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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)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Klarer, P.

    1994-03-01

    The design of a multitasking behavioral control system for the Robotic All Terrain Lunar Exploration Rover (RATLER) is described. The control system design attempts to ameliorate some of the problems noted by some researchers when implementing subsumption or behavioral control systems, particularly with regard to multiple processor systems and real-time operations. The architecture is designed to allow both synchronous and asynchronous operations between various behavior modules by taking advantage of 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Mars Exploration Rover mission

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-10-01

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

  5. 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. 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).

  7. Space Robotics: Robotic Rovers for Planetary Exploration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alex Ellery

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available In this third of three short papers, I introduce some of the basic concepts of planetary rovers with an emphasis on some specific challenging areas of research that are peculiar to planetary robotics and not usually associated with terrestrial mobile robotics. The style of these short papers is pedagogical and this paper stresses the issue of rover-terrain interaction as an important consideration. Soil-vehicle interaction originates from military vehicle research but may be regarded as part of the dynamical approach to mobile robotics. For hostile planetary surfaces, this is essential in order to design a robotic rover with sufficient tractive capability to traverse planetary surfaces.

  8. Space Robotics: Robotic Rovers for Planetary Exploration

    OpenAIRE

    Alex Ellery

    2004-01-01

    In this third of three short papers, I introduce some of the basic concepts of planetary rovers with an emphasis on some specific challenging areas of research that are peculiar to planetary robotics and not usually associated with terrestrial mobile robotics. The style of these short papers is pedagogical and this paper stresses the issue of rover-terrain interaction as an important consideration. Soil-vehicle interaction originates from military vehicle research but may be regarded as part ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Y.; Chen, X.

    2009-04-01

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

  10. Dynamic Rover Simulation for Teleoperations in Planetary Surface Exploration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Maas, H.L.M.M.; Kuijper, F.; Verheul, C.H.; Dumay, A.C.M.; Bagiana, F.

    1995-01-01

    Advanced Simulation Techniques (AST) combine interactive technologies like Virtual Environments (VEs), Augmented Reality (AR) and real-time simulation, and finds potential space applications. One of these applications is the exploration of a planetary surface by teleoperated rovers. This paper

  11. Mars Exploration Rover airbag landing loads testing and analsysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Douglas S.

    2004-01-01

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

  12. Visual Odometry for Planetary Exploration Rovers in Sandy Terrains

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Linhui Li

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Visual odometry provides planetary exploration rovers with accurate knowledge of their position and orientation, which needs effective feature tracking results, especially in barren sandy terrains. In this paper, a stereovision based odometry algorithm is proposed for a lunar rover, which is composed of corner extraction, feature tracking and motion estimation. First, a morphology based image enhancement method is studied to guarantee enough corners are extracted. Second, a Random Sample Consensus (RANSAC algorithm is proposed to make a robust estimation of the fundamental matrix, which is the basic and critical part of feature matching and tracking. Then, the 6 degrees of freedom rover position and orientation is estimated by the RANSAC algorithm. Finally, experiments are performed in a simulated lunar surface environment using a prototype rover, which have confirmed the feasibility and effectiveness of the proposed method.

  13. Adaptive multisensor fusion for planetary exploration rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1992-01-01

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

  14. The Mars Exploration Rover/Collaborative Information Portal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walton, Joan; Filman, Robert E.; Schreiner, John; Koga, Dennis (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    Astrology has long argued that the alignment of the planets governs human affairs. Science usually scoffs at this. There is, however, an important exception: sending spacecraft for planetary exploration. In late May and early June, 2003, Mars will be in position for Earth launch. Two Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) will rocket towards the red planet. The rovers will perform a series of geological and meteorological experiments, seeking to examine geological evidence for water and conditions once favorable for life. Back on earth, a small army of surface operations staff will work to keep the rovers running, sending directions for each day's operations and receiving the files encoding the outputs of the Rover's six instruments. (Mars is twenty light minutes from Earth. The rovers must be robots.) The fundamental purpose of the project is, after all, Science. Scientists have experiments they want to run. Ideally, scientists want to be immediately notified when the data products of their experiments have been received, so that they can examine their data and (collaboratively) deduce results. Mars is an unpredictable environment. We may issue commands to the rovers but there is considerable uncertainty in how the commands will be executed and whether what the rovers sense will be worthy of further pursuit. The steps of what is, to a scientist, conceptually an individual experiment may be scattered over a large number of activities. While the scientific staff has an overall strategic idea of what it would like to accomplish, activities are planned daily. The data and surprises of the previous day need to be integrated into the negotiations for the next day's activities, all synchronized to a schedule of transmission windows . Negotiations is the operative term, as different scientists want the resources to run possibly incompatible experiments. Many meetings plan each day's activities.

  15. Dynamic Rover Simulation for teleoperations in Planetary Surface Exploration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Maas, H.L.M.M.; Kuijper, F.; Donkers, H.C.; Dumay, A.C.M.

    1997-01-01

    Advanced Simulation Techniques (AST) combine interactive technologies like Virtual Environments (VEs), Augmented Reality (AR) and real-time simulation, and finds potential space applications. One of these applications is the exploration of a planetary sur£ace by teleoperated rovers. This paper

  16. 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

  17. 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...

  18. Mars exploration. Plan for two rovers squeezes NASA budget.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawler, A; MacNeil, J

    2000-08-18

    NASA's decision last week to send two rovers to Mars in 2003 is being hailed by researchers as affirming the agency's commitment to exploring the Red Planet. But once the applause dies down, cash-strapped space science managers will be forced to make tough decisions about how to shoulder the added $200 million cost of a second mission, starting with $96 million that must come out of NASA's 2001 budget.

  19. MARS EXPLORATION ROVER 2 RADIO SCIENCE SUBSYSTEM EDR V1.0

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Mars Exploration Rover 2 MER2) Radio Science (RS) data archive contains raw radio tracking data collected during the surface lifetime of the MER2 Rover. The data...

  20. Mars Exploration Rover's image analysis: Evidence of Microbialites on Mars.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bianciardi, Giorgio; Rizzo, Vincenzo; Cantasano, Nicola

    2015-04-01

    The Mars Exploration Rovers, Opportunity and Spirit, investigated Martian plains, where sedimentary rocks are present. The Mars Exploration Rover's Athena morphological investigation showed microstructures organized in intertwined filaments of microspherules: a texture we have also found on samples of terrestrial (biogenic) stromatolites and other microbialites. We performed a quantitative image analysis to compare images of microbialites with the images photographed by the Rovers (corresponding, approximately, to 25,000/25,000 microstructures, Earth/Mars). Contours were extracted and morphometric indexes were obtained: geometric and algorithmic complexities, entropy, tortuosity, minimum and maximum diameters. Terrestrial and Martian textures present a multifractal aspect. Mean values and confidence intervals from the Martian images overlapped perfectly with those from the terrestrial samples. The probability of this occurring by chance is 1/2^8, less than pstromatolite images or Martian images with a less ordered texture (p<0.001). Our work shows the presumptive evidence of microbialites in the Martian outcroppings: the presence of unicellular life widespread on the ancient Mars.

  1. 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

  2. Exploration of Victoria crater by the mars rover opportunity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Squyres, S. W.; Knoll, A.H.; Arvidson, R. E.; Ashley, James W.; Bell, J.F.; Calvin, W.M.; Christensen, P.R.; Clark, B. C.; Cohen, B. A.; De Souza, P.A.; Edgar, L.; Farrand, W. H.; Fleischer, I.; Gellert, Ralf; Golombek, M.P.; Grant, J.; Grotzinger, J.; Hayes, A.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Johnson, J. R.; Jolliff, B.; Klingelhofer, G.; Knudson, A.; Li, R.; McCoy, T.J.; McLennan, S.M.; Ming, D. W.; Mittlefehldt, D. W.; Morris, R.V.; Rice, J. W.; Schroder, C.; Sullivan, R.J.; Yen, A.; Yingst, R.A.

    2009-01-01

    The Mars rover Opportunity has explored Victoria crater, a ???750-meter eroded impact crater formed in sulfate-rich sedimentary rocks. Impact-related stratigraphy is preserved in the crater walls, and meteoritic debris is present near the crater rim. The size of hematite-rich concretions decreases up-section, documenting variation in the intensity of groundwater processes. Layering in the crater walls preserves evidence of ancient wind-blown dunes. Compositional variations with depth mimic those ???6 kilometers to the north and demonstrate that water-induced alteration at Meridiani Planum was regional in scope.

  3. Mars Exploration Rover Athena Panoramic Camera (Pancam) investigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bell, J.F.; Squyres, S. W.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Maki, J.N.; Arneson, H.M.; Brown, D.; Collins, S.A.; Dingizian, A.; Elliot, S.T.; Hagerott, E.C.; Hayes, A.G.; Johnson, M.J.; Johnson, J. R.; Joseph, J.; Kinch, K.; Lemmon, M.T.; Morris, R.V.; Scherr, L.; Schwochert, M.; Shepard, M.K.; Smith, G.H.; Sohl-Dickstein, J. N.; Sullivan, R.J.; Sullivan, W.T.; Wadsworth, M.

    2003-01-01

    The Panoramic Camera (Pancam) investigation is part of the Athena science payload launched to Mars in 2003 on NASA's twin Mars Exploration Rover (MER) missions. The scientific goals of the Pancam investigation are to assess the high-resolution morphology, topography, and geologic context of each MER landing site, to obtain color images to constrain the mineralogic, photometric, and physical properties of surface materials, and to determine dust and aerosol opacity and physical properties from direct imaging of the Sun and sky. Pancam also provides mission support measurements for the rovers, including Sun-finding for rover navigation, hazard identification and digital terrain modeling to help guide long-term rover traverse decisions, high-resolution imaging to help guide the selection of in situ sampling targets, and acquisition of education and public outreach products. The Pancam optical, mechanical, and electronics design were optimized to achieve these science and mission support goals. Pancam is a multispectral, stereoscopic, panoramic imaging system consisting of two digital cameras mounted on a mast 1.5 m above the Martian surface. The mast allows Pancam to image the full 360?? in azimuth and ??90?? in elevation. Each Pancam camera utilizes a 1024 ?? 1024 active imaging area frame transfer CCD detector array. The Pancam optics have an effective focal length of 43 mm and a focal ratio f/20, yielding an instantaneous field of view of 0.27 mrad/pixel and a field of view of 16?? ?? 16??. Each rover's two Pancam "eyes" are separated by 30 cm and have a 1?? toe-in to provide adequate stereo parallax. Each eye also includes a small eight position filter wheel to allow surface mineralogic studies, multispectral sky imaging, and direct Sun imaging in the 400-1100 nm wavelength region. Pancam was designed and calibrated to operate within specifications on Mars at temperatures from -55?? to +5??C. An onboard calibration target and fiducial marks provide the capability

  4. 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

  5. Terrain modelling and motion planning for an autonomous exploration rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richard, F.; Benoliel, S.; Faugeras, O.; Grandjean, P.; Hayard, M.; Simeon, T.

    1994-01-01

    To assess the feasibility of planetary exploration missions using rovers, the French national agency CNES, with a consortium of European laboratories and industrial concerns, has initiated the Eureka project, 'Illustration of an Autonomous Robot for the Exploration of Space' (IARES). IARES is a demonstrator composed of a rover and a ground station, linked by telemetry and telecommand. It is aimed at verifying, on earth, robotic concepts developed by the RISP group of French laboratories (LAAS, INRIA, CERT, LETI) to perform scientific missions such as autonomous terrain sample collecting over large areas. To cope with the actual needs of planet exploration, IARES suitability is assessed through constraints on limited bandwidth, time delay and on-board resources. This autonomy relies heavily on robust onboard trajectory generation capabilities. This paper presents the main functions of the IARES navigation sub-system and shows how they are combined to allow movement in Mars-like environments. Section 2 gives an overall description of the IARES system. Section 3 details the functions of the Navigation sub-system, and finally, section 4 illustrates with a simple example the use of these functions.

  6. Miniature thermal emission spectrometer for the Mars Exploration Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silverman, Steven; Peralta, Richard; Christensen, Phil; Mehall, Greg

    2006-10-01

    This paper describes results of the calibration of the miniature thermal emission spectrometer (Mini-TES) being built by Raytheon Santa Barbara Remote Sensing (SBRS) under contract to Arizona State University (ASU). This paper also serves as an update to an earlier paper [R.J. Peralta, S. Silverman, D. Bates, Raytheon/Santa Barbara Remote Sensing, P. Christensen, G. Mehall, T. Tourville, R. Keehn, G. Cannon, Arizona State University, Miniature thermal emission spectrometer for the Mars Exploration Rover, Proceedings of the SPIE, vol. 4485-09, August 2001] for mission description and instrument design. Mini-TES is a single detector Fourier transform spectrometer (FTS), covering the spectral range 5 29μm at 10cm spectral resolution. Launched in June 2003, one Mini-TES instrument will fly to Mars aboard each of the two missions of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Project (MER), named Spirit and Opportunity. Mini-TES is designed to provide a key minerological remote sensing component of the MER mission, which includes several other science instruments. The first Mini-TES unit was required to meet a two-year development schedule with proven, flight-tested instrumentation. Therefore, SBRS designed Mini-TES based on proven heritage from the successful Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) thermal emission spectrometer (TES), which was launched in 1996 and is still operational with over 500 million spectra collected to date. Mini-TES design, performance, integration onto the rovers, as well as details of the calibration are discussed. Full instrument and calibration details are the subject of an upcoming Journal of Geophysical Research Mini-TES paper by Christensen, et al.

  7. Robotic Arm and Rover Actuator Systems for Mars Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1999-01-01

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

  8. Miniature Thermal Emission Spectrometer for the Mars Exploration Rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christensen, Philip R.; Mehall, Greg L.; Silverman, Steven H.; Anwar, Saadat; Cannon, George; Gorelick, Noel; Kheen, Rolph; Tourville, Tom; Bates, Duane; Ferry, Steven; Fortuna, Teresa; Jeffryes, John; O'Donnell, William; Peralta, Richard; Wolverton, Thomas; Blaney, Diana; Denise, Robert; Rademacher, Joel; Morris, Richard V.; Squyres, Steven

    2003-12-01

    The Miniature Thermal Emission Spectrometer (Mini-TES) will provide remote measurements of mineralogy and thermophysical properties of the scene surrounding the Mars Exploration Rovers and guide the rovers to key targets for detailed in situ measurements by other rover experiments. The specific scientific objectives of the Mini-TES investigation are to (1) determine the mineralogy of rocks and soils, (2) determine the thermophysical properties of selected soil patches, and (3) determine the temperature profile, dust and water-ice opacity, and water vapor abundance in the lower atmospheric boundary layer. The Mini-TES is a Fourier Transform Spectrometer covering the spectral range 5-29 μm (339.50 to 1997.06 cm-1) with a spectral sample interval of 9.99 cm-1. The Mini-TES telescope is a 6.35-cm-diameter Cassegrain telescope that feeds a flat-plate Michelson moving mirror mounted on a voice-coil motor assembly. A single deuterated triglycine sulfate (DTGS) uncooled pyroelectric detector with proven space heritage gives a spatial resolution of 20 mrad; an actuated field stop can reduce the field of view to 8 mrad. Mini-TES is mounted within the rover's Warm Electronics Box and views the terrain using its internal telescope looking up the hollow shaft of the Pancam Mast Assembly (PMA) to the fixed fold mirror and rotating elevation scan mirror in the PMA head located ~1.5 m above the ground. The PMA provides a full 360°of azimuth travel and views from 30° above the nominal horizon to 50° below. An interferogram is collected every two seconds and transmitted to the Rover computer, where the Fast Fourier Transform, spectral summing, lossless compression, and data formatting are performed prior to transmission to Earth. Radiometric calibration is provided by two calibration V-groove blackbody targets instrumented with platinum thermistor temperature sensors with absolute temperature calibration of +/-0.1°C. One calibration target is located inside the PMA head; the

  9. 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

  10. 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 a...

  11. Crystal Water on Mars: Insights from the Mars Exploration Rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ming, D. W.; Morris, R. V.; Clark, B. C.

    2007-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to constrain the total water contents from crystal H2O and OH in several materials analyzed by the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER). Crystal H2O is part of the unit cell and cannot be removed without changing the structure. Minerals that contain only OH in their structures are anhydrous minerals containing hydroxyls, although they are formed as a product of aqueous activity and will decompose with evolution of H2O when heated. The crystal water and OH contents of a bulk material at the MER landing sites can be estimated from mineralogical composition, which is determined by a combination of Fe-mineralogy obtained by the Mossbauer Spectrometer and mineral abundances based upon the chemical composition determined by the Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer. Jarosite, along with Ca- and Mg-sulfates, have been suggested as the sulfur-bearing phases in Meridiani Planum outcrop. Models of various hydration states of Fe-, Ca-, and Mg-sulfates and other possible secondary phases suggest that 6 to 22 wt.% of the outcrop may occur as crystal H2O and/or OH (Clark et al., 2005). This estimate of water is consistent with measurements from the Odyssey orbiter, where 7 % H2O-equivalent H was measured down to a depth of approximately 1 m for the region (Feldman et al., 2004).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  13. Molecular Microbial Analyses of the Mars Exploration Rovers Assembly Facility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Venkateswaran, Kasthuri; LaDuc, Myron T.; Newcombe, David; Kempf, Michael J.; Koke, John. A.; Smoot, James C.; Smoot, Laura M.; Stahl, David A.

    2004-01-01

    During space exploration, the control of terrestrial microbes associated with robotic space vehicles intended to land on extraterrestrial solar system bodies is necessary to prevent forward contamination and maintain scientific integrity during the search for life. Microorganisms associated with the spacecraft assembly environment can be a source of contamination for the spacecraft. In this study, we have monitored the microbial burden of air samples of the Mars Exploration Rovers' assembly facility at the Kennedy Space Center utilizing complementary diagnostic tools. To estimate the microbial burden and identify potential contaminants in the assembly facility, several microbiological techniques were used including culturing, cloning and sequencing of 16S rRNA genes, DNA microarray analysis, and ATP assays to assess viable microorganisms. Culturing severely underestimated types and amounts of contamination since many of the microbes implicated by molecular analyses were not cultivable. In addition to the cultivation of Agrobacterium, Burkholderia and Bacillus species, the cloning approach retrieved 16s rDNA sequences of oligotrophs, symbionts, and y-proteobacteria members. DNA microarray analysis based on rational probe design and dissociation curves complemented existing molecular techniques and produced a highly parallel, high resolution analysis of contaminating microbial populations. For instance, strong hybridization signals to probes targeting the Bacillus species indicated that members of this species were present in the assembly area samples; however, differences in dissociation curves between perfect-match and air sample sequences showed that these samples harbored nucleotide polymorphisms. Vegetative cells of several isolates were resistant when subjected to treatments of UVC (254 nm) and vapor H202 (4 mg/L). This study further validates the significance of non-cultivable microbes in association with spacecraft assembly facilities, as our analyses have

  14. Mars Exploration Rover Navigation Camera in-flight calibration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soderblom, J.M.; Bell, J.F.; Johnson, J. R.; Joseph, J.; Wolff, M.J.

    2008-01-01

    The Navigation Camera (Navcam) instruments on the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) spacecraft provide support for both tactical operations as well as scientific observations where color information is not necessary: large-scale morphology, atmospheric monitoring including cloud observations and dust devil movies, and context imaging for both the thermal emission spectrometer and the in situ instruments on the Instrument Deployment Device. The Navcams are a panchromatic stereoscopic imaging system built using identical charge-coupled device (CCD) detectors and nearly identical electronics boards as the other cameras on the MER spacecraft. Previous calibration efforts were primarily focused on providing a detailed geometric calibration in line with the principal function of the Navcams, to provide data for the MER navigation team. This paper provides a detailed description of a new Navcam calibration pipeline developed to provide an absolute radiometric calibration that we estimate to have an absolute accuracy of 10% and a relative precision of 2.5%. Our calibration pipeline includes steps to model and remove the bias offset, the dark current charge that accumulates in both the active and readout regions of the CCD, and the shutter smear. It also corrects pixel-to-pixel responsivity variations using flat-field images, and converts from raw instrument-corrected digital number values per second to units of radiance (W m-2 nm-1 sr-1), or to radiance factor (I/F). We also describe here the initial results of two applications where radiance-calibrated Navcam data provide unique information for surface photometric and atmospheric aerosol studies. Copyright 2008 by the American Geophysical Union.

  15. Mars exploration rover geologic traverse by the spirit rover in the plains of Gusev crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crumpler, L.S.; Squyres, S. W.; Arvidson, R. E.; Bell, J.F.; Blaney, D.; Cabrol, N.A.; Christensen, P.R.; DesMarais, D.J.; Farmer, J.D.; Fergason, R.; Golombek, M.P.; Grant, F.D.; Grant, J. A.; Greeley, R.; Hahn, B.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Hurowitz, J.A.; Knudson, A.T.; Landis, G.A.; Li, R.; Maki, J.; McSween, H.Y.; Ming, D. W.; Moersch, J.E.; Payne, M.C.; Rice, J.W.; Richter, L.; Ruff, S.W.; Sims, M.; Thompson, S.D.; Tosca, N.; Wang, A.; Whelley, P.; Wright, S.P.; Wyatt, M.B.

    2005-01-01

    The Spirit rover completed a 2.5 km traverse across gently sloping plains on the floor of Gusev crater from its location on the outer rim of Bonneville crater to the lower slopes of the Columbia Hills, Mars. Using the Athena suite of instruments in a transect approach, a systematic series of overlapping panoramic mosaics, remote sensing observations, surface analyses, and trenching operations documented the lateral variations in landforms, geologic materials, and chemistry of the surface throughout the traverse, demonstrating the ability to apply the techniques of field geology by remote rover operations. Textures and shapes of rocks within the plains are consistent with derivation from impact excavation and mixing of the upper few meters of basaltic lavas. The contact between surrounding plains and crater ejecta is generally abrupt and marked by increases in clast abundance and decimeter-scale steps in relief. Basaltic materials of the plains overlie less indurated and more altered rock types at a time-stratigraphic contact between the plains and Columbia Hills that occurs over a distance of one to two meters. This implies that regional geologic contacts are well preserved and that Earth-like field geologic mapping will be possible on Mars despite eons of overturn by small impacts. ?? 2005 Geological Society of America.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wales, Roxana C.

    2005-01-01

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

  17. Mars Exploration Rover mobility and robotic arm operational performance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tunstel, Edward; Maimone, Mark; Trebi-Ollennu, Ashitey; Yen, Jeng; Petras, Richard; Wilson, Reg

    2005-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to describe an actual instance of a practical human-robot system used on a NASA Mars rover mission that has been underway since January 2004 involving daily intercation between humans on Earth and mobile robots on Mars.

  18. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trease, Brian

    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 project to develop and utilize dynamic computer-based models for rover drives over realistic terrains. The resulting system, named ARTEMIS (Adams-based Rover Terramechanics and Mobility Interaction System), 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 Adams dynamic modeling software. The external library was built in Fortran and called by Adams to model the wheel-soil interactions include the rut-formation effect of deformable soils, lateral and longitudinal forces, bull-dozing effects, and applied wheel torque. The paper presents the details and implementation of the system. To validate the developed system, one study case is presented from a realistic drive on Mars of the Opportunity rover. The simulation results match well from the measurement of on-board 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Study on a Suspension of a Planetary Exploration Rover to Improve Driving Performance During Overcoming Obstacles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    We-Sub Eom

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The planetary exploration rover executes various missions after moving to the target point in an unknown environment in the shortest distance. Such missions include the researches for geological and climatic conditions as well as the existence of water or living creatures. If there is any obstacle on the way, it is detected by such sensors as ultrasonic sensor, infrared light sensor, stereo vision, and laser ranger finder. After the obtained data is transferred to the main controller of the rover, decisions can be made to either overcome or avoid the obstacle on the way based on the operating algorithm of the rover. All the planetary exploration rovers which have been developed until now receive the information of the height or width of the obstacle from such sensors before analyzing it in order to find out whether it is possible to overcome the obstacle or not. If it is decided to be better to overcome the obstacle in terms of the operating safety and the electric consumption of the rover, it is generally made to overcome it. Therefore, for the purpose of carrying out the planetary exploration task, it is necessary to design the proper suspension system of the rover which enables it to safely overcome any obstacle on the way on the surface in any unknown environment. This study focuses on the design of the new double 4-bar linkage type of suspension system applied to the Korea Aerospace Research Institute rover (a tentatively name that is currently in the process of development by our institute in order to develop the planetary exploration rover which absolutely requires the capacity of overcoming any obstacle. Throughout this study, the negative moment which harms the capacity of the rover for overcoming an obstacle was induced through the dynamical modeling process for the rocker-bogie applied to the Mars exploration rover of the US and the improved version of rocker-bogie as well as the suggested double 4-bar linkage type of suspension

  2. The Hardware Challenges for the Mars Exploration Rover Heat Rejection System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsuyuki, Glenn; Ganapathi, Gani; Bame, David; Patzold, Jack; Fisher, Richard; Theriault, Laurent

    2004-02-01

    The primary objective of the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) 2003 Project focused on the search for evidence of water on Mars. The launch of two identical flight systems occurred in June and July of 2003. The roving science vehicles are expected to land on the Martian surface in early and late January of 2004, respectively. The flight system design inherited many successfully features and approaches from the Mars Pathfinder Mission. This included the use of a mechanically-pumped fluid loop, known as the Heat Rejection System (HRS), to transport heat from the Rover to radiators on the Cruise Stage during the quiescent trek to Mars. While the heritage of the HRS was evident, application of this system for MER presented unique and difficult challenges with respect to hardware implementation. We will discuss these hardware challenges in each HRS hardware element: the integrated pump assembly, cruise stage HRS, lander HRS, and Rover HRS. These challenges span the entire development cycle including fabrication, assembly, and test. We will conclude by citing the usefulness of this system during launch operations, where in particular, the flight hardware inside the Rover was thermally conditioned by the HRS since there was no other effective means of maintaining its temperature.

  3. Dynamic Dust Accumulation and Dust Removal Observed on the Mars Exploration Rover Magnets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertelsen, P.; Bell, J. F., III; Goetz, W.; Gunnlaugsson, H. P.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Hviid, S. F.; Johnson, J. R.; Kinch, K. M.; Knudsen, J. M.; Madsen, M. B.

    2005-01-01

    The Mars Exploration Rovers each carry a set of Magnetic Properties Experiments designed to investigate the properties of the airborne dust in the Martian atmosphere. It is a preferred interpretation of previous experiments that the airborne dust in the Martian atmosphere is primarily composed by composite silicate particles containing one or more highly magnetic minerals as a minor constituent. The ultimate goal of the magnetic properties experiments on the Mars Exploration Rover mission is to provide some information/ constraints on whether the dust is formed by volcanic, meteoritic, aqueous, or other processes. The first problem is to identify the magnetic mineral(s) in the airborne dust on Mars. While the overall results of the magnetic properties experiments are presented in, this abstract will focus on dust deposition and dust removal on some of the magnets.

  4. Choosing Mars-Time: Analysis of the Mars Exploration Rover Experience

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-01-01

    This paper focuses on the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) mission decision to work on Mars Time and the implications of that decision on the tactical surface operations process as personnel planned activities and created a new command load for work on each Martian sol. The paper also looks at tools that supported the complexities of Mars Time work, and makes some comparisons between Earth and Mars time scheduling.

  5. Preliminary Results of the Magnetic Properties Experiments on the Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hviid, S. F.; Bertelsen, P.; Goetz, W.; Kinch, K. M.; Knudsen, J. M.; Madsen, M. B.; Squyres, S. W.; Bell, J. F., III; Yen, A.; Johnson, M. J.

    2004-01-01

    The Mars Exploration Rovers each carry a set of Magnetic Properties Experiments designed to investigate the properties of the air-borne dust in the Martian atmosphere. It is a preferred interpretation of previous experiments (Viking 1 & 2, 1976 and Mars Pathfinder, 1997) that the airborne dust in the Martian atmosphere is primarily composed by composite silicate particles containing one or more highly magnetic minerals as a minor constituent, this minor constituent probably being dominated by the mineral maghemite (gamma-Fe2O3). The ultimate goal of the magnetic properties experiments on the Mars Exploration Rover mission is to provide some information/constraints on whether the dust is formed by volcanic, meteoritic, aqueous, or other processes. In detail, the objectives are: a) To identify the magnetic mineral(s) in the dust, soil and rocks on Mars. b) To establish if the magnetic material is present in the form of nanosized (d magnets are culling a subset of strongly magnetic particles or if essentially all particles of the airborne dust are sufficiently magnetic to be attracted by the magnets. d) Detect compositional differences between the airborne dust and the soil and rock sites which are investigated at two landing sites. To accomplish these goals the Mars Exploration Rovers each carry a set of permanent magnets of several different strengths and sizes. Each magnet has its own specific objective.

  6. Aeolian environments observed by the Mars Exploration Rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sullivan, R.; Fike, D.; Golombek, M.; Greeley, R.; Grotzinger, J.; Jerolmack, D.; Landis, G.; Malin, M.; Soderblom, L.; Squyres, S.; Thompson, S.; Watters, W.; Whelley, P.

    2004-12-01

    Previous telescopic, orbital, and in situ exploration has shown the significance of aeolian processes on Mars. The twin MER vehicles have examined the effects of aeolian processes along geological traverses at two Mars landing sites. "Spirit" landed on a dust devil track on plains within Gusev crater, and encountered scattered low bedforms and ventifacts along its traverse to the Columbia Hills. Particle size-frequency variations between bedform crests and troughs are consistent with terrestrial ripple characteristics. Wheel disturbances in one bedform revealed the presence of a dust-covered coarse sand monolayer surface crust overlying a finer-grained, less sorted interior. Several lines of evidence are consistent with NW winds affecting the plains in this part of Gusev crater: (1) slightly asymmetric ripples sparsely distributed across the plains are oriented NNE/SSW and have slightly steeper ESE faces that are also dustier (as determined from albedo and thermal IR spectroscopy); (2) facets, flutes, and grooves on rocks interpreted as ventifacts are most abundant on NW exposures; and (3) asymmetric debris piles from Rock Abrasion Tool grinding extend to the SE. This evidence is consistent with afternoon WNW winds predicted in the area by mesoscale climate models. No dust devils have been observed yet (through 240 sols) by "Spirit." The landing site for "Opportunity" on the plains of Meridiani Planum was less dusty than the Gusev site. Hematite-enriched aeolian ripples dominate the plains, and contribute to the hematite signature detected by MGS TES. Trenching one of these bedforms revealed a surface crust of hematite-enriched spherule concretion fragments, and a substantial fraction of very fine sand in the ripple interior. Very fine sand is also found on the relatively flat areas between ripples, along with spherules and partly buried spherule fragments. Individual plains ripples are oriented about N26E but commonly are grouped en echelon into alignments along a

  7. A rover's geologic field campaign: Exploration of the Kimberley by Curiosity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Minitti, Michelle E.

    2017-03-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover undertook comprehensive exploration of the Kimberley waypoint within Gale crater, Mars in order to understand its context within the larger geologic picture of Gale crater and its evidence for past Martian habitability. Coordinated observations from Curiosity's rich science payload revealed important insights into new Martian crustal compositions, the prevalence and diversity of sedimentary processes within Gale crater, and surface erosion rates. Exploration at the Kimberley, in part informed by a decade of orbital observations of Gale crater, underscored the critical synergy between landed and orbital observations and furthered understanding of complex geological processes on Mars.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

    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...... show that some of the iron in magnetite is substituted by titanium and chromium. The good correlation of the amount of calcium and sulfur in the dust may be caused by the presence of a calcium sulfate related phase. The overall mineralogical composition points to a basaltic origin of the airborne dust...

  10. 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.

  11. Principal Components Analysis of Reflectance Spectra Returned by the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mercer, C. M.; Cohen, Barbara A.

    2010-01-01

    The Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity has spent over six years exploring the Martian surface near its landing site at Meridiani Planum. Meridiani bedrock observed by the rover is largely characterized by sulfate-rich sandstones and hematite spherules, recording evidence of ancient aqueous environments [1]. The region is a deflationary surface, allowing hematite spherules, fragments of bedrock, and "cobbles" of foreign origin to collect loosely on the surface. These cobbles may be meteorites (e.g., Barberton, Heat Shield Rock, Santa Catarina) [2], or rock fragments of exotic composition derived from adjacent terranes or from the subsurface and delivered to Meridiani Planum as impact ejecta [3]. The cobbles provide a way to better understand Martian meteorites and the lithologic diversity of Meridiani Planum by examining the various rock types located there. In the summer of 2007, a global dust storm on Mars effectively disabled Opportunity's Miniature Thermal Emission Spectrometer (Mini-TES), which served as the Athena Science Team s primary tool for remotely identifying rocks of interest on a tactical timescale for efficient rover planning. While efforts are ongoing to recover use of the Mini-TES, the team is currently limited to identifying rocks of interest by visual inspection of images returned from Opportunity's Panoramic Camera (Pancam). This study builds off of previous efforts to characterize cobbles at Meridiani Planum using a database of reflectance spectra extracted from Pancam 13-Filter (13F) images [3]. We analyzed the variability of rock spectra in this database and identified physical characteristics of Martian rocks that could potentially account for the observed variance. By understanding such trends, we may be able to distinguish between rock types at Meridiani Planum and regain the capability to remotely identify locally unique rocks.

  12. 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.

  13. Identifying mechanical property parameters of planetary soil using in-situ data obtained from exploration rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Liang; Gao, Haibo; Liu, Zhen; Deng, Zongquan; Liu, Guangjun

    2015-12-01

    Identifying the mechanical property parameters of planetary soil based on terramechanics models using in-situ data obtained from autonomous planetary exploration rovers is both an important scientific goal and essential for control strategy optimization and high-fidelity simulations of rovers. However, identifying all the terrain parameters is a challenging task because of the nonlinear and coupling nature of the involved functions. Three parameter identification methods are presented in this paper to serve different purposes based on an improved terramechanics model that takes into account the effects of slip, wheel lugs, etc. Parameter sensitivity and coupling of the equations are analyzed, and the parameters are grouped according to their sensitivity to the normal force, resistance moment and drawbar pull. An iterative identification method using the original integral model is developed first. In order to realize real-time identification, the model is then simplified by linearizing the normal and shearing stresses to derive decoupled closed-form analytical equations. Each equation contains one or two groups of soil parameters, making step-by-step identification of all the unknowns feasible. Experiments were performed using six different types of single-wheels as well as a four-wheeled rover moving on planetary soil simulant. All the unknown model parameters were identified using the measured data and compared with the values obtained by conventional experiments. It is verified that the proposed iterative identification method provides improved accuracy, making it suitable for scientific studies of soil properties, whereas the step-by-step identification methods based on simplified models require less calculation time, making them more suitable for real-time applications. The models have less than 10% margin of error comparing with the measured results when predicting the interaction forces and moments using the corresponding identified parameters.

  14. Genotypic & Phenotypic Diversity of Microbial Isolates from the Mars Exploration Rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arora-Williams, Keith

    2012-01-01

    Mars-bound rovers such as the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) endure strict planetary protection implementation campaigns to assess bioburden. The objective of this study is to identify cultivable microorganisms isolated by the NASA Standard Assay from spacecraft during pre-launch and evaluate their potential to survive conditions on the Martian surface. Of approximately 350 isolates collected from the MER spacecraft archive, 171 microorganisms were reconstituted for characterization via 16S rRNA fingerprinting. Alignment of 16S sequences revealed high levels of sequence similarity to spore-forming species, overwhelmingly of the genera Bacillus (73.7%) and Paenibacillus (14.0%). Samples underwent phenotype characterization employing multiple carbon sources and ion concentrations in an automated microarray format using the Omnilog system. Working and stock cultures were prepared to address the immediate needs for day-to-day culture utilization and long-term preservation, respectively. Results from this study produced details about the microbes that contaminate surfaces of spacecraft, as well as a preliminary evaluation of a rapid biochemical ID method that also provides a phenotypic assessment of contaminants. The overall outcome of this study will benefit emerging cleaning and sterilization technologies for preventing forward contamination that could negatively impact future life detection or sample return missions.

  15. 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.

  16. Principal Components Analysis of Reflectance Spectra from the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mercer, C. M.; Cohen, B. A.

    2010-01-01

    In the summer of 2007 a global dust storm on Mars effectively disabled Opportunity's Miniature Thermal Emission Spectrometer (Mini-TES), the primary instrument used by the Athena Science Team to identify locally unique rocks on the Martian surface. The science team needs another way to distinguish interesting rocks from their surroundings on a tactical timescale. This study was designed to develop the ability to identify locally unique rocks on the Martian surface remotely using the Mars Exploration Rovers' Panoramica Camera (PanCam) instrument. Meridiani bedrock observed by Opportunity is largely characterized by sulfate-rich sandstones and hematite spherules. Additionally, loose fragments of bedrock and "cobbles" of foreign origin collet on the surface, some of which are interpreted as meteorites.

  17. In-flight propulsion system characterization for both Mars Exploration Rover Spacecraft

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barber, Todd J.; Picha, Frank Q.

    2004-01-01

    Two Mars Exploration Rover spacecraft were dispensed to red planet in 2003, culminating in a phenomenally successful prime science mission. Twin cruise stage propulsion systems were developed in record time, largely through heritage with Mars Pathfinder. As expected, consumable usage was minimal during the short seven-month cruise for both spacecraft. Propellant usage models based on pressure and temperature agreed with throughput models with in a few percent. Trajectory correction maneuver performance was nominal, allowing the cancellation of near-Mars maneuvers. Spin thruster delivered impulse was 10-12% high vs. ground based models for the intial spin-down maneuvers, while turn performance was XX-XX% high/low vs. expectations. No clear indications for pressure transducer drift were noted during the brief MER missions.

  18. PicoBots -A small-sized exploration rover standard for universities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weiß, André

    This paper will introduce a pico-class robotic platform primarily intended for future lunar exploration. Inspired by the Cubesat standard, an affordable and easy to fabricate design will be introduced allowing universities to develop and perform own rover-based missions. As all major space agencies have set the goal to go to Earths natural satellite in the near future, several opportunities will arise to piggyback to the moon. With a maximum weight of 1 kg, one or multiple PicoBots, plus an eventually needed base station, could easily fill mass budget margins. By utilizing the alternating tripod gait, adapted from simple insects like the cockroach, locomotion can be realized with only two actuators. In comparison to most exploration rovers, the chosen propulsion system leads to a lower number in `degrees of freedom' and therefore a much higher demand for a simple environment. Main advantage, on the other hand, is that it minimizes the complexity of the control-algorithm and reduces the mass as well as the cost. Thanks to the progress in the field of MEMS-based technologies, subsystem components and instruments are available in small sizes, are lightweight and with low power requirements. PicoBots could either be specifically designed for a single mechanical task, e.g. sampling and analysis of rocks, or numerous sensoric payloads, like the seismo-or gravimeter. Swarm intelligence and behavior could also be an interesting field of research. To protect the electronics from radiation, a complementary, multi-layered `spacesuit' will be offered. If needed the suit can also be pressurized thus allowing the use of components not functioning in the vacuum environment.

  19. Vibroacoustic analysis and experimental validation of the structural responses of NASA Mars Exploration Rover spacecraft due to acoustic launch load

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hwang, H. J.

    2003-01-01

    Structural responses of a spacecraft during liftoff are dominated by the intense acoustic pressure field imping on the exterior of the launch vehicle. Statistical Energy Analysis model of the NASA Mars Exploration Rover spacecraft has been developed and the SEA model was analyzed to predict vibroacoustic responses of the spacecraft under the diffuse acoustic loading condition.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  1. Key Recent Scientific Results from the Opportunity Rover's Exploration of Endeavour Crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arvidson, R. E.; Squyres, S. W.; Gellert, R.; Herkenhoff, K.; Mittlefehldt, D.; Crumpler, L.; McLennan, S.; Farrand, W. H.; Joliff, B. L.; Morris, R. V.

    2015-01-01

    The Opportunity Rover is currently in its 11th year of operations, exploring the rim of the approximately 22 km wide Noachian-age Endeavour Crater. Opportunity spent its 5th winter season in Cook Haven, a gentle swale along Murray Ridge. Two small rocks serendipitously overturned by rover wheel motions show evidence for aqueous precipitation of sulfates, and interaction with a strong oxidant (e.g., O2) to form a thin, high valence state Mn oxide coating. After the winter, Opportunity headed south to Cape Tribulation and explored Shoemaker formation impact breccias, finding numerous Ca-sulfate veins cutting across outcrops. A key target for Opportunity's measurements has been the Spirit of Saint Louis crater (SoSL), which is approximately 25 m wide, oval in plan view, shallow, flat-floored, and has a slightly raised rim. SoSL crater is surrounded by an apron of bright, polygonally-shaped outcrops and is superimposed on a gentle swale in Cape Tribulation. Rocks in a thin reddish zone on the rim are enriched in hematite, Si, and Ge, and depleted in Fe, relative to surrounding rocks. Apron rocks include an outcrop also enriched in Si and Ge, and slightly depleted in Fe. In general rocks in the crater and apron have elevated S relative to Shoemaker formation breccias, tracking values observed in the Cook Haven and the Hueytown (fracture running perpendicular to Cape Tribulation) outcrops. SoSL crater lies just to the west of Marathon Valley, a key target for exploration by Opportunity because five separate CRISM observations indicate the presence of Fe/Mg smectites on the upper valley floor. Opportunity data show that low relief, relatively bright polygonal outcrops dominate the valley floor where not covered by scree and soil shed from surrounding walls. Initial reconnaissance shows that the outcrops are breccias with compositions similar to the typical SoSL crater apron and floor rocks, although only the very upper portion of the valley has been explored as of August

  2. Key Recent Scientific Results from the Opportunity Rover's Exploration of Cape Tribulation, Endeavour Crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arvidson, R. E.; Squyres, S. W.; Gellert, R.; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Mittlefehldt, D. W.; Crumpler, L. S.; McLennan, S. M.; Farrand, W. H.; Jolliff, B. L.; Morris, R. V.

    2015-12-01

    The Opportunity Rover is in its 11th year of exploration, currently exploring the Cape Tribulation rim segment of the ~22 km wide Noachian Endeavour Crater and its tilted and fractured outcrops. A key target for Opportunity's measurements has been the Spirit of Saint Louis crater (SoSL), which is ~25 m wide, oval in plan view, shallow, flat-floored, and has a slightly raised rim. SoSL crater is surrounded by an apron of bright, polygonally-shaped outcrops and is superimposed on a gentle swale in Cape Tribulation. Rocks in a thin reddish zone on the rim are enriched in hematite, Si, and Ge, and depleted in Fe, relative to surrounding rocks. Apron rocks include an outcrop also enriched in Si and Ge, and slightly depleted in Fe. In general rocks in the crater and apron have elevated S levels relative to Shoemaker formation breccias, tracking values observed in the Cook Haven (gentle swale superimposed on Murray Ridge and site of Opportunity's 5th winter site) and the Hueytown fracture (running perpendicular to Cape Tribulation) outcrops. SoSL crater lies just to the west of Marathon Valley, a key target for exploration by Opportunity because five separate CRISM observations indicate the presence of Fe/Mg smectites on the upper valley floor. Opportunity data show that low relief, relatively bright, wind-scoured outcrops dominate the valley floor where not covered by scree and soil shed from surrounding walls. Initial reconnaissance shows that the outcrops are breccias with compositions similar to the typical SoSL crater apron and floor rocks, although only the very upper portion of the valley has been explored as of August 2015. Pervasive but modest aqueous alteration of Endeavour's rim is implied by the combination of CRISM and Opportunity data, providing insight into early aqueous processes dominated in this location by relatively low water to rock ratios, and at least in part associated with enhanced fluid flow along fractures.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madsen, M.B.; Goetz, W.; Bertelsen, P.; Binau, C.S.; Folkmann, F.; Gunnlaugsson, H.P.; Hjollum, J.I.; Hviid, S.F.; Jensen, J.; Kinch, K.M.; Leer, K.; Madsen, D.E.; Merrison, J.; Olsen, M.; Arneson, H.M.; Bell, J.F.; Gellert, Ralf; Herkenhoff, K. E.; Johnson, J. R.; Johnson, M.J.; Klingelhofer, G.; McCartney, E.; Ming, D. W.; Morris, R.V.; Proton, J.B.; Rodionov, D.; Sims, M.; Squyres, S. W.; Wdowiak, T.; Yen, A. S.

    2009-01-01

    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, 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 Am2 kg-1). On the basis of M??ssbauer spectra the dust contains magnetite, olivine, pyroxene, 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 ??? 0.6) than rocks in the Gusev plains (???0.1-0.2) or average Gusev soil (???0.3). Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer data of the dust show that some of the iron in magnetite is substituted by titanium and chromium. The good correlation of the amount of calcium and sulfur in the dust may be caused by the presence of a calcium sulfate related phase. The overall mineralogical composition points to a basaltic origin of the airborne dust, although some alteration has taken place as indicated by the large degree of oxidation. Copyright 2009 by the American Geophysical Union.

  4. Meteorological predictions for Mars 2020 Exploration Rover high-priority landing sites throug MRAMS Mesoscale Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pla-García, Jorge; Rafkin, Scot C. R.

    2015-04-01

    The Mars Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (MRAMS) is used to predict meteorological conditions that are likely to be encountered by the Mars 2020 Exploration Rover at several proposed landing sites during entry, descent, and landing (EDL). The meteorology during the EDL window at most of the sites is dynamic. The intense heating of the lower atmosphere drives intense thermals and mesoscale thermal circulations. Moderate mean winds, wind shear, turbulence, and vertical air currents associated with convection are present and potentially hazardous to EDL [1]. Nine areas with specific high-priority landing ellipses of the 2020 Rover, are investigated: NE Syrtis, Nili Fossae, Nili Fossae Carbonates, Jezero Crater Delta, Holden Crater, McLaughlin Crater, Southwest Melas Basin, Mawrth Vallis and East Margaritifer Chloride. MRAMS was applied to the landing site regions using nested grids with a spacing of 330 meters on the innermost grid that is centered over each landing site. MRAMS is ideally suited for this investigation; the model is explicitly designed to simulate Mars' atmospheric thermal circulations at the mesoscale and smaller with realistic, high-resolution surface properties [2, 3]. Horizontal wind speeds, both vertical profiles and vertical cross-sections wind speeds, are studied. For some landing sites simulations, two example configurations -including and not including Hellas basin in the mother domain- were generated, in order to study how the basin affects the innermost grids circulations. Afternoon circulations at all sites pose some risk entry, descent, and landing. Most of the atmospheric hazards are not evident in current observational data and general circulation model simulations and can only be ascertained through mesoscale modeling of the region. Decide where to go first and then design a system that can tolerate the environment would greatly minimize risk. References: [1] Rafkin, S. C. R., and T. I. Michaels (2003), J. Geophys. Res., 108(E12

  5. 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

  6. The Utility of a Small Pressurized Rover with Suit Ports for Lunar Exploration: A Geologist's Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kring, David A.; Bleacher, Jacob E.; Garry, W. Brent; Love, Stanley G.; Young, Kelsey E.

    2017-01-01

    Rover trade study: As summarized recently, mission simulations at Black Point Lava Flow (Arizona) that included realistic extravehicular activity (EVA) tasking, accurate traverse timelines, and an in-loop science CAPCOM (or SciCOM) showed that a small pressurized rover (SPR) was a better mobility asset than an unpressurized rover (UPR). Traverses within the SPR were easier on crew than spending an entire day in a spacesuit, enhancing crew productivity at each station. The SPR, named Lunar Electric Rover (LER), and sometimes called the Space Exploration Vehicle (SEV), could also provide shelter during a suit malfunction, radiation event, or medical emergency that might occur on the Moon. Intravehicular activity (IVA) capabilities: From within the vehicle, crew could describe and photo-document distant features during drives between stations, as well as in the near-field, directly in front of the LER, providing an ability to begin EVA planning on approach to each outcrop prior to egress. The vehicle can rotate 360º without any lateral movement, providing views in all directions. It has high-visibility windows, a ForeCam, AftCam, port and starboard cameras, docking cameras, and a GigaPan camera. EVA capabilities: To reduce timeline, mass, and volumetric overhead, rapid egress and ingress were envisioned, replacing an airlock with lower cabin pressure than on the International Space Station and suit ports on the aft cabin wall [2]. When needed for closer inspection and sample collecting, crew could egress in about 10 minutes through suit ports. Crew use SuitCams for additional photo-documentation, transmit mobile observations verbally, and collect surface materials. Typical simulations involved 3 to 4 EVA stations/day and 2 to 3 hr/day of boots on the ground. This allowed crew to explore a far larger territory, with more complex geological and in situ resource utilization (ISRU) features, than would a single, longer-duration EVA at one location, while also minimizing

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Clear Evidence for Hydrothermal Deposits within Gusev Crater Established by the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yen, A. S.; Gellert, R.; Morris, R. V.; Clark, B. C.; Athena Science Team

    2011-12-01

    The Spirit rover ended its science mission on the martian surface after operating for 2210 sols and covering over 7.7 km across geologically diverse terrain. A multitude of discoveries have been made along the traverse, including compelling evidence for past hydrothermal activity at the surface of Mars. Several light-toned deposits excavated by the rover wheels were analyzed in detail by the Mössbauer and Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometers (APXS), which determined that they are dominated by ferric sulfates in association with magnesium sulfates, silica and occasionally calcium sulfates and phosphates. Based on modeling of scatter peaks within the APXS data, these samples are hydrated and contain up to 18 wt% water. They also exhibit the chemical signatures of nearby rocks (e.g. corresponding phosphate enrichments) and have a Fe:Mn ratio far from the value measured for the majority of samples analyzed by the rovers, clearly indicative of aqueous interactions. Variability in the deposits over centimeter to meter scales indicates that these precipitates did not develop under large-scale equilibrium conditions. Based upon the observations of up to 35 wt% SO3 and the abundance of measured cations in expected oxidation states, the occurrence of elemental sulfur, sulfuric acid, or sulfides cannot be ruled out. The likely mechanisms for the formation of these deposits involve sulfur-rich hydrothermal fluids and volcanic vapors reaching the surface and producing fumarolic condensates. In close association with the samples containing abundant hydrated ferric sulfates are other samples which are dominated by silica. In one example, the elemental chemistry data shows over 90 wt% SiO2. Elevated titanium concentrations in these silica-rich samples are suggestive of interactions with acidic fluids or vapors resulting in preferential retention of the least mobile elements. This is consistent with the acid sulfate processes indicated by the occurrence of the ferric sulfates

  11. Availability of feature-oriented scanning probe microscopy for remote-controlled measurements on board a space laboratory or planet exploration Rover.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lapshin, Rostislav V

    2009-06-01

    Prospects for a feature-oriented scanning (FOS) approach to investigations of sample surfaces, at the micrometer and nanometer scales, with the use of scanning probe microscopy under space laboratory or planet exploration rover conditions, are examined. The problems discussed include decreasing sensitivity of the onboard scanning probe microscope (SPM) to temperature variations, providing autonomous operation, implementing the capabilities for remote control, self-checking, self-adjustment, and self-calibration. A number of topical problems of SPM measurements in outer space or on board a planet exploration rover may be solved via the application of recently proposed FOS methods.

  12. Chemical Composition by the APXS along the Downhill Traverse of the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit at Gusev Crater

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brueckner, J.; Dreibus, G.; Gellert, R.; Clark, B. C.; Cohen, B.; McCoy, T.; Ming, D. W.; Mittlefehldt, D. W.; Yen, A.; Team, A. S.

    2006-12-01

    The Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) onboard the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit continues to determine the elemental composition of samples at Gusev Crater. Starting around sol 600 the rover descended Husband Hill, which is part of the Columbia Hills, visited the inner basin with a large dune field, called `El Dorado', and parked at `Low Ridge' to conserve energy during the martian winter. Many unique samples were discovered by the instruments onboard Spirit during her downhill traverse. Here, we report only on the chemical data obtained by the APXS. The compositions of some of the soil samples are comparable to the mean soil determined along the earlier traverse. However, a light-toned subsurface sample (disturbed by the rover wheels), called `Dead Sea Samra', showed the highest sulfur content of all soil samples, the lowest Na, Mg, Al, Cl, K, Ca, Ti, Mn, and Zn, among the lowest Si and P, and among the highest Cr, Fe and Ni. Assuming ferric sulfate as a major mineral, large amounts of a pure silica phase must be present. Color and quantity of Dead Sea Samra resemble somewhat an earlier soil called `Paso Robles', though the latter is a mixture of sulfates with phosphate-rich soil. Manganese in Dead Sea Samra is so low that the Fe/Mn ratio exceeds 300, a value that has never been found previously on Mars (Fe/Mn ratio of 46 for Gusev basalts), indicating that only Fe3+ occurs. The dune field El Dorado contained granulated material that exhibited the highest Mg and Ni concentrations and the lowest S and Cl compared to all other soils implying an enrichment of olivine-rich sands. Two outcrops, called `Algonquin' and `Comanche', revealed compositions that differ significantly from those of earlier outcrops as they have the highest concentrations of Mg, Fe, and Ni (except for Ni in `Independence') and the lowest of Al, K (detection limit), Ca, and Ti of all brushed and almost all abraded rocks. Normative estimates assign them the highest olivine contents ever

  13. Chemical Composition by the APXS along the Downhill Traverse of the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit at Gusev Crater

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruckner, J.; Dreibus, G.; Gellert, R.; Clark, B.C.; Cohen, B.; McCoy, T.; Ming, D.W.; Mittlefehldt, D.W.; Yen, A.; Athena Science Team

    2006-01-01

    The Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) onboard the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit continues to determine the elemental composition of samples at Gusev Crater. Starting around sol 600 the rover descended Husband Hill, which is part of the Columbia Hills, visited the inner basin with a large dune field, called 'El Dorado', and parked at Low Ridge to conserve energy during the martian winter. Many unique samples were discovered by the instruments onboard Spirit during her downhill traverse. Here, we report only on the chemical data obtained by the APXS. The compositions of some of the soil samples are comparable to the mean soil determined along the earlier traverse. However, a light-toned subsurface sample (disturbed by the rover wheels), called Dead Sea Samra , showed the highest sulfur content of all soil samples, the lowest Na, Mg, Al, Cl, K, Ca, Ti, Mn, and Zn, among the lowest Si and P, and among the highest Cr, Fe and Ni. Assuming ferric sulfate as a major mineral, large amounts of a pure silica phase must be present. Color and quantity of Dead Sea Samra resemble somewhat an earlier soil called Paso Robles , though the latter is a mixture of sulfates with phosphate-rich soil. Manganese in Dead Sea Samra is so low that the Fe/Mn ratio exceeds 300, a value that has never been found previously on Mars (Fe/Mn ratio of 46 for Gusev basalts), indicating that only Fe(3+) occurs. The dune field El Dorado contained granulated material that exhibited the highest Mg and Ni concentrations and the lowest S and Cl compared to all other soils implying an enrichment of olivine-rich sands. Two outcrops, called Algonquin and Comanche , revealed compositions that differ significantly from those of earlier outcrops as they have the highest concentrations of Mg, Fe, and Ni (except for Ni in Independence) and the lowest of Al, K (detection limit), Ca, and Ti of all brushed and almost all abraded rocks. Normative estimates assign them the highest olivine contents ever found for

  14. 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,…

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  16. Spacecraft/Rover Hybrids for the Exploration of Small Solar System Bodies Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The objective of this effort is to develop a mission architecture that allows the systematic and affordable in situ exploration of small Solar System bodies (such...

  17. 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.

  18. Rover Magnets All Around

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-01-01

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

  19. Small rover exploration capabilities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Salotti, J.; Laithier, C.; Machut, B.; van Marie, A.; Bruneau, A.; Groemer, G.; Foing, B.H.

    2015-01-01

    For a human mission to the Moon or Mars, an important question is to determine the best strategy for the choice of surface vehicles. Recent studies suggest that the first missions to Mars will be strongly constrained and that only small unpressurized vehicles will be available. We analyze the

  20. Arusha Rover Deployable Medical Workstation

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

    2013-01-01

    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

  3. 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.

  4. Aerokats and Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmed, Mohammed; Sonsalla, Roland; Kirchner, Frank

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

  6. Robotic Arm of Rover 1

    Science.gov (United States)

    2003-01-01

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

  7. NASA Mars Science Laboratory Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olson, Tim

    2017-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. A GUPIX-based approach to interpreting the PIXE-plus-XRF spectra from the Mars Exploration rovers: II geochemical reference materials

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Campbell, J.L., E-mail: icampbel@uoguelph.c [Guelph-Waterloo Physics Institute, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1 (Canada); McDonald, A.M. [Department of Earth Sciences, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario, P3E 2E6 (Canada); Perrett, G.M. [Guelph-Waterloo Physics Institute, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1 (Canada); Taylor, S.M. [Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, H3A 2T5 (Canada)

    2011-01-01

    A detailed examination of the original calibration data for the laboratory version of the Mars Exploration Rover alpha particle X-ray spectrometer is undertaken to ascertain if the results from a suite of certified geochemical reference materials (GRMs) agree with the APXS calibration based upon homogeneous standards which was established in the previous paper. Various discrepancies, some of them large, are observed for specific elements in specific rock types, and it is argued on the basis of X-ray diffraction analyses of the GRMS that these are caused by the mineral phase structure of the rocks. Elements present in accessory mineral phases can be subject to very large errors, necessitating caution in interpretation of trace element results from the APXS. Some of the discrepancies can be dealt with by developing sub-calibrations, each of which is 'tuned' to a specific rock type. This approach has the potential to provide more accurate APXS analysis of unknown rocks than a calibration scheme based upon a simple averaging over many rock types within a GRM suite, or over a mix of rock and homogeneous standards. It also has the potential to measure the content of mineralogically bound water provided that a means of determining the distance from sample to detector is available.

  10. 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

  11. Two Years Onboard the MER Opportunity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  12. Moessbauer and Electron Microprobe Studies of Density Separates of Martian Nakhlite Mil03346: Implications for Interpretation of Moessbauer Spectra Acquired by the Mars Exploration Rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, R. V.; McKay, G. A.; Agresti, D. G.; Li, Loan

    2008-01-01

    Martian meteorite MIL03346 is described as an augite-rich cumulate rock with approx.80%, approx.3%, and approx.21% modal phase proportions of augite (CPX), olivine and glassy mesostasis, respectively, and is classified as a nakhlite [1]. The Mossbauer spectrum for whole rock (WR) MIL 03346 is unusual for Martian meteorites in that it has a distinct magnetite subspectrum (7% subspectral area) [2]. The meteorite also has products of pre-terrestrial aqueous alteration ("iddingsite") that is associated primarily with the basaltic glass and olivine. The Mossbauer spectrometers on the Mars Exploration Rovers have measured the Fe oxidation state and the Fe mineralogical composition of rocks and soils on the planet s surface since their landing in Gusev Crater and Meridiani Planum in January, 2004 [3,4]. The MIL 03346 meteorite provides an opportunity to "ground truth" or refine Fe phase identifications. This is particularly the case for the so-called "nanophase ferric oxide" (npOx) component. NpOx is a generic name for a ferric rich product of oxidative alteration. On Earth, where we can take samples apart and study individual phases, examples of npOx include ferrihydrite, schwertmannite, akagaaneite, and superparamagnetic (small particle) goethite and hematite. It is also possible for ferric iron to be associated to some unknown extent with igneous phases like pyroxene. We report here an electron microprobe (EMPA) and Moessbauer (MB) study of density separates of MIL 03346. The same separates were used for isotopic studies by [5]. Experimental techniques are described by [6,7].

  13. Zephyr: A Landsailing Rover for Venus

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. Rover and Telerobotics Technology Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weisbin, Charles R.

    1998-01-01

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

  16. The Athena Mars Rover Investigation

    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.

    2000-01-01

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

  17. Lunar rover navigation concepts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burke, James D.

    1993-01-01

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

  18. Beam-powered lunar rover design

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1992-03-01

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

  19. Beam-powered lunar rover design

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1992-03-01

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

  20. Mars Rover Photos API

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This API is designed to collect image data gathered by NASA's Curiosity, Opportunity, and Spirit rovers on Mars and make it more easily available to other...

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

    2005-05-01

    The miniature Thermal Emission Spectrometer (Mini-TES) has provided remote measurements of the mineralogy and thermophysical properties of outcrops, rocks, spherules, and soils surrounding the Spirit and Opportunity Rovers [1, 2]. The composition of surface materials provides insight into the origin and evolution of the martian crust and the nature of igneous and sedimentary processes. At Gusev, undisturbed soil spectra closely match MGS TES bright-regions dust spectra, with features interpreted to be due to minor carbonates and bound water. Dark-toned soils observed on rover-disturbed surfaces are likely derived from rocks and have a derived mineralogy, with uncertainties of 5-10 vol.%, of 45% pyroxene (20% high-Ca pyroxene, 25% pigeonite), 40% sodic/intermediate plagioclase, and 15% olivine (Fo35-Fo55). Aeolian drift material has a unique spectral character with higher oxide abundances than disturbed soil. Along the rover's traverse from the lander into the Columbia Hills, at least three distinct rock types have been recognized: olivine rich basalt, a volcaniclastic rock dominated by an amorphous component (possibly basaltic glass and/or shocked plagioclase), and a second volcaniclastic rock dominated by plagioclase of intermediate composition with lesser pyroxene and olivine components. One (or possibly two) spectrally distinct coatings are observed on rocks, a possible indicator of the interaction of water, rock, and airfall dust. At Meridiani, the Mini-TES has identified coarse crystalline hematite and olivine basaltic sands as predicted from orbital TES spectroscopy [3, 4]. Basaltic materials have more plagioclase than pyroxene, contain olivine, and are similar in inferred mineral composition to basalt mapped by TES from orbit. Light-toned outcrops of aqueous origin exposed in crater walls are composed of 20 to 40% Mg and Ca sulfates, a high-silica component that is modeled as glass/feldspar/sheet silicates (~20-30%), and hematite. The Fe-bearing sulfate

  6. Building and Executing Rover Plans with Contingent Tasks Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — During recent robotic field tests, NASA investigated the use of intelligent planetary rovers to improve the productivity of human explorers on planetary surfaces....

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  8. Pressurized lunar rover

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1992-05-01

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

  9. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elliott, John; Poston, Dave; Lipinski, Ron

    2007-01-01

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

  11. Mineral Composition and Abundance of the Rocks and Soils at Gusev and Meridiani from the Mars Exploration Rover Mini-TES Instruments: Implications for Aqueous Processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christensen, P.

    2004-12-01

    The Mini-TES instruments on Spirit and Opportunity have studied the mineral composition and abundance of the outcrops, rocks, spherules, and soils at Gusev Crater and the Meridiani Plains. At Gusev undisturbed soil spectra closely match MGS TES bright-region dust spectra, with features interpreted to be due to minor carbonates and bound water. Dark-toned soils observed on rover-disturbed surfaces are likely derived from rocks and has a derived mineralogy, with uncertainties of 5-10 percent, of 45 percent pyroxene (20 percent Ca-rich pyroxene, 25 percent pigeonite), 40 percent sodic/intermediate plagioclase, and 15 percent olivine (Fo45 ±~10). Rocks have complex spectra that are influenced by coatings and atmospheric downwelling radiance, as these high-thermal-inertia rocks are typically colder during the day than the atmosphere. Their Mini-TES spectra are consistent with olivine-rich basalts with varying degrees of dust and other coatings. Aeolian drift material has a unique spectral character with higher oxide abundances than disturbed soil. One (or possibly two) spectrally distinct coatings are observed on rocks, a possible indicator of the interaction of water, rock, and airfall dust. At Meridiani, the Mini-TES has identified coarse crystalline hematite and olivine basalt sands as predicted from orbital TES spectroscopy. Light-toned outcrops of aqueous origin exposed in crater walls are composed of 20 to 40 percent Mg and Ca sulfates, a high-silica component that is modeled as glass/feldspar/sheet silicates (~20-30 percent), and hematite. The Fe sulfate jarosite is not reliably identified in Mini-TES spectra. The mm-sized spherules appear from analysis of Mini-TES spectra to be dominated by hematite, with no other components detected. Basaltic materials have more plagioclase than pyroxene, contain olivine, and are similar in inferred mineral composition to basalt mapped by TES from orbit. Bounce Rock is dominated by clinopyroxene and is closer in inferred

  12. 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.

  13. Student Participation in Rover Field Trials

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-12-01

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

  14. Roll over, Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaw, Mike

    2011-04-01

    Here's a quick, simple, and inexpensive demonstration of an induced static charge. Everyone has probably demonstrated static induction by first rubbing a balloon across his or her hair or animal fur and then sticking it on a wall, whiteboard, or chalkboard. Now you can add a humorous twist to that golden oldie. You will need two balloons (the type clowns use to make animal shapes), an animal fur friction pad or your hair, and a marking pen. Inflate both balloons to their full length and tie off the openings. Along the center of one balloon, in large letters write the word "Rover." Allow the ink to dry and you are ready for the demonstration.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Science Operations for Onboard Autonomous Rover Science

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-12-01

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

  19. The Mars Surveyor '01 Rover and Robotic Arm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonitz, Robert G.; Nguyen, Tam T.; Kim, Won S.

    1999-01-01

    The Mars Surveyor 2001 Lander will carry with it both a Robotic Arm and Rover to support various science and technology experiments. The Marie Curie Rover, the twin sister to Sojourner Truth, is expected to explore the surface of Mars in early 2002. Scientific investigations to determine the elemental composition of surface rocks and soil using the Alpha Proton X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) will be conducted along with several technology experiments including the Mars Experiment on Electrostatic Charging (MEEC) and the Wheel Abrasion Experiment (WAE). The Rover will follow uplinked operational sequences each day, but will be capable of autonomous reactions to the unpredictable features of the Martian environment. The Mars Surveyor 2001 Robotic Arm will perform rover deployment, and support various positioning, digging, and sample acquiring functions for MECA (Mars Environmental Compatibility Assessment) and Mossbauer Spectrometer experiments. The Robotic Arm will also collect its own sensor data for engineering data analysis. The Robotic Arm Camera (RAC) mounted on the forearm of the Robotic Arm will capture various images with a wide range of focal length adjustment during scientific experiments and rover deployment

  20. Human Robotic Systems (HRS): Rover Technologies Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — In FY15, the HRS Rover Technologies will begin design of a prototype rover designed for the lunar surface, begin development of resource efficient navigation...

  1. Lunar Surface Operations with Dual Rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  2. Pathfinder Lander Rover Recharge System, and MARCO POLO Controls and ACME Regolith Feed System Controls and Integration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tran, Sarah Diem

    2015-01-01

    This project stems from the Exploration, Research, and Technology Directorate (UB) Projects Division, and one of their main initiatives is the "Journey to Mars". Landing on the surface of Mars which is millions of miles away is an incredibly large challenge. The terrain is covered in boulders, deep canyons, volcanic mountains, and spotted with sand dunes. The robotic lander is a kind of spacecraft with multiple purposes. One purpose is to be the protective shell for the Martian rover and absorb the impact from the landing forces; another purpose is to be a place where the rovers can come back to, actively communicate with, and recharge their batteries from. Rovers have been instrumental to the Journey to Mars initiative. They have been performing key research on the terrain of the red planet, trying to unlock the mysteries of the land for over a decade. The rovers that will need charging will not all have the same kind of internal battery either. RASSOR batteries may differ from the PbAC batteries inside Red Rover's chassis. NASA has invested heavily in the exploration of the surface of Mars. A driving force behind further exploration is the need for a more efficient operation of Martian rovers. One way is to reduce the weight as much as possible to reduce power consumption given the same mission parameters. In order to reduce the mass of the rovers, power generation, communication, and sample analysis systems currently onboard Martian rovers can be moved to a stationary lander deck. Positioning these systems from the rover to the Lander deck allows a taskforce of smaller, lighter rovers to perform the same tasks currently performed by or planned for larger rovers. A major task in transferring these systems to a stationary lander deck is ensuring that power can be transferred to the rovers.

  3. Mars 2001 Orbiter, Lander and Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saunders, R. S.

    1999-09-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  7. Electrostatic Dust Control for Planetary Rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-12-01

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

  8. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  10. Mars Science Laboratory Rover and Descent Stage

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    In this February 17, 2009, image, NASA's Mars Science Laboratory rover is attached to the spacecraft's descent stage. The image was taken inside the Spacecraft Assembly Facility at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. This is the way the spacecraft will look after it comes out of its protective aeroshell and is descending to the Martian surface in 2012. Here, the descent stage sits on top of the rover, with its eight main engines straddling the rover structure. The rover is the big white box below the descent stage. At this point, the rover lacks its appendages (robotic arm, mast and most wheels), as these elements are still being assembled and were not needed for space-simulation testing of the spacecraft in late 2008.

  11. Optical designs for the Mars '03 rover cameras

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Gregory H.; Hagerott, Edward C.; Scherr, Lawrence M.; Herkenhoff, Kenneth E.; Bell, James F.

    2001-12-01

    In 2003, NASA is planning to send two robotic rover vehicles to explore the surface of Mars. The spacecraft will land on airbags in different, carefully chosen locations. The search for evidence indicating conditions favorable for past or present life will be a high priority. Each rover will carry a total of ten cameras of five various types. There will be a stereo pair of color panoramic cameras, a stereo pair of wide- field navigation cameras, one close-up camera on a movable arm, two stereo pairs of fisheye cameras for hazard avoidance, and one Sun sensor camera. This paper discusses the lenses for these cameras. Included are the specifications, design approaches, expected optical performances, prescriptions, and tolerances.

  12. Technologies for Lunar Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zacny, K.; Indyk, S.

    2017-10-01

    Honeybee Robotics, with its partners, developed numerous technologies for lunar exploration. Most of these technologies are at high TRL and have been designed for small landers, rovers, as well as astronauts. This abstract presents several of these technologies.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Social network analysis and dual rover communications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Litaker, Harry L.; Howard, Robert L.

    2013-10-01

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

  16. Mars Rover Curiosity Traverses of Sand Ripples

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  17. LED minilidar for Mars rover

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

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

  18. Mars Surface Mobility: Comparison of Past, Present, and Future Rover Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, G. R.; Andringa, J. M.; Beegle, L. W.; Jordan, J. F.; Mungus, G. S.; Muliere, D. A.; Vozoff, J.; Wilson, T. J.

    2005-01-01

    The future robotic and human exploration of Mars will rely heavily on mobile system to meet exploration objectives. In particular, the next decade of exploration (2009-2020) will utilize rovers and other mobile surface platforms to conduct a wide variety of tasks, including in the search for water and life, characterization of terrain and its geology, and conduct precursor measurements prepare for future human exploration.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoker, Carol

    1994-01-01

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

  1. Supporting Increased Autonomy for a Mars Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  2. Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilburn, D.R.

    2001-01-01

    Part of an annual review of mines and mineral resources in the U.S. An overview of nonfuel-mineral exploration in 2000 is presented. Principal exploration target was gold exploration in Latin America, Australia, and the U.S. There was a decrease of 18 percent in the exploration budget for gold as compared with the budget for 1999. Statistical information on nonfuel-mineral exploration worldwide is presented, analyzed, and interpreted.

  3. The ADRON-RM Instrument Onboard the ExoMars Rover.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mitrofanov, I G; Litvak, M L; Nikiforov, S Y; Jun, I; Bobrovnitsky, Y I; Golovin, D V; Grebennikov, A S; Fedosov, F S; Kozyrev, A S; Lisov, D I; Malakhov, A V; Mokrousov, M I; Sanin, A B; Shvetsov, V N; Timoshenko, G N; Tomilina, T M; Tret'yakov, V I; Vostrukhin, A A

    This overview presents the physical principles, design, measurement capabilities, and summary of planned operations of the autonomous detector of radiation of neutrons onboard rover at Mars (ADRON-RM) on the surface of Mars. ADRON-RM is a Russian project selected for the joint European Space Agency-Roscosmos ExoMars 2020 landing mission. A compact passive neutron spectrometer, ADRON-RM, was designed to study the abundance and distribution of water and neutron absorption elements (such as Cl, Fe, and others) in the martian subsurface along the path of the ExoMars rover. Key Words: Mars exploration-Surface-Neutron Spectroscopy-Water. Astrobiology 17, 585-594.

  4. 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.

  5. Non-Flow Through Fuel Cell Power Module Demonstration on the SCARAB Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jakupca, Ian; Guzik, Monica; Bennett, William R.; Edwards, Lawrence

    2017-01-01

    NASA demonstrated the Advanced Product Water Removal (APWR) Non-Flow-Through (NFT) PEM fuel cell technology by powering the Scarab rover over three-(3) days of field operations. The latest generation APWR NFT fuel cell stackwas packaged by the Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) Modular Power Systems (AMPS) team into a nominallyrated 1-kW fuel cell power module. This power module was functionally verified in a laboratory prior to field operations on the Scarab rover, which concluded on 2 September 2015. During this demonstration, the power module satisfied all required success criteria by supporting all electrical loads as the Scarab navigated the NASA Glenn Research Center.

  6. Mars Science Laboratory Rover Taking Shape

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    This image taken in August 2008 in a clean room at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., shows NASA's next Mars rover, the Mars Science Laboratory, in the course of its assembly, before additions of its arm, mast, laboratory instruments and other equipment. The rover is about 9 feet wide and 10 feet long. Viewing progress on the assembly are, from left: NASA Associate Administrator for Science Ed Weiler, California Institute of Technology President Jean-Lou Chameau, JPL Director Charles Elachi, and JPL Associate Director for Flight Projects and Mission Success Tom Gavin. JPL, a division of Caltech, manages the Mars Science Laboratory project for the NASA Science Mission Directorate, Washington.

  7. Validation of Artemis Mobility Simulations for the Spirit, Opportunity, and Curiosity Mars Rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stein, N.; Arvidson, R. E.; Heverly, M.; Lindemann, R.; Trease, B.; Iagnemma, K.; Senatore, C.

    2013-12-01

    Artemis is a framework for modeling the dynamical motions of rovers over realistic planetary terrains that include topography generated from orbital or rover-based data and interactions of driven wheels with deformable soils with compaction resistance due to wheel sinkage into soils (Bekker-Wong-Reece model) or with hard-surface contacts dominated by static and dynamic coefficients of friction (contact model). Artemis is being used to simulate flight-based drives for the Mars Exploration Rovers (Spirit, Opportunity) and Mars Science Laboratory (Curiosity). Critical to realistic simulations is validation of the models by comparison and registration to single-wheel tests in the laboratory using spare flight wheels and testing of rover drives on various surfaces on Earth. In this abstract we report results from modeling test rover drives on deformable soil and hard surfaces. First, a MER test rover was driven over a tilted hard-surfaced plane covered with high friction paint, with separate runs with tilts ranging from 0 to 20 degrees. The Artemis contact model with static and dynamic coefficients of friction of 0.780 and 0.580 reproduced the runs in a manner in which the tests and models were shown to be statistically indistinguishable. Second, the MSL Test Rover was driven over bedrock plates with slopes ranging from 0 to 30 degrees, and Artemis successfully modeled these runs with static and dynamic coefficients of friction of 0.577 and 0.450, respectively. The MSL Test Rover simulations yielded low, linearly increasing slip between 0% and 15% on slopes ranging from 0 to 20 deg, increasing nonlinearly to nearly 100% on the 30 degree slope. Third, both the MER and MSL Test Rovers were deployed to the Dumont Dunes in the Mojave Desert to do side-by-side runs up dune slopes with tilts ranging from 0 to 15 degrees. Test runs and Artemis (Bekker-Wong-Reece model) results are comparable in terms of wheel sinkages and slippage values. Uphill drives led to non

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Evaluation of simple deployment mechanism of multiple rovers by microgravity experiments using a drop tower

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoshimitsu, Tetsuo; Yano, Hajime; Kubota, Takashi; Adachi, Tadashi; Ishigami, Genya

    2012-07-01

    Introduction, Japan has announced the official development of ``Hayabusa-2'', the second sample return mission to a Near-Earth asteroid. When the development is made smoothly, Hayabusa-2 will be launched in 2014. The predecessor spacecraft ``Hayabusa'' made a great success when it returned to the Earth in June 2010 with a capsule containing some particles obtained from S-type asteroid ``Itokawa.'' Rover system, The authors installed a tiny hopping rover called ``MINERVA'' into Hayabusa spacecraft. MINERVA weights only 591[g] but has an autonomous exploration capability on the microgravity environment on the small solar system bodies. MINERVA was successfully deployed from the mother spacecraft on 12 Nov 2005 at the vicinity of the target asteroid. But unfortunately it became a solar orbiting satellite since the relative position and the speed of the mother spacecraft around the target asteroid were worst. Nevertheless it worked well, demonstrating an autnomous capability and had survived until the comunication link was lost. The authors plan to install some rovers also into Hayabusa-2. The total concept is the same but this time multiple rovers are considered. Deployment mechanism, Two rovers are installed in one container and are developed at the same time. The maximum allowed weight for the container including two rovers is 2.5[kg] and we have to seek for a simple and a light-weighted deployment system. We developed a new deployment system drastically sophisticated from the one used for MINERVA in Hayabusa mission. Both the cover and the rovers are pushed by the springs after the tightly winded wire has been cut by the deployment trigger form the spacecraft. The new deployment system enables the following things. The cover and the rovers are deployed in different directions in one action. The uncertainty of the deployment speed is decreased. Microgravity experiment, Thanks to the courtesy of DLR (German Aerospace Center) based on the international cooperation

  11. 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.

  12. Lunar rovers and local positioning system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Avery, James; Su, Renjeng

    1991-11-01

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

  13. Managing PV Power on Mars - MER Rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  14. Autonomous Warplanes: NASA Rovers Lead the Way

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-04-01

    rover performance. The So- journer was a suitcase -sized, solar -powered vehicle, while the Curiosity is a nuclear-powered vehicle comparable in size...available in each satel- lite’s footprint. The capability faces further degradation by environmental factors, such as terrestrial weather and solar ...such as radio frequency interference, thunderstorms near the satellite ground station, solar flares and charged particle events in space, and poor

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Cross-coupled control for all-terrain rovers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reina, Giulio

    2013-01-08

    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.

  2. Investigation of Life in the Atacama Desert by Astrobiology Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wettergreen, D.; Cabrol, N.

    2005-12-01

    The Atacama Desert is the most arid region on Earth and in several ways analogous to Mars. It has been suggested that the interior of the desert is the most lifeless place on Earth, yet it is known that microorganisms exist on rocks and in soils where the desert meets the coastal range. The Life in the Atacama (LITA) project is investigating the distribution and diversity of life and habitats in the desert using an rover guided by a remote science team. The Atacama Desert presents an excellent analogue to Mars because it is extremely dry, but also, like Mars it experiences high levels of ultraviolet radiation due to its altitude and atmospheric transparency. The soils in the Atacama have been found to be particularly high in oxidants, which lead to the rapid breakdown of organic material. The result is that in some regions of desert almost no biogenic material can be found on the surface. To the benefit of analogue studies for Mars exploration, the desert visually resembles Mars as seen through rover cameras. For these reasons: aridity, ultraviolet radiation and soil composition we believe the Atacama is analogous to Mars and an excellent location for rover field experiments. To support our astrobiologic investigation, we have created a mobile robot, Zo, that makes the measurement of the distribution and diversity of microorganisms possible. Mobility is crucial as habitats are hypothesized to depend on locally variable conditions including moisture, solar flux, and rock/soil composition. The ability to traverse tens to hundreds of kilometers while deploying sensors is a fundamental requirement because only by visiting many sites will the few in which organisms exist be found. Many observations provide the basis for statistically valid analysis of distribution. Zo's instrument payload combines complementary elements, some directed towards remote sensing of the environment (geology, morphology, mineralogy, climate) for the detection of conditions favorable to

  3. Random vibration test of Mars Exploration Rover spacecraft

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scharton, T.; Lee, D.

    2003-01-01

    The primary objective of the random vibration test was to identify any hardware problems, which might compromise the mission. The test objectives, configuration, and requirements are briefly described in this presentation, and a representative sample of the measured data is presented.

  4. A visual display aid for planning rover traversals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernard, Herbert F.; Ellis, Stephen R.

    1992-01-01

    An interactive graphical planning system has been developed, which allows a human operator to design and check traversals (cross-country paths) for a planetary rover vehicle. The display provides the operator with necessary information about the terrain and indicates violations of operational or dynamic constraints on the rover. The operator can select different kinds of two-dimensional maps as well as a perspective view of the rover environment to plan the traversals. An experiment has been carried out to determine the ability of the operator to estimate the rover attitude in a large variety of situations. It turned out that the estimation error is highly dependent on the rover attitude itself. This result can be used to determine a vertical scale for the perspective representation of the terrain which avoids an underestimation of dangerous rover attitudes.

  5. Autonomous Rovers for Polar Science Campaigns

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. First Gravity Traverse on the Martian Surface from the Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, K. W.; Peters, S. F.; Gonter, K. A.; Vasavada, A. R.

    2016-12-01

    Orbital gravity surveys have been a key tool in understanding planetary interiors and shallow crustal structure, exemplified by recent missions such as GRAIL and Juno. However, due to the loss of spatial resolution with altitude, airborne and ground-based survey methods are typically employed on the Earth. Previously, the Lunar Traverse Gravimeter experiment on the Apollo 17 mission has been the only attempt to collect surface gravity measurements on another planetary body. We will describe the results of the first gravity survey on the Martian surface, using data from the Curiosity rover over its >10 km traverse across the floor of Gale crater and lower slopes of Mount Sharp. These results enable us to estimate bulk rock density, and to search for potential subsurface density anomalies. To measure local gravitational acceleration, we use one of the two onboard Rover Inertial Measurement Units (RIMU-A), designed for rover position and fine attitude determination. The IMU contains three-axis micro-electromechanical (MEMS) accelerometers and fiber-optic gyros, and is used for gyrocompassing by integrating data for several minutes on sols with no drive or arm motions (roughly 50% of sols to date). Raw acceleration data are calibrated for biases induced by temperature effects and rover orientation, along with rover elevation over the course of the mission using multiple regression. We use the best fit linear relationship between topographic height and gravitational acceleration to estimate a Bouguer correction for the observed change in magnitude over the mission as the rover has ascended over 100 meters up the lower slopes of Mount Sharp. We find a relatively low best-fit density of 1600 +/- 500 kg/m^3 for the rocks of Mount Sharp, consistent with rover-based measurements of thermal inertial, and potentially indicating pervasive fracturing, high porosity and/or low compaction within the original sediments at least to depths of order 100 meters. Future measurements

  8. Lunar Rover Model - Reengineering of an Existing Mobile Platform towards the realization of a Rover Autonomy Testbed

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gounaris, Alexandros Frantzis; Poulakis, Pantelis; Chautems, Christophe; Raffaela, Carloni; Stramigioli, Stefano

    2011-01-01

    The Automation & Robotics Section of the European Space Agency (ESA) is developing a platform for investigation of different levels of autonomy of planetary rovers. Within this scope a physical flight model is required and the Lunar Rover Model (LRM) is chosen. The LRM is a 4 wheel, medium-scale

  9. Performance Characterization of a Rover Navigation Algorithm Using Large-Scale Simulation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Richard Madison

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Autonomous rover navigation is a critical technology for robotic exploration of Mars. Simulation allows more extensive testing of such technologies than would be possible with hardware test beds alone. A large number of simulations, running in parallel, can test an algorithm under many different operating conditions to quickly identify the operational envelope of the technology and identify failure modes that were not discovered in more limited testing. GESTALT is the autonomous navigation algorithm developed for NASA's Mars rovers. ROAMS is a rover simulator developed to support the Mars program. We have integrated GESTALT into ROAMS to test closed-loop, autonomous navigation in simulation. We have developed a prototype capability to run many copies of ROAMS in parallel on a supercomputer, varying input parameters to rapidly explore GESTALT's performance across a parameter space. Using these tools, we have demonstrated that large scale simulation can identify performance limits and unexpected behaviors in an algorithm. Such parallel simulation was able to test approximately 500 parameter combinations in the time required for a single test on a hardware test bed.

  10. Autonomous Rover for Polar GPR Surveys

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  11. A Mars Rover Mission Simulation on Kilauea Volcano

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1995-01-01

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

  12. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Finseth, J. L.

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1991-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1991-01-01

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

  16. Mars exploration: follow the water

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Young Ho

    2004-01-01

    Over the centuries, the red planet Mars has been a subject of imagination as well as intense scientific interest. As the overwhelming success of two Mars Exploration Rovers unfolds before us, this article provides an overview of and rationale for NASA's Mars exploration program.

  17. Mars rover rock abrasion tool performance enhanced by ultrasonic technology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macartney, A.; Li, X.; Harkness, P.

    2016-12-01

    The Mars exploration Athena science goal is to explore areas where water may have been present on the early surface of Mars, and investigate the palaeo-environmental conditions of these areas in relation to the existence of life. The Rock Abrasion Tool (RAT) designed by Honeybee Robotics has been one of four key Athena science payload instruments mounted on the mechanical arm of the Spirit, Opportunity and Curiosity Mars Exploration Rovers. Exposed rock surfaces weather and chemically alter over time. Although such weathered rock can present geological interest in itself, there is a limit to what can be learned. If the geological history of a landing site is to be constructed, then it is important to analyse the unweathered rock interior as clearly as possible. The rock abrasion tool's role is to substitute for a geologist's hammer, removing the weathered and chemically altered outer surface of rocks in order to view the pristine interior. The RAT uses a diamond resin standard common grinding technique, producing a 5mm depth grind with a relatively high surface roughness, achieved over a number of hours per grind and consumes approximately 11 watts of energy. This study assesses the benefits of using ultrasonic assisted grinding to improve surface smoothness. A prototype Micro-Optic UltraSonic Exfoliator (MOUSE) is tested on a range of rock types and demonstrates a number of advantages over the RAT. In addition to a smoother grind finish, these advantages include a lower rate of tool tip wear when using a tungsten carbide tip as opposed to diamond resin, less moving parts, a grind speed of minutes instead of hours, and a power consumption of only 1-5 Watts.

  18. Machine learning challenges in Mars rover traverse science

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  19. The ExoMars Rover Science Archive: Status and Plans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heather, D.; Lim, T.; Metcalfe, L.

    2017-09-01

    The ExoMars program is a co-operation between ESA and Roscosmos comprising two missions: the first, launched on 14 March 2016, included the Trace Gas Orbiter and Schiaparelli lander; the second, due for launch in 2020, will be a Rover and Surface Platform (RSP). The ExoMars Rover and Surface Platform deliveries will be among the first data in the PSA to be formatted according to the new PDS4 Standards, and will be the first rover data to be hosted within the archive at all. The archiving and management of the science data to be returned from ExoMars will require a significant development effort for the new Planetary Science Archive (PSA). This presentation will outline the current plans for archiving of the ExoMars Rover and Surface Platform science data.

  20. In-situ soil sensing for planetary micro-rovers with hybrid wheel-leg systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Comin Cabrera, Francisco Jose

    Rover missions exploring other planets are tightly constrained regarding the trade-off between safety and traversal speed. Detecting and avoiding hazards during navigation is capital to preserve the mobility of a rover. Low traversal speeds are often enforced to assure that wheeled rovers do not become stuck in challenging terrain, hindering the performance and scientific return of the mission. Even such precautions do not guarantee safe navigation due to non-geometric hazards hidden in the terrain, such as sand traps beneath thin duricrusts. These issues motivate the research of the interaction with rough and sandy planetary terrains of conventional and innovative robot locomotion concepts. Hybrid wheel-legs combine the mechanical and control simplicity of wheeled locomotion with the enhanced mobility of legged locomotion. This concept has been rarely proposed for planetary exploration and the study of its interaction with granular terrains is at a very early stage. This research focuses on advancing the state-of-the-art of wheel-leg-soil interaction analysis and applying it through in-situ sensing to simultaneously improve the speed and safety of planetary rover missions. The semi-empirical approach used combines both theoretical modelling and experimental analysis of data obtained in laboratory and field analogues. A novel light-weight, low-power sensor system, capable of reliably detecting wheel-leg sinkage and slippage phenomena on-the-fly, is designed, implemented and tested both as part of a simplified single-wheel-leg test bed and integrated in a fully mobile micro-rover. Moreover, existing analytical models for the interaction between deformable terrain and heavily-loaded wheels or lightly-loaded legs are adapted to the generalised medium-loaded multi-legged wheel-leg case and combined into hybrid approaches for better accuracy, as validated against experimental data. Finally, the soil sensor system and analytical models proposed are used to develop and

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. A Rover Operations Protocol for Maintaining Compliance with Planetary Protection Requirements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Melissa; Vasavada, Ashwin

    2016-07-01

    day would be brought into a discussion. Typically the tactical team has a mix of experts in geology, astrobiology, geological materials, geochemistry, and meteorology. If this team cannot rule out the concern of introducing rover hardware into a potential Special Region, arm and wheel usage would be prohibited in that day's planning. This halt in tactical operations would allow a separate Special Regions Team to re-consider the data more deliberately, but still on timeline that would allow rover operations to resume as quickly as possible. This team is chosen in advance to have a broad range of expertise that can weigh the evidence for a potential Special Region, including representatives from the institutional planetary protection organization and involvement of the MSL Project Manager. If this team cannot rule out the concern, rover operations continue to hold while the NASA Planetary Protection Office is engaged to determine the best course of action for the mission. It is worth noting that evidence of modern, fluid-formed features at Gale Crater is not expected and would represent a major scientific discovery for the mission and Mars Exploration Program. However, this low-likelihood outcome still requires vigilance to ensure compliance with planetary protection requirements.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. A system architecture for a planetary rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, D. B.; Matijevic, J. R.

    1989-01-01

    Each planetary mission requires a complex space vehicle which integrates several functions to accomplish the mission and science objectives. A Mars Rover is one of these vehicles, and extends the normal spacecraft functionality with two additional functions: surface mobility and sample acquisition. All functions are assembled into a hierarchical and structured format to understand the complexities of interactions between functions during different mission times. It can graphically show data flow between functions, and most importantly, the necessary control flow to avoid unambiguous results. Diagrams are presented organizing the functions into a structured, block format where each block represents a major function at the system level. As such, there are six blocks representing telecomm, power, thermal, science, mobility and sampling under a supervisory block called Data Management/Executive. Each block is a simple collection of state machines arranged into a hierarchical order very close to the NASREM model for Telerobotics. Each layer within a block represents a level of control for a set of state machines that do the three primary interface functions: command, telemetry, and fault protection. This latter function is expanded to include automatic reactions to the environment as well as internal faults. Lastly, diagrams are presented that trace the system operations involved in moving from site to site after site selection. The diagrams clearly illustrate both the data and control flows. They also illustrate inter-block data transfers and a hierarchical approach to fault protection. This systems architecture can be used to determine functional requirements, interface specifications and be used as a mechanism for grouping subsystems (i.e., collecting groups of machines, or blocks consistent with good and testable implementations).

  8. The PRo3D View Planner - interactive simulation of Mars rover camera views to optimise capturing parameters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Traxler, Christoph; Ortner, Thomas; Hesina, Gerd; Barnes, Robert; Gupta, Sanjeev; Paar, Gerhard

    2017-04-01

    High resolution Digital Terrain Models (DTM) and Digital Outcrop Models (DOM) are highly useful for geological analysis and mission planning in planetary rover missions. PRo3D, developed as part of the EU-FP7 PRoViDE project, is a 3D viewer in which orbital DTMs and DOMs derived from rover stereo imagery can be rendered in a virtual environment for exploration and analysis. It allows fluent navigation over planetary surface models and provides a variety of measurement and annotation tools to complete an extensive geological interpretation. A key aspect of the image collection during planetary rover missions is determining the optimal viewing positions of rover instruments from different positions ('wide baseline stereo'). For the collection of high quality panoramas and stereo imagery the visibility of regions of interest from those positions, and the amount of common features shared by each stereo-pair, or image bundle is crucial. The creation of a highly accurate and reliable 3D surface, in the form of an Ordered Point Cloud (OPC), of the planetary surface, with a low rate of error and a minimum of artefacts, is greatly enhanced by using images that share a high amount of features and a sufficient overlap for wide baseline stereo or target selection. To support users in the selection of adequate viewpoints an interactive View Planner was integrated into PRo3D. The users choose from a set of different rovers and their respective instruments. PRo3D supports for instance the PanCam instrument of ESA's ExoMars 2020 rover mission or the Mastcam-Z camera of NASA's Mars2020 mission. The View Planner uses a DTM obtained from orbiter imagery, which can also be complemented with rover-derived DOMs as the mission progresses. The selected rover is placed onto a position on the terrain - interactively or using the current rover pose as known from the mission. The rover's base polygon and its local coordinate axes, and the chosen instrument's up- and forward vectors are

  9. 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.

  10. A Reliable Distributed Computing System Architecture for Planetary Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jingping, C.; Yunde, J.

    Computing system is one of the most important parts in planetary rover Computing system is crucial to the rover function capability and survival probability When the planetary rover executes some tasks it needs to react to the events in time and to tolerant the faults cause by the environment or itself To meet the requirements the planetary rover computing system architecture should be reactive high reliable adaptable consistent and extendible This paper introduces reliable distributed computing system architecture for planetary rover This architecture integrates the new ideas and technologies of hardware architecture software architecture network architecture fault tolerant technology and the intelligent control system architecture The planetary computing system architecture defines three dimensions of fault containment regions the channel dimension the lane dimension and the integrity dimension The whole computing system has three channels The channels provide the main fault containment regions for system hardware It is the ultimate line of defense of a single physical fault The lanes are the secondary fault containment regions for physical faults It can be used to improve the capability for fault diagnosis within a channel and can improve the coverage with respect to design faults through hardware and software diversity It also can be used as backups for each others to improve the availability and can improve the computing capability The integrity dimension provides faults containment region for software design Its purpose

  11. Benefit of "Push-pull" Locomotion for Planetary Rover Mobility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Creager, Colin M.; Moreland, Scott Jared; Skonieczny, K.; Johnson, K.; Asnani, V.; Gilligan, R.

    2011-01-01

    As NASAs exploration missions on planetary terrains become more aggressive, a focus on alternative modes of locomotion for rovers is necessary. In addition to climbing steep slopes, the terrain in these extreme environments is often unknown and can be extremely hard to traverse, increasing the likelihood of a vehicle or robot becoming damaged or immobilized. The conventional driving mode in which all wheels are either driven or free-rolling is very efficient on flat hard ground, but does not always provide enough traction to propel the vehicle through soft or steep terrain. This paper presents an alternative mode of travel and investigates the fundamental differences between these locomotion modes. The methods of push-pull locomotion discussed can be used with articulated wheeled vehicles and are identified as walking or inchinginch-worming. In both cases, the braked non-rolling wheels provide increased thrust. An in-depth study of how soil reacts under a rolling wheel vs. a braked wheel was performed by visually observing the motion of particles beneath the surface. This novel technique consists of driving or dragging a wheel in a soil bin against a transparent wall while high resolution, high-rate photographs are taken. Optical flow software was then used to determine shearing patterns in the soil. Different failure modes were observed for the rolling and braked wheel cases. A quantitative comparison of inching vs. conventional driving was also performed on a full-scale vehicle through a series of drawbar pull tests in the Lunar terrain strength simulant, GRC-1. The effect of tire stiffness was also compared; typically compliant tires provide better traction when driving in soft soil, however its been observed that rigid wheels may provide better thrust when non-rolling. Initial tests indicate up to a possible 40 increase in pull force capability at high slip when inching vs. rolling.

  12. Experimental Results of Rover-Based Coring and Caching

    Science.gov (United States)

    Backes, Paul G.; Younse, Paulo; DiCicco, Matthew; Hudson, Nicolas; Collins, Curtis; Allwood, Abigail; Paolini, Robert; Male, Cason; Ma, Jeremy; Steele, Andrew; hide

    2011-01-01

    Experimental results are presented for experiments performed using a prototype rover-based sample coring and caching system. The system consists of a rotary percussive coring tool on a five degree-of-freedom manipulator arm mounted on a FIDO-class rover and a sample caching subsystem mounted on the rover. Coring and caching experiments were performed in a laboratory setting and in a field test at Mono Lake, California. Rock abrasion experiments using an abrading bit on the coring tool were also performed. The experiments indicate that the sample acquisition and caching architecture is viable for use in a 2018 timeframe Mars caching mission and that rock abrasion using an abrading bit may be feasible in place of a dedicated rock abrasion tool.

  13. 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.

  14. Aerial Explorers and Robotic Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Larry A.; Pisanich, Greg

    2004-01-01

    A unique bio-inspired approach to autonomous aerial vehicle, a.k.a. aerial explorer technology is discussed. The work is focused on defining and studying aerial explorer mission concepts, both as an individual robotic system and as a member of a small robotic "ecosystem." Members of this robotic ecosystem include the aerial explorer, air-deployed sensors and robotic symbiotes, and other assets such as rovers, landers, and orbiters.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Traverses for lunar rovers and sample return teleoperated from Earth or cislunar orbit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamps, Oscar; Foing, Bernard H.; Flahaut, Jessica

    2016-07-01

    Most interesting sites for exploration are near the poles of the Moon where water and other ices and volatiles could be stable in the permanent shaded regions. Several instruments on multiple orbiters have indicated the presence of hydrogen or hydration but the relation with the illumination conditions are not as clear. Which other variables are involved to trap water near the poles is not known. This ignorance makes it of high interest to do in-situ research on the Moon. ESA, NASA and other agencies are studying a teleoperated mission from cislunar orbit with Orion (eg. HERACLES international lunar exploration architecture) with the possibility of long rover traverses, and human assisted sample return. This mission concept was used for this study on a rover traverse. This study focuses on both the North as South Pole. The site selection for a traverse was based on the temperature map from Diviner. Regions of interests were made as primary selection and cover areas where the maximum temperature is lower than the sublimation temperature of CO2. Data from neutron spectrometer from the Prospector, and crater epoch according to the USGS were used to make a selection of regions of interest. These selected sites where studied on their accessibility for a rover, based on the slope map made from the LOLA elevation model. A landing site was selected based on assumptions that it should be at least one kilometre in diameter and have a slope lower than 5 degrees. The temperature difference (Tmax-Tmin from the Diviner measurements) was used select a scientifically interesting site between the landing site and destination inside a PSR. It was thought that a site with a temperature difference larger than 150K is interesting to study volatile migration processes. Eventually for the traverse planning a tool in ArcGIS was used which calculates the easiest from one location to another where the slope is used as limiting factor. We give the example study of rover traverse planning

  18. A Field Reconfigurable Manipulator for Rovers Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Robotic systems will be deeply integrated into future human exploration of the lunar surface. Prior to human arrival, they will conduct scientific investigations,...

  19. A Field Reconfigurable Manipulator for Rovers Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Robots will be precursors to human exploration of the lunar surface. They will be expected to prepare the lunar surface for human habitation as well as conduct...

  20. Electrical and computer architecture of an autonomous Mars sample return rover prototype

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leslie, Caleb Thomas

    Space truly is the final frontier. As man looks to explore beyond the confines of our planet, we use the lessons learned from traveling to the Moon and orbiting in the International Space Station, and we set our sights upon Mars. For decades, Martian probes consisting of orbiters, landers, and even robotic rovers have been sent to study Mars. Their discoveries have yielded a wealth of new scientific knowledge regarding the Martian environment and the secrets it holds. Armed with this knowledge, NASA and others have begun preparations to send humans to Mars with the ultimate goal of colonization and permanent human habitation. The ultimate success of any long term manned mission to Mars will require in situ resource utilization techniques and technologies to both support their stay and make a return trip to Earth viable. A sample return mission to Mars will play a pivotal role in developing these necessary technologies to ensure such an endeavor to be a successful one. This thesis describes an electrical and computer architecture for autonomous robotic applications. The architecture is one that is modular, scalable, and adaptable. These traits are achieved by maximizing commonality and reusability within modules that can be added, removed, or reconfigured within the system. This architecture, called the Modular Architecture for Autonomous Robotic Systems (MAARS), was implemented on the University of Alabama's Collection and Extraction Rover for Extraterrestrial Samples (CERES). The CERES rover competed in the 2016 NASA Sample Return Robot Challenge where robots were tasked with autonomously finding, collecting, and returning samples to the landing site.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Using a Multicore Processor for Rover Autonomous Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bornstein, Benjamin; Estlin, Tara; Clement, Bradley; Springer, Paul

    2011-01-01

    Multicore processing promises to be a critical component of future spacecraft. It provides immense increases in onboard processing power and provides an environment for directly supporting fault-tolerant computing. This paper discusses using a state-of-the-art multicore processor to efficiently perform image analysis onboard a Mars rover in support of autonomous science activities.

  4. Mars Rover/Sample Return - Phase A cost estimation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stancati, Michael L.; Spadoni, Daniel J.

    1990-01-01

    This paper presents a preliminary cost estimate for the design and development of the Mars Rover/Sample Return (MRSR) mission. The estimate was generated using a modeling tool specifically built to provide useful cost estimates from design parameters of the type and fidelity usually available during early phases of mission design. The model approach and its application to MRSR are described.

  5. 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.

  6. A Small Lunar Rover for Reconnaissance in the Framework of ExoGeoLab Project, System Level Design

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noroozi, A.; Ha, L.; van Dalen, P.; Maas, A.; de Raedt, S.; Poulakis, P.; Foing, B. H.

    2009-04-01

    Scientific research is based on accurate measurement and so depends on the possibilities of accurate instruments. In planetary science and exploration it is often difficult or even impossible in some cases to gather accurate and direct information from a specified target. It is important to gather as much information as possible to be able to analyze and extract scientific data from them. One possibility to do so is to send equipments to the target and perform the measurements locally. The measurement data is then sent to base station for further analysis. To send measurement instruments to measurement point it is important to have a good estimation of the environmental situation there. This information can be collected by sending a pilot rover to the area of interest to collect visual information. The aim of this work is to develop a tele-operated small rover, Google Lunar X-Prize (GLXP) class, which is capable of surviving in the Moon environment and perform reconnaissance to provide visual information to base station of ExoGeoLab project of ESA/ESTEC. Using the state of the art developments in electronics, software and communication technologies allows us to achieve increase in accuracy while reducing size and power consumption. Target mass of the rover is lees than 5 kg and its target dimension is 300 x 60 x 80 mm3. The small size of the rover gives the possibility of accessing places which are normally out of reach. The required power for operation and the cost of launch is considerably reduced compared to large rovers which makes the mission more cost effective. The mission of the rover is to capture high resolution images and transmit them to base station. Data link between lover and base station is wireless and rover should supply its own energy. The base station can be either a habitat or a relay station. The navigation of the rover is controlled by an operator in a habitat who has a view from the stereo camera on the rover. This stereo camera gives image

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. FCJ-205 Life and Labour of Rovers on Mars: Toward Post-Terrestrial Futures of Creative Robotics

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katarina Damjanov

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Four Earth-born, human-made robotic rovers have successfully landed on Mars. Equipped with a range of sophisticated technical instruments for imaging, sensing, measuring, data processing, communication and navigation, these semi-autonomous devices follow the directives of their human “drivers”, performing exploratory observations, assessments and evaluations and reporting the findings back to their command centres on Earth. In this paper I explore the ways in which robotic exploration of Mars facilitates productive exchanges within the ontological nexus of the human–technological, forging new configurations between the ambits of life and labour which may determine the prospects of post-terrestrial robotic futures.

  10. 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

  11. Equipping an FPGA-Based Mars Rover With an LN-200 IMU

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zola, Nicholas J.

    2005-01-01

    The Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) currently navigating the surface of Mars are outfitted with an advanced stereovision correlation algorithm which allows them to "see" three-dimensionally and autonomously avoid obstac'les in their path. A bottleneck of this system is that it is computationally intense and requires 3 minutes of processing for every correlated image and path choice. Taking advantage of the optimization and reprogrammability of FPGAs, the Mobility Avionics lab has reduced this process to under a second. The lab is demonstrating the advancement with a prototype rover, complete with an LN-200 inertial measurement unit (IMU), which is a flight spare from MER. The LN-200 is a space-grade, six degrees-of-freedom IMU using three fiber-optic gyroscopes and three silicon accelerometers and no moving parts. It has particular power-sequencing needs and communicates with a specialized serial protocol (SDLC over RS-422), requiring specific hardware and software for proper functionality and interfacing with an FPGA. The process of incorporating the LN-200 into the system is described herein.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. Learning to behave: adaptive behavior for planetary surface rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huntsberger, Terry; Aghazarian, Hrand

    2004-01-01

    Robotic missions to planetary surfaces are becoming more ambitious and of longer duration. The nominal mission timeline for the MER called Spirit currently on the Martian surface is 90 days, with extensions to 180 days depending on rover health. The upcoming 2009 MSL mission is planned to be 300-500 days and will possibly involve traverses on the order of a kilometer or more.

  15. A Plume Tracing, Source Identifying Technique for Mars Rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banfield, Don; Lamb, Brian; Hovde, Chris; Ferrara, Tom

    2015-11-01

    We have developed and field-tested a technique to identify and characterize the source of an effluent plume (biogenic or otherwise) on Mars, using a slow-moving vehicle like a Mars Rover. The technique is based on terrestrial plume characterization methods (EPA Method 33a), and uses puff models of variable complexity to predict the plume behavior for a given source. The technique is developed assuming that a Mars Rover would be equipped with a high-performance eddy-sensing 3-D anemometer (e.g., a Martian Sonic Anemometer), as well as a fast-response tracer molecule-specific sensor (e.g., a TLS methane sensor). The platform is assumed to move only once a day, but have the ability to observe throughout the day and night. Data obtained from any one sol while the effluent plume meanders across the rover can be used to estimate the azimuth, range and strength of the source, but combining observations from multiple sols and locations is used to improve the estimate of the souce location and strength.We have conducted preliminary field tests using a Sonic Anemometer (Gill and Campbell) and fast-response methane sensors (LICOR and Picarro) on mobile platforms using both controlled and existing methane releases to prove our algorithm in simple terrain, and with varying atmospheric stability. We will discuss our results and the efficacy of our algorithm in real world conditions.

  16. Comparing different methods for assessing ground truth of rover data analysis for the 2005 season of the Life in the Atacama Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, G. W.; Peate, I. Ukstins; Nakamoto, J.; Pudenz, E.; Glasgow, J.; Bretthauer, J.; Cabrol, N.; Wettergreen, D.; Grin, E.; Coppin, P.; Dohm, J. M.; Piatek, J. L.; Warren-Rhodes, K.; Hock, A. N.; Weinstein, S.; Fisher, G.; Diaz, G. Chong; Cockell, C.; Marinangeli, L.; Minkley, N.; Moersch, J.; Ori, G. G.; Smith, T.; Stubb, K.; Wagner, M.; Waggoner, A. S.

    2007-12-01

    The scientific success of a remote exploration rover mission depends on the right combination of technology, teamwork and scientific insight. In order to quantitatively evaluate the success of a rover field trial, it is necessary to assess the accuracy of scientific interpretations made during the field test. This work compares three structured approaches to assessing the ground truth of scientific findings from a science team conducting a remote investigation of a locale using an autonomous rover. For the first approach, independent assessment, the daily science summaries were analyzed and reduced to a series of 1082 factual statements, which were treated as hypotheses. An independent scientist traveled to the field area to assess these hypotheses. For the second approach, guided self-study, the mission scientists themselves traveled to the field area and evaluated their own scientific interpretations. The third approach, discrepancy investigation, searched for the root causes of differences between the scientific interpretations made in the control room and those made in the field. The independent investigation provided sensitive, quantitative data, but suffered from the lack of context and continuity developed in the mission control room. The guided evaluation benefited from the context of the mission, but lacked clarity and consistency. The discrepancy investigation provided insight into the root causes behind the discrepancies, but was expensive and time consuming. The independent investigation method yielded particularly compelling results, but each method offers advantages and a comprehensive rover field trial assessment should include a combination of all three.

  17. Autonomous Decision Making for Planetary Rovers Using Diagnostic and Prognostic Information

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Rover missions typically involve visiting a set of predetermined waypoints to perform science functions, such as sample collection. Given the communication delay...

  18. 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

  19. Investigation of a Major Stratigraphic Unconformity with the Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, K. W.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Gupta, S.; Rubin, D. M.

    2015-12-01

    Since its departure from the plains of Aeolis Palus, the Curiosity rover has traversed through a number of new geologic units at the base of Mount Sharp in Gale crater. These have included both units inferred to comprise the lower strata of Mount Sharp itself, along with units that appear to superpose Mount Sharp. Over the last 100 sols, Curiosity has documented several occurrences of a stratigraphic contact between fine-grained mudstones of the Murray Formation, and coarser sandstones of the overlying Stimson Unit. Detailed mapping from both orbital and rover image and topographic data suggests an unconformable relationship between the two units. From orbit, inferred exposures of the unconformity span at least several tens of meters, climbing up the lowermost slopes of Mount Sharp. Although the absolute timing of the two units is poorly constrained, this unconformity between likely represents a geologically significant gap in time. Deposition of the overlying Stimson Unit is inferred to post-date the large-scale erosion of Mount Sharp, likely requiring late stage aqueous interaction in the lithification of the Stimson Unit. From the rover, stereo imaging reveals the small-scale topography preserved at the Murray-Stimson contact, and allows the determination of bedding geometries within the units. Where laminations are expressed, the basal Mount Sharp rocks exhibit planar stratification at low angles to horizontal. In contrast, the coarser-grained Stimson Unit exhibits large-scale cross stratification. Three dimensional bedding geometry within this unit indicates a predominant southward transport direction uphill towards Mount Sharp. The observation of rounded calcium sulfate clasts in the lowermost Stimson Unit, interpreted to be reworked veins from the underlying Murray formation, supports the interpretation of an erosional unconformity. Investigations at the boundary between these two distinct units present a unique opportunity to probe the long

  20. Rocky 7 prototype Mars rover field geology experiments 1. Lavic Lake and sunshine volcanic field, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arvidson, R. E.; Acton, C.; Blaney, D.; Bowman, J.; Kim, S.; Klingelhofer, G.; Marshall, J.; Niebur, C.; Plescia, J.; Saunders, R.S.; Ulmer, C.T.

    1998-01-01

    Experiments with the Rocky 7 rover were performed in the Mojave Desert to better understand how to conduct rover-based, long-distance (kilometers) geological traverses on Mars. The rover was equipped with stereo imaging systems for remote sensing science and hazard avoidance and 57Fe Mo??ssbauer and nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometers for in situ determination of mineralogy of unprepared rock and soil surfaces. Laboratory data were also obtained using the spectrometers and an X ray diffraction (XRD)/XRF instrument for unprepared samples collected from the rover sites. Simulated orbital and descent image data assembled for the test sites were found to be critical for assessing the geologic setting, formulating hypotheses to be tested with rover observations, planning traverses, locating the rover, and providing a regional context for interpretation of rover-based observations. Analyses of remote sensing and in situ observations acquired by the rover confirmed inferences made from orbital and simulated descent images that the Sunshine Volcanic Field is composed of basalt flows. Rover data confirmed the idea that Lavic Lake is a recharge playa and that an alluvial fan composed of sediments with felsic compositions has prograded onto the playa. Rover-based discoveries include the inference that the basalt flows are mantled with aeolian sediment and covered with a dense pavement of varnished basalt cobbles. Results demonstrate that the combination of rover remote sensing and in situ analytical observations will significantly increase our understanding of Mars and provide key connecting links between orbital and descent data and analyses of returned samples. Copyright 1998 by the American Geophysical Union.

  1. Improved Tracking of Targets by Cameras on a Mars Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Won; Ansar, Adnan; Steele, Robert

    2007-01-01

    A paper describes a method devised to increase the robustness and accuracy of tracking of targets by means of three stereoscopic pairs of video cameras on a Mars-rover-type exploratory robotic vehicle. Two of the camera pairs are mounted on a mast that can be adjusted in pan and tilt; the third camera pair is mounted on the main vehicle body. Elements of the method include a mast calibration, a camera-pointing algorithm, and a purely geometric technique for handing off tracking between different camera pairs at critical distances as the rover approaches a target of interest. The mast calibration is an extension of camera calibration in which the camera images of calibration targets at known positions are collected at various pan and tilt angles. In the camerapointing algorithm, pan and tilt angles are computed by a closed-form, non-iterative solution of inverse kinematics of the mast combined with mathematical models of the cameras. The purely geometric camera-handoff technique involves the use of stereoscopic views of a target of interest in conjunction with the mast calibration.

  2. Looking Back at Arena of Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity climbed out of 'Victoria Crater' following the tracks it had made when it descended into the 800-meter-diameter (half-mile-diameter) bowl nearly a year earlier. The rover's navigation camera captured this view back into the crater just after finishing a 6.8-meter (22-foot) drive that brought Opportunity out onto level ground during the mission's 1,634th Martian day, or sol (Aug. 28, 2008). The rover laid down the first tracks at this entry and exit point during its 1,291st sol (Sept. 11, 2007), after about a year of exploring around the outside of Victoria Crater for the best access route to the interior. On that sol, Opportunity drove a short distance into the crater and then backed out to check that the footing was good enough to trust this point as an exit route when the work in the crater was finished. Two sols later, Opportunity drove in again for its extended investigation of the rock layers exposed inside the crater. While inside, the rover spent several months using the contact instruments on its robotic arm to analyze the composition of the rock layers it could drive across on the surface of the upper slope. Then Opportunity drove close to the base of the 'Cape Verde' promontory that forms part of the crater rim and appears in the upper center of this image. From that perspective, the rover used its panoramic camera to examine details of layering in the 6-meter-tall (20-foot-tall) cliff. For scale, the distance between the parallel tracks left by the rover's wheels is about 1 meter (39 inches) from the middle of one track to the middle of the other. After getting past the top of the inner slope of the crater, the Sol 1634 drive also got through a sand ripple where the tracks appear deepest.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Identification and Analysis of Landing sites for the ESA ExoMars Rover (2018)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balme, Matthew; Bridges, John; Fawdon, Peter; Grindrod, Peter; Gupta, Sanjeev; Michalski, Joe; Conway, Susan

    2014-05-01

    The exploration and search for life on Mars forms a cornerstone of international solar system exploration. In 2018, the European Space agency will launch the ExoMars Rover and Lander to further this exploration. The key science objectives of the ExoMars Rover are to: 1) search for signs of past and present life on Mars; 2) investigate the water/geochemical environment as a function of depth in the shallow subsurface; and 3) to characterise the surface environment. To meet these objectives ExoMars will drill into the sub-surface to look for indicators of past life using a range of complementary techniques, including assessment of morphology (potential fossil organisms), mineralogy (past environments) and a search for organic molecules and their chirality (biomarkers). The choice of landing site is vital if ExoMars' scientific objectives are to be met. The landing site must: (i) be ancient (≥3.6 Ga); (ii) show abundant morphological and mineral evidence for long-term, or frequently reoccurring, aqueous activity; (iii) include numerous sedimentary outcrops that (iv) are distributed over the landing region (the typical Rover traverse range is only a few km, but the uncertainty in the location of the landing site forms an elliptical of size ~ 100 by 15 km); and (v) have little dust coverage. In addition, in order to land and operate safely, various 'engineering constraints' apply, including: (i) latitude limited to 5º S to 25º N; (ii) maximum altitude of the landing site 2 km below Mars's datum, (iii) few steep slopes within the uncertainty ellipse. These constraints are onerous. In particular, the objective to drill into sediments, the requirement for distributed targets within the ellipse, and the ellipse size, make ExoMars site selection extremely challenging. To meet these challenges, we have begun an intensive study of the martian landscape to identify as many possible ExoMars landing sites as possible. We have converted the current engineering constraints into

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. The meteorology of Gale Crater as determined from Rover Environmental Monitoring Station observations and numerical modeling. Part II: Interpretation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rafkin, Scot C. R.; Pla-Garcia, Jorge; Kahre, Melinda; Gomez-Elvira, Javier; Hamilton, Victoria E.; Marín, Mercedes; Navarro, Sara; Torres, Josefina; Vasavada, Ashwin

    2016-12-01

    Numerical modeling results from the Mars Regional Atmospheric Modeling System are used to interpret the landed meteorological data from the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station onboard the Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity. In order to characterize seasonal changes throughout the Martian year, simulations are conducted at Ls 0, 90, 180 and 270. Two additional simulations at Ls 225 and 315 are explored to better understand the unique meteorological setting centered on Ls 270. The synergistic combination of model and observations reveals a complex meteorological environment within the crater. Seasonal planetary circulations, the thermal tide, slope flows along the topographic dichotomy, mesoscale waves, slope flows along the crater slopes and Mt. Sharp, and turbulent motions all interact in nonlinear ways to produce the observed weather. Ls 270 is shown to be an anomalous season when air within and outside the crater is well mixed by strong, flushing northerly flow and large amplitude, breaking mountain waves. At other seasons, the air in the crater is more isolated from the surrounding environment. The potential impact of the partially isolated crater air mass on the dust, water, noncondensable and methane cycles is also considered. In contrast to previous studies, the large amplitude diurnal pressure signal is attributed primarily to necessary hydrostatic adjustments associated with topography of different elevations, with contributions of less than 25% to the diurnal amplitude from the crater circulation itself. The crater circulation is shown to induce a suppressed boundary layer.

  10. Coordinated analyses of orbital and spirit rover data to characterize surface materials on the cratered plains of Gusev Crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lichtenberg, K.A.; Arvidson, R. E.; Poulet, F.; Morris, R.V.; Knudson, A.; Bell, J.F.; Bellucci, G.; Bibring, J.-P.; Farrand, W. H.; Johnson, J. R.; Ming, D. W.; Pinet, P.C.; Rogers, A.D.; Squyres, S. W.

    2007-01-01

    Comparison of the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit's Pancam (0.4 to 1.0 ??m) and Mars Express Observatoire pour la Mineralogie l'Eau, les Glaces et l'Activite?? (OMEGA) (0.4 to 2.5 ??m) spectral reflectance data over Spirit's traverses shows that Gusev cratered plains are dominated by nanophase ferric-oxide-rich dust covering weakly altered basaltic sands. This interpretation is also consistent with both observations from OMEGA data covering plains beyond the traverse region and interpretations of data from the other payload instruments on the Spirit Rover. OMEGA observations of relatively low albedo regions where dust has presumably been stripped by dust devils show negative spectral reflectance slopes from 1.5 to 2.5 ??m and moderately masked spectral features which are indicative of olivine or pyroxene. High-albedo regions north and south of the Spirit landing site have flat spectral reflectance slopes and few spectral features, although all spectra have a nanophase ferric-oxide absorption edge between 0.4 and 0.75 ??m. Comparison of THEMIS-derived thermal inertia values with OMEGA-derived spectral parameters shows that although the dust cover can be optically thick (0.4 to 2.5 ??m wavelength region) in some areas, it is not thick enough (???1 cm) to mask the thermal inertia of the underlying substrate for areas included in this study. Copyright 2007 by the American Geophysical Union.

  11. ExoGeoLab Test Bench for Landers, Rovers and Instruments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foing, B. H.

    2009-04-01

    In the frame of ESTEC technology and research pilot project, we have started a small pilot facility with a ExoGeoLab and a mini-Habitat, supported by two design and control offices in the European Space Incubator (ESI), as well as infrastructure support and manpower. We have in addition to contribution on external instruments and manpower from partner institutes. From this test bench and kit of ExoGeoLab instruments, we plan to operate comprehensive instruments packages that could help in the technical research and science preparation of lander/rover missions studied in the frame of Cosmic Vision or the Exploration programme. The ExoGeoLab research incubator project includes a sequence of activities: - Data analysis and interpretation of remote sensing data (MEX, SMART-1, VEX, Cassini-Huygens) and in-situ (Huygens, MER) , and merging of multi-scale data sets - Procurement and integration of geophysical, geochemical and astrobiological breadboard instruments in an surface station and rover (ExoGeoLab) - Research operations and exploitation of ExoGeoLab test bench for various conceptual configurations (Moon, Mars, NEO, Titan) - Contribution to the exploitation of surface lander results (MER, Phenix, MSL, preparation Exomars) - Scientific simulation of planetary surfaces using laboratory and modelling tools - Support research for definition and design of science surface packages on the Moon, Mars, NEO, Titan - Research support to community preparation of payload for surface lander opportunities Specific goals and methods of ESTEC ExoGeoLab: we have started to integrate instruments in an ExoGeoLab crossing various techniques. The methodic steps for this hands-on research are: 1) We have procured and adapted instruments to equip a mid-size ExoGeoRover (made available in collaboration with ESTEC robotics section), and a small surface station. 2) This terrestrial payload (instruments, sensors, data handling) will be deployed, operated and used as collaborative research

  12. Radar Sounding Investigations of the Martian Subsurface by the 2018 ExoMars-C Rover

    OpenAIRE

    Ciarletti, Valérie; Plettemeier, Dirk; Cais, Ph.; Clifford, Stephen

    2011-01-01

    International audience; The WISDOM (Water Ice Subsurface Deposit Observation on Mars) Ground Penetrating Radar will fly on the ESA-NASA 2018 ExoMars-C mission, which combines the science payload of the original ESA ExoMars Rover with the robotic arm and sample cache of NASA's Max-C Rover into a single rover, whose samples will ult imately be retrieved by a future Mars Sample Return mission. WISDOM was designed to investigate the nearsubsurface down to a depth of ~2-3 m, commensurate with the ...

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    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...

  18. Rover Radar for Surface Navigation, Hazard Detection and Negative Obstacle Avoidance Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — In Topic X1.03 NASA (JPL) is seeking to extend and implement long distance exploratory surface rover missions to gain knowledge of surface topology and roughness....

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. Design and Laboratory Implementation of Autonomous Optimal Motion Planning for Non-Holonomic Planetary Rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-12-01

    Pseudospectral Optimal Control, Trajectory Optimization, Path Planning, Robotics Manipulator, Collision Avoidance, DIDO, Autonomous Robotic Control 15. NUMBER OF...you for the many hours you dedicated to assisting with my thesis. I respect your vision, guidance, and insight with the use of robotics and...communications and recharging of the individual land rovers. In this scenario (see Figure 3 for a artists ’ rendition), the land rovers conduct routine

  2. 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

  3. Soil and Rock Physical Properties at the Mars Exploration Rover Landing Sites: Early Returns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ming, D. W.; Anderson, R. C.; Arvidson, R. E.; Bell, J. F., III; Biesiadecki, J.; Christensen, P. H.; Gorevan, S. P.; Ehlmann, B. L.; Guinness, E. A.; Graff, T. G.

    2004-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to report the 'early returns' on the physical properties of soil units and rocks at the MER landing sites. Because we are still very early in the mission at Meridiani Planum, results from the Gusev Crater Landing Site are emphasized here.

  4. 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...

  5. Spacecraft/Rover Hybrids for the Exploration of Small Solar System Bodies Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The actuation of the hybrids relies on spinning three internal flywheels, which allows all subsystems to be packaged in one sealed enclosure and enables the...

  6. Robotic Lunar Rover Technologies and SEI Supporting Technologies at Sandia National Laboratories

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klarer, Paul R.

    1992-01-01

    Existing robotic rover technologies at Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) can be applied toward the realization of a robotic lunar rover mission in the near term. Recent activities at the SNL-RVR have demonstrated the utility of existing rover technologies for performing remote field geology tasks similar to those envisioned on a robotic lunar rover mission. Specific technologies demonstrated include low-data-rate teleoperation, multivehicle control, remote site and sample inspection, standard bandwidth stereo vision, and autonomous path following based on both internal dead reckoning and an external position location update system. These activities serve to support the use of robotic rovers for an early return to the lunar surface by demonstrating capabilities that are attainable with off-the-shelf technology and existing control techniques. The breadth of technical activities at SNL provides many supporting technology areas for robotic rover development. These range from core competency areas and microsensor fabrication facilities, to actual space qualification of flight components that are designed and fabricated in-house.

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

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Unmanned mobile robots for surface exploration of the Moon or planets have been extensively studied and developed. A lunar rover is expected to travel safely in a wide area and explore in detail. Japanese lunar robotics exploration is under study to conduct an unmanned geological survey in the vicinity of central peaks of ...

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

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Unmanned mobile robots for surface exploration of the Moon or planets have been extensively studied and developed.A lunar rover is expected to travel safely in a wide area and explore in detail. Japanese lunar robotics exploration is under study to conduct an unmanned geological survey in the vicinity of central peaks of ...

  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. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. A DTM-based path planning method for planetary rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morlans, R.; Liegeois, A.

    1993-01-01

    Algorithms that automatically find the feasible routes for a mobile robot in a partially known three dimensional environment are proposed. The system is especially devised keeping in mind a planetary rover mission. Starting with a low resolution digital terrain model (DTM), relevant points (saddle points) of the relief are first automatically extracted and a connected network of traversable lines is constructed in a 'structuralist' way: the starting points for the algorithm are the saddle points; the criteria, taking into account the smoothness and the slope of the constructed line, are used to compute the network iteratively. Lines and points of this network are used as arcs and nodes to create a search graph on which an A(star) algorithm is applied to find the optimal route minimizing traveling time or energy while insuring safety. This edge constrained solution serves to initiate shortcut finding laws allowing the vehicle to cross the regions bounded by the lines of the network. The motion across each region is characterized by a cost function computed from the elevation data: mean slope roughness. Examples using a 1000 by 1000 pixel DTM are given.

  13. A Facility of the Agenzia Spaziale Italiana to Test Operations, Instruments and Landing Systems for Mars Exploration: The PLANLAB Project of the Ibn Battuta Centre at Marrakech (Morocco)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ori, G. G.; Flamini, E.; Dell'Arciprete, I.; Taj-Eddine, K.

    2009-03-01

    The Agenzia Spaziale Italiana in collaboration with the IRSPS has started a program (PLANLAB) to prepare and execute tests of rovers, landing systems, instruments and operations related to the exploration of Mars.

  14. 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.

  15. Design and Preliminary Thermal Performance of the Mars Science Laboratory Rover Heat Exchangers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mastropietro, A. J.; Beatty, John; Kelly, Frank; Birur, Gajanana; Bhandari, Pradeep; Pauken, Michael; Illsley, Peter; Liu, Yuanming; Bame, David; Miller, Jennifer

    2010-01-01

    The challenging range of proposed landing sites for the Mars Science Laboratory Rover 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 degrees Centigrade and as warm as 38 degrees Centigrade, the Rover relies upon a Mechanically Pumped Fluid Loop (MPFL) and external radiators to maintain the temperature of sensitive electronics and science instruments within a -40 degrees Centigrade to 50 degrees Centigrade range. The MPFL also manages significant waste heat generated from the Rover power source, known as the Multi Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG). The MMRTG produces 110 Watts of electrical power while generating waste heat equivalent to approximately 2000 Watts. Two similar Heat Exchanger (HX) assemblies were designed to both acquire the heat from the MMRTG and radiate waste heat from the onboard electronics to the surrounding Martian environment. Heat acquisition is accomplished on the interior surface of each HX while heat rejection is accomplished on the exterior surface of each HX. Since these two surfaces need to be at very different temperatures in order for the MPFL to perform efficiently, they need to be thermally isolated from one another. The HXs were therefore designed for high in-plane thermal conductivity and extremely low through-thickness thermal conductivity by using aerogel as an insulator inside composite honeycomb sandwich panels. A complex assembly of hand welded and uniquely bent aluminum tubes are bonded onto the HX panels and were specifically designed to be easily mated and demated to the rest of the Rover Heat Recovery and Rejection System (RHRS) in order to ease the integration effort. During the cruise phase to Mars, the HX assemblies serve the additional function of transferring heat from the Rover MPFL to the separate Cruise Stage MPFL so that heat

  16. Winds measured by the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS) during Curiosity's Bagnold Dunes Campaign

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newman, Claire E.; Gomez-Elvira, Javier; Navarro Lopez, Sara; Marin Jimenez, Mercedes; Torres Redondo, Josefina; Richardson, Mark I.

    2016-10-01

    Curiosity's damaged wind sensor has trouble measuring winds coming from behind the rover, due to the loss of its side-pointing boom during landing. During the Bagnold Dunes Campaign, however, the rover was turned to permit measurements of winds from missing directions, capturing upslope/downslope day-night flow on the slopes of Aeolis Mons and blocking of wind in the lee of a dune.The rover's heading is generally determined by the drive direction and often varies little over many tens of sols. Good wind measurements are made when the wind comes from the hemisphere to the front of the rover, but there are sometimes long periods during which winds from certain directions (i.e., at certain times of sol) are largely missed. Since rover turns are often precluded by rover safety and other operational constraints, it is usually not possible to turn to measure such winds properly.During the Bagnold Dunes Campaign, wind measurements were prioritized to provide context for aeolian dune studies. Rover headings were optimized for three wind investigations covering a period of about 90 sols. The first investigation characterized the wind field on approach to the dunes, with the rover turned to face two unusual headings for several sols each and monitoring focused on the 'missing' winds / times of sol. This confirmed the expected primary wind pattern of daytime roughly upslope winds (from ~NW/N) and nighttime downslope winds (from ~S/SE) on the slopes of Aeolis Mons, with significant sol-to-sol variability in e.g. the timing of the reversals. Comparison with the previous year suggests an increasingly upslope-downslope pattern as Curiosity approached the slope.The second investigation studied changes to the wind pattern in the lee of the Namib Dune. This revealed the blocking of northerly winds by the large dune, leaving primarily a westerly component to the daytime winds with weaker wind speeds.The third investigation characterized the wind field at the side of Namib Dune. The

  17. Contamination Knowledge Strategy for the Mars 2020 Sample-Collecting Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farley, K. A.; Williford, K.; Beaty, D W.; McSween, H. Y.; Czaja, A. D.; Goreva, Y. S.; Hausrath, E.; Herd, C. D. K.; Humayun, M.; McCubbin, F. M.; hide

    2017-01-01

    The Mars 2020 rover will collect carefully selected samples of rock and regolith as it explores a potentially habitable ancient environment on Mars. Using the drill, rock cores and regolith will be collected directly into ultraclean sample tubes that are hermetically sealed and, later, deposited on the surface of Mars for potential return to Earth by a subsequent mission. Thorough characterization of any contamination of the samples at the time of their analysis will be essential for achieving the objectives of Mars returned sample science (RSS). We refer to this characterization as contamination knowledge (CK), which is distinct from contamination control (CC). CC is the set of activities that limits the input of contaminating species into a sample, and is specified by requirement thresholds. CK consists of identifying and characterizing both potential and realized contamination to better inform scientific investigations of the returned samples. Based on lessons learned by other sample return missions with contamination-sensitive scientific objectives, CC needs to be "owned" by engineering, but CK needs to be "owned" by science. Contamination present at the time of sample analysis will reflect the sum of contributions from all contamination vectors up to that point in time. For this reason, understanding the integrated history of contamination may be crucial for deciphering potentially confusing contaminant-sensitive observations. Thus, CK collected during the Mars sample return (MSR) campaign must cover the time period from the initiation of hardware construction through analysis of returned samples in labs on Earth. Because of the disciplinary breadth of the scientific objectives of MSR, CK must include a broad spectrum of contaminants covering inorganic (i.e., major, minor, and trace elements), organic, and biological molecules and materials.

  18. Possible use of pattern recognition for the analysis of Mars rover X-ray fluorescence spectra

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yin, Lo I; Trombka, Jacob I.; Seltzer, Stephen M.; Johnson, Robert G.; Philpotts, John A.

    1989-01-01

    On the Mars rover sample-return mission, the rover vehicle will collect and select samples from different locations on the Martian surface to be brought back to earth for laboratory studies. It is anticipated that an in situ energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence (XRF) spectrometer will be on board the rover. On such a mission, sample selection is of higher priority than in situ quantitative chemical anlaysis. With this in mind, a pattern recognition technique is proposed as a simple, direct, and speedy alternative to detailed chemical analysis of the XRF spectra. The validity and efficacy of the pattern recognition technique are demonstrated by the analyses of laboratory XRF spectra obtained from a series of geological samples, in the form both of standardized pressed pellets and as unprepared rocks. It is found that pattern recognition techniques applied to the raw XRF spectra can provide for the same discrimination among samples as a knowledge of their actual chemical composition.

  19. 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.

  20. Mechanism for Deploying a Long, Thin-Film Antenna from a Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lazio, Joseph; Matthews, B.; Nesnas, Issa A.; Zarzhitsky, Dimitri

    2013-01-01

    Observations with radio telescopes address key problems in cosmology, astrobiology, heliophysics, and planetary science including the first light in the Universe (Cosmic Dawn), magnetic fields of extrasolar planets, particle acceleration mechanisms, and the lunar ionosphere. The Moon is a unique science platform because it allows access to radio frequencies that do not penetrate the Earth's ionosphere and because its far side is shielded from intense terrestrial emissions. A radio antenna can be realized by using polyimide film as a substrate, with a conducting substance deposited on it. Such an antenna can be rolled into a small volume for transport, then deployed by unrolling, and a robotic rover offers a natural means of unrolling a polyimide film-based antenna. An antenna deployment mechanism was developed that allows a thin film to be deposited onto a ground surface, in a controlled manner, using a minimally actuated rover. The deployment mechanism consists of two rollers, one driven and one passive. The antenna film is wrapped around the driven roller. The passive roller is mounted on linear bearings that allow it to move radially with respect to the driven roller. Springs preload the passive roller against the driven roller, and prevent the tightly wrapped film from unspooling or "bird's nesting" on the driven spool. The antenna deployment mechanism is integrated on the minimally-actuated Axel rover. Axel is a two-wheeled rover platform with a trailing boom that is capable of traversing undulated terrain and overcoming obstacles of a wheel radius in height. It is operated by four motors: one that drives each wheel; a third that controls the rotation of the boom, which orients the body mounted sensors; and a fourth that controls the rover's spool to drive the antenna roller. This low-mass axle-like rover houses its control and communication avionics inside its cylindrical body. The Axel rover teleoperation software has an auto-spooling mode that allows a user

  1. Task Adaptive Walking Robots for Mars Surface Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huntsberger, Terry; Hickey, Gregory; Kennedy, Brett; Aghazarian, Hrand

    2000-01-01

    There are exciting opportunities for robot science that lie beyond the reach of current manipulators, rovers, balloons, penetrators, etc. Examples include mobile explorations of the densely cratered Mars highlands, of asteroids, and of moons. These sites are believed to be rich in geologic history and mineralogical detail, but are difficult to robotically access and sample. The surface terrains are rough and changeable, with variable porosity and dust layering; and the small bodies present further challenges of low-temperature, micro-gravity environments. Even the more benign areas of Mars are highly variegated in character (>VL2 rock densities), presenting significant risk to conventional rovers. The development of compact walking robots would have applications to the current mission set for Mars surface exploration, as well as enabling future Mars Outpost missions, asteroid rendezvous missions for the Solar System Exploration Program (SSE) and the mechanical assembly/inspection of large space platforms for the Human Exploration and Development of Spaces (HEDS).

  2. 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.

  3. Fiber Optic Shape Sensing for Tethered Marsupial Rovers Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Luna Innovations Incorporated is proposing to design, build, and test a shape, length, and tension sensing tether for robotic exploration and sample-gathering...

  4. The PanCam Instrument for the ExoMars Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coates, A. J.; Jaumann, R.; Griffiths, A. D.; Leff, C. E.; Schmitz, N.; Josset, J.-L.; Paar, G.; Gunn, M.; Hauber, E.; Cousins, C. R.; Cross, R. E.; Grindrod, P.; Bridges, J. C.; Balme, M.; Gupta, S.; Crawford, I. A.; Irwin, P.; Stabbins, R.; Tirsch, D.; Vago, J. L.; Theodorou, T.; Caballo-Perucha, M.; Osinski, G. R.; PanCam Team

    2017-07-01

    The scientific objectives of the ExoMars rover are designed to answer several key questions in the search for life on Mars. In particular, the unique subsurface drill will address some of these, such as the possible existence and stability of subsurface organics. PanCam will establish the surface geological and morphological context for the mission, working in collaboration with other context instruments. Here, we describe the PanCam scientific objectives in geology, atmospheric science, and 3-D vision. We discuss the design of PanCam, which includes a stereo pair of Wide Angle Cameras (WACs), each of which has an 11-position filter wheel and a High Resolution Camera (HRC) for high-resolution investigations of rock texture at a distance. The cameras and electronics are housed in an optical bench that provides the mechanical interface to the rover mast and a planetary protection barrier. The electronic interface is via the PanCam Interface Unit (PIU), and power conditioning is via a DC-DC converter. PanCam also includes a calibration target mounted on the rover deck for radiometric calibration, fiducial markers for geometric calibration, and a rover inspection mirror.

  5. Why rover preparatory programmes? The example of the French programme "VAP"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moura, D. J. P.; Baiget, A.; Chaffaut, F. X.; Rocard, F.

    The very first activities concerning planetary rovers began in 1964 in the Soviet Union and in the United States for lunar missions. Nowadays, with the increase of new mission needs and technical possibilities, several space agencies have engaged in some preliminary programmes in that area with the following objectives: —to prepare their involvement in future international rover missions —to ease contacts/discussions between scientists and engineers —to study and develop a new generation of in situ experiments —to perform system/mission analysis in conjunction with the definition of the mission objectives —to analyze robotic problematics and implement robotic concepts in the rover architectures. To perform these activities, several organizations have been set up in Russia, the United States, Japan, Italy and France, according to the relative weight of space engineering over robotic research. In the case of the French programme ('VAP—Automatic Planetary Rover'), the organization is based on a partnership between the CNES, a scientific committee, four national research laboratories and industries in order to optimize scientific and technical work, with an optimal use of past robotic research studies, as well as to generate spin-offs for Earth applications. Indeed, as a preliminary result, we now have a co-operative agreement with Russia to procure cameras and associated software for the autonomous navigation of the Marsokhod 96 and 2 projects for terrestrial applications of robotic concepts defined within the framework of the VAP programme.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Rover mast calibration, exact camera pointing, and camara handoff for visual target tracking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Won S.; Ansar, Adnan I.; Steele, Robert D.

    2005-01-01

    This paper presents three technical elements that we have developed to improve the accuracy of the visual target tracking for single-sol approach-and-instrument placement in future Mars rover missions. An accurate, straightforward method of rover mast calibration is achieved by using a total station, a camera calibration target, and four prism targets mounted on the rover. The method was applied to Rocky8 rover mast calibration and yielded a 1.1-pixel rms residual error. Camera pointing requires inverse kinematic solutions for mast pan and tilt angles such that the target image appears right at the center of the camera image. Two issues were raised. Mast camera frames are in general not parallel to the masthead base frame. Further, the optical axis of the camera model in general does not pass through the center of the image. Despite these issues, we managed to derive non-iterative closed-form exact solutions, which were verified with Matlab routines. Actual camera pointing experiments aver 50 random target image paints yielded less than 1.3-pixel rms pointing error. Finally, a purely geometric method for camera handoff using stereo views of the target has been developed. Experimental test runs show less than 2.5 pixels error on high-resolution Navcam for Pancam-to-Navcam handoff, and less than 4 pixels error on lower-resolution Hazcam for Navcam-to-Hazcam handoff.

  9. Analysis Methods for the Polarimetric WISDOM Radar aboard the ExoMars Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plettemeier, D.; Benedix, W.-S.; Statz, C.; Lu, Y.; Herve, Y.; Le Gall, A.; Ciarletti, V.

    2017-09-01

    In this paper, we describe the capabilities of the fully polarimetric antenna system of the WISDOM GPR aboard the ExoMars rover in terms of a polarimetric data analysis as well as the setting and procedure for left-right-detection and entropy-based classification of (buried) objects.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. WISDOM GPR subsurface investigations in the Atacama desert during the SAFER rover operation simulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dorizon, Sophie; Ciarletti, Valérie; Vieau, André-Jean; Plettemeier, Dirk; Benedix, Wolf-Stefan; Mütze, Marco; Hassen-Kodja, Rafik; Humeau, Olivier

    2014-05-01

    SAFER (Sample Acquisition Field Experiment with a Rover) is a field trial that occured from 7th to 13th October 2013 in the Atacama desert, Chile. This trial was designed to gather together scientists and engineers in a context of a real spatial mission with a rover. This is ESA's opportunity to validate operations procedures for the ExoMars 2018 mission, since a rover, provided by Astrium, was equipped with three ExoMars payload instruments, namely the WISDOM (Water Ice Subsurface Deposits Observations on Mars) Ground Penetrating Radar, PANCAM (Panoramic Camera) and CLUPI (Close-UP Imager), and was used to experiment the real context of a Martian rover mission. The test site was located close to the Paranal ESO's Observatory (European Southern Observatorys) while the operations were conducted in the Satellite Applications Catapult remote Center in Harwell, UK. The location was chosen for its well-known resemblance with Mars' surface and its arid dryness. To provide the best from this trial, geologists, engineers and instrumentation scientists teams collaborated by processing and analyzing the data, planning in real time the next trajectories for the Bridget rover, as well as the sites of interest for WISDOM subsurface investigations. This WISDOM GPR has been designed to define the geological context of the ExoMars 2018 landing site by characterizing the shallow subsurface in terms of electromagnetic properties and structures. It will allow to lead the drill to locations of potential exobiologocal interest. WISDOM is a polarimetric step frequency radar operating from 0.5GHz to 3GHz, which allows a vertical resolution of a few centimeters over a few meters depth. Provided with a DEM (Digital Elevation Model) and a low-resolution map to assist the team with the rover's operations, several soudings with WISDOM were done over the area. The WISDOM data allowed, in collaboration with the SCISCYS team, to map the electromagnetic contrasts into the subsurface underneath

  13. A Mars Exploration Discovery Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, C. J.; Paige, D. A.

    2000-07-01

    The Mars Exploration Program should consider following the Discovery Program model. In the Discovery Program a team of scientists led by a PI develop the science goals of their mission, decide what payload achieves the necessary measurements most effectively, and then choose a spacecraft with the capabilities needed to carry the payload to the desired target body. The primary constraints associated with the Discovery missions are time and money. The proposer must convince reviewers that their mission has scientific merit and is feasible. Every Announcement of Opportunity has resulted in a collection of creative ideas that fit within advertised constraints. Following this model, a "Mars Discovery Program" would issue an Announcement of Opportunity for each launch opportunity with schedule constraints dictated by the launch window and fiscal constraints in accord with the program budget. All else would be left to the proposer to choose, based on the science the team wants to accomplish, consistent with the program theme of "Life, Climate and Resources". A proposer could propose a lander, an orbiter, a fleet of SCOUT vehicles or penetrators, an airplane, a balloon mission, a large rover, a small rover, etc. depending on what made the most sense for the science investigation and payload. As in the Discovery program, overall feasibility relative to cost, schedule and technology readiness would be evaluated and be part of the selection process.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tao, Yu; Muller, Jan-Peter

    2013-04-01

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

  15. 3D Vision on Mars: Stereo processing and visualizations for NASA and ESA rover missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huber, Ben

    2016-07-01

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

  16. Open-System Weathering at Gale Crater from the Chemistry of Mudstones Analyzed by the Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mangold, N.; Dehouck, E.; Forni, O.; Fedo, C.; Achilles, C.; Bristow, T.; Frydevang, J.; Gasnault, O.; L'Haridon, J.; Le Deit, L.; Maurice, S.; McLennan, S. M.; Meslin, P. Y.; Morrison, S.; Newsom, H. E.; Rampe, E.; Rivera-Hernandez, F.; Salvatore, M.; Wiens, R. C.

    2017-10-01

    Fine-grained sediments analyzed by ChemCam along the traverse of the Curiosity rover display increasing alteration identified by significantly high indices of alteration that are consistent with open system weathering .

  17. 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.

  18. Health Monitoring of a Planetary Rover Using Hybrid Particle Petri Nets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaudel, Quentin; Ribot, Pauline; Chanthery, Elodie; Daigle, Matthew J.

    2016-01-01

    This paper focuses on the application of a Petri Net-based diagnosis method on a planetary rover prototype.The diagnosis is performed by using a model-based method in the context of health management of hybrid systems.In system health management, the diagnosis task aims at determining the current health state of a system and the fault occurrences that lead to this state. The Hybrid Particle Petri Nets (HPPN) formalism is used to model hybrid systems behavior and degradation, and to define the generation of diagnosers to monitor the health states of such systems under uncertainty. At any time, the HPPN-based diagnoser provides the current diagnosis represented by a distribution of beliefs over the health states. The health monitoring methodology is demonstrated on the K11 rover. A hybrid model of the K11 is proposed and experimental results show that the approach is robust to real system data and constraints.

  19. Abundance and isotopic composition of gases in the martian atmosphere from the Curiosity rover

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mahaffy, P.R.; Webster, C.R.; Atreya, S.K.; Franz, H.; Wong, M.; Conrad, P.G.; Harpold, D.; Jones, J.J.; Leshin, L.A.; Manning, H.; Owen, T.; Pepin, R.O.; Squyres, S.; Trainer, M.; MSL Science Team, the

    2013-01-01

    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;

  20. Photogrammetric Processing of Rover Images by example of NASAs MER Mission Data

    OpenAIRE

    Peters, O.; Scholten, F.; Oberst, J.

    2011-01-01

    We have developed a photogrammetric processing scheme for planetary rover image data which involves several main steps: dense image matching, improvement of orientation, and 3d-reconstruction. The first step uses DLR matching software which originally was built for matching orbital imagery [1]. The main problem with close range imagery is the wide range of disparities caused by the varying distances to the surface in the foreground and in the background. If not specifically dealt with, th...

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Technology transfer from the space exploration initiative

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Buden, D.

    1991-06-14

    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.

  4. Technology transfer from the space exploration initiative

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Buden, D.

    1991-06-14

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  6. Design and Performance of the WISDOM Antenna System aboard the ExoMars Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plettemeier, D.; Ciarletti, V.; Hamran, S.; Corbel, C.; Linke, S.; Benedix, W.

    2009-04-01

    A full polarimetric antenna system on board the ExoMars rover is part of the Experiment "Water Ice and Subsurface Deposit Observations on Mars" (WISDOM). The WISDOM-Experiment is a Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) selected to be part of the Pasteur payload aboard the rover of the ExoMars mission. The Pasteur Panoramic Instruments (wide angle camera PANCAM, infrared spectrometer MIMA and WISDOM) will perform large-scale scientific investigations at the sites the Rover will visit. Among these instruments, WISDOM is the only one that can provide a view of the subsurface structure prior to drilling. WISDOM is the first space borne GPR aboard a rover and has been designed to characterize the shallow subsurface structure of Mars. WISDOM will give for the first time access to the geological structure, electromagnetic nature, and, possibly, of hydrological state of the shallow subsurface by retrieving the layering and properties of the buried reflectors. It will address some important related science questions regarding the planet present state and past evolution. The measured data will also be used to determine the most promising locations at which to obtain underground samples with the drilling system mounted on board the rover. The instrument objective for WISDOM is to get high-resolution measurements down to 2-meters depth in the Martian crust. The radar is a gated step frequency system covering the frequency range from 500 MHz to 3 GHz. The radar is fully polarimetric and makes use of four ultra wideband Vivaldi antennas. This poster describes the requirements, the design and the realization of the WISDOM antenna system accommodated on the ExoMars rover. Simulated antenna performance and measured antenna parameters as well as preliminary antenna test measurements performed in the lab and in permafrost regions on earth will be discussed in this poster presentation. The main design requirements of the WISDOM antenna system are driven one hand by the required science

  7. Chang'E-3 Science Exploration Progress

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zou, Yongliao; Ouyang, Ziyuan

    Chang’e-3 mission is the second phase of China Lunar Exploration Program which its main science objectives is to map the landing site and the rover path, determine its surface chemical composition and study the regional geological and geochemical characteristics, map the earth’s plasmasphere and study Earth’s plasmasphere responses to solar activity and plasma behaviors in the magnetosphere, monitor the variable stars, bright active galactic nuclei ( AGN ) and survey the sky. Eight scientific payloads onboard the CE-3 probe has obtained lots of data, and this paper will introduce their exploration progresses and some new scientific results. Key words: Chang’e-3 Mission, Science Exploration Progress, Scientific Payloads

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stack, K. M.; Edwards, C. S.; Grotzinger, J. P.; Gupta, S.; Sumner, D. Y.; Calef, F. J.; Edgar, L. A.; Edgett, K. S.; Fraeman, A. A.; Jacob, S. R.; Le Deit, L.; Lewis, K. W.; Rice, M. S.; Rubin, D.; Williams, R. M. E.; Williford, K. H.

    2016-12-01

    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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. NASA ROVER, Tackling Citizen Science With Grand Challenges and Everyday Problems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crecelius, Sarah; Chambers, Lin; Rogerson, Tina

    2015-01-01

    ROVER is the Citizen Science arm of the NASA Clouds and the Earth's Radiant Energy System (CERES) Students' Cloud Observations On-Line (S'COOL) Project. Since 2007, participants around the world have been making and reporting ground truth observations of clouds to assist in the validation of the NASA CERES satellite instrument. NASA scientists are very interested in learning how clouds affect our atmosphere, weather, and climate (relating to climate change). It is the clouds, in part, that affect the overall temperature and energy balance of the Earth. The more we know about clouds, the more we will know about our Earth as a system and citizen scientists are an important piece of that puzzle! As a ROVER cloud observer, all participants follow simple online tutorials to collect data on cloud type, height, cover and related conditions. Observations are sent to NASA to be matched to similar information obtained from satellites and sent back to participants for comparison and analysis. The supporting ROVER website houses a searchable database archiving all participant reports and matching satellite data. By involving Citizen Scientists in cloud observations and reporting we can gain a valuable set of data that would have been previously unavailable to science teams due to funding, manpower, and resource limitations or would have taken an unreasonable amount of time to collect. Reports from a wide range of Citizen Scientist locations are helpful to assess the satellite data under different conditions. With nothing more than their eyes and an internet connection participants provide a different perspective and analysis of clouds, adding to a more complete picture of what's happening in the atmosphere in which we live.

  12. CLUPI: CLose-UP Imager on.board the ExoMars Mission Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Josset, Jean-Luc

    The CLose-UP Imager (CLUPI) imaging experiment is designed to obtain high-resolution colour and stereo images of rocks from the ExoMars rover (Pasteur payload). The close-up imager is a robotic equivalent of one of the most useful instruments of the field geologist: the hand lens. Imaging of surfaces of rocks, soils and wind drift deposits is crucial for the understanding of the geological context of any site where the rover will be active on Mars. The purpose of the Close-up imager is to look an area of about 4 cm x 2.6 cm of the rocks at a focus distance of 10 cm. With a resolution of approx. 15 micrometer/pixel, many kinds of rock surface and internal structures can be visualized: crystals in igneous rocks, fracture mineralization, secondary minerals, details of the surface morphology, sediment components, sedimentary structures, soil particles. It is conceivable that even textures resulting from ancient biological activity can be seen, such as fine lamination due to microbial mats (stromatolites) and textures resulting from colonies of filamentous microbes. CLUPI is a powerful highly integrated miniaturized (¡208g) low-power robust imaging system with no mobile part, able to operate at very low temperature (-120° C). The opto-mechanical interfaces will be a smart assembly in titanium sustaining wide temperature range. The concept benefits from well-proven heritage: Proba, Rosetta, MarsExpress and Smart-1 missions. . . The close-up imager CLUPI on the ExoMars Rover will be described together with its capabilities to provide important information significantly contributing to the understanding of the geological environment and could identify outstanding potential biofabrics (stromatolites...) of past life on Mars.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Mission Profile and Design Challenges for Mars Landing Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

    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 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Design And Construction Of A Miniaturized Motor Controller For Interplanetary Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lofgren, Henrik; Lijemark, Tomas; Lamoureux, Enrique; Bruhn, Fredrik; Hagstrom, Maria; Hall, Karin; Ljunggren, Anders; Habinc, Sandi; Gruener, Gabriel; Rusconi, Andrea; Boyes, Ben; Wagenbach, Susanne; Poulakis, Pantelis; Kohler, Johan

    2011-10-01

    ÅAC Microtec AB is leading an international consortium developing a Motion Control Chip (MCC) for the European Space Agency (ESA) under a TRP contract. The team consists of the prime ÅAC (Sweden), Aeroflex Gaisler (Sweden), Centre Suisse d'Electroniqueet de Microtechnique (CSEM, Switzerland), Selex Galileo Italy), Astrium (UK) and DLR Institute of Space Systems (Germany). In order to improve performance of rovers and robotic arms, one solution is to place the controller physically as close as possible to the motors. This reduces the harness and hence saves weight, decreases thermal leakage from the main system body and simplifies the final assembly. Nevertheless, with this approach the constraints on the electronics become more stringent: the assembly has to survive a very wide temperature range as well as vibrations and possibly dust, and at the same time it should be as small and light as possible. To cope with these design constraints, the Motion Control Chip (MCC) is based on stacked ceramic substrate technology in a Multi Chip Module (MCM), on which active components are assembled as bare dies. This approach was chosen in favor of special large ASIC development to reduce cost and make the design more flexible. By choosing a MCM solution, the design will allow both FPGA and ASICs to be used. FPGAs are used initially to lower the prototyping cost and later be replaced with ASICs as the packaging technology is qualified for the extreme environments of ISS, Mars and Moon. The manufacturing of the first iteration of miniaturized MCC modules is ongoing and initial functional tests have been executed. The results are currently being evaluated and when this is finalized the full test campaign including environmental tests will planned in detail. The tests are assumed to be finalized during the spring of 2011. Aeroflex Gaisler is the official ESA maintainer of the RTEMS port for the LEON3 processor and has been providing support to several developments. CSEM is

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Extraterrestrial Moessbauer Spectroscopy: More than Three Years of Mars Exploration and Developments for Future Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schroeder, Christian; Klingelhoefer, Goestar; Morris, Richard V.; Rodionov, Daniel S.; Fleischer, Iris; Blumers, Mathias

    2007-01-01

    The NASA Mars Exploration Rovers (MER), Spirit and Opportunity, landed on the Red Planet in January 2004. Both rovers are equipped with a miniaturized Moessbauer spectrometer MIMOS II. Designed for a three months mission, both rovers and both Moessbauer instruments are still working after more than three years of exploring the Martian surface. At the beginning of the mission, with a landed intensity of the Moessbauer source of 150 mCi, a 30 minute touch and go measurement produced scientifically valuable data while a good quality Moessbauer spectrum was obtained after approximately eight hours. Now, after about five halflives of the sources have passed, Moessbauer integrations are routinely planned to last approx.48 hours. Because of this and other age-related hardware degradations of the two rover systems, measurements now occur less frequently, but are still of outstanding quality and scientific importance. Summarizing important Moessbauer results, Spirit has traversed the plains from her landing site in Gusev crater and is now, for the greater part of the mission, investigating the stratigraphically older Columbia Hills. Olivine in rocks and soils in the plains suggests that physical rather than chemical processes are currently active.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Human Habitation in a Lunar Electric Rover During a 14-Day Field Trial

    Science.gov (United States)

    Litaker, Harry, Jr.; Thompson, Shelby; Howard, Robert, Jr.

    2010-01-01

    Various military and commercial entities, as well as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), have conducted space cabin confinement studies. However, after an extensive literature search, only one study was found using a simulated lunar rover (LUNEX II), under laboratory conditions, with a crew of two for an eighteen day lunar mission. Forty-three years later, NASA human factors engineers conducted a similar study using the Lunar Electric Rover (LER) in a dynamic real-world lunar simulation at the Black Point Lava Flow in Arizona. The objective of the study was to obtain human-in-the-loop performance data on the vehicle s interior volume with respect to human-system interfaces, crew accommodations, and habitation over a 14-day mission. Though part of a larger study including 212 overall operational elements, this paper will discuss only the performance of fifty different daily habitational elements within the confines of the vehicle carried out by two male subjects. Objective timing data and subjective questionnaire data were collected. Results indicate, much like the LUNEX II study, the LER field study suggest that a crew of two was able to maintain a satisfactory performance of tasks throughout the 14-day field trail within a relative small vehicle volume.

  6. Second Unusual Guidebook to Terrestrial Field Work Studies: Astronauts with Roving Vehicle, Robotic Rovers on Planetary Surfaces (Seventh Concise Atlas in the Solar System Series of Textbooks at Eötvös University, Hungary)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mészáros, I.; Hargitai, H.; Horváth, A.; Kereszturi, A.; Sik, A.; Bérczi, Sz.

    2005-03-01

    Our new concise atlas of Solar System Environmental Studies shows a) Apollo's field works in lunar rock deserts, b) Lunokhod rovers' field works, c) Pathfinder's Sojourner's works around Sagan Station, and d) MER rovers' field works.

  7. 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.

  8. Strategies to Support Exploration of Mars' Surface

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirkland, L.; Sykes, M.; Farr, T.; Adams, J.; Blaney, D.

    2003-01-01

    Surface Visible infrared spectroscopy has a long history of providing fundamental compositional discoveries in the solar system. However, we are entering a new era of Mars exploration in which missions will take place nearly every 2 years.The visible infrared spectral community thus faces a more rapid influx in data volume and variety than it has previously handled.Visible- infrared instruments are on the 1996 Mars Global Surveyor, 2001 Mars Odyssey 2003 Mars Exploration Rovers, 2003 Mars Express, 2005 Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter; and likely on the 2007 and 2009 missions. Interpretations of those data sets provide a critical foundation for geologic and climatic interpretations as well as an opportunity to select landing sites.

  9. Charging and Subsequent Dissipation of a Rover Wheel in the Lunar Polar Regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, T. L.; Farrell, W. M.; Stubbs, T. J.

    2011-01-01

    As a roving vehicle moves along the lunar surface, electric charge will build up through tribo-charging. This charge collected by the roving object will have a dissipative path to either the surface or the ambient plasma, depending upon which path is most conductive. At the lunar terminator region and into nightside regions, the surface is very cold and becomes a very poor conductor. leaving the plasma as the dominant remediating current for dissipation. However, within lunar craters, even plasma currents become substantially reduced which then greatly increases electric 'dissipation times, This work will involve the advancement of the stepping astronaut charge model, by considering the charging and plasma dissipation of a rolling rover wheel, The objective of this work is to determine the nature of charging and discharging for a rover wheel as it rolls along the cold, plasma-starved lunar polar regions. The rotating wheel accumulates charge via contact electrification (tribo-charging) with the lunar regolith. This tribo-charging is dependent on the composition of the objects in contact, with insulators and conductors charging differently. Given the environmental plasma in the region, we then determine the dissipation time for the wheel to bleed off its excess charge into the surrounding plasma. A model of the rover wheel rotating continuously over a surface regolith within a polar crater has been applied. The environmental plasma has been described previously. We define a new tribo-charging term specifically for the rotating system, with charge levels defined as a function of the wheel size, area in contact with the regolith, regolith particle size distribution, as well as the velocity at which the wheel is turning. We recognize that as charged dust accumulates and sticks to the wheel, this behaves effectively as a new current. Hence, the overall charging of the system should no longer vary linearly. and begin to show signs of saturation, We are devising a dust

  10. 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

  11. MEP (Mars Environment Package): toward a package for studying environmental conditions at the surface of Mars from future lander/rover missions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chassefière, E; Bertaux, J-L; Berthelier, J-J; Cabane, M; Ciarletti, V; Durry, G; Forget, F; Hamelin, M; Leblanc, F; Menvielle, M; Gerasimov, M; Korablev, O; Linkin, S; Managadze, G; Jambon, A; Manhès, G; Lognonné, Ph; Agrinier, P; Cartigny, P; Giardini, D; Pike, T; Kofman, W; Herique, A; Coll, P; Person, A; Costard, F; Sarda, Ph; Paillou, Ph; Chaussidon, M; Marty, B; Robert, F; Maurice, S; Blanc, M; d'Uston, C; Sabroux, J-Ch; Pineau, J-F; Rochette, P

    2004-01-01

    In view to prepare Mars human exploration, it is necessary to promote and lead, at the international level, a highly interdisciplinary program, involving specialists of geochemistry, geophysics, atmospheric science, space weather, and biology. The goal of this program will be to elaborate concepts of individual instruments, then of integrated instrumental packages, able to collect exhaustive data sets of environmental parameters from future landers and rovers of Mars, and to favour the conditions of their implementation. Such a program is one of the most urgent need for preparing human exploration, in order to develop mitigation strategies aimed at ensuring the safety of human explorers, and minimizing risk for surface operations. A few main areas of investigation may be listed: particle and radiation environment, chemical composition of atmosphere, meteorology, chemical composition of dust, surface and subsurface material, water in the subsurface, physical properties of the soil, search for an hypothesized microbial activity, characterization of radio-electric properties of the Martian ionosphere. Scientists at the origin of the present paper, already involved at a high degree of responsibility in several Mars missions, and actively preparing in situ instrumentation for future landed platforms (Netlander--now cancelled, MSL-09), express their readiness to participate in both ESA/AURORA and NASA programs of Mars human exploration. They think that the formation of a Mars Environment working group at ESA, in the course of the AURORA definition phase, could act positively in favour of the program, by increasing its scientific cross-section and making it still more focused on human exploration. c2004 Published by Elsevier Ltd on behalf of COSPAR.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Note: Planetary gravities made simple: Sample test of a Mars rover wheel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Viera-López, G.; Serrano-Muñoz, A.; Amigó-Vega, J.; Cruzata, O.; Altshuler, E.

    2017-08-01

    We introduce an instrument for a wide spectrum of experiments on gravities other than our planet's. It is based on a large Atwood machine where one of the loads is a bucket equipped with a single board computer and different sensors. The computer is able to detect the falling (or rising) and then the stabilization of the effective gravity and to trigger actuators depending on the experiment. Gravities within the range 0.4 g-1.2 g are easily achieved with acceleration noise of the order of 0.01 g. Under Martian gravity, we are able to perform experiments of approximately 1.5 s duration. The system includes features such as WiFi and a web interface with tools for the setup, monitoring, and data analysis of the experiment. We briefly show a case study in testing the performance of a model Mars rover wheel in low gravities.

  17. Evaluating the Potential of Imaging Rover for Automatic Point Cloud Generation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cera, V.; Campi, M.

    2017-02-01

    The paper presents a phase of an on-going interdisciplinary research concerning the medieval site of Casertavecchia (Italy). The project aims to develop a multi-technique approach for the semantic - enriched 3D modeling starting from the automatic acquisition of several data. In particular, the paper reports the results of the first stage about the Cathedral square of the medieval village. The work is focused on evaluating the potential of an imaging rover for automatic point cloud generation. Each of survey techniques has its own advantages and disadvantages so the ideal approach is an integrated methodology in order to maximize single instrument performance. The experimentation was conducted on the Cathedral square of the ancient site of Casertavecchia, in Campania, Italy.

  18. 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.

  19. A Comparison Between The NORCAT Rover Test Results and the ISRU Excavation System Model Predictions Results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallo, Christopher A.; Agui, Juan H.; Creager, Colin M.; Oravec, Heather A.

    2012-01-01

    An Excavation System Model has been written to simulate the collection and transportation of regolith on the moon. The calculations in this model include an estimation of the forces on the digging tool as a result of excavation into the regolith. Verification testing has been performed and the forces recorded from this testing were compared to the calculated theoretical data. The Northern Centre for Advanced Technology Inc. rovers were tested at the NASA Glenn Research Center Simulated Lunar Operations facility. This testing was in support of the In-Situ Resource Utilization program Innovative Partnership Program. Testing occurred in soils developed at the Glenn Research Center which are a mixture of different types of sands and whose soil properties have been well characterized. This testing is part of an ongoing correlation of actual field test data to the blade forces calculated by the Excavation System Model. The results from this series of tests compared reasonably with the predicted values from the code.

  20. Advanced Methods for Determining Prediction Uncertainty in Model-Based Prognostics with Application to Planetary Rovers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daigle, Matthew J.; Sankararaman, Shankar

    2013-01-01

    Prognostics is centered on predicting the time of and time until adverse events in components, subsystems, and systems. It typically involves both a state estimation phase, in which the current health state of a system is identified, and a prediction phase, in which the state is projected forward in time. Since prognostics is mainly a prediction problem, prognostic approaches cannot avoid uncertainty, which arises due to several sources. Prognostics algorithms must both characterize this uncertainty and incorporate it into the predictions so that informed decisions can be made about the system. In this paper, we describe three methods to solve these problems, including Monte Carlo-, unscented transform-, and first-order reliability-based methods. Using a planetary rover as a case study, we demonstrate and compare the different methods in simulation for battery end-of-discharge prediction.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. The Effect of Assistive Anchor-Like Grousers on Wheeled Rover Performance over Unconsolidated Sandy Dune Inclines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ahmad Najmuddin Ibrahim

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Typical rovers with wheels equipped with conventional grousers are prone to getting stuck in unconsolidated sandy dune inclines as the wheels tend to sink into the sand. This phenomenon is caused by the motion of the grouser through the sand during the latter half of the rotation, in which the grouser pushes the sand from underneath the wheel upwards and towards the backside of the wheel. This creates a space that the wheel can sink into. To minimize sand movement and subsequent sinkage, we propose the concept of using an “assistive grouser”, which is attached to the side of a conventional rover wheel. The assistive grouser is designed to be able to autonomously maintain a uniform angle relative to the rover body independent of the rotation of the wheels. Rotating the wheel causes the assistive grousers to automatically penetrate into the sand slope surface at a constant angle of attack, thereby acting as an anchor and providing traction for the wheel. Maintaining a uniform grouser angle as opposed to a rotating motion also assists in extracting the grouser out of the sand without moving the sand towards the back of the wheel. Moreover, the angle of the assistive grousers is held constantly by a single dedicated motor, meaning that the angle of the assistive grousers can be optimized to provide the least amount of sinkage for each slope angle. The experimental results showed that for slope angles of 0–30 degrees, the rover equipped with the proposed assistive grousers experienced significantly less sinkage and consumed less current compared to the rover equipped with conventional grousers.

  4. The Effect of Assistive Anchor-Like Grousers on Wheeled Rover Performance over Unconsolidated Sandy Dune Inclines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibrahim, Ahmad Najmuddin; Aoshima, Shinichi; Shiroma, Naoji; Fukuoka, Yasuhiro

    2016-09-15

    Typical rovers with wheels equipped with conventional grousers are prone to getting stuck in unconsolidated sandy dune inclines as the wheels tend to sink into the sand. This phenomenon is caused by the motion of the grouser through the sand during the latter half of the rotation, in which the grouser pushes the sand from underneath the wheel upwards and towards the backside of the wheel. This creates a space that the wheel can sink into. To minimize sand movement and subsequent sinkage, we propose the concept of using an "assistive grouser", which is attached to the side of a conventional rover wheel. The assistive grouser is designed to be able to autonomously maintain a uniform angle relative to the rover body independent of the rotation of the wheels. Rotating the wheel causes the assistive grousers to automatically penetrate into the sand slope surface at a constant angle of attack, thereby acting as an anchor and providing traction for the wheel. Maintaining a uniform grouser angle as opposed to a rotating motion also assists in extracting the grouser out of the sand without moving the sand towards the back of the wheel. Moreover, the angle of the assistive grousers is held constantly by a single dedicated motor, meaning that the angle of the assistive grousers can be optimized to provide the least amount of sinkage for each slope angle. The experimental results showed that for slope angles of 0-30 degrees, the rover equipped with the proposed assistive grousers experienced significantly less sinkage and consumed less current compared to the rover equipped with conventional grousers.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Automated Grouping of Opportunity Rover Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer Compositional Data

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    The Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) conducts high-precision in situ measurements of rocks and soils on both active NASA Mars rovers. Since 2004 the rover Opportunity has acquired around 440 unique APXS measurements, including a wide variety of compositions, during its 42+ kilometers traverse across several geological formations. Here we discuss an analytical comparison algorithm providing a means to cluster samples due to compositional similarity and the resulting automated classification scheme. Due to the inherent variance of elements in the APXS data set, each element has an associated weight that is inversely proportional to the variance. Thus, the more consistent the abundance of an element in the data set, the more it contributes to the classification. All 16 elements standard to the APXS data set are considered. Careful attention is also given to the errors associated with the composition measured by the APXS - larger uncertainties reduce the weighting of the element accordingly. The comparison of two targets, i and j, generates a similarity score, S(sub ij). This score is immediately comparable to an average ratio across all elements if one assumes standard weighted uncertainty. The algorithm facilitates the classification of APXS targets by chemistry alone - independent of target appearance and geological context which can be added later as a consistency check. For the N targets considered, a N by N hollow matrix, S, is generated where S = S(sup T). The average relation score, S(sub av), for target N(sub i) is simply the average of column i of S. A large S(sub av) is indicative of a unique sample. In such an instance any targets with a low comparison score can be classified alike. The threshold between classes requires careful consideration. Applying the algorithm to recent Marathon Valley targets indicates similarities with Burns formation and average-Mars-like rocks encountered earlier at Endeavour Crater as well as a new class of felsic rocks.

  8. Indicators and Methods to Understand Past Environments from ExoMars Rover Drills

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kereszturi, A.; Bradak, B.; Chatzitheodoridis, E.; Ujvari, G.

    2016-11-01

    Great advances are expected during the analysis of drilled material acquired from 2 m depth by ExoMars rover, supported by the comparison to local context, and the joint use of different instruments. Textural information might be less detailed relatively to what is usually obtained at outcrops during classical geological field work on the Earth, partly because of the lack of optical imaging of the borehole wall and also because the collected samples are crushed. However sub-mm scale layering and some other sedimentary features might be identified in the borehole wall observations, or in the collected sample prior to crushing, and also at nearby outcrops. The candidate landing sites provide different targets and focus for research: Oxia Planum requires analysis of phyllosilicates and OH content, at Mawrth Vallis the layering of various phyllosilicates and the role of shallow-subsurface leaching should be emphasized. At Aram Dorsum the particle size and fluvial sedimentary features will be interesting. Hydrated perchlorates and sulphates are ideal targets possibly at every landing sites because of OH retention, especially if they are mixed with smectites, thus could point to even ancient wet periods. Extensive use of information from the infrared wall scanning will be complemented for geological context by orbital and rover imaging of nearby outcrops. Information from the context is especially useful to infer the possible action of past H2O. Separation of the ice and liquid water effects will be supported by cation abundance and sedimentary context. Shape of grains also helps here, and composition of transported grains points to the weathering potential of the environment in general. The work on Mars during the drilling and sample analysis will provide brand new experience and knowledge for future missions.

  9. Mining remote-image repositories with application to Mars Rover stereoscopic image datasets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Willis, Andrew; Shadid, Waseem; Eppes, Martha C.

    2009-02-01

    As of December 2008, the two Mars rover spacecraft Spirit and Opportunity have collected more than 4 years worth of data from nine imaging instruments producing greater than 200k images which includes both raw image data from spacecraft instruments and images generated by post-processing algorithms developed by NASA's Multimission Image Processing Laboratory (MIPL). This paper describes a prototype software system that allows scientists to browse and data-mine the images produced from NASA's Mars Exploratory Rover (MER) missions with emphasis on the automatic detection of images containing rocks that are of interest for geological research. We highlight two aspects of our prototype system: (1) software design for mining remote data repositories, (2) a computationally efficient image search engine for detecting MER images that containing rocks. Datatype abstractions made at the software design level allow users to access and visualize the source data through a single simple-to-use interface when the underlying data may originate from a local or remote image repository. Data mining queries into the MER image data are specified over chronological intervals denoted (sols) as each interval is a solar day. As in other mining applications, an automatic detection and classification algorithm is used to compute a relevance score that represents how relevant a given recorded image is to the user-specified query. Query results are presented as list of records, sorted by their relevance score, which the user may then visualize and investigate to extract information of interest. Several standard image analysis tools are provided for investigation of 2D images (e.g., histogram equalization, edge detection, etc.) and, when available, stereoscopic data is integrated with the image data using multiple windows which show both the 2D image and 3D surface geometry. The combination of data mining and a high-quality visualization interface provides MER researchers unprecedented access

  10. The meteorology of Gale crater as determined from rover environmental monitoring station observations and numerical modeling. Part I: Comparison of model simulations with observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pla-Garcia, Jorge; Rafkin, Scot C. R.; Kahre, Melinda; Gomez-Elvira, Javier; Hamilton, Victoria E.; Navarro, Sara; Torres, Josefina; Marín, Mercedes; Vasavada, Ashwin R.

    2016-12-01

    Air temperature, ground temperature, pressure, and wind speed and direction data obtained from the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station onboard the Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity are compared to data from the Mars Regional Atmospheric Modeling System. A full diurnal cycle at four different seasons (Ls 0, 90, 180 and 270) is investigated at the rover location within Gale crater, Mars. Model results are shown to be in good agreement with observations when considering the uncertainties in the observational data set. The good agreement provides justification for utilizing the model results to investigate the broader meteorological environment of the Gale crater region, which is described in the second, companion paper.

  11. Aqueous Alteration of Outcrops on Endeavour Crater on Mars Inferred from Spatially Oversampled CRISM Spectra and Opportunity Rover Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arvidson, R. E.; Squyres, S. W.; Murchie, S. L.; McLennan, S. M.; Knoll, A. H.; Catalano, J. G.

    2013-12-01

    Spatially-sharpened CRISM hyperspectral imaging data enabled orbital mapping of a subtle (several weight percent) nontronite (Fe+3 dioctahedral smectite) clay signature in a previously unidentified small rock outcrop on the Cape York portion of the rim of the Noachian-aged Endeavour Crater. Opportunity rover data show that the signature corresponds to finely-layered strata (subset of the Whitewater Lake formation) that were uplifted and overlain by Shoemaker formation impact breccias during the Endeavour crater-forming event. Layers within these Whitewater Lake strata are typically less than or about equal to ~1 cm thick and texturally range from muddy sandstones to materials too fine to resolve in the 30 μm/pixel Microscopic Imager data. These rocks are partially covered by thin, glossy dark veneers locally associated with box-like fractures filled with dark veins. The rocks and veneers have basaltic elemental compositions, with higher concentrations in the veneers of elements easily mobilized by water (Zn, S, Cl, and Br). Cross cutting relationships demonstrate that the veneers post-date Ca-sulfate veins that cut through Whitewater Lake rocks and the overlying impact breccias and also post-date relatively large Whitewater Lake boxwork fractures where compositional data indicate extensive aqueous leaching of rocks within the fractures. Weakly acidic groundwater is inferred to have flowed through fractures and permeable layers within the layered Whitewater Lake strata and become neutralized by reactions with the basaltic materials, leaving behind salts and a minor amount of nontronite in the dark veneers. A greater water flux through the large, permeable boxwork fractures is inferred to have locally produced a greater degree of alteration. Three episodes of post-depositional aqueous alteration are thus clearly evident in the investigated strata: formation of Ca-sulfate veins after Endeavour crater formed, significant alteration to produce extensive alteration

  12. 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

  13. Nuclear power systems for lunar and Mars exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1990-01-01

    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 have been identified as critical needs for these missions. These mission scenarios, the concomitant power system requirements, and the power system options considered are discussed. The significant potential benefits of nuclear power are identified for meeting the power needs of the above applications.

  14. Key Differences in Operating a Rover on the Moon vs. Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trimble, Jay

    2017-01-01

    The command and control model for spacecraft operations, as well as the distribution of tasks between ground assets and in space assets, whether with a crew or solely robotic, is fundamentally constrained by the round trip light time between the space asset and the control facility (presumably on Earth, though not required). For an asset on Mars, the round trip light time varies, from roughly fourteen minutes to up to forty minutes. For a Lunar asset the round-trip light time is measured in only a few seconds, but current communications systems may more than double the latency with system overhead. For a Lunar Asset the total command latency may range from six seconds to more than forty, depending on communications overhead and data rates. Further, these variables are not always predictable, thus complicating operations. There are several differentiating factors for Lunar vs. Mars operations, Round trip light time/Atmosphere/Lighting and ShadowsTerrain type and knowledge/Round trip light time has implications for the distribution of tasks between ground and in space assets. Even at Lunar Distances, the combination of round trip light time plus communications systems overhead does not enable joy stick driving of a rover. The best that can be done, if driving from Earth, is near real time command and control. By 2030, driving from in space may be possible. Productivity on Mars requires either long operational sequences of commands, as is done for current rovers such as Curiosity, significant autonomous capability or, as may be possible by 2030, command and control support from space. Another implication of the long round trip light time from Earth to Mars, is that flight software functions must be resident on the in space asset. On the Moon, there is considerably more flexibility, enabling processing functions, to be resident on Earth or in space. This provides the opportunity to take advantage of the considerable processing power available on the ground, but may be

  15. CONSTRUCTION OF A 3D MEASURABLE VIRTUAL REALITY ENVIRONMENT BASED ON GROUND PANORAMIC IMAGES AND ORBITAL IMAGERY FOR PLANETARY EXPLORATION APPLICATIONS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Di

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a method of constructing a measurable virtual reality environment based on ground (lander/rover panoramic images and orbital imagery. Ground panoramic images acquired by a lander/rover at different azimuth and elevation angles are automatically registered, seamlessly mosaicked and projected onto a cylindrical surface. A specific function is developed for inverse calculation from the panorama back to the original images so that the 3D information associated with the original stereo images can be retrieved or computed. The three-dimensional measurable panorama is integrated into a globe viewer based on NASA World Wind. The techniques developed in this research can be used in visualization of and measuring the orbital and ground images for planetary exploration missions, especially rover missions.

  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

    2015-01-01

    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

  17. The Close-Up Imager Onboard the ESA ExoMars Rover: Objectives, Description, Operations, and Science Validation Activities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Josset, Jean-Luc; Westall, Frances; Hofmann, Beda A.; Spray, John; Cockell, Charles; Kempe, Stephan; Griffiths, Andrew D.; De Sanctis, Maria Cristina; Colangeli, Luigi; Koschny, Detlef; Föllmi, Karl; Verrecchia, Eric; Diamond, Larryn; Josset, Marie; Javaux, Emmanuelle J.; Esposito, Francesca; Gunn, Matthew; Souchon-Leitner, Audrey L.; Bontognali, Tomaso R. R.; Korablev, Oleg; Erkman, Suren; Paar, Gerhard; Ulamec, Stephan; Foucher, Frédéric; Martin, Philippe; Verhaeghe, Antoine; Tanevski, Mitko; Vago, Jorge L.

    2017-07-01

    The Close-Up Imager (CLUPI) onboard the ESA ExoMars Rover is a powerful high-resolution color camera specifically designed for close-up observations. Its accommodation on the movable drill allows multiple positioning. The science objectives of the instrument are geological characterization of rocks in terms of texture, structure, and color and the search for potential morphological biosignatures. We present the CLUPI science objectives, performance, and technical description, followed by a description of the instrument's planned operations strategy during the mission on Mars. CLUPI will contribute to the rover mission by surveying the geological environment, acquiring close-up images of outcrops, observing the drilling area, inspecting the top portion of the drill borehole (and deposited fines), monitoring drilling operations, and imaging samples collected by the drill. A status of the current development and planned science validation activities is also given.

  18. 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.

  19. Space exploration

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Chris Moore

    2012-01-01

      Here, Moore presents a year in review on space exploration programs. This 2012 NASA's strategy of stimulating the development of commercial capabilities to launch crew and cargo to the ISS began to pay off...

  20. Evaluation of Composite Structures Technologies for Application to NASA's Vision for Space Exploration (CoSTS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deo, Ravi; Wang, Donny; Bohlen, Jim; Fukuda, Cliff

    2008-01-01

    A trade study was conducted to determine the suitability of composite structures for weight and life cycle cost savings in primary and secondary structural systems for crew exploration vehicles, crew and cargo launch vehicles, landers, rovers, and habitats. The results of the trade study were used to identify and rank order composite material technologies that can have a near-term impact on a broad range of exploration mission applications. This report recommends technologies that should be developed to enable usage of composites on Vision for Space Exploration vehicles towards mass and life-cycle cost savings.

  1. The WISDOM Radar: Unveiling the Subsurface Beneath the ExoMars Rover and Identifying the Best Locations for Drilling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciarletti, Valérie; Clifford, Stephen; Plettemeier, Dirk; Le Gall, Alice; Hervé, Yann; Dorizon, Sophie; Quantin-Nataf, Cathy; Benedix, Wolf-Stefan; Schwenzer, Susanne; Pettinelli, Elena; Heggy, Essam; Herique, Alain; Berthelier, Jean-Jacques; Kofman, Wlodek; Vago, Jorge L.; Hamran, Svein-Erik; WISDOM Team

    2017-07-01

    The search for evidence of past or present life on Mars is the principal objective of the 2020 ESA-Roscosmos ExoMars Rover mission. If such evidence is to be found anywhere, it will most likely be in the subsurface, where organic molecules are shielded from the destructive effects of ionizing radiation and atmospheric oxidants. For this reason, the ExoMars Rover mission has been optimized to investigate the subsurface to identify, understand, and sample those locations where conditions for the preservation of evidence of past life are most likely to be found. The Water Ice Subsurface Deposit Observation on Mars (WISDOM) ground-penetrating radar has been designed to provide information about the nature of the shallow subsurface over depth ranging from 3 to 10 m (with a vertical resolution of up to 3 cm), depending on the dielectric properties of the regolith. This depth range is critical to understanding the geologic evolution stratigraphy and distribution and state of subsurface H2O, which provide important clues in the search for life and the identification of optimal drilling sites for investigation and sampling by the Rover's 2-m drill. WISDOM will help ensure the safety and success of drilling operations by identification of potential hazards that might interfere with retrieval of subsurface samples.

  2. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muhammad Ilyas

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Geologic overview of the Mars Science Laboratory rover mission at the Kimberley, Gale crater, Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rice, Melissa S.; Gupta, Sanjeev; Treiman, Allan H.; Stack, Kathryn M.; Calef, Fred; Edgar, Lauren A.; Grotzinger, John; Lanza, Nina; Le Deit, Laetitia; Lasue, Jeremie; Siebach, Kirsten L.; Vasavada, Ashwin; Wiens, Roger C.; Williams, Joshua

    2017-01-01

    The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover completed a detailed investigation at the Kimberley waypoint within Gale crater from sols 571-634 using its full science instrument payload. From orbital images examined early in the Curiosity mission, the Kimberley region had been identified as a high-priority science target based on its clear stratigraphic relationships in a layered sedimentary sequence that had been exposed by differential erosion. Observations of the stratigraphic sequence at the Kimberley made by Curiosity are consistent with deposition in a prograding, fluvio-deltaic system during the late Noachian to early Hesperian, prior to the existence of most of Mount Sharp. Geochemical and mineralogic analyses suggest that sediment deposition likely took place under cold conditions with relatively low water-to-rock ratios. Based on elevated K2O abundances throughout the Kimberley formation, an alkali feldspar protolith is likely one of several igneous sources from which the sediments were derived. After deposition, the rocks underwent multiple episodes of diagenetic alteration with different aqueous chemistries and redox conditions, as evidenced by the presence of Ca-sulfate veins, Mn-oxide fracture fills, and erosion-resistant nodules. More recently, the Kimberley has been subject to significant aeolian abrasion and removal of sediments to create modern topography that slopes away from Mount Sharp, a process that has continued to the present day.

  6. 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.

  7. Mars Pathfinder Spacecraft, Lander, and Rover Testing in Simulated Deep Space and Mars Surface Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Kenneth R.

    1997-01-01

    The Mars Pathfinder (MPF) Spacecraft was built and tested at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory during 1995/96. MPF is scheduled to launch in December 1996 and to land on Mars on July 4, 1997. The testing program for MPF required subjecting the mission hardware to both deep space and Mars surface conditions. A series of tests were devised and conducted from 1/95 to 7/96 to study the thermal response of the MPF spacecraft to the environmental conditions in which it will be exposed during the cruise phase (on the way to Mars) and the lander phase (landed on Mars) of the mission. Also, several tests were conducted to study the thermal characteristics of the Mars rover, Sojourner, under Mars surface environmental conditions. For these tests, several special test fixtures and methods were devised to simulate the required environmental conditions. Creating simulated Mars surface conditions was a challenging undertaking since Mars' surface is subjected to diurnal cycling between -20 C and -85 C, with windspeeds to 20 m/sec, occurring in an 8 torr CO2 atmosphere. This paper describes the MPF test program which was conducted at JPL to verify the MPF thermal design.

  8. Farside explorer

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

    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...... 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...

  9. Improving Lunar Exploration with Robotic Follow-up

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fong, T.; Bualat, M.; Deans, M.; Heggy E.; Helper, M.; Hodges, K.; Lee, P.

    2011-01-01

    We are investigating how augmenting human field work with subsequent robot activity can improve lunar exploration. Robotic "follow-up" might involve: completing geology observations; making tedious or long-duration measurements of a target site or feature; curating samples in-situ; and performing unskilled, labor-intensive work. To study this technique, we have begun conducting a series of lunar analog field tests at Haughton Crater (Canada). Motivation: In most field geology studies on Earth, explorers often find themselves left with a set of observations they would have liked to make, or samples they would have liked to take, if only they had been able to stay longer in the field. For planetary field geology, we can imagine mobile robots - perhaps teleoperated vehicles previously used for manned exploration or dedicated planetary rovers - being deployed to perform such follow-up activities [1].

  10. Sailing the Planets: Science from Directed Aerial Robot Explorers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nock, K.; Pankine, A.

    2004-12-01

    In the past 50 years planetary exploration has evolved from being a subject of science fiction to a multi-billion dollar activity that embraces numerous branches of science, engineering and government on several continents, affects national policies and excites the public. The development of new observational platforms - orbiters, landers and rovers - has been central to successful exploration of the planets. The maturing of planetary exploration suggests that a unifying approach to planetary exploration - one that would reduce costs and facilitate discovery - is needed. Global Aerospace Corporation under funding from the NASA institute for Advanced Concepts (NIAC) is developing a concept for planetary exploration architecture that would provide such an approach. At the core of the architecture are the Directed Aerial Robot Explorer (DARE) platforms, which are autonomous balloons with path guidance capabilities that can deploy swarms of miniature robotic probes over multiple target areas. These platforms will observe planets in concert with orbiter(s) and surface platforms (landers and rovers) on global scales continuously for several years. Due to their relatively low cost and low power consumption balloons represent a very attractive platform for planetary exploration. Indeed, the successful Venera-Vega Project demonstrated technical feasibility of deploying a balloon on another planet and the wealth of opportunities presented by a balloon platform for planetary atmospheric and surface studies. Concepts for planetary balloon exploration of Mars, Venus, Titan and the Outer Planets have been studied. The DARE architecture revolutionizes these early concepts by providing the balloon, for the first time, a means of flight path control and autonomous navigation, and by integrating the balloon platform with innovative lightweight microprobes. In addition, DARE platforms can make concurrent observations with other observational platforms leading to a revolutionary

  11. Integration of Notification with 3D Visualization of Rover Operations Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Future NASA exploration missions will rely on remote operation of robots. As human explorers move further away from Earth, robotic precursors will scout destinations...

  12. Astrobiology and Venus exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grinspoon, David H.; Bullock, Mark A.

    early Venus and early Earth type planets from the first 2 billion years of their evolution as it is that we will find "mature Venus" and "mature Earth"type planets that are roughly 4.5 billion years old. Therefore, in order to be poised to use the results of these future observations of extrasolar planets to make valid, generalized inferences about the size, shape and evolution of stellar habitable zones it is vital that we obtain a much deeper understanding of the evolutionary histories and divergence of Earth and Venus. The Mars Exploration Rover findings of evidence for aqueous conditions on early Mars have intensified interest in the possible origin and evolution of life on early Mars. Yet the evidence suggests that these deposits were formed in a highly acidic and sulfur-rich environment. During this phase, Mars may well have had sulfuric acid clouds sustained by vigorous, sulfur-rich volcanism. This suggests that a greater understanding of the chemistry of the Venusian atmosphere and clouds, and surface/atmosphere interactions, may help to characterize the environment of Mars when life may have formed there. In turn, if signs of early life are found on Mars during the upcoming decades of intensive astrobiological exploration planned for that planet, it will strengthen arguments for the plausibility of life in an early and gradually acidifying Venusian environment. Of our two neighboring planets, Venus and Mars, it is not yet known which held on to its surface oceans, and early habitable conditions, for longer.

  13. Path-following control of wheeled planetary exploration robots moving on deformable rough terrain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Liang; Gao, Hai-bo; Deng, Zong-quan; Li, Zhijun; Xia, Ke-rui; Duan, Guang-ren

    2014-01-01

    The control of planetary rovers, which are high performance mobile robots that move on deformable rough terrain, is a challenging problem. Taking lateral skid into account, this paper presents a rough terrain model and nonholonomic kinematics model for planetary rovers. An approach is proposed in which the reference path is generated according to the planned path by combining look-ahead distance and path updating distance on the basis of the carrot following method. A path-following strategy for wheeled planetary exploration robots incorporating slip compensation is designed. Simulation results of a four-wheeled robot on deformable rough terrain verify that it can be controlled to follow a planned path with good precision, despite the fact that the wheels will obviously skid and slip.

  14. 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.

  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. Mars Rover Missions and Science Education: A Decade of Education and Public Outreach Using the Mars Exploration Rover Mission at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aubele, J. C.; Crumpler, L. S.

    2014-07-01

    New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science exhibits and educational programming related to the MER mission reached over two million museum visitors through exhibits and over 15,000 participants in targeted educational programs.

  17. Enabling Nanosat Mobility and Autonomy for Small Bodies Exploration Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Develop control and planning algorithms for a science-driven spacecraft/rover hybrid, such that the rover is able to autonomously reach designated targets and point...

  18. Global Exploration Roadmap Derived Concept for Human Exploration of the Moon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitley, Ryan; Landgraf, Markus; Sato, Naoki; Picard, Martin; Goodliff, Kandyce; Stephenson, Keith; Narita, Shinichiro; Gonthier, Yves; Cowley, Aiden; Hosseini, Shahrzad; hide

    2017-01-01

    Taking advantage of the development of Mars-forward assets in cislunar space, a human lunar surface concept is proposed to maximize value for both lunar exploration and future deep space missions. The human lunar surface missions will be designed to build upon the cislunar activities that precede them, providing experience in planetary surface operations that cannot be obtained in cislunar space. To enable a five-mission limited campaign to the surface of the Moon, two new elements are required: a human lunar lander and a mobile surface habitat. The human lunar lander will have been developed throughout the cislunar phase from a subscale demonstrator and will consist of a descent module alongside a reusable ascent module. The reusable ascent module will be used for all five human lunar surface missions. Surface habitation, in the form of two small pressurized rovers, will enable 4 crew to spend up to 42 days on the lunar surface.

  19. Exploring quadrangulations

    KAUST Repository

    Peng, Chihan

    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.

  20. FIDO prototype Mars rover field trials, Black Rock Summit, Nevada, as test of the ability of robotic mobility systems to conduct field science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arvidson, R. E.; Squyres, S. W.; Baumgartner, E. T.; Schenker, P. S.; Niebur, C. S.; Larsen, K. W.; SeelosIV, F. P.; Snider, N. O.; Jolliff, B. L.

    2002-08-01

    The Field Integration Design and Operations (FIDO) prototype Mars rover was deployed and operated remotely for 2 weeks in May 2000 in the Black Rock Summit area of Nevada. The blind science operation trials were designed to evaluate the extent to which FIDO-class rovers can be used to conduct traverse science and collect samples. FIDO-based instruments included stereo cameras for navigation and imaging, an infrared point spectrometer, a color microscopic imager for characterization of rocks and soils, and a rock drill for core acquisition. Body-mounted ``belly'' cameras aided drill deployment, and front and rear hazard cameras enabled terrain hazard avoidance. Airborne Visible and Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) data, a high spatial resolution IKONOS orbital image, and a suite of descent images were used to provide regional- and local-scale terrain and rock type information, from which hypotheses were developed for testing during operations. The rover visited three sites, traversed 30 m, and acquired 1.3 gigabytes of data. The relatively small traverse distance resulted from a geologically rich site in which materials identified on a regional scale from remote-sensing data could be identified on a local scale using rover-based data. Results demonstrate the synergy of mapping terrain from orbit and during descent using imaging and spectroscopy, followed by a rover mission to test inferences and to make discoveries that can be accomplished only with surface mobility systems.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-10-01

    The scientific objectives of the 2018 ExoMars rover mission are to search for traces of past or present life and to characterise the near-sub surface. Both objectives require study of the rock/regolith materials in terms of structure, textures, mineralogy, and elemental and organic composition. The 2018 ExoMars rover payload consists of a suite of complementary instruments designed to reach these objectives. CLUPI, the high-performance colour close up imager, on board the 2018 ExoMars Rover plays an important role in attaining the mission objectives: it is the equivalent of the hand lens that no geologist is without when undertaking field work. CLUPI is a powerful, highly integrated miniaturized (smart assembly in titanium that can sustain a wide temperature range. The concept benefits from well-proven heritage: Proba, Rosetta, MarsExpress and Smart-1 missions… In a typical field scenario, the geologist will use his/her eyes to make an overview of an area and the outcrops within it to determine sites of particular interest for more detailed study. In the ExoMars scenario, the PanCam wide angle cameras (WACS) will be used for this task. After having made a preliminary general evaluation, the geologist will approach a particular outcrop for closer observation of structures at the decimetre to subdecimeter scale (ExoMars' High Resolution Camera) before finally getting very close up to the surface with a hand lens (ExoMars' CLUPI), and/or taking a hand specimen, for detailed observation of textures and minerals. Using structural, textural and preliminary compositional analysis, the geologist identifies the materials and makes a decision as to whether they are of sufficient interest to be subsampled for laboratory analysis (using the ExoMars drill and laboratory instruments). Given the time and energy expense necessary for drilling and analysing samples in the rover laboratory, preliminary screening of the materials to chose those most likely to be of interest is

  10. 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

  11. Power-scavenging Tumbleweed Rover Design, development, and testing of a Tumbleweed rover capable of generating electrical power by utilizing wind energy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basic, Goran Jurisa

    Most current space robotics vehicles use solar energy as their prime energy source. In spherical robotic vehicles the use of solar cells is very restricted. Focusing on the particular problem, an improved method to generate electrical power will be developed; the innovation is the use of an internal pendulum-generator mechanism to generate electrical power while the ball is rolling. This concept will enable spherical robots on future long-duration planetary exploration missions. Through a developed proof-of-concept prototype, inspired by the Russian thistle plant, or tumbleweed, this thesis will demonstrate power generation capabilities of such a mechanism. Furthermore, it will also present and validate a parametric analytical model that can be used in future developments as a design tool to quantify power and define design parameters. The same model was used to define the design parameters and power generation capabilities of such a system in Martian environment.

  12. ILEWG report and discussion on Lunar Science and Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foing, Bernard

    2015-04-01

    The EGU PS2.2 session "Lunar Science and Exploration" will include oral papers and posters, and a series of discussions. Members of ILEWG International Lunar Exploration Working Group will debate: - Recent lunar results: geochemistry, geophysics in the context of open - Celebrating the lunar legacy of pioneers Gerhard Neukum, Colin Pillinger and Manfred Fuchs planetary science and exploration - Latest results from LADEE and Chang'e 3/4 - Synthesis of results from SMART-1, Kaguya, Chang-E1 and Chang-E2, Chandrayaan-1, Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and LCROSS impactor, Artemis and GRAIL - Goals and Status of missions under preparation: orbiters, Luna-Glob, Google Lunar X Prize, Luna Resurs, Chang'E 5, Future landers, Lunar sample return - Precursor missions, instruments and investigations for landers, rovers, sample return, and human cis-lunar activities and human lunar sorties - Preparation: databases, instruments, terrestrial field campaigns - The future international lunar exploration programme towards ILEWG roadmap of a global robotic village and permanent international lunar base - The proposals for an International Lunar Decade and International Lunar Research Parks - Strategic Knowledge Gaps, and key science Goals relevant to Human Lunar Global Exploration Lunar science and exploration are developing further with new and exciting missions being developed by China, the US, Japan, India, Russia, Korea and Europe, and with the perspective of robotic and human exploration. The session will include invited and contributed talks as well as a panel discussion and interactive posters with short oral introduction.

  13. Science from the Surface of the Moon: A Rover Traversing a Crustal Magnetic Anomaly

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blewett, D. T.; Hurley, D. M.; Denevi, B. W.; Cahill, J. T. S.; Klima, R. L.; Plescia, J. B.; Paranicas, C. P.; Greenhagen, B. T.; Tunstel, E. W.; Anderson, B. A.; Korth, H.; Ho, G. C.; Nunez, J. I.; Hibbitts, C. A.; Stanley, S.; Jozwiak, L.; Daly, T.; Johnson, J. R.; Zimerman, M. I.; Brandt, P. C.; Westlake, J. H.

    2017-10-01

    An in situ investigation of a magnetic anomaly would directly address major sets of questions in planetary magnetism, space plasma physics, lunar geology, space weathering, and the lunar water cycle, as well as human exploration SKGs.

  14. An Instrument for In-situ Triage of Mars 2020 Rover Samples for Organics and Chronology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, F.; Whitaker, T.; Andrews, J.

    2013-12-01

    We have developed a prototype instrument for triaging samples for elemental chemistry, organics, and Rb-Sr dates on the Mars 2020 Rover. Determining organic content and rock age are key drivers for Mars Sample Return (MSR). By identifying samples with organics, and potentially a range of dates, we increase near-term science return, while maximizing scientific and political will to compel the ultimate return of samples. Though organics have proven difficult to identify in-situ, understanding their distribution and variety could provide key constraints on the possibility of life; on the other hand, datable outcrops are clearly present at a range of potential landing sites, and could provide insight into the evolution of both local and global geology, and the history of solar system bombardment. Our instrument uses laser desorption resonance ionization mass spectrometry (LDRIMS) for Rb-Sr dates, and a subset of the LDRIMS lasers for L2MS measurements of organics. With LDRIMS, a sample is placed in a time-of-flight (TOF) mass spectrometer and surface atoms, molecules, and ions are desorbed with a 213 nm laser. The plume of expanding atoms is present for many μs, during which it is first illuminated with laser light tuned to ionize only Sr, and then 1-3 μs later, Rb . This eliminates isobars for Rb and Sr, and insures that the measured atoms come from the same ablation event, and hence target materials. L2MS uses high-power IR laser ablation to desorb neutral organic molecules, followed by a second, UV laser beam for ionization. Advantages of L2MS include the measurement of a wide array of elements, and it is one of the most sensitive available organic detection methods, with demonstrated detection to 10-18. We have previously demonstrated dates on granites with an average of 1.727×0.087 Ga (MSWD=1; ×0.062 for MSWD=2); both values have a precision and accuracy exceeding that called for by NASA. Finally, we have demonstrated ppm-level detections of organics in the

  15. First Measurements of the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS) on the Mars Science Laboratory

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martín-Torres, F. J.; Zorzano-Mier, M.; Gomez-Elvira, J.

    2012-12-01

    The Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS) on the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission has sensors recording air and ground temperature, pressure, relative humidity, wind speed in the horizontal and vertical directions, as well as ultraviolet radiation in different bands. Typical daily REMS observations will collect 180 minutes of data from all sensors simultaneously (arranged in 5 minute hourly samples plus 60 additional minutes taken at times to be decided, daily, during the course of the mission). REMS will add significantly to the environmental record collected by prior missions through the range of simultaneous observations including water vapor; the ability to take measurements routinely through the night; the intended minimum of one Martian year of observations; and the first measurement of surface UV irradiation. The capability of multiple, consistent, and simultaneous data is essential for meaningful interpretation of near-surface processes including the characterization of soil thermal properties. The Martian atmosphere is generally transparent to solar radiation, but atmospheric dust absorbs solar radiation and heats the atmosphere, while UV radiation ionizes atmospheric gases and is harmful to any potential Martian organisms (past or present). For this reason, knowledge of the UV radiation flux at the surface of Mars is important for the understanding habitability conditions, one of the main goals of the MSL mission. Moreover UV radiation is a significant driver in the photochemistry of the atmosphere and surface. In this paper we present a first analysis of REMS measurements, the status of the different sensors and the potential of REMS for Mars environmental studies. REMS Team: C. Armiens, I. Carrasco, F. Gómez, A. Lepinette, J. Martín, J. Martínez-Frías, L. Mora, S. Navarro, V. Peinado, J. Rodríguez-Manfredi, J. Romeral, E. Sebastián, J. Torres, J. Verdasca (Centro de Astrobiología (CSIC-INTA), Carretera de Ajalvir, km. 4, 28850 Torrej

  16. 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.

  17. The Ibn Battuta Centre: a facility to test operations, instruments and landing systems for Mars and Moon exploration (Marrakech, Morocco)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ori, G. G.; Flamini, E.; Dell'Arciprete, I.; Taj-Eddine, K.

    2008-09-01

    The main aim of the Ibn Battuta Centre for exploration and field activities is to support the exploration of Mars and others planets, and to provide opportunity for scientists and the public for experiencing the exploration on Earth and in the Solar System. The Ibn Battuta Centre for exploration and field activities was established in 2006 by the International Research School of Planetary Sciences (Pescara, Italy) to prepare and execute tests of rovers, landing systems, instruments and operations related to the exploration of Mars and Moon. The Centre has a major partner, the Universite' Cadi Ayyad of Marrakech (Morocco) where it is located. The Centre is named after the famous Moroccan explorer Ibn Battuta (born in Tangier on 24th February 1304 - 703 Hijra) who explored a large part of Northern Africa and Asia. During his travels Ibn Battuta visited almost the entire Muslim world and travelled more than 120,000 kilometres.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

    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 (12CH4 and 13CH4) 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.; Gómez-Elvira, Javier; Marin, Mercedes; Navarro, Sara; Torres, Josefina; Richardson, Mark I.; Battalio, J. Michael; Guzewich, Scott D.; Sullivan, Robert; de la Torre, Manuel; Vasavada, Ashwin R.; Bridges, Nathan T.

    2017-07-01

    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 ∼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 ∼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.

  3. Neutron tomography as a reverse engineering method applied to the IS-60 Rover gas turbine

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Roos, TH

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available -destructive testing technique. This paper, however, explores the use of this technique in its tomographic application (neutron CAT scanning mode) as a reverse engineering tool, particularly for complex internal geometries, as it has the added advantage of being a non...

  4. NASA's Desert RATS Science Backroom: Remotely Supporting Planetary Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Barbara A.; Eppler, Dean; Gruener, John; Horz, Fred; Ming, Doug; Yingst, R. Aileen

    2012-01-01

    NASA's Desert Research and Technology Studies (Desert RATS) is a multi-year series of tests designed to exercise planetary surface hardware and operations in conditions where long-distance, multi-day roving is achievable. In recent years, a D-RATS science backroom has conducted science operations and tested specific operational approaches. Approaches from the Apollo, Mars Exploration Rovers and Phoenix missions were merged to become the baseline for these tests. In 2010, six days of lunar-analog traverse operations were conducted during each week of the 2-week test, with three traverse days each week conducted with voice and data communications continuously available, and three traverse days conducted with only two 1-hour communications periods per day. In 2011, a variety of exploration science scenarios that tested operations for a near-earth asteroid using several small exploration vehicles and a single habitat. Communications between the ground and the crew in the field used a 50-second one-way delay, while communications between crewmembers in the exploration vehicles and the habitat were instantaneous. Within these frameworks, the team evaluated integrated science operations management using real-time science operations to oversee daily crew activities, and strategic level evaluations of science data and daily traverse results. Exploration scenarios for Mars may include architectural similarities such as crew in a habitat communicating with crew in a vehicle, but significantly more autonomy will have to be given to the crew rather than step-by-step interaction with a science backroom on Earth.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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 .

  8. 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.

  9. Wind-driven particle mobility on Mars: Insights from Mars Exploration Rover observations at "El Dorado" and surroundings at Gusev Crater

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sullivan, R.; Arvidson, R.; Bell, J.F.; Gellert, Ralf; Golombek, M.; Greeley, R.; Herkenhoff, K.; Johnson, J.; Thompson, S.; Whelley, P.; Wray, J.

    2008-01-01

    The ripple field known as 'El Dorado' was a unique stop on Spirit's traverse where dust-raising, active mafic sand ripples and larger inactive coarse-grained ripples interact, illuminating several long-standing issues of Martian dust mobility, sand mobility, and the origin of transverse aeolian ridges. Strong regional wind events endured by Spirit caused perceptible migration of ripple crests in deposits SSE of El Dorado, erasure of tracks in sandy areas, and changes to dust mantling the site. Localized thermal vortices swept across El Dorado, leaving paths of reduced dust but without perceptibly damaging nearly cohesionless sandy ripple crests. From orbit, winds responsible for frequently raising clay-sized dust into the atmosphere do not seem to significantly affect dunes composed of (more easily entrained) sand-sized particles, a long-standing paradox. This disparity between dust mobilization and sand mobilization on Mars is due largely to two factors: (1) dust occurs on the surface as fragile, low-density, sand-sized aggregates that are easily entrained and disrupted, compared with clay-sized air fall particles; and (2) induration of regolith is pervasive. Light-toned bed forms investigated at Gusev are coarse-grained ripples, an interpretation we propose for many of the smallest linear, light-toned bed forms of uncertain origin seen in high-resolution orbital images across Mars. On Earth, wind can organize bimodal or poorly sorted loose sediment into coarse-grained ripples. Coarse-grained ripples could be relatively common on Mars because development of durable, well-sorted sediments analogous to terrestrial aeolian quartz sand deposits is restricted by the lack of free quartz and limited hydraulic sediment processing. Copyright 2008 by the American Geophysical Union.

  10. Self calibration of the stereo vision system of the Chang'e-3 lunar rover based on the bundle block adjustment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Shuo; Liu, Shaochuang; Ma, Youqing; Qi, Chen; Ma, Hao; Yang, Huan

    2017-06-01

    The Chang'e-3 was the first lunar soft landing probe of China. It was composed of the lander and the lunar rover. The Chang'e-3 successful landed in the northwest of the Mare Imbrium in December 14, 2013. The lunar rover completed the movement, imaging and geological survey after landing. The lunar rover equipped with a stereo vision system which was made up of the Navcam system, the mast mechanism and the inertial measurement unit (IMU). The Navcam system composed of two cameras with the fixed focal length. The mast mechanism was a robot with three revolute joints. The stereo vision system was used to determine the position of the lunar rover, generate the digital elevation models (DEM) of the surrounding region and plan the moving paths of the lunar rover. The stereo vision system must be calibrated before use. The control field could be built to calibrate the stereo vision system in the laboratory on the earth. However, the parameters of the stereo vision system would change after the launch, the orbital changes, the braking and the landing. Therefore, the stereo vision system should be self calibrated on the moon. An integrated self calibration method based on the bundle block adjustment is proposed in this paper. The bundle block adjustment uses each bundle of ray as the basic adjustment unit and the adjustment is implemented in the whole photogrammetric region. The stereo vision system can be self calibrated with the proposed method under the unknown lunar environment and all parameters can be estimated simultaneously. The experiment was conducted in the ground lunar simulation field. The proposed method was compared with other methods such as the CAHVOR method, the vanishing point method, the Denavit-Hartenberg method, the factorization method and the weighted least-squares method. The analyzed result proved that the accuracy of the proposed method was superior to those of other methods. Finally, the proposed method was practical used to self calibrate the

  11. Acquisition of Self-Recovery Actions for Leg and Wheeled Autonomous Rover by Reinforcement Learning

    OpenAIRE

    2011-01-01

    This paper proposes an adaptation method for an autonomous leg-and-wheeled robot to enable stuck-fee movement under a variety of terrains. Targeting hardware is one of the anticipated configurations for exploration tasks, which has 6 legs and a motor-driven wheel on top of each leg. The method is based on an on-line combinatorial search for both gait and wheel movement according to a performance measurement. The problem is its huge search space, and the proposing system cuts down state and ac...

  12. Aram Dorsum, Candidate ExoMars Rover Landing Site: a Noachian Inverted Fluvial Channel System in Arabia Terra Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balme, Matthew; Grindrod, Peter; Sefton-Nash, Elliot; Davis, Joel; Gupta, Sanjeev; Fawdon, Peter

    2016-04-01

    Much of Mars' Noachian-aged southern highlands is dissected by systems of fluvial channels and valleys > 3.7 Ga in age. Arabia Terra, lying between the southern highlands and the northern lowlands, is similarly ancient, yet apparently has few valley networks. This regional lack of valley networks only matches Noachian precipitation predictions from climate models if the Noachian climate was dry and cold [1]. In this scenario, highlands dissection was caused by transient flows of meltwater from large, regionally restricted ice-bodies. However, new results [2,3] show that Arabia Terra is not as poorly dissected as previously thought, and in fact there are extensive networks of inverted channel systems. Here, we describe an example of such a system - Aram Dorsum - which has been studied extensively as an ExoMars Rover candidate landing site. Aram Dorsum is an ~100 km long, 1-2 km wide, branching, flat-topped ridge system, in western Arabia Terra. We have mapped the system using CTX images, DEMs and other data. We interpret the ridge system to be fluvial in origin, preserved in positive relief due to infill and differential erosion; this working hypothesis is used as a conceptual framework for the study. Aram Dorsum is a branching, multi-level, contributory network, set in surrounding floodplains-like material. This demonstrates that it was a relatively long-lived, aggradational fluvial system, rather than an erosional outflow or bedrock-carved fluvial channel. Interestingly, the system shows little evidence for unconfined lateral channel migration, so there must have been significant bank stability. Aram Dorsum was therefore probably once a sizable river and, as just one example of many similar systems, is an exemplar for the middle part of a regional sediment transport system that could have extended from the southern highlands to the northern lowlands. Like Aram Dorsum, many of these other recently-recognized fluvial systems have an origin more consistent with

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-12-01

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

  14. 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.

  15. Environmental Controls and Life Support System Design for a Space Exploration Vehicle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stambaugh, Imelda C.; Rodriguez, Branelle; Vonau, Walt, Jr.; Borrego, Melissa

    2012-01-01

    Engineers at Johnson Space Center (JSC) are developing an Environmental Control and Life Support System (ECLSS) design for the Space Exploration Vehicle (SEV). The SEV will aid to expand the human exploration envelope for Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GEO), Near Earth Object (NEO), or planetary missions by using pressurized surface exploration vehicles. The SEV, formerly known as the Lunar Electric Rover (LER), will be an evolutionary design starting as a ground test prototype where technologies for various systems will be tested and evolve into a flight vehicle. This paper will discuss the current SEV ECLSS design, any work contributed toward the development of the ECLSS design, and the plan to advance the ECLSS design based on the SEV vehicle and system needs.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. The PanCam instrument on the 2018 Exomars rover: Science Implementation Strategy and Integrated Surface Operations Concept

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmitz, Nicole; Jaumann, Ralf; Coates, Andrew; Griffiths, Andrew; Hauber, Ernst; Trauthan, Frank; Paar, Gerhard; Barnes, Dave; Bauer, Arnold; Cousins, Claire

    2010-05-01

    Geologic context as a combination of orbital imaging and surface vision, including range, resolution, stereo, and multispectral imaging, is commonly regarded as basic requirement for remote robotic geology and forms the first tier of any multi-instrument strategy for investigating and eventually understanding the geology of a region from a robotic platform. Missions with objectives beyond a pure geologic survey, e.g. exobiology objectives, require goal-oriented operational procedures, where the iterative process of scientific observation, hypothesis, testing, and synthesis, performed via a sol-by-sol data exchange with a remote robot, is supported by a powerful vision system. Beyond allowing a thorough geological mapping of the surface (soil, rocks and outcrops) in 3D, using wide angle stereo imagery, such a system needs to be able to provide detailed visual information on targets of interest in high resolution, thereby enabling the selection of science targets and samples for further analysis with a specialized in-situ instrument suite. Surface vision for ESA's upcoming ExoMars rover will come from a dedicated Panoramic Camera System (PanCam). As integral part of the Pasteur payload package, the PanCam is designed to support the search for evidence of biological processes by obtaining wide angle multispectral stereoscopic panoramic images and high resolution RGB images from the mast of the rover [1]. The camera system will consist of two identical wide-angle cameras (WACs), which are arranged on a common pan-tilt mechanism, with a fixed stereo base length of 50 cm. The WACs are being complemented by a High Resolution Camera (HRC), mounted between the WACs, which allows a magnification of selected targets by a factor of ~8 with respect to the wide-angle optics. The high-resolution images together with the multispectral and stereo capabilities of the camera will be of unprecedented quality for the identification of water-related surface features (such as sedimentary

  1. Birth Control Explorer

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... STIs Media Facebook Twitter Tumblr Shares · 579 Birth Control Explorer Sort by all methods most effective methods ... You are here Home » Birth Control Explorer Birth Control Explorer If you’re having sex —or if ...

  2. Bile Duct Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Departments Home / Health Library / Articles / Bile Duct Exploration Bile Duct Exploration The CBD is a tube connecting the ... liver and gallbladder to the intestine. When is bile duct exploration performed? If something is blocking the bile ...

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Modeling, construction and experimental validation of actuated rolling dynamics of the cylindrical Transforming Roving-Rolling Explorer (TRREx)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edwin, L.; Mazzoleni, A.; Gemmer, T.; Ferguson, S.

    2017-03-01

    Planetary surface exploration technology over the past few years has seen significant advancements on multiple fronts. Robotic exploration platforms are becoming more sophisticated and capable of embarking on more challenging missions. More unconventional designs, particularly transforming architectures that have multiple modes of locomotion, are being studied. This work explores the capabilities of one such novel transforming rover called the Transforming Roving-Rolling Explorer (TRREx). Biologically inspired by the armadillo and the golden-wheel spider, the TRREx has two modes of locomotion: it can traverse on six wheels like a conventional rover on benign terrain, but can transform into a sphere when necessary to negotiate steep rugged slopes. The ability to self-propel in the spherical configuration, even in the absence of a negative gradient, increases the TRREx's versatility and its concept value. This paper describes construction and testing of a prototype cylindrical TRREx that demonstrates that "actuated rolling" can be achieved, and also presents a dynamic model of this prototype version of the TRREx that can be used to investigate the feasibility and value of such self-propelled locomotion. Finally, we present results that validate our dynamic model by comparing results from computer simulations made using the dynamic model to experimental results acquired from test runs using the prototype.

  6. Robots Explore the Farthest Reaches of Earth and Space

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    "We were the first that ever burst/Into that silent sea," the title character recounts in Samuel Taylor Coleridge s opus Rime of the Ancient Mariner. This famous couplet is equally applicable to undersea exploration today as surface voyages then, and has recently been applied to space travel in the title of a chronicle of the early years of human space flight ("Into That Silent Sea: Trailblazers of the Space Era, 1961-1965"), companion to the +n the Shadow of the Moon book and movie. The parallel is certainly fitting, considering both fields explore unknown, harsh, and tantalizingly inhospitable environments. For starters, exploring the Briny Deep and the Final Frontier requires special vehicles, and the most economical and safest means for each employ remotely operated vehicles (ROVs). ROVs have proven the tool of choice for exploring remote locations, allowing scientists to explore the deepest part of the sea and the furthest reaches of the solar system with the least weight penalty, the most flexibility and specialization of design, and without the need to provide for sustaining human life, or the risk of jeopardizing that life. Most NASA probes, including the historic Voyager I and II spacecraft and especially the Mars rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, feature remote operation, but new missions and new planetary environments will demand new capabilities from the robotic explorers of the future. NASA has an acute interest in the development of specialized ROVs, as new lessons learned on Earth can be applied to new environments and increasingly complex missions in the future of space exploration.

  7. 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

  8. Lunar exploration and development--a sustainable model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williamson, Mark

    2005-01-01

    A long-term goal of space exploration is the development of a lunar settlement that will not only be largely self-sufficient but also contribute to the economy of the Earth-Moon system. Proposals for lunar mining and materials processing developments, as well as tourism-based applications, have appeared in the literature for many years. However, so great are the technical and financial difficulties associated with sustained lunar development that, more than 30 years after the end of the Apollo programme, there have been no practical advances towards this goal. While this may soon be remedied by a series of proposed unmanned orbiters, landers and rovers, the philosophy of lunar exploration and development remains the same as it has for decades: conquer, exploit, and ignore the consequences. By contrasting the well-recognised problems of Earth orbital debris and the barely recognised issue of intentional spacecraft impacts on the lunar surface, this paper illustrates the need for a new model for lunar exploration and development. This new paradigm would assign a value to the lunar environment and provide a balance between protection and exploitation, creating, in effect, a philosophy of sustainable development for the Moon. It is suggested that this new philosophy should be an integral part of any future strategy for lunar colonisation. c2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Lunar exploration and development—A sustainable model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williamson, Mark

    2005-07-01

    A long-term goal of space exploration is the development of a lunar settlement that will not only be largely self-sufficient but also contribute to the economy of the Earth Moon system. Proposals for lunar mining and materials processing developments, as well as tourism-based applications, have appeared in the literature for many years. However, so great are the technical and financial difficulties associated with sustained lunar development that, more than 30 years after the end of the Apollo programme, there have been no practical advances towards this goal. While this may soon be remedied by a series of proposed unmanned orbiters, landers and rovers, the philosophy of lunar exploration and development remains the same as it has for decades: conquer, exploit, and ignore the consequences. By contrasting the well-recognised problems of Earth orbital debris and the barely recognised issue of intentional spacecraft impacts on the lunar surface, this paper illustrates the need for a new model for lunar exploration and development. This new paradigm would assign a value to the lunar environment and provide a balance between protection and exploitation, creating, in effect, a philosophy of sustainable development for the Moon. It is suggested that this new philosophy should be an integral part of any future strategy for lunar colonisation.

  10. 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.

  11. Preliminary analyses of the REMS Ground temperature data in Gale: exploring thermodynamic processes behind the diurnal variability

    Science.gov (United States)

    de la Torre Juárez, Manuel; Ramos, Miguel; Sebastian, Eduardo; Armiens, Carlos; Gómez-Elvira, Javier; Carrasco, Isaías; Haberle, Robert M.; Hamilton, Vicky E.; Jurado-Molina, Antonio; Lepinette, Alain; Martín-Torres, Javier; Martínez Frías, Jesús; Mischna, Michael; Mora, Luis; de Pablo, Miguel Angel; Peinado, Verónica; Rodríguez-Manfredi, José Antonio; Urqui O'Callahan, Roser; Vasavada, Ashwin R.; Zorzano Mier, María P.

    2013-04-01

    The Mars surface skin temperature monitored by the Ground Temperature Sensor on REMS, responds to solar forcing and the interactions between atmospheric, surface, and subterranean properties. We present the evolution of the minimum, maximum, and mean temperatures for the first 100 sols. We also give a brief description of the GTS performance. Finally we explore how the diurnal cycle of ground temperatures relates to energy fluxes due to incident solar radiation fluxes, atmospheric thermal emission, wind driven heat exchanges, heat dissipation into the soil, surface properties, and heat fluxes associated to the rover influence. The analysis helps understand the type of possible thermodynamic interactions occurring between the lower atmosphere and the soil.

  12. 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

  13. New Carriers and Sensors for Robotic Planetary Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romstedt, J.; Schiele, A.; Boudin, N.; Coste, P.; Lindner, R.

    The robotic element of planetary exploration missions does play a crucial role for a successful mission completion. The development of reliable and rugged systems with at the same time low resource requirements and a generous acceptance of harsh environmental conditions is an important constituent of supportive research and development programs. This paper introduces a selection of new technologies developed by ESA support programs to foster the European scientific community and industry. Presented is a focused selection of potential scientific payload carrier modules and its highly integrated scientific instruments designed for in-situ exploration missions to planets and small bodies of our solar system. These developments could serve surface modules with very low resource availability. Low resource requirements and a highly integrated character is an important technology driver of all development plans. The Nanokhod micro-rover is a mobile element capable to explore the surrounding of a stationary lander unit within a radius of 50 meter. Via a tether connection the provision of all communication and power distribution is ensured. The Nanokhod concepts merges the idea of the design of an "as small as possible" mobile element yet keeping the capability to carry a substantial scientific payload suite to analyse the near-by landing site. The engineering model has been build and will undergo a challenging test campaign in the near future. The development of the Geochemistry Instrument Package Facility (GIPF), the payload suite designed for the Nanokhod rover, has been finalized and delivered to ESA. It consists of an Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer (APXS), a Mössbauer spectrometer (MIMOS2) and a micro camera (MIROCAM). The instrument front ends have already been thermally qualified at cryogenic temperatures. Beyond a partial heritage from existing flight models all instruments were modified towards an accommodation in the rover's payload cabin and an increased

  14. Explore with Us

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morales, Lester

    2012-01-01

    The fundamental goal of this vision is to advance U.S. scientific, security and economic interest through a robust space exploration program. Implement a sustained and affordable human and robotic program to explore the solar system and beyond. Extend human presence across the solar system, starting with a human return to the Moon by the year 2020, in preparation for human exploration of Mars and other destinations. Develop the innovative technologies, knowledge, and infrastructures both to explore and to support decisions about the destinations for human exploration. Promote international and commercial participation in exploration to further U.S. scientific, security, and economic interests.

  15. 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.

  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. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-04-01

    The scientific objectives of the ESA-NASA rover of the 2018 mission of the ExoMars Programme are to search for traces of past or present life and to characterise the near-sub surface. Both objectives require study of the rock/regolith materials in terms of structure, textures, mineralogy, and elemental and organic composition. The 2018 rover ExoMars payload consists of a suite of complementary instruments designed to reach these objectives. CLUPI, the high-performance colour close up imager, on board the 2018 ESA-NASA Rover plays an important role in attaining the mission objectives: it is the equivalent of the hand lens that no geologist is without when undertaking field work. CLUPI is a powerful, highly integrated miniaturized (smart assembly in titanium that can sustain a wide temperature range. The concept benefits from well-proven heritage: Proba, Rosetta, MarsExpress and Smart-1 missions… Because the main science objective of ExoMars concerns the search for life, whose traces on Mars are likely to be cryptic, close up observation of the rocks and granular regolith will be critical to the decision as whether to drill and sample the nearby underlying materials. Thus, CLUPI is the essential final step in the choice of drill site. But not only are CLUPI's observations of the rock outcrops important, but they also serve other purposes. CLUPI, could observe the placement of the drill head. It will also be able to observe the fines that come out of the drill hole, including any colour stratification linked to lithological changes with depth. Finally, CLUPI will provide detailed observation of the surface of the core drilled materials when they are in the sample drawer at a spatial resolution of 15 micrometer/pixel in color. The close-up imager CLUPI on the ESA-NASA rover of the 2018 mission will be described together with its capabilities to provide important information significantly contributing to the understanding of the geological environment and could

  20. 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.

  1. Botanical Exploration Of Sinai

    OpenAIRE

    Batanouny, K. H. [كمال الدين حسن البتانوني

    1985-01-01

    The history of the botanical exploration of Sinai has been reviewed. It has been divided into the following periods: I. Expeditions in the eighteenth century. II. Exploration from 1800 till the publication of "Florula Sinaica". III. Exploration from 1835 till the publication of "Flora Orientalis". IV. A decade of intensive exploration (1861-1871). V. An era of extensive floristic studies (1871-1929) with the publication of the Flora of Egypt. VI. A period of updating. VII...

  2. Exploration cost-cutting

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Huttrer, J.

    1996-12-31

    This presentation by Jerry Huttrer, President, Geothermal Management Company, discusses the general state of exploration in the geothermal industry today, and mentions some ways to economize and perhaps save costs of geothermal exploration in the future. He suggests an increased use of satellite imagery in the mapping of geothermal resources and the identification of hot spots. Also, coordinating with oil and gas exploration efforts, the efficiency of the exploration task could be optimized.

  3. 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.

  4. Developing An Autonomy Infusion Infrastructure for Robotic Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bualat, Maria G.; Kunz, Clayton G.; Wright, Anne R.; Nesnas, Issa A. D.

    2003-01-01

    Future robotic exploration missions will require autonomy in order to accomplish mission goals for operational efficiency and science return. For example, it will require three communication cycles for the Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, to place an instrument on a science target. Reducing this time necessitates highly accurate navigation, obstacle avoidance, target tracking, target analysis, manipulation, and fault diagnosis. Technologies to address these and other operational elements are currently being developed at NASA and within academia. However, infusion into missions has always been a difficult task for researchers. In order to keep risk down, mission managers are reluctant to include new technologies unless they have undergone extensive testing and verification under flight-realistic conditions. Furthermore, infusion of new technologies into missions is made more difficult by the variety of software frameworks under which these technologies are developed. Missions would like to see competing solutions demonstrated on a common platform so that they can compare performance and choose the solution best suited to their application.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Night Rover Challenge Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Solar energy is a renewable source that would be available on the Moon and at other destinations in space. To enable practical system demonstrations of diverse...

  8. Venus Landsailing Rover Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The surface of Venus is the most hostile environment in the solar system, with a surface temperature hotter than an oven, and a high-pressure, corrosive atmosphere....

  9. Planetary exploration through year 2000: An augmented program. Part two of a report by the Solar System Exploration Committee of the NASA Advisory Council

    Science.gov (United States)

    1986-01-01

    In 1982, the NASA Solar System Exploration Committee (SSEC) published a report on a Core Program of planetary missions, representing the minimum-level program that could be carried out in a cost effective manner, and would yield a continuing return of basic scientific results. This is the second part of the SSEC report, describing missions of the highest scientific merit that lie outside the scope of the previously recommended Core Program because of their cost and technical challenge. These missions include the autonomous operation of a mobile scientific rover on the surface of Mars, the automated collection and return of samples from that planet, the return to Earth of samples from asteroids and comets, projects needed to lay the groundwork for the eventual utilization of near-Earth resources, outer planet missions, observation programs for extra-solar planets, and technological developments essential to make these missions possible.

  10. Mars Atmospheric Composition and Stable Isotope Ratios in H, C and O Measured by the SAM Instrument Suite on the Curiosity Rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webster, Christopher; Mahaffy, Paul; Stern, Jen; Franz, Heather; Flesch, Greg; Leshin, Laurie; Atreya, Sushil; Wong, Michael; Farley, Ken; MSL Science Team

    2013-04-01

    From the Curiosity Rover sampling the near-surface Martian atmosphere in the vicinity of Gale Crater, volume mixing ratios of the five major constituents (CO2, Ar, N2, O2 and CO) have been made using the Quadrupole Mass Spectrometer (QMS) of the Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) suite that has additionally measured the isotope ratios of 40Ar/36Ar, and δ13C and δ18O in CO2. A second SAM instrument, the Tunable Laser Spectrometer (TLS) has made a sensitive search for Martian methane, measured water abundances in the vicinity of the rover, and isotope ratios of δ13C, δ18O, δ17O and δ13C18O in CO2; and δD and δ18O in H2O. These atmospheric composition and isotope ratio measurements represent the most precise made in situ to date on any planetary surface and record Mars atmospheric escape and atmosphere-surface interactions. Updated values and error bars will be given for these measurements that provide a baseline for discussion and interpretation of SAM analysis of soil and rock samples [Mahaffy et al., EGU 2013]. Acknowledgement: The research described here was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

  11. A high-accuracy two-position alignment inertial navigation system for lunar rovers aided by a star sensor with a calibration and positioning function

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

    An integrated inertial/celestial navigation system (INS/CNS) has wide applicability in lunar rovers as it provides accurate and autonomous navigational information. Initialization is particularly vital for a INS. This paper proposes a two-position initialization method based on a standard Kalman filter. The difference between the computed star vector and the measured star vector is measured. With the aid of a star sensor and the two positions, the attitudinal and positional errors can be greatly reduced, and the biases of three gyros and accelerometers can also be estimated. The semi-physical simulation results show that the positional and attitudinal errors converge within 0.07″ and 0.1 m, respectively, when the given initial positional error is 1 km and the attitudinal error is 10°. These good results show that the proposed method can accomplish alignment, positioning and calibration functions simultaneously. Thus the proposed two-position initialization method has the potential for application in lunar rover navigation.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Multimodal Platform Control for Robotic Planetary Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jorgensen, Charles; Betts, Bradley J.

    2006-01-01

    Planetary exploration missions pose unique problems for astronauts seeking to coordinate and control exploration vehicles. These include working in an environment filled with abrasive dust (e.g., regolith compositions), a desire to have effective hands-free communication, and a desire to have effective analog control of robotic platforms or end effectors. Requirements to operate in pressurized suits are particularly problematic due to the increased bulk and stiffness of gloves. As a result, researchers are considering alternative methods to perform fine movement control, for example capitalizing on higher-order voice actuation commands to perform control tasks. This paper presents current research at NASA s Neuro Engineering Laboratory that explores one method-direct bioelectric interpretation-for handling some of these problems. In this type of control system, electromyographic (EMG) signals are used both to facilitate understanding of acoustic speech in pressure-regulated suits 2nd to provide smooth analog control of a robotic platform, all without requiring fine-gained hand movement. This is accomplished through the use of non-invasive silver silver-chloride electrodes located on the forearm, throat, and lower chin, positioned so as to receive electrical activity originating from the muscles during contraction. For direct analog platform control, a small Personal Exploration Rover (PER) built by Carnegie Mellon University Robotics is controlled using forearm contraction duration and magnitudes, measured using several EMG channels. Signal processing is used to translate these signals into directional platform rotation rates and translational velocities. higher order commands were generated by differential contraction patterns called "clench codes."

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. The exploration metaphor

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mcgreevy, Michael W.

    1991-01-01

    NASA's experience in planetary exploration has demonstrated that the desktop workstation is inadequate for many visualization situations. The primary mission displays for the unmanned Surveyor missions to the moon during the mid-1960's, for example, were environmental images assembled on the inside surfaces of spherical shells. Future exploration missions will greatly benefit from advances in digital computer and display technology, but there remain unmet user interface needs. Alternative user interfaces and metaphors are needed for planetary exploration and other interactions with complex spatial environments. These interfaces and metaphors would enable the user to directly explore environments and naturally manipulate objects in those environments. Personal simulators, virtual workstations, and telepresence user interfaces are systems capable of providing this integration of user space and task space. The Exploration Metaphor is a useful concept for guiding the design of user interfaces for virtual environments and telepresence. To apply the Exploration Metaphor is to assert that computing is like exploration, and to support objects, operations, and contexts comparable to those encountered in the exploration of natural environments. The Exploration Metaphor, under development for user interfaces in support of NASA's planetary exploration missions and goals, will also benefit other applications where complex spatial information must be visualized. Visualization methods and systems for planetary exploration are becoming increasingly integrated and interactive as computing technology improves. These advances will benefit from virtual environment and telepresence interface technology. A key development has been the processing of multiple images and other sensor data to create detailed digital models of the planets and moons. Data from images of the Earth, Mars, and Miranda, for example, have been converted into 3D models, and dynamic virtual fly-overs have been

  18. Exploring Technology Education.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Duzer, Eric

    Modular middle school technology programs, generically called Exploring Technology Education (ETE) courses, are described and analyzed to determine their strengths and weaknesses and their appropriate role in middle school curricula. Interviews were conducted with teachers, officers of the Exploring Technology Educators Association, vendors and…

  19. Composite Technology for Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fikes, John

    2017-01-01

    The CTE (Composite Technology for Exploration) Project will develop and demonstrate critical composites technologies with a focus on joints that utilize NASA expertise and capabilities. The project will advance composite technologies providing lightweight structures to support future NASA exploration missions. The CTE project will demonstrate weight-saving, performance-enhancing bonded joint technology for Space Launch System (SLS)-scale composite hardware.

  20. Boulder abundances and size-frequency distributions on Oxia Planum-Mars: Scientific implications for the 2020 ESA ExoMars rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pajola, Maurizio; Rossato, Sandro; Baratti, Emanuele; Pozzobon, Riccardo; Quantin, Cathy; Carter, John; Thollot, Patrick

    2017-11-01

    This paper presents the abundances and the size-frequency distributions (SFD) of boulders identified on a sector of the prime landing site for the ExoMars 2020 rover, in Oxia Planum region. By means of a HiRISE image, boulders ≥ 1.75 m across have been identified and subdivided according to the two main Oxia Planum geological units: the Noachian clay-rich formation (Nc), and the Amazonian volcanic deposit (Av). The spatial density of boulders ≥ 1.75 m over the entire study area is 6.75 × 10-4/m2, with a size-frequency that is best fit both with power-law and exponential-law curves with indices of -4.9 + 0.1/-0.2 and -1.29 + 0.04/-0.06 respectively. Significant differences were found by analysing separately the Av and Nc geological units. The data collected in the Av unit are well-fitted with a power-law curve with an index equal to -4.8 +/-0.2 and with an exponential-law curve with an index of -1.24 + 0.05,-0.06, whilst in the Nc unit such indices are -5.5 + 0.3/-0.4 and -1.70 + 0.09/-0.12 (power-law and exponential-law curve, respectively). The spatial density of boulders in the Av unit is 7.0 times larger than in the Nc one. This may be due primarily to the distinct mechanical properties of the two units that may result in a different production rate or preservation of the boulders. Secondly, the Av unit overlies the Nc unit, possibly resulting in more impacts and/or different weathering processes throughout the ages. This study provides a quantitative evaluation of the abundances of boulders ≥ 1.75 m across on Oxia Planum: it is therefore a reference for the ExoMars 2020 mission, both during the landing phase and the rover traverse to specific areas of interest. The landing ellipse presents much higher abundances of boulders ≥ 1.75 m than all previous Martian rover landing areas. This is particularly evident when the rougher Av unit is taken into account. Contrarily, the Nc unit shows a much more comparable value, but still slightly higher, to the Mars

  1. Interpretation of the Meteorological Gale Environment through Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS) Observations and Mesoscale Modeling (MRAMS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pla-García, J.; Rafkin, S. C.; Gómez-Elvira, J.; Martín-Torres, J.; Zorzano, M. P.

    2014-12-01

    Gale Crater, in which the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) landed in August 2012, is the most topographically complex area visited to date on Mars. The meteorology within the crater may also be one of the most dynamically complex meteorological environments, because topography is thought to strongly drive the near-surface atmospheric circulations. The Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (REMS) on the Curiosity rover consists of a suite of meteorological instruments that measure pressure, temperature (air and ground), wind (speed and direction), relative humidity, and the UV flux. REMS has provided some clues on the nature of the local meteorology strongly influenced by the complex topography, as predicted by numerous previous studies. As with all single station measurements, the meteorological interpretation is typically hindered by a lack of spatial context in which to place the observations. Numerical modeling results, when properly validated against observations, can provide interpretive context. In an effort to better understand the atmospheric circulations of the Gale Crater, the Mars Regional Atmospheric Modeling System (MRAMS) was applied to the landing site region using nested grids with a spacing of 330 meters on the innermost grid that is centered over the landing site. MRAMS is ideally suited for this investigation; the model is explicitly designed to simulate Mars' atmospheric circulations at the mesoscale and smaller with realistic, high resolution surface properties. Simulations with MRAMS indicate thermal and wind thermal signatures associated with slope flows, katabatic winds, and nocturnal mixing events that are consistent with the rover environment monitored by REMS. Of particular note is evidence for two distinct air masses—one in the bottom of the crater (a relatively cold potential temperature air mass) and one on the plateau—that have minimal interaction with one another. If there are indeed two distinct air masses, there are strong

  2. Real-Time Assessment of Robot Performance During Remote Exploration Operations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schreckenghost, Debra; Fong, Terrence; Milam, Tod; Pacis, Estrellina; Utz, Hans

    2009-01-01

    To ensure that robots are used effectively for exploration missions, it is important to assess their performance during operations. We are investigating the definition and computation of performance metrics for assessing remote robotic operations in real-time. Our approach is to monitor data streams from robots, compute performance metrics, and provide Web-based displays of these metrics for assessing robot performance during operations. We evaluated our approach for measuring robot performance with the K10 rovers from NASA Ames Research Center during a field test at Moses Lake Sand Dunes (WA) in June 2008. In this paper we present the results of evaluating our software for robot performance and discuss our conclusions from this evaluation for future robot operations.

  3. Development, Integration and Utilization of Surface Nuclear Energy Sources for Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Houts, Michael G.; Schmidt, George R.; Bragg-Sitton, Shannon; Hickman, Robert; Hissam, Andy; Houston, Vance; Martin, Jim; Mireles, Omar; Reid, Bob; Schneider, Todd

    2005-01-01

    Throughout the past five decades numerous studies have identified nuclear energy as an enhancing or enabling technology for human surface exploration missions. Nuclear energy sources were used to provide electricity on Apollo missions 12, 14, 15, 16, and 17, and on the Mars Viking landers. Nuclear energy sources were used to provide heat on the Pathfinder; Spirit, and Discovery rovers. Scenarios have been proposed that utilize -1 kWe radioisotope systems for early missions, followed by fission systems in the 10 - 30 kWe range when energy requirements increase. A fission energy source unit size of approximately 150 kWt has been proposed based on previous lunar and Mars base architecture studies. Such a unit could support both early and advanced bases through a building block approach.

  4. Orion Exploration Flight Test-1 Contingency Drogue Deploy Velocity Trigger

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gay, Robert S.; Stochowiak, Susan; Smith, Kelly

    2013-01-01

    As a backup to the GPS-aided Kalman filter and the Barometric altimeter, an "adjusted" velocity trigger is used during entry to trigger the chain of events that leads to drogue chute deploy for the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle (MPCV) Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1). Even though this scenario is multiple failures deep, the Orion Guidance, Navigation, and Control (GN&C) software makes use of a clever technique that was taken from the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) program, which recently successfully landing the Curiosity rover on Mars. MSL used this technique to jettison the heat shield at the proper time during descent. Originally, Orion use the un-adjusted navigated velocity, but the removal of the Star Tracker to save costs for EFT-1, increased attitude errors which increased inertial propagation errors to the point where the un-adjusted velocity caused altitude dispersions at drogue deploy to be too large. Thus, to reduce dispersions, the velocity vector is projected onto a "reference" vector that represents the nominal "truth" vector at the desired point in the trajectory. Because the navigation errors are largely perpendicular to the truth vector, this projection significantly reduces dispersions in the velocity magnitude. This paper will detail the evolution of this trigger method for the Orion project and cover the various methods tested to determine the reference "truth" vector; and at what point in the trajectory it should be computed.

  5. 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.

  6. Neurodynamics of mental exploration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hopfield, John J

    2010-01-26

    Thinking allows an animal to take an effective action in a novel situation based on a mental exploration of possibilities and previous knowledge. We describe a model animal, with a neural system based loosely on the rodent hippocampus, which performs mental exploration to find a useful route in a spatial world it has previously learned. It then mentally recapitulates the chosen route, and this intent is converted to motor acts that move the animal physically along the route. The modeling is based on spiking neurons with spike-frequency adaptation. Adaptation causes the continuing evolution in the pattern of neural activity that is essential to mental exploration. A successful mental exploration is remembered through spike-timing-dependent synaptic plasticity. The system is also an episodic memory for an animal chiefly concerned with locations.

  7. Marine Mineral Exploration

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    resources was negotiated by the United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS III). A most important outcome of this conference was the establishment of an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of at least 200 nautical miles for all coastal states and the recognition of a deep-sea regime. Mineral deposits......The past 20 years have seen extensive marine exploration work by the major industrialized countries. Studies have, in part, been concentrated on Pacific manganese nodule occurrences and on massive sulfides on mid-oceanic ridges. An international jurisdictional framework of the sea-bed mineral...... 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...

  8. 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...

  9. Advanced Exploration Systems Program

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — AES consists of more than 35 projects that target high-priority capabilities needed for human exploration such as crew mobility, deep-space habitation, vehicle...

  10. Sternal exploration or closure

    Science.gov (United States)

    You may have already been receiving wound care or treatment and antibiotics. There are two main reasons for doing exploration and closure procedures for the chest wound after heart surgery: Get rid ...

  11. Optimal exploration target zones

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Debba, Pravesh

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available This research describes a quantitative methodology for deriving optimal exploration target zones based on a probabilistic mineral prospectivity map. In order to arrive at out objective, we provide a plausible answer to the following question: "Which...

  12. Exploring Mayan Numerals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farmer, Jeff D.; Powers, Robert A.

    2005-01-01

    This article describes an exploration activity involving Mayan numerals, which can be adapted by teachers at various levels to help students better understand the concept of place value and appreciate contributions to mathematics made by an indigenous Central American culture.

  13. 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)

  14. Exploration of Multimedia Collections

    OpenAIRE

    Moško, Juraj

    2016-01-01

    Multimedia retrieval systems are supposed to provide the method and the interface for users to retrieve particular multimedia data from multimedia collections. Although, many different retrieval techniques evolved from times when the search in multimedia collections firstly appeared as a research task, not all of them can fulfill specific requirements that the multimedia exploration is determined for. The multimedia exploration is designated for revealing the content of a whole multimedia col...

  15. 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 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....

  16. Exploring Clinical Overview

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fleron, Benedicte

    Clinical overview is explored at four emergency departments (EDs) during the introduction of a new IT system to support hereof. Important aspects of clinical overview are described for the clinical practice and for the further development of the IT system.......Clinical overview is explored at four emergency departments (EDs) during the introduction of a new IT system to support hereof. Important aspects of clinical overview are described for the clinical practice and for the further development of the IT system....

  17. Simulation Based Studies of Low Latency Teleoperations for NASA Exploration Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gernhardt, Michael L.; Crues, Edwin Z.; Bielski, Paul; Dexter, Dan; Litaker, Harry L.; Chappell, Steven P.; Beaton, Kara H.; Bekdash, Omar S.

    2017-01-01

    distance ranging from beyond 10m in Zone 1, through 1 cm to contact in Zone 5 with a step size factor of 10. Collected data consists of both objective simulation data (time, distance, hand controller inputs, velocity) and subjective questionnaire data. The second simulation provides a simple real-time operator interface with displays and control of a simulated surface rover. The rover traverses a synthetic Mars-like terrain and must be maneuvered to avoid obstacles while progressing to its destination. Like the manipulator simulation, subjects are tested using five operating latencies that represent teleoperation conditions from local surface operations to orbital operations at Phobos, Deimos and ultimately high Martian orbit. The rover is also operated at three different traverse speeds to assess the correlation between latency and speed. Collected data consisted of both objective simulation data (time, distance, hand controller inputs, braking) and subjective questionnaire data. These studies are exploring relationships between task complexity, operating speeds, operator efficiencies, and communications latencies for low latency teleoperations in support of human planetary exploration. This paper presents early results from these studies along with the current observations and conclusions. These and planned future studies will help to inform NASA on the potential for low latency teleoperations to support human exploration of Mars and inform the design of robotic systems and exploration missions.

  18. 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.

  19. 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...... package for advanced multiscale simulations of complex molecular structure and dynamics. It has many unique features and a wide range of applications in Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Materials Science, and Industry. A broad variety of algorithms and interatomic potentials implemented in the program allows...... the program for specific tasks, the description of all the program commands and keywords, the specification of input information, parameters, files and formats, and instructions on how to handle the program on Windows, Linux/Unix and Macintosh platforms. MesoBioNano (MBN) Explorer is a multi-purpose software...

  20. Robotics for Human Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fong, Terrence; Deans, Mathew; Bualat, Maria

    2013-01-01

    Robots can do a variety of work to increase the productivity of human explorers. Robots can perform tasks that are tedious, highly repetitive or long-duration. Robots can perform precursor tasks, such as reconnaissance, which help prepare for future human activity. Robots can work in support of astronauts, assisting or performing tasks in parallel. Robots can also perform "follow-up" work, completing tasks designated or started by humans. In this paper, we summarize the development and testing of robots designed to improve future human exploration of space.

  1. Optimal exploration target zones

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Debba, Pravesh

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available , Carranza, Stein, van der Meer Introduction to Remote Sensing Background and Objective of the study Methodology Results Optimal Exploration Target Zones Pravesh Debba1, Emmanual M.J. Carranza2, Alfred Stein2, Freek D. van der Meer2 1CSIR, Logistics... and Quantitative Methods, CSIR Built Environment 2International Institute for Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC), Hengelosestraat 99, P.O. Box 6, 7500AA Enschede, The Netherlands Optimal Exploration Target Zones Debba, Carranza, Stein, van der Meer...

  2. 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

  3. Robotic Exploration: The Role of Science Autonomy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roush, Ted L.; DeVincenzi, D. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    Historical mission operations have involved: (1) commands transmitted to the craft; (2) execution of commands; (3) return of scientific data; (4) evaluation of these data by scientists; and (5) recommendations for future mission activity by scientists. This cycle is repeated throughout the mission with command opportunities once or twice per day. For a rover, this historical cycle is not amenable to rapid long range traverses or rapid response to any novel or unexpected situations.

  4. Exploring the Higgs portal

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Englert, Christoph, E-mail: c.englert@thphys.uni-heidelberg.de [Institut fuer Theoretische Physik, Universitaet Heidelberg (Germany); Plehn, Tilman [Institut fuer Theoretische Physik, Universitaet Heidelberg (Germany); Zerwas, Dirk [LAL, IN2P3/CNRS, Orsay (France); Zerwas, Peter M. [Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY, Hamburg (Germany); Institut fuer Theoretische Teilchenphysik und Kosmologie, RWTH Aachen University (Germany)

    2011-09-14

    We study the Higgs portal from the Standard-Model to a hidden sector and examine which elements of the extended theory can be discovered and explored at the LHC. Our model includes two Higgs bosons covering parameter regions where the LHC will be sensitive to two, one or none of the particles at typical discovery luminosities for Standard Model Higgs production.

  5. Exploration in POMDPs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dimitrakakis, C.

    2008-01-01

    In recent work, Bayesian methods for exploration in Markov decision processes (MDPs) and for solving known partially-observable Markov decision processes (POMDPs) have been proposed. In this paper we review the similarities and differences between those two domains and propose methods to deal with

  6. Exploratorium: Exploring Water.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brand, Judith, Ed.

    2001-01-01

    This issue of Exploratorium focuses on water and its varied uses in our environment. Articles include: (1) "Adventures with Water" (Eric Muller); (2) "Water: The Liquid of Life" (Karen E. Kalumuck); (3) "Water-Drop Projector" (Gorazd Planinsic); (4) "Waterways and Means" (Pearl Tesler); (5) "Explore Natural Phenomena in the Museum--and Just…

  7. 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...

  8. 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…

  9. 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)…

  10. Bile Duct Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... 223.2273 Request an Appointment Contact Us Share Facebook Twitter Linkedin Email Bile Duct Exploration Menu Print Full Article Overview Test Details Results and Follow-Up Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We ...

  11. Exploring Consumer Literacy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Virginia; Sumrall, William; Mott, Michael; Mitchell, Elizabeth; Theobald, Becky

    2015-01-01

    Methods for facilitating students' standards-based consumer literacy are addressed via the use of problem solving with food and product labels. Fifth graders will be able to: (1) provide detailed analysis of food and product labels; (2) understand large themes, including production, distribution, and consumption; and (3) explore consumer…

  12. 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...

  13. 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

  14. 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…

  15. Exploring the Visual Landscape

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nijhuis, S.; Van Lammeren, R.; Van der Hoeven, F.

    2011-01-01

    Exploring the Visual Landscape is about the combination of landscape research and planning, visual perception and Geographic Information Science. It showcases possible ways of getting a grip on themes like: landscape openness, cluttering of the rural landscape, high-rise buildings in relation to

  16. Exploring the Conceptual Universe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kemp, Charles

    2012-01-01

    Humans can learn to organize many kinds of domains into categories, including real-world domains such as kinsfolk and synthetic domains such as sets of geometric figures that vary along several dimensions. Psychologists have studied many individual domains in detail, but there have been few attempts to characterize or explore the full space of…

  17. In-situ Geochronology on the Mars 2020 Rover with KArLE (The Potassium-Argon Laser Experiment)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, Barbara A.; Li, Z. -H.; Miller, J. S.; Devismes, D.; Swindle, T. D.; Schwenzer, S. P.; Kelley, S. P.; Zacny, K. A.; Roark, S. E.; Hardaway, L. R.; hide

    2014-01-01

    A successful Mars exploration program has revealed chapters of Mars history, but in this book, the pages are ripped out of the binding and scattered across the surface. An examination of each page reveals interesting information, but there is no way to read the book in a logical order. Geochronology is the tool that puts page number onto the individual pages, and allows the book of Martian history to be read in its proper order. The KArLE experiment performs the first dedicated in situ geochronology investigation on Mars, bringing clarity to Mars 2020 samples and context to its landing site.

  18. 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.

  19. 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......It is widely recognized that the increasingly dynamic and competitive business environment requires the exploration and integration of specialized knowledge from different domains in order to create innovative and competitive artefacts and reduce design and development costs. This paper presents....... 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...

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Exploring the Dark Sector

    Science.gov (United States)

    Essig, Rouven

    2014-03-01

    Dark sectors, consisting of new, light, weakly-coupled particles that do not interact with the known strong, weak, or electromagnetic forces, are a particularly compelling possibility for new physics. Nature may contain numerous dark sectors, each with their own beautiful structure, distinct particles, and forces. This talk summarizes the physics motivation for dark sectors and the exciting opportunities for experimental exploration. It discusses axions, axion-like particles, dark photons, and other dark-sector particles, including sub-GeV dark matter. In many cases, the exploration of dark sectors can proceed with existing facilities and comparatively modest experiments. A rich, diverse, and low-cost experimental program has the potential for one or more game-changing discoveries.

  4. Exploring nurses' learning

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lioba Howatson-Jones

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this paper is to explore the concept of compelling space for learning. The research presented uses an auto/biographical methodology to explore nurses' learning. Theoretical perspective is drawn from biographical approaches and ideas around development of the self, to examine the nature of people's experience. The argument is advanced, through the narrations of three study participants from a PhD study, that there is a need for nurses to have space to tell their stories of learning and to reconnect with personal experience. The narrations focus upon learning by mistake, developing an interpretive imagination and using biography in teaching and learning and have something to contribute to the development of spaces of learning. This is developed further by considering how biographical method and reflexive responses offer opportunity to find the personal voice and make spaces more compelling and integrative as a different form of pedagogy for nurse education.

  5. 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...

  6. Exploring Controversy in Twitter

    OpenAIRE

    Garimella, Kiran; Mathioudakis, Michael; De Francisci Morales, Gianmarco; Gionis, Aristides

    2016-01-01

    Among the topics discussed on social media, some spark more heated debate than others. For example, experience suggests that major political events, such as a vote for healthcare law in the US, would spark more debate between opposing sides than other events, such as a concert of a popular music band. Exploring the topics of discussion on Twitter and understanding which ones are controversial is extremely useful for a variety of purposes, such as for journalists to understand what issues divi...

  7. Exploring Catalyst Behaviours

    OpenAIRE

    Austin, Annie; Cox, Jayne; Barnett, Julia; Thomas, Christine

    2011-01-01

    The ‘Exploring catalyst behaviours’ project continues Defra’s programme of research designed to develop a deeper understanding of pro-environmental behaviour. The research, conducted by Brook Lyndhurst, Dr Julie Barnett of the University of Surrey and Dr Christine Thomas of the Open University, feeds into the body of evidence that is guiding Defra and other stakeholders in developing policy, communications and other interventions to galvanise public action on the environment.The aim of the pr...

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Jupiter Magnetospheric Orbiter and Trojan Asteroid Explorer in EJSM

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sasaki, Sho; Fujimoto, Masaki; Yano, Hajime; Takashima, Takeshi; Kasaba, Yasumasa; Funase, Ryu; Tsuda, Yuichi; Kawaguchi, Junichiro; Kawakatsu, Yasuhiro; Mori, Osamu; Morimoto, Mutsuko; Yoshida, Fumi; Takato, Naruhisa

    The international mission to explore the Jovian system is planned as Europa Jupiter System Mission (EJSM) aiming at the launch in 2020. EJSM consists of (1) the Jupiter Europa Orbiter (JEO) by NASA, (2) the Jupiter Ganymede Orbiter (JGO) by ESA, and (3) the Jupiter Magnetospheric Orbiter (JMO) studied by JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency). In February 2009, NASA and ESA decided to continue the study of EJSM as a candidate of the outer solar system mission. In JAXA, a mission plan combining Trojan asteroid explorer with JMO started. According to the mission plan, as the main spacecraft flies by Jupiter, it will deploy the JMO satellite around Jupiter. Then the main will target one (or two) Trojan asteroids. JMO is a spin-stabilized satellite which will have magnetometers, low-energy plasma spectrome-ters, medium energy particle detectors, energetic particle detectors, electric field / plasma wave instruments, an ENA imager, an EUV spectrometer, and a dust detector. Collaborating with plasma instruments on board JEO and JGO, JMO will investigate the fast-rotating huge mag-netosphere to clarify the energy procurement from the rotation of Jupiter to the magnetosphere and to clarify the interaction between the solar wind and the magnetosphere. JAXA started the study of a solar power sail for deep space explorations. In addition to the function of a solar sail (photon propulsion), the solar power sail system has very efficient ion engines where electric power is produced solar panels within the sail. Currently we are studying a mission to Jupiter and Trojan asteroids using a large (100m-scale) solar power sail that can transfer large payload as far as Jupiter. Trojan asteroids, which orbit around Jupiter's Lagrangian points, are primitive bodies with information of the early solar system as well as raw solid materials of Jovian system. Proposed instruments for the Trojan spacecraft are cameras, IR spectrometers, XRS, a laser altimeter, and a small surface rover

  11. 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.

  12. Modeling turbulent flows in the atmospheric boundary layer of Mars: application to Gale crater, Mars, landing site of the Curiosity rover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, William

    2017-04-01

    Mars is a dry planet with a thin atmosphere. Aeolian processes - wind-driven mobilization of sediment and dust - are the exclusive mode of landscape variability on Mars. Craters are common topographic features on the surface of Mars, and many craters on Mars contain a prominent central mound (NASA's Curiosity rover was landed in Gale crater). Using density-normalized large-eddy simulations, we have modeled turbulent flows over crater-like topographies that feature a central mound. We have also run one simulation of flow over a digital elevation map of Gale crater. Resultant datasets suggest a deflationary mechanism wherein vortices shed from the upwind crater rim are realigned to conform to the crater profile via stretching and tilting. This was accomplished using three-dimensional datasets (momentum and vorticity) retrieved from LES. As a result, helical vortices occupy the inner region of the crater and, therefore, are primarily responsible for aeolian morphodynamics in the crater. We have also used the immersed-boundary method body force distribution to compute the aerodynamic surface stress on the crater. These results suggest that secondary flows - originating from flow separation at the crater - have played an important role in shaping landscape features observed in craters (including the dune fields observed on Mars, many of which are actively evolving).

  13. 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.

  14. Mineral Abundance and Particle Size Distribution Derived from In-Situ Spectra Measurements of Yutu Rover of CHANG'E-3

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, H.; Zhang, X.; Yang, Y.; Wu, X.; Guo, D.

    2017-07-01

    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.

  15. Collaborative Planning of Robotic Exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-01-01

    The Science Activity Planner (SAP) software system includes an uplink-planning component, which enables collaborative planning of activities to be undertaken by an exploratory robot on a remote planet or on Earth. Included in the uplink-planning component is the SAP-Uplink Browser, which enables users to load multiple spacecraft activity plans into a single window, compare them, and merge them. The uplink-planning component includes a subcomponent that implements the Rover Markup Language Activity Planning format (RML-AP), based on the Extensible Markup Language (XML) format that enables the representation, within a single document, of planned spacecraft and robotic activities together with the scientific reasons for the activities. Each such document is highly parseable and can be validated easily. Another subcomponent of the uplink-planning component is the Activity Dictionary Markup Language (ADML), which eliminates the need for two mission activity dictionaries - one in a human-readable format and one in a machine-readable format. Style sheets that have been developed along with the ADML format enable users to edit one dictionary in a user-friendly environment without compromising

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Exploring Late Globalization

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Turcan, Romeo V.

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this viewpoint paper is to motivate a program of research on late globalization, a program that could eventually lead to one or more significant theories of late globalization. The paper explores the phenomenon of late globalization as well as the idea of “late” by drawing on sparse...... literature on late globalization from sociocultural and economic perspectives. It illustrates in a vignette the character and features of late globalization observable in the withdrawal from foreign locations or deinternationalization of universities, as late globalizing entitis. The paper discusses...... the range of constructs around the core idea of late globalization, generating questions for future work in a late globalization research program....

  19. 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

  20. Method of geoelectrical exploration

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Aladinskiy, Yu.V.; Bobrovnikov, L.Z.; Chernyak, G.Ya.; Lyakhov, L.L.; Plyusnin, M.I.; Popov, V.A.; Sharapanov, N.N.

    1979-11-03

    A method is proposed for geoelectrical exploration (nonstationary fields) in which the electromagnetic field is excited by current pulses and signals of secondary electromagnetic field are measured in the intervals between the current pulses. In order to improve the accuracy of measurements by separating the polarization and induction effects, difference in absolute values of the signals of the secondary electromagnetic field measured through the same time interval are determined after disengagement of the current pulses of different duration by which the magnitude of polarization effects are judged.