algorithm does not rely on an initial estimate of the relative pose. The preliminary results are promising and help retire the risk associated with the autonomous docking process enabling consideration in future martian and lunar missions.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Henrikson, D.J.

    1995-01-01

    The Rover dry headend process combusted Rover graphite fuels in preparation for dissolution and solvent extraction for the recovery of 235 U. At the end of the Rover processing campaign, significant quantities of 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. MISSION PROFILE AND DESIGN CHALLENGES FOR MARS LANDING EXPLORATION

    OpenAIRE

    J. Dong; Z. Sun; W. Rao; Y. Jia; L. Meng; C. Wang; B. Chen

    2017-01-01

    An orbiter and a descent module will be delivered to Mars in the Chinese first Mars exploration mission. The descent module is composed of a landing platform and a rover. The module will be released into the atmosphere by the orbiter and make a controlled landing on Martian surface. After landing, the rover will egress from the platform to start its science mission. The rover payloads mainly include the subsurface radar, terrain camera, multispectral camera, magnetometer, anemometer to achiev...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  7. The new V8-Diesel engine for Land Rover; Der neue V8-Dieselmotor fuer Land Rover

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ernst, Roland [Ford Sued-Amerika (Brazil); Gruenert, Thomas; Turner, Paul [Ford Motor Company, Dagenham (United Kingdom)

    2007-04-15

    After the launch of the 2.7-l TDV6 diesel engine for Jaguar, Land Rover and PSA in the spring of 2004, here is a new member of the engine family. The new 3.6-l TDV8 Diesel engine was developed for Land Rover's Range Rover and Range Rover Sport models. The premium market segment positioning demands the best possible attributes from the engine, particularly torque as well as engine acoustics. According to the Land Rover specific requirements, the engine is fully off road capable and can be used in all world markets. The engine fulfills the Euro 4 emissions requirements and will be available with a regulated particle filter. (orig.)

  8. Preliminary Dynamic Feasibility and Analysis of a Spherical, Wind-Driven (Tumbleweed), Martian Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flick, John J.; Toniolo, Matthew D.

    2005-01-01

    The process and findings are presented from a preliminary feasibility study examining the dynamics characteristics of a spherical wind-driven (or Tumbleweed) rover, which is intended for exploration of the Martian surface. The results of an initial feasibility study involving several worst-case mobility situations that a Tumbleweed rover might encounter on the surface of Mars are discussed. Additional topics include the evaluation of several commercially available analysis software packages that were examined as possible platforms for the development of a Monte Carlo Tumbleweed mission simulation tool. This evaluation lead to the development of the Mars Tumbleweed Monte Carlo Simulator (or Tumbleweed Simulator) using the Vortex physics software package from CM-Labs, Inc. Discussions regarding the development and evaluation of the Tumbleweed Simulator, as well as the results of a preliminary analysis using the tool are also presented. Finally, a brief conclusions section is presented.

  9. Martian methane plume models for defining Mars rover methane source search strategies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicol, Christopher; Ellery, Alex; Lynch, Brian; Cloutis, Ed

    2018-07-01

    The detection of atmospheric methane on Mars implies an active methane source. This introduces the possibility of a biotic source with the implied need to determine whether the methane is indeed biotic in nature or geologically generated. There is a clear need for robotic algorithms which are capable of manoeuvring a rover through a methane plume on Mars to locate its source. We explore aspects of Mars methane plume modelling to reveal complex dynamics characterized by advection and diffusion. A statistical analysis of the plume model has been performed and compared to analyses of terrestrial plume models. Finally, we consider a robotic search strategy to find a methane plume source. We find that gradient-based techniques are ineffective, but that more sophisticated model-based search strategies are unlikely to be available in near-term rover missions.

  10. Applying FastSLAM to Articulated Rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hewitt, Robert Alexander

    This thesis presents the navigation algorithms designed for use on Kapvik, a 30 kg planetary micro-rover built for the Canadian Space Agency; the simulations used to test the algorithm; and novel techniques for terrain classification using Kapvik's LIDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) sensor. Kapvik implements a six-wheeled, skid-steered, rocker-bogie mobility system. This warrants a more complicated kinematic model for navigation than a typical 4-wheel differential drive system. The design of a 3D navigation algorithm is presented that includes nonlinear Kalman filtering and Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM). A neural network for terrain classification is used to improve navigation performance. Simulation is used to train the neural network and validate the navigation algorithms. Real world tests of the terrain classification algorithm validate the use of simulation for training and the improvement to SLAM through the reduction of extraneous LIDAR measurements in each scan.

  11. Using Multi-Core Systems for Rover Autonomy

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  12. Autonomous navigation and control of a Mars rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  13. Soft-Robotic Rover with Electrodynamic Power Scavenging

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — We propose a rover architecture for Europa and other planetary environments where soft robotics enables scientific investigation or human-precursor missions that...

  14. MSR Fetch Rover Capability Development at the Canadian Space Agency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Picard, M.; Hipkin, V.; Gingras, D.; Allard, P.; Lamarche, T.; Rocheleau, S. G.; Gemme, S.

    2018-04-01

    Describes Fetch Rover technology testing during CSA's 2016 Mars Sample Return Analogue Deployment which demonstrated autonomous navigation to 'cache depots' of M-2020-like sample tubes, acquisition of six such tubes, and transfer to a MAV mock up.

  15. Pilot-plant development of a Rover waste calcination flowsheet

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Birrer, S.A.

    1978-04-01

    Results of eight runs, six using the 10-cm dia and two using the 30-cm dia pilot-plant calciners, in which simulated first-cycle Rover waste was calcined, are described. Results of the tests showed that a feed blend consisting of one volume simulated first-cycle Rover waste and one or two volumes simulated first-cycle zirconium waste could not be successfully calcined. 5 figs., 8 tables

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  17. Multi-rover navigation on the lunar surface

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  18. Acquisition of Skill Proficiency Over Multiple Sessions of a Novel Rover Simulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dean, S. L.; DeDios,Y. E.; MacDougall, H. G.; Moore, S. T.; Wood, S. J.

    2011-01-01

    Following long-duration exploration transits, adaptive changes in sensorimotor function may impair the crew's ability to safely perform manual control tasks such as operating pressurized rovers. Postflight performance will also be influenced by the level of preflight skill proficiency they have attained. The purpose of this study was to characterize the acquisition of skills in a motion-based rover simulation over multiple sessions, and to investigate the effects of varying the simulation scenarios. METHODS: Twenty healthy subjects were tested in 5 sessions, with 1-3 days between sessions. Each session consisted of a serial presentation of 8 discrete tasks to be completed as quickly and accurately as possible. Each task consisted of 1) perspective-taking, using a map that defined a docking target, 2) navigation toward the target around a Martian outpost, and 3) docking a side hatch of the rover to a visually guided target. The simulator utilized a Stewart-type motion base (CKAS, Australia), single-seat cabin with triple scene projection covering 150 deg horizontal by 50 deg vertical, and joystick controller. Subjects were randomly assigned to a control group (tasks identical in the first 4 sessions) or a varied-practice group. The dependent variables for each task included accuracy toward the target and time to completion. RESULTS: The greatest improvements in time to completion occurred during the docking phase. The varied-practice group showed more improvement in perspective-taking accuracy. Perspective-taking accuracy was also affected by the relative orientation of the rover to the docking target. Skill acquisition was correlated with self-ratings of previous gaming experience. DISCUSSION: Varying task selection and difficulty will optimize the preflight acquisition of skills when performing novel operational tasks. Simulation of operational manual control will provide functionally relevant evidence regarding the impact of sensorimotor adaptation on early

  19. The Scale of Exploration: Planetary Missions Set in the Context of Tourist Destinations on Earth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garry, W. B.; Bleacher, L. V.; Bleacher, J. E.; Petro, N. E.; Mest, S. C.; Williams, S. H.

    2012-03-01

    What if the Apollo astronauts explored Washington, DC, or the Mars Exploration Rovers explored Disney World? We present educational versions of the traverse maps for Apollo and MER missions set in the context of popular tourist destinations on Earth.

  20. In-motion initial alignment and positioning with INS/CNS/ODO integrated navigation system for lunar rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Jiazhen; Lei, Chaohua; Yang, Yanqiang; Liu, Ming

    2017-06-01

    Many countries have been paying great attention to space exploration, especially about the Moon and the Mars. Autonomous and high-accuracy navigation systems are needed for probers and rovers to accomplish missions. Inertial navigation system (INS)/celestial navigation system (CNS) based navigation system has been used widely on the lunar rovers. Initialization is a particularly important step for navigation. This paper presents an in-motion alignment and positioning method for lunar rovers by INS/CNS/odometer integrated navigation. The method can estimate not only the position and attitude errors, but also the biases of the accelerometers and gyros using the standard Kalman filter. The differences between the platform star azimuth, elevation angles and the computed star azimuth, elevation angles, and the difference between the velocity measured by odometer and the velocity measured by inertial sensors are taken as measurements. The semi-physical experiments are implemented to demonstrate that the position error can reduce to 10 m and attitude error is within 2″ during 5 min. The experiment results prove that it is an effective and attractive initialization approach for lunar rovers.

  1. Potential of Probing the Lunar Regolith using Rover-Mounted Ground Penetrating Radar: Moses Lake Dune Field Analog Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horz, F.; Heggy, E.; Fong, T.; Kring, D.; Deans, M.; Anglade, A.; Mahiouz, K.; Bualat, M.; Lee, P.; Bluethmann, W.

    2009-01-01

    Probing radars have been widely recognized by the science community to be an efficient tool to explore lunar subsurface providing a unique capability to address several scientific and operational issues. A wideband (200 to 1200 MHz) Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) mounted on a surface rover can provide high vertical resolution and probing depth from few tens of centimeters to few tens of meters depending on the sounding frequency and the ground conductivity. This in term can provide a better understand regolith thickness, elemental iron concentration (including ilmenite), volatile presence, structural anomalies and fracturing. All those objectives are of important significance for understanding the local geology and potential sustainable resources for future landing sites in particular exploring the thickness, structural heterogeneity and potential volatiles presence in the lunar regolith. While the operation and data collection of GPR is a straightforward case for most terrestrial surveys, it is a challenging task for remote planetary study especially on robotic platforms due to the complexity of remote operation in rough terrains and the data collection constrains imposed by the mechanical motion of the rover and limitation in data transfer. Nevertheless, Rover mounted GPR can be of great support to perform systematic subsurface surveys for a given landing site as it can provide scientific and operational support in exploring subsurface resources and sample collections which can increase the efficiency of the EVA activities for potential human crews as part of the NASA Constellation Program. In this study we attempt to explore the operational challenges and their impact on the EVA scientific return for operating a rover mounted GPR in support of potential human activity on the moon. In this first field study, we mainly focused on the ability of GPR to support subsurface sample collection and explore shallow subsurface volatiles.

  2. Rim Structure, Stratigraphy, and Aqueous Alteration Exposures Along Opportunity Rover's Traverse of the Noachian Endeavour Crater

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crumpler, L.S.; Arvidson, R. E.; Golombek, M.; Grant, J. A.; Jolliff, B. L.; Mittlefehldt, D. W.

    2017-01-01

    The Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has traversed 10.2 kilometers along segments of the west rim of the 22-kilometer-diameter Noachian Endeavour impact crater as of sol 4608 (01/09/17). The stratigraphy, attitude of units, lithology, and degradation state of bedrock outcrops exposed on the crater rim have been examined in situ and placed in geologic context. Structures within the rim and differences in physical properties of the identified lithologies have played important roles in localizing outcrops bearing evidence of aqueous alteration.

  3. A Mars orbiter/rover/penetrator mission for the 1984 opportunity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hastrup, R.; Driver, J.; Nagorski, R.

    1977-01-01

    A point design mission is described that utilizes the 1984 opportunity to extend the exploration of Mars after the successful Viking operations and provide the additional scientific information needed before conducting a sample return mission. Two identical multi-element spacecraft are employed, each consisting of (1) an orbiter, (2) a Viking-derived landing system that delivers a heavily instrumented, semi-autonomous rover, and (3) three penetrators deployed from the approach trajectory. Selection of the orbit profiles requires consideration of several important factors in order to satisfy all of the mission goals.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linde, Charlotte

    2005-01-01

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

  5. Major accomplishments of America's nuclear rocket program (ROVER)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Finseth, J.L.

    1991-01-01

    The United States embarked on a program to develop nuclear rocket engines in 1955. This program was known as project Rover. Initially nuclear rockets were considered as a potential backup for intercontinental ballistic missile propulsion but later proposed applications included both a lunar second stage as well as 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 Rover program would have led to the development of a flight engine had the program continued through a logical continuation. The Rover program was responsible for a number of technological achievements. The successful operation of nuclear rocket engines on a system level represents the pinnacle of accomplishment. This paper will discuss the engine test program as well as several subsystems

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  7. A Battery Health Monitoring Framework for Planetary Rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daigle, Matthew J.; Kulkarni, Chetan Shrikant

    2014-01-01

    Batteries have seen an increased use in electric ground and air vehicles for commercial, military, and space applications as the primary energy source. An important aspect of using batteries in such contexts is battery health monitoring. Batteries must be carefully monitored such that the battery health can be determined, and end of discharge and end of usable life events may be accurately predicted. For planetary rovers, battery health estimation and prediction is critical to mission planning and decision-making. We develop a model-based approach utilizing computaitonally efficient and accurate electrochemistry models of batteries. An unscented Kalman filter yields state estimates, which are then used to predict the future behavior of the batteries and, specifically, end of discharge. The prediction algorithm accounts for possible future power demands on the rover batteries in order to provide meaningful results and an accurate representation of prediction uncertainty. The framework is demonstrated on a set of lithium-ion batteries powering a rover at NASA.

  8. The Development of the Chemin Mineralogy Instrument and Its Deployment on Mars (and Latest Results from the Mars Science Laboratory Rover Curiosity)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blake, David F.

    2014-01-01

    The CheMin instrument (short for "Chemistry and Mineralogy") on the Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity is one of two "laboratory quality" instruments on board the Curiosity rover that is exploring Gale crater, Mars. CheMin is an X-ray diffractometer that has for the first time returned definitive and fully quantitative mineral identifications of Mars soil and drilled rock. I will describe CheMin's 23-year development from an idea to a spacecraft qualified instrument, and report on some of the discoveries that Curiosity has made since its entry, descent and landing on Aug. 6, 2012, including the discovery and characterization of the first habitable environment on Mars.

  9. An update on Lab Rover: A hospital material transporter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mattaboni, Paul

    1994-01-01

    The development of a hospital material transporter, 'Lab Rover', is described. Conventional material transport now utilizes people power, push carts, pneumatic tubes and tracked vehicles. Hospitals are faced with enormous pressure to reduce operating costs. Cyberotics, Inc. developed an Autonomous Intelligent Vehicle (AIV). This battery operated service robot was designed specifically for health care institutions. Applications for the AIV include distribution of clinical lab samples, pharmacy drugs, administrative records, x-ray distribution, meal tray delivery, and certain emergency room applications. The first AIV was installed at Lahey Clinic in Burlington, Mass. Lab Rover was beta tested for one year and has been 'on line' for an additional 2 years.

  10. Nuclear thermal rocket workshop reference system Rover/NERVA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Borowski, S.K.

    1991-01-01

    The Rover/NERVA engine system is to be used as a reference, against which each of the other concepts presented in the workshop will be compared. The following topics are reviewed: the operational characteristics of the nuclear thermal rocket (NTR); the accomplishments of the Rover/NERVA programs; and performance characteristics of the NERVA-type systems for both Mars and lunar mission applications. Also, the issues of ground testing, NTR safety, NASA's nuclear propulsion project plans, and NTR development cost estimates are briefly discussed

  11. Visualisation of very high resolution Martian topographic data and its application on landing site selection and rover route navigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, J.; Lin, S.; Hong, J.; Park, D.; Yoon, S.; Kim, Y.

    2010-12-01

    High resolution satellite imagery acquired from orbiters are able to provide detailed topographic information and therefore are recognised as an important tool for investigating planetary and terrestrial topography. The heritage of in-orbit high resolution imaging technology is now implemented in a series of Martian Missions, such as HiRISE (High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment) and CTX (Context Camera) onboard the MRO (Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter). In order to fully utilise the data derived from image systems carried on various Mars orbiters, the generalised algorithms of image processing and photogrammetric Mars DTM extraction have been developed and implemented by Kim and Muller (2009), in which non-rigorous sensor model and hierarchical geomatics control were employed. Due to the successful “from medium to high” control strategy performed during processing, stable horizontal and vertical photogrammetric accuracy of resultant Mars DTM was achievable when compared with MOLA (Mars Obiter Laser Altimeter) DTM. Recently, the algorithms developed in Kim and Muller (2009) were further updated by employing advanced image matcher and improved sensor model. As the photogrammetric qualities of the updated topographic products are verified and the spatial solution can be up to sub-meter scale, they are of great value to be exploited for Martian rover landing site selection and rover route navigation. To this purpose, the DTMs and ortho-rectified imagery obtained from CTX and HiRISE covering potential future rovers and existing MER (Mars Exploration Rover) landing sites were firstly processed. For landing site selection, the engineering constraints such as slope and surface roughness were computed from DTMs. In addition, the combination of virtual topography and the estimated rover location was able to produce a sophisticated environment simulation of rover’s landing site. Regarding the rover navigation, the orbital DTMs and the images taken from cameras

  12. Telecommunications for Mars Rovers and Robotic Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horne, W. D.; Hastrup, R.; Cesarone, R.

    1997-01-01

    The Mars exploration program of NASA and the international community will evolve from an early emphasis on orbital remote sensing toward in-situ science activity on, or just above, the Martian surface.

  13. Telecommunications for Mars Rovers and Robotic Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horne, W. D.; Hastrup, R.; Cesarone, R.

    1997-01-01

    The Mars exploration program of NASA and the international community will evolve from an early emphasis on orbital remote sensing toward in situ science activity on, or just above, the Martian surface.

  14. Estimation and Control for Autonomous Coring from a Rover Manipulator

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hudson, Nicolas; Backes, Paul; DiCicco, Matt; Bajracharya, Max

    2010-01-01

    A system consisting of a set of estimators and autonomous behaviors has been developed which allows robust coring from a low-mass rover platform, while accommodating for moderate rover slip. A redundant set of sensors, including a force-torque sensor, visual odometry, and accelerometers are used to monitor discrete critical and operational modes, as well as to estimate continuous drill parameters during the coring process. A set of critical failure modes pertinent to shallow coring from a mobile platform is defined, and autonomous behaviors associated with each critical mode are used to maintain nominal coring conditions. Autonomous shallow coring is demonstrated from a low-mass rover using a rotary-percussive coring tool mounted on a 5 degree-of-freedom (DOF) arm. A new architecture of using an arm-stabilized, rotary percussive tool with the robotic arm used to provide the drill z-axis linear feed is validated. Particular attention to hole start using this architecture is addressed. An end-to-end coring sequence is demonstrated, where the rover autonomously detects and then recovers from a series of slip events that exceeded 9 cm total displacement.

  15. Autonomous navigation and mobility for a planetary rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, David P.; Mishkin, Andrew H.; Lambert, Kenneth E.; Bickler, Donald; Bernard, Douglas E.

    1989-01-01

    This paper presents an overview of the onboard subsystems that will be used in guiding a planetary rover. Particular emphasis is placed on the planning and sensing systems and their associated costs, particularly in computation. Issues that will be used in evaluating trades between the navigation system and mobility system are also presented.

  16. 78 FR 19742 - Centennial Challenges: 2014 Night Rover Challenge

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-04-02

    ... NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION [Notice 13-032] Centennial Challenges: 2014 Night... Centennial Challenges 2014 Night Rover Challenge. SUMMARY: This notice is issued in accordance with 51 U.S.C.... Centennial Challenges is a program of prize competitions to stimulate innovation in technologies of interest...

  17. Absolute Navigation Information Estimation for Micro Planetary Rovers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muhammad Ilyas

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available This paper provides algorithms to estimate absolute navigation information, e.g., absolute attitude and position, by using low power, weight and volume Microelectromechanical Systems-type (MEMS sensors that are suitable for micro planetary rovers. Planetary rovers appear to be easily navigable robots due to their extreme slow speed and rotation but, unfortunately, the sensor suites available for terrestrial robots are not always available for planetary rover navigation. This makes them difficult to navigate in a completely unexplored, harsh and complex environment. Whereas the relative attitude and position can be tracked in a similar way as for ground robots, absolute navigation information, unlike in terrestrial applications, is difficult to obtain for a remote celestial body, such as Mars or the Moon. In this paper, an algorithm called the EASI algorithm (Estimation of Attitude using Sun sensor and Inclinometer is presented to estimate the absolute attitude using a MEMS-type sun sensor and inclinometer, only. Moreover, the output of the EASI algorithm is fused with MEMS gyros to produce more accurate and reliable attitude estimates. An absolute position estimation algorithm has also been presented based on these on-board sensors. Experimental results demonstrate the viability of the proposed algorithms and the sensor suite for low-cost and low-weight micro planetary rovers.

  18. Pressure and Relative Humidity Measurement Devices for Mars 2020 Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hieta, M.; Genzer, M.; Nikkanen, T.; Haukka, H.; Harri, A.-M.; Polkko, J.; Rodriguez-Manfredi, J. A.

    2017-09-01

    One of the scientific payloads onboard the NASA Mars 2020 rover mission is Mars Environmental Dynamic Analyzer (MEDA): a set of environmental sensors for Mars surface weather measurements. Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) provides a pressure measurement device (MEDA PS) and a relative humidity measurement device (MEDA HS) for MEDA.

  19. 2D/3D Visual Tracker for Rover Mast

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bajracharya, Max; Madison, Richard W.; Nesnas, Issa A.; Bandari, Esfandiar; Kunz, Clayton; Deans, Matt; Bualat, Maria

    2006-01-01

    A visual-tracker computer program controls an articulated mast on a Mars rover to keep a designated feature (a target) in view while the rover drives toward the target, avoiding obstacles. Several prior visual-tracker programs have been tested on rover platforms; most require very small and well-estimated motion between consecutive image frames a requirement that is not realistic for a rover on rough terrain. The present visual-tracker program is designed to handle large image motions that lead to significant changes in feature geometry and photometry between frames. When a point is selected in one of the images acquired from stereoscopic cameras on the mast, a stereo triangulation algorithm computes a three-dimensional (3D) location for the target. As the rover moves, its body-mounted cameras feed images to a visual-odometry algorithm, which tracks two-dimensional (2D) corner features and computes their old and new 3D locations. The algorithm rejects points, the 3D motions of which are inconsistent with a rigid-world constraint, and then computes the apparent change in the rover pose (i.e., translation and rotation). The mast pan and tilt angles needed to keep the target centered in the field-of-view of the cameras (thereby minimizing the area over which the 2D-tracking algorithm must operate) are computed from the estimated change in the rover pose, the 3D position of the target feature, and a model of kinematics of the mast. If the motion between the consecutive frames is still large (i.e., 3D tracking was unsuccessful), an adaptive view-based matching technique is applied to the new image. This technique uses correlation-based template matching, in which a feature template is scaled by the ratio between the depth in the original template and the depth of pixels in the new image. This is repeated over the entire search window and the best correlation results indicate the appropriate match. The program could be a core for building application programs for systems

  20. Astrobiology and the Exploration of Gusev Crater by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit

    Science.gov (United States)

    DesMarais, I. David

    2005-01-01

    We assess the availability of nutrient elements, energy and liquid water on the plains surrounding Columbia Memorial Station by evaluating data from Spirit in the context of previous Mars missions, Earth-based studies of martian meteorites and studies of microbial communities on Earth that represent potential analogs of martian biota. The compositions of Gusev basalts resemble those of olivine basalts beneath the seabed on Earth that deep drilling has shown to support life. Of particular relevance to biology, phosphate abundances are much greater in Gusev basalts (0.84 +/- 0.07 wt. % P2O5) than in oceanic basalts (typically 0.06 wt. %).

  1. Measuring Soil Moisture in Skeletal Soils Using a COSMOS Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Medina, C.; Neely, H.; Desilets, D.; Mohanty, B.; Moore, G. W.

    2017-12-01

    The presence of coarse fragments directly influences the volumetric water content of the soil. Current surface soil moisture sensors often do not account for the presence of coarse fragments, and little research has been done to calibrate these sensors under such conditions. The cosmic-ray soil moisture observation system (COSMOS) rover is a passive, non-invasive surface soil moisture sensor with a footprint greater than 100 m. Despite its potential, the COSMOS rover has yet to be validated in skeletal soils. The goal of this study was to validate measurements of surface soil moisture as taken by a COSMOS rover on a Texas skeletal soil. Data was collected for two soils, a Marfla clay loam and Chinati-Boracho-Berrend association, in West Texas. Three levels of data were collected: 1) COSMOS surveys at three different soil moistures, 2) electrical conductivity surveys within those COSMOS surveys, and 3) ground-truth measurements. Surveys with the COSMOS rover covered an 8000-h area and were taken both after large rain events (>2") and a long dry period. Within the COSMOS surveys, the EM38-MK2 was used to estimate the spatial distribution of coarse fragments in the soil around two COSMOS points. Ground truth measurements included coarse fragment mass and volume, bulk density, and water content at 3 locations within each EM38 survey. Ground-truth measurements were weighted using EM38 data, and COSMOS measurements were validated by their distance from the samples. There was a decrease in water content as the percent volume of coarse fragment increased. COSMOS estimations responded to both changes in coarse fragment percent volume and the ground-truth volumetric water content. Further research will focus on creating digital soil maps using landform data and water content estimations from the COSMOS rover.

  2. Data Processing and Primary results of Lunar Penetrating Radar on Board the Chinese Yutu Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Yan; Xing, Shuguo; Feng, Jianqing; Dai, Shun; Ding, Chunyu; Xiao, Yuan; Zhang, Hongbo; Zhao, Shu; Xue, Xiping; Zhang, Xiaoxia; Liu, Bin; Yao, Meijuan; Li, Chunlai

    2015-04-01

    Radar is an attractive and powerful technique to observe the Moon. Radar mapping of the Moon's topography was first done by the Arecibo telescope at a wave- length of 70 cm in 1964 (Thompson & Dyce 1966). Chang'e-3 (CE-3) was successfully launched on 2013 December 2, and the landing place is in Mare Imbrium, about 40km south of the 6km diameter Laplace F crater, at 44.1214ON, 19.5116OW. The Lunar ground-Penetrating Radar (LPR) is one of scientific payloads of the Yutu rover, aiming to achieve the first direct measurements and explore the lunar subsurface structure. Compared with ALSE and LRS, LPR works at higher frequencies of 60 MHz and 500 MHz. Thus it can probe regions with shallower depth including the regolith and lunar crust at higher range resolution. The LPR uses one transmitting and one receiving dipole antenna for 60 MHz which are installed at the back of the rover. For 500 MHz, one transmitting and two bow-tie receiving antennas are attached to the bottom of the rover. It transmits a pulsed signal and receives the radar echo signal along the path that the Yutu rover traverses. The free space range resolutions are ~ 50 cm and ~ 25 m for 60 MHz and 500 MHz respectively. The radar data stop being sampled and are sent back to Earth when Yutu is stationary. Observations are simultaneously carried out at frequencies of 60 MHz and 500 MHz. Since the Yutu rover had severe problems during its second lunar day, it is pity that the Yutu rover only transversed a limited distance of 114.8m. In total, 566 MB of data were obtained. The scientific data are archived and distributed by National Astronomical Observatories, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Data processing has been done in order to eliminate the effect of the instrument. To obtain clear radar images, more data processing need to be applied such as coordinate transformation, data editing, background removal, the operations of smoothing and gain resetting. The radar signal could detect hundreds of meters deep at

  3. Risk-Aware Planetary Rover Operation: Autonomous Terrain Classification and Path Planning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ono, Masahiro; Fuchs, Thoams J.; Steffy, Amanda; Maimone, Mark; Yen, Jeng

    2015-01-01

    Identifying and avoiding terrain hazards (e.g., soft soil and pointy embedded rocks) are crucial for the safety of planetary rovers. This paper presents a newly developed groundbased Mars rover operation tool that mitigates risks from terrain by automatically identifying hazards on the terrain, evaluating their risks, and suggesting operators safe paths options that avoids potential risks while achieving specified goals. The tool will bring benefits to rover operations by reducing operation cost, by reducing cognitive load of rover operators, by preventing human errors, and most importantly, by significantly reducing the risk of the loss of rovers.

  4. Performance of the Mechanically Pumped Fluid Loop Rover Heat Rejection System Used for Thermal Control of the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover on the Surface of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhandari, Pradeep; Birur, Gajanana; Bame, David; Mastropietro, A. J.; Miller, Jennifer; Karlmann, Paul; Liu, Yuanming; Anderson, Kevin

    2013-01-01

    The challenging range of landing sites for which the Mars Science Laboratory Rover was designed, required a rover thermal management system that is capable of keeping temperatures controlled across a wide variety of environmental conditions. On the Martian surface where temperatures can be as cold as -123 C and as warm as 38 C, the Rover relies upon a Mechanically Pumped Fluid Loop (MPFL) Rover Heat Rejection System (RHRS) and external radiators to maintain the temperature of sensitive electronics and science instruments within a -40 C to +50 C range. The RHRS harnesses some of the waste heat generated from the Rover power source, known as the Multi Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG), for use as survival heat for the rover during cold conditions. The MMRTG produces 110 Watts of electrical power while generating waste heat equivalent to approximately 2000 Watts. Heat exchanger plates (hot plates) positioned close to the MMRTG pick up this survival heat from it by radiative heat transfer and supply it to the rover. This design is the first instance of use of a RHRS for thermal control of a rover or lander on the surface of a planet. After an extremely successful landing on Mars (August 5), the rover and the RHRS have performed flawlessly for close to an earth year (half the nominal mission life). This paper will share the performance of the RHRS on the Martian surface as well as compare it to its predictions.

  5. Mars Rover Model Celebration: Developing Inquiry Based Lesson Plans to Teach Planetary Science In Elementary And Middle School

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bering, E. A.; Slagle, E.; Nieser, K.; Carlson, C.; Kapral, A.; Dominey, W.; Ramsey, J.; Konstantinidis, I.; James, J.; Sweaney, S.; Mendez, R.

    2012-12-01

    The recent NASA Mars Rover missions capture the imagination of children, as NASA missions have done for decades. The University of Houston is in the process of developing a prototype of a flexible program that offers children an in-depth educational experience culminating in the design and construction of their own model rover. The existing prototype program is called the Mars Rover Model Celebration. It focuses on students, teachers and parents in grades 3-8. Students will design and build a model of a Mars rover to carry out a student selected science mission on the surface of Mars. The model will be a mock-up, constructed at a minimal cost from art supplies. The students will build the models as part of a project on Mars. The students will be given design criteria for a rover and will do basic research on Mars that will determine the objectives and features of their rover. This project may be used either informally as an after school club or youth group activity or formally as part of a class studying general science, earth science, solar system astronomy or robotics, or as a multi-disciplinary unit for a gifted and talented program. The project's unique strength lies in engaging students in the process of spacecraft design and interesting them in aerospace engineering careers. The project is aimed at elementary and secondary education. Not only will these students learn about scientific fields relevant to the mission (space science, physics, geology, robotics, and more), they will gain an appreciation for how this knowledge is used to tackle complex problems. The low cost of the event makes it an ideal enrichment vehicle for low income schools. It provides activities that provide professional development to educators, curricular support resources using NASA Science Mission Directorate (SMD) content, and provides family opportunities for involvement in K-12 student learning. This paper will describe the development of a detailed set of new 5E lesson plans to

  6. Novel Rock Detection Intelligence for Space Exploration Based on Non-Symbolic Algorithms and Concepts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yildirim, Sule; Beachell, Ronald L.; Veflingstad, Henning

    2007-01-01

    Future space exploration can utilize artificial intelligence as an integral part of next generation space rover technology to make the rovers more autonomous in performing mission objectives. The main advantage of the increased autonomy through a higher degree of intelligence is that it allows for greater utilization of rover resources by reducing the frequency of time consuming communications between rover and earth. In this paper, we propose a space exploration application of our research on a non-symbolic algorithm and concepts model. This model is based on one of the most recent approaches of cognitive science and artificial intelligence research, a parallel distributed processing approach. We use the Mars rovers. Sprit and Opportunity, as a starting point for proposing what rovers in the future could do if the presented model of non-symbolic algorithms and concepts is embedded in a future space rover. The chosen space exploration application for this paper, novel rock detection, is only one of many potential space exploration applications which can be optimized (through reduction of the frequency of rover-earth communications. collection and transmission of only data that is distinctive/novel) through the use of artificial intelligence technology compared to existing approaches.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  9. Lunar ground penetrating radar: Minimizing potential data artifacts caused by signal interaction with a rover body

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angelopoulos, Michael; Redman, David; Pollard, Wayne H.; Haltigin, Timothy W.; Dietrich, Peter

    2014-11-01

    Ground-penetrating radar (GPR) is the leading geophysical candidate technology for future lunar missions aimed at mapping shallow stratigraphy (lunar materials, as well as its small size and lightweight components, make it a very attractive option from both a scientific and engineering perspective. However, the interaction between a GPR signal and the rover body is poorly understood and must be investigated prior to a space mission. In doing so, engineering and survey design strategies should be developed to enhance GPR performance in the context of the scientific question being asked. This paper explores the effects of a rover (simulated with a vertical metal plate) on GPR results for a range of heights above the surface and antenna configurations at two sites: (i) a standard GPR testing site with targets of known position, size, and material properties, and; (ii) a frozen lake for surface reflectivity experiments. Our results demonstrate that the GPR antenna configuration is a key variable dictating instrument design, with the XX polarization considered optimal for minimizing data artifact generation. These findings could thus be used to help guide design requirements for an eventual flight instrument.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  11. Development of the science instrument CLUPI: the close-up imager on board the ExoMars rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Josset, J.-L.; Beauvivre, S.; Cessa, V.; Martin, P.

    2017-11-01

    First mission of the Aurora Exploration Programme of ESA, ExoMars will demonstrate key flight and in situ enabling technologies, and will pursue fundamental scientific investigations. Planned for launch in 2013, ExoMars will send a robotic rover to the surface of Mars. The Close-UP Imager (CLUPI) instrument is part of the Pasteur Payload of the rover fixed on the robotic arm. It is a robotic replacement of one of the most useful instruments of the field geologist: the hand lens. Imaging of surfaces of rocks, soils and wind drift deposits at high resolution is crucial for the understanding of the geological context of any site where the Pasteur rover may be active on Mars. At the resolution provided by CLUPI (approx. 15 micrometer/pixel), rocks show a plethora of surface and internal structures, to name just a few: crystals in igneous rocks, sedimentary structures such as bedding, fracture mineralization, secondary minerals, details of the surface morphology, sedimentary bedding, sediment components, surface marks in sediments, soil particles. It is conceivable that even textures resulting from ancient biological activity can be visualized, such as fine lamination due to microbial mats (stromatolites) and textures resulting from colonies of filamentous microbes, potentially present in sediments and in palaeocavitites in any rock type. CLUPI is a complete imaging system, consisting of an APS (Active Pixel Sensor) camera with 27° FOV optics. The sensor is sensitive to light between 400 and 900 nm with 12 bits digitization. The fixed focus optics provides well focused images of 4 cm x 2.4 cm rock area at a distance of about 10 cm. This challenging camera system, less than 200g, is an independent scientific instrument linked to the rover on board computer via a SpaceWire interface. After the science goals and specifications presentation, the development of this complex high performance miniaturized imaging system will be described.

  12. NASA Curiosity rover hits organic pay dirt on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voosen, Paul

    2018-06-01

    Since NASA's Curiosity rover landed on Mars in 2012, it has sifted samples of soil and ground-up rock for signs of organic molecules—the complex carbon chains that on Earth form the building blocks of life. Past detections have been so faint that they could be just contamination. Now, samples taken from two different drill sites on an ancient lakebed have yielded complex organic macromolecules that look strikingly similar to kerogen, the goopy fossilized building blocks of oil and gas on Earth. At a few dozen parts per million, the detected levels are 100 times higher than previous finds, but scientists still cannot say whether they have origins in biology or geology. The discovery positions scientists to begin searching for direct evidence of past life on Mars and bolsters the case for returning rock samples from the planet, an effort that begins with the Mars 2020 rover.

  13. Low computation vision-based navigation for a Martian rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gavin, Andrew S.; Brooks, Rodney A.

    1994-01-01

    Construction and design details of the Mobot Vision System, a small, self-contained, mobile vision system, are presented. This system uses the view from the top of a small, roving, robotic vehicle to supply data that is processed in real-time to safely navigate the surface of Mars. A simple, low-computation algorithm for constructing a 3-D navigational map of the Martian environment to be used by the rover is discussed.

  14. Reasoning with inaccurate spatial knowledge. [for Planetary Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doshi, Rajkumar S.; White, James E.; Lam, Raymond; Atkinson, David J.

    1988-01-01

    This paper describes work in progress on spatial planning for a semiautonomous mobile robot vehicle. The overall objective is to design a semiautonomous rover to plan routes in unknown, natural terrains. The approach to spatial planning involves deduction of common-sense spatial knowledge using geographical information, natural terrain representations, and assimilation of new and possibly conflicting terrain information. This report describes the ongoing research and implementation.

  15. Visual Prediction of Rover Slip: Learning Algorithms and Field Experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    of the terrain slope [29]. The results are also specific to the vehicle. For example, a small design modification in the pattern of the wheels can...robot has two front differential drive wheels and two rear caster wheels . 2This difference is not directly relevant to the goals of this work. 22 Figure...rover pose and is a quantity which measures the lack of progress of a wheeled ground robot while traversing some terrain. A trivial example of large

  16. Surface-based 3D measurements of small aeolian bedforms on Mars and implications for estimating ExoMars rover traversability hazards

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balme, Matt; Robson, Ellen; Barnes, Rob; Butcher, Frances; Fawdon, Peter; Huber, Ben; Ortner, Thomas; Paar, Gerhard; Traxler, Christoph; Bridges, John; Gupta, Sanjeev; Vago, Jorge L.

    2018-04-01

    Recent aeolian bedforms comprising loose sand are common on the martian surface and provide a mobility hazard to Mars rovers. The ExoMars rover will launch in 2020 to one of two candidate sites: Mawrth Vallis or Oxia Planum. Both sites contain numerous aeolian bedforms with simple ripple-like morphologies. The larger examples are 'Transverse Aeolian Ridges' (TARs), which stereo imaging analyses have shown to be a few metres high and up to a few tens of metres across. Where they occur, TARs therefore present a serious, but recognized and avoidable, rover mobility hazard. There also exists a population of smaller bedforms of similar morphology, but it is unknown whether these bedforms will be traversable by the ExoMars rover. We informally refer to these bedforms as "mini-TARs", as they are about an order of magnitude smaller than most TARs observed to date. They are more abundant than TARs in the Oxia Planum site, and can be pervasive in areas. The aim of this paper is to estimate the heights of these features, which are too small to measured using High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) Digital Elevation Models (DEMs), from orbital data alone. Thereby, we aim to increase our knowledge of the hazards in the proposed ExoMars landing sites. We propose a methodology to infer the height of these mini-TARs based on comparisons with similar features observed by previous Mars rovers. We use rover-based stereo imaging from the NASA Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Opportunity and PRo3D software, a 3D visualisation and analysis tool, to measure the size and height of mini-TARs in the Meridiani Planum region of Mars. These are good analogues for the smaller bedforms at the ExoMars rover candidate landing sites. We show that bedform height scales linearly with length (as measured across the bedform, perpendicular to the crest ridge) with a ratio of about 1:15. We also measured the lengths of many of the smaller aeolian bedforms in the ExoMars rover Oxia Planum

  17. Nomad rover field experiment, Atacama Desert, Chile 1. Science results overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cabrol, N. A.; Thomas, G.; Witzke, B.

    2001-04-01

    Nomad was deployed for a 45 day traverse in the Atacama Desert, Chile, during the summer of 1997. During this traverse, 1 week was devoted to science experiments. The goal of the science experiments was to test different planetary surface exploration strategies that included (1) a Mars mission simulation, (2) a science on the fly experiment, where the rover was kept moving 75% of the operation time. (The goal of this operation was to determine whether or not successful interpretation of the environment is related to the time spent on a target. The role of mobility in helping the interpretation was also assessed.) (3) a meteorite search using visual and instrumental methods to remotely identify meteorites in extreme environments, and (4) a time-delay experiment with and without using the panospheric camera. The results were as follow: the remote science team positively identified the main characteristics of the test site geological environment. The science on the fly experiment showed that the selection of appropriate targets might be even more critical than the time spent on a study area to reconstruct the history of a site. During the same operation the science team members identified and sampled a rock from a Jurassic outcrop that they proposed to be a fossil. The presence of paleolife indicators in this rock was confirmed later by laboratory analysis. Both visual and instrumental modes demonstrated the feasibility, in at least some conditions, of carrying out a field search for meteorites by using remote-controlled vehicles. Finally, metrics collected from the observation of the science team operations, and the use team members made of mission data, provided critical information on what operation sequences could be automated on board rovers in future planetary surface explorations.

  18. Autonomous planetary rover at Carnegie Mellon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whittaker, William; Kanade, Takeo; Mitchell, Tom

    1990-01-01

    This report describes progress in research on an autonomous robot for planetary exploration. In 1989, the year covered by this report, a six-legged walking robot, the Ambler, was configured, designed, and constructed. This configuration was used to overcome shortcomings exhibited by existing wheeled and walking robot mechanisms. The fundamental advantage of the Ambler is that the actuators for body support are independent of those for propulsion; a subset of the planar joints propel the body, and the vertical actuators support and level the body over terrain. Models of the Ambler's dynamics were developed and the leveling control was studied. An integrated system capable of walking with a single leg over rugged terrain was implemented and tested. A prototype of an Ambler leg is suspended below a carriage that slides along rails. To walk, the system uses a laser scanner to find a clear, flat foothold, positions the leg above the foothold, contacts the terrain with the foot, and applies force enough to advance the carriage along the rails. Walking both forward and backward, the system has traversed hundreds of meters of rugged terrain including obstacles too tall to step over, trenches too deep to step in, closely spaced rocks, and sand hills. In addition, preliminary experiments were conducted with concurrent planning and execution, and a leg recovery planner that generates time and power efficient 3D trajectories using 2D search was developed. A Hero robot was used to demonstrate mobile manipulation. Indoor tasks include collecting cups from the lab floor, retrieving printer output, and recharging when its battery gets low. The robot monitors its environment, and handles exceptional conditions in a robust fashion, using vision to track the appearance and disappearance of cups, onboard sonars to detect imminent collisions, and monitors to detect the battery level.

  19. AIAA Educator Academy - Mars Rover Curriculum: A 6 week multidisciplinary space science based curriculum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henriquez, E.; Bering, E. A.; Slagle, E.; Nieser, K.; Carlson, C.; Kapral, A.

    2013-12-01

    The Curiosity mission has captured the imagination of children, as NASA missions have done for decades. The AIAA and the University of Houston have developed a flexible curriculum program that offers children in-depth science and language arts learning culminating in the design and construction of their own model rover. The program is called the Mars Rover Model Celebration. It focuses on students, teachers and parents in grades 3-8. Students learn to research Mars in order to pick a science question about Mars that is of interest to them. They learn principles of spacecraft design in order to build a model of a Mars rover to carry out their mission on the surface of Mars. The model is a mock-up, constructed at a minimal cost from art supplies. This project may be used either informally as an after school club or youth group activity or formally as part of a class studying general science, earth science, solar system astronomy or robotics, or as a multi-disciplinary unit for a gifted and talented program. The project's unique strength lies in engaging students in the process of spacecraft design and interesting them in aerospace engineering careers. The project is aimed at elementary and secondary education. Not only will these students learn about scientific fields relevant to the mission (space science, physics, geology, robotics, and more), they will gain an appreciation for how this knowledge is used to tackle complex problems. The low cost of the event makes it an ideal enrichment vehicle for low income schools. It provides activities that provide professional development to educators, curricular support resources using NASA Science Mission Directorate (SMD) content, and provides family opportunities for involvement in K-12 student learning. This paper will describe the structure and organization of the 6 week curriculum. A set of 30 new 5E lesson plans have been written to support this project as a classroom activity. The challenge of developing interactive

  20. Panoramic 3d Vision on the ExoMars Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paar, G.; Griffiths, A. D.; Barnes, D. P.; Coates, A. J.; Jaumann, R.; Oberst, J.; Gao, Y.; Ellery, A.; Li, R.

    The Pasteur payload on the ESA ExoMars Rover 2011/2013 is designed to search for evidence of extant or extinct life either on or up to ˜2 m below the surface of Mars. The rover will be equipped by a panoramic imaging system to be developed by a UK, German, Austrian, Swiss, Italian and French team for visual characterization of the rover's surroundings and (in conjunction with an infrared imaging spectrometer) remote detection of potential sample sites. The Panoramic Camera system consists of a wide angle multispectral stereo pair with 65° field-of-view (WAC; 1.1 mrad/pixel) and a high resolution monoscopic camera (HRC; current design having 59.7 µrad/pixel with 3.5° field-of-view) . Its scientific goals and operational requirements can be summarized as follows: • Determination of objects to be investigated in situ by other instruments for operations planning • Backup and Support for the rover visual navigation system (path planning, determination of subsequent rover positions and orientation/tilt within the 3d environment), and localization of the landing site (by stellar navigation or by combination of orbiter and ground panoramic images) • Geological characterization (using narrow band geology filters) and cartography of the local environments (local Digital Terrain Model or DTM). • Study of atmospheric properties and variable phenomena near the Martian surface (e.g. aerosol opacity, water vapour column density, clouds, dust devils, meteors, surface frosts,) 1 • Geodetic studies (observations of Sun, bright stars, Phobos/Deimos). The performance of 3d data processing is a key element of mission planning and scientific data analysis. The 3d Vision Team within the Panoramic Camera development Consortium reports on the current status of development, consisting of the following items: • Hardware Layout & Engineering: The geometric setup of the system (location on the mast & viewing angles, mutual mounting between WAC and HRC) needs to be optimized w

  1. Japanese lunar robotics exploration by co-operation with lander and ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    A lunar rover is expected to travel safely in a wide area and explore in detail. Japanese ... is proposed. The working group has been conducting feasibility study of advance technologies. .... CPUs are dedicated to the function of environment.

  2. Wind-Driven Erosion and Exposure Potential at Mars 2020 Rover Candidate-Landing Sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chojnacki, Matthew; Banks, Maria; Urso, Anna

    2018-01-01

    Aeolian processes have likely been the predominant geomorphic agent for most of Mars’ history and have the potential to produce relatively young exposure ages for geologic units. Thus, identifying local evidence for aeolian erosion is highly relevant to the selection of landing sites for future missions, such as the Mars 2020 Rover mission that aims to explore astrobiologically relevant ancient environments. Here we investigate wind-driven activity at eight Mars 2020 candidate-landing sites to constrain erosion potential at these locations. To demonstrate our methods, we found that contemporary dune-derived abrasion rates were in agreement with rover-derived exhumation rates at Gale crater and could be employed elsewhere. The Holden crater candidate site was interpreted to have low contemporary erosion rates, based on the presence of a thick sand coverage of static ripples. Active ripples at the Eberswalde and southwest Melas sites may account for local erosion and the dearth of small craters. Moderate-flux regional dunes near Mawrth Vallis were deemed unrepresentative of the candidate site, which is interpreted to currently be experiencing low levels of erosion. The Nili Fossae site displayed the most unambiguous evidence for local sand transport and erosion, likely yielding relatively young exposure ages. The downselected Jezero crater and northeast Syrtis sites had high-flux neighboring dunes and exhibited substantial evidence for sediment pathways across their ellipses. Both sites had relatively high estimated abrasion rates, which would yield young exposure ages. The downselected Columbia Hills site lacked evidence for sand movement, and contemporary local erosion rates are estimated to be relatively low. PMID:29568719

  3. Wind-Driven Erosion and Exposure Potential at Mars 2020 Rover Candidate-Landing Sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chojnacki, Matthew; Banks, Maria; Urso, Anna

    2018-02-01

    Aeolian processes have likely been the predominant geomorphic agent for most of Mars' history and have the potential to produce relatively young exposure ages for geologic units. Thus, identifying local evidence for aeolian erosion is highly relevant to the selection of landing sites for future missions, such as the Mars 2020 Rover mission that aims to explore astrobiologically relevant ancient environments. Here we investigate wind-driven activity at eight Mars 2020 candidate-landing sites to constrain erosion potential at these locations. To demonstrate our methods, we found that contemporary dune-derived abrasion rates were in agreement with rover-derived exhumation rates at Gale crater and could be employed elsewhere. The Holden crater candidate site was interpreted to have low contemporary erosion rates, based on the presence of a thick sand coverage of static ripples. Active ripples at the Eberswalde and southwest Melas sites may account for local erosion and the dearth of small craters. Moderate-flux regional dunes near Mawrth Vallis were deemed unrepresentative of the candidate site, which is interpreted to currently be experiencing low levels of erosion. The Nili Fossae site displayed the most unambiguous evidence for local sand transport and erosion, likely yielding relatively young exposure ages. The downselected Jezero crater and northeast Syrtis sites had high-flux neighboring dunes and exhibited substantial evidence for sediment pathways across their ellipses. Both sites had relatively high estimated abrasion rates, which would yield young exposure ages. The downselected Columbia Hills site lacked evidence for sand movement, and contemporary local erosion rates are estimated to be relatively low.

  4. Radiation shield analysis for a manned Mars rover

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  5. Autonomously Generating Operations Sequences for a Mars Rover Using Artificial Intelligence-Based Planning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherwood, R.; Mutz, D.; Estlin, T.; Chien, S.; Backes, P.; Norris, J.; Tran, D.; Cooper, B.; Rabideau, G.; Mishkin, A.; Maxwell, S.

    2001-07-01

    This article discusses a proof-of-concept prototype for ground-based automatic generation of validated rover command sequences from high-level science and engineering activities. This prototype is based on ASPEN, the Automated Scheduling and Planning Environment. This artificial intelligence (AI)-based planning and scheduling system will automatically generate a command sequence that will execute within resource constraints and satisfy flight rules. An automated planning and scheduling system encodes rover design knowledge and uses search and reasoning techniques to automatically generate low-level command sequences while respecting rover operability constraints, science and engineering preferences, environmental predictions, and also adhering to hard temporal constraints. This prototype planning system has been field-tested using the Rocky 7 rover at JPL and will be field-tested on more complex rovers to prove its effectiveness before transferring the technology to flight operations for an upcoming NASA mission. Enabling goal-driven commanding of planetary rovers greatly reduces the requirements for highly skilled rover engineering personnel. This in turn greatly reduces mission operations costs. In addition, goal-driven commanding permits a faster response to changes in rover state (e.g., faults) or science discoveries by removing the time-consuming manual sequence validation process, allowing rapid "what-if" analyses, and thus reducing overall cycle times.

  6. Mimicking Martian dust: An in-vacuum dust deposition system for testing the ultraviolet sensors on the Curiosity rover

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sobrado, J. M.; Martín-Soler, J.; Martín-Gago, J. A.

    2015-01-01

    We have designed and developed an in-vacuum dust deposition system specifically conceived to simulate and study the effect of accumulation of Martian dust on the electronic instruments of scientific planetary exploration missions. We have used this device to characterize the dust effect on the UV sensor of the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station in the Mars science Laboratory mission of NASA in similar conditions to those found on Mars surface. The UV sensor includes six photodiodes for measuring the radiation in all UV wavelengths (direct incidence and reflected); it is placed on the body of Curiosity rover and it is severely affected by the dust deposited on it. Our experimental setup can help to estimate the duration of reliable reading of this instrument during operation. We have used an analogous of the Martian dust in chemical composition (magnetic species), color, and density, which has been characterized by X-ray spectroscopy. To ensure a Brownian motion of the dust during its fall and a homogeneous coverage on the instrumentation, the operating conditions of the vacuum vessel, determined by partial pressures and temperature, have to be modified to account for the different gravities of Mars with respect to Earth. We propose that our designed device and operational protocol can be of interest to test optoelectronic instrumentation affected by the opacity of dust, as can be the degradation of UV photodiodes in planetary exploration

  7. Mimicking Martian dust: An in-vacuum dust deposition system for testing the ultraviolet sensors on the Curiosity rover

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sobrado, J. M., E-mail: sobradovj@inta.es; Martín-Soler, J. [Centro de Astrobiología (CAB), INTA-CSIC, Torrejón de Ardoz, 28850 Madrid (Spain); Martín-Gago, J. A. [Centro de Astrobiología (CAB), INTA-CSIC, Torrejón de Ardoz, 28850 Madrid (Spain); Instituto de Ciencias de Materiales de Madrid (ICMM–CSIC), Cantoblanco, 28049 Madrid (Spain)

    2015-10-15

    We have designed and developed an in-vacuum dust deposition system specifically conceived to simulate and study the effect of accumulation of Martian dust on the electronic instruments of scientific planetary exploration missions. We have used this device to characterize the dust effect on the UV sensor of the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station in the Mars science Laboratory mission of NASA in similar conditions to those found on Mars surface. The UV sensor includes six photodiodes for measuring the radiation in all UV wavelengths (direct incidence and reflected); it is placed on the body of Curiosity rover and it is severely affected by the dust deposited on it. Our experimental setup can help to estimate the duration of reliable reading of this instrument during operation. We have used an analogous of the Martian dust in chemical composition (magnetic species), color, and density, which has been characterized by X-ray spectroscopy. To ensure a Brownian motion of the dust during its fall and a homogeneous coverage on the instrumentation, the operating conditions of the vacuum vessel, determined by partial pressures and temperature, have to be modified to account for the different gravities of Mars with respect to Earth. We propose that our designed device and operational protocol can be of interest to test optoelectronic instrumentation affected by the opacity of dust, as can be the degradation of UV photodiodes in planetary exploration.

  8. The Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) aboard the Mars rover, Curiosity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edgett, K. S.; Ravine, M. A.; Caplinger, M. A.; Ghaemi, F. T.; Schaffner, J. A.; Malin, M. C.; Baker, J. M.; Dibiase, D. R.; Laramee, J.; Maki, J. N.; Willson, R. G.; Bell, J. F., III; Cameron, J. F.; Dietrich, W. E.; Edwards, L. J.; Hallet, B.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Heydari, E.; Kah, L. C.; Lemmon, M. T.; Minitti, M. E.; Olson, T. S.; Parker, T. J.; Rowland, S. K.; Schieber, J.; Sullivan, R. J.; Sumner, D. Y.; Thomas, P. C.; Yingst, R. A.

    2009-08-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover, Curiosity, is expected to land on Mars in 2012. The Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) will be used to document martian rocks and regolith with a 2-megapixel RGB color CCD camera with a focusable macro lens mounted on an instrument-bearing turret on the end of Curiosity's robotic arm. The flight MAHLI can focus on targets at working distances of 20.4 mm to infinity. At 20.4 mm, images have a pixel scale of 13.9 μm/pixel. The pixel scale at 66 mm working distance is about the same (31 μm/pixel) as that of the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Microscopic Imager (MI). MAHLI camera head placement is dependent on the capabilities of the MSL robotic arm, the design for which presently has a placement uncertainty of ~20 mm in 3 dimensions; hence, acquisition of images at the minimum working distance may be challenging. The MAHLI consists of 3 parts: a camera head, a Digital Electronics Assembly (DEA), and a calibration target. The camera head and DEA are connected by a JPL-provided cable which transmits data, commands, and power. JPL is also providing a contact sensor. The camera head will be mounted on the rover's robotic arm turret, the DEA will be inside the rover body, and the calibration target will be mounted on the robotic arm azimuth motor housing. Camera Head. MAHLI uses a Kodak KAI-2020CM interline transfer CCD (1600 x 1200 active 7.4 μm square pixels with RGB filtered microlenses arranged in a Bayer pattern). The optics consist of a group of 6 fixed lens elements, a movable group of 3 elements, and a fixed sapphire window front element. Undesired near-infrared radiation is blocked using a coating deposited on the inside surface of the sapphire window. The lens is protected by a dust cover with a Lexan window through which imaging can be ac-complished if necessary, and targets can be illuminated by sunlight or two banks of two white light LEDs. Two 365 nm UV LEDs are included to search for fluores-cent materials at night. DEA

  9. xLuna - D emonstrator on ESA Mars Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braga, P.; Henriques, L.; Carvalho, B.; Chevalley, P.; Zulianello, M.

    2008-08-01

    There is a significant gap between the services offered by existing space qualified Real-Time Operating Systems (RTOS) and those required by the most demanding future space applications. New requirements for autonomy, terrain mapping and navigation, Simultaneous Location and Mapping (SLAM), improvement of the throughput of science tasks, all demand high level services such as file systems or POSIX compliant interfaces. xLuna is an operating system that aims fulfilling these new requirements. Besides providing the typical services that of an RTOS (tasks and interrupts management, timers, message queues, etc), it also includes most of the features available in modern general-purpose operating systems, such as Linux. This paper describes a case study that proposes to demonstrate the usage of xLuna on board a rover currently in use for the development of algorithms in preparation of a mission to Mars.

  10. Mars Rover Sample Return aerocapture configuration design and packaging constraints

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawson, Shelby J.

    1989-01-01

    This paper discusses the aerodynamics requirements, volume and mass constraints that lead to a biconic aeroshell vehicle design that protects the Mars Rover Sample Return (MRSR) mission elements from launch to Mars landing. The aerodynamic requirements for Mars aerocapture and entry and packaging constraints for the MRSR elements result in a symmetric biconic aeroshell that develops a L/D of 1.0 at 27.0 deg angle of attack. A significant problem in the study is obtaining a cg that provides adequate aerodynamic stability and performance within the mission imposed constraints. Packaging methods that relieve the cg problems include forward placement of aeroshell propellant tanks and incorporating aeroshell structure as lander structure. The MRSR missions developed during the pre-phase A study are discussed with dimensional and mass data included. Further study is needed for some missions to minimize MRSR element volume so that launch mass constraints can be met.

  11. Titan LEAF: A Sky Rover Granting Targeted Access to Titan's Lakes and Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ross, Floyd; Lee, Greg; Sokol, Daniel; Goldman, Benjamin; Bolisay, Linden

    2016-10-01

    Northrop Grumman, in collaboration with L'Garde Inc. and Global Aerospace Corporation (GAC), has been developing the Titan Lifting Entry Atmospheric Flight (T-LEAF) sky rover to roam the atmosphere and observe at close quarters the lakes and plains of Titan. T-LEAF also supports surface exploration and science by providing precision delivery of in situ instruments to the surface.T-LEAF is a maneuverable, buoyant air vehicle. Its aerodynamic shape provides its maneuverability, and its internal helium envelope reduces propulsion power requirements and also the risk of crashing. Because of these features, T-LEAF is not restricted to following prevailing wind patterns. This freedom of mobility allows it be commanded to follow the shorelines of Titan's methane lakes, for example, or to target very specific surface locations.T-LEAF utilizes a variable power propulsion system, from high power at ~200W to low power at ~50W. High power mode uses the propellers and control surfaces for additional mobility and maneuverability. It also allows the vehicle to hover over specific locations for long duration surface observations. Low power mode utilizes GAC's Titan Winged Aerobot (TWA) concept, currently being developed with NASA funding, which achieves guided flight without the use of propellers or control surfaces. Although slower than high powered flight, this mode grants increased power to science instruments while still maintaining control over direction of travel.Additionally, T-LEAF is its own entry vehicle, with its leading edges protected by flexible thermal protection system (f-TPS) materials already being tested by NASA's Hypersonic Inflatable Aerodynamic Decelerator (HIAD) group. This f-TPS technology allows T-LEAF to inflate in space, like HIAD, and then enter the atmosphere fully deployed. This approach accommodates entry velocities from as low as ~1.8 km/s if entering from Titan orbit, up to ~6 km/s if entering directly from Saturn orbit, like the Huygens probe

  12. Robotic vehicles for planetary exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilcox, Brian; Matthies, Larry; Gennery, Donald; Cooper, Brian; Nguyen, Tam; Litwin, Todd; Mishkin, Andrew; Stone, Henry

    1992-01-01

    A program to develop planetary rover technology is underway at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) under sponsorship of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Developmental systems with the necessary sensing, computing, power, and mobility resources to demonstrate realistic forms of control for various missions have been developed, and initial testing has been completed. These testbed systems and the associated navigation techniques used are described. Particular emphasis is placed on three technologies: Computer-Aided Remote Driving (CARD), Semiautonomous Navigation (SAN), and behavior control. It is concluded that, through the development and evaluation of such technologies, research at JPL has expanded the set of viable planetary rover mission possibilities beyond the limits of remotely teleoperated systems such as Lunakhod. These are potentially applicable to exploration of all the solid planetary surfaces in the solar system, including Mars, Venus, and the moons of the gas giant planets.

  13. Reflectance conversion methods for the VIS/NIR imaging spectrometer aboard the Chang'E-3 lunar rover: based on ground validation experiment data

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu Bin; Liu Jian-Zhong; Zhang Guang-Liang; Zou Yong-Liao; Ling Zong-Cheng; Zhang Jiang; He Zhi-Ping; Yang Ben-Yong

    2013-01-01

    The second phase of the Chang'E Program (also named Chang'E-3) has the goal to land and perform in-situ detection on the lunar surface. A VIS/NIR imaging spectrometer (VNIS) will be carried on the Chang'E-3 lunar rover to detect the distribution of lunar minerals and resources. VNIS is the first mission in history to perform in-situ spectral measurement on the surface of the Moon, the reflectance data of which are fundamental for interpretation of lunar composition, whose quality would greatly affect the accuracy of lunar element and mineral determination. Until now, in-situ detection by imaging spectrometers was only performed by rovers on Mars. We firstly review reflectance conversion methods for rovers on Mars (Viking landers, Pathfinder and Mars Exploration rovers, etc). Secondly, we discuss whether these conversion methods used on Mars can be applied to lunar in-situ detection. We also applied data from a laboratory bidirectional reflectance distribution function (BRDF) using simulated lunar soil to test the availability of this method. Finally, we modify reflectance conversion methods used on Mars by considering differences between environments on the Moon and Mars and apply the methods to experimental data obtained from the ground validation of VNIS. These results were obtained by comparing reflectance data from the VNIS measured in the laboratory with those from a standard spectrometer obtained at the same time and under the same observing conditions. The shape and amplitude of the spectrum fits well, and the spectral uncertainty parameters for most samples are within 8%, except for the ilmenite sample which has a low albedo. In conclusion, our reflectance conversion method is suitable for lunar in-situ detection.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samuels, Jessica A.

    2013-01-01

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

  15. A Virtual Simulation Environment for Lunar Rover: Framework and Key Technologies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yan-chun Yang

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Lunar rover development involves a large amount of validation works in realistic operational conditions, including its mechanical subsystem and on-board software. Real tests require equipped rover platform and a realistic terrain. It is very time consuming and high cost. To improve the development efficiency, a rover simulation environment called RSVE that affords real time capabilities with high fidelity has been developed. It uses fractional Brown motion (fBm technique and statistical properties to generate lunar surface. Thus, various terrain models for simulation can be generated through changing several parameters. To simulate lunar rover evolving on natural and unstructured surface with high realism, the whole dynamics of the multi-body systems and complex interactions with soft ground is integrated in this environment. An example for path planning algorithm and controlling algorithm testing in this environment is tested. This simulation environment runs on PC or Silicon Graphics.

  16. A Virtual Simulation Environment for Lunar Rover: Framework and Key Technologies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yan-chun Yang

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available Lunar rover development involves a large amount of validation works in realistic operational conditions, including its mechanical subsystem and on-board software. Real tests require equipped rover platform and a realistic terrain. It is very time consuming and high cost. To improve the development efficiency, a rover simulation environment called RSVE that affords real time capabilities with high fidelity has been developed. It uses fractional Brown motion (fBm technique and statistical properties to generate lunar surface. Thus, various terrain models for simulation can be generated through changing several parameters. To simulate lunar rover evolving on natural and unstructured surface with high realism, the whole dynamics of the multi-body systems and complex interactions with soft ground is integrated in this environment. An example for path planning algorithm and controlling algorithm testing in this environment is tested. This simulation environment runs on PC or Silicon Graphics.

  17. TU Berlin Rover Family for Terrestrial Testing of Complex Planetary Mission Scenarios

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kryza, L.; Brieß, K.

    2018-04-01

    The TU Berlin has developed a family of planetary rovers for educational use and research activities. The paper will introduce these cost-effective systems, which can be used for analogue mission demonstration on Earth.

  18. An Overview of a Regenerative Fuel Cell Concept for a Mars Surface Mobile Element (Mars Rover)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersson, T.

    2018-04-01

    This paper outlines an overview of a regenerative fuel cell concept for a Mars rover. The objectives of the system are to provide electrical and thermal power during the Mars night and to provide electrical power for the operational cycles.

  19. Dynamic modeling and mobility analysis of the transforming roving-rolling explorer (TRREx) as it Traverses Rugged Martian Terrain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwin, Lionel E.; Mazzoleni, Andre P.

    2016-03-01

    All planetary surface exploration missions thus far have employed traditional rovers with a rocker-bogie suspension. These rovers can navigate moderately rough and flat terrain, but are not designed to traverse rugged terrain with steep slopes. The fact is, however, that the most scientifically interesting missions require exploration platforms with capabilities for navigating such types of rugged terrain. This issue motivates the development of new kinds of rovers that take advantage of the latest advances in robotic technologies to traverse rugged terrain efficiently. This work analyzes one such rover concept called the Transforming Roving-Rolling Explorer (TRREx) that is principally aimed at addressing the above issue. Biologically inspired by the way the armadillo curls up into a ball when threatened, and the way the golden wheel spider uses the dynamic advantages of a sphere to roll down hills when escaping danger, the TRREx rover can traverse like a traditional 6-wheeled rover over conventional terrain, but can also transform itself into a sphere, when necessary, to travel down steep inclines, or navigate rough terrain. This paper investigates the mobility of the TRREx when it is in its rolling mode, i.e. when it is a sphere and can steer itself through actuations that shift its center of mass to achieve the desired direction of roll. A mathematical model describing the dynamics of the rover in this spherical configuration is presented, and actuated rolling is demonstrated through computer simulation. Parametric analyzes that investigate the rover's mobility as a function of its design parameters are also presented. This work highlights the contribution of the spherical rolling mode to the enhanced mobility of the TRREx rover and how it could enable challenging surface exploration missions in the future.

  20. Biogenic iron mineralization at Iron Mountain, CA with implications for detection with the Mars Curiosity rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Amy J.; Sumner, Dawn Y.; Alpers, Charles N.; Campbell, Kate M.; Nordstrom, D. Kirk

    2014-01-01

    (Introduction) Microbe-mineral interactions and biosignature preservation in oxidized sulfidic ore bodies (gossans) are prime candidates for astrobiological study. Such oxidized iron systems have been proposed as analogs for some Martian environments. Recent studies identified microbial fossils preserved as mineral-coated filaments. This study documents microbially-mediated mineral biosignatures in hydrous ferric oxide (HFO) and ferric oxyhydroxysulfates (FOHS) in three environments at Iron Mountain, CA. We investigated microbial community preservation via HFO and FOHS precipitation and the formation of filamentous mineral biosignatures. These environments included 1) actively precipitating (1000's yrs), naturally weathered HFO from in situ gossan, and 3) remobilized iron deposits, which contained lithified clastics and zones of HFO precipitate. We used published biogenicity criteria as guidelines to characterize the biogenicity of mineral filaments. These criteria included A) an actively precipitating environment where microbes are known to be coated in minerals, B) presence of extant microbial communities with carbon signatures, C) structures observable as a part of the host rock, and D) biological morphology, including cellular lumina, multiple member population, numerous taxa, variable and 3-D preservation, biological size ranges, uniform diameter, and evidence of flexibility. This study explores the relevance and detection of these biosignatures to possible Martian biosignatures. Similar filamentous biosignatures are resolvable by the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) onboard the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover, Curiosity, and may be identifiable as biogenic if present on Mars.

  1. Volcanic history of the Imbrium basin: A close-up view from the lunar rover Yutu.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Jinhai; Yang, Wei; Hu, Sen; Lin, Yangting; Fang, Guangyou; Li, Chunlai; Peng, Wenxi; Zhu, Sanyuan; He, Zhiping; Zhou, Bin; Lin, Hongyu; Yang, Jianfeng; Liu, Enhai; Xu, Yuchen; Wang, Jianyu; Yao, Zhenxing; Zou, Yongliao; Yan, Jun; Ouyang, Ziyuan

    2015-04-28

    We report the surface exploration by the lunar rover Yutu that landed on the young lava flow in the northeastern part of the Mare Imbrium, which is the largest basin on the nearside of the Moon and is filled with several basalt units estimated to date from 3.5 to 2.0 Ga. The onboard lunar penetrating radar conducted a 114-m-long profile, which measured a thickness of ∼5 m of the lunar regolith layer and detected three underlying basalt units at depths of 195, 215, and 345 m. The radar measurements suggest underestimation of the global lunar regolith thickness by other methods and reveal a vast volume of the last volcano eruption. The in situ spectral reflectance and elemental analysis of the lunar soil at the landing site suggest that the young basalt could be derived from an ilmenite-rich mantle reservoir and then assimilated by 10-20% of the last residual melt of the lunar magma ocean.

  2. Fast Optical Hazard Detection for Planetary Rovers Using Multiple Spot Laser Triangulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthies, L.; Balch, T.; Wilcox, B.

    1997-01-01

    A new laser-based optical sensor system that provides hazard detection for planetary rovers is presented. It is anticipated that the sensor can support safe travel at speeds up to 6cm/second for large (1m) rovers in full sunlight on Earth or Mars. The system overcomes limitations in an older design that require image differencing ot detect a laser stripe in full sun.

  3. Pancam and microscopic imager observations of dust on the Spirit Rovers

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vaughan....[], Alicia F.; Johnson, Jeffrey R.; Walter, Goetz

    2010-01-01

    This work describes dust deposits on the Spirit Rover over 2000 sols through examination of Pancam and Microscopic Imager observations of specific locations on the rover body, including portions of the solar array, Pancam and Mini-TES calibration targets, and the magnets. This data set reveals...... the three "cleaning events" experienced by Spirit to date, the spectral properties of dust, and the tendency of dust particles to form aggregates 100 um and larger...

  4. INTERNATIONAL CORPORATE RELATIONS : Strategic Alliance and M&A : The Case of Honda, Rover and BMW

    OpenAIRE

    勝二, 俊和; ショウジ, トシカズ; TOSHIKAZU, SHOJI

    1998-01-01

    The primary objective of the dissertation is to compare and contrast two strategies of international corporate relations; "strategic alliances" and "mergers and acquisitions". The focus would be on Honda, Rover and BMW which exhibited characteristics, strengths and weaknesses of both "strategic alliances" and "mergers and acquisitions" The thesis will also demonstrate how the BMW deal caused instability and thus made the alliance vulnerable. When companies like Honda, Rover and BMW adopt eith...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stein, Thomas

    Planetary data archives of surface missions contain data from numerous hosted instruments. Because of the nondeterministic nature of surface missions, it is not possible to assess the data without understanding the context in which they were collected. The PDS Analyst’s Notebook (http://an.rsl.wustl.edu) provides access to Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) data archives by integrating sequence information, engineering and science data, observation planning and targeting, and documentation into web-accessible pages to facilitate “mission replay.” In addition, Mars Exploration Rover (MER), Mars Phoenix Lander, Lunar Apollo surface mission, and LCROSS mission data are available in the Analyst’s Notebook concept, and a Notebook is planned for the Insight mission. The MSL Analyst’s Notebook contains data, documentation, and support files for the Curiosity rovers. The inputs are incorporated on a daily basis into a science team version of the Notebook. The public version of the Analyst’s Notebook is comprised of peer-reviewed, released data and is updated coincident with PDS data releases as defined in mission archive plans. The data are provided by the instrument teams and are supported by documentation describing data format, content, and calibration. Both operations and science data products are included. The operations versions are generated to support mission planning and operations on a daily basis. They are geared toward researchers working on machine vision and engineering operations. Science versions of observations from some instruments are provided for those interested in radiometric and photometric analyses. Both data set documentation and sol (i.e., Mars day) documents are included in the Notebook. The sol documents are the mission manager and documentarian reports that provide a view into science operations—insight into why and how particular observations were made. Data set documents contain detailed information regarding the mission, spacecraft

  6. ExoGeoLab Pilot Project for Landers, Rovers and Instruments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foing, Bernard

    2010-05-01

    We have developed a pilot facility with a Robotic Test Bench (ExoGeoLab) and a Mobile Lab Habitat (ExoHab). They can be used to validate concepts and external instruments from partner institutes. The ExoGeoLab research incubator project, has started in the frame of a collaboration between ILEWG (International Lunar Exploration working Group http://sci.esa.int/ilewg), ESTEC, NASA and academic partners, supported by a design and control desk in the European Space Incubator (ESI), as well as infrastructure. ExoGeoLab includes a sequence of technology and research pilot project activities: - Data analysis and interpretation of remote sensing and in-situ data, and merging of multi-scale data sets - Procurement and integration of geophysical, geo-chemical and astrobiological breadboard instruments on a surface station and rovers - Integration of cameras, environment and solar sensors, Visible and near IR spectrometer, Raman spectrometer, sample handling, cooperative rovers - Delivery of a generic small planetary lander demonstrator (ExoGeoLab lander, Sept 2009) as a platform for multi-instruments tests - Research operations and exploitation of ExoGeoLab test bench for various conceptual configurations, and support for definition and design of science surface packages (Moon, Mars, NEOs, outer moons) - Field tests of lander, rovers and instruments in analogue sites (Utah MDRS 2009 & 2010, Eifel volcanic park in Sept 2009, and future campaigns). Co-authors, ILEWG ExoGeoLab & ExoHab Team: B.H. Foing(1,11)*#, C. Stoker(2,11)*, P. Ehrenfreund(10,11), L. Boche-Sauvan(1,11)*, L. Wendt(8)*, C. Gross(8, 11)*, C. Thiel(9)*, S. Peters(1,6)*, A. Borst(1,6)*, J. Zavaleta(2)*, P. Sarrazin(2)*, D. Blake(2), J. Page(1,4,11), V. Pletser(5,11)*, E. Monaghan(1)*, P. Mahapatra(1)#, A. Noroozi(3), P. Giannopoulos(1,11) , A. Calzada(1,6,11), R. Walker(7), T. Zegers(1, 15) #, G. Groemer(12)# , W. Stumptner(12)#, B. Foing(2,5), J. K. Blom(3)#, A. Perrin(14)#, M. Mikolajczak(14)#, S. Chevrier(14

  7. Lunar surface exploration using mobile robots

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishida, Shin-Ichiro; Wakabayashi, Sachiko

    2012-06-01

    A lunar exploration architecture study is being carried out by space agencies. JAXA is carrying out research and development of a mobile robot (rover) to be deployed on the lunar surface for exploration and outpost construction. The main target areas for outpost construction and lunar exploration are mountainous zones. The moon's surface is covered by regolith. Achieving a steady traversal of such irregular terrain constitutes the major technical problem for rovers. A newly developed lightweight crawler mechanism can effectively traverse such irregular terrain because of its low contact force with the ground. This fact was determined on the basis of the mass and expected payload of the rover. This paper describes a plan for Japanese lunar surface exploration using mobile robots, and presents the results of testing and analysis needed in their development. This paper also gives an overview of the lunar exploration robot to be deployed in the SELENE follow-on mission, and the composition of its mobility, navigation, and control systems.

  8. Mineralogical Results from the Mars Science Laboratory Rover Curiosity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blake, David Frederick.

    2017-01-01

    NASA's CheMin instrument, the first X-ray Diffractometer flown in space, has been operating on Mars for nearly five years. CheMin was first to establish the quantitative mineralogy of the Mars global soil (1). The instrument was next used to determine the mineralogy of a 3.7 billion year old lacustrine mudstone, a result that, together with findings from other instruments on the MSL Curiosity rover, documented the first habitable environment found on another planet (2). The mineralogy of this mudstone from an ancient playa lake was also used to derive the maximum concentration of CO2 in the early Mars atmosphere, a surprisingly low value that calls into question the current theory that CO2 greenhouse warming was responsible for the warm and wet environment of early Mars. CheMin later identified the mineral tridymite, indicative of silica-rich volcanism, in mudstones of the Murray formation on Mt. Sharp. This discovery challenges the paradigm of Mars as a basaltic planet and ushers in a new chapter of comparative terrestrial planetology (3). CheMin is now being used to systematically sample the sedimentary layers that comprise the lower strata of Mt. Sharp, a 5,000 meter sequence of sedimentary rock laid down in what was once a crater lake, characterizing isochemical sediments that through their changing mineralogy, document the oxidation and drying out of the Mars in early Hesperian time.

  9. Improving Planetary Rover Attitude Estimation via MEMS Sensor Characterization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hidalgo, Javier; Poulakis, Pantelis; Köhler, Johan; Del-Cerro, Jaime; Barrientos, Antonio

    2012-01-01

    Micro Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) are currently being considered in the space sector due to its suitable level of performance for spacecrafts in terms of mechanical robustness with low power consumption, small mass and size, and significant advantage in system design and accommodation. However, there is still a lack of understanding regarding the performance and testing of these new sensors, especially in planetary robotics. This paper presents what is missing in the field: a complete methodology regarding the characterization and modeling of MEMS sensors with direct application. A reproducible and complete approach including all the intermediate steps, tools and laboratory equipment is described. The process of sensor error characterization and modeling through to the final integration in the sensor fusion scheme is explained with detail. Although the concept of fusion is relatively easy to comprehend, carefully characterizing and filtering sensor information is not an easy task and is essential for good performance. The strength of the approach has been verified with representative tests of novel high-grade MEMS inertia sensors and exemplary planetary rover platforms with promising results. PMID:22438761

  10. Design and operation of the Rover vacuum system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wagner, E.P. Jr.; Griffith, D.L.; Rivera, J.M.

    1997-01-01

    The Rover process for recovering unused uranium from graphite fuels was operated during 1983 and 1984, and then shut down in 1984. The first steps of the process used fluidized alumina beds to burn away the graphite and produce a uranium bearing ash. The ash was then transferred to a different process cell for acid dissolution. At the time of shutdown, a significant, but unmeasureable, quantity of highly enriched uranium was left in the process vessels. Normal decontamination procedures could not be used due to plugged process lines and the exclusion of moderator materials (water or finely divided organic substances) for criticality safety. The presence of highly enriched uranium in poorly defined quantity and configuration led to concerns for criticality safety, nuclear materials accountability, and physical security. A project was established to eliminate these concerns by cleaning and/or removing the process vessels, piping, and cells and sending the recovered Uranium Bearing Material (UBM) to secure storage. A key element of this project was the design of a system for collecting and transporting dry solids to a location where they could be loaded into critically favorable storage cans

  11. Magnetic Properties Experiments on the Mars exploration Rover Spirit at Gusev crater

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bertelsen, Pernille; Goetz, W.; Madsen, M.B.

    2004-01-01

    The magnetic properties experiments are designed to help identify the magnetic minerals in the dust and rocks on Mars-and to determine whether liquid water was involved in the formation and alteration of these magnetic minerals. Almost all of the dust particles suspended in the martian atmosphere...... must contain ferrimagnetic minerals (such as maghemite or magnetite) in an amount of similar to2% by weight. The most magnetic fraction of the dust appears darker than the average dust. Magnetite was detected in the first two rocks ground by Spirit....

  12. RAT magnet experiment on the Mars Exploration Rovers: Spirit and Opportunity beyond sol 500

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Leer, K.; Goetz, W.; Chan, M. A.; Gorevan, S.; Hansen, M. F.; Jensen, Ch. L.; Kletetschka, Günther; Kusack, A.; Madsen, M. B.

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 116, č. 4 (2011), E00F18-E00F18 ISSN 0148-0227 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30130516 Keywords : magnetic mineralogy * hematite * Mars Subject RIV: BN - Astronomy, Celestial Mechanics, Astrophysics Impact factor: 3.021, year: 2011

  13. An Extended Kalman filter (EKF) for Mars Exploration Rover (MER) entry, descent, and landing reconstruction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lisano, M. E.

    2003-01-01

    This paper describes the design and initial test results of an extended Kalman filter that has been developed at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for post-flight reconstruction of the trajectory and attitude history of a spacecraft entering a planetary atmosphere and descending upon a parachute.

  14. Rover Low Gain Antenna Qualification for Deep Space Thermal Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramesham, Rajeshuni; Amaro, Luis R.; Brown, Paula R.; Usiskin, Robert; Prater, Jack L.

    2013-01-01

    A method to qualify the Rover Low Gain Antenna (RLGA) for use during the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission has been devised. The RLGA antenna must survive all ground operations, plus the nominal 670 Martian sol mission that includes the summer and winter seasons of the Mars thermal environment. This qualification effort was performed to verify that the RLGA design, its bonding, and packaging processes are adequate. The qualification test was designed to demonstrate a survival life of three times more than all expected ground testing, plus a nominal 670 Martian sol missions. Baseline RF tests and a visual inspection were performed on the RLGA hardware before the start of the qualification test. Functional intermittent RF tests were performed during thermal chamber breaks over the course of the complete qualification test. For the return loss measurements, the RLGA antenna was moved to a test area. A vector network analyzer was calibrated over the operational frequency range of the antenna. For the RLGA, a simple return loss measurement was performed. A total of 2,010 (3 670 or 3 times mission thermal cycles) thermal cycles was performed. Visual inspection of the RLGA hardware did not show any anomalies due to the thermal cycling. The return loss measurement results of the RLGA antenna after the PQV (Package Qualification and Verification) test did not show any anomalies. The antenna pattern data taken before and after the PQV test at the uplink and downlink frequencies were unchanged. Therefore, the developed design of RLGA is qualified for a long-duration MSL mission.

  15. Automation and Robotics for space operation and planetary exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montemerlo, Melvin D.

    1990-01-01

    This paper presents a perspective of Automation and Robotics (A&R) research and developments at NASA in terms of its history, its current status, and its future. It covers artificial intelligence, telerobotics and planetary rovers, and it encompasses ground operations, operations in earth orbit, and planetary exploration.

  16. Nuclear Energy in Space Exploration

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Seaborg, Glenn T.

    1968-01-01

    Nuclear space programs under development by the Atomic Energy Commission are reviewed including the Rover Program, systems for nuclear rocket propulsion and, the SNAP Program, systems for generating electric power in space. The letters S-N-A-P stands for Systems for Nuclear Auxiliary Power. Some of the projected uses of nuclear systems in space are briefly discussed including lunar orbit, lunar transportation from lunar orbit to lunar surface and base stations; planetary exploration, and longer space missions. The limitations of other sources of energy such as solar, fuel cells, and electric batteries are discussed. The excitement and visionary possibilities of the Age of Space are discussed.

  17. a Performance Comparison of Feature Detectors for Planetary Rover Mapping and Localization

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wan, W.; Peng, M.; Xing, Y.; Wang, Y.; Liu, Z.; Di, K.; Teng, B.; Mao, X.; Zhao, Q.; Xin, X.; Jia, M.

    2017-07-01

    Feature detection and matching are key techniques in computer vision and robotics, and have been successfully implemented in many fields. So far there is no performance comparison of feature detectors and matching methods for planetary mapping and rover localization using rover stereo images. In this research, we present a comprehensive evaluation and comparison of six feature detectors, including Moravec, Förstner, Harris, FAST, SIFT and SURF, aiming for optimal implementation of feature-based matching in planetary surface environment. To facilitate quantitative analysis, a series of evaluation criteria, including distribution evenness of matched points, coverage of detected points, and feature matching accuracy, are developed in the research. In order to perform exhaustive evaluation, stereo images, simulated under different baseline, pitch angle, and interval of adjacent rover locations, are taken as experimental data source. The comparison results show that SIFT offers the best overall performance, especially it is less sensitive to changes of image taken at adjacent locations.

  18. A PERFORMANCE COMPARISON OF FEATURE DETECTORS FOR PLANETARY ROVER MAPPING AND LOCALIZATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W. Wan

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Feature detection and matching are key techniques in computer vision and robotics, and have been successfully implemented in many fields. So far there is no performance comparison of feature detectors and matching methods for planetary mapping and rover localization using rover stereo images. In this research, we present a comprehensive evaluation and comparison of six feature detectors, including Moravec, Förstner, Harris, FAST, SIFT and SURF, aiming for optimal implementation of feature-based matching in planetary surface environment. To facilitate quantitative analysis, a series of evaluation criteria, including distribution evenness of matched points, coverage of detected points, and feature matching accuracy, are developed in the research. In order to perform exhaustive evaluation, stereo images, simulated under different baseline, pitch angle, and interval of adjacent rover locations, are taken as experimental data source. The comparison results show that SIFT offers the best overall performance, especially it is less sensitive to changes of image taken at adjacent locations.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  20. Atacama Rover Astrobiology Drilling Studies: Roving to Find Subsurface Preserved Biomarkers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glass, B.; Davila, A.; Parro, V.; Quinn, R.; Willis, P.; Brinckerhoff, W.; DiRuggiero, J.; Williams, M.; Bergman, D.; Stoker, C.

    2016-05-01

    The ARADS project is a NASA PSTAR that will drill into a Mars analog site in search of biomarkers. Leading to a field test of an integrated rover-drill system with four prototype in-situ instruments for biomarker detection and analysis.

  1. Autonomously generating operations sequences for a Mars Rover using AI-based planning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherwood, Rob; Mishkin, Andrew; Estlin, Tara; Chien, Steve; Backes, Paul; Cooper, Brian; Maxwell, Scott; Rabideau, Gregg

    2001-01-01

    This paper discusses a proof-of-concept prototype for ground-based automatic generation of validated rover command sequences from highlevel science and engineering activities. This prototype is based on ASPEN, the Automated Scheduling and Planning Environment. This Artificial Intelligence (AI) based planning and scheduling system will automatically generate a command sequence that will execute within resource constraints and satisfy flight rules.

  2. Mars' surface radiation environment measured with the Mars science laboratory's curiosity rover

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hassler, D.M.; Zeitlin, C.; Wimmer-Schweingruber, R.F.; Ehresmann, B.; Rafkin, S.; Eigenbrode, J.L.; Brinza, D.E.; Weigle, G.; Böttcher, S.; Böhm, E.; Burmeister, S.; Guo, J.; Köhler, J.; Martin, C.; Reitz, G.; Cucinotta, F.A.; Kim, M.-H.; Grinspoon, D.; Bullock, M.A.; Posner, A.; Gómez-Elvira, J.; Vasavada, A.; Grotzinger, J.P.; MSL Science Team, the|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/292012217

    2014-01-01

    The Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) on the Mars Science Laboratory’s Curiosity rover began making detailed measurements of the cosmic ray and energetic particle radiation environment on the surface of Mars on 7 August 2012. We report and discuss measurements of the absorbed dose and dose

  3. 78 FR 16040 - Petition for Exemption From the Vehicle Theft Prevention Standard; Jaguar Land Rover North...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-03-13

    ... From the Vehicle Theft Prevention Standard; Jaguar Land Rover North America Llc AGENCY: National... in reducing and deterring motor vehicle theft as compliance with the parts-marking requirements of... Part 543, Exemption from Vehicle Theft Prevention Standard, based on the installation of an antitheft...

  4. Scaling up high throughput field phenotyping of corn and soy research plots using ground rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peshlov, Boyan; Nakarmi, Akash; Baldwin, Steven; Essner, Scott; French, Jasenka

    2017-05-01

    Crop improvement programs require large and meticulous selection processes that effectively and accurately collect and analyze data to generate quality plant products as efficiently as possible, develop superior cropping and/or crop improvement methods. Typically, data collection for such testing is performed by field teams using hand-held instruments or manually-controlled devices. Although steps are taken to reduce error, the data collected in such manner can be unreliable due to human error and fatigue, which reduces the ability to make accurate selection decisions. Monsanto engineering teams have developed a high-clearance mobile platform (Rover) as a step towards high throughput and high accuracy phenotyping at an industrial scale. The rovers are equipped with GPS navigation, multiple cameras and sensors and on-board computers to acquire data and compute plant vigor metrics per plot. The supporting IT systems enable automatic path planning, plot identification, image and point cloud data QA/QC and near real-time analysis where results are streamed to enterprise databases for additional statistical analysis and product advancement decisions. Since the rover program was launched in North America in 2013, the number of research plots we can analyze in a growing season has expanded dramatically. This work describes some of the successes and challenges in scaling up of the rover platform for automated phenotyping to enable science at scale.

  5. The real-time control of planetary rovers through behavior modification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, David P.

    1991-01-01

    It is not yet clear of what type, and how much, intelligence is needed for a planetary rover to function semi-autonomously on a planetary surface. Current designs assume an advanced AI system that maintains a detailed map of its journeys and the surroundings, and that carefully calculates and tests every move in advance. To achieve these abilities, and because of the limitations of space-qualified electronics, the supporting rover is quite sizable, massing a large fraction of a ton, and requiring technology advances in everything from power to ground operations. An alternative approach is to use a behavior driven control scheme. Recent research has shown that many complex tasks may be achieved by programming a robot with a set of behaviors and activation or deactivating a subset of those behaviors as required by the specific situation in which the robot finds itself. Behavior control requires much less computation than is required by tradition AI planning techniques. The reduced computation requirements allows the entire rover to be scaled down as appropriate (only down-link communications and payload do not scale under these circumstances). The missions that can be handled by the real-time control and operation of a set of small, semi-autonomous, interacting, behavior-controlled planetary rovers are discussed.

  6. Dual-EKF-Based Real-Time Celestial Navigation for Lunar Rover

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Xie

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available A key requirement of lunar rover autonomous navigation is to acquire state information accurately in real-time during its motion and set up a gradual parameter-based nonlinear kinematics model for the rover. In this paper, we propose a dual-extended-Kalman-filter- (dual-EKF- based real-time celestial navigation (RCN method. The proposed method considers the rover position and velocity on the lunar surface as the system parameters and establishes a constant velocity (CV model. In addition, the attitude quaternion is considered as the system state, and the quaternion differential equation is established as the state equation, which incorporates the output of angular rate gyroscope. Therefore, the measurement equation can be established with sun direction vector from the sun sensor and speed observation from the speedometer. The gyro continuous output ensures the algorithm real-time operation. Finally, we use the dual-EKF method to solve the system equations. Simulation results show that the proposed method can acquire the rover position and heading information in real time and greatly improve the navigation accuracy. Our method overcomes the disadvantage of the cumulative error in inertial navigation.

  7. Control of Multiple Robotic Sentry Vehicles

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Feddema, J.; Klarer, P.; Lewis, C.

    1999-04-01

    As part of a project for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Sandia National Laboratories is developing and testing the feasibility of using of a cooperative team of robotic sentry vehicles to guard a perimeter and to perform surround and diversion tasks. This paper describes on-going activities in the development of these robotic sentry vehicles. To date, we have developed a robotic perimeter detection system which consists of eight ''Roving All Terrain Lunar Explorer Rover'' (RATLER{trademark}) vehicles, a laptop-based base-station, and several Miniature Intrusion Detection Sensors (MIDS). A radio frequency receiver on each of the RATLER vehicles alerts the sentry vehicles of alarms from the hidden MIDS. When an alarm is received, each vehicle decides whether it should investigate the alarm based on the proximity of itself and the other vehicles to the alarm. As one vehicle attends an alarm, the other vehicles adjust their position around the perimeter to better prepare for another alarm. We have also demonstrated the ability to drive multiple vehicles in formation via tele-operation or by waypoint GPS navigation. This is currently being extended to include mission planning capabilities. At the base-station, the operator can draw on an aerial map the goal regions to be surrounded and the repulsive regions to be avoided. A potential field path planner automatically generates a path from the vehicles' current position to the goal regions while avoiding the repulsive regions and the other vehicles. This path is previewed to the operator before the regions are downloaded to the vehicles. The same potential field path planner resides on the vehicle, except additional repulsive forces from on-board proximity sensors guide the vehicle away from unplanned obstacles.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  9. Automation &robotics for future Mars exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schulte, W.; von Richter, A.; Bertrand, R.

    2003-04-01

    Automation and Robotics (A&R) are currently considered as a key technology for Mars exploration. initiatives in this field aim at developing new A&R systems and technologies for planetary surface exploration. Kayser-Threde led the study AROMA (Automation &Robotics for Human Mars Exploration) under ESA contract in order to define a reference architecture of A&R elements in support of a human Mars exploration program. One of the goals was to define new developments and to maintain the competitiveness of European industry within this field. We present a summary of the A&R study in respect to a particular system: The Autonomous Research Island (ARI). In the Mars exploration scenario initially a robotic outpost system lands at pre-selected sites in order to search for life forms and water and to analyze the surface, geology and atmosphere. A&R systems, i.e. rovers and autonomous instrument packages, perform a number of missions with scientific and technology development objectives on the surface of Mars as part of preparations for a human exploration mission. In the Robotic Outpost Phase ARI is conceived as an automated lander which can perform in-situ analysis. It consists of a service module and a micro-rover system for local investigations. Such a system is already under investigation and development in other TRP activities. The micro-rover system provides local mobility for in-situ scientific investigations at a given landing or deployment site. In the long run ARI supports also human Mars missions. An astronaut crew would travel larger distances in a pressurized rover on Mars. Whenever interesting features on the surface are identified, the crew would interrupt the travel and perform local investigations. In order to save crew time ARI could be deployed by the astronauts to perform time-consuming investigations as for example in-situ geochemistry analysis of rocks/soil. Later, the crew could recover the research island for refurbishment and deployment at another

  10. Plans for Selection and In-Situ Investigation of Return Samples by the Supercam Instrument Onboard the Mars 2020 Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiens, R. C.; Maurice, S.; Mangold, N.; Anderson, R.; Beyssac, O.; Bonal, L.; Clegg, S.; Cousin, A.; DeFlores, L.; Dromart, G.; Fisher, W.; Forni, O.; Fouchet, T.; Gasnault, O.; Grotzinger, J.; Johnson, J.; Martinez-Frias, J.; McLennan, S.; Meslin, P.-Y.; Montmessin, F.; Poulet, F.; Rull, F.; Sharma, S.

    2018-04-01

    The SuperCam instrument onboard Rover 2020 still provides a complementary set of analyses with IR reflectance and Raman spectroscopy for mineralogy, LIBS for chemistry, and a color imager in order to investigate in-situ samples to return.

  11. Characteristics, distribution, origin, and significance of opaline silica observed by the Spirit rover in Gusev crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruff, S.W.; Farmer, J.D.; Calvin, W.M.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Johnson, J. R.; Morris, R.V.; Rice, M.S.; Arvidson, R. E.; Bell, J.F.; Christensen, P.R.; Squyres, S. W.

    2011-01-01

    The presence of outcrops and soil (regolith) rich in opaline silica (???65-92 wt % SiO2) in association with volcanic materials adjacent to the "Home Plate" feature in Gusev crater is evidence for hydrothermal conditions. The Spirit rover has supplied a diverse set of observations that are used here to better understand the formation of silica and the activity, abundance, and fate of water in the first hydrothermal system to be explored in situ on Mars. We apply spectral, chemical, morphological, textural, and stratigraphic observations to assess whether the silica was produced by acid sulfate leaching of precursor rocks, by precipitation from silica-rich solutions, or by some combination. The apparent lack of S enrichment and the relatively low oxidation state of the Home Plate silica-rich materials appear inconsistent with the originally proposed Hawaiian analog for fumarolic acid sulfate leaching. The stratiform distribution of the silica-rich outcrops and their porous and brecciated microtextures are consistent with sinter produced by silica precipitation. There is no evidence for crystalline quartz phases among the silica occurrences, an indication of the lack of diagenetic maturation following the production of the amorphous opaline phase. Copyright ?? 2011 by the American Geophysical Union.

  12. Habitability on Early Mars and the Search for Biosignatures with the ExoMars Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Westall, Frances; Coates, Andrew J.; Jaumann, Ralf; Korablev, Oleg; Ciarletti, Valérie; Mitrofanov, Igor; Josset, Jean-Luc; De Sanctis, Maria Cristina; Bibring, Jean-Pierre; Goesmann, Fred; Steininger, Harald; Brinckerhoff, William; Szopa, Cyril; Raulin, François; Westall, Frances; Edwards, Howell G. M.; Whyte, Lyle G.; Fairén, Alberto G.; Bibring, Jean-Pierre; Bridges, John; Hauber, Ernst; Ori, Gian Gabriele; Werner, Stephanie; Loizeau, Damien; Kuzmin, Ruslan O.; Williams, Rebecca M. E.; Flahaut, Jessica; Forget, François; Rodionov, Daniel; Korablev, Oleg; Svedhem, Håkan; Sefton-Nash, Elliot; Kminek, Gerhard; Lorenzoni, Leila; Joudrier, Luc; Mikhailov, Viktor; Zashchirinskiy, Alexander; Alexashkin, Sergei; Calantropio, Fabio; Merlo, Andrea; Poulakis, Pantelis; Witasse, Olivier; Bayle, Olivier; Bayón, Silvia; Meierhenrich, Uwe; Carter, John; García-Ruiz, Juan Manuel; Baglioni, Pietro; Haldemann, Albert; Ball, Andrew J.; Debus, André; Lindner, Robert; Haessig, Frédéric; Monteiro, David; Trautner, Roland; Voland, Christoph; Rebeyre, Pierre; Goulty, Duncan; Didot, Frédéric; Durrant, Stephen; Zekri, Eric; Koschny, Detlef; Toni, Andrea; Visentin, Gianfranco; Zwick, Martin; van Winnendael, Michel; Azkarate, Martín; Carreau, Christophe

    2017-01-01

    Abstract The second ExoMars mission will be launched in 2020 to target an ancient location interpreted to have strong potential for past habitability and for preserving physical and chemical biosignatures (as well as abiotic/prebiotic organics). The mission will deliver a lander with instruments for atmospheric and geophysical investigations and a rover tasked with searching for signs of extinct life. The ExoMars rover will be equipped with a drill to collect material from outcrops and at depth down to 2 m. This subsurface sampling capability will provide the best chance yet to gain access to chemical biosignatures. Using the powerful Pasteur payload instruments, the ExoMars science team will conduct a holistic search for traces of life and seek corroborating geological context information. Key Words: Biosignatures—ExoMars—Landing sites—Mars rover—Search for life. Astrobiology 17, 471–510.

  13. Habitability on Early Mars and the Search for Biosignatures with the ExoMars Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vago, Jorge L.; Westall, Frances; Pasteur Instrument Team; Pasteur Landing Team; Coates, Andrew J.; Jaumann, Ralf; Korablev, Oleg; Ciarletti, Valérie; Mitrofanov, Igor; Josset, Jean-Luc; De Sanctis, Maria Cristina; Bibring, Jean-Pierre; Rull, Fernando; Goesmann, Fred; Steininger, Harald; Goetz, Walter; Brinckerhoff, William; Szopa, Cyril; Raulin, François; Westall, Frances; Edwards, Howell G. M.; Whyte, Lyle G.; Fairén, Alberto G.; Bibring, Jean-Pierre; Bridges, John; Hauber, Ernst; Ori, Gian Gabriele; Werner, Stephanie; Loizeau, Damien; Kuzmin, Ruslan O.; Williams, Rebecca M. E.; Flahaut, Jessica; Forget, François; Vago, Jorge L.; Rodionov, Daniel; Korablev, Oleg; Svedhem, Håkan; Sefton-Nash, Elliot; Kminek, Gerhard; Lorenzoni, Leila; Joudrier, Luc; Mikhailov, Viktor; Zashchirinskiy, Alexander; Alexashkin, Sergei; Calantropio, Fabio; Merlo, Andrea; Poulakis, Pantelis; Witasse, Olivier; Bayle, Olivier; Bayón, Silvia; Meierhenrich, Uwe; Carter, John; García-Ruiz, Juan Manuel; Baglioni, Pietro; Haldemann, Albert; Ball, Andrew J.; Debus, André; Lindner, Robert; Haessig, Frédéric; Monteiro, David; Trautner, Roland; Voland, Christoph; Rebeyre, Pierre; Goulty, Duncan; Didot, Frédéric; Durrant, Stephen; Zekri, Eric; Koschny, Detlef; Toni, Andrea; Visentin, Gianfranco; Zwick, Martin; van Winnendael, Michel; Azkarate, Martín; Carreau, Christophe; ExoMars Project Team

    2017-07-01

    The second ExoMars mission will be launched in 2020 to target an ancient location interpreted to have strong potential for past habitability and for preserving physical and chemical biosignatures (as well as abiotic/prebiotic organics). The mission will deliver a lander with instruments for atmospheric and geophysical investigations and a rover tasked with searching for signs of extinct life. The ExoMars rover will be equipped with a drill to collect material from outcrops and at depth down to 2 m. This subsurface sampling capability will provide the best chance yet to gain access to chemical biosignatures. Using the powerful Pasteur payload instruments, the ExoMars science team will conduct a holistic search for traces of life and seek corroborating geological context information.

  14. The design and engineering of curiosity how the Mars Rover performs its job

    CERN Document Server

    Lakdawalla, Emily

    2018-01-01

    This book describes the most complex machine ever sent to another planet: Curiosity. It is a one-ton robot with two brains, seventeen cameras, six wheels, nuclear power, and a laser beam on its head. No one human understands how all of its systems and instruments work. This essential reference to the Curiosity mission explains the engineering behind every system on the rover, from its rocket-powered jetpack to its radioisotope thermoelectric generator to its fiendishly complex sample handling system. Its lavishly illustrated text explains how all the instruments work -- its cameras, spectrometers, sample-cooking oven, and weather station -- and describes the instruments' abilities and limitations. It tells you how the systems have functioned on Mars, and how scientists and engineers have worked around problems developed on a faraway planet: holey wheels and broken focus lasers. And it explains the grueling mission operations schedule that keeps the rover working day in and day out.   .

  15. Pancam and Microscopic Imager observations of dust on the Spirit Rover: Cleaning events, spectral properties, and aggregates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vaughan, Alicia F.; Johnson, Jeffrey R.; Herkenhoff, Kenneth E.; Sullivan, Robert; Landis, Geoffrey A.; Goetz, Walter; Madsen, Morten B.

    2010-01-01

    This work describes dust deposits on the Spirit Rover over 2000 sols through examination of Pancam and Microscopic Imager observations of specific locations on the rover body, including portions of the solar array, Pancam and Mini-TES calibration targets, and the magnets. This data set reveals the three "cleaning events" experienced by Spirit to date, the spectral properties of dust, and the tendency of dust particles to form aggregates 100 um and larger.

  16. A New Capability for Automated Target Selection and Sampling for use with Remote Sensing Instruments on the MER Rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castano, R.; Estlin, T.; Anderson, R. C.; Gaines, D.; Bornstein, B.; de Granville, C.; Tang, B.; Thompson, D.; Judd, M.

    2008-12-01

    The Onboard Autonomous Science Investigation System (OASIS) evaluates geologic data gathered by a planetary rover. The system is designed to operate onboard a rover identifying and reacting to serendipitous science opportunities, such as rocks with novel properties. OASIS operates by analyzing data the rover gathers, and then using machine learning techniques, prioritizing the data based on criteria set by the science team. This prioritization can be used to organize data for transmission back to Earth and it can be used to search for specific targets it has been told to find by the science team. If one of these targets is found, it is identified as a new science opportunity and a "science alert" is sent to a planning and scheduling system. After reviewing the rover's current operational status to ensure that it has enough resources to complete its traverse and act on the new science opportunity, OASIS can change the command sequence of the rover in order to obtain additional science measurements. Currently, OASIS is being applied on a new front. OASIS is providing a new rover mission technology that enables targeted remote-sensing science in an automated fashion during or after rover traverses. Currently, targets for remote sensing instruments, especially narrow field-of-view instruments (such as the MER Mini- TES spectrometer or the 2009 MSL ChemCam spectrometer) must be selected manually based on imagery already on the ground with the operations team. OASIS will enable the rover flight software to analyze imagery onboard in order to autonomously select and sequence targeted remote-sensing observations in an opportunistic fashion. We are in the process of scheduling an onboard MER experiment to demonstrate the OASIS capability in early 2009.

  17. Infrared Spectrometer for ExoMars: A Mast-Mounted Instrument for the Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Korablev, Oleg I.; Dobrolensky, Yurii; Evdokimova, Nadezhda; Fedorova, Anna A.; Kuzmin, Ruslan O.; Mantsevich, Sergei N.; Cloutis, Edward A.; Carter, John; Poulet, Francois; Flahaut, Jessica; Griffiths, Andrew; Gunn, Matthew; Schmitz, Nicole; Martín-Torres, Javier; Zorzano, Maria-Paz; Rodionov, Daniil S.; Vago, Jorge L.; Stepanov, Alexander V.; Titov, Andrei Yu.; Vyazovetsky, Nikita A.; Trokhimovskiy, Alexander Yu.; Sapgir, Alexander G.; Kalinnikov, Yurii K.; Ivanov, Yurii S.; Shapkin, Alexei A.; Ivanov, Andrei Yu.

    2017-07-01

    ISEM (Infrared Spectrometer for ExoMars) is a pencil-beam infrared spectrometer that will measure reflected solar radiation in the near infrared range for context assessment of the surface mineralogy in the vicinity of the ExoMars rover. The instrument will be accommodated on the mast of the rover and will be operated together with the panoramic camera (PanCam), high-resolution camera (HRC). ISEM will study the mineralogical and petrographic composition of the martian surface in the vicinity of the rover, and in combination with the other remote sensing instruments, it will aid in the selection of potential targets for close-up investigations and drilling sites. Of particular scientific interest are water-bearing minerals, such as phyllosilicates, sulfates, carbonates, and minerals indicative of astrobiological potential, such as borates, nitrates, and ammonium-bearing minerals. The instrument has an ˜1° field of view and covers the spectral range between 1.15 and 3.30 μm with a spectral resolution varying from 3.3 nm at 1.15 μm to 28 nm at 3.30 μm. The ISEM optical head is mounted on the mast, and its electronics box is located inside the rover's body. The spectrometer uses an acousto-optic tunable filter and a Peltier-cooled InAs detector. The mass of ISEM is 1.74 kg, including the electronics and harness. The science objectives of the experiment, the instrument design, and operational scenarios are described.

  18. Development of Disk Rover, wall-climbing robot using permanent magnet disk

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hirose, Shigeo; Tsutsumitake; Hiroshi; Toyama, Ryousei; Kobayashi, Kengo.

    1992-01-01

    A new type of wall climbing robot, named Disk Rover, using permanent magnet disks are developed. The newly introduced permanent magnet disk is to rotate the magnet disk on the surface of wall with partly contacted posture. It allows to produce high magnetic attraction force compared with conventional permanent wheel which utilizes only a small portion of the magnet installed around the wheel. The optimum design of the magnetic wheel is done by using finit element method and it is shown that the magnetic attraction force vs. weight ratio can be designed about three times higher than conventional type magnet wheel. The developed Disk Rover is 25 kg in weight including controller and battery, about 685 mm in diameter, 239 mm in height and has a pair of permanent magnet disks. It is demonstrated by the experiments that the Disk Rover can move around on the surface of the wall quite smoothly by radio control and has payload of about its own weight. Several considerations are also done in order to surmount bead weld. (author)

  19. Measuring planetary field parameters by scattered "SSSS" from the Husar-5 Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lang, A.; Kocsis, A.; Balaskó, D.; Csóka, B.; Molnar, B.; Sztojka, A.; Bejó, M.; Joób, Z.

    2017-09-01

    HUSAR-5 Rover reloaded: 2 years ago the Hunveyor-Husar Team in our school made yet a similar project. The ground idea was, we try to keep step with the main trends in the space research, in our recent case with the so called MSSM (Micro Sized Space- Mothership) and NPSDR (Nano, Pico Space Devices and Robots). [1]Of course, we do not want to scatter the smaller probe-cubes from a mothership, but from the Husar rover, and to do it on the planetary surface after landing. We have fabricated the rover with the ejecting tower and we have shown it on the EPSC 2015.The word "reloaded" means not only a new shape of the bullets, but a new mission with a new team. There are more pupils working in this project. The new bullets "SSSS" will be printed by a 3D printer.The microcontroller in bullets can be programmed with Arduino, so the "new generation" is able to do it.

  20. Fault-Tolerant Control Strategy for Steering Failures in Wheeled Planetary Rovers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexandre Carvalho Leite

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Fault-tolerant control design of wheeled planetary rovers is described. This paper covers all steps of the design process, from modeling/simulation to experimentation. A simplified contact model is used with a multibody simulation model and tuned to fit the experimental data. The nominal mode controller is designed to be stable and has its parameters optimized to improve tracking performance and cope with physical boundaries and actuator saturations. This controller was implemented in the real rover and validated experimentally. An impact analysis defines the repertory of faults to be handled. Failures in steering joints are chosen as fault modes; they combined six fault modes and a total of 63 possible configurations of these faults. The fault-tolerant controller is designed as a two-step procedure to provide alternative steering and reuse the nominal controller in a way that resembles a crab-like driving mode. Three fault modes are injected (one, two, and three failed steering joints in the real rover to evaluate the response of the nonreconfigured and reconfigured control systems in face of these faults. The experimental results justify our proposed fault-tolerant controller very satisfactorily. Additional concluding comments and an outlook summarize the lessons learned during the whole design process and foresee the next steps of the research.

  1. A New Vehicle for Planetary Surface Exploration: The Mars Tumbleweed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antol, Jeffrey

    2005-01-01

    The surface of Mars is currently being explored with a combination of orbiting spacecraft, stationary landers and wheeled rovers. However, only a small portion of the Martian surface has undergone in-situ examination. Landing sites must be chosen to insure the safety of the vehicles (and human explorers) and provide the greatest opportunity for mission success. While wheeled rovers provide the ability to move beyond the landing sites, they are also limited in their ability to traverse rough terrain; therefore, many scientifically interesting sites are inaccessible by current vehicles. In order to access these sites, a capability is needed that can transport scientific instruments across varied Martian terrain. A new "rover" concept for exploring the Martian surface, known as the Mars Tumbleweed, will derive mobility through use of the surface winds on Mars, much like the Tumbleweed plant does here on Earth. Using the winds on Mars, a Tumbleweed rover could conceivably travel great distances and cover broad areas of the planetary surface. Tumbleweed vehicles would be designed to withstand repeated bouncing and rolling on the rock covered Martian surface and may be durable enough to explore areas on Mars such as gullies and canyons that are currently inaccessible by conventional rovers. Achieving Mars wind-driven mobility; however, is not a minor task. The density of the atmosphere on Mars is approximately 60-80 times less than that on Earth and wind speeds are typically around 2-5 m/s during the day, with periodic winds of 10 m/s to 20 m/s (in excess of 25 m/s during seasonal dust storms). However, because of the Martian atmosphere#s low density, even the strongest winds on Mars equate to only a gentle breeze on Earth. Tumbleweed rovers therefore need to be relatively large (4-6 m in diameter), very lightweight (10-20 kg), and equipped with lightweight, low-power instruments. This paper provides an overview of the Tumbleweed concept, presents several notional design

  2. Use of a Novel Rover-mounted Fluorescence Imager and Fluorescent Probes to Detect Biological Material in the Atacama Desert in Daylight

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weinstein, S.; Pane, D.; Warren-Rhodes, K.; Cockell, C.; Ernst, L. A.; Minkley, E.; Fisher, G.; Emani, S.; Wettergreen, D. S.; Wagner, M.

    2005-01-01

    We have developed an imaging system, the Fluorescence Imager (FI), for detecting fluorescence signals from sparse microorganisms and biofilms during autonomous rover exploration. The fluorescence signals arise both from naturally occurring chromophores, such as chlorophyll of cyanobacteria and lichens, and from fluorescent probes applied to soil and rocks. Daylight imaging has been accomplished by a novel use of a high-powered flashlamp synchronized to a CCD camera. The fluorescent probes are cell permanent stains that have extremely low intrinsic fluorescence (quantum yields less than 0.01) and a large fluorescence enhancement (quantum yields greater than 0.4) when bound to the target. Each probe specifically targets either carbohydrates, proteins, nucleic acids or membrane lipids, the four classes of macromolecules found in terrestrial life. The intent of the probes is to interrogate the environment for surface and endolithic life forms.

  3. The Use of Nanomaterials to Achieve NASA's Exploration Program Power Goals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeevarajan, J.

    2009-01-01

    This slide presentation reviews the power requirements for the space exploration and the lunar surface mobility programs. It includes information about the specifications for high energy batteries and the power requirements for lunar rovers, lunar outposts, lunar ascent module, and the lunar EVA suit.

  4. Technology transfer from the space exploration initiative

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buden, D.

    1991-01-01

    Space exploration has demonstrated that it stimulates the national economy by creating new and improved products, increased employment, and provides a stimulus to education. The exploration of the Moon and Mars under the Space Exploration Initiative has the potential of accelerating this stimulates to the economy. It is difficult to identify all of the concrete ways this will be accomplished. However, many areas can be identified. The space exploration building blocks of power, propulsion, spacecraft, robotics, rovers, mining and manufacturing, communications, navigation, habitats, life support and infrastructures are reviewed to identify possible technology areas. For example, better means for working in hazardous areas and handling hazardous waste are potential outcomes of this initiative. Methods to produce higher quality goods and improve America's competitiveness in manufacturing will undoubtedly evolve from the need to produce products that must last many years in the harsh environments of space and planetary surfaces. Some ideas for technology transfer are covered in this paper

  5. CFD Analysis for Assessing the Effect of Wind on the Thermal Control of the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhandari, Pradeep; Anderson, Kevin

    2013-01-01

    The challenging range of landing sites for which the Mars Science Laboratory Rover was designed, requires a rover thermal management system that is capable of keeping temperatures controlled across a wide variety of environmental conditions. On the Martian surface where temperatures can be as cold as -123 C and as warm as 38 C, the rover relies upon a Mechanically Pumped Fluid Loop (MPFL) Rover Heat Rejection System (RHRS) and external radiators to maintain the temperature of sensitive electronics and science instruments within a -40 C to 50 C range. The RHRS harnesses some of the waste heat generated from the rover power source, known as the Multi Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG), for use as survival heat for the rover during cold conditions. The MMRTG produces 110 W of electrical power while generating waste heat equivalent to approximately 2000 W. Heat exchanger plates (hot plates) positioned close to the MMRTG pick up this survival heat from it by radiative heat transfer. Winds on Mars can be as fast as 15 m/s for extended periods. They can lead to significant heat loss from the MMRTG and the hot plates due to convective heat pick up from these surfaces. Estimation of this convective heat loss cannot be accurately and adequately achieved by simple textbook based calculations because of the very complicated flow fields around these surfaces, which are a function of wind direction and speed. Accurate calculations necessitated the employment of sophisticated Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) computer codes. This paper describes the methodology and results of these CFD calculations. Additionally, these results are compared to simple textbook based calculations that served as benchmarks and sanity checks for them. And finally, the overall RHRS system performance predictions will be shared to show how these results affected the overall rover thermal performance.

  6. Technical and regulatory review of the Rover nuclear fuel process for use on Fort St. Vrain fuel

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hertzler, T.

    1993-02-01

    This report describes the results of an analysis for processing and final disposal of Fort St. Vrain (FSV) irradiated fuel in Rover-type equipment or technologies. This analysis includes an evaluation of the current Rover equipment status and the applicability of this technology in processing FSV fuel. The analyses are based on the physical characteristics of the FSV fuel and processing capabilities of the Rover equipment. Alternate FSV fuel disposal options are also considered including fuel-rod removal from the block, disposal of the empty block, or disposal of the entire fuel-containing block. The results of these analyses document that the current Rover hardware is not operable for any purpose, and any effort to restart this hardware will require extensive modifications and re-evaluation. However, various aspects of the Rover technology, such as the successful fluid-bed burner design, can be applied with modification to FSV fuel processing. The current regulatory climate and technical knowledge are not adequately defined to allow a complete analysis and conclusion with respect to the disposal of intact fuel blocks with or without the fuel rods removed. The primary unknowns include the various aspects of fuel-rod removal from the block, concentration of radionuclides remaining in the graphite block after rod removal, and acceptability of carbon in the form of graphite in a high level waste repository

  7. Comparing orbiter and rover image-based mapping of an ancient sedimentary environment, Aeolis Palus, Gale crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stack, Kathryn M.; Edwards, Christopher; Grotzinger, J. P.; Gupta, S.; Sumner, D.; Edgar, Lauren; Fraeman, A.; Jacob, S.; LeDeit, L.; Lewis, K.W.; Rice, M.S.; Rubin, D.; Calef, F.; Edgett, K.; Williams, R.M.E.; Williford, K.H.

    2016-01-01

    This study provides the first systematic comparison of orbital facies maps with detailed ground-based geology observations from the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover to examine the validity of geologic interpretations derived from orbital image data. Orbital facies maps were constructed for the Darwin, Cooperstown, and Kimberley waypoints visited by the Curiosity rover using High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) images. These maps, which represent the most detailed orbital analysis of these areas to date, were compared with rover image-based geologic maps and stratigraphic columns derived from Curiosity’s Mast Camera (Mastcam) and Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI). Results show that bedrock outcrops can generally be distinguished from unconsolidated surficial deposits in high-resolution orbital images and that orbital facies mapping can be used to recognize geologic contacts between well-exposed bedrock units. However, process-based interpretations derived from orbital image mapping are difficult to infer without known regional context or observable paleogeomorphic indicators, and layer-cake models of stratigraphy derived from orbital maps oversimplify depositional relationships as revealed from a rover perspective. This study also shows that fine-scale orbital image-based mapping of current and future Mars landing sites is essential for optimizing the efficiency and science return of rover surface operations.

  8. Methods and decision making on a Mars rover for identification of fossils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eberlein, Susan; Yates, Gigi

    1989-01-01

    A system for automated fusion and interpretation of image data from multiple sensors, including multispectral data from an imaging spectrometer is being developed. Classical artificial intelligence techniques and artificial neural networks are employed to make real time decision based on current input and known scientific goals. Emphasis is placed on identifying minerals which could indicate past life activity or an environment supportive of life. Multispectral data can be used for geological analysis because different minerals have characteristic spectral reflectance in the visible and near infrared range. Classification of each spectrum into a broad class, based on overall spectral shape and locations of absorption bands is possible in real time using artificial neural networks. The goal of the system is twofold: multisensor and multispectral data must be interpreted in real time so that potentially interesting sites can be flagged and investigated in more detail while the rover is near those sites; and the sensed data must be reduced to the most compact form possible without loss of crucial information. Autonomous decision making will allow a rover to achieve maximum scientific benefit from a mission. Both a classical rule based approach and a decision neural network for making real time choices are being considered. Neural nets may work well for adaptive decision making. A neural net can be trained to work in two steps. First, the actual input state is mapped to the closest of a number of memorized states. After weighing the importance of various input parameters, the net produces an output decision based on the matched memory state. Real time, autonomous image data analysis and decision making capabilities are required for achieving maximum scientific benefit from a rover mission. The system under development will enhance the chances of identifying fossils or environments capable of supporting life on Mars

  9. Conceptual Design and Dynamics Testing and Modeling of a Mars Tumbleweed Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calhoun Philip C.; Harris, Steven B.; Raiszadeh, Behzad; Zaleski, Kristina D.

    2005-01-01

    The NASA Langley Research Center has been developing a novel concept for a Mars planetary rover called the Mars Tumbleweed. This concept utilizes the wind to propel the rover along the Mars surface, bringing it the potential to cover vast distances not possible with current Mars rover technology. This vehicle, in its deployed configuration, must be large and lightweight to provide the ratio of drag force to rolling resistance necessary to initiate motion from rest on the Mars surface. One Tumbleweed design concept that satisfies these considerations is called the Eggbeater-Dandelion. This paper describes the basic design considerations and a proposed dynamics model of the concept for use in simulation studies. It includes a summary of rolling/bouncing dynamics tests that used videogrammetry to better understand, characterize, and validate the dynamics model assumptions, especially the effective rolling resistance in bouncing/rolling dynamic conditions. The dynamics test used cameras to capture the motion of 32 targets affixed to a test article s outer structure. Proper placement of the cameras and alignment of their respective fields of view provided adequate image resolution of multiple targets along the trajectory as the test article proceeded down the ramp. Image processing of the frames from multiple cameras was used to determine the target positions. Position data from a set of these test runs was compared with results of a three dimensional, flexible dynamics model. Model input parameters were adjusted to match the test data for runs conducted. This process presented herein provided the means to characterize the dynamics and validate the simulation of the Eggbeater-Dandelion concept. The simulation model was used to demonstrate full scale Tumbleweed motion from a stationary condition on a flat-sloped terrain using representative Mars environment parameters.

  10. Integrated Results from Analysis of the Rocknest Aeolian Deposit by the Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leshin, L. A.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Blake, D. F.; Edgett, K. S.; Gellert, R.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Malin, M. C.; Wiens, R. C.; Treiman, A. H.; Ming, D. W.; hide

    2013-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover spent 45 sols (from sol 56-101) at an area called Rocknest (Fig. 1), characterizing local geology and ingesting its aeolian fines into the analytical instruments CheMin and SAM for mineralogical and chemical analysis. Many abstracts at this meeting present the contextual information and detailed data on these first solid samples analyzed in detail by Curiosity at Rocknest. Here, we present an integrated view of the results from Rocknest - the general agreement from discussions among the entire MSL Science Team.

  11. Rescuing Rover: A First Aid and Disaster Guide for Dog Owners

    OpenAIRE

    Heath, Sebastian E.

    1998-01-01

    Whether you're hiking with your canine friend in a remote area or work with a dog on a search-and-rescue team or police force, you need to be prepared for emergencies when veterinary service is not available. Rescuing Rover: A First Aid and Disaster Guide for Dog Owners provides dog owners, handlers, and emergency physicians with an understandable guide for safe treatment until the dog can be transported to a veterinarian. Although a number of books describe some techniques for the emergency ...

  12. Design and Demonstration of a Miniature Lidar System for Rover Applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, Benjamin

    2010-01-01

    A basic small and portable lidar system for rover applications has been designed. It uses a 20 Hz Nd:YAG pulsed laser, a 4-inch diameter telescope receiver, a custom-built power distribution unit (PDU), and a custom-built 532 nm photomultiplier tube (PMT) to measure the lidar signal. The receiving optics have been designed, but not constructed yet. LabVIEW and MATLAB programs have also been written to control the system, acquire data, and analyze data. The proposed system design, along with some measurements, is described. Future work to be completed is also discussed.

  13. A compact led lidar system fitted for a mars rover - design and ground experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ong, Prane Mariel B.; Shiina, Tatsuo; Manago, Naohiro; Kuze, Hiroaki; Senshu, Hiroki; Otobe, Naohito; Hashimoto, George; Kawabata, Yasuhiro

    2018-04-01

    A compact LED lidar was constructed and fieldtested with the aim to observe the Mars' dust devils. To be able to fit it on the Mars rover, a specialized Cassegrain telescope was designed to be within a 10 cm-cube, with a field of view of 3mrad. The transmitter has 385 nm LED light source with 3 cmϕ opening, 70mrad divergence, 0.75W (7.5nJ/10ns) pulse power, and 500 kHz repetition frequency. The configuration of the optical system is biaxial to easily configure the overlap between their optical axes.

  14. A compact led lidar system fitted for a mars rover – design and ground experiment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ong Prane Mariel B.

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available A compact LED lidar was constructed and fieldtested with the aim to observe the Mars’ dust devils. To be able to fit it on the Mars rover, a specialized Cassegrain telescope was designed to be within a 10 cm-cube, with a field of view of 3mrad. The transmitter has 385 nm LED light source with 3 cmϕ opening, 70mrad divergence, 0.75W (7.5nJ/10ns pulse power, and 500 kHz repetition frequency. The configuration of the optical system is biaxial to easily configure the overlap between their optical axes.

  15. Swarmie User Manual: A Rover Used for Multi-agent Swarm Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montague, Gilbert

    2014-01-01

    The ability to create multiple functional yet cost effective robots is crucial for conducting swarming robotics research. The Center Innovation Fund (CIF) swarming robotics project is a collaboration among the KSC Granular Mechanics and Regolith Operations (GMRO) group, the University of New Mexico Biological Computation Lab, and the NASA Ames Intelligent Robotics Group (IRG) that uses rovers, dubbed "Swarmies", as test platforms for genetic search algorithms. This fall, I assisted in the development of the software modules used on the Swarmies and created this guide to provide thorough instructions on how to configure your workspace to operate a Swarmie both in simulation and out in the field.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuerger, Andrew C; Lee, Pascal

    2015-06-01

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

  17. In situ characterization of martian materials and detection of organic compounds with the MOMA investigation onboard the ExoMars rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arevalo, R. D., Jr.; Grubisic, A.; van Amerom, F. H. W.; Danell, R.; Li, X.; Kaplan, D.; Pinnick, V. T.; Brinckerhoff, W. B.; Getty, S.; Goesmann, F.

    2017-12-01

    Ground-based observations (e.g., via the NASA Infrared Telescope Facility) and in situ investigations, including flybys (e.g., Mariner Program), orbiters (most recently MAVEN and ExoMars TGO), stationary landers (i.e., Viking, Pathfinder and Phoenix), and mobile rovers (i.e., Sojourner, Spirit/Opportunity and Curiosity), have enabled the progressive exploration of the Martian surface. Evidence for liquid water, manifest as hydrated and amorphous materials representative of alteration products of primary minerals/lithologies, and geomorphological features such as recurring slope lineae (RSL), valley networks and open-basin lakes, indicates that Mars may have hosted habitable environments, at least on local scales (temporally and spatially). However, the preservation potential of molecular biosignatures in the upper meter(s) of the surface is limited by destructive cosmic radiation and oxidative chemical reactions. Moreover, the determination of indigenous versus exogenous origins, and biotic versus abiotic formation mechanisms of detected organic material, provide additional challenges for future missions to the red planet. The Mars Organic Molecule Analyzer (MOMA) onboard the ExoMars rover, set to launch in 2020, provides an unprecedented opportunity to discover unambiguous indicators of life. The MOMA instrument will investigate the compositions of materials collected during multiple vertical surveys, extending as deep as two meters below the surface, via: i) gas chromatography mass spectrometry, a method geared towards the detection of volatile organics and the determination of molecular chirality, mapping to previous in situ Mars investigations; and, ii) laser desorption mass spectrometry, a technique commonly employed in research laboratories to detect larger, more refractory organic materials, but a first for spaceflight applications. Selective ion excitation and tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS) techniques support the isolation and disambiguation of complex

  18. Extraction of compositional and hydration information of sulfates from laser-induced plasma spectra recorded under Mars atmospheric conditions - Implications for ChemCam investigations on Curiosity rover

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sobron, Pablo, E-mail: pablo.sobron@asc-csa.gc.ca [Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences and McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63130 (United States); Wang, Alian [Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences and McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences, Washington University, St. Louis, MO 63130 (United States); Sobron, Francisco [Unidad Asociada UVa-CSIC a traves del Centro de Astrobiologia, Parque Tecnologico de Boecillo, Parcela 203, Boecillo (Valladolid), 47151 (Spain)

    2012-02-15

    Given the volume of spectral data required for providing accurate compositional information and thereby insight in mineralogy and petrology from laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) measurements, fast data processing tools are a must. This is particularly true during the tactical operations of rover-based planetary exploration missions such as the Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity, which will carry a remote LIBS spectrometer in its science payload. We have developed: an automated fast pre-processing sequence of algorithms for converting a series of LIBS spectra (typically 125) recorded from a single target into a reliable SNR-enhanced spectrum; a dedicated routine to quantify its spectral features; and a set of calibration curves using standard hydrous and multi-cation sulfates. These calibration curves allow deriving the elemental compositions and the degrees of hydration of various hydrous sulfates, one of the two major types of secondary minerals found on Mars. Our quantitative tools are built upon calibration-curve modeling, through the correlation of the elemental concentrations and the peak areas of the atomic emission lines observed in the LIBS spectra of standard samples. At present, we can derive the elemental concentrations of K, Na, Ca, Mg, Fe, Al, S, O, and H in sulfates, as well as the hydration degrees of Ca- and Mg-sulfates, from LIBS spectra obtained in both Earth atmosphere and Mars atmospheric conditions in a Planetary Environment and Analysis Chamber (PEACh). In addition, structural information can be potentially obtained for various Fe-sulfates. - Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Routines for LIBS spectral data fast automated processing. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Identification of elements and determination of the elemental composition. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Calibration curves for sulfate samples in Earth and Mars atmospheric conditions. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Fe curves probably related to the crystalline

  19. Developing Science Operations Concepts for the Future of Planetary Surface Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, K. E.; Bleacher, J. E.; Rogers, A. D.; McAdam, A.; Evans, C. A.; Graff, T. G.; Garry, W. B.; Whelley,; Scheidt, S.; Carter, L.; hide

    2017-01-01

    Through fly-by, orbiter, rover, and even crewed missions, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has been extremely successful in exploring planetary bodies throughout our Solar System. The focus on increasingly complex Mars orbiter and rover missions has helped us understand how Mars has evolved over time and whether life has ever existed on the red planet. However, large strategic knowledge gaps (SKGs) still exist in our understanding of the evolution of the Solar System (e.g. the Lunar Exploration Analysis Group, Small Bodies Analysis Group, and Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group). Sending humans to these bodies is a critical part of addressing these SKGs in order to transition to a new era of planetary exploration by 2050.

  20. MISSION PROFILE AND DESIGN CHALLENGES FOR MARS LANDING EXPLORATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Dong

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available An orbiter and a descent module will be delivered to Mars in the Chinese first Mars exploration mission. The descent module is composed of a landing platform and a rover. The module will be released into the atmosphere by the orbiter and make a controlled landing on Martian surface. After landing, the rover will egress from the platform to start its science mission. The rover payloads mainly include the subsurface radar, terrain camera, multispectral camera, magnetometer, anemometer to achieve the scientific investigation of the terrain, soil characteristics, material composition, magnetic field, atmosphere, etc. The landing process is divided into three phases (entry phase, parachute descent phase and powered descent phase, which are full of risks. There exit lots of indefinite parameters and design constrain to affect the selection of the landing sites and phase switch (mortaring the parachute, separating the heat shield and cutting off the parachute. A number of new technologies (disk-gap-band parachute, guidance and navigation, etc. need to be developed. Mars and Earth have gravity and atmosphere conditions that are significantly different from one another. Meaningful environmental conditions cannot be recreated terrestrially on earth. A full-scale flight validation on earth is difficult. Therefore the end-to-end simulation and some critical subsystem test must be considered instead. The challenges above and the corresponding design solutions are introduced in this paper, which can provide reference for the Mars exploration mission.

  1. What Can the Curiosity Rover Tell Us About the Climate of Mars?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haberle, Robert M.

    2013-01-01

    What Can the Curiosity Rover Tell Us About the Climate of Mars? Assessing the habitability of Gale Crater is the goal of the Curiosity Rover, which has been gathering data since landing on the Red Planet last August. To meet that goal, Curiosity brought with it a suite of instruments to measure the biological potential of the landing site, the geology and chemistry of its surface, and local environmental conditions. Some of these instruments illuminate the nature of the planet fs atmosphere and climate system, both for present day conditions as well as for conditions that existed billions of years ago. For present day conditions, Curiosity has a standard meteorology package that measures pressure, temperature, winds and humidity, plus a sensor the measures the UV flux. These data confirm what we learned from previous missions namely that today Mars is a cold, dry, and barren desert-like planet. For past conditions, however, wetter and probably warmer conditions are indicated. Curiosities cameras reveal gravel beds that must have formed by flowing rivers, and sedimentary deposits of layered sand and mudstones possibly associated with lakes. An ancient aqueous environment is further supported by the presence of sulfate veins coursing through some of the rocks in Yellowknife Bay where Curiosity is planning its first drilling activity. I will discuss these results and their implications in this lecture.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  3. Broadband Ground Penetrating Radar with conformal antennas for subsurface imaging from a rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stillman, D. E.; Oden, C. P.; Grimm, R. E.; Ragusa, M.

    2015-12-01

    Ground-Penetrating Radar (GPR) allows subsurface imaging to provide geologic context and will be flown on the next two martian rovers (WISDOM on ExoMars and RIMFAX on Mars 2020). The motivation of our research is to minimize the engineering challenges of mounting a GPR antenna to a spacecraft, while maximizing the scientific capabilities of the GPR. The scientific capabilities increase with the bandwidth as it controls the resolution. Furthermore, ultra-wide bandwidth surveys allow certain mineralogies and rock units to be discriminated based on their frequency-dependent EM or scattering properties. We have designed and field-tested a prototype GPR that utilizes bi-static circularly polarized spiral antennas. Each antenna has a physical size of 61 x 61 x 4 cm, therefore two antennas could be mounted to the underbelly of a MSL-class rover. Spiral antennas were chosen because they have an inherent broadband response and provide a better low frequency response compared with similarly sized linearly polarized antennas. A horizontal spiral radiator emits energy both upward and downward directions. After the radiator is mounted to a metal surface (i.e. the underside of a rover), a cavity is formed that causes the upward traveling energy to reverberate and cause unwanted interference. This interference is minimized by 1) using a high metallization ratio on the spiral to reduce cavity emissions, and 2) placing absorbing material inside the cavity. The resulting antennas provide high gain (0 to 8 dBi) from 200 to 1000 MHz. The low frequency response can be improved by increasing the antenna thickness (i.e., cavity depth). In an initial field test, the antennas were combined with impulse GPR electronics that had ~140 dB of dynamic range (not including antennas) and a sand/clay interface 7 feet deep was detected. To utilize the full bandwidth the antennas, a gated Frequency Modulated Continuous Waveform system will be developed - similar to RIMFAX. The goal is to reach a

  4. Robotic exploration of the solar system

    CERN Document Server

    Ulivi, Paolo

    In Robotic Exploration of the Solar System, Paolo Ulivi and David Harland provide a comprehensive account of the design and managment of deep-space missions, the spacecraft involved - some flown, others not - their instruments, and their scientific results. This third volume in the series covers launches in the period 1997 to 2003 and features: - a chapter entirely devoted to the Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn; - coverage of planetary missions of the period, including the Deep Space 1 mission and the Stardust and Hayabusa sample returns from comets and asteroids; - extensive coverage of Mars exploration, the failed 1999 missions, Mars Odyssey, Mars Express, and the twin rovers Spirit and Opportunity. The story will continue in Part 4.

  5. Wide Range Vacuum Pumps for the SAM Instrument on the MSL Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sorensen, Paul; Kline-Schoder, Robert; Farley, Rodger

    2014-01-01

    Creare Incorporated and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center developed and space qualified two wide range pumps (WRPs) that were included in the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument. This instrument was subsequently integrated into the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) "Curiosity Rover," launched aboard an Atlas V rocket in 2011, and landed on August 6, 2012, in the Gale Crater on Mars. The pumps have now operated for more than 18 months in the Gale Crater and have been evacuating the key components of the SAM instrument: a quadrupole mass spectrometer, a tunable laser spectrometer, and six gas chromatograph columns. In this paper, we describe the main design challenges and the ways in which they were solved. This includes the custom design of a miniaturized, high-speed motor to drive the turbo drag pump rotor, analysis of rotor dynamics for super critical operation, and bearing/lubricant design/selection.

  6. Mars' Surface Radiation Environment Measured with the Mars Science Laboratory's Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hassler, Donald M.; Zeitlin, Cary; Wimmer-Schweingruber, Robert F.; Ehresmann, Bent; Rafkin, Scot; Eigenbrode, Jennifer L.; Brinza, David E.; Weigle, Gerald; Böttcher, Stephan; Böhm, Eckart; Burmeister, Soenke; Guo, Jingnan; Köhler, Jan; Martin, Cesar; Reitz, Guenther; Cucinotta, Francis A.; Kim, Myung-Hee; Grinspoon, David; Bullock, Mark A.; Posner, Arik; Gómez-Elvira, Javier; Vasavada, Ashwin; Grotzinger, John P.; MSL Science Team; Kemppinen, Osku; Cremers, David; Bell, James F.; Edgar, Lauren; Farmer, Jack; Godber, Austin; Wadhwa, Meenakshi; Wellington, Danika; McEwan, Ian; Newman, Claire; Richardson, Mark; Charpentier, Antoine; Peret, Laurent; King, Penelope; Blank, Jennifer; Schmidt, Mariek; Li, Shuai; Milliken, Ralph; Robertson, Kevin; Sun, Vivian; Baker, Michael; Edwards, Christopher; Ehlmann, Bethany; Farley, Kenneth; Griffes, Jennifer; Miller, Hayden; Newcombe, Megan; Pilorget, Cedric; Rice, Melissa; Siebach, Kirsten; Stack, Katie; Stolper, Edward; Brunet, Claude; Hipkin, Victoria; Léveillé, Richard; Marchand, Geneviève; Sánchez, Pablo Sobrón; Favot, Laurent; Cody, George; Steele, Andrew; Flückiger, Lorenzo; Lees, David; Nefian, Ara; Martin, Mildred; Gailhanou, Marc; Westall, Frances; Israël, Guy; Agard, Christophe; Baroukh, Julien; Donny, Christophe; Gaboriaud, Alain; Guillemot, Philippe; Lafaille, Vivian; Lorigny, Eric; Paillet, Alexis; Pérez, René; Saccoccio, Muriel; Yana, Charles; Armiens-Aparicio, Carlos; Rodríguez, Javier Caride; Blázquez, Isaías Carrasco; Gómez, Felipe Gómez; Hettrich, Sebastian; Malvitte, Alain Lepinette; Jiménez, Mercedes Marín; Martínez-Frías, Jesús; Martín-Soler, Javier; Martín-Torres, F. Javier; Jurado, Antonio Molina; Mora-Sotomayor, Luis; Caro, Guillermo Muñoz; López, Sara Navarro; Peinado-González, Verónica; Pla-García, Jorge; Manfredi, José Antonio Rodriguez; Romeral-Planelló, Julio José; Fuentes, Sara Alejandra Sans; Martinez, Eduardo Sebastian; Redondo, Josefina Torres; Urqui-O'Callaghan, Roser; Mier, María-Paz Zorzano; Chipera, Steve; Lacour, Jean-Luc; Mauchien, Patrick; Sirven, Jean-Baptiste; Manning, Heidi; Fairén, Alberto; Hayes, Alexander; Joseph, Jonathan; Squyres, Steven; Sullivan, Robert; Thomas, Peter; Dupont, Audrey; Lundberg, Angela; Melikechi, Noureddine; Mezzacappa, Alissa; Berger, Thomas; Matthia, Daniel; Prats, Benito; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Genzer, Maria; Harri, Ari-Matti; Haukka, Harri; Kahanpää, Henrik; Kauhanen, Janne; Kemppinen, Osku; Paton, Mark; Polkko, Jouni; Schmidt, Walter; Siili, Tero; Fabre, Cécile; Wray, James; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Poitrasson, Franck; Patel, Kiran; Gorevan, Stephen; Indyk, Stephen; Paulsen, Gale; Gupta, Sanjeev; Bish, David; Schieber, Juergen; Gondet, Brigitte; Langevin, Yves; Geffroy, Claude; Baratoux, David; Berger, Gilles; Cros, Alain; d'Uston, Claude; Forni, Olivier; Gasnault, Olivier; Lasue, Jérémie; Lee, Qiu-Mei; Maurice, Sylvestre; Meslin, Pierre-Yves; Pallier, Etienne; Parot, Yann; Pinet, Patrick; Schröder, Susanne; Toplis, Mike; Lewin, Éric; Brunner, Will; Heydari, Ezat; Achilles, Cherie; Oehler, Dorothy; Sutter, Brad; Cabane, Michel; Coscia, David; Israël, Guy; Szopa, Cyril; Dromart, Gilles; Robert, François; Sautter, Violaine; Le Mouélic, Stéphane; Mangold, Nicolas; Nachon, Marion; Buch, Arnaud; Stalport, Fabien; Coll, Patrice; François, Pascaline; Raulin, François; Teinturier, Samuel; Cameron, James; Clegg, Sam; Cousin, Agnès; DeLapp, Dorothea; Dingler, Robert; Jackson, Ryan Steele; Johnstone, Stephen; Lanza, Nina; Little, Cynthia; Nelson, Tony; Wiens, Roger C.; Williams, Richard B.; Jones, Andrea; Kirkland, Laurel; Treiman, Allan; Baker, Burt; Cantor, Bruce; Caplinger, Michael; Davis, Scott; Duston, Brian; Edgett, Kenneth; Fay, Donald; Hardgrove, Craig; Harker, David; Herrera, Paul; Jensen, Elsa; Kennedy, Megan R.; Krezoski, Gillian; Krysak, Daniel; Lipkaman, Leslie; Malin, Michael; McCartney, Elaina; McNair, Sean; Nixon, Brian; Posiolova, Liliya; Ravine, Michael; Salamon, Andrew; Saper, Lee; Stoiber, Kevin; Supulver, Kimberley; Van Beek, Jason; Van Beek, Tessa; Zimdar, Robert; French, Katherine Louise; Iagnemma, Karl; Miller, Kristen; Summons, Roger; Goesmann, Fred; Goetz, Walter; Hviid, Stubbe; Johnson, Micah; Lefavor, Matthew; Lyness, Eric; Breves, Elly; Dyar, M. Darby; Fassett, Caleb; Blake, David F.; Bristow, Thomas; DesMarais, David; Edwards, Laurence; Haberle, Robert; Hoehler, Tori; Hollingsworth, Jeff; Kahre, Melinda; Keely, Leslie; McKay, Christopher; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Bleacher, Lora; Brinckerhoff, William; Choi, David; Conrad, Pamela; Dworkin, Jason P.; Floyd, Melissa; Freissinet, Caroline; Garvin, James; Glavin, Daniel; Harpold, Daniel; Jones, Andrea; Mahaffy, Paul; Martin, David K.; McAdam, Amy; Pavlov, Alexander; Raaen, Eric; Smith, Michael D.; Stern, Jennifer; Tan, Florence; Trainer, Melissa; Meyer, Michael; Voytek, Mary; Anderson, Robert C.; Aubrey, Andrew; Beegle, Luther W.; Behar, Alberto; Blaney, Diana; Calef, Fred; Christensen, Lance; Crisp, Joy A.; DeFlores, Lauren; Ehlmann, Bethany; Feldman, Jason; Feldman, Sabrina; Flesch, Gregory; Hurowitz, Joel; Jun, Insoo; Keymeulen, Didier; Maki, Justin; Mischna, Michael; Morookian, John Michael; Parker, Timothy; Pavri, Betina; Schoppers, Marcel; Sengstacken, Aaron; Simmonds, John J.; Spanovich, Nicole; Juarez, Manuel de la Torre; Webster, Christopher R.; Yen, Albert; Archer, Paul Douglas; Jones, John H.; Ming, Douglas; Morris, Richard V.; Niles, Paul; Rampe, Elizabeth; Nolan, Thomas; Fisk, Martin; Radziemski, Leon; Barraclough, Bruce; Bender, Steve; Berman, Daniel; Dobrea, Eldar Noe; Tokar, Robert; Vaniman, David; Williams, Rebecca M. E.; Yingst, Aileen; Lewis, Kevin; Leshin, Laurie; Cleghorn, Timothy; Huntress, Wesley; Manhès, Gérard; Hudgins, Judy; Olson, Timothy; Stewart, Noel; Sarrazin, Philippe; Grant, John; Vicenzi, Edward; Wilson, Sharon A.; Hamilton, Victoria; Peterson, Joseph; Fedosov, Fedor; Golovin, Dmitry; Karpushkina, Natalya; Kozyrev, Alexander; Litvak, Maxim; Malakhov, Alexey; Mitrofanov, Igor; Mokrousov, Maxim; Nikiforov, Sergey; Prokhorov, Vasily; Sanin, Anton; Tretyakov, Vladislav; Varenikov, Alexey; Vostrukhin, Andrey; Kuzmin, Ruslan; Clark, Benton; Wolff, Michael; McLennan, Scott; Botta, Oliver; Drake, Darrell; Bean, Keri; Lemmon, Mark; Schwenzer, Susanne P.; Anderson, Ryan B.; Herkenhoff, Kenneth; Lee, Ella Mae; Sucharski, Robert; Hernández, Miguel Ángel de Pablo; Ávalos, Juan José Blanco; Ramos, Miguel; Malespin, Charles; Plante, Ianik; Muller, Jan-Peter; Navarro-González, Rafael; Ewing, Ryan; Boynton, William; Downs, Robert; Fitzgibbon, Mike; Harshman, Karl; Morrison, Shaunna; Dietrich, William; Kortmann, Onno; Palucis, Marisa; Sumner, Dawn Y.; Williams, Amy; Lugmair, Günter; Wilson, Michael A.; Rubin, David; Jakosky, Bruce; Balic-Zunic, Tonci; Frydenvang, Jens; Jensen, Jaqueline Kløvgaard; Kinch, Kjartan; Koefoed, Asmus; Madsen, Morten Bo; Stipp, Susan Louise Svane; Boyd, Nick; Campbell, John L.; Gellert, Ralf; Perrett, Glynis; Pradler, Irina; VanBommel, Scott; Jacob, Samantha; Owen, Tobias; Rowland, Scott; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Savijärvi, Hannu; García, César Martín; Mueller-Mellin, Reinhold; Bridges, John C.; McConnochie, Timothy; Benna, Mehdi; Franz, Heather; Bower, Hannah; Brunner, Anna; Blau, Hannah; Boucher, Thomas; Carmosino, Marco; Atreya, Sushil; Elliott, Harvey; Halleaux, Douglas; Rennó, Nilton; Wong, Michael; Pepin, Robert; Elliott, Beverley; Spray, John; Thompson, Lucy; Gordon, Suzanne; Newsom, Horton; Ollila, Ann; Williams, Joshua; Vasconcelos, Paulo; Bentz, Jennifer; Nealson, Kenneth; Popa, Radu; Kah, Linda C.; Moersch, Jeffrey; Tate, Christopher; Day, Mackenzie; Kocurek, Gary; Hallet, Bernard; Sletten, Ronald; Francis, Raymond; McCullough, Emily; Cloutis, Ed; ten Kate, Inge Loes; Kuzmin, Ruslan; Arvidson, Raymond; Fraeman, Abigail; Scholes, Daniel; Slavney, Susan; Stein, Thomas; Ward, Jennifer; Berger, Jeffrey; Moores, John E.

    2014-01-01

    The Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) on the Mars Science Laboratory's Curiosity rover began making detailed measurements of the cosmic ray and energetic particle radiation environment on the surface of Mars on 7 August 2012. We report and discuss measurements of the absorbed dose and dose equivalent from galactic cosmic rays and solar energetic particles on the martian surface for ~300 days of observations during the current solar maximum. These measurements provide insight into the radiation hazards associated with a human mission to the surface of Mars and provide an anchor point with which to model the subsurface radiation environment, with implications for microbial survival times of any possible extant or past life, as well as for the preservation of potential organic biosignatures of the ancient martian environment.

  7. Trajectory optimization for lunar rover performing vertical takeoff vertical landing maneuvers in the presence of terrain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Lin; Wang, Kexin; Xu, Zuhua; Shao, Zhijiang; Song, Zhengyu; Biegler, Lorenz T.

    2018-05-01

    This study presents a trajectory optimization framework for lunar rover performing vertical takeoff vertical landing (VTVL) maneuvers in the presence of terrain using variable-thrust propulsion. First, a VTVL trajectory optimization problem with three-dimensional kinematics and dynamics model, boundary conditions, and path constraints is formulated. Then, a finite-element approach transcribes the formulated trajectory optimization problem into a nonlinear programming (NLP) problem solved by a highly efficient NLP solver. A homotopy-based backtracking strategy is applied to enhance the convergence in solving the formulated VTVL trajectory optimization problem. The optimal thrust solution typically has a "bang-bang" profile considering that bounds are imposed on the magnitude of engine thrust. An adaptive mesh refinement strategy based on a constant Hamiltonian profile is designed to address the difficulty in locating the breakpoints in the thrust profile. Four scenarios are simulated. Simulation results indicate that the proposed trajectory optimization framework has sufficient adaptability to handle VTVL missions efficiently.

  8. Mars' surface radiation environment measured with the Mars Science Laboratory's Curiosity rover.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hassler, Donald M; Zeitlin, Cary; Wimmer-Schweingruber, Robert F; Ehresmann, Bent; Rafkin, Scot; Eigenbrode, Jennifer L; Brinza, David E; Weigle, Gerald; Böttcher, Stephan; Böhm, Eckart; Burmeister, Soenke; Guo, Jingnan; Köhler, Jan; Martin, Cesar; Reitz, Guenther; Cucinotta, Francis A; Kim, Myung-Hee; Grinspoon, David; Bullock, Mark A; Posner, Arik; Gómez-Elvira, Javier; Vasavada, Ashwin; Grotzinger, John P

    2014-01-24

    The Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) on the Mars Science Laboratory's Curiosity rover began making detailed measurements of the cosmic ray and energetic particle radiation environment on the surface of Mars on 7 August 2012. We report and discuss measurements of the absorbed dose and dose equivalent from galactic cosmic rays and solar energetic particles on the martian surface for ~300 days of observations during the current solar maximum. These measurements provide insight into the radiation hazards associated with a human mission to the surface of Mars and provide an anchor point with which to model the subsurface radiation environment, with implications for microbial survival times of any possible extant or past life, as well as for the preservation of potential organic biosignatures of the ancient martian environment.

  9. The Rover Environmental Monitoring Station Ground Temperature Sensor: A Pyrometer for Measuring Ground Temperature on Mars

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miguel Ramos

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available We describe the parameters that drive the design and modeling of the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS Ground Temperature Sensor (GTS, an instrument aboard NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory, and report preliminary test results. REMS GTS is a lightweight, low-power, and low cost pyrometer for measuring the Martian surface kinematic temperature. The sensor’s main feature is its innovative design, based on a simple mechanical structure with no moving parts. It includes an in-flight calibration system that permits sensor recalibration when sensor sensitivity has been degraded by deposition of dust over the optics. This paper provides the first results of a GTS engineering model working in a Martian-like, extreme environment.

  10. The Antarctic permafrost as a testbed for REMS (Rover Environmental Monitoring Station-Mars Science Laboratory)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Esteban, B.; Ramos, M.; Sebastián, E.; Armiens, C.; Gómez-Elvira, J.; Cabos, W.; de Pablo, M. A.

    2009-04-01

    The present climatic characteristics of Mars favor the presence of extense permafrost areas in this lonely planet. Therefore environmental parameters that are included in Martian Rover missions are also used for monitoring thermal soil surface evolution in order to study the permafrost active layer thickness and the energy balance in the soil-atmosphere boundary limit layer. The REMS (Rover Environmental Monitoring Station) is an environmental station designed by the Centro de Astrobiología (CAB- Spain) with the collaboration of national and international partners (CRISA/EADS, UPC and FMI), which is part of the payload of the MSL (Mars Science Laboratory) NASA mission to Mars (http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/overview/). This mission is expected to be launched in the final months of 2009, and mainly consists of a Rover, with a complete set of scientific instruments; the Rover will carry the biggest, most advanced suite of instruments for scientific studies ever sent to the Martian surface. Five sensors compose the REMS instrument: ground (GT-REMS) and air temperatures, wind speed and direction, pressure, humidity and ultraviolet radiation (UV-REMS). A simplified setup of the REMS was deployed on Antarctica in the surroundings of the Spanish Antarctic Stations on Livingston and Deception Islands (Maritime Antarctica), where the permafrost distribution is well-known. The aim of the experiment was to check REMS's sensors response against hard environmental conditions and calibrates their measures with standard Antarctic devices. The experimental apparatuses included some standard meteorological and thermopiles sensors corresponding to the REMS. All the sensors are mounted in a 1.8 m mast and include a Pt100 air temperature sensor with shield solar protection on the mast top, a Kipp and Zonnen CNR1 net radiometer for measuring infrared (5-50 μm) and short wave solar (305-2800 nm) radiation at 1.5 m high, GT-REMS sensor and its amplification box at 0.7 m high and finally

  11. ATDM Rover Milestone Report STDA02-1 (FY2017 Q4)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Larsen, Matt [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States); Laney, Dan E. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)

    2017-10-19

    We have successfully completed the MS-4/Y1 Milestone STDA02-1 for the Rover Project. This document describes the milestone and provides an overview of the technical details and artifacts of the milestone. This milestone is focused on building a GPU accelerated ray tracing package capable of doing multi-group radiography, both back-lit and with self-emission as well as serving as a volume rendering plot in VisIt and other VTK-based visualization tools. The long term goal is a package with in-situ capability, but for this first version integration into VisIt is the primary goal. Milestone Execution Plan: Create API for GPU Raytracer that supports multi-group transport (up to hundreds of groups); Implement components into one or more of: VTK-m, VisIt, and a new library/package implementation to be hosted on LLNL Bitbucket (initially), before releasing to the wider community.

  12. Large-area Soil Moisture Surveys Using a Cosmic-ray Rover: Approaches and Results from Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawdon, A. A.; McJannet, D. L.; Renzullo, L. J.; Baker, B.; Searle, R.

    2017-12-01

    Recent improvements in satellite instrumentation has increased the resolution and frequency of soil moisture observations, and this in turn has supported the development of higher resolution land surface process models. Calibration and validation of these products is restricted by the mismatch of scales between remotely sensed and contemporary ground based observations. Although the cosmic ray neutron soil moisture probe can provide estimates soil moisture at a scale useful for the calibration and validation purposes, it is spatially limited to a single, fixed location. This scaling issue has been addressed with the development of mobile soil moisture monitoring systems that utilizes the cosmic ray neutron method, typically referred to as a `rover'. This manuscript describes a project designed to develop approaches for undertaking rover surveys to produce soil moisture estimates at scales comparable to satellite observations and land surface process models. A custom designed, trailer-mounted rover was used to conduct repeat surveys at two scales in the Mallee region of Victoria, Australia. A broad scale survey was conducted at 36 x 36 km covering an area of a standard SMAP pixel and an intensive scale survey was conducted over a 10 x 10 km portion of the broad scale survey, which is at a scale equivalent to that used for national water balance modelling. We will describe the design of the rover, the methods used for converting neutron counts into soil moisture and discuss factors controlling soil moisture variability. We found that the intensive scale rover surveys produced reliable soil moisture estimates at 1 km resolution and the broad scale at 9 km resolution. We conclude that these products are well suited for future analysis of satellite soil moisture retrievals and finer scale soil moisture models.

  13. Search for life on Mars in surface samples: Lessons from the 1999 Marsokhod rover field experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newsom, Horton E.; Bishop, J.L.; Cockell, C.; Roush, T.L.; Johnson, J. R.

    2001-01-01

    The Marsokhod 1999 field experiment in the Mojave Desert included a simulation of a rover-based sample selection mission. As part of this mission, a test was made of strategies and analytical techniques for identifying past or present life in environments expected to be present on Mars. A combination of visual clues from high-resolution images and the detection of an important biomolecule (chlorophyll) with visible/near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy led to the successful identification of a rock with evidence of cryptoendolithic organisms. The sample was identified in high-resolution images (3 times the resolution of the Imager for Mars Pathfinder camera) on the basis of a green tinge and textural information suggesting the presence of a thin, partially missing exfoliating layer revealing the organisms. The presence of chlorophyll bands in similar samples was observed in visible/NIR spectra of samples in the field and later confirmed in the laboratory using the same spectrometer. Raman spectroscopy in the laboratory, simulating a remote measurement technique, also detected evidence of carotenoids in samples from the same area. Laboratory analysis confirmed that the subsurface layer of the rock is inhabited by a community of coccoid Chroococcidioposis cyanobacteria. The identification of minerals in the field, including carbonates and serpentine, that are associated with aqueous processes was also demonstrated using the visible/NIR spectrometer. Other lessons learned that are applicable to future rover missions include the benefits of web-based programs for target selection and for daily mission planning and the need for involvement of the science team in optimizing image compression schemes based on the retention of visual signature characteristics. Copyright 2000 by the American Geophysical Union.

  14. The Raman Laser Spectrometer for the ExoMars Rover Mission to Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rull, Fernando; Maurice, Sylvestre; Hutchinson, Ian; Moral, Andoni; Perez, Carlos; Diaz, Carlos; Colombo, Maria; Belenguer, Tomas; Lopez-Reyes, Guillermo; Sansano, Antonio; Forni, Olivier; Parot, Yann; Striebig, Nicolas; Woodward, Simon; Howe, Chris; Tarcea, Nicolau; Rodriguez, Pablo; Seoane, Laura; Santiago, Amaia; Rodriguez-Prieto, Jose A.; Medina, Jesús; Gallego, Paloma; Canchal, Rosario; Santamaría, Pilar; Ramos, Gonzalo; Vago, Jorge L.; RLS Team

    2017-07-01

    The Raman Laser Spectrometer (RLS) on board the ESA/Roscosmos ExoMars 2020 mission will provide precise identification of the mineral phases and the possibility to detect organics on the Red Planet. The RLS will work on the powdered samples prepared inside the Pasteur analytical suite and collected on the surface and subsurface by a drill system. Raman spectroscopy is a well-known analytical technique based on the inelastic scattering by matter of incident monochromatic light (the Raman effect) that has many applications in laboratory and industry, yet to be used in space applications. Raman spectrometers will be included in two Mars rovers scheduled to be launched in 2020. The Raman instrument for ExoMars 2020 consists of three main units: (1) a transmission spectrograph coupled to a CCD detector; (2) an electronics box, including the excitation laser that controls the instrument functions; and (3) an optical head with an autofocus mechanism illuminating and collecting the scattered light from the spot under investigation. The optical head is connected to the excitation laser and the spectrometer by optical fibers. The instrument also has two targets positioned inside the rover analytical laboratory for onboard Raman spectral calibration. The aim of this article was to present a detailed description of the RLS instrument, including its operation on Mars. To verify RLS operation before launch and to prepare science scenarios for the mission, a simulator of the sample analysis chain has been developed by the team. The results obtained are also discussed. Finally, the potential of the Raman instrument for use in field conditions is addressed. By using a ruggedized prototype, also developed by our team, a wide range of terrestrial analog sites across the world have been studied. These investigations allowed preparing a large collection of real, in situ spectra of samples from different geological processes and periods of Earth evolution. On this basis, we are working

  15. Discovery of Carbonate-Rich Outcrops in the Gusev Crater Columbia Hills by the MER Rover Spirit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, Richard V.; Ruff, Steven W.; Gellert, Ralf; Ming, Douglas W.; Arvidson, Raymond E.; Clark, Benton C.; Golden, Dadi C.; Siebach, Kirsten L.; Klingelhoefer, Goestar; Schroeder, Christian; hide

    2010-01-01

    The chemical composition, global abundance, distribution, and formation pathways of carbonates are central to understanding aqueous processes, climate, and habitability of early Mars. The Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Spirit analyzed a series of olivine-rich outcrops while descending from the summit region of Husband Hill into the Inner Basin of the Columbia Hills of Gusev Crater to the eastern edge of the El Dorado ripple field in late 2005. Reanalysis of Spirit s mineralogical data from the Moessbauer Spectrometer (MB) and the Miniature Thermal Emission Spectrometer (Mini-TES) and chemical data from the Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) in 2010, coupled with new laboratory data for carbonate-bearing samples, lead to identification of carbonate in one of the outcrops (Comanche) [Morris, R.V., et al., Science, 329, 421-424]. The carbonate is rich in magnesium and iron (Mc62Sd25Cc11Rh2, assuming all Ca and Mn is associated with the carbonate) and is a major component of the Comanche outcrops (16 to 34 wt.%). The mineralogical, chemical, and abundance data are constrained in multiple, mutually consistent ways by the MER analyses. For example, a low-Ca carbonate is required by the MB and APXS data and is consistent with Mini-TES data. Three spectral features attributable to fundamental infrared vibrational modes of low-Ca carbonate are present in the Mini-TES spectra of Comanche outcrops. The average composition of Comanche carbonate approximates the average composition of the carbonate globules in Martian meteorite ALH 84001. Analogy with ALH 84001, terrestrial, and synthetic carbonate globules suggests that Comanche carbonate precipitated from aqueous solutions under hydrothermal conditions at near neutral pH in association with volcanic activity during the Noachian era. Comanche outcrop morphology suggests they are remnants of a larger carbonate-bearing formation that evolved in ultramafic rock and then preferentially eroded by a combination of aeolian

  16. Exploration Review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilburn, D.R.; Stanley, K.A.

    2013-01-01

    This summary of international mineral exploration activities for 2012 draws upon information from industry sources, published literature and U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) specialists. The summary provides data on exploration budgets by region and mineral commodity, identifies significant mineral discoveries and areas of mineral exploration, discusses government programs affecting the mineral exploration industry and presents analyses of exploration activities performed by the mineral industry. Three sources of information are reported and analyzed in this annual review of international exploration for 2012: 1) budgetary statistics expressed in U.S. nominal dollars provided by SNL Metals Economics Group (MEG) of Halifax, Nova Scotia; 2) regional and site-specific exploration activities that took place in 2012 as compiled by the USGS and 3) regional events including economic, social and political conditions that affected exploration activities, which were derived from published sources and unpublished discussions with USGS and industry specialists.

  17. Exploration technology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Roennevik, H.C. [Saga Petroleum A/S, Forus (Norway)

    1996-12-31

    The paper evaluates exploration technology. Topics discussed are: Visions; the subsurface challenge; the creative tension; the exploration process; seismic; geology; organic geochemistry; seismic resolution; integration; drilling; value creation. 4 refs., 22 figs.

  18. Repository exploration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pentz, D.L.

    1984-01-01

    This paper discusses exploration objectives and requirements for a nuclear repository in the U.S.A. The importance of designing the exploration program to meet the system performance objectives is emphasized and some examples of the extent of exploration required before the License Application for Construction Authorization is granted are also discussed

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuerger, Andrew C.; Lee, Pascal

    2015-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1990-01-01

    Minimizing system mass for interplanetary missions is of utmost importance in order to keep launch cost within reasonable bounds. For a manned Mars rover, powered by a nuclear reactor power system, the choice of the energy conversion system can play a significant role in lowering the overall system mass. Not only is the mass of the conversion unit affected by the choice, but also the masses of the reactor core, waste heat rejection system, and the radiation shield which are strongly influenced by the system conversion efficiency and operating condition. Several types of conversion systems are of interest for a nuclear reactor Mars manned application. These conversion systems include: free piston Stirling engines, He/XE closed Brayton cycle (CBC), CO 2 open Brayton, and SiGe/GaP thermoelectric. Optimization studies are conducted to determine the impact of the conversion system on the overall mass of the nuclear power system as well as the mobility power requirement of the Rover vehicle

  1. Compositional Variations in Sands of the Bagnold Dunes, Gale Crater, Mars, from Visible-Shortwave Infrared Spectroscopy and Comparison to Ground-Truth from the Curiosity Rover

    OpenAIRE

    Lapotre, M. G. A.; Ehlmann, B. L.; Minson, S. E.; Arvidson, R. E.; Ayoub, F.; Fraeman, A. A.; Ewing, R. C.; Bridges, N. T.

    2017-01-01

    During its ascent up Mount Sharp, the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover traversed the Bagnold Dune Field. We model sand modal mineralogy and grain size at four locations near the rover traverse, using orbital shortwave infrared single-scattering albedo spectra and a Markov chain Monte Carlo implementation of Hapke's radiative transfer theory to fully constrain uncertainties and permitted solutions. These predictions, evaluated against in situ measurements at one site from the Curiosity ...

  2. The ChemCam Instrument Suite on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Rover: Body Unit and Combined System Tests

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wiens, Roger C.; Barraclough, Bruce; Barkley, Walter C.; Bender, Steve; Bernardin, John; Bultman, Nathan; Clanton, Robert C.; Clegg, Samuel; Delapp, Dorothea; Dingler, Robert; Enemark, Don; Flores, Mike; Hale, Thomas; Lanza, Nina; Lasue, Jeremie; Latino, Joseph; Little, Cynthia; Morrison, Leland; Nelson, Tony; Romero, Frank; Salazar, Steven; Stiglich, Ralph; Storms, Steven; Trujillo, Tanner; Ulibarri, Mike; Vaniman, David; Whitaker, Robert; Witt, James; Maurice, Sylvestre; Bouye, Marc; Cousin, Agnes; Cros, Alain; D'Uston, Claude; Forni, Olivier; Gasnault, Olivier; Kouach, Driss; Lasue, Jeremie; Pares, Laurent; Poitrasson, Franck; Striebig, Nicolas; Thocaven, Jean-Jacques; Saccoccio, Muriel; Perez, Rene; Bell, James F. III; Hays, Charles; Blaney, Diana; DeFlores, Lauren; Elliott, Tom; Kan, Ed; Limonadi, Daniel; Lindensmith, Chris; Miller, Ed; Reiter, Joseph W.; Roberts, Tom; Simmonds, John J.; Warner, Noah; Blank, Jennifer; Bridges, Nathan; Cais, Phillippe; Clark, Benton; Cremers, David; Dyar, M. Darby; Fabre, Cecile; Herkenhoff, Ken; Kirkland, Laurel; Landis, David; Langevin, Yves; Lanza, Nina; Newsom, Horton; Ollila, Ann; LaRocca, Frank; Ott, Melanie; Mangold, Nicolas; Manhes, Gerard; Mauchien, Patrick; Blank, Jennifer; McKay, Christopher; Mooney, Joe; Provost, Cheryl; Morris, Richard V.; Sautter, Violaine; Sautter, Violaine; Waterbury, Rob; Wong-Swanson, Belinda; Barraclough, Bruce; Bender, Steve; Vaniman, David

    2012-01-01

    The ChemCam instrument suite on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) rover Curiosity provides remote compositional information using the first laser-induced breakdown spectrometer (LIBS) on a planetary mission, and provides sample texture and morphology data using a remote micro-imager (RMI). Overall, ChemCam supports MSL with five capabilities: remote classification of rock and soil characteristics; quantitative elemental compositions including light elements like hydrogen and some elements to which LIBS is uniquely sensitive (e.g., Li, Be, Rb, Sr, Ba); remote removal of surface dust and depth profiling through surface coatings; context imaging; and passive spectroscopy over the 240-905 nm range. ChemCam is built in two sections: The mast unit, consisting of a laser, telescope, RMI, and associated electronics, resides on the rover's mast, and is described in a companion paper. ChemCam's body unit, which is mounted in the body of the rover, comprises an optical de-multiplexer, three spectrometers, detectors, their coolers, and associated electronics and data handling logic. Additional instrument components include a 6 m optical fiber which transfers the LIBS light from the telescope to the body unit, and a set of onboard calibration targets. ChemCam was integrated and tested at Los Alamos National Laboratory where it also underwent LIBS calibration with 69 geological standards prior to integration with the rover. Post-integration testing used coordinated mast and instrument commands, including LIBS line scans on rock targets during system-level thermal-vacuum tests. In this paper we describe the body unit, optical fiber, and calibration targets, and the assembly, testing, and verification of the instrument prior to launch. (authors)

  3. Nuclear power systems for Lunar and Mars exploration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sovie, R.J.; Bozek, J.M.

    1994-01-01

    Initial studies of a variety of mission scenarios for the new Space Exploration Initiative, and the technologies necessary to enable or significantly enhance them, have identified the development of advanced space power systems - whether solar, chemical or nuclear - to be of prime importance. Lightweight, compact, reliable power systems for planetary rovers and a variety of surface vehicles, utility surface power, and power for advanced propulsion systems were identified as critical needs for these missions. This paper discusses these mission scenarios, the concomitant power system requirements; the power system options considered and identifies the significant potential benefits of nuclear power for meeting the power needs of the above applications

  4. Chemical variations in Yellowknife Bay formation sedimentary rocks analyzed by ChemCam on board the Curiosity rover on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mangold, Nicolas; Forni, Olivier; Dromart, G.; Stack, K.M.; Wiens, Roger C.; Gasnault, Olivier; Sumner, Dawn Y.; Nachon, Marion; Meslin, Pierre-Yves; Anderson, Ryan B.; Barraclough, Bruce; Bell, J.F.; Berger, G.; Blaney, D.L.; Bridges, J.C.; Calef, F.; Clark, Brian R.; Clegg, Samuel M.; Cousin, Agnes; Edgar, L.; Edgett, Kenneth S.; Ehlmann, B.L.; Fabre, Cecile; Fisk, M.; Grotzinger, John P.; Gupta, S.C.; Herkenhoff, Kenneth E.; Hurowitz, J.A.; Johnson, J. R.; Kah, Linda C.; Lanza, Nina L.; Lasue, Jeremie; Le Mouélic, S.; Lewin, Eric; Malin, Michael; McLennan, Scott M.; Maurice, S.; Melikechi, Noureddine; Mezzacappa, Alissa; Milliken, Ralph E.; Newsome, H.L.; Ollila, A.; Rowland, Scott K.; Sautter, Violaine; Schmidt, M.E.; Schroder, S.; D'Uston, C.; Vaniman, Dave; Williams, R.A.

    2015-01-01

    The Yellowknife Bay formation represents a ~5 m thick stratigraphic section of lithified fluvial and lacustrine sediments analyzed by the Curiosity rover in Gale crater, Mars. Previous works have mainly focused on the mudstones that were drilled by the rover at two locations. The present study focuses on the sedimentary rocks stratigraphically above the mudstones by studying their chemical variations in parallel with rock textures. Results show that differences in composition correlate with textures and both manifest subtle but significant variations through the stratigraphic column. Though the chemistry of the sediments does not vary much in the lower part of the stratigraphy, the variations in alkali elements indicate variations in the source material and/or physical sorting, as shown by the identification of alkali feldspars. The sandstones contain similar relative proportions of hydrogen to the mudstones below, suggesting the presence of hydrous minerals that may have contributed to their cementation. Slight variations in magnesium correlate with changes in textures suggesting that diagenesis through cementation and dissolution modified the initial rock composition and texture simultaneously. The upper part of the stratigraphy (~1 m thick) displays rocks with different compositions suggesting a strong change in the depositional system. The presence of float rocks with similar compositions found along the rover traverse suggests that some of these outcrops extend further away in the nearby hummocky plains.

  5. Integrated Navigation System Design for Micro Planetary Rovers: Comparison of Absolute Heading Estimation Algorithms and Nonlinear Filtering

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ilyas, Muhammad; Hong, Beomjin; Cho, Kuk; Baeg, Seung-Ho; Park, Sangdeok

    2016-01-01

    This paper provides algorithms to fuse relative and absolute microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) navigation sensors, suitable for micro planetary rovers, to provide a more accurate estimation of navigation information, specifically, attitude and position. Planetary rovers have extremely slow speed (~1 cm/s) and lack conventional navigation sensors/systems, hence the general methods of terrestrial navigation may not be applicable to these applications. While relative attitude and position can be tracked in a way similar to those for ground robots, absolute navigation information is hard to achieve on a remote celestial body, like Moon or Mars, in contrast to terrestrial applications. In this study, two absolute attitude estimation algorithms were developed and compared for accuracy and robustness. The estimated absolute attitude was fused with the relative attitude sensors in a framework of nonlinear filters. The nonlinear Extended Kalman filter (EKF) and Unscented Kalman filter (UKF) were compared in pursuit of better accuracy and reliability in this nonlinear estimation problem, using only on-board low cost MEMS sensors. Experimental results confirmed the viability of the proposed algorithms and the sensor suite, for low cost and low weight micro planetary rovers. It is demonstrated that integrating the relative and absolute navigation MEMS sensors reduces the navigation errors to the desired level. PMID:27223293

  6. Analysis of Solar-Heated Thermal Wadis to Support Extended-Duration Lunar Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balasubramaniam, R.; Wegeng, R. S.; Gokoglu, S. A.; Suzuki, N. H.; Sacksteder, K. R.

    2010-01-01

    The realization of the renewed exploration of the Moon presents many technical challenges; among them is the survival of lunar surface assets during periods of darkness when the lunar environment is very cold. Thermal wadis are engineered sources of stored solar energy using modified lunar regolith as a thermal storage mass that can enable the operation of lightweight robotic rovers or other assets in cold, dark environments without incurring potential mass, cost, and risk penalties associated with various onboard sources of thermal energy. Thermal wadi-assisted lunar rovers can conduct a variety of long-duration missions including exploration site surveys; teleoperated, crew-directed, or autonomous scientific expeditions; and logistics support for crewed exploration. This paper describes a thermal analysis of thermal wadi performance based on the known solar illumination of the moon and estimates of producible thermal properties of modified lunar regolith. Analysis was performed for the lunar equatorial region and for a potential Outpost location near the lunar south pole. The results are presented in some detail in the paper and indicate that thermal wadis can provide the desired thermal energy reserve, with significant margin, for the survival of rovers or other equipment during periods of darkness.

  7. Development and Engineering Design in Support of "Rover Ranch": A K-12 Outreach Software Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pascali, Raresh

    2003-01-01

    A continuation of the initial development started in the summer of 1999, the body of work performed in support of 'ROVer Ranch' Project during the present fellowship dealt with the concrete concept implementation and resolution of the related issues. The original work performed last summer focused on the initial examination and articulation of the concept treatment strategy, audience and market analysis for the learning technologies software. The presented work focused on finalizing the set of parts to be made available for building an AERCam Sprint type robot and on defining, testing and implementing process necessary to convert the design engineering files to VRML files. Through reverse engineering, an initial set of mission critical systems was designed for beta testing in schools. The files were created in ProEngineer, exported to VRML 1.0 and converted to VRML 97 (VRML 2.0) for final integration in the software. Attributes for each part were assigned using an in-house developed JAVA based program. The final set of attributes for each system, their mutual interaction and the identification of the relevant ones to be tracked, still remain to be decided.

  8. Abundance and Isotopic Composition of Gases in the Martian Atmosphere from the Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaffy, Paul R.; Webster, Christopher R.; Atreya, Sushil K.; Franz, Heather; Wong, Michael; Conrad, Pamela G.; Harpold, Dan; Jones, John J.; Leshin, Laurie A.; Manning, Heidi; Owen, Tobias; Pepin, Robert O.; Squyres, Steven; Trainer, Melissa; Kemppinen, Osku; Bridges, Nathan; Johnson, Jeffrey R.; Minitti, Michelle; Cremers, David; Bell, James F.; Edgar, Lauren; Farmer, Jack; Godber, Austin; Wadhwa, Meenakshi; Wellington, Danika; McEwan, Ian; Newman, Claire; Richardson, Mark; Charpentier, Antoine; Peret, Laurent; King, Penelope; Blank, Jennifer; Weigle, Gerald; Schmidt, Mariek; Li, Shuai; Milliken, Ralph; Robertson, Kevin; Sun, Vivian; Baker, Michael; Edwards, Christopher; Ehlmann, Bethany; Farley, Kenneth; Griffes, Jennifer; Grotzinger, John; Miller, Hayden; Newcombe, Megan; Pilorget, Cedric; Rice, Melissa; Siebach, Kirsten; Stack, Katie; Stolper, Edward; Brunet, Claude; Hipkin, Victoria; Léveillé, Richard; Marchand, Geneviève; Sánchez, Pablo Sobrón; Favot, Laurent; Cody, George; Steele, Andrew; Flückiger, Lorenzo; Lees, David; Nefian, Ara; Martin, Mildred; Gailhanou, Marc; Westall, Frances; Israël, Guy; Agard, Christophe; Baroukh, Julien; Donny, Christophe; Gaboriaud, Alain; Guillemot, Philippe; Lafaille, Vivian; Lorigny, Eric; Paillet, Alexis; Pérez, René; Saccoccio, Muriel; Yana, Charles; Armiens-Aparicio, Carlos; Rodríguez, Javier Caride; Blázquez, Isaías Carrasco; Gómez, Felipe Gómez; Gómez-Elvira, Javier; Hettrich, Sebastian; Malvitte, Alain Lepinette; Jiménez, Mercedes Marín; Martínez-Frías, Jesús; Martín-Soler, Javier; Martín-Torres, F. Javier; Jurado, Antonio Molina; Mora-Sotomayor, Luis; Caro, Guillermo Muñoz; López, Sara Navarro; Peinado-González, Verónica; Pla-García, Jorge; Manfredi, José Antonio Rodriguez; Romeral-Planelló, Julio José; Fuentes, Sara Alejandra Sans; Martinez, Eduardo Sebastian; Redondo, Josefina Torres; Urqui-O'Callaghan, Roser; Mier, María-Paz Zorzano; Chipera, Steve; Lacour, Jean-Luc; Mauchien, Patrick; Sirven, Jean-Baptiste; Fairén, Alberto; Hayes, Alexander; Joseph, Jonathan; Sullivan, Robert; Thomas, Peter; Dupont, Audrey; Lundberg, Angela; Melikechi, Noureddine; Mezzacappa, Alissa; DeMarines, Julia; Grinspoon, David; Reitz, Günther; Prats, Benito; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Genzer, Maria; Harri, Ari-Matti; Haukka, Harri; Kahanpää, Henrik; Kauhanen, Janne; Kemppinen, Osku; Paton, Mark; Polkko, Jouni; Schmidt, Walter; Siili, Tero; Fabre, Cécile; Wray, James; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Poitrasson, Franck; Patel, Kiran; Gorevan, Stephen; Indyk, Stephen; Paulsen, Gale; Gupta, Sanjeev; Bish, David; Schieber, Juergen; Gondet, Brigitte; Langevin, Yves; Geffroy, Claude; Baratoux, David; Berger, Gilles; Cros, Alain; d'Uston, Claude; Forni, Olivier; Gasnault, Olivier; Lasue, Jérémie; Lee, Qiu-Mei; Maurice, Sylvestre; Meslin, Pierre-Yves; Pallier, Etienne; Parot, Yann; Pinet, Patrick; Schröder, Susanne; Toplis, Mike; Lewin, Éric; Brunner, Will; Heydari, Ezat; Achilles, Cherie; Oehler, Dorothy; Sutter, Brad; Cabane, Michel; Coscia, David; Israël, Guy; Szopa, Cyril; Dromart, Gilles; Robert, François; Sautter, Violaine; Le Mouélic, Stéphane; Mangold, Nicolas; Nachon, Marion; Buch, Arnaud; Stalport, Fabien; Coll, Patrice; François, Pascaline; Raulin, François; Teinturier, Samuel; Cameron, James; Clegg, Sam; Cousin, Agnès; DeLapp, Dorothea; Dingler, Robert; Jackson, Ryan Steele; Johnstone, Stephen; Lanza, Nina; Little, Cynthia; Nelson, Tony; Wiens, Roger C.; Williams, Richard B.; Jones, Andrea; Kirkland, Laurel; Treiman, Allan; Baker, Burt; Cantor, Bruce; Caplinger, Michael; Davis, Scott; Duston, Brian; Edgett, Kenneth; Fay, Donald; Hardgrove, Craig; Harker, David; Herrera, Paul; Jensen, Elsa; Kennedy, Megan R.; Krezoski, Gillian; Krysak, Daniel; Lipkaman, Leslie; Malin, Michael; McCartney, Elaina; McNair, Sean; Nixon, Brian; Posiolova, Liliya; Ravine, Michael; Salamon, Andrew; Saper, Lee; Stoiber, Kevin; Supulver, Kimberley; Van Beek, Jason; Van Beek, Tessa; Zimdar, Robert; French, Katherine Louise; Iagnemma, Karl; Miller, Kristen; Summons, Roger; Goesmann, Fred; Goetz, Walter; Hviid, Stubbe; Johnson, Micah; Lefavor, Matthew; Lyness, Eric; Breves, Elly; Dyar, M. Darby; Fassett, Caleb; Blake, David F.; Bristow, Thomas; DesMarais, David; Edwards, Laurence; Haberle, Robert; Hoehler, Tori; Hollingsworth, Jeff; Kahre, Melinda; Keely, Leslie; McKay, Christopher; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Bleacher, Lora; Brinckerhoff, William; Choi, David; Dworkin, Jason P.; Eigenbrode, Jennifer; Floyd, Melissa; Freissinet, Caroline; Garvin, James; Glavin, Daniel; Jones, Andrea; Martin, David K.; McAdam, Amy; Pavlov, Alexander; Raaen, Eric; Smith, Michael D.; Stern, Jennifer; Tan, Florence; Meyer, Michael; Posner, Arik; Voytek, Mary; Anderson, Robert C.; Aubrey, Andrew; Beegle, Luther W.; Behar, Alberto; Blaney, Diana; Brinza, David; Calef, Fred; Christensen, Lance; Crisp, Joy A.; DeFlores, Lauren; Ehlmann, Bethany; Feldman, Jason; Feldman, Sabrina; Flesch, Gregory; Hurowitz, Joel; Jun, Insoo; Keymeulen, Didier; Maki, Justin; Mischna, Michael; Morookian, John Michael; Parker, Timothy; Pavri, Betina; Schoppers, Marcel; Sengstacken, Aaron; Simmonds, John J.; Spanovich, Nicole; Juarez, Manuel de la Torre; Vasavada, Ashwin R.; Yen, Albert; Archer, Paul Douglas; Cucinotta, Francis; Ming, Douglas; Morris, Richard V.; Niles, Paul; Rampe, Elizabeth; Nolan, Thomas; Fisk, Martin; Radziemski, Leon; Barraclough, Bruce; Bender, Steve; Berman, Daniel; Dobrea, Eldar Noe; Tokar, Robert; Vaniman, David; Williams, Rebecca M. E.; Yingst, Aileen; Lewis, Kevin; Cleghorn, Timothy; Huntress, Wesley; Manhès, Gérard; Hudgins, Judy; Olson, Timothy; Stewart, Noel; Sarrazin, Philippe; Grant, John; Vicenzi, Edward; Wilson, Sharon A.; Bullock, Mark; Ehresmann, Bent; Hamilton, Victoria; Hassler, Donald; Peterson, Joseph; Rafkin, Scot; Zeitlin, Cary; Fedosov, Fedor; Golovin, Dmitry; Karpushkina, Natalya; Kozyrev, Alexander; Litvak, Maxim; Malakhov, Alexey; Mitrofanov, Igor; Mokrousov, Maxim; Nikiforov, Sergey; Prokhorov, Vasily; Sanin, Anton; Tretyakov, Vladislav; Varenikov, Alexey; Vostrukhin, Andrey; Kuzmin, Ruslan; Clark, Benton; Wolff, Michael; McLennan, Scott; Botta, Oliver; Drake, Darrell; Bean, Keri; Lemmon, Mark; Schwenzer, Susanne P.; Anderson, Ryan B.; Herkenhoff, Kenneth; Lee, Ella Mae; Sucharski, Robert; Hernández, Miguel Ángel de Pablo; Ávalos, Juan José Blanco; Ramos, Miguel; Kim, Myung-Hee; Malespin, Charles; Plante, Ianik; Muller, Jan-Peter; Navarro-González, Rafael; Ewing, Ryan; Boynton, William; Downs, Robert; Fitzgibbon, Mike; Harshman, Karl; Morrison, Shaunna; Dietrich, William; Kortmann, Onno; Palucis, Marisa; Sumner, Dawn Y.; Williams, Amy; Lugmair, Günter; Wilson, Michael A.; Rubin, David; Jakosky, Bruce; Balic-Zunic, Tonci; Frydenvang, Jens; Jensen, Jaqueline Kløvgaard; Kinch, Kjartan; Koefoed, Asmus; Madsen, Morten Bo; Stipp, Susan Louise Svane; Boyd, Nick; Campbell, John L.; Gellert, Ralf; Perrett, Glynis; Pradler, Irina; VanBommel, Scott; Jacob, Samantha; Rowland, Scott; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Savijärvi, Hannu; Boehm, Eckart; Böttcher, Stephan; Burmeister, Sönke; Guo, Jingnan; Köhler, Jan; García, César Martín; Mueller-Mellin, Reinhold; Wimmer-Schweingruber, Robert; Bridges, John C.; McConnochie, Timothy; Benna, Mehdi; Bower, Hannah; Brunner, Anna; Blau, Hannah; Boucher, Thomas; Carmosino, Marco; Elliott, Harvey; Halleaux, Douglas; Rennó, Nilton; Elliott, Beverley; Spray, John; Thompson, Lucy; Gordon, Suzanne; Newsom, Horton; Ollila, Ann; Williams, Joshua; Vasconcelos, Paulo; Bentz, Jennifer; Nealson, Kenneth; Popa, Radu; Kah, Linda C.; Moersch, Jeffrey; Tate, Christopher; Day, Mackenzie; Kocurek, Gary; Hallet, Bernard; Sletten, Ronald; Francis, Raymond; McCullough, Emily; Cloutis, Ed; ten Kate, Inge Loes; Kuzmin, Ruslan; Arvidson, Raymond; Fraeman, Abigail; Scholes, Daniel; Slavney, Susan; Stein, Thomas; Ward, Jennifer; Berger, Jeffrey; Moores, John E.

    2013-07-01

    Volume mixing and isotope ratios secured with repeated atmospheric measurements taken with the Sample Analysis at Mars instrument suite on the Curiosity rover are: carbon dioxide (CO2), 0.960(±0.007); argon-40 (40Ar), 0.0193(±0.0001); nitrogen (N2), 0.0189(±0.0003); oxygen, 1.45(±0.09) × 10-3; carbon monoxide, < 1.0 × 10-3; and 40Ar/36Ar, 1.9(±0.3) × 103. The 40Ar/N2 ratio is 1.7 times greater and the 40Ar/36Ar ratio 1.6 times lower than values reported by the Viking Lander mass spectrometer in 1976, whereas other values are generally consistent with Viking and remote sensing observations. The 40Ar/36Ar ratio is consistent with martian meteoritic values, which provides additional strong support for a martian origin of these rocks. The isotopic signature δ13C from CO2 of ~45 per mil is independently measured with two instruments. This heavy isotope enrichment in carbon supports the hypothesis of substantial atmospheric loss.

  9. An obstacle detection system using binocular stereo fisheye lenses for planetary rover navigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, L.; Jia, J.; Li, L.

    In this paper we present an implementation of an obstacle detection system using binocular stereo fisheye lenses for planetary rover navigation The fisheye lenses can improve image acquisition efficiency and handle minimal clearance recovery problem because they provide a large field of view However the fisheye lens introduces significant distortion in the image and this will make it much more difficult to find a one-to-one correspondence In addition we have to improve the system accuracy and efficiency for robot navigation To compute dense depth maps accurately in real time the following five key issues are considered 1 using lookup tables for a tradeoff between time and space in fisheye distortion correction and correspondence matching 2 using an improved incremental calculation scheme for algorithmic optimization 3 multimedia instruction set MMX implementation 4 consistency check to remove wrong stereo matching problems suffering from occlusions or mismatches 5 constraints of the recovery space To realize obstacle detection robustly we use the following three steps 1 extracting the ground plane parameters using Randomized Hough Transform 2 filtering the ground and background 3 locating the obstacles by using connected region detection Experimental results show the system can run at 3 2fps in 2 0GHz PC with 640X480 pixels

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldgof, Gregory M.

    2005-01-01

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

  11. Automated nondestructive assay system for the measurement of irradiated Rover fuel

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Augustson, R.H.; Menlove, H.O.; Smith, D.B.; Bond, A.L.; Durrill, D.C.; Hollowell, W.P.; Bromley, C.P.

    1975-01-01

    With the termination of the Nuclear Rocket Propulsion (Rover) Program, and associated reactor testing at the Nuclear Rocket Development Station (NRDS), Nevada, plans are progressing to recover the 93 percent enriched uranium contained in irradiated fuel from twenty various test reactors. This fuel is being packaged into 7-cm-dia by 137-cm-long cardboard tubes, using the remote handling facilities (E-MAD Bldg) of NRDS. After packaging, the fuel is shipped to Allied Chemical Corporation, Idaho Falls, Idaho, for uranium recovery. About 4000 tubes will be needed to package and ship the inventory of fuel elements presently at NRDS. This represents a total of approximately 2500 kg of enriched uranium. To complete the accounting records each tube is being nondestructively assayed and records kept on a reactor-by-reactor basis where possible. The assayed values for a reactor are then compared with original input inventory values and discrepancies resolved. The tubes are being assayed by an active neutron interrogation system designed and fabricated by Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory (LASL) and operated by Westinghouse Astronuclear Laboratory (WANL)-Nevada Operations personnel. WANL is the operating contractor in charge of loading and shipping this fuel. (U.S.)

  12. Evaluation of Liquid and Bait Insecticides against the Dark Rover Ant (Brachymyrmex patagonicus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Javier G. Miguelena

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Dark rover ants (Brachymyrmex patagonicus, Mayr are an exotic ant species native to South America that has recently spread through the southern US. We evaluated the residual activity of three liquid insecticides (indoxacarb, fipronil and lambda-cyhalothrin as potential barrier treatments against these ants. The factors we considered include the use of a porous or non-porous surface, a short or long exposure time and the changes in insecticide activity after treatment during a 90 day period. We also tested the effect of baits containing three different active ingredients (imidacloprid, sodium tetraborate and indoxacarb on colony fragments of this species for a 15 day period. Both lambda-cyhalothrin® and indoxacarb® resulted in high levels of ant mortality up to 90 days after application. The results of exposure to fipronil® resembled those from the control treatment. Application of insecticides on a porous surface and the shorter exposure time generally resulted in greater ant survival. Of the baits tested, only the imidacloprid based one decreased ant survival significantly during the evaluation period. Within three days, the imidacloprid bait produced over 50% mortality which increased to over 95% by the end of the experiment. Results from the other two bait treatments were not significantly different from the control.

  13. Simulation of the GCR spectrum in the Mars curiosity rover's RAD detector using MCNP6

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ratliff, Hunter N.; Smith, Michael B. R.; Heilbronn, Lawrence

    2017-08-01

    The paper presents results from MCNP6 simulations of galactic cosmic ray (GCR) propagation down through the Martian atmosphere to the surface and comparison with RAD measurements made there. This effort is part of a collaborative modeling workshop for space radiation hosted by Southwest Research Institute (SwRI). All modeling teams were tasked with simulating the galactic cosmic ray (GCR) spectrum through the Martian atmosphere and the Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) on-board the Curiosity rover. The detector had two separate particle acceptance angles, 4π and 30 ° off zenith. All ions with Z = 1 through Z = 28 were tracked in both scenarios while some additional secondary particles were only tracked in the 4π cases. The MCNP6 4π absorbed dose rate was 307.3 ± 1.3 μGy/day while RAD measured 233 μGy/day. Using the ICRP-60 dose equivalent conversion factors built into MCNP6, the simulated 4π dose equivalent rate was found to be 473.1 ± 2.4 μSv/day while RAD reported 710 μSv/day.

  14. Simulation of the GCR spectrum in the Mars curiosity rover's RAD detector using MCNP6.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ratliff, Hunter N; Smith, Michael B R; Heilbronn, Lawrence

    2017-08-01

    The paper presents results from MCNP6 simulations of galactic cosmic ray (GCR) propagation down through the Martian atmosphere to the surface and comparison with RAD measurements made there. This effort is part of a collaborative modeling workshop for space radiation hosted by Southwest Research Institute (SwRI). All modeling teams were tasked with simulating the galactic cosmic ray (GCR) spectrum through the Martian atmosphere and the Radiation Assessment Detector (RAD) on-board the Curiosity rover. The detector had two separate particle acceptance angles, 4π and 30 ° off zenith. All ions with Z = 1 through Z = 28 were tracked in both scenarios while some additional secondary particles were only tracked in the 4π cases. The MCNP6 4π absorbed dose rate was 307.3 ± 1.3 µGy/day while RAD measured 233 µGy/day. Using the ICRP-60 dose equivalent conversion factors built into MCNP6, the simulated 4π dose equivalent rate was found to be 473.1 ± 2.4 µSv/day while RAD reported 710 µSv/day. Copyright © 2017 The Committee on Space Research (COSPAR). Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Non-Detection of Methane in the Mars Atmosphere by the Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webster, Chris R.; Mahaffy, Paul R.; Atreya, Sushil K.; Flesch, Gregory J.; Farley, Kenneth A.

    2014-01-01

    By analogy with Earth, methane in the atmosphere of Mars is a potential signature of ongoing or past biological activity on the planet. During the last decade, Earth-based telescopic and Mars orbit remote sensing instruments have reported significant abundances of methane in the Martian atmosphere ranging from several to tens of parts-per-billion by volume (ppbv). Observations from Earth showed plumes of methane with variations on timescales much faster than expected and inconsistent with localized patches seen from orbit, prompting speculation of sources from sub-surface methanogen bacteria, geological water-rock reactions or infall from comets, micro-meteorites or interplanetary dust. From measurements on NASAs Curiosity Rover that landed near Gale Crater on 5th August 2012, we here report no definitive detection of methane in the near-surface Martian atmosphere. Our in situ measurements were made using the Tunable Laser Spectrometer (TLS) in the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite6 that made three separate searches on Martian sols 79, 81 and 106 after landing. The measured mean value of 0.39 plus or minus 1.4 ppbv corresponds to an upper limit for methane abundance of 2.7 ppbv at the 95 confidence level. This result is in disagreement with both the remote sensing spacecraft observations taken at lower sensitivity and the telescopic observations that relied on subtraction of a very large contribution from terrestrial methane in the intervening observation path. Since the expected lifetime of methane in the Martian atmosphere is hundreds of years, our results question earlier observations and set a low upper limit on the present day abundance, reducing the probability of significant current methanogenic microbial activity on Mars.

  16. The penetrating depth analysis of Lunar Penetrating Radar onboard Chang’e-3 rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xing, Shu-Guo; Su, Yan; Feng, Jian-Qing; Dai, Shun; Xiao, Yuan; Ding, Chun-Yu; Li, Chun-Lai

    2017-04-01

    Lunar Penetrating Radar (LPR) has successfully been used to acquire a large amount of scientific data during its in-situ detection. The analysis of penetrating depth can help to determine whether the target is within the effective detection range and contribute to distinguishing useful echoes from noise. First, this study introduces two traditional methods, both based on a radar transmission equation, to calculate the penetrating depth. The only difference between the two methods is that the first method adopts system calibration parameters given in the calibration report and the second one uses high-voltage-off radar data. However, some prior knowledge and assumptions are needed in the radar equation and the accuracy of assumptions will directly influence the final results. Therefore, a new method termed the Correlation Coefficient Method (CCM) is provided in this study, which is only based on radar data without any a priori assumptions. The CCM can obtain the penetrating depth according to the different correlation between reflected echoes and noise. To be exact, there is a strong correlation in the useful reflected echoes and a random correlation in the noise between adjacent data traces. In addition, this method can acquire a variable penetrating depth along the profile of the rover, but only one single depth value can be obtained from traditional methods. Through a simulation, the CCM has been verified as an effective method to obtain penetration depth. The comparisons and analysis of the calculation results of these three methods are also implemented in this study. Finally, results show that the ultimate penetrating depth of Channel 1 and the estimated penetrating depth of Channel 2 range from 136.9 m to 165.5 m ({\\varepsilon }r=6.6) and from 13.0 m to 17.5 m ({\\varepsilon }r=2.3), respectively.

  17. PDS4 vs PDS3 - A Comparison of PDS Data for Two Mars Rovers - Existing Mars Curiosity Mission Mass Spectrometer (SAM) PDS3 Data vs Future ExoMars Rover Mass Spectrometer (MOMA) PDS4 Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyness, E.; Franz, H. B.; Prats, B.

    2017-12-01

    The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument is a suite of instruments on Mars aboard the Mars Science Laboratory rover. Centered on a mass spectrometer, SAM delivers its data to the PDS Atmosphere's node in PDS3 format. Over five years on Mars the process of operating SAM has evolved and extended significantly from the plan in place at the time the PDS3 delivery specification was written. For instance, SAM commonly receives double or even triple sample aliquots from the rover's drill. SAM also stores samples in spare cups for long periods of time for future analysis. These unanticipated operational changes mean that the PDS data deliveries are absent some valuable metadata without which the data can be confusing. The Mars Organic Molecule Analyzer (MOMA) instrument is another suite of instruments centered on a mass spectrometer bound for Mars. MOMA is part of the European ExoMars rover mission schedule to arrive on Mars in 2021. While SAM and MOMA differ in some important scientific ways - MOMA uses an linear ion trap compared to the SAM quadropole mass spectrometer and MOMA has a laser desorption experiment that SAM lacks - the data content from the PDS point of view is comparable. Both instruments produce data containing mass spectra acquired from solid samples collected on the surface of Mars. The MOMA PDS delivery will make use of PDS4 improvements to provide a metadata context to the data. The MOMA PDS4 specification makes few assumptions of the operational processes. Instead it provides a means for the MOMA operators to provide the important contextual metadata that was unanticipated during specification development. Further, the software tools being developed for instrument operators will provide a means for the operators to add this crucial metadata at the time it is best know - during operations.

  18. Evolution of space drones for planetary exploration: A review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hassanalian, M.; Rice, D.; Abdelkefi, A.

    2018-02-01

    In the past decade, there has been a tendency to design and fabricate drones which can perform planetary exploration. Generally, there are various ways to study space objects, such as the application of telescopes and satellites, launching robots and rovers, and sending astronauts to the targeted solar bodies. However, due to the advantages of drones compared to other approaches in planetary exploration, ample research has been carried out by different space agencies in the world, including NASA to apply drones in other solar bodies. In this review paper, several studies which have been performed on space drones for planetary exploration are consolidated and discussed. Design and fabrication challenges of space drones, existing methods for their flight tests, different methods for deployment and planet entry, and various navigation and control approaches are reviewed and discussed elaborately. Limitations of applying space drones, proposed solutions for future space drones, and recommendations are also presented and discussed.

  19. Farside explorer

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mimoun, David; Wieczorek, Mark A.; Alkalai, Leon

    2012-01-01

    the primary differentiation and evolution of the Moon, it can be continuously monitored from the Earth-Moon L2 Lagrange point, and there is a complete lack of reflected solar illumination from the Earth. Farside Explorer will exploit these properties and make the first radio-astronomy measurements from...... the most radio-quiet region of near-Earth space, determine the internal structure and thermal evolution of the Moon, from crust to core, and quantify impact hazards in near-Earth space by the measurement of flashes generated by impact events. The Farside Explorer flight system includes two identical solar......Farside Explorer is a proposed Cosmic Vision medium-size mission to the farside of the Moon consisting of two landers and an instrumented relay satellite. The farside of the Moon is a unique scientific platform in that it is shielded from terrestrial radio-frequency interference, it recorded...

  20. Uranium exploration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    De Voto, R.H.

    1984-01-01

    This paper is a review of the methodology and technology that are currently being used in varying degrees in uranium exploration activities worldwide. Since uranium is ubiquitous and occurs in trace amounts (0.2 to 5 ppm) in virtually all rocks of the crust of the earth, exploration for uranium is essentially the search of geologic environments in which geologic processes have produced unusual concentrations of uranium. Since the level of concentration of uranium of economic interest is dependent on the present and future price of uranium, it is appropriate here to review briefly the economic realities of uranium-fueled power generation. (author)

  1. The Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover Mastcam instruments: Preflight and in-flight calibration, validation, and data archiving

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, James F.; Godber, A.; McNair, S.; Caplinger, M.A.; Maki, J.N.; Lemmon, M.T.; Van Beek, J.; Malin, M.C.; Wellington, D.; Kinch, K.M.; Madsen, M.B.; Hardgrove, C.; Ravine, M.A.; Jensen, E.; Harker, D.; Anderson, Ryan; Herkenhoff, Kenneth E.; Morris, R.V.; Cisneros, E.; Deen, R.G.

    2017-01-01

    The NASA Curiosity rover Mast Camera (Mastcam) system is a pair of fixed-focal length, multispectral, color CCD imagers mounted ~2 m above the surface on the rover's remote sensing mast, along with associated electronics and an onboard calibration target. The left Mastcam (M-34) has a 34 mm focal length, an instantaneous field of view (IFOV) of 0.22 mrad, and a FOV of 20° × 15° over the full 1648 × 1200 pixel span of its Kodak KAI-2020 CCD. The right Mastcam (M-100) has a 100 mm focal length, an IFOV of 0.074 mrad, and a FOV of 6.8° × 5.1° using the same detector. The cameras are separated by 24.2 cm on the mast, allowing stereo images to be obtained at the resolution of the M-34 camera. Each camera has an eight-position filter wheel, enabling it to take Bayer pattern red, green, and blue (RGB) “true color” images, multispectral images in nine additional bands spanning ~400–1100 nm, and images of the Sun in two colors through neutral density-coated filters. An associated Digital Electronics Assembly provides command and data interfaces to the rover, 8 Gb of image storage per camera, 11 bit to 8 bit companding, JPEG compression, and acquisition of high-definition video. Here we describe the preflight and in-flight calibration of Mastcam images, the ways that they are being archived in the NASA Planetary Data System, and the ways that calibration refinements are being developed as the investigation progresses on Mars. We also provide some examples of data sets and analyses that help to validate the accuracy and precision of the calibration

  2. The Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover Mastcam instruments: Preflight and in-flight calibration, validation, and data archiving

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, J. F.; Godber, A.; McNair, S.; Caplinger, M. A.; Maki, J. N.; Lemmon, M. T.; Van Beek, J.; Malin, M. C.; Wellington, D.; Kinch, K. M.; Madsen, M. B.; Hardgrove, C.; Ravine, M. A.; Jensen, E.; Harker, D.; Anderson, R. B.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Morris, R. V.; Cisneros, E.; Deen, R. G.

    2017-07-01

    The NASA Curiosity rover Mast Camera (Mastcam) system is a pair of fixed-focal length, multispectral, color CCD imagers mounted 2 m above the surface on the rover's remote sensing mast, along with associated electronics and an onboard calibration target. The left Mastcam (M-34) has a 34 mm focal length, an instantaneous field of view (IFOV) of 0.22 mrad, and a FOV of 20° × 15° over the full 1648 × 1200 pixel span of its Kodak KAI-2020 CCD. The right Mastcam (M-100) has a 100 mm focal length, an IFOV of 0.074 mrad, and a FOV of 6.8° × 5.1° using the same detector. The cameras are separated by 24.2 cm on the mast, allowing stereo images to be obtained at the resolution of the M-34 camera. Each camera has an eight-position filter wheel, enabling it to take Bayer pattern red, green, and blue (RGB) "true color" images, multispectral images in nine additional bands spanning 400-1100 nm, and images of the Sun in two colors through neutral density-coated filters. An associated Digital Electronics Assembly provides command and data interfaces to the rover, 8 Gb of image storage per camera, 11 bit to 8 bit companding, JPEG compression, and acquisition of high-definition video. Here we describe the preflight and in-flight calibration of Mastcam images, the ways that they are being archived in the NASA Planetary Data System, and the ways that calibration refinements are being developed as the investigation progresses on Mars. We also provide some examples of data sets and analyses that help to validate the accuracy and precision of the calibration.

  3. College Explorer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahl, David H.

    1985-01-01

    The "College Explorer" is a software package (for the 64K Apple II, IBM PC, TRS-80 model III and 4 microcomputers) which aids in choosing a college. The major features of this package (manufactured by The College Board) are described and evaluated. Sample input/output is included. (JN)

  4. Exploring Size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brand, Judith, Ed.

    1995-01-01

    "Exploring" is a magazine of science, art, and human perception that communicates ideas museum exhibits cannot demonstrate easily by using experiments and activities for the classroom. This issue concentrates on size, examining it from a variety of viewpoints. The focus allows students to investigate and discuss interconnections among…

  5. Extraction of compositional and hydration information of sulfates from laser-induced plasma spectra recorded under Mars atmospheric conditions — Implications for ChemCam investigations on Curiosity rover

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sobron, Pablo; Wang, Alian; Sobron, Francisco

    2012-01-01

    Given the volume of spectral data required for providing accurate compositional information and thereby insight in mineralogy and petrology from laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) measurements, fast data processing tools are a must. This is particularly true during the tactical operations of rover-based planetary exploration missions such as the Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity, which will carry a remote LIBS spectrometer in its science payload. We have developed: an automated fast pre-processing sequence of algorithms for converting a series of LIBS spectra (typically 125) recorded from a single target into a reliable SNR-enhanced spectrum; a dedicated routine to quantify its spectral features; and a set of calibration curves using standard hydrous and multi-cation sulfates. These calibration curves allow deriving the elemental compositions and the degrees of hydration of various hydrous sulfates, one of the two major types of secondary minerals found on Mars. Our quantitative tools are built upon calibration-curve modeling, through the correlation of the elemental concentrations and the peak areas of the atomic emission lines observed in the LIBS spectra of standard samples. At present, we can derive the elemental concentrations of K, Na, Ca, Mg, Fe, Al, S, O, and H in sulfates, as well as the hydration degrees of Ca- and Mg-sulfates, from LIBS spectra obtained in both Earth atmosphere and Mars atmospheric conditions in a Planetary Environment and Analysis Chamber (PEACh). In addition, structural information can be potentially obtained for various Fe-sulfates. - Highlights: ► Routines for LIBS spectral data fast automated processing. ► Identification of elements and determination of the elemental composition. ► Calibration curves for sulfate samples in Earth and Mars atmospheric conditions. ► Fe curves probably related to the crystalline structure of Fe-sulfates. ► Extraction of degree of hydration in hydrous Mg-, Ca-, and Fe-sulfates.

  6. Modeling of low-temperature plasmas generated using laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy: the ChemCam diagnostic tool on the Mars Science Laboratory Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colgan, James

    2016-05-01

    We report on efforts to model the low-temperature plasmas generated using laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS). LIBS is a minimally invasive technique that can quickly and efficiently determine the elemental composition of a target and is employed in an extremely wide range of applications due to its ease of use and fast turnaround. In particular, LIBS is the diagnostic tool used by the ChemCam instrument on the Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity. In this talk, we report on the use of the Los Alamos plasma modeling code ATOMIC to simulate LIBS plasmas, which are typically at temperatures of order 1 eV and electron densities of order 10 16 - 17 cm-3. At such conditions, these plasmas are usually in local-thermodynamic equilibrium (LTE) and normally contain neutral and singly ionized species only, which then requires that modeling must use accurate atomic structure data for the element under investigation. Since LIBS devices are often employed in a very wide range of applications, it is therefore desirable to have accurate data for most of the elements in the periodic table, ideally including actinides. Here, we discuss some recent applications of our modeling using ATOMIC that have explored the plasma physics aspects of LIBS generated plasmas, and in particular discuss the modeling of a plasma formed from a basalt sample used as a ChemCam standard1. We also highlight some of the more general atomic physics challenges that are encountered when attempting to model low-temperature plasmas. The Los Alamos National Laboratory is operated by Los Alamos National Security, LLC for the National Nuclear Security Administration of the U.S. Department of Energy under Contract No. DE-AC5206NA25396. Work performed in conjunction with D. P. Kilcrease, H. M. Johns, E. J. Judge, J. E. Barefield, R. C. Wiens, S. M. Clegg.

  7. Sulfur Geochemical Analysis and Interpretation with ChemCam on the Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clegg, S. M.; Anderson, R. B.; Frydenvang, J.; Forni, O.; Newsom, H. E.; Blaney, D. L.; Maurice, S.; Wiens, R. C.

    2017-12-01

    The Curiosity rover has encountered many forms of sulfur including calcium sulfate veins [1], hydrated Mg sulfates, and Fe sulfates along the traverse through Gale crater. A new SO3 calibration model for the remote Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) technique used by the ChemCam instrument enables improved quantitative analysis of SO3, which has not been previously reported by ChemCam on a routine or quantitative basis. In this paper, the details of this new LIBS calibration model will be described and applied to many disparate Mars targets. Among them, Mavor contains a calcium sulfate vein surrounded by bedrock. In contrast, Jake M. is a float rock, Wernecke is a bedrock, Cumberland and Windjana are drill targets. In 2015 the ChemCam instrument team completed a re-calibration of major elements based on a significantly expanded set of >500 geochemical standards using the ChemCam testbed at Los Alamos National Laboratory [2]. In addition to these standards, the SO3 compositional range was recently extended with a series of doped samples containing various mixtures of Ca- and Mg-sulfate with basalt BHVO2. Spectra from these standards were processed per [4]. Calibration and Mars spectra were converted to peak-area-summed LIBS spectra that enables the SO3 calibration. These peak-area spectra were used to generate three overlapping partial least squares (PLS1) calibration sub-models as described by Anderson et al. [3, 5]. ChemCam analysis of Mavor involved a 3x3 raster in which locations 5 and 6 primarily probed Ca-sulfate material. The new ChemCam SO3 compositions for Mavor 5 and Mavor 6 are 48.6±1.2 and 50.3±1.2 wt% SO3, respectively. The LIBS spectra also recorded the presence of other elements that are likely responsible for the departure from pure Ca-sulfate chemistry. On the low-abundance side, the remaining 7 Mavor locations, Jake M., Cumberland, Windjana, and Wernecke all contain much lower SO3, between 1.4±0.5 wt% and 2.3±0.3 wt% SO3. [1] Nachon et

  8. Integrated Solar System Exploration Education and Public Outreach: Theme, Products and Activities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lowes, Leslie; Lindstrom, Marilyn; Stockman, Stephanie; Scalice, Daniela; Allen, Jaclyn; Tobola, Kay; Klug, Sheri; Harmon, Art

    2004-01-01

    NASA's Solar System Exploration Program is entering an unprecedented period of exploration and discovery. Its goal is to understand the origin and evolution of the solar system and life within it. SSE missions are operating or in development to study the far reaches of our solar system and beyond. These missions proceed in sequence for each body from reconnaissance flybys through orbiters and landers or rovers to sample returns. SSE research programs develop new instruments, analyze mission data or returned samples, and provide experimental or theoretical models to aid in interpretation.

  9. Exploring quadrangulations

    KAUST Repository

    Peng, Chi-Han; Barton, Michael; Jiang, Caigui; Wonka, Peter

    2014-01-01

    Here we presented a framework to explore quad mesh topologies. The core of our work is a systematic enumeration algorithm that can generate all possible quadrangular meshes inside a defined boundary with an upper limit of v3-v5 pairs. The algorithm is orders of magnitude more efficient than previous work. The combination of topological enumeration and shape-space exploration demonstrates that mesh topology has a powerful influence on geometry. The Fig. 18. A gallery of different quadrilateral meshes for a Shuriken. The quadrilaterals of the model were colored in a postprocess. Topological variations have distinctive, interesting patterns of mesh lines. © 2014 ACM 0730-0301/2014/01-ART3 15.00.

  10. Exploring quadrangulations

    KAUST Repository

    Peng, Chi-Han

    2014-02-04

    Here we presented a framework to explore quad mesh topologies. The core of our work is a systematic enumeration algorithm that can generate all possible quadrangular meshes inside a defined boundary with an upper limit of v3-v5 pairs. The algorithm is orders of magnitude more efficient than previous work. The combination of topological enumeration and shape-space exploration demonstrates that mesh topology has a powerful influence on geometry. The Fig. 18. A gallery of different quadrilateral meshes for a Shuriken. The quadrilaterals of the model were colored in a postprocess. Topological variations have distinctive, interesting patterns of mesh lines. © 2014 ACM 0730-0301/2014/01-ART3 15.00.

  11. Explorative Faktorenanalyse

    OpenAIRE

    Klopp, Eric

    2010-01-01

    Die explorative Faktorenanalyse (EFA) ist ein Verfahren aus der multivariaten Statistik. Mithilfe der Faktorenanalyse kann aus den Beobachtungen vieler manifester Variablen (z .B Items eines Fragebogens) auf wenige zugrunde liegende latente Variablen, die Faktoren genannt werden, geschlossen werden. Eine EFA führt zu einer Reduktion der Variablen auf wenige, den manifesten Variablen zugrunde liegende Faktoren. Der folgende Text gibt einen Überblick über die Grundlagen der EFA sowie der wichti...

  12. Applications of Surface Penetrating Radar for Mars Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, H.; Li, C.; Ran, S.; Feng, J.; Zuo, W.

    2015-12-01

    Surface Penetrating Radar (SPR) is a geophysical method that uses electromagnetic field probe the interior structure and lithological variations of a lossy dielectric materials, it performs quite well in dry, icy and shallow-soil environments. The first radar sounding of the subsurface of planet was carried out by Apollo Lunar Sounder Experiment (ALSE) of the Apollo 17 in 1972. ALSE provided very precise information about the moon's topography and revealed structures beneath the surface in both Mare Crisium and Mare Serenitatis. Russian Mars'92 was the first Mars exploration mission that tried to use SPR to explore martian surface, subsurface and ionosphere. Although Mars'96 launch failed in 1996, Russia(Mars'98, cancelled in 1998; Phobos-Grunt, launch failed in 2011), ESA(Mars Express, succeeded in 2003; Netlander, cancelled in 2003; ExoMars 2018) and NASA(MRO, succeeded in 2005; MARS 2020) have been making great effects to send SPR to Mars, trying to search for the existence of groundwater and life in the past 20 years. So far, no Ground Penetrating Radar(GPR) has yet provided in situ observations on the surface of Mars. In December 2013, China's CE-3 lunar rover (Yuto) equipped with a GPR made the first direct measurement of the structure and depth of the lunar soil, and investigation of the lunar crust structure along the rover path. China's Mars Exploration Program also plans to carry the orbiting radar sounder and rover GPR to characterize the nature of subsurface water or ices and the layered structure of shallow subsurface of Mars. SPR can provide diversity of applications for Mars exploration , that are: to map the distribution of solid and liquid water in the upper portions of the Mars' crust; to characterize the subsurface geologic environment; to investigate the planet's subsurface to better understand the evolution and habitability of Mars; to perform the martain ionosphere sounding. Based on SPR's history and achievements, combined with the

  13. Abundance and Isotopic Composition of Gases in the Martian Atmosphere: First Results from the Mars Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaffy, Paul; Webster, Chris R.; Atreya, Sushil K.; Franz, Heather; Wong, Michael; Conrad, Pamela G.; Harpold, Dan; Jones, John J.; Leshin, Laurie, A.; Manning, Heidi; hide

    2013-01-01

    Repeated measurements of the composition of the Mars atmosphere from Curiosity Rover yield a (40)Ar/N2 ratio 1.7 times greater and the (40)Ar/(36)Ar ratio 1.6 times smaller than the Viking Lander values in 1976. The unexpected change in (40)Ar/N2 ratio probably results from different instrument characteristics although we cannot yet rule out some unknown atmospheric process. The new (40)Ar/(36)Ar ratio is more aligned with Martian meteoritic values. Besides Ar and N2 the Sample Analysis at Mars instrument suite on the Curiosity Rover has measured the other principal components of the atmosphere and the isotopes. The resulting volume mixing ratios are: CO2 0.960(+/- 0.007); (40)Ar 0.0193(+/- 0.0001); N2 0.0189(+/- 0.0003); O2 1.45(+/- 0.09) x 10(exp -3); and CO 5.45(+/- 3.62) x 10(exp 4); and the isotopes (40)Ar/(36)Ar 1.9(+/- 0.3) x 10(exp 3), and delta (13)C and delta (18)O from CO2 that are both several tens of per mil more positive than the terrestrial averages. Heavy isotope enrichments support the hypothesis of large atmospheric loss. Moreover, the data are consistent with values measured in Martian meteorites, providing additional strong support for a Martian origin for these rocks.

  14. Mars Rover Curriculum: Teacher Self Reporting of Increased Frequency and Confidence in their Science and Language Arts Instruction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bering, E. A.; Carlson, C.; Nieser, K.; Slagle, E.

    2013-12-01

    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 program is called 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 65 Mars Rover teachers from the 2012-2013 cohort 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. In total, 29 teachers participated in the survey. 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. In addition, they were asked to rate the degree to which they felt their confidence increased in the past year as a result of their participation in the MRC program. 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. In addition, the vast majority reported believing that their confidence increased somewhat to quite a bit as a result of their

  15. Exploring Science Through Polar Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pfirman, S. L.; Bell, R. E.; Zadoff, L.; Kelsey, R.

    2003-12-01

    Exploring the Poles is a First Year Seminar course taught at Barnard College, Columbia University. First Year Seminars are required of incoming students and are designed to encourage critical analysis in a small class setting with focused discussion. The class links historical polar exploration with current research in order to: introduce non-scientists to the value of environmental science through polar literature; discuss issues related to venturing into the unknown that are of relevance to any discipline: self-reliance, leadership, preparation, decisions under uncertainty; show students the human face of science; change attitudes about science and scientists; use data to engage students in exploring/understanding the environment and help them learn to draw conclusions from data; integrate research and education. These goals are met by bringing analysis of early exploration efforts together with a modern understanding of the polar environment. To date to class has followed the efforts of Nansen in the Fram, Scott and Amundsen in their race to the pole, and Shackleton's Endurance. As students read turn-of-the-century expedition journals, expedition progress is progressively revealed on an interactive map showing the environmental context. To bring the exploration process to life, students are assigned to expedition teams for specific years and the fates of the student "expeditions" are based on their own decisions. For example, in the Arctic, they navigate coastal sea ice and become frozen into the ice north of Siberia, re-creating Nansen's polar drift. Fates of the teams varied tremendously: some safely emerged at Fram Strait in 4 years, while others nearly became hopelessly lost in the Beaufort Gyre. Students thus learn about variability in the current polar environment through first hand experience, enabling them to appreciate the experiences, decisions, and, in some cases, the luck, of polar explorers. Evaluation by the Columbia Center for New Media, Teaching

  16. Space exploration

    CERN Document Server

    2009-01-01

    Space Exploration, is one book in the Britannica Illustrated Science Library Series that is correlated to the science curriculum in grades 5-8. The Britannica Illustrated Science Library is a visually compelling set that covers earth science, life science, and physical science in 16 volumes.  Created for ages 10 and up, each volume provides an overview on a subject and thoroughly explains it through detailed and powerful graphics-more than 1,000 per volume-that turn complex subjects into information that students can grasp.  Each volume contains a glossary with full definitions for vocabulary help and an index.

  17. Exploring Mars for Evidence of Habitable Environments and Life

    Science.gov (United States)

    DesMarais, David J.

    2014-01-01

    The climate of Mars has been more similar to that of Earth than has the climate of any other planet in our Solar System. But Mars still provides a valuable alternative example of how planetary processes and environments can affect the potential presence of life elsewhere. For example, although Mars also differentiated very early into a core, mantle and crust, it then evolved mostly if not completely without plate tectonics and has lost most of its early atmosphere. The Martian crust has been more stable than that of Earth, thus it has probably preserved a more complete record of its earliest history. Orbital observations determined that near-surface water was once pervasive. Orbiters have identified the following diverse aqueous sedimentary deposits: layered phyllosilicates, phyllosilicates in intracrater fans, plains sediments potentially harboring evaporitic minerals, deep phyllosilicates, carbonate-bearing deposits, intracrater clay-sulfate deposits, Meridiani-type layered deposits, valles-type layered deposits, hydrated silica-bearing deposits, and gypsum plains. These features, together with evidence of more vigorous past geologic activity, indicate that early climates were wetter and perhaps also somewhat warmer. The denser atmosphere that was required for liquid water to be stable on the surface also provided more substantial protection from radiation. Whereas ancient climates might have favored habitable environments at least in some localities, clearly much of the Martian surface for most of its history has been markedly less favorable for life. The combination of dry conditions, oxidizing surface environments and typically low rates of sedimentation are not conducive to the preservation of evidence of ancient environments and any biota. Thus a strategy is required whereby candidate sites are first identified and then characterized for their potential to preserve evidence of past habitable environments. Rovers are then sent to explore the most promising

  18. Geoelectrical exploration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mostafa Said Barseem

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Sinai development is a goal of successive governments in Egypt. The present study is a geoelectrical exploration to find appropriate solutions of the problems affecting the land of a Research Station in Southeast Al Qantara. This research station is one of the Desert Research Center stations to facilitate the development of desert land for agriculture by introducing applied research. It suffers from some problems which can be summarized in the shortage of irrigation water and water logging. The appropriate solutions of these problems have been delineated by the results of 1D and 2D geoelectrical measurements. Electrical resistivity (ER revealed the subsurface sedimentary sequences and extension of subsurface layers in the horizontal and vertical directions, especially, the water bearing layer. Additionally it helped to choose the most suitable places to drill productive wells with a good condition.

  19. Exploration economics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mcgill, R.E.

    1992-01-01

    This paper deals with determining the economic viability of the play or prospect. At the outset, one point is important. Preexploration economists are important because they enable geologists to see if their assumptions will prove profitable. Their assumptions must consider the full range of possible outcomes, even if only some portion of that range may contain prospects or plays that are estimated to be profitable. Play economics are preferable to prospect economics because, being the sum of several prospects, they give a broader view of the investment opportunity. Finally, remember that play and prospect economics are always slightly optimistic. They seldom include all of the exploration and overhead changes that must ultimately be borne by the successful prospects

  20. HR Explorer

    CERN Document Server

    Möller, M

    1997-01-01

    At the European Laboratory for Particle Physics Research (CERN), Geneva Switzerland we are using OracleHR for managing our human resources since 1995. After the first year of production it became clear that there was a strong need for an easy-to-use Decision Support Tool exploring the data in OracleHR. This paper illustrates an approach which we have adopted to provide on-line management reporting, multi-dimensional analysis, drill-down and slicing & dicing of data, warehoused from OracleHR. The tool offers strong resource management and planning capabilities including career follow-up. The user management and security monitoring are implemented using the Oracle WebServer.

  1. Hydrocarbon exploration

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lerche, I. (South Carolina Univ., Columbia, SC (United States). Dept. of Geological Sciences)

    1993-01-01

    This special issue of the journal examines various aspects of the on-going search for hydrocarbons, ranging from frontier basins where little data are available, to more mature areas where considerable data are available. The incentives underlying the search for oil are roughly: the social, economic and industrial needs of a nation; the incentive of a corporation to be profitable; and the personal incentives of individuals in the oil industry and governments, which range from financial wealth to power and which are as diverse as the individuals who are involved. From a geopolitical perspective, the needs, requirements, goals, strategies, and philosophies of nations, and groups of nations, also impact on the oil exploration game. Strategies that have been employed have ranged from boycott to austerity and rationing, to physical intervention, to global ''flooding'' with oil by over-production. (author)

  2. Exploring ESASky

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Marchi, Guido; ESASky Team

    2017-06-01

    ESASky is a science-driven discovery portal for all ESA space astronomy missions. It also includes missions from international partners such as Suzaku and Chandra. The first public release of ESASky features interfaces for sky exploration and for single and multiple target searches. Using the application requires no prior-knowledge of any of the missions involved and gives users world-wide simplified access to high-level science-ready data products from space-based Astronomy missions, plus a number of ESA-produced source catalogues, including the Gaia Data Release 1 catalogue. We highlight here the latest features to be developed, including one that allows the user to project onto the sky the footprints of the JWST instruments, at any chosen position and orientation. This tool has been developed to aid JWST astronomers when they are defining observing proposals. We aim to include other missions and instruments in the near future.

  3. Real-time Accurate Surface Reconstruction Pipeline for Vision Guided Planetary Exploration Using Unmanned Ground and Aerial Vehicles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almeida, Eduardo DeBrito

    2012-01-01

    This report discusses work completed over the summer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), California Institute of Technology. A system is presented to guide ground or aerial unmanned robots using computer vision. The system performs accurate camera calibration, camera pose refinement and surface extraction from images collected by a camera mounted on the vehicle. The application motivating the research is planetary exploration and the vehicles are typically rovers or unmanned aerial vehicles. The information extracted from imagery is used primarily for navigation, as robot location is the same as the camera location and the surfaces represent the terrain that rovers traverse. The processed information must be very accurate and acquired very fast in order to be useful in practice. The main challenge being addressed by this project is to achieve high estimation accuracy and high computation speed simultaneously, a difficult task due to many technical reasons.

  4. Origin of Chlorobenzene Detected by the Curiosity Rover in Yellowknife Bay: Evidence for Martian Organics in the Sheepbed Mudstone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glavin, D.; Freissnet, C.; Eigenbrode, J.; Miller, K.; Martin, M.; Summons, R. E.; Steele, A.; Archer, D.; Brunner, A.; Buch, A.; hide

    2014-01-01

    The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument on the Curiosity rover is designed to determine the inventory of organic and inorganic volatiles thermally evolved from solid samples using a combination of evolved gas analysis (EGA), gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GCMS), and tunable laser spectroscopy. Here we discuss the SAM EGA and GCMS measurements of volatiles released from the Sheepbed mudstone. We focus primarily on the elevated CBZ detections at CB and laboratory analog experiments conducted to help determine if CBZ is derived from primarily terrestrial, martian, or a combination of sources. Here we discuss the SAM EGA and GCMS measurements of volatiles released from the Sheepbed mudstone. We focus primarily on the elevated CBZ detections at CB and laboratory analog experiments conducted to help determine if CBZ is derived from primarily terrestrial, martian, or a combination of sources.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sumner, D. Y.; Palucis, M.; Dietrich, B.; Calef, F.; Stack, K. M.; Ehlmann, B.; Bridges, J.; Dromart, J.; Eigenbrode, J.; Farmer, J.; hide

    2013-01-01

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

  6. Performance evaluation of lunar penetrating radar onboard the rover of CE-3 probe based on results from ground experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Hong-Bo; Zheng, Lei; Su, Yan; Fang, Guang-You; Zhou, Bin; Feng, Jian-Qing; Xing, Shu-Guo; Dai, Shun; Li, Jun-Duo; Ji, Yi-Cai; Gao, Yun-Ze; Xiao, Yuan; Li, Chun-Lai

    2014-12-01

    Lunar Penetrating Radar (LPR) onboard the rover that is part of the Chang'e-3 (CE-3) mission was firstly utilized to obtain in situ measurements about geological structure on the lunar surface and the thickness of the lunar regolith, which are key elements for studying the evolutional history of lunar crust. Because penetration depth and resolution of LPR are related to the scientific objectives of this mission, a series of ground-based experiments using LPR was carried out, and results of the experimental data were obtained in a glacial area located in the northwest region of China. The results show that the penetration depth of the first channel antenna used for LPR is over 79 m with a resolution of 2.8 m, and that for the second channel antenna is over 50.8 m with a resolution of 17.1 cm.

  7. Performance evaluation of lunar penetrating radar onboard the rover of CE-3 probe based on results from ground experiments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang Hong-Bo; Zheng Lei; Su Yan; Feng Jian-Qing; Xing Shu-Guo; Dai Shun; Li Jun-Duo; Xiao Yuan; Li Chun-Lai; Fang Guang-You; Zhou Bin; Ji Yi-Cai; Gao Yun-Ze

    2014-01-01

    Lunar Penetrating Radar (LPR) onboard the rover that is part of the Chang'e-3 (CE-3) mission was firstly utilized to obtain in situ measurements about geological structure on the lunar surface and the thickness of the lunar regolith, which are key elements for studying the evolutional history of lunar crust. Because penetration depth and resolution of LPR are related to the scientific objectives of this mission, a series of ground-based experiments using LPR was carried out, and results of the experimental data were obtained in a glacial area located in the northwest region of China. The results show that the penetration depth of the first channel antenna used for LPR is over 79 m with a resolution of 2.8 m, and that for the second channel antenna is over 50.8 m with a resolution of 17.1 cm

  8. Space Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallagher, Dennis

    2017-01-01

    New range Passage Tomb may be the first structure with known astronomical significance. It was built around 3,200 B.C. in Ireland. It's central passage allows light end-to-end for about 2 weeks around winter solstice. The Sun, Moon, Planets, and Stars held significance in early times due to the seasons, significance for food crops, and mythology. Citation: Corel Photography and Windows to the Universe The Greek may be among the first to pursue analytical interpretations of what they saw in the sky. In about 280 B.C. Aristarchus suggested Earth revolves around the Sun and estimated the distance between. Around 130 B.C. Hipparchus developed the first accurate star map. Today still seek to understand how the universe formed and how we came to be and are we alone. Understanding the causes and consequences of climate change using advanced space missions with major Earth science and applications research. center dotFire the public imagination and inspire students to pursue STEM fields. Train college and graduate students to create a U.S. technical workforce with employees that embody the values of competence, innovation, and service. center dotDrive the technical innovations that enable exploration and become the engine of National economic growth. center dotPartner domestically and internationally to leverage resources to extend the reach of research.

  9. Exploring Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breuil, Stéphanie

    2016-04-01

    Mars is our neighbour planet and has always fascinated humans as it has been seen as a potential abode for life. Knowledge about Mars is huge and was constructed step by step through numerous missions. It could be difficult to describe these missions, the associated technology, the results, the questions they raise, that's why an activity is proposed, that directly interests students. Their production is presented in the poster. Step 1: The main Mars feature and the first Mars explorations using telescope are presented to students. It should be really interesting to present "Mars Canals" from Percival Lowell as it should also warn students against flawed interpretation. Moreover, this study has raised the big question about extra-terrestrial life on Mars for the first time. Using Google Mars is then a good way to show the huge knowledge we have on the planet and to introduce modern missions. Step 2: Students have to choose and describe one of the Mars mission from ESA and NASA. They should work in pairs. Web sites from ESA and NASA are available and the teacher makes sure the main missions will be studied. Step 3: Students have to collect different pieces of information about the mission - When? Which technology? What were the main results? What type of questions does it raise? They prepare an oral presentation in the form they want (role play, academic presentation, using a poster, PowerPoint). They also have to produce playing cards about the mission that could be put on a timeline. Step 4: As a conclusion, the different cards concerning different missions are mixed. Groups of students receive cards and they have to put them on a timeline as fast as possible. It is also possible to play the game "timeline".

  10. Winds Measured by the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS) During the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Rover's Bagnold Dunes Campaign and Comparison with Numerical Modeling Using MarsWRF

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newman, Claire E.; Gomez-Elvira, Javier; Marin, Mercedes; Navarro, Sara; Torres, Josefina; Richardson, Mark I.; Battalio, J. Michael; Guzewich, Scott D.; Sullivan, Robert; de la Torre, Manuel; hide

    2016-01-01

    threshold, and also appears to show the influence of the dune body on the local flow, though less clearly than in the lee. Using a vertical grid with lower resolution near the surface reduces the relative strength of nighttime winds predicted by MarsWRF and produces a peak in wind speed at approx. 09:00, improving the match to the observed diurnal variation of wind speed, albeit with an offset in magnitude. The annual wind field predicted using this grid also provides a far better match to observations of aeolian dune morphology and motion in the Bagnold Dunes. However, the lower overall wind speeds than observed and disagreement with the observed wind direction at approx. 09:00 suggest that the problem has not been solved and that alternative boundary layer mixing schemes should be explored which may result in more mixing of momentum down to the near-surface from higher layers. These results demonstrate a strong need for in situ wind data to constrain the setup and assumptions used in numerical models, so that they may be used with more confidence to predict the circulation at other times and locations on Mars.

  11. Human Exploration Using Real-Time Robotic Operations (HERRO)- Crew Telerobotic Control Vehicle (CTCV) Design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oleson, Steven R.; McGuire, Melissa L.; Burke, Laura; Chato, David; Fincannon, James; Landis, Geoff; Sandifer, Carl; Warner, Joe; Williams, Glenn; Colozza, Tony; hide

    2010-01-01

    The HERRO concept allows real time investigation of planets and small bodies by sending astronauts to orbit these targets and telerobotically explore them using robotic systems. Several targets have been put forward by past studies including Mars, Venus, and near Earth asteroids. A conceptual design study was funded by the NASA Innovation Fund to explore what the HERRO concept and it's vehicles would look like and what technological challenges need to be met. This design study chose Mars as the target destination. In this way the HERRO studies can define the endpoint design concepts for an all-up telerobotic exploration of the number one target of interest Mars. This endpoint design will serve to help planners define combined precursor telerobotics science missions and technology development flights. A suggested set of these technologies and demonstrator missions is shown in Appendix B. The HERRO concept includes a crewed telerobotics orbit vehicle as well three Truck rovers, each supporting two teleoperated geologist robots Rockhounds (each truck/Rockhounds set is landed using a commercially launched aeroshell landing system.) Options include a sample ascent system teamed with an orbital telerobotic sample rendezvous and return spacecraft (S/C) (yet to be designed). Each truck rover would be landed in a science location with the ability to traverse a 100 km diameter area, carrying the Rockhounds to 100 m diameter science areas for several week science activities. The truck is not only responsible for transporting the Rockhounds to science areas, but also for relaying telecontrol and high-res communications to/from the Rockhound and powering/heating the Rockhound during the non-science times (including night-time). The Rockhounds take the place of human geologists by providing an agile robotic platform with real-time telerobotics control to the Rockhound from the crew telerobotics orbiter. The designs of the Truck rovers and Rockhounds will be described in other

  12. Quantitative analysis of digital outcrop data obtained from stereo-imagery using an emulator for the PanCam camera system for the ExoMars 2020 rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnes, Robert; Gupta, Sanjeev; Gunn, Matt; Paar, Gerhard; Balme, Matt; Huber, Ben; Bauer, Arnold; Furya, Komyo; Caballo-Perucha, Maria del Pilar; Traxler, Chris; Hesina, Gerd; Ortner, Thomas; Banham, Steven; Harris, Jennifer; Muller, Jan-Peter; Tao, Yu

    2017-04-01

    A key focus of planetary rover missions is to use panoramic camera systems to image outcrops along rover traverses, in order to characterise their geology in search of ancient life. This data can be processed to create 3D point clouds of rock outcrops to be quantitatively analysed. The Mars Utah Rover Field Investigation (MURFI 2016) is a Mars Rover field analogue mission run by the UK Space Agency (UKSA) in collaboration with the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). It took place between 22nd October and 13th November 2016 and consisted of a science team based in Harwell, UK, and a field team including an instrumented Rover platform at the field site near Hanksville (Utah, USA). The Aberystwyth University PanCam Emulator 3 (AUPE3) camera system was used to collect stereo panoramas of the terrain the rover encountered during the field trials. Stereo-imagery processed in PRoViP is rendered as Ordered Point Clouds (OPCs) in PRo3D, enabling the user to zoom, rotate and translate the 3D outcrop model. Interpretations can be digitised directly onto the 3D surface, and simple measurements can be taken of the dimensions of the outcrop and sedimentary features, including grain size. Dip and strike of bedding planes, stratigraphic and sedimentological boundaries and fractures is calculated within PRo3D from mapped bedding contacts and fracture traces. Merging of rover-derived imagery with UAV and orbital datasets, to build semi-regional multi-resolution 3D models of the area of operations for immersive analysis and contextual understanding. In-simulation, AUPE3 was mounted onto the rover mast, collecting 16 stereo panoramas over 9 'sols'. 5 out-of-simulation datasets were collected in the Hanksville-Burpee Quarry. Stereo panoramas were processed using an automated pipeline and data transfer through an ftp server. PRo3D has been used for visualisation and analysis of this stereo data. Features of interest in the area could be annotated, and their distances between to the rover

  13. Characterization of Fillite as a planetary soil simulant in support of rover mobility assessment in high-sinkage/high-slip environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, Michael

    This thesis presents the results of a research program characterizing a soil simulant called Fillite, which is composed of alumino-silicate hollow microspheres harvested from the pulverized fuel ash of coal-fired power plants. Fillite is available in large quantities at a reasonable cost and it is chemically inert. Fillite has been selected by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Glenn Research Center to simulate high-sinkage/high-slip environment in a large test bed such as the ones encountered by the Spirit rover on Mars in 2009 when it became entrapped in a pocket of soft, loose regolith on Mars. The terms high-sinkage and high-slip used here describe the interaction of soils with typical rover wheels. High-sinkage refers to a wheel sinking with little to no applied force while high-slip refers to a spinning wheel with minimal traction. Standard material properties (density, specific gravity, compression index, Young's modulus, and Poisson's ratio) of Fillite were determined from a series of laboratory tests conducted in general accordance with ASTM standards. Tests were also performed to determine some less standard material properties of Fillite such as the small strain shear wave velocity, maximum shear modulus, and several pressure-sinkage parameters for use in pressure-sinkage models. The experiments include an extensive series of triaxial compression tests, bender element tests, and normal and shear bevameter tests. The unit weight of Fillite on Earth ranges between 3.9 and 4.8 kN/m 3, which is similar to that of Martian regolith (about 3.7 -- 5.6 kN/m3) on Mars and close to the range of the unit weight of lunar regolith (about 1.4 -- 2.9 kN/m3) on the Moon. The data presented here support that Fillite has many physical and mechanical properties that are similar to what is known about Martian regolith. These properties are also comparable to lunar regolith. Fillite is quite dilatant; its peak and critical angles of internal friction are

  14. ALI (Autonomous Lunar Investigator): Revolutionary Approach to Exploring the Moon with Addressable Reconfigurable Technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, P. E.; Curtis, S. A.; Rilee, M. L.; Floyd, S. R.

    2005-01-01

    Addressable Reconfigurable Technology (ART) based structures: Mission Concepts based on Addressable Reconfigurable Technology (ART), originally studied for future ANTS (Autonomous Nanotechnology Swarm) Space Architectures, are now being developed as rovers for nearer term use in lunar and planetary surface exploration. The architecture is based on the reconfigurable tetrahedron as a building block. Tetrahedra are combined to form space-filling networks, shaped for the required function. Basic structural components are highly modular, addressable arrays of robust nodes (tetrahedral apices) from which highly reconfigurable struts (tetrahedral edges), acting as supports or tethers, are efficiently reversibly deployed/stowed, transforming and reshaping the structures as required.

  15. Unmanned systems to support the human exploration of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gage, Douglas W.

    2010-04-01

    Robots and other unmanned systems will play many critical roles in support of a human presence on Mars, including surveying candidate landing sites, locating ice and mineral resources, establishing power and other infrastructure, performing construction tasks, and transporting equipment and supplies. Many of these systems will require much more strength and power than exploration rovers. The presence of humans on Mars will permit proactive maintenance and repair, and allow teleoperation and operator intervention, supporting multiple dynamic levels of autonomy, so the critical challenges to the use of unmanned systems will occur before humans arrive on Mars. Nevertheless, installed communications and navigation infrastructure should be able to support structured and/or repetitive operations (such as excavation, drilling, or construction) within a "familiar" area with an acceptable level of remote operator intervention. This paper discusses some of the factors involved in developing and deploying unmanned systems to make humans' time on Mars safer and more productive, efficient, and enjoyable.

  16. UWB Technology and Applications on Space Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ngo, Phong; Phan, Chau; Gross, Julia; Dusl, John; Ni, Jianjun; Rafford, Melinda

    2006-01-01

    Ultra-wideband (UWB), also known as impulse or carrier-free radio technology, is one promising new technology. In February 2002, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved the deployment of this technology. It is increasingly recognized that UWB technology holds great potential to provide significant benefits in many terrestrial and space applications such as precise positioning/tracking and high data rate mobile wireless communications. This talk presents an introduction to UWB technology and some applications on space exploration. UWB is characterized by several uniquely attractive features, such as low impact on other RF systems due to its extremely low power spectral densities, immunity to interference from narrow band RF systems due to its ultra-wide bandwidth, multipath immunity to fading due to ample multipath diversity, capable of precise positioning due to fine time resolution, capable of high data rate multi-channel performance. The related FCC regulations, IEEE standardization efforts and industry activities also will be addressed in this talk. For space applications, some projects currently under development at NASA Johnson Space Center will be introduced. These include the UWB integrated communication and tracking system for Lunar/Mars rover and astronauts, UWB-RFID ISS inventory tracking, and UWB-TDOA close-in high resolution tracking for potential applications on robonaut.

  17. Field reconnaissance geologic mapping of the Columbia Hills, Mars, based on Mars Exploration Rover Spirit and MRO HiRISE observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crumpler, L.S.; Arvidson, R. E.; Squyres, S. W.; McCoy, T.; Yingst, A.; Ruff, S.; Farrand, W.; McSween, Y.; Powell, M.; Ming, D. W.; Morris, R.V.; Bell, J.F.; Grant, J.; Greeley, R.; DesMarais, D.; Schmidt, M.; Cabrol, N.A.; Haldemann, A.; Lewis, K.W.; Wang, A.E.; Schroder, C.; Blaney, D.; Cohen, B.; Yen, A.; Farmer, J.; Gellert, Ralf; Guinness, E.A.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Johnson, J. R.; Klingelhfer, G.; McEwen, A.; Rice, J.W.; Rice, M.; deSouza, P.; Hurowitz, J.

    2011-01-01

    Chemical, mineralogic, and lithologic ground truth was acquired for the first time on Mars in terrain units mapped using orbital Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (MRO HiRISE) image data. Examination of several dozen outcrops shows that Mars is geologically complex at meter length scales, the record of its geologic history is well exposed, stratigraphic units may be identified and correlated across significant areas on the ground, and outcrops and geologic relationships between materials may be analyzed with techniques commonly employed in terrestrial field geology. Despite their burial during the course of Martian geologic time by widespread epiclastic materials, mobile fines, and fall deposits, the selective exhumation of deep and well-preserved geologic units has exposed undisturbed outcrops, stratigraphic sections, and structural information much as they are preserved and exposed on Earth. A rich geologic record awaits skilled future field investigators on Mars. The correlation of ground observations and orbital images enables construction of a corresponding geologic reconnaissance map. Most of the outcrops visited are interpreted to be pyroclastic, impactite, and epiclastic deposits overlying an unexposed substrate, probably related to a modified Gusev crater central peak. Fluids have altered chemistry and mineralogy of these protoliths in degrees that vary substantially within the same map unit. Examination of the rocks exposed above and below the major unconformity between the plains lavas and the Columbia Hills directly confirms the general conclusion from remote sensing in previous studies over past years that the early history of Mars was a time of more intense deposition and modification of the surface. Although the availability of fluids and the chemical and mineral activity declined from this early period, significant later volcanism and fluid convection enabled additional, if localized, chemical activity. Copyright ?? 2011 by the American Geophysical Union.

  18. Scientific Objectives of China Chang E 4 CE-4 Lunar Far-side Exploration Mission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Hongbo; Zeng, Xingguo; Chen, Wangli

    2017-10-01

    China has achieved great success in the recently CE-1~CE-3 lunar missions, and in the year of 2018, China Lunar Exploration Program (CLEP) is going to launch the CE-4 mission. CE-4 satellite is the backup satellite of CE-3, so that it also consists of a Lander and a Rover. However, CE-4 is the first mission designed to detect the far side of the Moon in human lunar exploration history. So the biggest difference between CE-4 and CE-3 is that it will be equipped with a relay satellite in Earth-Moon-L2 Point for Earth-Moon Communication. And the scientific payloads carried on the Lander and Rover will also be different. It has been announced by the Chinese government that CE-4 mission will be equipped with some new international cooperated scientific payloads, such as the Low Frequency Radio Detector from Holland, Lunar Neutron and Radiation Dose Detector from Germany, Neutral Atom Detector from Sweden, and Lunar Miniature Optical Imaging Sounder from Saudi Arabia. The main scientific objective of CE-4 is to provide scientific data for lunar far side research, including: 1)general spatial environmental study of lunar far side;2)general research on the surface, shallow layer and deep layer of lunar far side;3)detection of low frequency radio on lunar far side using Low Frequency Radio Detector, which would be the first time of using such frequency band in lunar exploration history .

  19. Characterization of terrestrial hydrothermal alteration products with Mars analog instrumentation: Implications for current and future rover investigations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Black, Sarah R.; Hynek, Brian M.

    2018-06-01

    host a wide range of microbial life here on Earth-are of high interest and it is likely that future rovers will encounter similar mineral assemblages. Therefore, future rovers would benefit from using a combination of these methods and expanding the VSWIR sampling range to the full 300-2500 nm to conduct a comprehensive mineralogical investigation.

  20. Bile Duct Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Home / Health Library / Diagnostics & Testing / Bile Duct Exploration Bile Duct Exploration Common bile duct exploration is a ... Test Details Results and Follow-Up What is bile, and what is bile duct exploration? Bile is ...

  1. Compositional variations in sands of the Bagnold Dunes, Gale Crater, Mars, from visible-shortwave infrared spectroscopy and comparison with ground truth from the Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lapotre, Mathieu G.A.; Ehlmann, B. L.; Minson, Sarah E.; Arvidson, R. E.; Ayoub, F.; Fraeman, A. A.; Ewing, R. C.; Bridges, N. T.

    2017-01-01

    During its ascent up Mount Sharp, the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover traversed the Bagnold Dune Field. We model sand modal mineralogy and grain size at four locations near the rover traverse, using orbital shortwave infrared single scattering albedo spectra and a Markov-Chain Monte Carlo implementation of Hapke's radiative transfer theory to fully constrain uncertainties and permitted solutions. These predictions, evaluated against in situ measurements at one site from the Curiosity rover, show that XRD-measured mineralogy of the basaltic sands is within the 95% confidence interval of model predictions. However, predictions are relatively insensitive to grain size and are non-unique, especially when modeling the composition of minerals with solid solutions. We find an overall basaltic mineralogy and show subtle spatial variations in composition in and around the Bagnold dunes, consistent with a mafic enrichment of sands with cumulative transport distance by sorting of olivine, pyroxene, and plagioclase grains during aeolian saltation. Furthermore, the large variations in Fe and Mg abundances (~20 wt%) at the Bagnold Dunes suggest that compositional variability induced by wind sorting may be enhanced by local mixing with proximal sand sources. Our estimates demonstrate a method for orbital quantification of composition with rigorous uncertainty determination and provide key constraints for interpreting in situ measurements of compositional variability within martian aeolian sandstones.

  2. Compositional variations in sands of the Bagnold Dunes, Gale crater, Mars, from visible-shortwave infrared spectroscopy and comparison with ground truth from the Curiosity rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lapotre, M. G. A.; Ehlmann, B. L.; Minson, S. E.; Arvidson, R. E.; Ayoub, F.; Fraeman, A. A.; Ewing, R. C.; Bridges, N. T.

    2017-12-01

    During its ascent up Mount Sharp, the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover traversed the Bagnold Dune Field. We model sand modal mineralogy and grain size at four locations near the rover traverse, using orbital shortwave infrared single-scattering albedo spectra and a Markov chain Monte Carlo implementation of Hapke's radiative transfer theory to fully constrain uncertainties and permitted solutions. These predictions, evaluated against in situ measurements at one site from the Curiosity rover, show that X-ray diffraction-measured mineralogy of the basaltic sands is within the 95% confidence interval of model predictions. However, predictions are relatively insensitive to grain size and are nonunique, especially when modeling the composition of minerals with solid solutions. We find an overall basaltic mineralogy and show subtle spatial variations in composition in and around the Bagnold Dunes, consistent with a mafic enrichment of sands with cumulative aeolian-transport distance by sorting of olivine, pyroxene, and plagioclase grains. Furthermore, the large variations in Fe and Mg abundances ( 20 wt %) at the Bagnold Dunes suggest that compositional variability may be enhanced by local mixing of well-sorted sand with proximal sand sources. Our estimates demonstrate a method for orbital quantification of composition with rigorous uncertainty determination and provide key constraints for interpreting in situ measurements of compositional variability within Martian aeolian sandstones.

  3. Determination of foreign broadening coefficients for Methane Lines Targeted by the Tunable Laser Spectrometer (TLS) on the Mars Curiosity Rover

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Manne, Jagadeeshwari; Bui, Thinh Q.; Webster, Christopher R.

    2017-01-01

    Molecular line parameters of foreign- broadening by air, carbon dioxide, and helium gas have been experimentally determined for infrared ro-vibrational spectral lines of methane isotopologues ("1"2CH_4 and "1"3CH_4) at 3057 cm"−"1 targeted by the Tunable Laser Spectrometer (TLS) in the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover. From multi-spectrum analyses with the speed-dependent Voigt line profile with Rosenkrantz line-mixing, speed-dependence and line-mixing effects were quantified for methane spectra at total pressures up to 200 mbar. The fitted air-broadening coefficients deviated from 8–25% to those reported in the HITRAN-2012 database. - Highlights: • Measurements of foreign broadening coefficients for Mars-TLS specific methane lines. • Spectral parameters were deduced from Speed-dependent Voigt profile with line mixing effects taken into account. • A thorough comparison of different line profile fits for the Mars-TLS methane lines. The fitted broadening coefficients and areas deviated up to 30% and 4%, respectively, when comparing the speed-dependent Voigt profile (with Rosenkrantz line-mixing) with the simplest Voigt profile. • Foreign broadening coefficients were measured within a precision of 2.2%.

  4. Evidence for indigenous nitrogen in sedimentary and aeolian deposits from the Curiosity rover investigations at Gale crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, Jennifer C.; Sutter, Brad; Freissinet, Caroline; Navarro-González, Rafael; McKay, Christopher P.; Archer, P. Douglas; Buch, Arnaud; Brunner, Anna E.; Coll, Patrice; Eigenbrode, Jennifer L.; Fairen, Alberto G.; Franz, Heather B.; Glavin, Daniel P.; Kashyap, Srishti; McAdam, Amy C.; Ming, Douglas W.; Steele, Andrew; Szopa, Cyril; Wray, James J.; Martín-Torres, F. Javier; Zorzano, Maria-Paz; Conrad, Pamela G.; Mahaffy, Paul R.; Kemppinen, Osku; Bridges, Nathan; Johnson, Jeffrey R.; Minitti, Michelle; Cremers, David; Bell, James F.; Edgar, Lauren; Farmer, Jack; Godber, Austin; Wadhwa, Meenakshi; Wellington, Danika; McEwan, Ian; Newman, Claire; Richardson, Mark; Charpentier, Antoine; Peret, Laurent; King, Penelope; Blank, Jennifer; Weigle, Gerald; Schmidt, Mariek; Li, Shuai; Milliken, Ralph; Robertson, Kevin; Sun, Vivian; Baker, Michael; Edwards, Christopher; Ehlmann, Bethany; Farley, Kenneth; Griffes, Jennifer; Grotzinger, John; Miller, Hayden; Newcombe, Megan; Pilorget, Cedric; Rice, Melissa; Siebach, Kirsten; Stack, Katie; Stolper, Edward; Brunet, Claude; Hipkin, Victoria; Léveillé, Richard; Marchand, Geneviève; Sánchez, Pablo Sobrón; Favot, Laurent; Cody, George; Steele, Andrew; Flückiger, Lorenzo; Lees, David; Nefian, Ara; Martin, Mildred; Gailhanou, Marc; Westall, Frances; Israël, Guy; Agard, Christophe; Baroukh, Julien; Donny, Christophe; Gaboriaud, Alain; Guillemot, Philippe; Lafaille, Vivian; Lorigny, Eric; Paillet, Alexis; Pérez, René; Saccoccio, Muriel; Yana, Charles; Armiens-Aparicio, Carlos; Rodríguez, Javier Caride; Blázquez, Isaías Carrasco; Gómez, Felipe Gómez; Gómez-Elvira, Javier; Hettrich, Sebastian; Malvitte, Alain Lepinette; Jiménez, Mercedes Marín; Martínez-Frías, Jesús; Martín-Soler, Javier; - Torres, F. Javier Martín; Jurado, Antonio Molina; Mora-Sotomayor, Luis; Caro, Guillermo Muñoz; López, Sara Navarro; Peinado-González, Verónica; Pla-García, Jorge; Manfredi, José Antonio Rodriguez; Romeral-Planelló, Julio José; Fuentes, Sara Alejandra Sans; Martinez, Eduardo Sebastian; Redondo, Josefina Torres; Urqui-O'Callaghan, Roser; Mier, María-Paz Zorzano; Chipera, Steve; Lacour, Jean-Luc; Mauchien, Patrick; Sirven, Jean-Baptiste; Manning, Heidi; Fairén, Alberto; Hayes, Alexander; Joseph, Jonathan; Squyres, Steven; Sullivan, Robert; Thomas, Peter; Dupont, Audrey; Lundberg, Angela; Melikechi, Noureddine; Mezzacappa, Alissa; DeMarines, Julia; Grinspoon, David; Reitz, Günther; Prats, Benito; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Genzer, Maria; Harri, Ari-Matti; Haukka, Harri; Kahanpää, Henrik; Kauhanen, Janne; Kemppinen, Osku; Paton, Mark; Polkko, Jouni; Schmidt, Walter; Siili, Tero; Fabre, Cécile; Wray, James; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Poitrasson, Franck; Patel, Kiran; Gorevan, Stephen; Indyk, Stephen; Paulsen, Gale; Gupta, Sanjeev; Bish, David; Schieber, Juergen; Gondet, Brigitte; Langevin, Yves; Geffroy, Claude; Baratoux, David; Berger, Gilles; Cros, Alain; d’Uston, Claude; Forni, Olivier; Gasnault, Olivier; Lasue, Jérémie; Lee, Qiu-Mei; Maurice, Sylvestre; Meslin, Pierre-Yves; Pallier, Etienne; Parot, Yann; Pinet, Patrick; Schröder, Susanne; Toplis, Mike; Lewin, Éric; Brunner, Will; Heydari, Ezat; Achilles, Cherie; Oehler, Dorothy; Sutter, Brad; Cabane, Michel; Coscia, David; Israël, Guy; Szopa, Cyril; Dromart, Gilles; Robert, François; Sautter, Violaine; Le Mouélic, Stéphane; Mangold, Nicolas; Nachon, Marion; Buch, Arnaud; Stalport, Fabien; Coll, Patrice; François, Pascaline; Raulin, François; Teinturier, Samuel; Cameron, James; Clegg, Sam; Cousin, Agnès; DeLapp, Dorothea; Dingler, Robert; Jackson, Ryan Steele; Johnstone, Stephen; Lanza, Nina; Little, Cynthia; Nelson, Tony; Wiens, Roger C.; Williams, Richard B.; Jones, Andrea; Kirkland, Laurel; Treiman, Allan; Baker, Burt; Cantor, Bruce; Caplinger, Michael; Davis, Scott; Duston, Brian; Edgett, Kenneth; Fay, Donald; Hardgrove, Craig; Harker, David; Herrera, Paul; Jensen, Elsa; Kennedy, Megan R.; Krezoski, Gillian; Krysak, Daniel; Lipkaman, Leslie; Malin, Michael; McCartney, Elaina; McNair, Sean; Nixon, Brian; Posiolova, Liliya; Ravine, Michael; Salamon, Andrew; Saper, Lee; Stoiber, Kevin; Supulver, Kimberley; Van Beek, Jason; Van Beek, Tessa; Zimdar, Robert; French, Katherine Louise; Iagnemma, Karl; Miller, Kristen; Summons, Roger; Goesmann, Fred; Goetz, Walter; Hviid, Stubbe; Johnson, Micah; Lefavor, Matthew; Lyness, Eric; Breves, Elly; Dyar, M. Darby; Fassett, Caleb; Blake, David F.; Bristow, Thomas; DesMarais, David; Edwards, Laurence; Haberle, Robert; Hoehler, Tori; Hollingsworth, Jeff; Kahre, Melinda; Keely, Leslie; McKay, Christopher; Wilhelm, Mary Beth; Bleacher, Lora; Brinckerhoff, William; Choi, David; Conrad, Pamela; Dworkin, Jason P.; Eigenbrode, Jennifer; Floyd, Melissa; Freissinet, Caroline; Garvin, James; Glavin, Daniel; Harpold, Daniel; Jones, Andrea; Mahaffy, Paul; Martin, David K.; McAdam, Amy; Pavlov, Alexander; Raaen, Eric; Smith, Michael D.; Stern, Jennifer; Tan, Florence; Trainer, Melissa; Meyer, Michael; Posner, Arik; Voytek, Mary; Anderson, Robert C; Aubrey, Andrew; Beegle, Luther W.; Behar, Alberto; Blaney, Diana; Brinza, David; Calef, Fred; Christensen, Lance; Crisp, Joy A.; DeFlores, Lauren; Ehlmann, Bethany; Feldman, Jason; Feldman, Sabrina; Flesch, Gregory; Hurowitz, Joel; Jun, Insoo; Keymeulen, Didier; Maki, Justin; Mischna, Michael; Morookian, John Michael; Parker, Timothy; Pavri, Betina; Schoppers, Marcel; Sengstacken, Aaron; Simmonds, John J.; Spanovich, Nicole; Juarez, Manuel de la Torre; Vasavada, Ashwin R.; Webster, Christopher R.; Yen, Albert; Archer, Paul Douglas; Cucinotta, Francis; Jones, John H.; Ming, Douglas; Morris, Richard V.; Niles, Paul; Rampe, Elizabeth; Nolan, Thomas; Fisk, Martin; Radziemski, Leon; Barraclough, Bruce; Bender, Steve; Berman, Daniel; Dobrea, Eldar Noe; Tokar, Robert; Vaniman, David; Williams, Rebecca M. E.; Yingst, Aileen; Lewis, Kevin; Leshin, Laurie; Cleghorn, Timothy; Huntress, Wesley; Manhès, Gérard; Hudgins, Judy; Olson, Timothy; Stewart, Noel; Sarrazin, Philippe; Grant, John; Vicenzi, Edward; Wilson, Sharon A.; Bullock, Mark; Ehresmann, Bent; Hamilton, Victoria; Hassler, Donald; Peterson, Joseph; Rafkin, Scot; Zeitlin, Cary; Fedosov, Fedor; Golovin, Dmitry; Karpushkina, Natalya; Kozyrev, Alexander; Litvak, Maxim; Malakhov, Alexey; Mitrofanov, Igor; Mokrousov, Maxim; Nikiforov, Sergey; Prokhorov, Vasily; Sanin, Anton; Tretyakov, Vladislav; Varenikov, Alexey; Vostrukhin, Andrey; Kuzmin, Ruslan; Clark, Benton; Wolff, Michael; McLennan, Scott; Botta, Oliver; Drake, Darrell; Bean, Keri; Lemmon, Mark; Schwenzer, Susanne P.; Anderson, Ryan B.; Herkenhoff, Kenneth; Lee, Ella Mae; Sucharski, Robert; Hernández, Miguel Ángel de Pablo; Ávalos, Juan José Blanco; Ramos, Miguel; Kim, Myung-Hee; Malespin, Charles; Plante, Ianik; Muller, Jan-Peter; Navarro-González, Rafael; Ewing, Ryan; Boynton, William; Downs, Robert; Fitzgibbon, Mike; Harshman, Karl; Morrison, Shaunna; Dietrich, William; Kortmann, Onno; Palucis, Marisa; Sumner, Dawn Y.; Williams, Amy; Lugmair, Günter; Wilson, Michael A.; Rubin, David; Jakosky, Bruce; Balic-Zunic, Tonci; Frydenvang, Jens; Jensen, Jaqueline Kløvgaard; Kinch, Kjartan; Koefoed, Asmus; Madsen, Morten Bo; Stipp, Susan Louise Svane; Boyd, Nick; Campbell, John L.; Gellert, Ralf; Perrett, Glynis; Pradler, Irina; VanBommel, Scott; Jacob, Samantha; Owen, Tobias; Rowland, Scott; Atlaskin, Evgeny; Savijärvi, Hannu; Boehm, Eckart; Böttcher, Stephan; Burmeister, Sönke; Guo, Jingnan; Köhler, Jan; García, César Martín; Mueller-Mellin, Reinhold; Wimmer-Schweingruber, Robert; Bridges, John C.; McConnochie, Timothy; Benna, Mehdi; Franz, Heather; Bower, Hannah; Brunner, Anna; Blau, Hannah; Boucher, Thomas; Carmosino, Marco; Atreya, Sushil; Elliott, Harvey; Halleaux, Douglas; Rennó, Nilton; Wong, Michael; Pepin, Robert; Elliott, Beverley; Spray, John; Thompson, Lucy; Gordon, Suzanne; Newsom, Horton; Ollila, Ann; Williams, Joshua; Vasconcelos, Paulo; Bentz, Jennifer; Nealson, Kenneth; Popa, Radu; Kah, Linda C.; Moersch, Jeffrey; Tate, Christopher; Day, Mackenzie; Kocurek, Gary; Hallet, Bernard; Sletten, Ronald; Francis, Raymond; McCullough, Emily; Cloutis, Ed; ten Kate, Inge Loes; Kuzmin, Ruslan; Arvidson, Raymond; Fraeman, Abigail; Scholes, Daniel; Slavney, Susan; Stein, Thomas; Ward, Jennifer; Berger, Jeffrey; Moores, John E.

    2015-01-01

    The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) investigation on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover has detected oxidized nitrogen-bearing compounds during pyrolysis of scooped aeolian sediments and drilled sedimentary deposits within Gale crater. Total N concentrations ranged from 20 to 250 nmol N per sample. After subtraction of known N sources in SAM, our results support the equivalent of 110–300 ppm of nitrate in the Rocknest (RN) aeolian samples, and 70–260 and 330–1,100 ppm nitrate in John Klein (JK) and Cumberland (CB) mudstone deposits, respectively. Discovery of indigenous martian nitrogen in Mars surface materials has important implications for habitability and, specifically, for the potential evolution of a nitrogen cycle at some point in martian history. The detection of nitrate in both wind-drifted fines (RN) and in mudstone (JK, CB) is likely a result of N2 fixation to nitrate generated by thermal shock from impact or volcanic plume lightning on ancient Mars. Fixed nitrogen could have facilitated the development of a primitive nitrogen cycle on the surface of ancient Mars, potentially providing a biochemically accessible source of nitrogen. PMID:25831544

  5. Evidence for indigenous nitrogen in sedimentary and aeolian deposits from the Curiosity rover investigations at Gale crater, Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, Jennifer C; Sutter, Brad; Freissinet, Caroline; Navarro-González, Rafael; McKay, Christopher P; Archer, P Douglas; Buch, Arnaud; Brunner, Anna E; Coll, Patrice; Eigenbrode, Jennifer L; Fairen, Alberto G; Franz, Heather B; Glavin, Daniel P; Kashyap, Srishti; McAdam, Amy C; Ming, Douglas W; Steele, Andrew; Szopa, Cyril; Wray, James J; Martín-Torres, F Javier; Zorzano, Maria-Paz; Conrad, Pamela G; Mahaffy, Paul R

    2015-04-07

    The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) investigation on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover has detected oxidized nitrogen-bearing compounds during pyrolysis of scooped aeolian sediments and drilled sedimentary deposits within Gale crater. Total N concentrations ranged from 20 to 250 nmol N per sample. After subtraction of known N sources in SAM, our results support the equivalent of 110-300 ppm of nitrate in the Rocknest (RN) aeolian samples, and 70-260 and 330-1,100 ppm nitrate in John Klein (JK) and Cumberland (CB) mudstone deposits, respectively. Discovery of indigenous martian nitrogen in Mars surface materials has important implications for habitability and, specifically, for the potential evolution of a nitrogen cycle at some point in martian history. The detection of nitrate in both wind-drifted fines (RN) and in mudstone (JK, CB) is likely a result of N2 fixation to nitrate generated by thermal shock from impact or volcanic plume lightning on ancient Mars. Fixed nitrogen could have facilitated the development of a primitive nitrogen cycle on the surface of ancient Mars, potentially providing a biochemically accessible source of nitrogen.

  6. Testing the efficiency of rover science protocols for robotic sample selection: A GeoHeuristic Operational Strategies Test

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yingst, R. A.; Bartley, J. K.; Chidsey, T. C.; Cohen, B. A.; Gilleaudeau, G. J.; Hynek, B. M.; Kah, L. C.; Minitti, M. E.; Williams, R. M. E.; Black, S.; Gemperline, J.; Schaufler, R.; Thomas, R. J.

    2018-05-01

    The GHOST field tests are designed to isolate and test science-driven rover operations protocols, to determine best practices. During a recent field test at a potential Mars 2020 landing site analog, we tested two Mars Science Laboratory data-acquisition and decision-making methods to assess resulting science return and sample quality: a linear method, where sites of interest are studied in the order encountered, and a "walkabout-first" method, where sites of interest are examined remotely before down-selecting to a subset of sites that are interrogated with more resource-intensive instruments. The walkabout method cost less time and fewer resources, while increasing confidence in interpretations. Contextual data critical to evaluating site geology was acquired earlier than for the linear method, and given a higher priority, which resulted in development of more mature hypotheses earlier in the analysis process. Combined, this saved time and energy in the collection of data with more limited spatial coverage. Based on these results, we suggest that the walkabout method be used where doing so would provide early context and time for the science team to develop hypotheses-critical tests; and that in gathering context, coverage may be more important than higher resolution.

  7. Planetary Protection Issues in the Human Exploration of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Criswell, Marvin E.; Race, M. S.; Rummel, J. D.; Baker, A.

    2005-01-01

    This workshop report, long delayed, is the first 21st century contribution to what will likely be a series of reports examining the effects of human exploration on the overall scientific study of Mars. The considerations of human-associated microbial contamination were last studied in a 1990 workshop ("Planetary Protection Issues and Future Mars Missions," NASA CP-10086, 1991), but the timing of that workshop allowed neither a careful examination of the full range of issues, nor an appreciation for the Mars that has been revealed by the Mars Global Surveyor and Mars Pathfinder missions. Future workshops will also have the advantage of Mars Odyssey, the Mars Exploration Rover missions, and ESA's Mars Express, but the Pingree Park workshop reported here had both the NCR's (1992) concern that "Missions carrying humans to Mars will contaminate the planet" and over a decade of careful study of human exploration objectives to guide them and to reconcile. A daunting challenge, and one that is not going to be simple (as the working title of this meeting, "When Ecologies Collide?" might suggest), it is clear that the planetary protection issues will have to be addressed to enable human explorers to safely and competently extend out knowledge about Mars, and its potential as a home for life whether martian or human.

  8. Energy Storage Technology Development for Space Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mercer, Carolyn R.; Jankovsky, Amy L.; Reid, Concha M.; Miller, Thomas B.; Hoberecht, Mark A.

    2011-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is developing battery and fuel cell technology to meet the expected energy storage needs of human exploration systems. Improving battery performance and safety for human missions enhances a number of exploration systems, including un-tethered extravehicular activity suits and transportation systems including landers and rovers. Similarly, improved fuel cell and electrolyzer systems can reduce mass and increase the reliability of electrical power, oxygen, and water generation for crewed vehicles, depots and outposts. To achieve this, NASA is developing non-flow-through proton-exchange-membrane fuel cell stacks, and electrolyzers coupled with low permeability membranes for high pressure operation. The primary advantage of this technology set is the reduction of ancillary parts in the balance-of-plant fewer pumps, separators and related components should result in fewer failure modes and hence a higher probability of achieving very reliable operation, and reduced parasitic power losses enable smaller reactant tanks and therefore systems with lower mass and volume. Key accomplishments over the past year include the fabrication and testing of several robust, small-scale non-flow-through fuel cell stacks that have demonstrated proof-of-concept. NASA is also developing advanced lithium-ion battery cells, targeting cell-level safety and very high specific energy and energy density. Key accomplishments include the development of silicon composite anodes, lithiatedmixed- metal-oxide cathodes, low-flammability electrolytes, and cell-incorporated safety devices that promise to substantially improve battery performance while providing a high level of safety.

  9. Potential Applications for Radioisotope Power Systems in Support of Human Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cataldo, Robert L.; Colozza, Anthony J.; Schmitz, Paul C.

    2013-01-01

    Radioisotope power systems (RPS) for space applications have powered over 27 U.S. space systems, starting with Transit 4A and 4B in 1961, and more recently with the successful landing of the Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity in August 2012. RPS enable missions with destinations far from the Sun with faint solar flux, on planetary surfaces with dense or dusty atmospheres, and at places with long eclipse periods where solar array sizes and energy storage mass become impractical. RPS could also provide an enabling capability in support of human exploration activities. It is envisioned that with the higher power needs of most human mission concepts, a high efficiency thermal-to-electric technology would be required such as the Advanced Stirling Radioisotope generator (ASRG). The ASRG should be capable of a four-fold improvement in efficiency over traditional thermoelectric RPS. While it may be impractical to use RPS as a main power source, many other applications could be considered, such as crewed pressurized rovers, in-situ resource production of propellants, back-up habitat power, drilling, any mobile or remote activity from the main base habitat, etc. This paper will identify potential applications and provide concepts that could be a practical extension of the current ASRG design in providing for robust and flexible use of RPS on human exploration missions.

  10. Solar discrepancies: Mars exploration and the curious problem of inter-planetary time

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mirmalek, Zara Lenora

    The inter-planetary work system for the NASA's Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) mission entailed coordinating work between two corporally diverse workgroups, human beings and solar-powered robots, and between two planets with asynchronous axial rotations. The rotation of Mars takes approximately 24 hours and 40 minutes while for Earth the duration is 24 hours, a differential that was synchronized on Earth by setting a clock forward forty minutes every day. The hours of the day during which the solar-powered rovers were operational constituted the central consideration in the relationship between time and work around which the schedule of MER science operations were organized. And, the operational hours for the rovers were precarious for at least two reasons: on the one hand, the possibility of a sudden and inexplicable malfunction was always present; on the other, the rovers were powered by solar-charged batteries that could simply (and would eventually) fail. Thus, the timetable for the inter-planetary work system was scheduled according to the daily cycle of the sun on Mars and a version of clock time called Mars time was used to keep track of the movement of the sun on Mars. While the MER mission was a success, it does not necessarily follow that all aspects of mission operations were successful. One of the central problems that plagued the organization of mission operations was precisely this construct called "Mars time" even while it appeared that the use of Mars time was unproblematic and central to the success of the mission. In this dissertation, Zara Mirmalek looks at the construction of Mars time as a tool and as a social process. Of particular interest are the consequences of certain (ostensibly foundational) assumptions about the relationship between clock time and the conduct of work that contributed to making the relationship between Mars time and work on Earth appear operational. Drawing on specific examples of breakdowns of Mars time as a support

  11. Bringing a Chemical Laboratory Named Sam to Mars on the 2011 Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahaffy, P. R.; Bleacher, L.; Jones, A.; Atreya, S. K.; Manning, H. L.; Cabane, M.; Webster, C. R.; Sam Team

    2010-12-01

    for the ChemMatters journal that is widely distributed to high school students. Informal education activities include professional development telecons for the NASA Museum Alliance and development of a landing site selection activity that will bring to the attention of students and the public the interesting work done by Mars scientists who study the best locations for Curiostiy to explore. Each of these products can be used by interested groups and venues wishing to participate in the Year of the Solar System. References: [1] Mahaffy, P.R., Space Sci. Rev. 135, 255 (2008). [2] Mahaffy, P.R. (2009) Geochem. News, 121. Acknowledgement: Funding for the SAM development was provided by NASA through the MSL Project and for the GC from the CNES.

  12. Potential Precursor Compounds for Chlorohydrocarbons Detected in Gale Crater, Mars, by the SAM Instrument Suite on the Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Kristen E.; Eigenbrode, Jennifer L.; Freissinet, Caroline; Glavin, Daniel P.; Kotrc, Benjamin; Francois, Pascaline; Summons, Roger E.

    2016-01-01

    The detection of chlorinated organic compounds in near-surface sedimentary rocks by the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite aboard the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover represents an important step toward characterizing habitable environments on Mars. However, this discovery also raises questions about the identity and source of their precursor compounds and the processes by which they become chlorinated. Here we present the results of analog experiments, conducted under conditions similar to SAM gas chromatography-mass spectrometry analyses, in which we pyrolyzed potential precursor compounds in the presence of various Cl salts and Fe oxides that have been identified in Martian sediments. While chloromethanes could not be unambiguously identified, 1,2-dichloropropane (1,2-DCP), which is one of the chlorinated compounds identified in SAM data, is formed from the chlorination of aliphatic precursors. Additionally, propanol produced more 1,2-DCP than nonfunctionalized aliphatics such as propane or hexanes. Chlorinated benzenes ranging from chlorobenzene to hexachlorobenzene were identified in experiments with benzene carboxylic acids but not with benzene or toluene. Lastly, the distribution of chlorinated benzenes depended on both the substrate species and the nature and concentration of the Cl salt. Ca and Mg perchlorate, both of which release O2 in addition to Cl2 and HCl upon pyrolysis, formed less chlorobenzene relative to the sum of all chlorinated benzenes than in experiments with ferric chloride. FeCl3, a Lewis acid, catalyzes chlorination but does not aid combustion. Accordingly, both the precursor chemistry and sample mineralogy exert important controls on the distribution of chlorinated organics.

  13. Origin of Chlorobenzene Detected by the Curiosity Rover in Yellowknife Bay: Evidence for Martian Organics in the Sheepbed Mudstone?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glavin, Daniel P.; Freissinet, Caroline; Eigenbrode, J.; Miller, K.; Martin, M.; Summons, R.; Steele, A.; Franz, H.; Archer, D.; Brinkerhoff, W.; hide

    2014-01-01

    The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument on the Curiosity rover is designed to determine the inventory of organic and inorganic volatiles thermally evolved from solid samples using a combination of evolved gas analysis (EGA), gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GCMS), and tunable laser spectroscopy. The first solid samples analyzed by SAM, a scoop of windblown dust and sand at Rocknest (RN), revealed chlorinated hydrocarbons derived primarily from reactions between a martian oxychlorine phase (e.g. perchlorate) and terrestrial carbon from N-methyl-N-(tert-butyldimethylsilyl)-trifluoroacetamide (MTBSTFA) vapor present in the SAM instrument background. Chlorobenzene (CBZ) was also identified by SAM GCMS at RN at trace levels (approx.0.007 nmol) and was attributed to the reaction of chlorine with the Tenax polymers used in the hydrocarbon traps. After the RN analyses, Curiosity traveled to Yellowknife Bay and drilled two separate holes designated John Klein (JK) and Cumberland (CB). Analyses of JK and CB by both SAM and the CheMin x-ray diffraction instrument revealed a mudstone consisting of approx.20 wt% smectite clays, which on Earth are known to aid the concentration and preservation of organic matter. In addition, higher abundances and a more diverse suite of chlorinated hydrocarbons in CB compared to RN suggests that martian or meteoritic organic sources may be preserved in the mudstone. Here we discuss the SAM EGA and GCMS measurements of volatiles released from the Sheepbed mudstone. We focus primarily on the elevated CBZ detections at CB and laboratory analog experiments conducted to help determine if CBZ is derived from primarily terrestrial, martian, or a combination of sources.

  14. Onboard calibration igneous targets for the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover and the Chemistry Camera laser induced breakdown spectroscopy instrument

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fabre, C., E-mail: cecile.fabre@g2r.uhp-nancy.fr [G2R, Nancy Universite (France); Maurice, S.; Cousin, A. [IRAP, Toulouse (France); Wiens, R.C. [LANL, Los Alamos, NM (United States); Forni, O. [IRAP, Toulouse (France); Sautter, V. [MNHN, Paris (France); Guillaume, D. [GET, Toulouse (France)

    2011-03-15

    Accurate characterization of the Chemistry Camera (ChemCam) laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) on-board composition targets is of prime importance for the ChemCam instrument. The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) science and operations teams expect ChemCam to provide the first compositional results at remote distances (1.5-7 m) during the in situ analyses of the Martian surface starting in 2012. Thus, establishing LIBS reference spectra from appropriate calibration standards must be undertaken diligently. Considering the global mineralogy of the Martian surface, and the possible landing sites, three specific compositions of igneous targets have been determined. Picritic, noritic, and shergottic glasses have been produced, along with a Macusanite natural glass. A sample of each target will fly on the MSL Curiosity rover deck, 1.56 m from the ChemCam instrument, and duplicates are available on the ground. Duplicates are considered to be identical, as the relative standard deviation (RSD) of the composition dispersion is around 8%. Electronic microprobe and laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA ICP-MS) analyses give evidence that the chemical composition of the four silicate targets is very homogeneous at microscopic scales larger than the instrument spot size, with RSD < 5% for concentration variations > 0.1 wt.% using electronic microprobe, and < 10% for concentration variations > 0.01 wt.% using LA ICP-MS. The LIBS campaign on the igneous targets performed under flight-like Mars conditions establishes reference spectra for the entire mission. The LIBS spectra between 240 and 900 nm are extremely rich, hundreds of lines with high signal-to-noise, and a dynamical range sufficient to identify unambiguously major, minor and trace elements. For instance, a first LIBS calibration curve has been established for strontium from [Sr] = 284 ppm to [Sr] = 1480 ppm, showing the potential for the future calibrations for other major or minor

  15. Onboard calibration igneous targets for the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover and the Chemistry Camera laser induced breakdown spectroscopy instrument

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fabre, C.; Maurice, S.; Cousin, A.; Wiens, R.C.; Forni, O.; Sautter, V.; Guillaume, D.

    2011-01-01

    Accurate characterization of the Chemistry Camera (ChemCam) laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) on-board composition targets is of prime importance for the ChemCam instrument. The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) science and operations teams expect ChemCam to provide the first compositional results at remote distances (1.5-7 m) during the in situ analyses of the Martian surface starting in 2012. Thus, establishing LIBS reference spectra from appropriate calibration standards must be undertaken diligently. Considering the global mineralogy of the Martian surface, and the possible landing sites, three specific compositions of igneous targets have been determined. Picritic, noritic, and shergottic glasses have been produced, along with a Macusanite natural glass. A sample of each target will fly on the MSL Curiosity rover deck, 1.56 m from the ChemCam instrument, and duplicates are available on the ground. Duplicates are considered to be identical, as the relative standard deviation (RSD) of the composition dispersion is around 8%. Electronic microprobe and laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA ICP-MS) analyses give evidence that the chemical composition of the four silicate targets is very homogeneous at microscopic scales larger than the instrument spot size, with RSD 0.1 wt.% using electronic microprobe, and 0.01 wt.% using LA ICP-MS. The LIBS campaign on the igneous targets performed under flight-like Mars conditions establishes reference spectra for the entire mission. The LIBS spectra between 240 and 900 nm are extremely rich, hundreds of lines with high signal-to-noise, and a dynamical range sufficient to identify unambiguously major, minor and trace elements. For instance, a first LIBS calibration curve has been established for strontium from [Sr] = 284 ppm to [Sr] = 1480 ppm, showing the potential for the future calibrations for other major or minor elements.

  16. Dynamical Behavior of Multi-Robot Systems Using Lattice Gas Automata

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cameron, S.M.; Robinett, R.; Stantz, K.M.; Trahan, M.W.; Wagner, J.S.

    1999-03-11

    Recent attention has been given to the deployment of an adaptable sensor array realized by multi-robotic systems. Our group has been studying the collective behavior of autonomous, multi-agent systems and their applications in the area of remote-sensing and emerging threats. To accomplish such tasks, an interdisciplinary research effort at Sandia National Laboratories are conducting tests in the fields of sensor technology, robotics, and multi-robotic and multi-agents architectures. Our goal is to coordinate a constellation of point sensors that optimizes spatial coverage and multivariate signal analysis using unmanned robotic vehicles (e.g., RATLERs, Robotic All-ten-sin Lunar Exploration Rover-class vehicles). Overall design methodology is to evolve complex collective behaviors realized through simple interaction (kinetic) physics and artificial intelligence to enable real-time operational responses to emerging threats. This paper focuses on our recent work understanding the dynamics of many-body systems using the physics-based hydrodynamic model of lattice gas automata. Three design features are investigated. One, for single-speed robots, a hexagonal nearest-neighbor interaction topology is necessary to preserve standard hydrodynamic flow. Two, adaptability, defined by the swarm's deformation rate, can be controlled through the hydrodynamic viscosity term, which, in turn, is defined by the local robotic interaction rules. Three, due to the inherent non-linearity of the dynamical equations describing large ensembles, development of stability criteria ensuring convergence to equilibrium states is developed by scaling information flow rates relative to a swarm's hydrodynamic flow rate. An initial test case simulates a swarm of twenty-five robots that maneuvers past an obstacle while following a moving target. A genetic algorithm optimizes applied nearest-neighbor forces in each of five spatial regions distributed over the simulation domain. Armed with

  17. JAXA's Space Exploration Scenario

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sato, N. S.

    2018-04-01

    Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) has been studying space exploration scenario, including human exploration for Japan since 2015, which encompasses goals, knowledge gap assessment, and architecture. assessment, and technology roadmap.

  18. Advanced Technologies for Robotic Exploration Leading to Human Exploration: Results from the SpaceOps 2015 Workshop

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lupisella, Mark L.; Mueller, Thomas

    2016-01-01

    This paper will provide a summary and analysis of the SpaceOps 2015 Workshop all-day session on "Advanced Technologies for Robotic Exploration, Leading to Human Exploration", held at Fucino Space Center, Italy on June 12th, 2015. The session was primarily intended to explore how robotic missions and robotics technologies more generally can help lead to human exploration missions. The session included a wide range of presentations that were roughly grouped into (1) broader background, conceptual, and high-level operations concepts presentations such as the International Space Exploration Coordination Group Roadmap, followed by (2) more detailed narrower presentations such as rover autonomy and communications. The broader presentations helped to provide context and specific technical hooks, and helped lay a foundation for the narrower presentations on more specific challenges and technologies, as well as for the discussion that followed. The discussion that followed the presentations touched on key questions, themes, actions and potential international collaboration opportunities. Some of the themes that were touched on were (1) multi-agent systems, (2) decentralized command and control, (3) autonomy, (4) low-latency teleoperations, (5) science operations, (6) communications, (7) technology pull vs. technology push, and (8) the roles and challenges of operations in early human architecture and mission concept formulation. A number of potential action items resulted from the workshop session, including: (1) using CCSDS as a further collaboration mechanism for human mission operations, (2) making further contact with subject matter experts, (3) initiating informal collaborative efforts to allow for rapid and efficient implementation, and (4) exploring how SpaceOps can support collaboration and information exchange with human exploration efforts. This paper will summarize the session and provide an overview of the above subjects as they emerged from the SpaceOps 2015

  19. Evolved Gas Analyses of the Murray Formation in Gale Crater, Mars: Results of the Curiosity Rover's Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) Instrument

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutter, B.; McAdam, A. C.; Rampe, E. B.; Thompson, L. M.; Ming, D. W.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Navarro-Gonzalez, R.; Stern, J. C.; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Archer, P. D.

    2017-01-01

    The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument aboard the Mars Science Laboratory rover has analyzed 13 samples from Gale Crater. All SAM-evolved gas analyses have yielded a multitude of volatiles (e.g., H2O, SO2, H2S, CO2, CO, NO, O2, HCl) [1- 6]. The objectives of this work are to 1) Characterize recent evolved SO2, CO2, O2, and NO gas traces of the Murray formation mudstone, 2) Constrain sediment mineralogy/composition based on SAM evolved gas analysis (SAM-EGA), and 3) Discuss the implications of these results relative to understanding the geological history of Gale Crater.

  20. Evolved Gas Analyses of Sedimentary Materials in Gale Crater, Mars: Results of the Curiosity Rover's Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) Instrument from Yellowknife Bay to the Stimson Formation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sutter, B.; McAdam, A. C.; Rampe, E. B.; Ming, D. W.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Navarro-Gonzalez, R.; Stern, J. C.; Eigenbrode, J. L.; Archer, P. D.

    2016-01-01

    The Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument aboard the Mars Science Laboratory rover has analyzed 10 samples from Gale Crater. All SAM evolved gas analyses have yielded a multitude of volatiles (e.g, H2O, SO2, H2S, CO2, CO, NO, O2, HC1). The objectives of this work are to 1) Characterize the evolved H2O, SO2, CO2, and O2 gas traces of sediments analyzed by SAM through sol 1178, 2) Constrain sediment mineralogy/composition based on SAM evolved gas analysis (SAM-EGA), and 3) Discuss the implications of these results releative to understanding the geochemical history of Gale Crater.

  1. The ChemCam Instrument Suite on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Rover: Science Objectives and Mast Unit Description

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maurice, S.; Wiens, R.C.; Saccoccio, M.; Barraclough, B.; Gasnault, O.; Forni, O.; Mangold, N.; Baratoux, D.; Bender, S.; Berger, G.; Bernardin, J.; Berthé, M.; Bridges, N.; Blaney, D.; Bouyé, M.; Caïs, P.; Clark, B.; Clegg, S.; Cousin, A.; Cremers, D.; Cros, A.; DeFlores, L.; Derycke, C.; Dingler, B.; Dromart, G.; Dubois, B.; Dupieux, M.; Durand, E.; d'Uston, L.; Fabre, C.; Faure, B.; Gaboriaud, A.; Gharsa, T.; Herkenhoff, K.; Kan, E.; Kirkland, L.; Kouach, D.; Lacour, J.-L.; Langevin, Y.; Lasue, J.; Le Mouélic, S.; Lescure, M.; Lewin, E.; Limonadi, D.; Manhès, G.; Mauchien, P.; McKay, C.; Meslin, P.-Y.; Michel, Y.; Miller, E.; Newsom, Horton E.; Orttner, G.; Paillet, A.; Parès, L.; Parot, Y.; Pérez, R.; Pinet, P.; Poitrasson, F.; Quertier, B.; Sallé, B.; Sotin, Christophe; Sautter, V.; Séran, H.; Simmonds, J.J.; Sirven, J.-B.; Stiglich, R.; Striebig, N.; Thocaven, J.-J.; Toplis, M.J.; Vaniman, D.

    2012-01-01

    ChemCam is a remote sensing instrument suite on board the "Curiosity" rover (NASA) that uses Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) to provide the elemental composition of soils and rocks at the surface of Mars from a distance of 1.3 to 7 m, and a telescopic imager to return high resolution context and micro-images at distances greater than 1.16 m. We describe five analytical capabilities: rock classification, quantitative composition, depth profiling, context imaging, and passive spectroscopy. They serve as a toolbox to address most of the science questions at Gale crater. ChemCam consists of a Mast-Unit (laser, telescope, camera, and electronics) and a Body-Unit (spectrometers, digital processing unit, and optical demultiplexer), which are connected by an optical fiber and an electrical interface. We then report on the development, integration, and testing of the Mast-Unit, and summarize some key characteristics of ChemCam. This confirmed that nominal or better than nominal performances were achieved for critical parameters, in particular power density (>1 GW/cm2). The analysis spot diameter varies from 350 μm at 2 m to 550 μm at 7 m distance. For remote imaging, the camera field of view is 20 mrad for 1024×1024 pixels. Field tests demonstrated that the resolution (˜90 μrad) made it possible to identify laser shots on a wide variety of images. This is sufficient for visualizing laser shot pits and textures of rocks and soils. An auto-exposure capability optimizes the dynamical range of the images. Dedicated hardware and software focus the telescope, with precision that is appropriate for the LIBS and imaging depths-of-field. The light emitted by the plasma is collected and sent to the Body-Unit via a 6 m optical fiber. The companion to this paper (Wiens et al. this issue) reports on the development of the Body-Unit, on the analysis of the emitted light, and on the good match between instrument performance and science specifications.

  2. Human Exploration Science Office (KX) Overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calhoun, Tracy A.

    2014-01-01

    expertise in the application of engineering imagery to spaceflight. The team links NASA programs and private industry with imagery capabilities developed and honed through decades of human spaceflight, including imagery integration, imaging assets, imagery data management, and photogrammetric analysis. The team is currently supporting several NASA programs, including commercial demonstration missions. The Earth Science and Remote Sensing Team is responsible for integrating the scientific use of Earth-observation assets onboard the ISS, which consist of externally mounted sensors and crew photography capabilities. This team facilitates collaboration on remote sensing and participates in research with academic organizations and other Government agencies, not only in conjunction with ISS science, but also for planetary exploration and regional environmental/geological studies. Human exploration science focuses on science strategies for future human exploration missions to the Moon, Mars, asteroids, and beyond. This function provides communication and coordination between the science community and mission planners. ARES scientists support the operation of robotic missions (i.e., Mars Exploration Rovers and the Mars Science Laboratory), contribute to the interpretation of returned mission data, and translate robotic mission technologies and techniques to human spaceflight.

  3. Venus Landsailing Rover

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — NASA Glenn has developed electronics and low-power photovoltaics that will continue to function even at the Venus temperature of 450°C. So the fundamental elements...

  4. Photovoltaic Power for Mars Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bailey, Sheila G.; Landis, Geoffrey A.

    1997-01-01

    Mars is a challenging environment for the use of solar power. The implications of the low temperatures and low light intensity, solar spectrum modified by dust and changing with time of day and year, indirect sunlight, dust storms, deposited dust, wind, and corrosive peroxide-rich soil are discussed with respect to potential photovoltaic power systems. The power systems addressed include a solar-powered rover vehicle and a human base. High transportation costs dictate high efficiency solar cells or alternatively, a 'thin film' solar cell deposited on a lightweight plastic or thin metal foil.

  5. Geophysical Exploration. New site exploration method

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Imai, Tsuneo; Otomo, Hideo; Sakayama, Toshihiko

    1988-07-25

    Geophysical exploration is used for geologic survey to serve purposes in civil engineering. New methods are being developed inside and outside Japan and are used to serve various purposes. This paper discusses recently developed techniques based on the measurement of seismic waves and electric potential. It also explains seismic tomography, radar tomography, and resistivity tomography which are included in the category of geotomography. At present, effort is being made to apply geophysical exploration technology to problems which were considered to be unsuitable for conventional exploration techniques. When such effort proceeds successfully, it is necessary to develop technology for presenting results quickly and exploration equipment which can work in various conditions. (10 figs, 15 refs)

  6. Determining best practices in reconnoitering sites for habitability potential on Mars using a semi-autonomous rover: A GeoHeuristic Operational Strategies Test.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yingst, R A; Berger, J; Cohen, B A; Hynek, B; Schmidt, M E

    2017-03-01

    We tested science operations strategies developed for use in remote mobile spacecraft missions, to determine whether reconnoitering a site of potential habitability prior to in-depth study (a walkabout-first strategy) can be a more efficient use of time and resources than the linear approach commonly used by planetary rover missions. Two field teams studied a sedimentary sequence in Utah to assess habitability potential. At each site one team commanded a human "rover" to execute observations and conducted data analysis and made follow-on decisions based solely on those observations. Another team followed the same traverse using traditional terrestrial field methods, and the results of the two teams were compared. Test results indicate that for a mission with goals similar to our field case, the walkabout-first strategy may save time and other mission resources, while improving science return. The approach enabled more informed choices and higher team confidence in choosing where to spend time and other consumable resources. The walkabout strategy may prove most efficient when many close sites must be triaged to a smaller subset for detailed study or sampling. This situation would arise when mission goals include finding, identifying, characterizing or sampling a specific material, feature or type of environment within a certain area.

  7. Performance of the Linear Ion Trap Mass Spectrometer for the Mars Organic Molecule Analyzer (MOMA) Investigation on the 2018 Exomars Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arevalo, Ricardo, Jr.; Brinckerhoff, William B.; Pinnick, Veronica T.; van Amerom, Friso H. W.; Danell, Ryan M.; Li, Xiang; Getty, Stephanie; Hovmand, Lars; Atanassova, Martina; Mahaffy, Paul R.; hide

    2014-01-01

    The 2018 ExoMars rover mission includes the Mars Organic Molecule Analyzer (MOMA) investigation. MOMA will examine the chemical composition of samples acquired from depths of up to two meters below the martian surface, where organics may be protected from degradation derived from cosmic radiation and/or oxidative chemical reactions. When combined with the complement of instruments in the rover's Pasteur Payload, MOMA has the potential to reveal the presence of a wide range of organics preserved in a variety of mineralogical environments, and to begin to understand the structural character and potential origin of those compounds. The MOMA investigation is led by the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research (MPS) with the mass spectrometer subsystem provided by NASA GSFC. MOMA's linear ion trap mass spectrometer (ITMS) is designed to analyze molecular composition of: (i) gas evolved from pyrolyzed powder samples and separated in a gas chromatograph; and, (ii) ions directly desorbed from crushed solid samples at Mars ambient pressure, as enabled by a pulsed UV laser system, fast-actuating aperture valve and capillary ion inlet. Breadboard ITMS and associated electronics have been advanced to high end-to-end fidelity in preparation for flight hardware delivery to Germany in 2015.

  8. Relay Telecommunications for the Coming Decade of Mars Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwards, C.; DePaula, R.

    2010-01-01

    Over the past decade, an evolving network of relay-equipped orbiters has advanced our capabilities for Mars exploration. NASA's Mars Global Surveyor, 2001 Mars Odyssey, and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO), as well as ESA's Mars Express Orbiter, have provided telecommunications relay services to the 2003 Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, and to the 2007 Phoenix Lander. Based on these successes, a roadmap for continued Mars relay services is in place for the coming decade. MRO and Odyssey will provide key relay support to the 2011 Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission, including capture of critical event telemetry during entry, descent, and landing, as well as support for command and telemetry during surface operations, utilizing new capabilities of the Electra relay payload on MRO and the Electra-Lite payload on MSL to allow significant increase in data return relative to earlier missions. Over the remainder of the decade a number of additional orbiter and lander missions are planned, representing new orbital relay service providers and new landed relay users. In this paper we will outline this Mars relay roadmap, quantifying relay performance over time, illustrating planned support scenarios, and identifying key challenges and technology infusion opportunities.

  9. Advances in Autonomous Systems for Missions of Space Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gross, A. R.; Smith, B. D.; Briggs, G. A.; Hieronymus, J.; Clancy, D. J.

    applications. One notable example of such missions are those to explore for the existence of water on planets such as Mars and the moons of Jupiter. It is clear that water does not exist on the surfaces of such bodies, but may well be located at some considerable depth below the surface, thus requiring a subsurface drilling capability. Subsurface drilling on planetary surfaces will require a robust autonomous control and analysis system, currently a major challenge, but within conceivable reach of planned technology developments. This paper will focus on new and innovative software for remote, autonomous, space systems flight operations, including flight test results, lessons learned, and implications for the future. An additional focus will be on technologies for planetary exploration using autonomous systems and astronaut-assistance systems that employ new spoken language technology. Topics to be presented will include a description of key autonomous control concepts, illustrated by the Remote Agent program that commanded the Deep Space 1 spacecraft to new levels of system autonomy, recent advances in distributed autonomous system capabilities, and concepts for autonomous vehicle health management systems. A brief description of teaming spacecraft and rovers for complex exploration missions will also be provided. New software for autonomous science data acquisition for planetary exploration will also be described, as well as advanced systems for safe planetary landings. Current results of autonomous planetary drilling system research will be presented. A key thrust within NASA is to develop technologies that will leverage the capabilities of human astronauts during planetary surface explorations. One such technology is spoken dialogue interfaces, which would allow collaboration with semi-autonomous agents that are engaged in activities that are normally accomplished using language, e.g., astronauts in space suits interacting with groups of semi-autonomous rovers and other

  10. Human Exploration using Real-Time Robotic Operations (HERRO): A space exploration strategy for the 21st century

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, George R.; Landis, Geoffrey A.; Oleson, Steven R.

    2012-11-01

    This paper presents an exploration strategy for human missions beyond Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and the Moon that combines the best features of human and robotic spaceflight. This "Human Exploration using Real-time Robotic Operations" (HERRO) strategy refrains from placing humans on the surfaces of the Moon and Mars in the near-term. Rather, it focuses on sending piloted spacecraft and crews into orbit around Mars and other exploration targets of interest, and conducting astronaut exploration of the surfaces using telerobots and remotely-controlled systems. By eliminating the significant communications delay or "latency" with Earth due to the speed of light limit, teleoperation provides scientists real-time control of rovers and other sophisticated instruments. This in effect gives them a "virtual presence" on planetary surfaces, and thus expands the scientific return at these destinations. HERRO mitigates several of the major issues that have hindered the progress of human spaceflight beyond Low Earth Orbit (LEO) by: (1) broadening the range of destinations for near-term human missions; (2) reducing cost and risk through less complexity and fewer man-rated elements; (3) offering benefits of human-equivalent in-situ cognition, decision-making and field-work on planetary bodies; (4) providing a simpler approach to returning samples from Mars and planetary surfaces; and (5) facilitating opportunities for international collaboration through contribution of diverse robotic systems. HERRO provides a firm justification for human spaceflight—one that expands the near-term capabilities of scientific exploration while providing the space transportation infrastructure needed for eventual human landings in the future.

  11. Exploration and Mining Roadmap

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    none,

    2002-09-01

    This Exploration and Mining Technology Roadmap represents the third roadmap for the Mining Industry of the Future. It is based upon the results of the Exploration and Mining Roadmap Workshop held May 10 ñ 11, 2001.

  12. Asteroid exploration and utilization: The Hawking explorer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson, Alan; Date, Medha; Duarte, Manny; Erian, Neil; Gafka, George; Kappler, Peter; Patano, Scott; Perez, Martin; Ponce, Edgar; Radovich, Brian

    1991-01-01

    The Earth is nearing depletion of its natural resources at a time when human beings are rapidly expanding the frontiers of space. The resources which may exist on asteroids could have enormous potential for aiding and enhancing human space exploration as well as life on Earth. With the possibly limitless opportunities that exist, it is clear that asteroids are the next step for human existence in space. This report comprises the efforts of NEW WORLDS, Inc. to develop a comprehensive design for an asteroid exploration/sample return mission. This mission is a precursor to proof-of-concept missions that will investigate the validity of mining and materials processing on an asteroid. Project STONER (Systematic Transfer of Near Earth Resources) is based on two utilization scenarios: (1) moving an asteroid to an advantageous location for use by Earth; and (2) mining an asteroids and transporting raw materials back to Earth. The asteroid explorer/sample return mission is designed in the context of both scenarios and is the first phase of a long range plane for humans to utilize asteroid resources. The report concentrates specifically on the selection of the most promising asteroids for exploration and the development of an exploration scenario. Future utilization as well as subsystem requirements of an asteroid sample return probe are also addressed.

  13. The Calibration Target for the Mars 2020 SHERLOC Instrument: Multiple Science Roles for Future Manned and Unmanned Mars Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

    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, which may be selected for inclusion into a returnable sample cache. The SHERLOC instrument will require the use of a calibration target, and by design, multiple science roles will be addressed in the design of the target. Samples of materials used in NASA Extravehicular Mobility unit (EMU, or "space suit") manufacture have been included in the target to serve as both solid polymer calibration targets for SHERLOC instrument function, as well as for testing the resiliency of those materials under martian ambient conditions. A martian meteorite will also be included in the target to serve as a well-characterized example of a martian rock that contains trace carbonaceous material. This rock will be the first rock that we know of that has completed a round trip between planets and will therefore serve an EPO role to attract public attention to science and planetary exploration. The SHERLOC calibration target will address a wide range of NASA goals to include basic science of interest to both the Science Mission Directorate (SMD) and Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD).

  14. Overview of Initial Results From Studies of the Bagnold Dune Field on Mars by the Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bridges, Nathan; Ehlmann, Bethany; Ewing, Ryan; Newman, Claire; Sullivan, Robert; Conrad, Pamela; Cousin, Agnes; Edgett, Kenneth; Fisk, Martin; Fraeman, Abigail; Johnson, Jeffrey; Lamb, Michael; Lapotre, Mathieu; Le Mouélic, Stéphane; Martinez, German; Meslin, Pierre-Yves; Thompson, Lucy; van Beek, Jason; Vasavada, Ashwin; Wiens, Roger

    2016-04-01

    The Curiosity Rover is currently studying the Bagnold Dunes in Gale Crater. Here we provide a general overview of results and note that other EGU presentations will focus on specific aspects. The in situ activities have not yet occurred as of this writing, but other analyses have been performed approaching and within the dunefield. ChemCam passive spectra of Bagnold Dune sands are consistent with the presence of olivine. Two APXS spots on the High Dune stoss slope margin, and two others in an engineering test sand patch, show less inferred dust, greater Si, and higher Fe/Mn than other "soils" in Gale Crater. ChemCam analyses of more than 300 soils along the Curiosity traverse show that both fine and coarse soils have increasing iron and alkali content as the Bagnold Dunes are approached, a trend that may reflect admixtures of local rocks (alkalis + iron) to the fines, but also a contribution of Bagnold-like sand (iron) that increases toward the dunefield. MAHLI images of sands on the lower east stoss slope of High Dune show medium and coarse sand in ripple forms, and very fine and fine sand in ripple troughs. Most grains are dark gray, but some are also brick-red/brown, white, green translucent, yellow, brown" colorless translucent, or vitreous spheres HiRISE orbital images show that the Bagnold Dunes migrate on the order of decimeters or more per Earth year. Prior to entering the dune field, wind disruption of dump piles and grain movement was observed over multi-sol time spans, demonstrating that winds are of sufficient strength to mobilize unconsolidated material, either through direct aerodynamic force or via the action of smaller impacting grains. Within the dune field, we are, as of this writing, engaged in change detection experiments with Mastcam and ChemCam's RMI camera. Data we have so far, spanning 8 sols from the same location, shows no changes. Mastcam and RMI images of the stoss sides of Namib, Noctivaga, and High Dune show that the "ripples" seen

  15. Modelling oil exploration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Padilla, V.R.

    1992-01-01

    The analysis of oil exploration models in this paper is developed in four parts. The way in which exploration has been dealt with in oil supply models is first described. Five recent models are then looked at, paying particular attention to the explanatory variables used when modelling exploration activities. This is followed by a discussion of the factors which have been shown by several empirical studies to determine exploration in less developed countries. Finally, the interdependence between institutional factors, oil prices and exploration effort is analysed with a view to drawing conclusions for modelling in the future. (UK)

  16. Marine Mineral Exploration

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    in EEZ areas are fairly unknown; many areas need detailed mapping and mineral exploration, and the majority of coastal or island states with large EEZ areas have little experience in exploration for marine hard minerals. This book describes the systematic steps in marine mineral exploration....... Such exploration requires knowledge of mineral deposits and models of their formation, of geophysical and geochemical exploration methods, and of data evaluation and interpretation methods. These topics are described in detail by an international group of authors. A short description is also given of marine...

  17. Implementing a Science-driven Mars Exploration Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garvin, J. B.

    2001-12-01

    NASA's newly restructured Mars Exploration Program (MEP) was developed on the basis of the goals, objectives, investigations, and prioritizations established by the Mars Exploration Payload Analysis Group (as summarized previously by Greeley et al., 2001). The underlying scientific strategy is linked to common threads which include the many roles water has played on and within Mars as a "system". The implementation strategy that has been adopted relies heavily on an ever-sharpening program of reconnaissance, beginning with the legacy of the Mars Global Surveyor, continuing with the multispectral and compositional observations of the Mars Odyssey orbiter, and extending to a first step in surface-based reconnaissance with the 2003 Mars Exploration Rovers. The results of MGS and Odyssey will serve to focus the trade space of localities where the record, for example, of persistent surface water may have been preserved in a mineralogical sense. The 2005 Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter will further downselect the subset of sites on Mars where evidence of depositional patterns and aqueous mineralogies (i.e., diagenetic minerals) are most striking at scales as fine as tens to hundreds of meters. Reconnaissance will move to the surface and shallow subsurface in 2007 with the Mars "Smart Lander" (MSL), at which time an extensive array of mobile scientific exploration tools will be used to examine a locality at 10km traverse scales, ultimately asking scientific questions which can be classed as paleobiological (i.e., life inference). Further orbital reconnaissance may be undertaken in 2009, perhaps involving targeted multi-wavelength SAR imaging, in anticipation of a precisely targeted Mars Sample Return mission as early as 2011. This sequence of core program MEP missions will be amplified by the selection of PI-led SCOUT missions, starting in 2007, and continuing every other Mars launch opportunity.

  18. Astrobiology, Mars Exploration and Lassen Volcanic National Park

    Science.gov (United States)

    Des Marais, David J.

    2015-01-01

    The search for evidence of life beyond Earth illustrates how the charters of NASA and the National Park Service share common ground. The mission of NPS is to preserve unimpaired the natural and cultural resources of the National Park System for the enjoyment, education and inspiration of this and future generations. NASA's Astrobiology program seeks to understand the origins, evolution and distribution of life in the universe, and it abides by the principles of planetary stewardship, public outreach, and education. We cannot subject planetary exploration destinations to Earthly biological contamination both for ethical reasons and to preserve their scientific value for astrobiology. We respond to the public's interest in the mysteries of life and the cosmos by honoring their desire to participate in the process of discovery. We involve youth in order to motivate career choices in science and technology and to perpetuate space exploration. The search for evidence of past life on Mars illustrates how the missions of NASA and NPS can become synergistic. Volcanic activity occurs on all rocky planets in our Solar System and beyond, and it frequently interacts with water to create hydrothermal systems. On Earth these systems are oases for microbial life. The Mars Exploration Rover Spirit has found evidence of extinct hydrothermal system in Gusev crater, Mars. Lassen Volcanic National Park provides a pristine laboratory for investigating how microorganisms can both thrive and leave evidence of their former presence in hydrothermal systems. NASA scientists, NPS interpretation personnel and teachers can collaborate on field-oriented programs that enhance Mars mission planning, engage students and the public in science and technology, and emphasize the ethics of responsible exploration.

  19. Fail-Safe, Controllable Liquid Spring/Damper System for Improved Rover Space Vehicle Mobility, Phase I

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — NASA is planning to return to the moon in 2020 to explore thousands of miles of the moon?s surface with individual missions, lasting six months or longer. Surface...

  20. International exploration by independent

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bertragne, R.G.

    1992-01-01

    Recent industry trends indicate that the smaller U.S. independents are looking at foreign exploration opportunities as one of the alternatives for growth in the new age of exploration. Foreign finding costs per barrel usually are accepted to be substantially lower than domestic costs because of the large reserve potential of international plays. To get involved in overseas exploration, however, requires the explorationist to adapt to different cultural, financial, legal, operational, and political conditions. Generally, foreign exploration proceeds at a slower pace than domestic exploration because concessions are granted by a country's government, or are explored in partnership with a national oil company. First, the explorationist must prepare a mid- to long-term strategy, tailored to the goals and the financial capabilities of the company; next, is an ongoing evaluation of quality prospects in various sedimentary basins, and careful planning and conduct of the operations. To successfully explore overseas also requires the presence of a minimum number of explorationists and engineers thoroughly familiar with the various exploratory and operational aspects of foreign work. Ideally, these team members will have had a considerable amount of on-site experience in various countries and climates. Independents best suited for foreign expansion are those who have been financially successful in domestic exploration. When properly approached, foreign exploration is well within the reach of smaller U.S. independents, and presents essentially no greater risk than domestic exploration; however, the reward can be much larger and can catapult the company into the 'big leagues.'

  1. Geochemical exploration for uranium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1988-01-01

    This Technical Report is designed mainly to introduce the methods and techniques of uranium geochemical exploration to exploration geologists who may not have had experience with geochemical exploration methods in their uranium programmes. The methods presented have been widely used in the uranium exploration industry for more than two decades. The intention has not been to produce an exhaustive, detailed manual, although detailed instructions are given for a field and laboratory data recording scheme and a satisfactory analytical method for the geochemical determination of uranium. Rather, the intention has been to introduce the concepts and methods of uranium exploration geochemistry in sufficient detail to guide the user in their effective use. Readers are advised to consult general references on geochemical exploration to increase their understanding of geochemical techniques for uranium

  2. Visual explorer facilitator's guide

    CERN Document Server

    Palus, Charles J

    2010-01-01

    Grounded in research and practice, the Visual Explorer™ Facilitator's Guide provides a method for supporting collaborative, creative conversations about complex issues through the power of images. The guide is available as a component in the Visual Explorer Facilitator's Letter-sized Set, Visual Explorer Facilitator's Post card-sized Set, Visual Explorer Playing Card-sized Set, and is also available as a stand-alone title for purchase to assist multiple tool users in an organization.

  3. Mars Atmospheric Escape Recorded by H, C and O Isotope Ratios in Carbon Dioxide and Water Measured by the Sam Tunable Laser Spectrometer on the Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webster, C. R.; Mahaffy, P. R.; Leshin, L. A.; Atreya, S. K.; Flesch, G. J.; Stern, J.; Christensen, L. E.; Vasavada, A. R.; Owen, T.; Niles, P. B.; hide

    2013-01-01

    Stable isotope ratios in C, H, N, O and S are powerful indicators of a wide variety of planetary geophysical processes that can identify origin, transport, temperature history, radiation exposure, atmospheric escape, environmental habitability and biological activity [2]. For Mars, measurements to date have indicated enrichment in all the heavier isotopes consistent with atmospheric escape processes, but with uncertainty too high to tie the results with the more precise isotopic ratios achieved from SNC meteoritic analyses. We will present results to date of H, C and O isotope ratios in CO2 and H2O made to high precision (few per mil) using the Tunable Laser Spectrometer (TLS) that is part of the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instrument suite on MSL s Curiosity Rover.

  4. Advances in Distributed Operations and Mission Activity Planning for Mars Surface Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox, Jason M.; Norris, Jeffrey S.; Powell, Mark W.; Rabe, Kenneth J.; Shams, Khawaja

    2006-01-01

    A centralized mission activity planning system for any long-term mission, such as the Mars Exploration Rover Mission (MER), is completely infeasible due to budget and geographic constraints. A distributed operations system is key to addressing these constraints; therefore, future system and software engineers must focus on the problem of how to provide a secure, reliable, and distributed mission activity planning system. We will explain how Maestro, the next generation mission activity planning system, with its heavy emphasis on portability and distributed operations has been able to meet these design challenges. MER has been an excellent proving ground for Maestro's new approach to distributed operations. The backend that has been developed for Maestro could benefit many future missions by reducing the cost of centralized operations system architecture.

  5. ATHLETE: Lunar Cargo Handling for International Lunar Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilcox, Brian H.

    2010-01-01

    As part of the Human-Robot Systems Project within the NASA Exploration Technology Development Program, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory is developing a vehicle called ATHLETE: the All-Terrain Hex-Limbed Extra-Terrestrial Explorer. The basic idea of ATHLETE is to have six relatively small wheels on the ends of legs. The small wheels and associated drive actuators are much less massive than the larger wheels and gears needed for an "all terrain" vehicle that cannot "walk" out of extreme terrain. The mass savings for the wheels and wheel actuators is greater than the mass penalty of the legs, for a net mass savings. Starting in 2009, NASA became engaged in detailed architectural studies for international discussions with the European Space Agency (ESA), the Japanese Space Agency (JAXA), and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) under the auspices of the International Architecture Working Group (IAWG). ATHLETE is considered in most of the campaign options considered, providing a way to offload cargo from large Altair-class landers (having a cargo deck 6+ meters above the surface) as well as offloading international landers launched on Ariane-5 or H-2 launch vehicles. These international landers would carry provisions as well as scientific instruments and/or small rovers that would be used by international astronauts as part of an international effort to explore the moon.Work described in this paper includes architectural studies in support of the international missions as well as field testing of a half-scale ATHLETE prototype performing cargo offloading from a lander mockup, along with multi-kilometer traverse, climbing over greater than 1 m rocks, tool use, etc.

  6. Uranium exploration in Ecuador

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Severne, B.; Penaherrera, P.F.; Fiallos, V.S.

    1981-01-01

    The 600-km segment of the Andean Cordillera in Ecuador includes zones that can be correlated, geologically, with uranium districts elsewhere in the Andes. It is believed that these essentially unexplored zones have the potential for economic uranium mineralization. Exploration activity to date has been limited, although it has involved both geochemical and radiometric techniques to evaluate geological concepts. Minor uranium occurrences (with chemical analyses up to 100 ppm) have been encountered, which provide further incentive to commence large-scale systematic exploration. It is recognized that a very large exploration budget and considerable technical expertise will be required to ensure exploration success. Consequently, participation by groups of proven capability from other countries will be sought for Ecuador's national exploration programme. (author)

  7. International exploration by independents

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bertagne, R.G.

    1991-01-01

    Recent industry trends indicate that the smaller US independents are looking at foreign exploration opportunities as one of the alternatives for growth in the new age of exploration. It is usually accepted that foreign finding costs per barrel are substantially lower than domestic because of the large reserve potential of international plays. To get involved overseas requires, however, an adaptation to different cultural, financial, legal, operational, and political conditions. Generally foreign exploration proceeds at a slower pace than domestic because concessions are granted by the government, or are explored in partnership with the national oil company. First, a mid- to long-term strategy, tailored to the goals and the financial capabilities of the company, must be prepared; it must be followed by an ongoing evaluation of quality prospects in various sedimentary basins, and a careful planning and conduct of the operations. To successfully explore overseas also requires the presence on the team of a minimum number of explorationists and engineers thoroughly familiar with the various exploratory and operational aspects of foreign work, having had a considerable amount of onsite experience in various geographical and climatic environments. Independents that are best suited for foreign expansion are those that have been financially successful domestically, and have a good discovery track record. When properly approached foreign exploration is well within the reach of smaller US independents and presents essentially no greater risk than domestic exploration; the reward, however, can be much larger and can catapult the company into the big leagues

  8. Exploration: A misunderstood business

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lohrenz, J.

    1991-01-01

    The business of exploration is persistently misunderstand. Why? Misunderstandings persist and even pervade educated, sophisticated, and obviously capable business practitioners and savants of an array of disciplines - finance, economics, and the management sciences. Routine and appropriate assumptions that apply for most businesses invoke nonsense applied to exploration, a unique business. The uniqueness of exploration, unrecognized, sustains the misunderstandings. The authors will not here obliterate these obdurate misunderstandings with some revelation. They show, however, how the misunderstandings naturally arise among those who certainly are not used to being naive

  9. Arts of urban exploration

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pinder, David

    2005-01-01

    to the city’ and ‘writing the city’. Through addressing recent cases of psychogeographical experimentation in terms of these themes, the paper raises broad questions about artistic practices and urban exploration to introduce this theme issue on ‘Arts of urban exploration’ and to lead into the specific......This paper addresses ways in which artists and cultural practitioners have recently been using forms of urban exploration as a means of engaging with, and intervening in, cities. It takes its cues from recent events on the streets of New York that involved exploring urban spaces through artistic...

  10. MBN Explorer Users' Guide

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Solov'yov, Ilia A.; Sushko, Gennady; Solov'yov, Andrey V.

    The MBN Explorer Users' Guide describes how to install and to run MBN Explorer, the software package for advanced multiscale simulations of complex molecular structure and dynamics. This guide includes the description of the main features and the algorithms of the program, the manual how to use...... simulations of structure and dynamics of a broad range of systems with the sizes from the atomic up to the mesoscopic scales. MBN Explorer is being developed and distributed by MBN Research Center, www.mbnresearch.com, which organises hands-on tutorials for the software, user's workshops and conferences....

  11. An Extension of Analysis of Solar-Heated Thermal Wadis to Support Extended-Duration Lunar Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balasubramaniam, R.; Gokoglu, S. A.; Sacksteder, K. R.; Wegeng, R. S.; Suzuki, N. H.

    2010-01-01

    The realization of the renewed exploration of the Moon presents many technical challenges; among them is the survival of lunar surface assets during periods of darkness when the lunar environment is very cold. Thermal wadis are engineered sources of stored solar energy using modified lunar regolith as a thermal storage mass that can supply energy to protect lightweight robotic rovers or other assets during the lunar night. This paper describes an extension of an earlier analysis of performance of thermal wadis based on the known solar illumination of the Moon and estimates of producible thermal properties of modified lunar regolith. The current analysis has been performed for the lunar equatorial region and validates the formerly used 1-D model by comparison of predictions to those obtained from 2-D and 3-D computations. It includes the effects of a thin dust layer covering the surface of the wadi, and incorporating either water as a phase-change material or aluminum stakes as a high thermal conductivity material into the regolith. The calculations indicate that thermal wadis can provide the desired thermal energy and temperature control for the survival of rovers or other equipment during periods of darkness.

  12. Evaluation of IEEE 802.11g and 802.16 for Lunar Surface Exploration Missions Using MACHETE Simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Segui, John; Jennings, Esther; Vyas, Hemali

    2009-01-01

    In this paper, we investigated the suitability of terrestrial wireless networking technologies for lunar surface exploration missions. Specifically, the scenario we considered consisted of two teams of collaborating astronauts, one base station and one rover, where the base station and the rover have the capability of acting as relays. We focused on the evaluation of IEEE 802.11g and IEEE 802.16 protocols, simulating homogeneous 802.11g network, homogeneous 802.16 network, and heterogeneous network using both 802.11g and 802.16. A mix of traffic flows were simulated, including telemetry, caution and warning, voice, command and file transfer. Each traffic type had its own distribution profile, data volume, and priority. We analyzed the loss and delay trade-offs of these wireless protocols with various link-layer options. We observed that 802.16 network managed the channel better than an 802.11g network due to controlled infrastructure and centralized scheduling. However, due to the centralized scheduling, 802.16 also had a longer delay. The heterogeneous (hybrid) of 802.11/802.16 achieved a better balance of performance in terms of data loss and delay compared to using 802.11 or 802.16 alone.

  13. Avionics Architecture for Exploration

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The goal of the AES Avionics Architectures for Exploration (AAE) project is to develop a reference architecture that is based on standards and that can be scaled and...

  14. Titanic: A Statistical Exploration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takis, Sandra L.

    1999-01-01

    Uses the available data about the Titanic's passengers to interest students in exploring categorical data and the chi-square distribution. Describes activities incorporated into a statistics class and gives additional resources for collecting information about the Titanic. (ASK)

  15. Exploration Augmentation Module Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Exploration Augmentation Module (EAM) project goal is to design and deliver a flight module that is to be deployed to Earth-Lunar Distant Retrograde Orbit (DRO)....

  16. Foreign Aid Explorer)

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Agency for International Development — The Foreign Aid Explorer shows the multi-dimensional picture of U.S. foreign assistance through a highly visual and interactive website. The website makes it easy...

  17. Brazilian uranium exploration program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marques, J.P.M.

    1981-01-01

    General information on Brazilian Uranium Exploration Program, are presented. The mineralization processes of uranium depoits are described and the economic power of Brazil uranium reserves is evaluated. (M.C.K.) [pt

  18. Exploring Vietnam's oil potential

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1993-01-01

    A brief review is given of the oil production potential in Vietnam. Since Since 1987, the country has been open to foreign investment in offshore exploration but has suffered from a US embargo on trade and economic ties. Nevertheless some exploration has occurred and twenty production sharing contracts with international oil companies has been signed. To date most of the finds have been non-commercial but optimism remains high. (U.K.)

  19. Developing the MD Explorer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howie, Philip V.

    1993-04-01

    The MD Explorer is an eight-seat twin-turbine engine helicopter which is being developed using integrated product definition (IPD) team methodology. New techniques include NOTAR antitorque system for directional control, a composite fuselage, an all-composite bearingless main rotor, and digital cockpit displays. Three-dimensional CAD models are the basis of the entire Explorer design. Solid models provide vendor with design clarification, removing much of the normal drawing interpretation errors.

  20. Exploration Laboratory Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krihak, M.; Ronzano, K.; Shaw, T.

    2016-01-01

    The Exploration Laboratory Analysis (ELA) project supports the Exploration Medical Capability (ExMC) risk to minimize or reduce the risk of adverse health outcomes and decrements in performance due to in-flight medical capabilities on human exploration missions. To mitigate this risk, the availability of inflight laboratory analysis instrumentation has been identified as an essential capability for manned exploration missions. Since a single, compact space-ready laboratory analysis capability to perform all exploration clinical measurements is not commercially available, the ELA project objective is to demonstrate the feasibility of emerging operational and analytical capability as a biomedical diagnostics precursor to long duration manned exploration missions. The initial step towards ground and flight demonstrations in fiscal year (FY) 2015 was the down selection of platform technologies for demonstrations in the space environment. The technologies selected included two Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) performers: DNA Medicine Institutes rHEALTH X and Intelligent Optical Systems later flow assays combined with Holomics smartphone analyzer. The selection of these technologies were based on their compact size, breadth of analytical capability and favorable ability to process fluids in a space environment, among several factors. These two technologies will be advanced to meet ground and flight demonstration success criteria and requirements that will be finalized in FY16. Also, the down selected performers will continue the technology development phase towards meeting prototype deliverables in either late 2016 or 2017.

  1. International exploration by independents

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bertagne, R.G.

    1992-01-01

    Recent industry trends indicate that the smaller U.S. independents are looking at foreign exploration opportunities as one of the alternatives for growth in the new age of exploration. The problems of communications and logistics caused by different cultures and by geographic distances must be carefully evaluated. A mid-term to long-term strategy tailored to the goals and the financial capabilities of the company should be prepared and followed by a careful planning of the operations. This paper addresses some aspects of foreign exploration that should be considered before an independent venture into the foreign field. It also provides some guidelines for conducting successful overseas operations. When properly assessed, foreign exploration is well within the reach of smaller U.S. independents and presents no greater risk than domestic exploration; the rewards, however, can be much larger. Furthermore, the Oil and Gas Journal surveys of the 300 largest U.S. petroleum companies show that companies with a consistent foreign exploration policy have fared better financially during difficult times

  2. Dealing with exploration uncertainties

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Capen, E.

    1992-01-01

    Exploration for oil and gas should fulfill the most adventurous in their quest for excitement and surprise. This paper tries to cover that tall order. The authors will touch on the magnitude of the uncertainty (which is far greater than in most other businesses), the effects of not knowing target sizes very well, how to build uncertainty into analyses naturally, how to tie reserves and chance estimates to economics, and how to look at the portfolio effect of an exploration program. With no apologies, the authors will be using a different language for some readers - the language of uncertainty, which means probability and statistics. These tools allow one to combine largely subjective exploration information with the more analytical data from the engineering and economic side

  3. Exploring ambiguous realms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Clemensen, Nana

    2016-01-01

    In Hang'ombe Village in rural Zambia, the relative lack of physical boundaries between the activities of family members allow children to observe the actions and discussions of adults on close hand, exposing them to the ambiguities of daily life. Children explore these ambiguities in their intera...... in their interactions, testing social roles and conventions. This article explores the vigilance and creative agency displayed by Hang'ombe children, in an environment spurring their acquisition of distinct social and discursive skills.......In Hang'ombe Village in rural Zambia, the relative lack of physical boundaries between the activities of family members allow children to observe the actions and discussions of adults on close hand, exposing them to the ambiguities of daily life. Children explore these ambiguities...

  4. Exploring the solar system

    CERN Document Server

    Bond, Peter

    2012-01-01

    The exploration of our solar system is one of humanity's greatest scientific achievements. The last fifty years in particular have seen huge steps forward in our understanding of the planets, the sun, and other objects in the solar system. Whilst planetary science is now a mature discipline - involving geoscientists, astronomers, physicists, and others - many profound mysteries remain, and there is indeed still the tantalizing possibility that we may find evidence of life on another planet in our system.Drawing upon the latest results from the second golden age of Solar System exploration, aut

  5. Optimal exploration target zones

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Debba, Pravesh

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available -of-evidence (WofE) method logistic regression canonical favorability analysis neural networks evidential belief functions Optimal Exploration Target Zones Debba, Carranza, Stein, van der Meer Introduction to Remote Sensing Background and Objective of the study... for the following equation: n∑ i=r ( n i ) pi(1− p)n−i = 0.95 . (1) Optimal Exploration Target Zones Debba, Carranza, Stein, van der Meer Introduction to Remote Sensing Background and Objective of the study Methodology Results METHODS (cont. . . ): FITNESS FUNCTION...

  6. Science Applications of a Multispectral Microscopic Imager for the Astrobiological Exploration of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farmer, Jack D.; Sellar, R. Glenn; Swayze, Gregg A.; Blaney, Diana L.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Future astrobiological missions to Mars are likely to emphasize the use of rovers with in situ petrologic capabilities for selecting the best samples at a site for in situ analysis with onboard lab instruments or for caching for potential return to Earth. Such observations are central to an understanding of the potential for past habitable conditions at a site and for identifying samples most likely to harbor fossil biosignatures. The Multispectral Microscopic Imager (MMI) provides multispectral reflectance images of geological samples at the microscale, where each image pixel is composed of a visible/shortwave infrared spectrum ranging from 0.46 to 1.73 μm. This spectral range enables the discrimination of a wide variety of rock-forming minerals, especially Fe-bearing phases, and the detection of hydrated minerals. The MMI advances beyond the capabilities of current microimagers on Mars by extending the spectral range into the infrared and increasing the number of spectral bands. The design employs multispectral light-emitting diodes and an uncooled indium gallium arsenide focal plane array to achieve a very low mass and high reliability. To better understand and demonstrate the capabilities of the MMI for future surface missions to Mars, we analyzed samples from Mars-relevant analog environments with the MMI. Results indicate that the MMI images faithfully resolve the fine-scale microtextural features of samples and provide important information to help constrain mineral composition. The use of spectral endmember mapping reveals the distribution of Fe-bearing minerals (including silicates and oxides) with high fidelity, along with the presence of hydrated minerals. MMI-based petrogenetic interpretations compare favorably with laboratory-based analyses, revealing the value of the MMI for future in situ rover-mediated astrobiological exploration of Mars. Key Words: Mars—Microscopic imager—Multispectral imaging

  7. Science applications of a multispectral microscopic imager for the astrobiological exploration of Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Núñez, Jorge I; Farmer, Jack D; Sellar, R Glenn; Swayze, Gregg A; Blaney, Diana L

    2014-02-01

    Future astrobiological missions to Mars are likely to emphasize the use of rovers with in situ petrologic capabilities for selecting the best samples at a site for in situ analysis with onboard lab instruments or for caching for potential return to Earth. Such observations are central to an understanding of the potential for past habitable conditions at a site and for identifying samples most likely to harbor fossil biosignatures. The Multispectral Microscopic Imager (MMI) provides multispectral reflectance images of geological samples at the microscale, where each image pixel is composed of a visible/shortwave infrared spectrum ranging from 0.46 to 1.73 μm. This spectral range enables the discrimination of a wide variety of rock-forming minerals, especially Fe-bearing phases, and the detection of hydrated minerals. The MMI advances beyond the capabilities of current microimagers on Mars by extending the spectral range into the infrared and increasing the number of spectral bands. The design employs multispectral light-emitting diodes and an uncooled indium gallium arsenide focal plane array to achieve a very low mass and high reliability. To better understand and demonstrate the capabilities of the MMI for future surface missions to Mars, we analyzed samples from Mars-relevant analog environments with the MMI. Results indicate that the MMI images faithfully resolve the fine-scale microtextural features of samples and provide important information to help constrain mineral composition. The use of spectral endmember mapping reveals the distribution of Fe-bearing minerals (including silicates and oxides) with high fidelity, along with the presence of hydrated minerals. MMI-based petrogenetic interpretations compare favorably with laboratory-based analyses, revealing the value of the MMI for future in situ rover-mediated astrobiological exploration of Mars. Mars-Microscopic imager-Multispectral imaging-Spectroscopy-Habitability-Arm instrument.

  8. Science applications of a multispectral microscopic imager for the astrobiological exploration of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nunez, Jorge; Farmer, Jack; Sellar, R. Glenn; Swayze, Gregg A.; Blaney, Diana L.

    2014-01-01

    Future astrobiological missions to Mars are likely to emphasize the use of rovers with in situ petrologic capabilities for selecting the best samples at a site for in situ analysis with onboard lab instruments or for caching for potential return to Earth. Such observations are central to an understanding of the potential for past habitable conditions at a site and for identifying samples most likely to harbor fossil biosignatures. The Multispectral Microscopic Imager (MMI) provides multispectral reflectance images of geological samples at the microscale, where each image pixel is composed of a visible/shortwave infrared spectrum ranging from 0.46 to 1.73 μm. This spectral range enables the discrimination of a wide variety of rock-forming minerals, especially Fe-bearing phases, and the detection of hydrated minerals. The MMI advances beyond the capabilities of current microimagers on Mars by extending the spectral range into the infrared and increasing the number of spectral bands. The design employs multispectral light-emitting diodes and an uncooled indium gallium arsenide focal plane array to achieve a very low mass and high reliability. To better understand and demonstrate the capabilities of the MMI for future surface missions to Mars, we analyzed samples from Mars-relevant analog environments with the MMI. Results indicate that the MMI images faithfully resolve the fine-scale microtextural features of samples and provide important information to help constrain mineral composition. The use of spectral endmember mapping reveals the distribution of Fe-bearing minerals (including silicates and oxides) with high fidelity, along with the presence of hydrated minerals. MMI-based petrogenetic interpretations compare favorably with laboratory-based analyses, revealing the value of the MMI for future in situ rover-mediated astrobiological exploration of Mars.

  9. Next generation laser-based standoff spectroscopy techniques for Mars exploration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gasda, Patrick J; Acosta-Maeda, Tayro E; Lucey, Paul G; Misra, Anupam K; Sharma, Shiv K; Taylor, G Jeffrey

    2015-01-01

    In the recent Mars 2020 Rover Science Definition Team Report, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has sought the capability to detect and identify elements, minerals, and most importantly, biosignatures, at fine scales for the preparation of a retrievable cache of samples. The current Mars rover, the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity, has a remote laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) instrument, a type of quantitative elemental analysis, called the Chemistry Camera (ChemCam) that has shown that laser-induced spectroscopy instruments are not only feasible for space exploration, but are reliable and complementary to traditional elemental analysis instruments such as the Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer. The superb track record of ChemCam has paved the way for other laser-induced spectroscopy instruments, such as Raman and fluorescence spectroscopy. We have developed a prototype remote LIBS-Raman-fluorescence instrument, Q-switched laser-induced time-resolved spectroscopy (QuaLITy), which is approximately 70 000 times more efficient at recording signals than a commercially available LIBS instrument. The increase in detection limits and sensitivity is due to our development of a directly coupled system, the use of an intensified charge-coupled device image detector, and a pulsed laser that allows for time-resolved measurements. We compare the LIBS capabilities of our system with an Ocean Optics spectrometer instrument at 7 m and 5 m distance. An increase in signal-to-noise ratio of at least an order of magnitude allows for greater quantitative analysis of the elements in a LIBS spectrum with 200-300 μm spatial resolution at 7 m, a Raman instrument capable of 1 mm spatial resolution at 3 m, and bioorganic fluorescence detection at longer distances. Thus, the new QuaLITy instrument fulfills all of the NASA expectations for proposed instruments.

  10. Exploring Racism through Photography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fey, Cass; Shin, Ryan; Cinquemani, Shana; Marino, Catherine

    2010-01-01

    Photography is a powerful medium with which to explore social issues and concerns through the intersection of artistic form and concept. Through the discussions of images and suggested activities, students will understand various ways photographers have documented and addressed racism and discrimination. This Instructional Resource presents a…

  11. Exploring pedestrian movement patterns

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Orellana, D.A.

    2012-01-01

    The main objective of this thesis is to develop an approach for exploring, analysing and interpreting movement patterns of pedestrians interacting with the environment. This objective is broken down in sub-objectives related to four research questions. A case study of the movement of visitors in a

  12. Exploring Sound with Insects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robertson, Laura; Meyer, John R.

    2010-01-01

    Differences in insect morphology and movement during singing provide a fascinating opportunity for students to investigate insects while learning about the characteristics of sound. In the activities described here, students use a free online computer software program to explore the songs of the major singing insects and experiment with making…

  13. Geophysics in uranium exploration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Darnley, A.G.

    1975-01-01

    There are no revolutionary new methods of uranium exploration on the horizon. Continuing improvements in existing methods and types of instrumentation are to be expected, but the main scope of improvement will hinge upon using the best of the available methods more meticulously and systematically, and paying more attention to the analysis of data. (author)

  14. Exploring heroin consumption

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Trautmann, Franz; Frijns, Tom

    2013-01-01

    In this report we explore some aspects of heroin consumption, using the data we collected through the face-to-face interviews and comparing our findings with data from other research and monitoring sources. We focus on Italy, the Netherlands and England, the three sample Member States where we have

  15. Antarctica: Discovery & Exploration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gascoigne, Toss; Collett, Peter

    An examination of Antarctica, from the first sightings to the heroic explorations of the late 18th and early 19th centuries to modern-day research, is presented in this book. Twelve chapters are as follows: (1) The search begins; (2) Whalers and sealers: bites and nibbles; (3) The new continent: first sight; (4) Wintering: the first party; (5)…

  16. Exploring Project Management Education

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Steven Nijhuis

    2017-01-01

    From the article: "The object of this paper is to explore the actual practice in project management education in the Netherlands and compare it to reference institutions and recent literature. A little over 40% of the Higher Education institutions in the Netherlands mentions PM education in

  17. Exploring processes and deviations

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leemans, S.J.J.; Fahland, D.; Aalst, van der W.M.P.; Fournier, F.; Mendling, J.

    2015-01-01

    In process mining, one of the main challenges is to discover a process model, while balancing several quality criteria. This often requires repeatedly setting parameters, discovering a map and evaluating it, which we refer to as process exploration. Commercial process mining tools like Disco,

  18. Beyond frontier exploration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Visser, A.; Ji, X.; van Ittersum, M.; González Jaime, L.A.; Stancu, L.A.

    2008-01-01

    This article investigates the prerequisites for a global exploration strategy in an unknown environment on a virtual disaster site. Assume that a robot equipped with a laser range scanner can build a detailed map of a previous unknown environment. The remaining question is how to use this

  19. Domestic uranium exploration activities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chenoweth, W.L.

    1980-01-01

    Uranium exploration in the United States reached its alltime high in 1978 when the chief exploration indicator, surface drilling, totaled 47 million feet. In 1979, however, total drilling declined to 41 million feet, and during the first 8 months of 1980 the trend continued, as surface drilling was 27% less than for the same period in 1979. The total drilling for 1980 now is expected to be below 30 million feet, far less than the 39.4 million feet planned by industry at the beginning of the year. Falling uranium prices, the uncertainties of future uranium demand, rising costs, and the possibility of stiff foreign competition are the prime causes for the current reduction in domestic uranium exploration. Uranium exploration in the United States continues to be concentrated in the vicinity of major producing areas such as the San Juan Basin, Wyoming Basins, Texas Coastal Plain, Paradox Basin, and northeastern Washington, and in areas of recent discoveries including the Henry Mountains, Utah, the McDermitt caldera in Nevada and Oregon, and central Colorado. The distributions, by location, of total surface drilling for 1979 and the first half of 1980 are presented

  20. Effect of the Presence of Chlorates and Perchlorates on the Pyrolysis of Organic Compounds: Implications for Measurements Done with the SAM Experiment Onboard the Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Millan, M.; Szopa, C.; Buch, A.; Belmahdi, I.; Coll, P.; Glavin, D. P.; Freissinet, C.; Archer, P. D., Jr.; Sutter, B.; Summons, R. E.; hide

    2016-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity Rover carries a suite of instruments, one of which is the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) experiment. SAM is devoted to the in situ molecular analysis of gases evolving from solid samples collected by Curiosity on Mars surface/sub-surface. Among its three analytical devices, SAM has a gaschromatograph coupled to a quadrupole mass spectrometer (GC-QMS). The GC-QMS is devoted to the separation and identification of organic and inorganic material. Before proceeding to the GC-QMS analysis, the solid sample collected by Curiosity is subjected to a thermal treatment thanks to the pyrolysis oven to release the volatiles into the gas processing system. Depending on the sample, a derivatization method by wet chemistry: MTBSTFA of TMAH can also be applied to analyze the most refractory compounds. The GC is able to separate the organic molecules which are then detected and identified by the QMS (Figure 1). For the second time after the Viking landers in 1976, SAM detected chlorinated organic compounds with the pyrolysis GC-QMS experiment. The detection of perchlorates salts (ClO4-) in soil at the Phoenix Landing site suggests that the chlorohydrocarbons detected could come from the reaction of organics with oxychlorines. Indeed, laboratory pyrolysis experiments have demonstrated that oxychlorines decomposed into molecular oxygen and volatile chlorine (HCl and/or Cl2) when heated which then react with the organic matter in the solid samples by oxidation and/or chlorination processes.

  1. MINERAL ABUNDANCE AND PARTICLE SIZE DISTRIBUTION DERIVED FROM IN-SITU SPECTRA MEASUREMENTS OF YUTU ROVER OF CHANG’E-3

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. Lin

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available From geologic perspective, understanding the types, abundance, and size distributions of minerals allows us to address what geologic processes have been active on the lunar and planetary surface. The imaging spectrometer which was carried by the Yutu Rover of Chinese Chang’E-3 mission collected the reflectance at four different sites at the height of ~ 1 m, providing a new insight to understand the lunar surface. The mineral composition and Particle Size Distribution (PSD of these four sites were derived in this study using a Radiative Transfer Model (RTM and Sparse Unmixing (SU algorithm. The endmembers used were clinopyroxene, orthopyroxene, olivine, plagioclase and agglutinate collected from the lunar sample spectral dataset in RELAB. The results show that the agglutinate, clinopyroxene and olivine are the dominant minerals around the landing site. In location Node E, the abundance of agglutinate can reach up to 70 %, and the abundances of clinopyroxene and olivine are around 10 %. The mean particle sizes and the deviations of these endmembers were retrieved. PSDs of all these endmembers are close to normal distribution, and differences exist in the mean particle sizes, indicating the difference of space weathering rate of these endmembers.

  2. Determining best practices in reconnoitering sites for habitability potential on Mars using a semi-autonomous rover: A GeoHeuristic Operational Strategies Test

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yingst, R.A.; Berger, J.; Cohen, B.A.; Hynek, B.; Schmidt, M.E.

    2017-01-01

    We tested science operations strategies developed for use in remote mobile spacecraft missions, to determine whether reconnoitering a site of potential habitability prior to in-depth study (a walkabout-first strategy) can be a more efficient use of time and resources than the linear approach commonly used by planetary rover missions. Two field teams studied a sedimentary sequence in Utah to assess habitability potential. At each site one team commanded a human “rover” to execute observations and conducted data analysis and made follow-on decisions based solely on those observations. Another team followed the same traverse using traditional terrestrial field methods, and the results of the two teams were compared. Test results indicate that for a mission with goals similar to our field case, the walkabout-first strategy may save time and other mission resources, while improving science return. The approach enabled more informed choices and higher team confidence in choosing where to spend time and other consumable resources. The walkabout strategy may prove most efficient when many close sites must be triaged to a smaller subset for detailed study or sampling. This situation would arise when mission goals include finding, identifying, characterizing or sampling a specific material, feature or type of environment within a certain area. PMID:29307922

  3. Exploring the nanoworld

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cockayne, D.

    2002-01-01

    Full text: The nanoworld is a real world waiting to be explored and to be exploited, and the key to this world is microscopy. Modem techniques of microscopy reveal not only atoms and molecules, but also how they combine and interact. They allow us to explore not only the natural but also the synthesised nanoworld. Through this exploration, we can discover new natural forms which can act as templates for constructing novel materials of technological and scientific importance, we can obtain knowledge about the nanoworld (eg the structure of macromolecules) which gives us the means to manipulate the natural world, and we can discover how nature uses microstructure to achieve materials properties (eg strength) which we can then mimic. There are many modern forms of microscopy which are used in this exploration. They include not only a variety of microscopes (eg electron, atomic force, scanning tunnelling) but also an increasing range of sophisticated techniques such as electron tomography, image reconstruction, energy loss spectroscopy and high resolution microscopy, in which mathematical manipulation of the data is playing an increasingly important role. Meanwhile developments in aberration correctors and electron energy monochromation are taking microscopy into a new realm of resolution both in imaging and spectroscopy. Research at the nanoscale is causing a convergence between the biological and physical sciences, largely because the tools and techniques they use are becoming increasingly common to both fields. This challenges us to arrange our activities to optimise our efforts and resources. So we see significant developments in shared instrumentation and remote operation, and we see the setting up of nanotechnology institutes where researchers from across the biological, mathematical, materials and medical disciplines explore together. Copyright (2002) Australian Society for Electron Microscopy Inc

  4. Uranium exploration in Australia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Battey, G.C.; Hawkins, B.W.

    1977-01-01

    As a result of exploration which recommenced in 1966 Australia's uranium reserves increased from 6,200 tonnes in 1967 to 227,000 tonnes uranium by June 1976. Most discoveries in the early 1950's were made by prospectors. The increase in reserves during the past decade is the result of exploration by companies utilising improved technology in areas selected as geologically favourable. These reserves were established at relatively low cost. In the Alligator Rivers Uranium Province the ''vein'' type deposits at Jabiluka, Ranger, Koongarra and Nabarlek contain 17% of the world's reserves. Most of these discoveries resulted from the investigation of airborne radiometric anomalies but cover over the prospective host rocks will necessitate the future use of costlier and more indirect exploration techniques. There was exploration for sandstone type uranium deposits in most of Australia's sedimentary basins. The greatest success was achieved in the Lake Frome Basin in South Australia. Other deposits were found in the Ngalia and Amadeus Basins in Central Australia and in the Westmoreland area, N.W. Queensland. A major uranium deposit was found in an unusual environment at Yeelirrie, Western Australia where carnotite occurs in a caliche and clay host which fills a shallow, ancient drainage channel. Although caliche occurrences are relatively widespread on the Precambrian shield no other economic deposit has been found. Recent discoveries in the Georgetown area of Queensland indicate the presence of another uranium province but it is too early to assess its potential. The ore occurs in clastic sediments at the base of a volcanic sequence overlying a Precambrian basement. Several companies which have established large uranium reserves have a number of additional attractive prospects. Exploration activity in Australia in 1975 was at a lower level than in previous years, but the potential for discovering further deposits is considered to be high

  5. Landing site rationality scaling for subsurface sampling on Mars—Case study for ExoMars Rover-like missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kereszturi, Akos

    2012-11-01

    Subsurface sampling will be important in the robotic exploration of Mars in the future, and this activity requires a somewhat different approach in landing site selection than earlier, surface analysis focused missions. In this work theoretical argumentation for the selection of ideal sites is summarized, including various parameters that were defined as examples for the earlier four candidate landing sites of Mars Science Laboratory. The aim here was to compare interesting sites; the decision on the final site does not affect this work. Analyzing the theoretical background, to identify ideal locations for subsurface analysis, several factors could be identified by remote sensing, including the dust and dune coverage, the cap layer distribution as well as the location of probable important outcrops. Beyond the fact that image based information on the rock hardness on Mars is lacking, more work would be also useful to put the interesting sites into global context and to understand the role of secondary cratering in age estimation. More laboratory work would be also necessary to improve our knowledge on the extraction and preservation of organic materials under different conditions. Beyond the theoretical argumentation mentioned above, the size and accessibility of possible important shallow subsurface materials were analyzed at the four earlier candidate landing sites of Mars Science Laboratory. At the sample terrains, interesting but inaccessible, interesting and sideward accessible, and interesting and from above accessible outcrops were identified. Surveying these outcrop types at the sample terrains, the currently available datasets showed only 3-9% of exposed strata over the entire analyzed area is present at Eberswalde and Holden crater, and individual outcrops have an average diameter between 100 and 400 m there. For Gale crater and Mawrth Valles region, these parameters were 46-35% of exposed strata, with an average outcrop diameter of ˜300 m. In the case

  6. Venus Mobile Explorer with RPS for Active Cooling: A Feasibility Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leifer, Stephanie D.; Green, Jacklyn R.; Balint, Tibor S.; Manvi, Ram

    2009-01-01

    We present our findings from a study to evaluate the feasibility of a radioisotope power system (RPS) combined with active cooling to enable a long-duration Venus surface mission. On-board power with active cooling technology featured prominently in both the National Research Council's Decadal Survey and in the 2006 NASA Solar System Exploration Roadmap as mission-enabling for the exploration of Venus. Power and cooling system options were reviewed and the most promising concepts modeled to develop an assessment tool for Venus mission planners considering a variety of future potential missions to Venus, including a Venus Mobile Explorer (either a balloon or rover concept), a long-lived Venus static lander, or a Venus Geophysical Network. The concepts modeled were based on the integration of General Purpose Heat Source (GPHS) modules with different types of Stirling cycle heat engines for power and cooling. Unlike prior investigations which reported on single point design concepts, this assessment tool allows the user to generate either a point design or parametric curves of approximate power and cooling system mass, power level, and number of GPHS modules needed for a "black box" payload housed in a spherical pressure vessel.

  7. Mars Exploration 2003 to 2013 - An Integrated Perspective: Time Sequencing the Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briggs, G.; McKay, C.

    2000-01-01

    The science goals for the Mars exploration program, together with the HEDS precursor environmental and technology needs, serve as a solid starting point for re-planning the program in an orderly way. Most recently, the community has recognized the significance of subsurface sampling as a key component in "following the water". Accessing samples from hundreds and even thousands of meters beneath the surface is a challenge that will call for technology development and for one or more demonstration missions. Recent mission failures and concerns about the complexity of the previously planned MSR missions indicate that, before we are ready to undertake sample return and deep sampling, the Mars exploration program needs to include: 1) technology development missions; and 2) basic landing site assessment missions. These precursor missions should demonstrate the capability for reliable & accurate soft landing and in situ propellant production. The precursor missions will need to carry out close-up site observations, ground-penetrating radar mapping from orbit and conduct seismic surveys. Clearly the programs should be planned as a single, continuous exploration effort. A prudent minimum list of missions, including surface rovers with ranges of more than 10 km, can be derived from the numerous goals and requirements; they can be sequenced in an orderly way to ensure that time is available to feed forward the results of the precursor missions. One such sequence of missions is proposed for the decade beginning in 2003.

  8. Adaptive Sampling of Time Series During Remote Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thompson, David R.

    2012-01-01

    This work deals with the challenge of online adaptive data collection in a time series. A remote sensor or explorer agent adapts its rate of data collection in order to track anomalous events while obeying constraints on time and power. This problem is challenging because the agent has limited visibility (all its datapoints lie in the past) and limited control (it can only decide when to collect its next datapoint). This problem is treated from an information-theoretic perspective, fitting a probabilistic model to collected data and optimizing the future sampling strategy to maximize information gain. The performance characteristics of stationary and nonstationary Gaussian process models are compared. Self-throttling sensors could benefit environmental sensor networks and monitoring as well as robotic exploration. Explorer agents can improve performance by adjusting their data collection rate, preserving scarce power or bandwidth resources during uninteresting times while fully covering anomalous events of interest. For example, a remote earthquake sensor could conserve power by limiting its measurements during normal conditions and increasing its cadence during rare earthquake events. A similar capability could improve sensor platforms traversing a fixed trajectory, such as an exploration rover transect or a deep space flyby. These agents can adapt observation times to improve sample coverage during moments of rapid change. An adaptive sampling approach couples sensor autonomy, instrument interpretation, and sampling. The challenge is addressed as an active learning problem, which already has extensive theoretical treatment in the statistics and machine learning literature. A statistical Gaussian process (GP) model is employed to guide sample decisions that maximize information gain. Nonsta tion - ary (e.g., time-varying) covariance relationships permit the system to represent and track local anomalies, in contrast with current GP approaches. Most common GP models

  9. Exploring Urban Screens

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zlatan Krajina

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available There is a tautological tendency in the widespread claims that urban space is 'me-diated'. Never before has the citizen, it is argued, been confronted with such an unprecedented array of signage. I depart from the rhetoric of 'biggest-ever-saturation' as not necessarily untrue, but as insufficient in exploring the diverse spatial operations of urban screens. I examine some contemporary cases of ani-mated architectural surfaces, informational panels, and advertising billboards, with reference to much longer standing cultural practices of spatial management in modern cities, such as illumination, to suggest that the contemporary display media do not mediate the city anew but re-invent urban space as a field of ubiqui-tous mediation. From that standpoint I suggest exploring urban screens as a both singular visual agents and indivisible items in plural structural assemblages, b complementary forces of public illumination, and c complex perceptual platforms in visual play of scale and distance.

  10. Exploring rationality in schizophrenia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Revsbech, Rasmus; Mortensen, Erik Lykke; Owen, Gareth

    2015-01-01

    Background Empirical studies of rationality (syllogisms) in patients with schizophrenia have obtained different results. One study found that patients reason more logically if the syllogism is presented through an unusual content. Aims To explore syllogism-based rationality in schizophrenia. Meth...... differences became non-significant. Conclusions When taking intelligence and neuropsychological performance into account, patients with schizophrenia and controls perform similarly on syllogism tests of rationality.......Background Empirical studies of rationality (syllogisms) in patients with schizophrenia have obtained different results. One study found that patients reason more logically if the syllogism is presented through an unusual content. Aims To explore syllogism-based rationality in schizophrenia. Method...... Thirty-eight first-admitted patients with schizophrenia and 38 healthy controls solved 29 syllogisms that varied in presentation content (ordinary v. unusual) and validity (valid v. invalid). Statistical tests were made of unadjusted and adjusted group differences in models adjusting for intelligence...

  11. Exploring textual data

    CERN Document Server

    Lebart, Ludovic; Berry, Lisette

    1998-01-01

    Researchers in a number of disciplines deal with large text sets requiring both text management and text analysis. Faced with a large amount of textual data collected in marketing surveys, literary investigations, historical archives and documentary data bases, these researchers require assistance with organizing, describing and comparing texts. Exploring Textual Data demonstrates how exploratory multivariate statistical methods such as correspondence analysis and cluster analysis can be used to help investigate, assimilate and evaluate textual data. The main text does not contain any strictly mathematical demonstrations, making it accessible to a large audience. This book is very user-friendly with proofs abstracted in the appendices. Full definitions of concepts, implementations of procedures and rules for reading and interpreting results are fully explored. A succession of examples is intended to allow the reader to appreciate the variety of actual and potential applications and the complementary processin...

  12. Exploring improvisation in nursing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanley, Mary Anne; Fenton, Mary V

    2007-06-01

    Improvisation has long been considered a function of music, dance, and the theatre arts. An exploration of the definitions and characteristics of this concept in relation to the art and practice of nursing provide an opportunity to illuminate related qualities within the field of nursing. Nursing has always demonstrated improvisation because it is often required to meet the needs of patients in a rapidly changing environment. However, little has been done to identify improvisation in the practice of nursing or to teach improvisation as a nursing knowledge-based skill. This article strives to explore the concept of improvisation in nursing, to describe the characteristics of improvisation as applied to nursing, and to utilize case studies to illustrate various manifestations of improvisation in nursing practice.

  13. The Primordial Inflation Explorer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kogut, Alan J.

    2012-01-01

    The Primordial Inflation Explorer is an Explorer-class mission to measure the gravity-wave signature of primordial inflation through its distinctive imprint on the linear polarization of the cosmic microwave background. PIXIE uses an innovative optical design to achieve background-limited sensitivity in 400 spectral channels spanning 2.5 decades in frequency from 30 GHz to 6 THz (1 cm to 50 micron wavelength). The principal science goal is the detection and characterization of linear polarization from an inflationary epoch in the early universe, with tensor-to-scalar ratio r < 10(exp -3) at 5 standard deviations. The rich PIXIE data set will also constrain physical processes ranging from Big Bang cosmology to the nature of the first stars to physical conditions within the interstellar medium of the Galaxy. I describe the PIXIE instrument and mission architecture needed to detect the inflationary signature using only 4 semiconductor bolometers.

  14. Scientific Resource EXplorer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xing, Z.; Wormuth, A.; Smith, A.; Arca, J.; Lu, Y.; Sayfi, E.

    2014-12-01

    Inquisitive minds in our society are never satisfied with curatedimages released by a typical public affairs office. They always want tolook deeper and play directly on original data. However, most scientificdata products are notoriously hard to use. They are immensely large,highly distributed and diverse in format. In this presentation,we will demonstrate Resource EXplorer (REX), a novel webtop applicationthat allows anyone to conveniently explore and visualize rich scientificdata repositories, using only a standard web browser. This tool leverageson the power of Webification Science (w10n-sci), a powerful enabling technologythat simplifies the use of scientific data on the web platform.W10n-sci is now being deployed at an increasing number of NASA data centers,some of which are the largest digital treasure troves in our nation.With REX, these wonderful scientific resources are open for teachers andstudents to learn and play.

  15. Optimal exploration target zones

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Debba, Pravesh

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available prospective map are the weights-of-evidence (WofE) method logistic regression canonical favorability analysis neural networks evidential belief functions Optimal Exploration Target Zones Debba, Carranza, Stein, van der Meer Introduction to Remote.... . . ): FITNESS FUNCTION φWMSD+V(Sn) = λ N(A) ∑ −→x ∈A P(−→x ) ∣ ∣ ∣ ∣−→x −QSn( −→x ) ∣ ∣ ∣ ∣ +(1− λ)s2(OSn) , (2) where QSn( −→x ) is the location vector of an optimal exploration focal point in Sn nearest to −→x , and s2(OSn) is the variance...

  16. An asteroseismology explorer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brown, T.M.; Cox, A.N.

    1987-01-01

    In response to a NASA opportunity, a proposal has been made to study the concept of an Asteroseismology Explorer (ASE). The goal of the ASE would be to measure solar-like oscillations on many (perhaps hundreds) of stars during a 1-year mission, including many members of open clusters. In this paper, the authors describe this proposal's observational goals, a strawman technical approach, and likely scientific rewards

  17. Gases in uranium exploration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wright, R.J.; Pacer, J.C.

    1981-01-01

    Interest continues to grow in the use of helium and radon detection as a uranium exploration tool because, in many instances, these radiogenic gases are the only indicators of deeply buried mineralization. The origin of these gases, their migration in the ground, the type of samples and measurement techniques are discussed. Case histories of comparative tests conducted on known uranium deposits at three geologically diverse sites in the United States of America are also presented. (author)

  18. COACH – EXPLORER - MANAGER

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Đorđe Nićin

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available Nowdays technologies are characterised by the expert specialists. In training technologies there are also coaches-experts for some sports. Aport from governing training technology, thus he performs manager’s work (planning, programing, accomplishing, controlling, correcting the coach also performs the work of an explorer, because the work of the coach is creative, creating, exploring and it is necessary to include innovation into training process, and innovations are nothing but rehearse of someting new, what is but scientific approach to the training. More the coach succeeds in controlling more factors which influence the sport achievement, he will be more successful. To be able to do all that, the coach must observe, follow, control and correct sportist’s reactions on exercises and loads all the time. The coach demonstrates his activity even through marketing, educational psychological, administrative- technical, nutritional and entire useful social role, so his work is interdisciplinary very complex, important, public, and thus it is a subject to critics. In order to be successful, a modern coach must be an exellent expert-specialist, but also an explorer and manager, and before all a creator of training technology

  19. Exploring Monte Carlo methods

    CERN Document Server

    Dunn, William L

    2012-01-01

    Exploring Monte Carlo Methods is a basic text that describes the numerical methods that have come to be known as "Monte Carlo." The book treats the subject generically through the first eight chapters and, thus, should be of use to anyone who wants to learn to use Monte Carlo. The next two chapters focus on applications in nuclear engineering, which are illustrative of uses in other fields. Five appendices are included, which provide useful information on probability distributions, general-purpose Monte Carlo codes for radiation transport, and other matters. The famous "Buffon's needle proble

  20. Spacecraft exploration of asteroids

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Veverka, J.; Langevin, Y.; Farquhar, R.; Fulchignoni, M.

    1989-01-01

    After two decades of spacecraft exploration, we still await the first direct investigation of an asteroid. This paper describes how a growing international interest in the solar system's more primitive bodies should remedy this. Plans are under way in Europe for a dedicated asteroid mission (Vesta) which will include multiple flybys with in situ penetrator studies. Possible targets include 4 Vesta, 8 Flora and 46 Hestia; launch its scheduled for 1994 or 1996. In the United States, NASA plans include flybys of asteroids en route to outer solar system targets

  1. Exploring C++ 11

    CERN Document Server

    Lischner, Ray

    2014-01-01

    Exploring C++ divides C++ up into bite-sized chunks that will help you learn the language one step at a time. Assuming no familiarity with C++, or any other C-based language, you'll be taught everything you need to know in a logical progression of small lessons that you can work through as quickly or as slowly as you need.C++ can be a complicated language. Writing even the most straight-forward of programs requires you to understand many disparate aspects of the language and how they interact with one another. C++ doesn't lend itself to neat compartmentalization the way other languages do. Rat

  2. Exploration Medical System Demonstration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubin, D. A.; Watkins, S. D.

    2014-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Exploration class missions will present significant new challenges and hazards to the health of the astronauts. Regardless of the intended destination, beyond low Earth orbit a greater degree of crew autonomy will be required to diagnose medical conditions, develop treatment plans, and implement procedures due to limited communications with ground-based personnel. SCOPE: The Exploration Medical System Demonstration (EMSD) project will act as a test bed on the International Space Station (ISS) to demonstrate to crew and ground personnel that an end-to-end medical system can assist clinician and non-clinician crew members in optimizing medical care delivery and data management during an exploration mission. Challenges facing exploration mission medical care include limited resources, inability to evacuate to Earth during many mission phases, and potential rendering of medical care by non-clinicians. This system demonstrates the integration of medical devices and informatics tools for managing evidence and decision making and can be designed to assist crewmembers in nominal, non-emergent situations and in emergent situations when they may be suffering from performance decrements due to environmental, physiological or other factors. PROJECT OBJECTIVES: The objectives of the EMSD project are to: a. Reduce or eliminate the time required of an on-orbit crew and ground personnel to access, transfer, and manipulate medical data. b. Demonstrate that the on-orbit crew has the ability to access medical data/information via an intuitive and crew-friendly solution to aid in the treatment of a medical condition. c. Develop a common data management framework that can be ubiquitously used to automate repetitive data collection, management, and communications tasks for all activities pertaining to crew health and life sciences. d. Ensure crew access to medical data during periods of restricted ground communication. e. Develop a common data management framework that

  3. SpaceExplorer

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Thomas Riisgaard

    2007-01-01

    Web pages are designed to be displayed on a single screen, but as more and more screens are being introduced in our surroundings a burning question becomes how to design, interact, and display web pages on multiple devices and displays. In this paper I present the SpaceExplorer prototype, which...... is able to display standard HTML web pages on multiple displays with only a minor modification to the language. Based on the prototype a number of different examples are presented and discussed and some preliminary findings are presented....

  4. The Cosmic Background Explorer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gulkis, Samuel; Lubin, Philip M.; Meyer, Stephan S.; Silverberg, Robert F.

    1990-01-01

    The Cosmic Background Explorer (CBE), NASA's cosmological satellite which will observe a radiative relic of the big bang, is discussed. The major questions connected to the big bang theory which may be clarified using the CBE are reviewed. The satellite instruments and experiments are described, including the Differential Microwave Radiometer, which measures the difference between microwave radiation emitted from two points on the sky, the Far-Infrared Absolute Spectrophotometer, which compares the spectrum of radiation from the sky at wavelengths from 100 microns to one cm with that from an internal blackbody, and the Diffuse Infrared Background Experiment, which searches for the radiation from the earliest generation of stars.

  5. Uranium exploration techniques

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nichols, C.E.

    1984-01-01

    The subject is discussed under the headings: introduction (genetic description of some uranium deposits; typical concentrations of uranium in the natural environment); sedimentary host rocks (sandstones; tabular deposits; roll-front deposits; black shales); metamorphic host rocks (exploration techniques); geologic techniques (alteration features in sandstones; favourable features in metamorphic rocks); geophysical techniques (radiometric surveys; surface vehicle methods; airborne methods; input surveys); geochemical techniques (hydrogeochemistry; petrogeochemistry; stream sediment geochemistry; pedogeochemistry; emanometry; biogeochemistry); geochemical model for roll-front deposits; geologic model for vein-like deposits. (U.K.)

  6. Exploring Opponent Formats

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Mads Møller; Rasmussen, Majken; Grønbæk, Kaj

    2013-01-01

    of how the opponent format and relationships impact a game are almost absent in current research. Thus, this paper aims to elucidate how the perception of a competition differs, depending on the opponent format, by presenting a game mechanic framework. The paper furthermore presents an interactive...... football-training platform, as well as games designed to explore the different opponent formats. The games are qualitatively evaluated to illuminate the qualities of and distinctions between different types of opponent formats, proposed by the framework terminology....

  7. Chemistry, mineralogy, and grain properties at Namib and High dunes, Bagnold dune field, Gale crater, Mars: A synthesis of Curiosity rover observations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ehlmann, B L; Edgett, K S; Sutter, B; Achilles, C N; Litvak, M L; Lapotre, M G A; Sullivan, R; Fraeman, A A; Arvidson, R E; Blake, D F; Bridges, N T; Conrad, P G; Cousin, A; Downs, R T; Gabriel, T S J; Gellert, R; Hamilton, V E; Hardgrove, C; Johnson, J R; Kuhn, S; Mahaffy, P R; Maurice, S; McHenry, M; Meslin, P-Y; Ming, D W; Minitti, M E; Morookian, J M; Morris, R V; O'Connell-Cooper, C D; Pinet, P C; Rowland, S K; Schröder, S; Siebach, K L; Stein, N T; Thompson, L M; Vaniman, D T; Vasavada, A R; Wellington, D F; Wiens, R C; Yen, A S

    2017-12-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover performed coordinated measurements to examine the textures and compositions of aeolian sands in the active Bagnold dune field. The Bagnold sands are rounded to subrounded, very fine to medium sized (~45-500 μm) with ≥6 distinct grain colors. In contrast to sands examined by Curiosity in a dust-covered, inactive bedform called Rocknest and soils at other landing sites, Bagnold sands are darker, less red, better sorted, have fewer silt-sized or smaller grains, and show no evidence for cohesion. Nevertheless, Bagnold mineralogy and Rocknest mineralogy are similar with plagioclase, olivine, and pyroxenes in similar proportions comprising >90% of crystalline phases, along with a substantial amorphous component (35% ± 15%). Yet Bagnold and Rocknest bulk chemistry differ. Bagnold sands are Si enriched relative to other soils at Gale crater, and H 2 O, S, and Cl are lower relative to all previously measured Martian soils and most Gale crater rocks. Mg, Ni, Fe, and Mn are enriched in the coarse-sieved fraction of Bagnold sands, corroborated by visible/near-infrared spectra that suggest enrichment of olivine. Collectively, patterns in major element chemistry and volatile release data indicate two distinctive volatile reservoirs in Martian soils: (1) amorphous components in the sand-sized fraction (represented by Bagnold) that are Si-enriched, hydroxylated alteration products and/or H 2 O- or OH-bearing impact or volcanic glasses and (2) amorphous components in the fine fraction (<40 μm; represented by Rocknest and other bright soils) that are Fe, S, and Cl enriched with low Si and adsorbed and structural H 2 O.

  8. Pre-flight calibration and initial data processing for the ChemCam laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy instrument on the Mars Science Laboratory rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiens, R.C.; Maurice, S.; Lasue, J.; Forni, O.; Anderson, R.B.; Clegg, S.; Bender, S.; Blaney, D.; Barraclough, B.L.; Cousin, A.; DeFlores, L.; Delapp, D.; Dyar, M.D.; Fabre, C.; Gasnault, O.; Lanza, N.; Mazoyer, J.; Melikechi, N.; Meslin, P.-Y.; Newsom, H.; Ollila, A.; Perez, R.; Tokar, R.; Vaniman, D.

    2013-01-01

    The ChemCam instrument package on the Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity, is the first planetary science instrument to employ laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) to determine the compositions of geological samples on another planet. Pre-processing of the spectra involves subtracting the ambient light background, removing noise, removing the electron continuum, calibrating for the wavelength, correcting for the variable distance to the target, and applying a wavelength-dependent correction for the instrument response. Further processing of the data uses multivariate and univariate comparisons with a LIBS spectral library developed prior to launch as well as comparisons with several on-board standards post-landing. The level-2 data products include semi-quantitative abundances derived from partial least squares regression. A LIBS spectral library was developed using 69 rock standards in the form of pressed powder disks, glasses, and ceramics to minimize heterogeneity on the scale of the observation (350–550 μm dia.). The standards covered typical compositional ranges of igneous materials and also included sulfates, carbonates, and phyllosilicates. The provenance and elemental and mineralogical compositions of these standards are described. Spectral characteristics of this data set are presented, including the size distribution and integrated irradiances of the plasmas, and a proxy for plasma temperature as a function of distance from the instrument. Two laboratory-based clones of ChemCam reside in Los Alamos and Toulouse for the purpose of adding new spectra to the database as the need arises. Sensitivity to differences in wavelength correlation to spectral channels and spectral resolution has been investigated, indicating that spectral registration needs to be within half a pixel and resolution needs to match within 1.5 to 2.6 pixels. Absolute errors are tabulated for derived compositions of each major element in each standard using PLS regression

  9. Uranium reserves and exploration activity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Meehan, R.J.

    1975-01-01

    The strategy that ERDA plans to employ regarding resource appraisal is outlined. All types of uranium occurrences will be evaluated as sources of domestic ore reserves. Industry's exploration efforts will be compiled. These data will include information on land acquisition and costs, footage drilled and costs, estimates of exploration activities and expenditures, exploration for non-sandstone deposits, exploration in non-established areas, and foreign exploration plans and costs. Typical data in each of these areas are given

  10. Cosmochemistry and Human Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, G. J.

    2004-12-01

    About 125 scientists, engineers, business men and women, and other specialists attended the sixth meeting of the Space Resources Roundtable, held at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado. The meeting was co-sponsored by the Space Resources Roundtable, Inc. (a nonprofit organization dedicated to the use of space resources for the benefit of humankind), the Lunar and Planetary Institute, and the Colorado School of Mines. Presentations and discussions during the meeting made it clear that the knowledge gained from cosmochemical studies of the Moon and Mars is central to devising ways to use in situ resources. This makes cosmochemistry central to the human exploration and development of space, which cannot happen without extensive in situ resource utilization (ISRU). Cosmochemists at the meeting reported on an array of topics: the nature of lunar surface materials and our lack of knowledge about surface materials in permanently shadowed regions at the lunar poles; how to make reasonable simulated lunar materials for resource extraction testbeds, vehicle design tests, and construction experiments on Earth; and how to explore for resources on the Moon and Mars.

  11. Religion and Lunar Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pop, V.

    1969: The Eagle lands on the Moon. A moment that would not only mark the highest scientific achievement of all times, but would also have significant religious impli- cations. While the island of Bali lodges a protest at the United Nations against the US for desecrating a sacred place, Hopi Indians celebrate the fulfilment of an ancient prophecy that would reveal the "truth of the Sacred Ways". The plaque fastened to the Eagle - "We Came in Peace for All Mankind" would have contained the words "under God" as directed by the US president, if not for an assistant administrator at NASA that did not want to offend any religion. In the same time, Buzz Aldrin takes the Holy Communion on the Moon, and a Bible is left there by another Apollo mission - not long after the crew of Apollo 8 reads a passage from Genesis while circling the Moon. 1998: Navajo Indians lodge a protest with NASA for placing human ashes aboard the Lunar Prospector, as the Moon is a sacred place in their religion. Past, present and fu- ture exploration of the Moon has significant religious and spiritual implications that, while not widely known, are nonetheless important. Is lunar exploration a divine duty, or a sacrilege? This article will feature and thoroughly analyse the examples quoted above, as well as other facts, as for instance the plans of establishing lunar cemeteries - welcomed by some religions, and opposed by others.

  12. The advanced composition explorer

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stone, E.C.; Burlaga, L.F.; Cummings, A.C.; Feldman, W.C.; Frain, W.E.; Geiss, J.; Gloeckler, G.; Gold, R.E.; Hovestadt, D.; Krimigis, S.M.; Mason, G.M.; McComas, D.; Mewaldt, R.A.; Simpson, J.A.; von Rosenvinge, T.T.; Wiedenbeck, M.E.

    1990-01-01

    The Advanced Composition Explorer (ACE) was recently selected as one of two new Explorer-class missions to be developed for launch during the mid-1990's ACE will observe particles of solar, interplanetary, interstellar, and galactic origins, spanning the energy range from that of the solar wind (∼1 keV/nucleon) to galactic cosmic ray energies (several hundred MeV/nucleon). Definitive studies will be made of the abundance of nearly all isotopes from H to Zn (1≤Z≤30), with exploratory isotope studies extending to Zr(Z=40). To accomplish this, the ACE payload includes six high-resolution spectrometers, each designed to provide the optimum charge, mass, or charge-state resolution in its particular energy range, and each having a geometry factor optimized for the expected flux levels, so as to provide a collecting power a factor of 10 to 1000 times greater than previous or planned experiments. The payload also includes several instruments of standard design that will monitor solar wind and magnetic field conditions and energetic H, He, and electron fluxes. We summarize here the scientific objectives, instrumentation, spacecraft, and mission approach that were defined for ACE during the Phase-A study period

  13. Human exploration mission studies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cataldo, Robert L.

    1989-01-01

    The Office of Exploration has established a process whereby all NASA field centers and other NASA Headquarters offices participate in the formulation and analysis of a wide range of mission strategies. These strategies were manifested into specific scenarios or candidate case studies. The case studies provided a systematic approach into analyzing each mission element. First, each case study must address several major themes and rationale including: national pride and international prestige, advancement of scientific knowledge, a catalyst for technology, economic benefits, space enterprise, international cooperation, and education and excellence. Second, the set of candidate case studies are formulated to encompass the technology requirement limits in the life sciences, launch capabilities, space transfer, automation, and robotics in space operations, power, and propulsion. The first set of reference case studies identify three major strategies: human expeditions, science outposts, and evolutionary expansion. During the past year, four case studies were examined to explore these strategies. The expeditionary missions include the Human Expedition to Phobos and Human Expedition to Mars case studies. The Lunar Observatory and Lunar Outpost to Early Mars Evolution case studies examined the later two strategies. This set of case studies established the framework to perform detailed mission analysis and system engineering to define a host of concepts and requirements for various space systems and advanced technologies. The details of each mission are described and, specifically, the results affecting the advanced technologies required to accomplish each mission scenario are presented.

  14. Exploring Servitization in China

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Raja, Jawwad Z.; Frandsen, Thomas

    2017-01-01

    Purpose: Previous research has predominately focused on the servitization strategies of Western manufacturers in advanced economies, neglecting the potential for servitization in those which are emerging, such as China. This paper explores the role of the external service partner network of a Eur......Purpose: Previous research has predominately focused on the servitization strategies of Western manufacturers in advanced economies, neglecting the potential for servitization in those which are emerging, such as China. This paper explores the role of the external service partner network...... of a European manufacturer providing services in China, in order to develop a better understanding of the resulting and associated challenges. Design/methodology/approach: An in-depth case study approach was used to examine the parent company, its subsidiary in China and the related service partner network....... Data collection involved all three actors and took place in Denmark and China. Findings: The findings suggest that motivation, opportunity and ability (MOA) need not only be mutually reinforcing for the organization attempting to move towards services but also aligned between organizational units...

  15. Exploration Supply Chain Simulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    The Exploration Supply Chain Simulation project was chartered by the NASA Exploration Systems Mission Directorate to develop a software tool, with proper data, to quantitatively analyze supply chains for future program planning. This tool is a discrete-event simulation that uses the basic supply chain concepts of planning, sourcing, making, delivering, and returning. This supply chain perspective is combined with other discrete or continuous simulation factors. Discrete resource events (such as launch or delivery reviews) are represented as organizational functional units. Continuous resources (such as civil service or contractor program functions) are defined as enabling functional units. Concepts of fixed and variable costs are included in the model to allow the discrete events to interact with cost calculations. The definition file is intrinsic to the model, but a blank start can be initiated at any time. The current definition file is an Orion Ares I crew launch vehicle. Parameters stretch from Kennedy Space Center across and into other program entities (Michaud Assembly Facility, Aliant Techsystems, Stennis Space Center, Johnson Space Center, etc.) though these will only gain detail as the file continues to evolve. The Orion Ares I file definition in the tool continues to evolve, and analysis from this tool is expected in 2008. This is the first application of such business-driven modeling to a NASA/government-- aerospace contractor endeavor.

  16. Exploring exploration orientation and its determinants : Some empirical evidence

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Commandeur, H.R.; Volberda, H.W.; Sidhu, J.S.

    2004-01-01

    Adopting an information-process perspective, this article conceptualizes exploration orientation in terms of scope of information acquisition. In line with this conceptualization, a multidimensional operational measure of exploration orientation is developed and its internal consistency established.

  17. The design explorer project

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pejtersen, Annelise Mark; Sonnenwald, Diane H.; Buur, Jacob

    1997-01-01

    the 'Design Explorer' research project whose goal is to specify requirements for an information system that will effectively help design team members from different domains and organizational cultures to locate and utilize diverse information sources and interact more effectively throughout the design process....... The project introduces a new approach to support of design; instead of design guidelines, support is given by creating a transparent information environment in which designers can navigate freely according to their individual preferences. The project is based on a framework that structures the dimensions......, or categories, of domain information which need to be available for a system or product designer/design team in order to determine the characteristics of the artefact, or object of design. These dimensions include information about the different work domains in which the product plays a role during its lifetime...

  18. Exploring the Sharing Economy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Netter, Sarah

    Despite the growing interest on the part of proponents and opponents - ranging from business, civil society, media, to policy-makers alike - there is still limited knowledge about the working mechanisms of the sharing economy. The thesis is dedicated to explore this understudied phenomenon...... and to provide a more nuanced understanding of the micro- and macro-level tensions that characterize the sharing economy. This thesis consists of four research papers, each using different literature, methodology, and data sets. The first paper investigates how the sharing economy is diffused and is ‘talked......-level tensions experience by sharing platforms by looking at the case of mobile fashion reselling and swapping markets. The final paper combines the perspectives of different sharing economy stakeholders and outlines some of the micro and macro tensions arising in and influencing the organization of these multi...

  19. Nutrition for Space Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Scott M.

    2005-01-01

    Nutrition has proven to be critical throughout the history of human exploration, on both land and water. The importance of nutrition during long-duration space exploration is no different. Maintaining optimal nutritional status is critical for all bodily systems, especially in light of the fact that that many are also affected by space flight itself. Major systems of concern are bone, muscle, the cardiovascular system, the immune system, protection against radiation damage, and others. The task ahead includes defining the nutritional requirements for space travelers, ensuring adequacy of the food system, and assessing crew nutritional status before, during, and after flight. Accomplishing these tasks will provide significant contributions to ensuring crew health on long-duration missions. In addition, development and testing of nutritional countermeasures to effects of space flight is required, and assessment of the impact of other countermeasures (such as exercise and pharmaceuticals) on nutrition is also critical for maintaining overall crew health. Vitamin D stores of crew members are routinely low after long-duration space flight. This occurs even when crew members take vitamin D supplements, suggesting that vitamin D metabolism may be altered during space flight. Vitamin D is essential for efficient absorption of calcium, and has numerous other benefits for other tissues with vitamin D receptors. Protein is a macronutrient that requires additional study to define the optimal intake for space travelers. Administration of protein to bed rest subjects can effectively mitigate muscle loss associated with disuse, but too much or too little protein can also have negative effects on bone. In another bed rest study, we found that the ratio of protein to potassium was correlated with the level of bone resorption: the higher the ratio, the more bone resorption. These relationships warrant further study to optimize the beneficial effect of protein on both bone and muscle

  20. Mineral nuclear exploration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Filippov, E.M.

    1978-01-01

    The information on quantitative determination in rocks of water (humidity), rock-forming chemical elements, and various usefull components are presented. When considering separate chemical elements given are brief information on their content in natural objects, nuclear properties (the main reactions, their cross sections, isotope characteristics etc.). Possibilities of different nuclear methods in determination of chemical element concentrations in ores and rocks are analyzed. The greatest attention is paid to analysis of methods, based on gamma quantum and neutron irradiation. The results of application of laboratory nuclear-physical methods of rapid analysis are briefly considered, whereas the results of different field methods of nuclear exploration are considered in detail: field survey, well logging, inspection of mine roadway walls. In the appendix general information on chemical elements and sensitivity thresholds of certain activation methods are presented

  1. Exploring Entrepreneurial Network Relationships

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Norus, Jesper

    2003-01-01

    explores four different strategies for dealing with network relations; the research oriented strategy, the incubator strategy, the industrial partnering strategy, and the policy-oriented strategy. The research-oriented strategy is narrowly focusing on how a biotechnology firm transforms their scientific...... treated as a contingent factor. However only little attention have been giving to a specific focus on the strategies that new business ventures have obtained to establish the fit between small firms, university research, and public policies such as regulatory policies and R&D policies. The emergence...... results into promising technologies, services or products. The incubator strategy is concerned with localization and how to come about specific types of managerial problem in the initial stage of forming a business venture. The industrial partnering strategy concerns how to overcome the problem...

  2. Exploring bacterial lignin degradation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Margaret E; Chang, Michelle C Y

    2014-04-01

    Plant biomass represents a renewable carbon feedstock that could potentially be used to replace a significant level of petroleum-derived chemicals. One major challenge in its utilization is that the majority of this carbon is trapped in the recalcitrant structural polymers of the plant cell wall. Deconstruction of lignin is a key step in the processing of biomass to useful monomers but remains challenging. Microbial systems can provide molecular information on lignin depolymerization as they have evolved to break lignin down using metalloenzyme-dependent radical pathways. Both fungi and bacteria have been observed to metabolize lignin; however, their differential reactivity with this substrate indicates that they may utilize different chemical strategies for its breakdown. This review will discuss recent advances in studying bacterial lignin degradation as an approach to exploring greater diversity in the environment. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Exploring the Moon

    CERN Document Server

    Harland, David M

    2008-01-01

    David Harland opens with a review of the robotic probes, namely the Rangers which returned television before crashing into the Moon, the Surveyors which ''soft landed'' in order to investigate the nature of the surface, and the Lunar Orbiters which mapped prospective Apollo landing sites. He then outlines the historic landing by Apollo 11 in terms of what was discovered, and how over the next several missions the program was progressively geared up to enable the final three missions each to spend three days on comprehensive geological investigations. He concludes with a review of the robotic spacecraft that made remote-sensing observations of the Moon. Although aimed at the enthusiast, and can be read as an adventure in exploration, the book develops the scientific theme of lunar geology, and therefore will be of use as background reading for undergraduate students of planetary sciences. In addition, with the prospect of a resumption of human missions, it will help journalists understand what Apollo achieved ...

  4. Solar system exploration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Briggs, G.A.; Quaide, W.L.

    1986-01-01

    Two fundamental goals lie at the heart of U.S. solar system exploration efforts: first, to characterize the evolution of the solar system; second, to understand the processes which produced life. Progress in planetary science is traced from Newton's definition of the principles of gravitation through a variety of NASA planetary probes in orbit, on other planets and traveling beyond the solar system. It is noted that most of the planetary data collected by space probes are always eventually applied to improving the understanding of the earth, moon, Venus and Mars, the planets of greatest interest to humans. Significant data gathered by the Mariner, Viking, Apollo, Pioneer, and Voyager spacecraft are summarized, along with the required mission support capabilities and mission profiles. Proposed and planned future missions to Jupiter, Saturn, Titan, the asteroids and for a comet rendzvous are described

  5. Exploring the brain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bloch, G.; Vernier, P.; Le Bihan, D.; Comtat, C.; Van Wassenhove, V.; Texier, I.; Planat-Chretien, A.; Poher, V.; Dinten, J.M.; Pannetier-lecoeur, M.; Trebossen, R.; Lethimonnier, F.; Eger, E.; Thirion, B.; Dehaene-Lambertz, G.; Piazza, M.; Mangin, J.F.; Dehaene, S.; Pallier, C.; Marti, S.; Klein, E.; Martinot, J.L.; Paillere, M.L.; Artiges, E.; Lemaitre, H.; Karila, L.; Houenou, J.; Sarrazin, S.; Hantraye, P.; Aron Badin, R.; Mergui, S.; Palfi, S.; Bemelmans, A.; Berger, F.; Frouin, V.; Pinel, J.F.; Crivello, F.; Mazoyer, B.; Flury-Herard, A.

    2014-01-01

    CEA (French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission) has been involved in brain research for over 50 years and this 62. issue of 'Clefs CEA' is the best occasion to come back on the latest advances in this wide field. The purpose is to show how neuroimaging combined with neuro sciences and computational sciences has shed light on various aspects of the brain life and experience such as for instance learning (with highlights on dyslexia and dyscalculia), vision, the feeling of time, consciousness, addictions, ageing, and neuro-degenerative diseases. This document is divided into 6 parts: 1) non-invasive exploration of the brain, 2) development, learning and plasticity of the brain, 3) cognitive architecture and the brain, 4) mental health and vulnerability, 5) neuro-degenerative diseases, and 6) identifying bio-markers for cerebral disorders. (A.C.)

  6. Exploring Seafloor Volcanoes in Cyberspace: NOAA's "Ocean Explorer" Inspires Inquiry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hjelm, Elizabeth

    2011-01-01

    Seafloor exploration being done by scientists is an ideal way to introduce students to technology as a tool for inquiry. The same technology that allows scientists to share data in near real time can also provide students the tools to become researchers. NOAA's Ocean Explorer Explorations website is a rich research data bank that can be used by…

  7. Mineral exploration in developing countries

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Johnson, C.J.; Clark, A.L.

    1988-01-01

    The chapter provides an overview and comparisons of mineral exploration in Botswana and Papua New Guinea, including selection comparisons with Australia and Canada. It describes the history of exploration in Botswana and PNG. The concluding section summarizes the findings

  8. Language and Identity Explored

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Rozanov

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The relationship between language and identity is widely discussed in applied linguistics, sociology, communications and other related scholarly fields. Furthermore, many researchers have focused on the post-Soviet region, which given its unique historical context allows for testing of this relationship. The widespread bilingualism as a result of historical russification and the linguistic transformations that occurred after the collapse of the Soviet Union make the region a ‘sociolinguistic playground’. Recent events in Ukraine have given grounds to further explore this relationship, now in attempt to link language and identity as potential forces for geopolitical change in the region. This paper presents an overview of existing research, theories, and opposing perspectives related to the relationship between language and identity, and considers complications such as historical russification, religious influence, socioeconomic factors, and education with regards to the Ukrainian and post-Soviet context.  I aim to illustrate the significance of language and its effects on socio-political change in the case of Ukraine, by presenting arguments and complications in support of the relationship between language and identity.

  9. Exploring the dusty Universe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Borghese, F

    2005-11-01

    Full Text Available Dust is an ubiquitous inhabitant of the interstellar medium, and leaves an unmistakable signature in its optical properties, and physico-chemical evolution. Although there is little direct knowledge of the true nature of interstellar dust grains, strong evidences point toward the possibility that such grains are composites of many small monomers (mainly made of silicates and carbonaceous materials. We consider two different models of fluffy dust aggregates, occurring as result of ballistic particle-cluster and cluster-cluster aggregation, and a cluster with a Gaussian-like sphere size distribution. We study the optical properties of such composite structures through the multipole fields and the Transition Matrix approach. Our results show the severe limits of applicability of the effective medium theories. By comparing radiation and gravitational forces, we also infer some relevant insights into the dynamical evolution of composite grains in the Solar System. We finally explore the possible role of composite fluffy dust grains in igniting an extraterrestrial prebiotic chemistry.

  10. Exploring digital professionalism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellaway, Rachel H; Coral, Janet; Topps, David; Topps, Maureen

    2015-01-01

    The widespread use of digital media (both computing devices and the services they access) has blurred the boundaries between our personal and professional lives. Contemporary students are the last to remember a time before the widespread use of the Internet and they will be the first to practice in a largely e-health environment. This article explores concepts of digital professionalism and their place in contemporary medical education, and proposes a series of principles of digital professionalism to guide teaching, learning and practice in the healthcare professions. Despite the many risks and fears surrounding their use, digital media are not an intrinsic threat to medical professionalism. Professionals should maintain the capacity for deliberate, ethical, and accountable practice when using digital media. The authors describe a digital professionalism framework structured around concepts of proficiency, reputation, and responsibility. Digital professionalism can be integrated into medical education using strategies based on awareness, alignment, assessment, and accountability. These principles of digital professionalism provide a way for medical students and medical practitioners to embrace the positive aspects of digital media use while being mindful and deliberate in its use to avoid or minimize any negative consequences.

  11. MESSENGER: Exploring Mercury's Magnetosphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slavin, James A.

    2008-01-01

    The MESSENGER mission to Mercury offers our first opportunity to explore this planet's miniature magnetosphere since Mariner 10's brief fly-bys in 1974-5. Mercury's magnetosphere is unique in many respects. The magnetosphere of Mercury is the smallest in the solar system with its magnetic field typically standing off the solar wind only - 1000 to 2000 km above the surface. For this reason there are no closed dri-fi paths for energetic particles and, hence, no radiation belts; the characteristic time scales for wave propagation and convective transport are short possibly coupling kinetic and fluid modes; magnetic reconnection at the dayside magnetopause may erode the subsolar magnetosphere allowing solar wind ions to directly impact the dayside regolith; inductive currents in Mercury's interior should act to modify the solar In addition, Mercury's magnetosphere is the only one with its defining magnetic flux tubes rooted in a planetary regolith as opposed to an atmosphere with a conductive ionosphere. This lack of an ionosphere is thought to be the underlying reason for the brevity of the very intense, but short lived, approx. 1-2 min, substorm-like energetic particle events observed by Mariner 10 in Mercury's magnetic tail. In this seminar, we review what we think we know about Mercury's magnetosphere and describe the MESSENGER science team's strategy for obtaining answers to the outstanding science questions surrounding the interaction of the solar wind with Mercury and its small, but dynamic magnetosphere.

  12. The CheMin XRD on the Mars Science Laboratory Rover Curiosity: Construction, Operation, and Quantitative Mineralogical Results from the Surface of Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blake, David F.

    2015-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory mission was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida on Nov. 26, 2011 and landed in Gale crater, Mars on Aug. 6, 2012. MSL's mission is to identify and characterize ancient "habitable" environments on Mars. MSL's precision landing system placed the Curiosity rover within 2 km of the center of its 20 X 6 km landing ellipse, next to Gale's central mound, a 5,000 meter high pile of laminated sediment which may contain 1 billion years of Mars history. Curiosity carries with it a full suite of analytical instruments, including the CheMin X-ray diffractometer, the first XRD flown in space. CheMin is essentially a transmission X-ray pinhole camera. A fine-focus Co source and collimator transmits a 50µm beam through a powdered sample held between X-ray transparent plastic windows. The sample holder is shaken by a piezoelectric actuator such that the powder flows like a liquid, each grain passing in random orientation through the beam over time. Forward-diffracted and fluoresced X-ray photons from the sample are detected by an X-ray sensitive Charge Coupled Device (CCD) operated in single photon counting mode. When operated in this way, both the x,y position and the energy of each photon are detected. The resulting energy-selected Co Kalpha Debye-Scherrer pattern is used to determine the identities and amounts of minerals present via Rietveld refinement, and a histogram of all X-ray events constitutes an X-ray fluorescence analysis of the sample.The key role that definitive mineralogy plays in understanding the Martian surface is a consequence of the fact that minerals are thermodynamic phases, having known and specific ranges of temperature, pressure and composition within which they are stable. More than simple compositional analysis, definitive mineralogical analysis can provide information about pressure/temperature conditions of formation, past climate, water activity and the like. Definitive mineralogical analyses are necessary to establish

  13. Pre-flight calibration and initial data processing for the ChemCam laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy instrument on the Mars Science Laboratory rover

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wiens, R.C., E-mail: rwiens@lanl.gov [Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87544 (United States); Maurice, S.; Lasue, J.; Forni, O. [Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planetologie, Toulouse (France); Anderson, R.B. [United States Geological Survey, Flagstaff, AZ (United States); Clegg, S. [Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87544 (United States); Bender, S. [Planetary Science Institute, Tucson, AZ (United States); Blaney, D. [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA (United States); Barraclough, B.L. [Planetary Science Institute, Tucson, AZ (United States); Cousin, A. [Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87544 (United States); Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planetologie, Toulouse (France); Deflores, L. [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA (United States); Delapp, D. [Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87544 (United States); Dyar, M.D. [Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA (United States); Fabre, C. [Georessources, Nancy (France); Gasnault, O. [Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planetologie, Toulouse (France); Lanza, N. [Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87544 (United States); Mazoyer, J. [LESIA, Observatoire de Paris, Meudon (France); Melikechi, N. [Delaware State University, Dover, DE (United States); Meslin, P.-Y. [Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planetologie, Toulouse (France); Newsom, H. [University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM (United States); and others

    2013-04-01

    The ChemCam instrument package on the Mars Science Laboratory rover, Curiosity, is the first planetary science instrument to employ laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) to determine the compositions of geological samples on another planet. Pre-processing of the spectra involves subtracting the ambient light background, removing noise, removing the electron continuum, calibrating for the wavelength, correcting for the variable distance to the target, and applying a wavelength-dependent correction for the instrument response. Further processing of the data uses multivariate and univariate comparisons with a LIBS spectral library developed prior to launch as well as comparisons with several on-board standards post-landing. The level-2 data products include semi-quantitative abundances derived from partial least squares regression. A LIBS spectral library was developed using 69 rock standards in the form of pressed powder disks, glasses, and ceramics to minimize heterogeneity on the scale of the observation (350–550 μm dia.). The standards covered typical compositional ranges of igneous materials and also included sulfates, carbonates, and phyllosilicates. The provenance and elemental and mineralogical compositions of these standards are described. Spectral characteristics of this data set are presented, including the size distribution and integrated irradiances of the plasmas, and a proxy for plasma temperature as a function of distance from the instrument. Two laboratory-based clones of ChemCam reside in Los Alamos and Toulouse for the purpose of adding new spectra to the database as the need arises. Sensitivity to differences in wavelength correlation to spectral channels and spectral resolution has been investigated, indicating that spectral registration needs to be within half a pixel and resolution needs to match within 1.5 to 2.6 pixels. Absolute errors are tabulated for derived compositions of each major element in each standard using PLS regression

  14. Application of radioactive sources in analytical instruments for planetary exploration

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Economou, T.E.

    2008-01-01

    Full text: In the past 50 years or so, many types of radioactive sources have been used in space exploration. 238 Pu is often used in space missions in Radioactive Heater Units (RHU) and Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generators (RTG) for heat and power generation, respectively. In 1960's, 2 ' 42 Cm alpha radioactive sources have been used for the first time in space applications on 3 Surveyor spacecrafts to obtain the chemical composition of the lunar surface with an instrument based on the Rutherford backscatterring of the alpha particles from nuclei in the analyzed sample. 242 Cm is an alpha emitter of 6.1 MeV alpha particles. Its half-life time, 163 days, is short enough to allow sources to be prepared with the necessary high intensity per unit area ( up to 470 mCi and FWHM of about 1.5% in the lunar instruments) that results in narrow energy distribution, yet long enough that the sources have adequate lifetimes for short duration missions. 242 Cm is readily prepared in curie quantities by irradiation of 241 Am by neutrons in nuclear reactors, followed by chemical separation of the curium from the americium and fission products. For long duration missions, like for example missions to Mars, comets, and asteroids, the isotope 244 Cm (T 1/2 =18.1 y, E α =5.8 MeV) is a better source because of its much longer half-life time. Both of these isotopes are also excellent x-ray excitation sources and have been used for that purpose on several planetary missions. For the light elements the excitation is caused mainly by the alpha particles, while for the heavier elements (> Ca) the excitation is mainly due to the x-rays from the Pu L-lines (E x =14-18 keV). 244 Cm has been used in several variations of the Alpha Proton Xray Spectrometer (APXS): PHOBOS 1 and 2 Pathfinder, Russian Mars-96 mission, Mars Exploration Rover (MER) and Rosetta. Other sources used in X-ray fluorescence instruments in space are 55 Fe and 109 Cd (Viking1,2, Beagle 2) and 57 Co is used in Moessbauer

  15. Uranium exploration in Bangladesh

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Faruquee, A.R.

    1988-01-01

    The sedimentary succession of Bangladesh has continental sandstones with lignite and organic matter which are favourable host rocks for sedimentary uranium. The shield areas around Bangladesh are considered good source areas for uranium. Encouraged by this idea, the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC) started an exploration programme in 1976 with the assistance of the IAEA and the United Nations Development Programme. Preliminary reconnaissance radiometric surveys carried out in 1976-1977 in the Chittagong, Chittagong hill tract and Sylhet districts identified some anomalies with 3 to 5 times the background (XBG). This was followed by regional reconnaissance radiometric surveys which were carried out between 1977 and 1985 in some of the anticlines of the Chittagong and Sylhet districts, including an airborne (helicopter) survey over the Jaldi area. These surveys resulted in the discovery of more than 300 radiometric anomalies of 3 to 60 XBG. They occur in the medium to fine grained ferruginous sandstones of the Dupitila and Tipam Formations of Mio-Pliocene age. These anomalous beds show variation in slime and heavy mineral contents. Some samples collected from the anomalous beds contain uranium and thorium ranging from 20 to 100 ppm and 100 to 1000 ppm, respectively. Exploratory drilling to a depth of about 400 ft was carried out on a very limited scale in the northeastern part of the Sylhet district. Gamma logging of these holes indicated many subsurface anomalies (3 to 21 XBG) in the Dupitila Formation. These anomalies are linked to thin layers with restricted lateral extensions. Geochemical orientation studies and radon surveys were done in some selected areas of Sylhet to test their suitability for further surveys. 9 refs, 13 figs, 4 tabs

  16. Lunar Limb Observatory: An Incremental Plan for the Utilization, Exploration, and Settlement of the Moon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lowman, Paul. D., Jr.

    1996-01-01

    This paper proposes a comprehensive incremental program, Lunar Limb Observatory (LLO), for a return to the Moon, beginning with robotic missions and ending with a permanent lunar settlement. Several recent technological developments make such a program both affordable and scientifically valuable: robotic telescopes, the Internet, light-weight telescopes, shared- autonomy/predictive graphics telerobotic devices, and optical interferometry systems. Reasons for focussing new NASA programs on the Moon include public interest, Moon-based astronomy, renewed lunar exploration, lunar resources (especially helium-3), technological stimulus, accessibility of the Moon (compared to any planet), and dispersal of the human species to counter predictable natural catastrophes, asteroidal or cometary impacts in particular. The proposed Lunar Limb Observatory would be located in the crater Riccioli, with auxiliary robotic telescopes in M. Smythii and at the North and South Poles. The first phase of the program, after site certification, would be a series of 5 Delta-launched telerobotic missions to Riccioli (or Grimaldi if Riccioli proves unsuitable), emplacing robotic telescopes and carrying out surface exploration. The next phase would be 7 Delta-launched telerobotic missions to M. Smythii (2 missions), the South Pole (3 missions), and the North Pole (2 missions), emplacing robotic telescopes to provide continuous all-sky coverage. Lunar base establishment would begin with two unmanned Shuttle/Fitan-Centaur missions to Riccioli, for shelter emplacement, followed by the first manned return, also using the Shuttle/Fitan-Centaur mode. The main LLO at Riccioli would then be permanently or periodically inhabited, for surface exploration, telerobotic rover and telescope operation and maintenance, and support of Earth-based student projects. The LLO would evolve into a permanent human settlement, serving, among other functions, as a test area and staging base for the exploration

  17. Mission control team structure and operational lessons learned from the 2009 and 2010 NASA desert RATS simulated lunar exploration field tests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, Ernest R.; Badillo, Victor; Coan, David; Johnson, Kieth; Ney, Zane; Rosenbaum, Megan; Smart, Tifanie; Stone, Jeffry; Stueber, Ronald; Welsh, Daren; Guirgis, Peggy; Looper, Chris; McDaniel, Randall

    2013-10-01

    The NASA Desert Research and Technology Studies (Desert RATS) is an annual field test of advanced concepts, prototype hardware, and potential modes of operation to be used on human planetary surface space exploration missions. For the 2009 and 2010 NASA Desert RATS field tests, various engineering concepts and operational exercises were incorporated into mission timelines with the focus of the majority of daily operations being on simulated lunar geological field operations and executed in a manner similar to current Space Shuttle and International Space Station missions. The field test for 2009 involved a two week lunar exploration simulation utilizing a two-man rover. The 2010 Desert RATS field test took this two week simulation further by incorporating a second two-man rover working in tandem with the 2009 rover, as well as including docked operations with a Pressurized Excursion Module (PEM). Personnel for the field test included the crew, a mission management team, engineering teams, a science team, and the mission operations team. The mission operations team served as the core of the Desert RATS mission control team and included certified NASA Mission Operations Directorate (MOD) flight controllers, former flight controllers, and astronaut personnel. The backgrounds of the flight controllers were in the areas of Extravehicular Activity (EVA), onboard mechanical systems and maintenance, robotics, timeline planning (OpsPlan), and spacecraft communicator (Capcom). With the simulated EVA operations, mechanized operations (the rover), and expectations of replanning, these flight control disciplines were especially well suited for the execution of the 2009 and 2010 Desert RATS field tests. The inclusion of an operations team has provided the added benefit of giving NASA mission operations flight control personnel the opportunity to begin examining operational mission control techniques, team compositions, and mission scenarios. This also gave the mission operations

  18. Comet radar explorer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farnham, Tony; Asphaug, Erik; Barucci, Antonella; Belton, Mike; Bockelee-Morvan, Dominique; Brownlee, Donald; Capria, Maria Teresa; Carter, Lynn; Chesley, Steve; Farnham, Tony; Gaskell, Robert; Gim, Young; Heggy, Essam; Herique, Alain; Klaasen, Ken; Kofman, Wlodek; Kreslavsky, Misha; Lisse, Casey; Orosei, Roberto; Plaut, Jeff; Scheeres, Dan

    The Comet Radar Explorer (CORE) is designed to perform a comprehensive and detailed exploration of the interior, surface, and inner coma structures of a scientifically impor-tant Jupiter family comet. These structures will be used to investigate the origins of cometary nuclei, their physical and geological evolution, and the mechanisms driving their spectacular activity. CORE is a high heritage spacecraft, injected by solar electric propulsion into orbit around a comet. It is capable of coherent deep radar imaging at decameter wavelengths, high resolution stereo color imaging, and near-IR imaging spectroscopy. Its primary objective is to obtain a high-resolution map of the interior structure of a comet nucleus at a resolution of ¿100 elements across the diameter. This structure shall be related to the surface geology and morphology, and to the structural details of the coma proximal to the nucleus. This is an ideal complement to the science from recent comet missions, providing insight into how comets work. Knowing the structure of the interior of a comet-what's inside-and how cometary activity works, is required before we can understand the requirements for a cryogenic sample return mission. But more than that, CORE is fundamental to understanding the origin of comets and their evolution in time. The mission is made feasible at low cost by the use of now-standard MARSIS-SHARAD reflec-tion radar imaging hardware and data processing, together with proven flight heritage of solar electric propulsion. Radar flight heritage has been demonstrated by the MARSIS radar on Mars Express (Picardi et al., Science 2005; Plaut et al., Science 2007), the SHARAD radar onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (Seu et al., JGR 2007), and the LRS radar onboard Kaguya (Ono et al, EPS 2007). These instruments have discovered detailed subsurface structure to depths of several kilometers in a variety of terrains on Mars and the Moon. A reflection radar deployed in orbit about a comet

  19. Exploring Disks Around Planets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohler, Susanna

    2017-07-01

    Giant planets are thought to form in circumstellar disks surrounding young stars, but material may also accrete into a smaller disk around the planet. Weve never detected one of these circumplanetary disks before but thanks to new simulations, we now have a better idea of what to look for.Image from previous work simulating a Jupiter-mass planet forming inside a circumstellar disk. The planet has its own circumplanetary disk of accreted material. [Frdric Masset]Elusive DisksIn the formation of giant planets, we think the final phase consists of accretion onto the planet from a disk that surrounds it. This circumplanetary disk is important to understand, since it both regulates the late gas accretion and forms the birthplace of future satellites of the planet.Weve yet to detect a circumplanetary disk thus far, because the resolution needed to spot one has been out of reach. Now, however, were entering an era where the disk and its kinematics may be observable with high-powered telescopes (like the Atacama Large Millimeter Array).To prepare for such observations, we need models that predict the basic characteristics of these disks like the mass, temperature, and kinematic properties. Now a researcher at the ETH Zrich Institute for Astronomy in Switzerland, Judit Szulgyi, has worked toward this goal.Simulating CoolingSzulgyi performs a series of 3D global radiative hydrodynamic simulations of 1, 3, 5, and 10 Jupiter-mass (MJ) giant planets and their surrounding circumplanetary disks, embedded within the larger circumstellar disk around the central star.Density (left column), temperature (center), and normalized angular momentum (right) for a 1 MJ planet over temperatures cooling from 10,000 K (top) to 1,000 K (bottom). At high temperatures, a spherical circumplanetary envelope surrounds the planet, but as the planet cools, the envelope transitions around 64,000 K to a flattened disk. [Szulgyi 2017]This work explores the effects of different planet temperatures and

  20. Energy Management of the Multi-Mission Space Exploration Vehicle Using a Goal-Oriented Control System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braman, Julia M. B.; Wagner, David A.

    2010-01-01

    Safe human exploration in space missions requires careful management of limited resources such as breathable air and stored electrical energy. Daily activities for astronauts must be carefully planned with respect to such resources, and usage must be monitored as activities proceed to ensure that they can be completed while maintaining safe resource margins. Such planning and monitoring can be complex because they depend on models of resource usage, the activities being planned, and uncertainties. This paper describes a system - and the technology behind it - for energy management of the NASA-Johnson Space Center's Multi-Mission Space Exploration Vehicles (SEV), that provides, in an onboard advisory mode, situational awareness to astronauts and real-time guidance to mission operators. This new capability was evaluated during this year's Desert RATS (Research and Technology Studies) planetary exploration analog test in Arizona. This software aided ground operators and crew members in modifying the day s activities based on the real-time execution of the plan and on energy data received from the rovers.