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Sample records for lunar rover technology

  1. Rover Technologies

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

  2. Pressurized Lunar Rover (PLR)

    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

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

    Yan-chun Yang

    2008-06-01

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

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

    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.

  5. Rover deployment system for lunar landing mission

    Sutoh, Masataku; Hoshino, Takeshi; Wakabayashi, Sachiko

    2017-09-01

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

  6. Researches on hazard avoidance cameras calibration of Lunar Rover

    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.

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

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

    2008-09-01

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

  8. Applied design methodology for lunar rover elastic wheel

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

    2012-12-01

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

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

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

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

    2014-11-01

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

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

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

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

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

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

    2014-01-01

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

  13. Multi-rover navigation on the lunar surface

    Dabrowski, Borys; Banaszkiewicz, Marek

    2008-07-01

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

  14. Electrical power technology for robotic planetary rovers

    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.

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

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

    2014-12-01

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

  16. CRAFT: Collaborative Rover and Astronauts Future Technology

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

    2018-02-01

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

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

    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.

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

    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.

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

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

    2015-04-28

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

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

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

    2015-04-01

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

  1. Space Solar Power Technology for Lunar Polar Applications

    Henley, Mark W.; Howell, Joe T.

    2004-01-01

    The technology for Laser-Photo-Voltaic Wireless Power Transistor (Laser-PV WPT) is being developed for lunar polar applications by Boeing and NASA Marshall Space Center. A lunar polar mission could demonstrate and validate Laser-PV WPT and other SSP technologies, while enabling access to cold, permanently shadowed craters that are believed to contain ice. Crater may hold frozen water and other volatiles deposited over billion of years, recording prior impact event on the moon (and Earth). A photo-voltaic-powered rover could use sunlight, when available, and laser light, when required, to explore a wide range of lunar terrain. The National Research Council recently found that a mission to the moon's south pole-Aitkir basin has priority for space science

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

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

    2018-05-01

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

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

    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.

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

    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.

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

    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.

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

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

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

    2016-08-01

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

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

    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.

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

    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.

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

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

    2013-01-01

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

  12. Space Solar Power Technology Demonstration for Lunar Polar Applications

    Henley, M. W.; Fikes, J. C.; Howell, J.; Mankins, J. C.; Howell, J.

    2002-01-01

    A solar power generation station on a mountaintop near the moon's North or South pole can receive sunlight 708 hours per lunar day, for continuous power generation. Power can be beamed from this station over long distances using a laser-based wireless power transmission system and a photo-voltaic receiver. This beamed energy can provide warmth, electricity, and illumination for a robotic rover to perform scientific experiments in cold, dark craters where no other power source is practical. Radio-frequency power transmission may also be demonstrated in lunar polar applications to locate and recover sub-surface deposits of volatile material, such as water ice. High circular polarization ratios observed in data from Clementine spacecraft and Arecibo radar reflections from the moon's South pole suggest that water ice is indeed present in certain lunar polar craters. Data from the Lunar Prospector spacecraft's epi-thermal neutron spectrometer also indicate that hydrogen is present at the moon's poles. Space Solar Power technology enables investigation of these craters, which may contain a billion-year-old stratigraphic record of tremendous scientific value. Layers of ice, preserved at the moon's poles, could help us determine the sequence and composition of comet impacts on the moon. Such ice deposits may even include distinct strata deposited by secondary ejecta following significant Earth (ocean) impacts, linked to major extinctions of life on Earth. Ice resources at the moon's poles could provide water and air for human exploration and development of space as well as rocket propellant for future space transportation. Technologies demonstrated and matured via lunar polar applications can also be used in other NASA science missions (Valles Marineris. Phobos, Deimos, Mercury's poles, asteroids, etc.) and in future large-scale SSP systems to beam energy from space to Earth. Ground-based technology demonstrations are proceeding to mature the technology for such a near

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

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

    1998-08-01

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

  14. Lunar Surface Systems Supportability Technology Development Roadmap

    Oeftering, Richard C.; Struk, Peter M.; Green, Jennifer L.; Chau, Savio N.; Curell, Philip C.; Dempsey, Cathy A.; Patterson, Linda P.; Robbins, William; Steele, Michael A.; DAnnunzio, Anthony; hide

    2011-01-01

    The Lunar Surface Systems Supportability Technology Development Roadmap is a guide for developing the technologies needed to enable the supportable, sustainable, and affordable exploration of the Moon and other destinations beyond Earth. Supportability is defined in terms of space maintenance, repair, and related logistics. This report considers the supportability lessons learned from NASA and the Department of Defense. Lunar Outpost supportability needs are summarized, and a supportability technology strategy is established to make the transition from high logistics dependence to logistics independence. This strategy will enable flight crews to act effectively to respond to problems and exploit opportunities in an environment of extreme resource scarcity and isolation. The supportability roadmap defines the general technology selection criteria. Technologies are organized into three categories: diagnostics, test, and verification; maintenance and repair; and scavenge and recycle. Furthermore, "embedded technologies" and "process technologies" are used to designate distinct technology types with different development cycles. The roadmap examines the current technology readiness level and lays out a four-phase incremental development schedule with selection decision gates. The supportability technology roadmap is intended to develop technologies with the widest possible capability and utility while minimizing the impact on crew time and training and remaining within the time and cost constraints of the program.

  15. Beijing Lunar Declaration 2010: B) Technology and Resources; Infrastructures and Human Aspects; Moon, Space and Society

    Arvidson, R.; Foing, B. H.; Plescial, J.; Cohen, B.; Blamont, J. E.

    2010-01-01

    We report on the Beijing Lunar Declaration endorsed by the delegates of the Global Lunar Conference/11th ILEWG Conference on Exploration and Utilisation of the Moon, held at Beijing on 30 May- 3 June 2010. Specifically we focus on Part B:Technologies and resources; Infrastructures and human aspects; Moon, Space, Society and Young Explorers. We recommend continued and enhanced development and implementation of sessions about lunar exploration, manned and robotic, at key scientific and engineering meetings. A number of robotic missions to the Moon are now undertaken independently by various nations, with a degree of exchange of information and coordination. That should increase towards real cooperation, still allowing areas of competition for keeping the process active, cost-effective and faster. - Lunar landers, pressurized lunar rover projects as presented from Europe, Asia and America are important steps that can create opportunities for international collaboration, within a coordinated village of robotic precursors and assistants to crew missions. - We have to think about development, modernization of existing navigation capabilities, and provision of lunar positioning, navigation and data relay assets to support future robotic and human exploration. New concepts and new methods for transportation have attracted much attention and are of great potential.

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

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

    2005-01-01

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

  17. Use of a Lunar Outpost for Developing Space Settlement Technologies

    Purves, Lloyd R.

    2008-01-01

    The type of polar lunar outpost being considered in the NASA Vision for Space Exploration (VSE) can effectively support the development of technologies that will not only significantly enhance lunar exploration, but also enable long term crewed space missions, including space settlement. The critical technologies are: artificial gravity, radiation protection, Closed Ecological Life Support Systems (CELSS) and In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU). These enhance lunar exploration by extending the time an astronaut can remain on the moon and reducing the need for supplies from Earth, and they seem required for space settlement. A polar lunar outpost provides a location to perform the research and testing required to develop these technologies, as well as to determine if there are viable countermeasures that can reduce the need for Earth-surface-equivalent gravity and radiation protection on long human space missions. The types of spinning space vehicles or stations envisioned to provide artificial gravity can be implemented and tested on the lunar surface, where they can create any level of effective gravity above the 1/6 Earth gravity that naturally exists on the lunar surface. Likewise, varying degrees of radiation protection can provide a natural radiation environment on the lunar surface less than or equal to 1/2 that of open space at 1 AU. Lunar ISRU has the potential of providing most of the material needed for radiation protection, the centrifuge that provides artificial gravity; and the atmosphere, water and soil for a CELSS. Lunar ISRU both saves the cost of transporting these materials from Earth and helps define the requirements for ISRU on other planetary bodies. Biosphere II provides a reference point for estimating what is required for an initial habitat with a CELSS. Previous studies provide initial estimates of what would be required to provide such a lunar habitat with the gravity and radiation environment of the Earth s surface. While much preparatory

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

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

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

  20. A Lunar Surface System Supportability Technology Development Roadmap

    Oeftering, Richard C.; Struk, Peter M.; Taleghani, barmac K.

    2011-01-01

    This paper discusses the establishment of a Supportability Technology Development Roadmap as a guide for developing capabilities intended to allow NASA s Constellation program to enable a supportable, sustainable and affordable exploration of the Moon and Mars. Presented is a discussion of supportability, in terms of space facility maintenance, repair and related logistics and a comparison of how lunar outpost supportability differs from the International Space Station. Supportability lessons learned from NASA and Department of Defense experience and their impact on a future lunar outpost is discussed. A supportability concept for future missions to the Moon and Mars that involves a transition from a highly logistics dependent to a logistically independent operation is discussed. Lunar outpost supportability capability needs are summarized and a supportability technology development strategy is established. The resulting Lunar Surface Systems Supportability Strategy defines general criteria that will be used to select technologies that will enable future flight crews to act effectively to respond to problems and exploit opportunities in an environment of extreme resource scarcity and isolation. This strategy also introduces the concept of exploiting flight hardware as a supportability resource. The technology roadmap involves development of three mutually supporting technology categories, Diagnostics Test and Verification, Maintenance and Repair, and Scavenging and Recycling. The technology roadmap establishes two distinct technology types, "Embedded" and "Process" technologies, with different implementation and thus different criteria and development approaches. The supportability technology roadmap addresses the technology readiness level, and estimated development schedule for technology groups that includes down-selection decision gates that correlate with the lunar program milestones. The resulting supportability technology roadmap is intended to develop a set

  1. Lunar Water Resource Demonstration

    Muscatello, Anthony C.

    2008-01-01

    In cooperation with the Canadian Space Agency, the Northern Centre for Advanced Technology, Inc., the Carnegie-Mellon University, JPL, and NEPTEC, NASA has undertaken the In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) project called RESOLVE. This project is a ground demonstration of a system that would be sent to explore permanently shadowed polar lunar craters, drill into the regolith, determine what volatiles are present, and quantify them in addition to recovering oxygen by hydrogen reduction. The Lunar Prospector has determined these craters contain enhanced hydrogen concentrations averaging about 0.1%. If the hydrogen is in the form of water, the water concentration would be around 1%, which would translate into billions of tons of water on the Moon, a tremendous resource. The Lunar Water Resource Demonstration (LWRD) is a part of RESOLVE designed to capture lunar water and hydrogen and quantify them as a backup to gas chromatography analysis. This presentation will briefly review the design of LWRD and some of the results of testing the subsystem. RESOLVE is to be integrated with the Scarab rover from CMIJ and the whole system demonstrated on Mauna Kea on Hawaii in November 2008. The implications of lunar water for Mars exploration are two-fold: 1) RESOLVE and LWRD could be used in a similar fashion on Mars to locate and quantify water resources, and 2) electrolysis of lunar water could provide large amounts of liquid oxygen in LEO, leading to lower costs for travel to Mars, in addition to being very useful at lunar outposts.

  2. ISRU-Based Robotic Construction Technologies For Lunar And Martian Infrastructures

    Khoshnevis, Behrokh; Carlson, Anders; Thangavelu, Madhu

    2017-01-01

    Economically viable and reliable building systems and tool sets are being sought, examined and tested for extraterrestrial infrastructure buildup. This project utilizes a unique architecture weaving the robotic building construction technology with designs for assisting rapid buildup of initial operational capability Lunar and Martian bases. The project intends to develop and test methodologies to construct certain crucial infrastructure elements in order to evaluate the merits, limitations and feasibility of adapting and using such technologies for extraterrestrial application. High priority infrastructure elements suggested by our NASA advisors to be considered include landing pads and aprons, roads, blast walls and shade walls, thermal and micrometeorite protection shields and dust-free platforms utilizing the well-known insitu resource utilization (ISRU) strategy. Current extraterrestrial settlement buildup philosophy holds that in order to minimize the materials needed to be flown in, at great transportation costs, strategies that maximize the use of locally available resources must be adopted. Tools and heavy equipment flown as cargo from Earth are proposed to build required infrastructure to support future missions and settlements on the Moon and Mars. Several unique systems including the Lunar Electric Rover, the unpressurized Chariot rover, the versatile light-weight crane and Tri-Athlete cargo transporter as well as the habitat module mockups and a new generation of spacesuits are undergoing coordinated tests at NASAs D-RATS. This project intends to draw up a detailed synergetic plan to utilize these maturing systems coupled with modern robotic fabrication technologies based primarily on 3D Printing, tailored for swift and reliable Lunar and Martian infrastructure development. This project also intends to increase astronaut safety, improve buildup performance, ameliorate dust interference and concerns, and reduce time-to-commission, all in an economic

  3. Exploration Life Support Technology Development for Lunar Missions

    Ewert, Michael K.; Barta, Daniel J.; McQuillan, Jeffrey

    2009-01-01

    Exploration Life Support (ELS) is one of NASA's Exploration Technology Development Projects. ELS plans, coordinates and implements the development of new life support technologies for human exploration missions as outlined in NASA's Vision for Space Exploration. ELS technology development currently supports three major projects of the Constellation Program - the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle (CEV), the Altair Lunar Lander and Lunar Surface Systems. ELS content includes Air Revitalization Systems (ARS), Water Recovery Systems (WRS), Waste Management Systems (WMS), Habitation Engineering, Systems Integration, Modeling and Analysis (SIMA), and Validation and Testing. The primary goal of the ELS project is to provide different technology options to Constellation which fill gaps or provide substantial improvements over the state-of-the-art in life support systems. Since the Constellation missions are so challenging, mass, power, and volume must be reduced from Space Shuttle and Space Station technologies. Systems engineering analysis also optimizes the overall architecture by considering all interfaces with the life support system and potential for reduction or reuse of resources. For long duration missions, technologies which aid in closure of air and water loops with increased reliability are essential as well as techniques to minimize or deal with waste. The ELS project utilizes in-house efforts at five NASA centers, aerospace industry contracts, Small Business Innovative Research contracts and other means to develop advanced life support technologies. Testing, analysis and reduced gravity flight experiments are also conducted at the NASA field centers. This paper gives a current status of technologies under development by ELS and relates them to the Constellation customers who will eventually use them.

  4. Night Rover Challenge

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

  5. DIDO optimization of a lunar landing trajectory with respect to autonomous landing hazard avoidance technology

    Francis, Michael R.

    2009-01-01

    Approved for public release, distribution unlimited In this study, the current and expected state of lunar landing technology is assessed. Contrasts are drawn between the technologies used during the Apollo era versus that which will be used in the next decade in an attempt to return to the lunar surface. In particular, one new technology, Autonomous Landing Hazard Avoidance Technology (ALHAT) and one new method, DIDO optimization, are identified and examined. An approach to creating a DID...

  6. The Dust Management Project: Characterizing Lunar Environments and Dust, Developing Regolith Mitigation Technology and Simulants

    Hyatt, Mark J.; Straka, Sharon A.

    2010-01-01

    A return to the Moon to extend human presence, pursue scientific activities, use the Moon to prepare for future human missions to Mars, and expand Earth?s economic sphere, will require investment in developing new technologies and capabilities to achieve affordable and sustainable human exploration. From the operational experience gained and lessons learned during the Apollo missions, conducting long-term operations in the lunar environment will be a particular challenge, given the difficulties presented by the unique physical properties and other characteristics of lunar regolith, including dust. The Apollo missions and other lunar explorations have identified significant lunar dust-related problems that will challenge future mission success. Comprised of regolith particles ranging in size from tens of nanometers to microns, lunar dust is a manifestation of the complex interaction of the lunar soil with multiple mechanical, electrical, and gravitational effects. The environmental and anthropogenic factors effecting the perturbation, transport, and deposition of lunar dust must be studied in order to mitigate it?s potentially harmful effects on exploration systems and human explorers. The Dust Management Project (DMP) is tasked with the evaluation of lunar dust effects, assessment of the resulting risks, and development of mitigation and management strategies and technologies related to Exploration Systems architectures. To this end, the DMP supports the overall goal of the Exploration Technology Development Program (ETDP) of addressing the relevant high priority technology needs of multiple elements within the Constellation Program (CxP) and sister ETDP projects. Project scope, plans, and accomplishments will be presented.

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

    Finseth, J.L.

    1991-01-01

    The United States embarked on a program to develop nuclear rocket engines in 1955. This program was known as project Rover. Initially nuclear rockets were considered as a potential backup for intercontinental ballistic missile propulsion but later proposed applications included both a lunar second stage as well as use in manned-Mars flights. Under the Rover program, 19 different reactors were built and tested during the period of 1959-1969. Additionally, several cold flow (non-fuelled) reactors were tested as well as a nuclear fuels test cell. The Rover program was terminated in 1973, due to budget constraints and an evolving political climate. The Rover program would have led to the development of a flight engine had the program continued through a logical continuation. The Rover program was responsible for a number of technological achievements. The successful operation of nuclear rocket engines on a system level represents the pinnacle of accomplishment. This paper will discuss the engine test program as well as several subsystems

  8. Design and Construction of Manned Lunar Base

    Li, Zhijie

    2016-07-01

    support system based on physical/chemic-regenerative life support system, which includes microbial waste treatment system, plants cultivation system and animal-protein production system. Energy is another important aspect needs to be solved when building lunar base habitation. The steps of lunar base building process are divided into lunar surface landing, transport, unloading, assembly and construction. Thus the activity systems including lunar lander, lunar chain block, various lunar rovers, robots and 3D printing machine are needed while building a lunar base. For the sake of enough power support for these facilities, the integrated manned lunar base will use solar + nuclear energy plus regenerative fuel cell together with 180kW power to satisfy the requirement of power supply. Besides these two questions talked above, the lunar base habitation also needs to solve the problem of lunar dust protection. Lunar dust grains are sharp and have electrostatic adsorption, which means this kind of dust may damage the functions of spacesuit, lunar rover and other equipments, and it may cause diseases if breathed by astronauts, consequently, lunar dust protection and cleaning mechanism needs to be founded and the anti-dust, automatic dust removal and self-cleaning materials need to be used. At last, this paper puts forward corresponding advices about building lunar base by using international collaboration. Out of question, the construction of lunar base is a huge project, it is very hard to be accomplished by any country alone since lots of uncertain complications exist there. By this token, international collaboration is a certain development direction, and lots of aerospace countries have already achieved the breakout of correlation key technologies, in order to avoid unnecessary waste, the dispersive advantageous resources need to be combined together.

  9. Development of a Lunar-Phase Observation System Based on Augmented Reality and Mobile Learning Technologies

    Tarng, Wernhuar; Lin, Yu-Sheng; Lin, Chiu-Pin; Ou, Kuo-Liang

    2016-01-01

    Observing the lunar phase requires long-term involvement, and it is often obstructed by bad weather or tall buildings. In this study, a lunar-phase observation system is developed using the augmented reality (AR) technology and the sensor functions of GPS, electronic compass, and 3-axis accelerometer on mobile devices to help students observe and record lunar phases easily. By holding the mobile device towards the moon in the sky, the screen will show the virtual moon at the position of the r...

  10. Development of a Lunar-Phase Observation System Based on Augmented Reality and Mobile Learning Technologies

    Wernhuar Tarng

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Observing the lunar phase requires long-term involvement, and it is often obstructed by bad weather or tall buildings. In this study, a lunar-phase observation system is developed using the augmented reality (AR technology and the sensor functions of GPS, electronic compass, and 3-axis accelerometer on mobile devices to help students observe and record lunar phases easily. By holding the mobile device towards the moon in the sky, the screen will show the virtual moon at the position of the real moon. The system allows the user to record the lunar phase, including its azimuth/elevation angles and the observation date and time. In addition, the system can shorten the learning process by setting different dates and times for observation, so it can solve the problem of being unable to observe and record lunar phases due to a bad weather or the moon appearing late in the night. Therefore, it is an effective tool for astronomy education in elementary and high schools. A teaching experiment has been conducted to analyze the learning effectiveness of the system and the results show that it is effective in learning the lunar concepts. The questionnaire results reveal that students considered the system easy to operate and it is useful in locating the moon and recording the lunar data.

  11. Tests of Gravity Using Lunar Laser Ranging

    Stephen M. Merkowitz

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available Lunar laser ranging (LLR has been a workhorse for testing general relativity over the past four decades. The three retroreflector arrays put on the Moon by the Apollo astronauts and the French built arrays on the Soviet Lunokhod rovers continue to be useful targets, and have provided the most stringent tests of the Strong Equivalence Principle and the time variation of Newton’s gravitational constant. The relatively new ranging system at the Apache Point 3.5 meter telescope now routinely makes millimeter level range measurements. Incredibly, it has taken 40 years for ground station technology to advance to the point where characteristics of the lunar retroreflectors are limiting the precision of the range measurements. In this article, we review the gravitational science and technology of lunar laser ranging and discuss prospects for the future.

  12. Cerebellum Augmented Rover Development

    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.

  13. Simulated Lunar Testing of Metabolic Heat Regenerated Temperature Swing Adsorption Technology

    Padilla, Sebastian A.; Bower, Chad; Iacomini, Christie S.; Paul, H.

    2011-01-01

    Metabolic heat regenerated Temperature Swing Adsorption (MTSA) technology is being developed for thermal and carbon dioxide (CO2) control for a Portable Life Support System (PLSS), as well as water recycling. An Engineering Development Unit (EDU) of the MTSA subassembly was designed and assembled for optimized Martian operations, but also meets system requirements for lunar operations. For lunar operations the MTSA sorption cycle is driven via a vacuum swing between suit ventilation loop pressure and lunar vacuum. The focus of this effort is operations and testing in a simulated lunar environment. This environment was simulated in Paragon s EHF vacuum chamber. The objective of this testing was to evaluate the full cycle performance of the MTSA Subassembly EDU, and to assess CO2 loading and pressure drop of the wash coated aluminum reticulated foam sorbent bed. The lunar testing proved out the feasibility of pure vacuum swing operation, making MTSA a technology that can be tested and used on the Moon prior to going to Mars. Testing demonstrated better than expected CO2 loading on the sorbent and nearly replicates the equilibrium data from the sorbent manufacturer. This had not been achieved in any of the previous sorbent loading tests performed by Paragon. Subsequently, the increased performance of the sorbent bed design indicates future designs will require less mass and volume than the current EDU rendering MTSA as very competitive for Martian PLSS applications.

  14. The roles and functions of a lunar base Nuclear Technology Center

    Buden, D.; Angelo, J.A. Jr.

    1991-01-01

    This paper describes the roles and functions of a special Nuclear Technology Center which is developed as an integral part of a permanent lunar base. Numerous contemporary studies clearly point out that nuclear energy technology will play a major role in any successful lunar/Mars initiative program and in the overall establishment of humanity's solar system civilization. The key role of nuclear energy in the providing power has been recognized. A Nuclear Technology Center developed as part of of a permanent lunar base can also help bring about many other nuclear technology applications, such as producing radioisotopes for self-illumination, food preservation, waste sterilization, and medical treatment; providing thermal energy for mining, materials processing and agricultural; and as a source of emergency habitat power. Designing such a center will involve the deployment, operation, servicing and waste product management and disposal of megawatt class reactor power plants. This challenge must be met with a minimum of direct human support at the facility. Furthermore, to support the timely, efficient integration of this Nuclear Technology Center in the evolving lunar base infrastructure, an analog of such a facility will be needed here on Earth. 12 refs., 4 figs., 1 tab

  15. Lunar All-Terrain Utility Vehicle for EVA, Phase I

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — ProtoInnovations, LLC proposes to develop a new type of planetary rover called a Lunar All-terrain Utility Vehicle ("Lunar ATV") to assist extra-vehicular activities...

  16. Human lunar mission capabilities using SSTO, ISRU and LOX-augmented NTR technologies: A preliminary assessment

    Borowski, Stanley K.

    1995-10-01

    The feasibility of conducting human missions to the Moon is examined assuming the use of three 'high leverage' technologies: (1) a single-stage-to-orbit (SSTO) launch vehicle, (2) 'in-situ' resource utilization (ISRU)--specifically 'lunar-derived' liquid oxygen (LUNOX), and (3) LOX-augmented nuclear thermal rocket (LANTR) propulsion. Lunar transportation system elements consisting of a LANTR-powered lunar transfer vehicle (LTV) and a chemical propulsion lunar landing/Earth return vehicle (LERV) are configured to fit within the 'compact' dimensions of the SSTO cargo bay (diameter: 4.6 m/length: 9.0 m) while satisfying an initial mass in low Earth orbit (IMLEO) limit of approximately 60 t (3 SSTO launches). Using approximately 8 t of LUNOX to 'reoxidize' the LERV for a 'direct return' flight to Earth reduces its size and mass allowing delivery to LEO on a single 20 t SSTO launch. Similarly, the LANTR engine's ability to operate at any oxygen/ hydrogen mixture ratio from 0 to 7 with high specific impulse (approximately 940 to 515 s) is exploited to reduce hydrogen tank volume, thereby improving packaging of the LANTR LTV's 'propulsion' and 'propellant modules'. Expendable and reusable, piloted and cargo missions and vehicle designs are presented along with estimates of LUNOX production required to support the different mission modes. Concluding remarks address the issue of lunar transportation system costs from the launch vehicle perspective.

  17. New Technology/Old Technology: Comparing Lunar Grain Size Distribution Data and Methods

    Fruland, R. M.; Cooper, Bonnie L.; Gonzalexz, C. P.; McKay, David S.

    2011-01-01

    Laser diffraction technology generates reproducible grain size distributions and reveals new structures not apparent in old sieve data. The comparison of specific sieve fractions with the Microtrac distribution curve generated for those specific fractions shows a reasonable match for the mean of each fraction between the two techniques, giving us confidence that the large existing body of sieve data can be cross-correlated with new data based on laser diffraction. It is well-suited for lunar soils, which have as much as 25% of the material in the less than 20 micrometer fraction. The fines in this range are of particular interest because they may contain a record of important space weathering processes.

  18. Use of Open Standards and Technologies at the Lunar Mapping and Modeling Project

    Law, E.; Malhotra, S.; Bui, B.; Chang, G.; Goodale, C. E.; Ramirez, P.; Kim, R. M.; Sadaqathulla, S.; Rodriguez, L.

    2011-12-01

    The Lunar Mapping and Modeling Project (LMMP), led by the Marshall Space Flight center (MSFC), is tasked by NASA. The project is responsible for the development of an information system to support lunar exploration activities. It provides lunar explorers a set of tools and lunar map and model products that are predominantly derived from present lunar missions (e.g., the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO)) and from historical missions (e.g., Apollo). At Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), we have built the LMMP interoperable geospatial information system's underlying infrastructure and a single point of entry - the LMMP Portal by employing a number of open standards and technologies. The Portal exposes a set of services to users to allow search, visualization, subset, and download of lunar data managed by the system. Users also have access to a set of tools that visualize, analyze and annotate the data. The infrastructure and Portal are based on web service oriented architecture. We designed the system to support solar system bodies in general including asteroids, earth and planets. We employed a combination of custom software, commercial and open-source components, off-the-shelf hardware and pay-by-use cloud computing services. The use of open standards and web service interfaces facilitate platform and application independent access to the services and data, offering for instances, iPad and Android mobile applications and large screen multi-touch with 3-D terrain viewing functions, for a rich browsing and analysis experience from a variety of platforms. The web services made use of open standards including: Representational State Transfer (REST); and Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC)'s Web Map Service (WMS), Web Coverage Service (WCS), Web Feature Service (WFS). Its data management services have been built on top of a set of open technologies including: Object Oriented Data Technology (OODT) - open source data catalog, archive, file management, data grid framework

  19. Lander Technologies

    Chavers, Greg

    2015-01-01

    Since 2006 NASA has been formulating robotic missions to the lunar surface through programs and projects like the Robotic Lunar Exploration Program, Lunar Precursor Robotic Program, and International Lunar Network. All of these were led by NASA Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC). Due to funding shortfalls, the lunar missions associated with these efforts, the designs, were not completed. From 2010 to 2013, the Robotic Lunar Lander Development Activity was funded by the Science Mission Directorate (SMD) to develop technologies that would enable and enhance robotic lunar surface missions at lower costs. In 2013, a requirements-driven, low-cost robotic lunar lander concept was developed for the Resource Prospector Mission. Beginning in 2014, The Advanced Exploration Systems funded the lander team and established the MSFC, Johnson Space Center, Applied Physics Laboratory, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory team with MSFC leading the project. The lander concept to place a 300-kg rover on the lunar surface has been described in the New Technology Report Case Number MFS-33238-1. A low-cost lander concept for placing a robotic payload on the lunar surface is shown in figures 1 and 2. The NASA lander team has developed several lander concepts using common hardware and software to allow the lander to be configured for a specific mission need. In addition, the team began to transition lander expertise to United States (U.S.) industry to encourage the commercialization of space, specifically the lunar surface. The Lunar Cargo Transportation and Landing by Soft Touchdown (CATALYST) initiative was started and the NASA lander team listed above is partnering with three competitively selected U.S. companies (Astrobotic, Masten Space Systems, and Moon Express) to develop, test, and operate their lunar landers.

  20. Planetary rovers robotic exploration of the solar system

    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 ...

  1. Lunar base mission technology issues and orbital demonstration requirements on space station

    Llewellyn, Charles P.; Weidman, Deene J.

    1992-01-01

    The International Space Station has been the object of considerable design, redesign, and alteration since it was originally proposed in early 1984. In the intervening years the station has slowly evolved to a specific design that was thoroughly reviewed by a large agency-wide Critical Evaluation Task Force (CETF). As space station designs continue to evolve, studies must be conducted to determine the suitability of the current design for some of the primary purposes for which the station will be used. This paper concentrates on the technology requirements and issues, the on-orbit demonstration and verification program, and the space station focused support required prior to the establishment of a permanently manned lunar base as identified in the National Commission on Space report. Technology issues associated with the on-orbit assembly and processing of the lunar vehicle flight elements are also discussed.

  2. Lunar Riometry

    Lazio, J.; Jones, D. L.; MacDowall, R. J.; Burns, J. O.; Kasper, J. C.

    2011-12-01

    The lunar exosphere is the exemplar of a plasma near the surface of an airless body. Exposed to both the solar and interstellar radiation fields, the lunar exosphere is mostly ionized, and enduring questions regarding its properties include its density and vertical extent and its behavior over time, including modification by landers. Relative ionospheric measurements (riometry) are based on the simple physical principle that electromagnetic waves cannot propagate through a partially or fully ionized medium below the plasma frequency, and riometers have been deployed on the Earth in numerous remote and hostile environments. A multi-frequency riometer on the lunar surface would be able to monitor, in situ, the peak plasma density of the lunar exosphere over time. We describe a concept for a riometer implemented as a secondary science payload on future lunar landers, such as those recommended in the recent Planetary Sciences Decadal Survey report. While the prime mission of such a riometer would be probing the lunar exosphere, our concept would also be capable to measuring the properties of nanometer- to micron-scale dust. The LUNAR consortium is funded by the NASA Lunar Science Institute to investigate concepts for astrophysical observatories on the Moon. Part of this research was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with NASA.

  3. Dust Removal Technology Demonstration for a Lunar Habitat

    Calle, C. I.; Chen, A.; Immer, C. D.; Csonka, M.; Hogue, M. D.; Snyder, S. J.; Rogriquez, M.; Margiotta, D. V.

    2010-01-01

    We have developed an Electrodynamic Dust Shield (EDS), an active dust mitigation technology with applications to solar panels, thermal radiators, optical systems, visors, seals and connectors. This active technology is capable of removing dust and granular material with diameters as large as several hundred microns. In this paper, we report on the development of three types of EDS systems for NASA's Habitat Demonstration Unit (HDU). A transparent EDS 20 cm in diameter with indium tin oxide electrodes on a 0.1 mm-thick polyethylene terephtalate (PET) film was constructed for viewport dust protection. Two opaque EDS systems with copper electrodes on 0.1 mm-thick Kapton were also built to demonstrate dust removal on the doors of the HDU. A lotus coating that minimizes dust adhesion was added to one of the last two EDS systems to demonstrate the effectiveness of the combined systems.

  4. Space Solar Power Technology Demonstration for Lunar Polar Applications: Laser-Photovoltaic Wireless Power Transmission

    Henley, M. W.; Fikes, J. C.; Howell, J.; Mankins, J. C.; Howell, Joe T. (Technical Monitor)

    2002-01-01

    Space Solar Power technology offers unique benefits for near-term NASA space science missions, which can mature this technology for other future applications. "Laser-Photo-Voltaic Wireless Power Transmission" (Laser-PV WPT) is a technology that uses a laser to beam power to a photovoltaic receiver, which converts the laser's light into electricity. Future Laser-PV WPT systems may beam power from Earth to satellites or large Space Solar Power satellites may beam power to Earth, perhaps supplementing terrestrial solar photo-voltaic receivers. In a near-term scientific mission to the moon, Laser-PV WPT can enable robotic operations in permanently shadowed lunar polar craters, which may contain ice. Ground-based technology demonstrations are proceeding, to mature the technology for this initial application, in the moon's polar regions.

  5. A survey of simultaneous localization and mapping on unstructured lunar complex environment

    Wang, Yiqiao; Zhang, Wei; An, Pei

    2017-10-01

    Simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) technology is the key to realizing lunar rover's intelligent perception and autonomous navigation. It embodies the autonomous ability of mobile robot, and has attracted plenty of concerns of researchers in the past thirty years. Visual sensors are meaningful to SLAM research because they can provide a wealth of information. Visual SLAM uses merely images as external information to estimate the location of the robot and construct the environment map. Nowadays, SLAM technology still has problems when applied in large-scale, unstructured and complex environment. Based on the latest technology in the field of visual SLAM, this paper investigates and summarizes the SLAM technology using in the unstructured complex environment of lunar surface. In particular, we focus on summarizing and comparing the detection and matching of features of SIFT, SURF and ORB, in the meanwhile discussing their advantages and disadvantages. We have analyzed the three main methods: SLAM Based on Extended Kalman Filter, SLAM Based on Particle Filter and SLAM Based on Graph Optimization (EKF-SLAM, PF-SLAM and Graph-based SLAM). Finally, this article summarizes and discusses the key scientific and technical difficulties in the lunar context that Visual SLAM faces. At the same time, we have explored the frontier issues such as multi-sensor fusion SLAM and multi-robot cooperative SLAM technology. We also predict and prospect the development trend of lunar rover SLAM technology, and put forward some ideas of further research.

  6. Exomars 2018 Rover Pasteur Payload

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

    ars programme is a joint ESA-NASA program having exobiology as one of the key science objectives. It is divided into 2 missions: the first mission is ESA-led with an ESA orbiter and an ESA Entry, Descent and Landing (EDL) demonstrator, launched in 2016 by NASA, and the second mission is NASA-led, launched in 2018 by NASA carrying an ESA rover and a NASA rover both deployed by a single NASA EDL system. For ESA, the ExoMars programme will demonstrate key flight and in situ enabling technologies in support of the European ambitions for future exploration missions, as outlined in the Aurora Declaration. While the ExoMars 2016 mission will accomplish a technological objective (Entry, Descent and Landing of a payload on the surface) and a Scientific objective (investigation of Martian atmospheric trace gases and their sources, focussing particularly on methane), the ExoMars 2018 ESA Rover will carry a comprehensive and coherent suite of analytical instruments dedicated to exobiology and geology research: the Pasteur Payload (PPL). This payload includes a selection of complementary instruments, having the following goals: to search for signs of past and present life on Mars and to investigate the water/geochemical environment as a function of depth in the shallow subsurface. The ExoMars Rover includes a drill for accessing underground materials, and a Sample Preparation and Distribution System. The Rover will travel several kilometres looking for sites warranting further investigation, where it will collect and analyse samples from within outcrops and from the subsurface for traces of complex organic molecules. In addition to further details on this Exomars 2018 rover mission, this presentation will focus on the scientific objectives and the instruments needed to achieve them, including details of how the Pasteur Payload as a whole addresses Mars research objectives.

  7. NASA's Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute: Science and Technology for Lunar Exploration

    Schmidt, Greg; Bailey, Brad; Gibbs, Kristina

    2015-01-01

    The NASA Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI) is a virtual institute focused on research at the intersection of science and exploration, training the next generation of lunar scientists, and development and support of the international community. As part of its mission, SSERVI acts as a hub for opportunities that engage the larger scientific and exploration communities in order to form new interdisciplinary, research-focused collaborations. The nine domestic SSERVI teams that comprise the U.S. complement of the Institute engage with the international science and exploration communities through workshops, conferences, online seminars and classes, student exchange programs and internships. SSERVI represents a close collaboration between science, technology and exploration enabling a deeper, integrated understanding of the Moon and other airless bodies as human exploration moves beyond low Earth orbit. SSERVI centers on the scientific aspects of exploration as they pertain to the Moon, Near Earth Asteroids (NEAs) and the moons of Mars, with additional aspects of related technology development, including a major focus on human exploration-enabling efforts such as resolving Strategic Knowledge Gaps (SKGs). The Institute focuses on interdisciplinary, exploration-related science focused on airless bodies targeted as potential human destinations. Areas of study represent the broad spectrum of lunar, NEA, and Martian moon sciences encompassing investigations of the surface, interior, exosphere, and near-space environments as well as science uniquely enabled from these bodies. This research profile integrates investigations of plasma physics, geology/geochemistry, technology integration, solar system origins/evolution, regolith geotechnical properties, analogues, volatiles, ISRU and exploration potential of the target bodies. New opportunities for both domestic and international partnerships are continually generated through these research and

  8. Echo simulation of lunar penetrating radar: based on a model of inhomogeneous multilayer lunar regolith structure

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

    2014-01-01

    Lunar Penetrating Radar (LPR) based on the time domain Ultra-Wideband (UWB) technique onboard China's Chang'e-3 (CE-3) rover, has the goal of investigating the lunar subsurface structure and detecting the depth of lunar regolith. An inhomogeneous multi-layer microwave transfer inverse-model is established. The dielectric constant of the lunar regolith, the velocity of propagation, the reflection, refraction and transmission at interfaces, and the resolution are discussed. The model is further used to numerically simulate and analyze temporal variations in the echo obtained from the LPR attached on CE-3's rover, to reveal the location and structure of lunar regolith. The thickness of the lunar regolith is calculated by a comparison between the simulated radar B-scan images based on the model and the detected result taken from the CE-3 lunar mission. The potential scientific return from LPR echoes taken from the landing region is also discussed

  9. Echo simulation of lunar penetrating radar: based on a model of inhomogeneous multilayer lunar regolith structure

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

    2014-12-01

    Lunar Penetrating Radar (LPR) based on the time domain Ultra-Wideband (UWB) technique onboard China's Chang'e-3 (CE-3) rover, has the goal of investigating the lunar subsurface structure and detecting the depth of lunar regolith. An inhomogeneous multi-layer microwave transfer inverse-model is established. The dielectric constant of the lunar regolith, the velocity of propagation, the reflection, refraction and transmission at interfaces, and the resolution are discussed. The model is further used to numerically simulate and analyze temporal variations in the echo obtained from the LPR attached on CE-3's rover, to reveal the location and structure of lunar regolith. The thickness of the lunar regolith is calculated by a comparison between the simulated radar B-scan images based on the model and the detected result taken from the CE-3 lunar mission. The potential scientific return from LPR echoes taken from the landing region is also discussed.

  10. From Lunar Regolith to Fabricated Parts: Technology Developments and the Utilization of Moon Dirt

    McLemore, C. A.; Fikes, J. C.; McCarley, K. S.; Good, J. E.; Gilley, S. D.; Kennedy, J. P.

    2008-01-01

    The U.S. Space Exploration Policy has as a cornerstone the establishment of an outpost on the moon. This lunar outpost wil1 eventually provide the necessary planning, technology development, testbed, and training for manned missions in the future beyond the Moon. As part of the overall activity, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is investigating how the in situ resources can be utilized to improve mission success by reducing up-mass, improving safety, reducing risk, and bringing down costs for the overall mission. Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC), along with other NASA centers, is supporting this endeavor by exploring how lunar regolith can be mined for uses such as construction, life support, propulsion, power, and fabrication. An infrastructure capable of fabrication and nondestructive evaluation will be needed to support habitat structure development and maintenance, tools and mechanical parts fabrication, as well as repair and replacement of space-mission hardware such as life-support items, vehicle components, and crew systems, This infrastructure will utilize the technologies being developed under the In Situ Fabrication and Repair (ISFR) element, which is working in conjunction with the technologies being developed under the In Situ Resources Utilization (ISRU) element, to live off the land. The ISFR Element supports the Space Exploration Initiative by reducing downtime due to failed components; decreasing risk to crew by recovering quickly from degraded operation of equipment; improving system functionality with advanced geometry capabilities; and enhancing mission safety by reducing assembly part counts of original designs where possible. This paper addresses the need and plan for understanding the properties of the lunar regolith to determine the applicability of using this material in a fabrication process. This effort includes the development of high fidelity simulants that will be used in fabrication processes on the ground to

  11. Lunar Flashlight and Other Lunar Cubesats

    Cohen, Barbara

    2017-01-01

    Water is a human-exploitable resource. Lunar Flashlight is a Cubesat mission to detect and map lunar surface ice in permanently-shadowed regions of the lunar south pole. EM-1 will carry 13 Cubesat-class missions to further smallsat science and exploration capabilities; much room to infuse LEO cubesat methodology, models, and technology. Exploring the value of concurrent measurements to measure dynamical processes of water sources and sinks.

  12. Bringing Terramechanics to bear on Planetary Rover Design

    Richter, L.

    2007-08-01

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

  13. Walking Wheel Design for Lunar Rove-Rand and Its Application Simulation Based on Virtual Lunar Environment

    Zhao Yibing

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available The lunar rover design is the key problem of planet exploration. It is extraordinarily important for researchers to fully understand the lunar terrain and propose the reasonable lunar rover. In this paper, one new type of walking wheel modeled on impeller is presented based on vehicle terramechanics. The passive earth pressure of soil mechanics put forward by C. A. Coulomb is employed to obtain the wheel traction force. Some kinematics simulations are conducted for lunar rover model. Besides, this paper presents how to model lunar landing terrain containing typical statistic characteristic including craters and boulders; then, the second step is to construct basal lunar surface by using Brown Fractal Motion and the next is to add craters and boulders by means of known diameter algorithm and Random-create Diameter Algorithm. By means of importing 2D plain of lunar surface into UG, 3D parasolid is modeled and finally imported to ADAMS, which is available for lunar rover kinematics and dynamics simulation. Lastly, based on power spectrum curve of lunar terrain, the spectral characteristic of three different lunar terrain roughness is educed by using reverse engineering algorithm. Simulation results demonstrated the frequency of vibration mechanics properties of different roughness surfaces.

  14. Lunar All-Terrain Utility Vehicle for EVA, Phase II

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — ProtoInnovations, LLC proposes to develop a new type of planetary rover called a Lunar All-terrain Utility Vehicle ("LATUV") to assist extra-vehicular activities in...

  15. The ESA Lunar Lander and the search for Lunar Volatiles

    Morse, A. D.; Barber, S. J.; Pillinger, J. M.; Sheridan, S.; Wright, I. P.; Gibson, E. K.; Merrifield, J. A.; Waltham, N. R.; Waugh, L. J.; Pillinger, C. T.

    2011-10-01

    extraction of volatiles and determine the volatile inventory of the moon with a view for future In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU). Surface samples will be collected by a robotic arm with the possibility of a rover to collect more distant samples. The concentration, chemical and accurate isotopic ratios (D/H, 12C/13C, 15N/14N, 18O/16O and noble gases) of liberated volatiles will be determined, possibly using similar technology to the Philae comet lander of the Rosetta mission [6]. An additional aim is the monitoring of the chemical and isotopic composition of the tenuous lunar atmosphere [7] which will become contaminated by active human exploration. The lunar atmosphere will provide information on the processes involved in forming lunar volatiles and their concentration mechanisms. Modelling the effects of contamination from the Lander is an essential part of this study so that these can be recognized and minimized.

  16. The Future Lunar Flora Colony

    Goel, E. G.; Guven, U. G.

    2017-10-01

    A constructional design for the primary establishment for a lunar colony using the micrometeorite rich soil is proposed. It highlights the potential of lunar regolith combined with Earth technology for water and oxygen for human outposts on the Moon.

  17. A Brief Survey of Media Access Control, Data Link Layer, and Protocol Technologies for Lunar Surface Communications

    Wallett, Thomas M.

    2009-01-01

    This paper surveys and describes some of the existing media access control and data link layer technologies for possible application in lunar surface communications and the advanced wideband Direct Sequence Code Division Multiple Access (DSCDMA) conceptual systems utilizing phased-array technology that will evolve in the next decade. Time Domain Multiple Access (TDMA) and Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) are standard Media Access Control (MAC) techniques that can be incorporated into lunar surface communications architectures. Another novel hybrid technique that is recently being developed for use with smart antenna technology combines the advantages of CDMA with those of TDMA. The relatively new and sundry wireless LAN data link layer protocols that are continually under development offer distinct advantages for lunar surface applications over the legacy protocols which are not wireless. Also several communication transport and routing protocols can be chosen with characteristics commensurate with smart antenna systems to provide spacecraft communications for links exhibiting high capacity on the surface of the Moon. The proper choices depend on the specific communication requirements.

  18. Nuclear thermal rocket workshop reference system Rover/NERVA

    Borowski, S.K.

    1991-01-01

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

  19. Lunar CATALYST

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Lunar Cargo Transportation and Landing by Soft Touchdown (Lunar CATALYST) is a NASA initiative to encourage the development of U.S. private-sector robotic lunar...

  20. Building components for an outpost on the Lunar soil by means of a novel 3D printing technology

    Cesaretti, Giovanni; Dini, Enrico; De Kestelier, Xavier; Colla, Valentina; Pambaguian, Laurent

    2014-01-01

    3D-printing technologies are receiving an always increasing attention in architecture, due to their potential use for direct construction of buildings and other complex structures, also of considerable dimensions, with virtually any shape. Some of these technologies rely on an agglomeration process of inert materials, e.g. sand, through a special binding liquid and this capability is of interest for the space community for its potential application to space exploration. In fact, it opens the possibility for exploiting in-situ resources for the construction of buildings in harsh spatial environments. The paper presents the results of a study aimed at assessing the concept of 3D printing technology for building habitats on the Moon using lunar soil, also called regolith. A particular patented 3D-printing technology - D-shape - has been applied, which is, among the existing rapid prototyping systems, the closest to achieving full scale construction of buildings and the physical and chemical characteristics of lunar regolith and terrestrial regolith simulants have been assessed with respect to the working principles of such technology. A novel lunar regolith simulant has also been developed, which almost exactly reproduces the characteristics of the JSC-1A simulant produced in the US. Moreover, tests in air and in vacuum have been performed to demonstrate the occurrence of the reticulation reaction with the regolith simulant. The vacuum tests also showed that evaporation or freezing of the binding liquid can be prevented through a proper injection method. The general requirements of a Moon outpost have been specified, and a preliminary design of the habitat has been developed. Based on such design, a section of the outpost wall has been selected and manufactured at full scale using the D-shape printer and regolith simulant. Test pieces have also been manufactured and their mechanical properties have been assessed.

  1. Rover waste assay system

    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.

  2. Rover waste assay system

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

    1997-01-01

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

  3. Using Multi-Core Systems for Rover Autonomy

    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

  4. Preparing to Test Rover Mobility

    2005-01-01

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

  5. Lunar and planetary surface conditions advances in space science and technology

    Weil, Nicholas A

    1965-01-01

    Lunar and Planetary Surface Conditions considers the inferential knowledge concerning the surfaces of the Moon and the planetary companions in the Solar System. The information presented in this four-chapter book is based on remote observations and measurements from the vantage point of Earth and on the results obtained from accelerated space program of the United States and U.S.S.R. Chapter 1 presents the prevalent hypotheses on the origin and age of the Solar System, followed by a brief description of the methods and feasibility of information acquisition concerning lunar and planetary data,

  6. A MATLAB based Distributed Real-time Simulation of Lander-Orbiter-Earth Communication for Lunar Missions

    Choudhury, Diptyajit; Angeloski, Aleksandar; Ziah, Haseeb; Buchholz, Hilmar; Landsman, Andre; Gupta, Amitava; Mitra, Tiyasa

    communication. The DRTS setup thus developed serves as an important and inexpensive test bench for trying out remote controlled applications on the rover, for example, from an earth station. The simulation is modular and the system is composable. Each of the processes can be aug-mented with relevant simulation modules that handle the events to simulate specific function-alities. With stringent energy saving requirements on most rovers, such a simulation set up, for example, can be used to design optimal rover movement control strategies from the orbiter in conjunction with autonomous systems on the rover itself. References 1. Lunar and Planetary Department, Moscow University, Lunokhod 1, "http://selena.sai.msu.ru/Home/Spa 2. NASA History Office, Guidelines for Advanced Manned Space Vehicle Program, "http://history.nasa.gov 35ann/AMSVPguidelines/top.htm" 3. Consultative Committee For Space Data Systems, "Proximity-1 Space Link Protocol" CCSDS 211.0-B-1 Blue Book. October 2002. 4. Segui, J. and Jennings, E., "Delay Tolerant Networking-Bundle Protocol Simulation", in Proceedings of the 2nd IEEE International Conference on Space Mission Challenges for Infor-mation Technology, 2006.

  7. Lunar electrostatic effects and protection

    Sun, Yongwei; Yuan, Qingyun; Xiong, Jiuliang

    2013-01-01

    The space environment and features on the moon surface are factors in strong electrostatic electrification. Static electricity will be produced in upon friction between lunar soil and detectors or astronauts on the lunar surface. Lunar electrostatic environment effects from lunar exploration equipment are very harmful. Lunar dust with electrostatic charge may enter the equipment or even cover the instruments. It can affect the normal performance of moon detectors. Owing to the huge environmental differences between the moon and the earth, the electrostatic protection technology on the earth can not be applied. In this paper, we review the electrostatic characteristics of lunar dust, its effects on aerospace equipment and moon static elimination technologies. It was concluded that the effect of charged lunar dust on detectors and astronauts should be completely researched as soon as possible.

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

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

    2018-04-01

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

  9. Exomars 2018 Rover Pasteur Payload Sample Analysis

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

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

  10. Lunar surface exploration using mobile robots

    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.

  11. The use of automation and robotic systems to establish and maintain lunar base operations

    Petrosky, Lyman J.

    1992-01-01

    Robotic systems provide a means of performing many of the operations required to establish and maintain a lunar base. They form a synergistic system when properly used in concert with human activities. This paper discusses the various areas where robotics and automation may be used to enhance lunar base operations. Robots are particularly well suited for surface operations (exterior to the base habitat modules) because they can be designed to operate in the extreme temperatures and vacuum conditions of the Moon (or Mars). In this environment, the capabilities of semi-autonomous robots would surpass that of humans in all but the most complex tasks. Robotic surface operations include such activities as long range geological and mineralogical surveys with sample return, materials movement in and around the base, construction of radiation barriers around habitats, transfer of materials over large distances, and construction of outposts. Most of the above operations could be performed with minor modifications to a single basic robotic rover. Within the lunar base habitats there are a few areas where robotic operations would be preferable to human operations. Such areas include routine inspections for leakage in the habitat and its systems, underground transfer of materials between habitats, and replacement of consumables. In these and many other activities, robotic systems will greatly enhance lunar base operations. The robotic systems described in this paper are based on what is realistically achievable with relatively near term technology. A lunar base can be built and maintained if we are willing.

  12. APXS on board Chandrayaan-2 Rover

    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

  13. CE-4 Mission and Future Journey to Lunar

    Zou, Yongliao; Wang, Qin; Liu, Xiaoqun

    2016-07-01

    Chang'E-4 mission, being undertaken by phase two of China Lunar Exploration Program, represents China's first attempt to explore farside of lunar surface. Its probe includes a lander, a rover and a telecommunication relay which is scheduled to launch in around 2018. The scientific objectives of CE-4 mission will be implemented to investigate the lunar regional geological characteristics of landing and roving area, and also will make the first radio-astronomy measurements from the most radio-quiet region of near-earth space. The rover will opreate for at least 3 months, the lander for half a year, and the relay for no less than 3 years. Its scinetific instruments includes Cameras, infrared imaging spectrometer, Penetrating Radar onboard the rover in which is the same as the paylads on board the CE-3 rover, and a Dust-analyzer, a Temperature-instrument and a Wide Band Low Frequency Digital Radio Astronomical Station will be installed on board the lander. Our scientific goals of the future lunar exploration will aim at the lunar geology, resources and surface environments. A series of exploraion missions such as robotic exploration and non-manned lunar scientific station is proposed in this paper.

  14. Inhalation Toxicity of Ground Lunar Dust Prepared from Apollo-14 Soil

    James, John T.; Lam, Chiu-wing; Scully, Robert R.; Cooper, Bonnie L.

    2011-01-01

    Within the decade one or more space-faring nations intend to return humans to the moon for more in depth exploration of the lunar surface and subsurface than was conducted during the Apollo days. The lunar surface is blanketed with fine dust, much of it in the respirable size range (<10 micron). Eventually, there is likely to be a habitable base and rovers available to reach distant targets for sample acquisition. Despite designs that could minimize the entry of dust into habitats and rovers, it is reasonable to expect lunar dust to pollute both as operations progress. Apollo astronauts were exposed briefly to dust at nuisance levels, but stays of up to 6 months on the lunar surface are envisioned. Will repeated episodic exposures to lunar dust present a health hazard to those engaged in lunar exploration? Using rats exposed to lunar dust by nose-only inhalation, we set out to investigate that question.

  15. Lunar Limb Observatory: An Incremental Plan for the Utilization, Exploration, and Settlement of the Moon

    Lowman, Paul. D., Jr.

    1996-01-01

    This paper proposes a comprehensive incremental program, Lunar Limb Observatory (LLO), for a return to the Moon, beginning with robotic missions and ending with a permanent lunar settlement. Several recent technological developments make such a program both affordable and scientifically valuable: robotic telescopes, the Internet, light-weight telescopes, shared- autonomy/predictive graphics telerobotic devices, and optical interferometry systems. Reasons for focussing new NASA programs on the Moon include public interest, Moon-based astronomy, renewed lunar exploration, lunar resources (especially helium-3), technological stimulus, accessibility of the Moon (compared to any planet), and dispersal of the human species to counter predictable natural catastrophes, asteroidal or cometary impacts in particular. The proposed Lunar Limb Observatory would be located in the crater Riccioli, with auxiliary robotic telescopes in M. Smythii and at the North and South Poles. The first phase of the program, after site certification, would be a series of 5 Delta-launched telerobotic missions to Riccioli (or Grimaldi if Riccioli proves unsuitable), emplacing robotic telescopes and carrying out surface exploration. The next phase would be 7 Delta-launched telerobotic missions to M. Smythii (2 missions), the South Pole (3 missions), and the North Pole (2 missions), emplacing robotic telescopes to provide continuous all-sky coverage. Lunar base establishment would begin with two unmanned Shuttle/Fitan-Centaur missions to Riccioli, for shelter emplacement, followed by the first manned return, also using the Shuttle/Fitan-Centaur mode. The main LLO at Riccioli would then be permanently or periodically inhabited, for surface exploration, telerobotic rover and telescope operation and maintenance, and support of Earth-based student projects. The LLO would evolve into a permanent human settlement, serving, among other functions, as a test area and staging base for the exploration

  16. Ambler - An autonomous rover for planetary exploration

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

    1989-01-01

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

  17. The International Lunar Decade Declaration

    Beldavs, V.; Foing, B.; Bland, D.; Crisafulli, J.

    2015-10-01

    The International Lunar Decade Declaration was discussed at the conference held November 9-13, 2014 in Hawaii "The Next Giant Leap: Leveraging Lunar Assets for Sustainable Pathways to Space" - http://2014giantleap.aerospacehawaii.info/ and accepted by a core group that forms the International Lunar Decade Working Group (ILDWG) that is seeking to make the proposed global event and decade long process a reality. The Declaration will be updated from time to time by members of the ILDWreflecting new knowledge and fresh perspectives that bear on building a global consortium with a mission to progress from lunar exploration to the transformation of the Moon into a wealth gene rating platform for the expansion of humankind into the solar system. When key organizations have endorsed the idea and joined the effort the text of the Declaration will be considered final. An earlier International Lunar Decade proposal was issued at the 8th ICEUM Conference in 2006 in Beijing together with 13 specific initiatives for lunar exploration[1,2,3]. These initiatives have been largely implemented with coordination among the different space agencies involved provided by the International Lunar Exploration Working Group[2,3]. The Second International Lunar Decade from 2015 reflects current trends towards increasing involvement of commercial firms in space, particularly seeking opportunities beyond low Earth orbit. The central vision of the International Lunar Decade is to build the foundations for a sustainable space economy through international collaboration concurrently addressing Lunar exploration and building a shared knowledge base;Policy development that enables collabo rative research and development leading to lunar mining and industrial and commercial development;Infrastructure on the Moon and in cislunar space (communications, transport, energy systems, way-stations, other) that reduces costs, lowers risks and speeds up the time to profitable operations;Enabling technologies

  18. Lunar horticulture.

    Walkinshaw, C. H.

    1971-01-01

    Discussion of the role that lunar horticulture may fulfill in helping establish the life support system of an earth-independent lunar colony. Such a system is expected to be a hybrid between systems which depend on lunar horticulture and those which depend upon the chemical reclamation of metabolic waste and its resynthesis into nutrients and water. The feasibility of this approach has been established at several laboratories. Plants grow well under reduced pressures and with oxygen concentrations of less than 1% of the total pressure. The carbon dioxide collected from the lunar base personnel should provide sufficient gas pressure (approx. 100 mm Hg) for growing the plants.

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

    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.

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

    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

  1. Sealing Technologies for Repetitive Use in Abrasive, Electrostatic, High Vacuum Environments, Phase I

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Clearly, the presence of lunar dust has the propensity for major adverse impacts on dynamic mechanical systems required for future lunar operations such as Rovers,...

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

    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.

  3. Lunar cement

    Agosto, William N.

    1992-01-01

    With the exception of water, the major oxide constituents of terrestrial cements are present at all nine lunar sites from which samples have been returned. However, with the exception of relatively rare cristobalite, the lunar oxides are not present as individual phases but are combined in silicates and in mixed oxides. Lime (CaO) is most abundant on the Moon in the plagioclase (CaAl2Si2O8) of highland anorthosites. It may be possible to enrich the lime content of anorthite to levels like those of Portland cement by pyrolyzing it with lunar-derived phosphate. The phosphate consumed in such a reaction can be regenerated by reacting the phosphorus product with lunar augite pyroxenes at elevated temperatures. Other possible sources of lunar phosphate and other oxides are discussed.

  4. The rationale/benefits of nuclear thermal rocket propulsion for NASA's lunar space transportation system

    Borowski, Stanley K.

    1994-09-01

    The solid core nuclear thermal rocket (NTR) represents the next major evolutionary step in propulsion technology. With its attractive operating characteristics, which include high specific impulse (approximately 850-1000 s) and engine thrust-to-weight (approximately 4-20), the NTR can form the basis for an efficient lunar space transportation system (LTS) capable of supporting both piloted and cargo missions. Studies conducted at the NASA Lewis Research Center indicate that an NTR-based LTS could transport a fully-fueled, cargo-laden, lunar excursion vehicle to the Moon, and return it to low Earth orbit (LEO) after mission completion, for less initial mass in LEO than an aerobraked chemical system of the type studied by NASA during its '90-Day Study.' The all-propulsive NTR-powered LTS would also be 'fully reusable' and would have a 'return payload' mass fraction of approximately 23 percent--twice that of the 'partially reusable' aerobraked chemical system. Two NTR technology options are examined--one derived from the graphite-moderated reactor concept developed by NASA and the AEC under the Rover/NERVA (Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Application) programs, and a second concept, the Particle Bed Reactor (PBR). The paper also summarizes NASA's lunar outpost scenario, compares relative performance provided by different LTS concepts, and discusses important operational issues (e.g., reusability, engine 'end-of life' disposal, etc.) associated with using this important propulsion technology.

  5. Providing Oxygen for the Crew of a Lunar Outpost

    Ewert, Michael K.; Jeng, Frank; Conger, Bruce; Anderson, Molly S.

    2009-01-01

    Oxygen (O2) is obviously essential for human space missions, but it is important to examine all the different ways it will be used and the potential sources that it may come from. This effort will lead to storage and delivery requirements and help to determine the optimum architecture from an overall systems engineering point of view. Accounting for all the oxygen in a Lunar Outpost mission includes meeting the metabolic needs of the crew while in the surface Habitat, leakage through the Habitat or Pressurized Rover walls, recharge of the space suit backpack and emergency situations. Current plans indicate that both primary and secondary O2 bottles for the space suit will be filled to a pressure of 20.7 MPa (3000 psia). Other uses of O2 require much lower pressure. Sources of O2 at a Lunar Outpost include compressed or liquefied O2 brought along specifically for life support, scavenged O2 from the Lander propulsion system, recovered O2 from waste water or exhaled carbon dioxide and O2 mined from the moon itself. Previously, eight technology options were investigated to provide the high pressure space suit O2. High pressure O2 storage was treated as the baseline technology and compared to the other seven. The other seven were cryogenic storage followed by high pressure vaporization, scavenging liquid oxygen (LOX) from Lander followed by vaporization, LOX delivery followed by sorption compression, low pressure water electrolysis followed by mechanical compression, high pressure water electrolysis, sharing a high pressure electrolyzer with a regenerative fuel cell power system, and making use of In- Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU). This system-level analysis was conducted by comparing equivalent system mass of the eight technologies in open and closed loop life support architectures. The most promising high pressure O2 generation technologies were recommended for development. Updates and an expansion of the earlier study have been made and the results are reported in

  6. Development of Additive Construction Technologies for Application to Development of Lunar/Martian Surface Structures Using In-Situ Materials

    Werkheiser, Niki J.; Fiske, Michael R.; Edmunson, Jennifer E.; Khoshnevis, Berokh

    2015-01-01

    For long-duration missions on other planetary bodies, the use of in situ materials will become increasingly critical. As human presence on these bodies expands, so must the breadth of the structures required to accommodate them including habitats, laboratories, berms, radiation shielding for natural radiation and surface reactors, garages, solar storm shelters, greenhouses, etc. Planetary surface structure manufacturing and assembly technologies that incorporate in situ resources provide options for autonomous, affordable, pre-positioned environments with radiation shielding features and protection from micrometeorites, exhaust plume debris, and other hazards. The ability to use in-situ materials to construct these structures will provide a benefit in the reduction of up-mass that would otherwise make long-term Moon or Mars structures cost prohibitive. The ability to fabricate structures in situ brings with it the ability to repair these structures, which allows for the self-sufficiency and sustainability necessary for long-duration habitation. Previously, under the auspices of the MSFC In-Situ Fabrication and Repair (ISFR) project and more recently, under the jointly-managed MSFC/KSC Additive Construction with Mobile Emplacement (ACME) project, the MSFC Surface Structures Group has been developing materials and construction technologies to support future planetary habitats with in-situ resources. One such additive construction technology is known as Contour Crafting. This paper presents the results to date of these efforts, including development of novel nozzle concepts for advanced layer deposition using this process. Conceived initially for rapid development of cementitious structures on Earth, it also lends itself exceptionally well to the automated fabrication of planetary surface structures using minimally processed regolith as aggregate, and binders developed from in situ materials as well. This process has been used successfully in the fabrication of

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

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

    2017-12-01

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

  8. Lunar magnetism

    Hood, L. L.; Sonett, C. P.; Srnka, L. J.

    1984-01-01

    Aspects of lunar paleomagnetic and electromagnetic sounding results which appear inconsistent with the hypothesis that an ancient core dynamo was the dominant source of the observed crustal magnetism are discussed. Evidence is summarized involving a correlation between observed magnetic anomalies and ejecta blankets from impact events which indicates the possible importance of local mechanisms involving meteoroid impact processes in generating strong magnetic fields at the lunar surface. A reply is given to the latter argument which also presents recent evidence of a lunar iron core.

  9. ISRU-Based Robotic Construction Technologies for Lunar and Martian Infrastructures

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This study hopes to examine how to robotically pour regolith-based concrete on the Moon or Mars. The study team is adapting its current, Earth based technologies...

  10. Spacesuit Integrated Carbon Nanotube Dust Mitigation System for Lunar Exploration

    Manyapu, Kavya Kamal

    Lunar dust proved to be troublesome during the Apollo missions. The lunar dust comprises of fine particles, with electric charges imparted by solar winds and ultraviolet radiation. As such, it adheres readily, and easily penetrates through smallest crevices into mechanisms. During Apollo missions, the powdery dust substantially degraded the performance of spacesuits by abrading suit fabric and clogging seals. Dust also degraded other critical equipment such as rovers, thermal control and optical surfaces, solar arrays, and was thus shown to be a major issue for surface operations. Even inside the lunar module, Apollo astronauts were exposed to this dust when they removed their dust coated spacesuits. This historical evidence from the Apollo missions has compelled NASA to identify dust mitigation as a critical path. This important environmental challenge must be overcome prior to sending humans back to the lunar surface and potentially to other surfaces such as Mars and asteroids with dusty environments. Several concepts were successfully investigated by the international research community for preventing deposition of lunar dust on rigid surfaces (ex: solar cells, thermal radiators). However, applying these technologies for flexible surfaces and specifically to spacesuits has remained an open challenge, due to the complexity of the suit design, geometry, and dynamics. The research presented in this dissertation brings original contribution through the development and demonstration of the SPacesuit Integrated Carbon nanotube Dust Ejection/Removal (SPIcDER) system to protect spacesuits and other flexible surfaces from lunar dust. SPIcDER leverages the Electrodynamic Dust Shield (EDS) concept developed at NASA for use on solar cells. For the SPIcDER research, the EDS concept is customized for application on spacesuits and flexible surfaces utilizing novel materials and specialized design techniques. Furthermore, the performance of the active SPIcDER system is enhanced

  11. Safeguarding a Lunar Rover with Wald's Sequential Probability Ratio Test

    Furlong, Michael; Dille, Michael; Wong, Uland; Nefian, Ara

    2016-01-01

    The virtual bumper is a safeguarding mechanism for autonomous and remotely operated robots. In this paper we take a new approach to the virtual bumper system by using an old statistical test. By using a modified version of Wald's sequential probability ratio test we demonstrate that we can reduce the number of false positive reported by the virtual bumper, thereby saving valuable mission time. We use the concept of sequential probability ratio to control vehicle speed in the presence of possible obstacles in order to increase certainty about whether or not obstacles are present. Our new algorithm reduces the chances of collision by approximately 98 relative to traditional virtual bumper safeguarding without speed control.

  12. Lunar Plants

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — We present an open design for a first plant growth module on the Moon (LPX). The primary science goal of lunar habitat is to investigate germination and initial...

  13. Lunar Flashlight

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Lunar Flashlight (LF) is an innovative cubesat mission sponsored by NASA’s Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) division to be launched on the Space Launch System...

  14. Electrostatic Power Generation from Negatively Charged, Simulated Lunar Regolith

    Choi, Sang H.; King, Glen C.; Kim, Hyun-Jung; Park, Yeonjoon

    2010-01-01

    Research was conducted to develop an electrostatic power generator for future lunar missions that facilitate the utilization of lunar resources. The lunar surface is known to be negatively charged from the constant bombardment of electrons and protons from the solar wind. The resulting negative electrostatic charge on the dust particles, in the lunar vacuum, causes them to repel each other minimizing the potential. The result is a layer of suspended dust about one meter above the lunar surface. This phenomenon was observed by both Clementine and Surveyor spacecrafts. During the Apollo 17 lunar landing, the charged dust was a major hindrance, as it was attracted to the astronauts' spacesuits, equipment, and the lunar buggies. The dust accumulated on the spacesuits caused reduced visibility for the astronauts, and was unavoidably transported inside the spacecraft where it caused breathing irritation [1]. In the lunar vacuum, the maximum charge on the particles can be extremely high. An article in the journal "Nature", titled "Moon too static for astronauts?" (Feb 2, 2007) estimates that the lunar surface is charged with up to several thousand volts [2]. The electrostatic power generator was devised to alleviate the hazardous effects of negatively charged lunar soil by neutralizing the charged particles through capacitive coupling and thereby simultaneously harnessing power through electric charging [3]. The amount of power generated or collected is dependent on the areal coverage of the device and hovering speed over the lunar soil surface. A thin-film array of capacitors can be continuously charged and sequentially discharged using a time-differentiated trigger discharge process to produce a pulse train of discharge for DC mode output. By controlling the pulse interval, the DC mode power can be modulated for powering devices and equipment. In conjunction with a power storage system, the electrostatic power generator can be a power source for a lunar rover or other

  15. Building an Economical and Sustainable Lunar Infrastructure to Enable Lunar Industrialization

    Zuniga, Allison F.; Turner, Mark; Rasky, Daniel; Loucks, Mike; Carrico, John; Policastri, Daniel

    2017-01-01

    A new concept study was initiated to examine the architecture needed to gradually develop an economical, evolvable and sustainable lunar infrastructure using a public/private partnerships approach. This approach would establish partnership agreements between NASA and industry teams to develop a lunar infrastructure system that would be mutually beneficial. This approach would also require NASA and its industry partners to share costs in the development phase and then transfer operation of these infrastructure services back to its industry owners in the execution phase. These infrastructure services may include but are not limited to the following: lunar cargo transportation, power stations, communication towers and satellites, autonomous rover operations, landing pads and resource extraction operations. The public/private partnerships approach used in this study leveraged best practices from NASA's Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) program which introduced an innovative and economical approach for partnering with industry to develop commercial cargo services to the International Space Station. This program was planned together with the ISS Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contracts which was responsible for initiating commercial cargo delivery services to the ISS for the first time. The public/private partnerships approach undertaken in the COTS program proved to be very successful in dramatically reducing development costs for these ISS cargo delivery services as well as substantially reducing operational costs. To continue on this successful path towards installing economical infrastructure services for LEO and beyond, this new study, named Lunar COTS (Commercial Operations and Transport Services), was conducted to examine extending the NASA COTS model to cis-lunar space and the lunar surface. The goals of the Lunar COTS concept are to: 1) develop and demonstrate affordable and commercial cis-lunar and surface capabilities, such as lunar cargo

  16. Hybrid Aerial/Rover Vehicle

    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.

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

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

    2013-04-01

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

  18. Extending the Lunar Mapping and Modeling Portal - New Capabilities and New Worlds

    Day, B. H.; Law, E.; Arevalo, E.; Bui, B.; Chang, G.; Dodge, K.; Kim, R. M.; Malhotra, S.; Sadaqathullah, S.

    2015-12-01

    NASA's Lunar Mapping and Modeling Portal (LMMP) provides a web-based Portal and a suite of interactive visualization and analysis tools to enable mission planners, lunar scientists, and engineers to access mapped lunar data products from past and current lunar missions (http://lmmp.nasa.gov). During the past year, the capabilities and data served by LMMP have been significantly expanded. New interfaces are providing improved ways to access and visualize data. Many of the recent enhancements to LMMP have been specifically in response to the requirements of NASA's proposed Resource Prospector lunar rover, and as such, provide an excellent example of the application of LMMP to mission planning. At the request of NASA's Science Mission Directorate, LMMP's technology and capabilities are now being extended to additional planetary bodies. New portals for Vesta and Mars are the first of these new products to be released. On March 31, 2015, the LMMP team released Vesta Trek (http://vestatrek.jpl.nasa.gov), a web-based application applying LMMP technology to visualizations of the asteroid Vesta. Data gathered from multiple instruments aboard Dawn have been compiled into Vesta Trek's user-friendly set of tools, enabling users to study the asteroid's features. With an initial release on July 1, 2015, Mars Trek replicates the functionality of Vesta Trek for the surface of Mars. While the entire surface of Mars is covered, higher levels of resolution and greater numbers of data products are provided for special areas of interest. Early releases focus on past, current, and future robotic sites of operation. Future releases will add many new data products and analysis tools as Mars Trek has been selected for use in site selection for the Mars 2020 rover and in identifying potential human landing sites on Mars. Other destinations will follow soon. The user community is invited to provide suggestions and requests as the development team continues to expand the capabilities of LMMP

  19. 78 FR 19742 - Centennial Challenges: 2014 Night Rover Challenge

    2013-04-02

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

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

    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 .

  1. Development of a lunar infrastructure

    Burke, J. D.

    1988-01-01

    The problem of building an infrastructure on the moon is discussed, assuming that earth-to-moon and moon-to-earth transport will be available. The sequence of events which would occur in the process of building an infrastructure is examined. The human needs which must be met on a lunar base are discussed, including minimal life support, quality of life, and growth stages. The technology available to meet these needs is reviewed and further research in fields related to a lunar base, such as the study of the moon's polar regions and the limits of lunar agriculture, is recommended.

  2. Leveraging Virtual Reality for the Benefit of Lunar Exploration

    McCandless, R. S.; Burke, E. D.; McGinley, V. T.

    2017-10-01

    Virtual reality (VR) and related technologies will assist scientists with lunar exploration and public engagement. We will present the future exponential impact of VR on lunar activities over the coming decades.

  3. Mars Science Laboratory Rover System Thermal Test

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    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.

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

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

    2001-07-01

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

  6. Frost on Mars Rover Opportunity

    2004-01-01

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

  7. A Dual Launch Robotic and Human Lunar Mission Architecture

    Jones, David L.; Mulqueen, Jack; Percy, Tom; Griffin, Brand; Smitherman, David

    2010-01-01

    This paper describes a comprehensive lunar exploration architecture developed by Marshall Space Flight Center's Advanced Concepts Office that features a science-based surface exploration strategy and a transportation architecture that uses two launches of a heavy lift launch vehicle to deliver human and robotic mission systems to the moon. The principal advantage of the dual launch lunar mission strategy is the reduced cost and risk resulting from the development of just one launch vehicle system. The dual launch lunar mission architecture may also enhance opportunities for commercial and international partnerships by using expendable launch vehicle services for robotic missions or development of surface exploration elements. Furthermore, this architecture is particularly suited to the integration of robotic and human exploration to maximize science return. For surface operations, an innovative dual-mode rover is presented that is capable of performing robotic science exploration as well as transporting human crew conducting surface exploration. The dual-mode rover can be deployed to the lunar surface to perform precursor science activities, collect samples, scout potential crew landing sites, and meet the crew at a designated landing site. With this approach, the crew is able to evaluate the robotically collected samples to select the best samples for return to Earth to maximize the scientific value. The rovers can continue robotic exploration after the crew leaves the lunar surface. The transportation system for the dual launch mission architecture uses a lunar-orbit-rendezvous strategy. Two heavy lift launch vehicles depart from Earth within a six hour period to transport the lunar lander and crew elements separately to lunar orbit. In lunar orbit, the crew transfer vehicle docks with the lander and the crew boards the lander for descent to the surface. After the surface mission, the crew returns to the orbiting transfer vehicle for the return to the Earth. This

  8. Indigenous lunar construction materials

    Rogers, Wayne P.; Sture, Stein

    1991-01-01

    design of the lunar shelter showed us that joining is a critical technology needed for building a structure from large segments. The problem of joining is important to the design of any structure that is not completely prefabricated. It is especially important when the structure is subjected to tensile loading by an internal pressure. For a lunar shelter constructed from large segments the joints between these large segments must be strong, and they must permit automated construction. With a cast basalt building material which is brittle, there is the additional problem of connecting the joint with the material and avoiding stress concentration that would cause failure. Thus, a well-defined project which we intend to pursue during this coming year is the design of joints for cast basalt structural elements.

  9. International Lunar Decade Status

    Beldavs, VZ; Crisafulli, J.; Dunlop, D.; Foing, B.

    2017-09-01

    The International Lunar Decade is a global decadal event designed to provide a framework for strategically directed international cooperation for permanent return to the Moon. To be launched July 20, 2019, the 50th anniversary of the giant leap for mankind marked by Neil Armstrong's first step on the Moon, the ILD launch will include events around the world to celebrate space exploration, science, and the expansion of humanity into the Solar System. The ILD framework links lunar exploration and space sciences with the development of enabling technologies, infrastructure, means of financing, laws and policies aimed at lowering the costs and risks of venturing into space. Dramatically reduced costs will broaden the range of opportunities available in space and widen access to space for more states, companies and people worldwide. The ILD is intended to bring about the efflorescence of commercial business based on space resources from the Moon, asteroids, comets and other bodies in the Solar System.

  10. Automation Rover for Extreme Environments

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

    2017-01-01

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

  11. Electrostatic Separation of Lunar Regolith for Size Beneficiation Using Same-Material Tribocharging

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The success of future long-term manned lunar missions depends on the development of certain key technologies. One such technology, the utilization of lunar regolith...

  12. Laser-powered Martian rover

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

    1989-01-01

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

  13. International testing of a Mars rover prototype

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

    1993-03-01

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

  14. Photometric Lunar Surface Reconstruction

    Nefian, Ara V.; Alexandrov, Oleg; Morattlo, Zachary; Kim, Taemin; Beyer, Ross A.

    2013-01-01

    Accurate photometric reconstruction of the Lunar surface is important in the context of upcoming NASA robotic missions to the Moon and in giving a more accurate understanding of the Lunar soil composition. This paper describes a novel approach for joint estimation of Lunar albedo, camera exposure time, and photometric parameters that utilizes an accurate Lunar-Lambertian reflectance model and previously derived Lunar topography of the area visualized during the Apollo missions. The method introduced here is used in creating the largest Lunar albedo map (16% of the Lunar surface) at the resolution of 10 meters/pixel.

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

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

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

    2014-12-01

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

  17. RESOLVE: Regolith and Environment Science and Oxygen and Lunar Volatile Extraction

    Quinn, Jacqueline; Baird, Scott; Colaprete, Anthony; Larson, William; Sanders, Gerald; Picard, Martin

    2011-01-01

    Regolith & Environment Science and Oxygen & Lunar Volatile Extraction (RESOLVE) is an internationally developed payload that is intended to prospect for resources on other planetary bodies. RESOLVE is a miniature drilling and chemistry plant packaged onto a medium-sized rover to collect and analyze soil for volatile components such as water or hydrogen that could be used in human exploration efforts.

  18. Lunar Dust Mitigation Screens

    Knutson, Shawn; Holloway, Nancy

    being developed in a collaborative effort between Langley Research Center and Kennedy Space Center. The screens typically consist of spiral shaped conductive traces patterned on high dielectric substrates (i.e. glass, quartz, polyimide film, etc.). Two broad categories of substrate materials are being investigated for the screens. One category consists of transparent substrates (i.e. glass, quartz, sapphire, etc.), and the other non-transparent sub-strates (Kapton, polyimide films, metals, etc.). The transparent screens utilize patterns made from indium tin oxide (ITO), a transparent conductive material, on clear substrates while the non-transparent screens use copper patterns on a transluscent or opaque substrates. Further, the screen is coated with a high dielectric polyimide cover layer to protect the screen pattern. One promising cover layer material that is currently being investigated is Langley Research Center-Soluble Imide (LaRC-SI), a NASA LaRC developed polyimide. Lastly, a top-coat of hard, inorganic material is evaporated onto the cover layer for protection from scratches due to abrasive nature of the dust. Of note, several top-coat materials are under investigation and include: aluminum oxide, silicon dioxide, titanium oxide, yttrium oxide, zirconium oxide, and zinc sulfide. The electrostatic dust mitigation screens function when a high voltage (700V or greater) is applied to the screen electrodes, thus creating an electromagnetic wave across the surface of the screen that repels the dust. Lunar dust typically contains a high positive charge; therefore, the screens are charged with a higher positive charge that effectively repels dust from the surface (i.e. like charges repel, unlike charges attract). It is anticipated that full development and maturation of this technology will enable humans to sustain a long term presence on the moon, and other planets where dust may have negative implications.

  19. The Processing and Analysis of Lunar Penetrating Radar Channel-1 Data from Chang'E-3

    Gao Yun-ze

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Lunar Penetrating Radar (LPR, which is one of the most important science payloads onboard the Chang'E-3 (CE-3 rover, is used to obtain electromagnetic image less than 100 m beneath the lunar surface. This paper describes the system composition and working mechanism of the LPR and presents a detailed analysis of its data. We investigated special signal-processing methods and present the result of channel-1 data. The result shows that the effective echo occurs at depths greater than 100 m. Moreover, an unusual reflection exists at depth of 40 m, which may be the boundary of two geological units beneath the lunar surface.

  20. Lunar Industry & Research Base Concept

    Lysenko, J.; Kaliapin, M.; Osinovyy, G.

    2017-09-01

    Currently, all main space industry players, such as Europe, USA, Russia, China, etc., are looking back again at the idea of Moon exploration building there a manned lunar base. Alongside with other world spacefaring nations, Yuzhnoye State Design Office with its long-time development experience, technological and intellectual potential, organized its own conceptual work on development of the Lunar Industry & Research Base. In the frames of conceptual project "Lunar Industrial & Research Base" were formed its appearance, preliminary configuration and infrastructure at different stages of operation, trajectory and flight scheme to the Moon, as well as terms of the project's realization, and main technical characteristics of the systems under development, such as space transportation system for crew and cargo delivery to lunar surface and return to Earth, standardized designs of lunar modules, lunar surface vehicles, etc. The "Lunar Industrial & Research Base" project's preliminary risk assessment has shown a high value of its overall risk due to the lack of reliable information about the Moon, technical risks, long-term development of its elements, very high financial costs and dependence on state support. This points to the fact that it is reasonable to create such a global project in cooperation with other countries. International cooperation will expand the capabilities of any nation, reduce risks and increase the success probability of automated or manned space missions. It is necessary to create and bring into operation practical mechanisms for long-term space exploration on a global scale. One of the ways to do this is to create a multinational agency which would include both state enterprises and private companies.

  1. Uses for lunar crawler transporters

    Kaden, Richard A.

    This article discusses state-of-the-art crawler transporters and expresses the need for additional research and development for lunar crawlers. The thrust of the paper illustrates how the basic crawler technology has progressed to a point where extremely large modules can be shop fabricated and move to some distant location at a considerable savings. Also, extremely heavy loads may be lifted by large crawler cranes and placed in designed locations. The Transi-Lift Crawler crane with its traveling counterweight is an attractive concept for lunar construction.

  2. New Age for Lunar Exploration

    Taylor, G. J.; Martel, L. M. V.

    2018-04-01

    Lunar-focused research and plans to return to the lunar surface for science and exploration have reemerged since the Space Policy Directive-1 of December 11, 2017 amended the National Space Policy to include the following, "Lead an innovative and sustainable program of exploration with commercial and international partners to enable human expansion across the solar system and to bring back to Earth new knowledge and opportunities. Beginning with missions beyond low-Earth orbit, the United States will lead the return of humans to the Moon for long-term exploration and utilization, followed by human missions to Mars and other destinations." In response to this revision, NASA proposes a Lunar Exploration and Discovery Program in the U.S. fiscal year 2019 Budget Request. It supports NASA's interests in commercial and international partnerships in Low-Earth Orbit (LEO), long-term exploration in Cislunar space beyond LEO, and research and exploration conducted on the Moon to inform future crewed missions, even to destinations beyond the Moon. (Cislunar refers to the volume of space between LEO and the Moon's orbital distance.) The lunar campaign strengthens the integration of human and robotic activities on the lunar surface with NASA's science, technology, and exploration goals.

  3. Community Report and Recommendations from International Lunar Exploration Working Group (ILEWG)

    Foing, Bernard H.

    2016-07-01

    Lunar Network for seismometry and other geophysical measurements - Lunar missions will be driven by exploration, resource utilization, and science; we should consider minimum science payload for every mission, e.g., landers and rovers should carry instruments to determine surface composition and mineralogy - It is felt important to have a shared database about previous missions available for free, so as to provide inputs to future missions, including a gap analysis of needed measurements. Highly resolved global data sets are required. Autonomous landing and hazard avoidance will depend on the best topographic map of the Moon, achievable by combining shared data. - New topics such as life sciences, partial gravity processes on the Moon should be followed in relation to future exploration needs. 2. Technologies and resources - A number of robotic missions to the Moon are now undertaken independently by various nations, with a degree of exchange of information and coordination. That should increase towards real cooperation, still allowing areas of competition for keeping the process active, cost-effective and faster. - Lunar landers, pressurized lunar rover projects as presented from Europe, Asia and America are important steps that can create opportunities for international collaboration, within a coordinated village of robotic precursors and assistants to crew missions. - We have to think about development, modernization of existing navigation capabilities, and provision of lunar positioning, navigation and data relay assets to support future robotic and human exploration. New concepts and new methods for transportation have attracted much attention and are of great potential. 3. Infrastructures and human aspects - It is recommended to have technical sessions and activities dealing with different aspects of human adaptation to space environments, the modeling of sub-systems, microbial protection and use of inflatable technologies - While the Moon is the best and next

  4. Geoanalyses of Lunokhods' regions for future Lunar missions and data access via Geoportal

    Karachevtseva, Irina; Baskakova, Marina; Gusakova, Eugenia; Kokhanov, Alexander; Kozlova, Natalia; Matveev, Eugeny; Nadezhdina, Irina; Zubarev, Anatoliy; Oberst, Juergen

    2013-04-01

    Introduction: The Soviet rover missions Lunokhod-1 and -2 were launched at the beginning of 70th (Luna-17 in October 1971 and Luna-21 in January 1973 respectively). The main goals of the both missions were to study Moon surface in situ. The history of the Lunokhods' missions came back into focus recently, when the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter obtained high resolutions images. Sources. For our work we used various data: LROC Narrow Angle Camera (LRO NAC) images, 0.3-1 m/pixel [7, 11]; DEMs with different resolution: LRO NAC DEM, 1-5 m/pixel [9]; Kaguya DEM, 7.5 m/pixel [10]; Lunokhods' stereo panoramas and early cartography information [1, 8]. Methodolody: We collected all data as spatial database (Geodatabase) which includes various derived products. Based on methods developed earlier [4, 6], rovers wheel tracks and craters entire study regions were mapped. High resolution DEMs allow calculate of various morphometric parameters of the Lunokhods' regions which provide better understanding processes on lunar surface [2, 5]. Method of detailed morphology analyses developed for study area now used for investigation of the Luna-Glob and Luna-Resource landing missions which are planned to the south pole of the Moon. Data access: We are developing easy access to the planetary data based on web and spatial technology (Geoportal). Geoportal provides the ability to view spatial data in the web-browser, displays different layers in the same area at different scales turns the web. Lunokhods' data point features were created for each station of rover routes where panoramas were been recorded. So GIS project provide an easy access to non-spatial image database and can involve these information in their spatial context. Conclusions: During Lunokhods' missions early topography data of the traverses were accurate for most areas. Modern estimating these results based on the new LRO data provide comparative studies in lunar geology and morphology. We show that these data can be used

  5. Report from International Lunar Exploration Working Group (ILEWG) to COSPAR

    Foing, Bernard H.

    We refer to COSPAR and ILEWG ICEUM and lunar conferences and declarations [1-18]. We discuss how lunar missions SMART-1, Kaguya, Chang'E1&2, Chandrayaan-1, LCROSS, LRO, GRAIL, LADEE, Chang'E3 and upcoming missions contribute to lunar exploration objectives & roadmap. We present the GLUC/ICEUM11 declaration and give a report on ongoing relevant ILEWG community activities, with focus on: “1. Science and exploration - World-wide access to raw and derived (geophysical units) data products using consistent formats and coordinate systems will maximize return on investment. We call to develop and implement plans for generation, validation, and release of these data products. Data should be made available for scientific analysis and supporting the development and planning of future missions - There are still Outstanding Questions: Structure and composition of crust, mantle, and core and implications for the origin and evolution of the Earth-Moon system; Timing, origin, and consequences of late heavy bombardment; Impact processes and regolith evolution; Nature and origin of volatile emplacement; Implications for resource utilization. These questions require international cooperation and sharing of results in order to be answered in a cost-effective manner - Ground truth information on the lunar far side is missing and needed to address many important scientific questions, e.g. with a sample return from South Pole-Aitken Basin - Knowledge of the interior is poor relative to the surface, and is needed to address a number of key questions, e.g. with International Lunar Network for seismometry and other geophysical measurements - Lunar missions will be driven by exploration, resource utilization, and science; we should consider minimum science payload for every mission, e.g., landers and rovers should carry instruments to determine surface composition and mineralogy - It is felt important to have a shared database about previous missions available for free, so as to provide

  6. Introduction to EGU session "Lunar Science and Exploration Towards Moon Village"

    Foing, Bernard

    2017-04-01

    flown in the last international lunar decade (SMART-1, Kaguya, Chang'Eal1 &2, Chandrayaan-1, LCROSS, LRO, GRAIL, LADEE). Chinese Chang'E 3 lander and Yutu rover, and upcoming 2017 other landers from 2017 (GLXP, Chang'E 4 & 5, SLIM, Luna , LRP) will constitute a Robotic Village on the Moon. A number of MoonVillage talks and/or interactive jam sessions have been conducted at International workshops and symposia 2016. Moon Village Workshops were held at ESA centres: they were held with senior experts as well as Young ESA professionals to discuss general topics and specific issues ( habitat design, technology, science and precursor missions; public and stakeholder engagement) . Many workshops were complemented with ILEWG EuroMoonMars simulation campaigns. Moon Village Workshops or Jam sessions were also conducted at international symposia or in collaboration with specific universities or institutes. The PS2.2 session will include invited and contributed talks as well as a panel discussion and interactive posters with short oral introduction. Acknowledgements We thank Prof J. Woerner (ESA DG) for energizing the concept of MoonVillage. We thank co-conveners of MoonVillage Workshops and ILEWG EuroMoonMars field campaigns in 2016 (including C. Jonglez, V.Guinet, M.Monnerie, A. Kleinschneider, A. Kapoglou, A. Kolodziejczyk, M. Harasymczuk, I. Schlacht, C. Heinicke, D. Esser, M.Grulich, T. Siruguet, H.Vos, M.Mirino, D.Sokolsky, J.Blamont) and participants to these events. We thank A.Cowley, C. Haigneré, P. Messina, G. Ortega, S.Cristoforetti, ESA colleagues involved in MoonVillage related activities. We thank colleagues from ILEWG, Young Lunar Explorers, the International Lunar Decade Group, the Moon Village Association and Moon Village Support Groups and "MoonVillagers" at large. [1] Jan Wörner, Driving #MoonVillage http://www.iafastro.org/events/iac/iac-2015/plenaryprogramme/the-moon-a-continent-and-a-gateway-for-ourfuture/ (IAC 2015, Jerusalem); [2]http

  7. ExoGeoLab Pilot Project for Landers, Rovers and Instruments

    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

  8. Mars rover local navigation and hazard avoidance

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

    1989-01-01

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

  9. Electrostatic Spectrometer for Mars Rover Wheel

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

  10. Autonomous Vision-Based Tethered-Assisted Rover Docking

    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.

  11. LADEE LUNAR DUST EXPERIMENT

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This archive bundle includes data taken by the Lunar Dust Experiment (LDEX) instrument aboard the Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE) spacecraft....

  12. Endogenous Lunar Volatiles

    McCubbin, F. M.; Liu, Y.; Barnes, J. J.; Anand, M.; Boyce, J. W.; Burney, D.; Day, J. M. D.; Elardo, S. M.; Hui, H.; Klima, R. L.; Magna, T.; Ni, P.; Steenstra, E.; Tartèse, R.; Vander Kaaden, K. E.

    2018-04-01

    This abstract discusses numerous outstanding questions on the topic of endogenous lunar volatiles that will need to be addressed in the coming years. Although substantial insights into endogenous lunar volatiles have been gained, more work remains.

  13. Critical Robotic Lunar Missions

    Plescia, J. B.

    2018-04-01

    Perhaps the most critical missions to understanding lunar history are in situ dating and network missions. These would constrain the volcanic and thermal history and interior structure. These data would better constrain lunar evolution models.

  14. Concept of Lunar Energy Park

    Niino, Masayuki; Kisara, Katsuto; Chen, Lidong

    1993-10-01

    This paper presents a new concept of energy supply system named Lunar Energy Park (LEP) as one of the next-generation clean energy sources. In this concept, electricity is generated by nuclear power plants built on the moon and then transmitted to receiving stations on the earth by laser beam through transporting systems situated in geostationary orbit. The lunar nuclear power plants use a high-efficiency composite energy conversion system consisting of thermionic and thermoelectric generators to change nuclear thermal energy into electricity directly. The nuclear resources are considered to be available from the moon, and nuclear fuel transport from earth to moon is not necessary. Because direct energy conversion systems are employed, the lunar nuclear plants can be operated and controlled by robots and are maintenance-free, and so will cause no pollution to humans. The key technologies for LEP include improvements of conversion efficiency of both thermionic and thermoelectric converters, and developments of laser-beam power transmission technology as well. The details, including the construction of lunar nuclear plants, energy conversion and energy transmission systems, as well as the research plan strategies for this concept are reviewed.

  15. Perspectives on Lunar Helium-3

    Schmitt, Harrison H.

    1999-01-01

    Global demand for energy will likely increase by a factor of six or eight by the mid-point of the 21st Century due to a combination of population increase, new energy intensive technologies, and aspirations for improved standards of living in the less-developed world (1). Lunar helium-3 (3He), with a resource base in the Tranquillitatis titanium-rich lunar maria (2,3) of at least 10,000 tonnes (4), represents one potential energy source to meet this rapidly escalating demand. The energy equivalent value of 3He delivered to operating fusion power plants on Earth would be about 3 billion per tonne relative to today's coal which supplies most of the approximately 90 billion domestic electrical power market (5). These numbers illustrate the magnitude of the business opportunity. The results from the Lunar Prospector neutron spectrometer (6) suggests that 3He also may be concentrated at the lunar poles along with solar wind hydrogen (7). Mining, extraction, processing, and transportation of helium to Earth requires new innovations in engineering but no known new engineering concepts (1). By-products of lunar 3He extraction, largely hydrogen, oxygen, and water, have large potential markets in space and ultimately will add to the economic attractiveness of this business opportunity (5). Inertial electrostatic confinement (IEC) fusion technology appears to be the most attractive and least capital intensive approach to terrestrial fusion power plants (8). Heavy lift launch costs comprise the largest cost uncertainty facing initial business planning, however, many factors, particularly long term production contracts, promise to lower these costs into the range of 1-2000 per kilogram versus about 70,000 per kilogram fully burdened for the Apollo Saturn V rocket (1). A private enterprise approach to developing lunar 3He and terrestrial IEC fusion power would be the most expeditious means of realizing this unique opportunity (9). In spite of the large, long-term potential

  16. Evaluation of IEEE 802.11g and 802.16 for Lunar Surface Exploration Missions Using MACHETE Simulations

    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.

  17. Lunar Airborne Dust Toxicity Hazard Assessments (Invited)

    Cooper, B. L.; McKay, D. S.; Taylor, L. A.; Wallace, W. T.; James, J.; Riofrio, L.; Gonzalez, C. P.

    2009-12-01

    The Lunar Airborne Dust Toxicity Assessment Group (LADTAG) is developing data to set the permissible limits for human exposure to lunar dust. This standard will guide the design of airlocks and ports for EVA, as well as the requirements for filtering and monitoring the atmosphere in habitable vehicles, rovers and other modules. LADTAG’s recommendation for permissible exposure limits will be delivered to the Constellation Program in late 2010. The current worst-case exposure limit of 0.05 mg/m3, estimated by LADTAG in 2006, reflects the concern that lunar dust may be as toxic as quartz dust. Freshly-ground quartz is known to be more toxic than un-ground quartz dust. Our research has shown that the surfaces of lunar soil grains can be more readily activated by grinding than quartz. Activation was measured by the amount of free radicals generated—activated simulants generate Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) i.e., production of hydroxyl free radicals. Of the various influences in the lunar environment, micrometeorite bombardment probably creates the most long-lasting reactivity on the surfaces of grains, although solar wind impingement and short-wavelength UV radiation also contribute. The comminution process creates fractured surfaces with unsatisfied bonds. When these grains are inhaled and carried into the lungs, they will react with lung surfactant and cells, potentially causing tissue damage and disease. Tests on lunar simulants have shown that dissolution and leaching of metals can occur when the grains are exposed to water—the primary component of lung fluid. However, simulants may behave differently than actual lunar soils. Rodent toxicity testing will be done using the respirable fraction of actual lunar soils (particles with physical size of less than 2.5 micrometers). We are currently separating the fine material from the coarser material that comprises >95% of the mass of each soil sample. Dry sieving is not practical in this size range, so a new system

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

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

    1991-01-01

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

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

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

    2006-01-01

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

  20. SmallSats, Iodine Propulsion Technology, Applications to Low-Cost Lunar Missions, and the Iodine Satellite (iSAT) Project

    Dankanich, John W.

    2014-01-01

    Closing Remarks: ?(1) SmallSats hold significant potential for future low cost high value missions; (2) Propulsion remains a key limiting capability for SmallSats that Iodine can address: High ISP * Density for volume constrained spacecraft; Indefinite quiescence, unpressurized and non-hazardous as a secondary payload; (3) Iodine enables MicroSat and SmallSat maneuverability: Enables transfer into high value orbits, constellation deployment and deorbit; (4) Iodine may enable a new class of planetary and exploration class missions: Enables GTO launched secondary spacecraft to transit to the moon, asteroids, and other interplanetary destinations for approximately 150 million dollars full life cycle cost including the launch; (5) ESPA based OTVs are also volume constrained and a shift from xenon to iodine can significantly increase the transfer vehicle change in volume capability including transfers from GTO to a range of Lunar Orbits; (6) The iSAT project is a fast pace high value iodine Hall technology demonstration mission: Partnership with NASA GRC and NASA MSFC with industry partner - Busek; (7) The iSAT mission is an approved project with PDR in November of 2014 and is targeting a flight opportunity in FY17.

  1. Our Lunar Destiny: Creating a Lunar Economy

    Rohwer, Christopher J.

    2000-01-01

    "Our Lunar Destiny: Creating a Lunar Economy" supports a vision of people moving freely and economically between the earth and the Moon in an expansive space and lunar economy. It makes the economic case for the creation of a lunar space economy and projects the business plan that will make the venture an economic success. In addition, this paper argues that this vision can be created and sustained only by private enterprise and the legal right of private property in space and on the Moon. Finally, this paper advocates the use of lunar land grants as the key to unleashing the needed capital and the economic power of private enterprise in the creation of a 21st century lunar space economy. It is clear that the history of our United States economic system proves the value of private property rights in the creation of any new economy. It also teaches us that the successful development of new frontiers-those that provide economic opportunity for freedom-loving people-are frontiers that encourage, respect and protect the possession of private property and the fruits of labor and industry. Any new 21st century space and lunar economy should therefore be founded on this same principle.

  2. On The Development of Additive Construction Technologies for Application to Development of Lunar/Martian Surface Structures Using In-Situ Materials

    Werkheiser, Niki; Fiske, Michael; Edmunson, Jennifer; Khoshnevis, Behrokh

    2015-01-01

    For long-duration missions on other planetary bodies, the use of in-situ materials will become increasingly critical. As man's presence on these bodies expands, so must the breadth of the structures required to accommodate them including habitats, laboratories, berms, radiation shielding for natural radiation and surface reactors, garages, solar storm shelters, greenhouses, etc. Planetary surface structure manufacturing and assembly technologies that incorporate in-situ resources provide options for autonomous, affordable, pre-positioned environments with radiation shielding features and protection from micrometeorites, exhaust plume debris, and other hazards. This is important because gamma and particle radiation constitute a serious but reducible threat to long-term survival of human beings, electronics, and other materials in space environments. Also, it is anticipated that surface structures will constitute the primary mass element of lunar or Martian launch requirements. The ability to use in-situ materials to construct these structures will provide a benefit in the reduction of up-mass that would otherwise make long-term Moon or Mars structures cost prohibitive. The ability to fabricate structures in situ brings with it the ability to repair these structures, which allows for self-sufficiency necessary for long-duration habitation. Previously, under the auspices of the MSFC In Situ Fabrication and Repair (ISFR) project and more recently, under the joint MSFC/KSC Additive Construction with Mobile Emplacement (ACME) project, the MSFC Surface Structures Group has been developing materials and construction technologies to support future planetary habitats with in situ resources. One such technology, known as Contour Crafting (additive construction), is shown in Figure 1, along with a typical structure fabricated using this technology. This paper will present the results to date of these efforts, including development of novel nozzle concepts for advanced layer

  3. Curiosity rover LEGO® version could land soon

    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.

  4. RIGOROUS PHOTOGRAMMETRIC PROCESSING OF CHANG'E-1 AND CHANG'E-2 STEREO IMAGERY FOR LUNAR TOPOGRAPHIC MAPPING

    K. Di; Y. Liu; B. Liu; M. Peng

    2012-01-01

    Chang'E-1(CE-1) and Chang'E-2(CE-2) are the two lunar orbiters of China's lunar exploration program. Topographic mapping using CE-1 and CE-2 images is of great importance for scientific research as well as for preparation of landing and surface operation of Chang'E-3 lunar rover. In this research, we developed rigorous sensor models of CE-1 and CE-2 CCD cameras based on push-broom imaging principle with interior and exterior orientation parameters. Based on the rigorous sensor model, the 3D c...

  5. Engineering design constraints of the lunar surface environment

    Morrison, D. A.

    1992-01-01

    Living and working on the lunar surface will be difficult. Design of habitats, machines, tools, and operational scenarios in order to allow maximum flexibility in human activity will require paying attention to certain constraints imposed by conditions at the surface and the characteristics of lunar material. Primary design drivers for habitat, crew health and safety, and crew equipment are: ionizing radiation, the meteoroid flux, and the thermal environment. Secondary constraints for engineering derive from: the physical and chemical properties of lunar surface materials, rock distributions and regolith thicknesses, topography, electromagnetic properties, and seismicity. Protection from ionizing radiation is essential for crew health and safety. The total dose acquired by a crew member will be the sum of the dose acquired during EVA time (when shielding will be least) plus the dose acquired during time spent in the habitat (when shielding will be maximum). Minimizing the dose acquired in the habitat extends the time allowable for EVA's before a dose limit is reached. Habitat shielding is enabling, and higher precision in predicting secondary fluxes produced in shielding material would be desirable. Means for minimizing dose during a solar flare event while on extended EVA will be essential. Early warning of the onset of flare activity (at least a half-hour is feasible) will dictate the time available to take mitigating steps. Warning capability affects design of rovers (or rover tools) and site layout. Uncertainty in solar flare timing is a design constraint that points to the need for quickly accessible or constructible safe havens.

  6. Mars Exploration Rover Heat Shield Recontact Analysis

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

    2011-01-01

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

  7. Mars 2020 Rover SHERLOC Calibration Target

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. Recent Accomplishments in Mars Exploration: The Rover Perspective

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

    2018-04-01

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

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

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

  10. Parameters and structure of lunar regolith in Chang'E-3 landing area from lunar penetrating radar (LPR) data

    Dong, Zehua; Fang, Guangyou; Ji, Yicai; Gao, Yunze; Wu, Chao; Zhang, Xiaojuan

    2017-01-01

    Chang'E-3 (CE-3) landed in the northwest Mare Imbrium, a region that has not been explored before. Yutu rover that released by CE-3 lander carried the first lunar surface penetrating radar (LPR) for exploring lunar regolith thickness and subsurface shallow geological structures. In this paper, based on the LPR data and the Panoramic Camera (PC) data, we first calculate the lunar surface regolith parameters in CE-3 landing area including its permittivity, density, conductivity and FeO + TiO2 content. LPR data provides a higher spatial resolution and more accuracy for the lunar regolith parameters comparing to other remote sensing techniques, such as orbit radar sounder and microwave sensing or earth-based powerful radar. We also derived the regolith thickness and its weathered rate with much better accuracy in the landing area. The results indicate that the regolith growth rate is much faster than previous estimation, the regolith parameters are not uniform even in such a small study area and the thickness and growth rate of lunar regolith here are different from other areas in Mare Imbrium. We infer that the main reason should be geological deformation that caused by multiple impacts of meteorites in different sizes.

  11. Orbital studies of lunar magnetism

    Mcleod, M. G.; Coleman, P. J., Jr.

    1982-01-01

    Limitations of present lunar magnetic maps are considered. Optimal processing of satellite derived magnetic anomaly data is also considered. Studies of coastal and core geomagnetism are discussed. Lunar remanent and induced lunar magnetization are included.

  12. Lunar Atmosphere Probe Station: A Proof-of-Concept Instrument Package for Monitoring the Lunar Atmosphere

    Lazio, J.; Jones, D. L.; MacDowall, R. J.; Stewart, K. P.; Burns, J. O.; Farrell, W. M.; Giersch, L.; O'Dwyer, I. J.; Hicks, B. C.; Polisensky, E. J.; Hartman, J. M.; Nesnas, I.; Weiler, K.; Kasper, J. C.

    2013-12-01

    The lunar exosphere is the exemplar of a plasma near the surface of an airless body. Exposed to both the solar and interstellar radiation fields, the lunar exosphere is mostly ionized, and enduring questions regarding its properties include its density and vertical extent, the extent of contributions from volatile outgassing from the Moon, and its behavior over time, including response to the solar wind and modification by landers. Relative ionospheric measurements (riometry) are based on the simple physical principle that electromagnetic waves cannot propagate through a partially or fully ionized medium below the plasma frequency, and riometers have been deployed on the Earth in numerous remote and hostile environments. A multi-frequency riometer on the lunar surface would be able to monitor, *in situ*, the vertical extent of the lunar exosphere over time. We provide an update on a concept for a riometer implemented as a secondary science payload on future lunar landers, such as those recommended in the recent Planetary Sciences Decadal Survey report or commercial ventures. The instrument concept is simple, consisting of an antenna implemented as a metal deposited on polyimide film and receiver. We illustrate various deployment mechanisms and performance of a prototype in increasing lunar analog conditions. While the prime mission of such a riometer would be probing the lunar exosphere, our concept would also be capable to measuring the properties of dust impactors. The Lunar University Network for Astrophysical Research consortium is funded by the NASA Lunar Science Institute to investigate concepts for astrophysical observatories on the Moon. Part of this research was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with NASA. Artist's impression of the Lunar Atmosphere Probe Station.

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

    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.

  14. Space station accommodations for lunar base elements: A study

    Weidman, Deene J.; Cirillo, William; Llewellyn, Charles; Kaszubowski, Martin; Kienlen, E. Michael, Jr.

    1987-01-01

    The results of a study conducted at NASA-LaRC to assess the impact on the space station of accommodating a Manned Lunar Base are documented. Included in the study are assembly activities for all infrastructure components, resupply and operations support for lunar base elements, crew activity requirements, the effect of lunar activities on Cape Kennedy operations, and the effect on space station science missions. Technology needs to prepare for such missions are also defined. Results of the study indicate that the space station can support the manned lunar base missions with the addition of a Fuel Depot Facility and a heavy lift launch vehicle to support the large launch requirements.

  15. Baseline Design and Performance Analysis of Laser Altimeter for Korean Lunar Orbiter

    Hyung-Chul Lim

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Korea’s lunar exploration project includes the launching of an orbiter, a lander (including a rover, and an experimental orbiter (referred to as a lunar pathfinder. Laser altimeters have played an important scientific role in lunar, planetary, and asteroid exploration missions since their first use in 1971 onboard the Apollo 15 mission to the Moon. In this study, a laser altimeter was proposed as a scientific instrument for the Korean lunar orbiter, which will be launched by 2020, to study the global topography of the surface of the Moon and its gravitational field and to support other payloads such as a terrain mapping camera or spectral imager. This study presents the baseline design and performance model for the proposed laser altimeter. Additionally, the study discusses the expected performance based on numerical simulation results. The simulation results indicate that the design of system parameters satisfies performance requirements with respect to detection probability and range error even under unfavorable conditions.

  16. Cis-Lunar Base Camp

    Merrill, Raymond G.; Goodliff, Kandyce E.; Mazanek, Daniel D.; Reeves, John D., Jr.

    2012-01-01

    Historically, when mounting expeditions into uncharted territories, explorers have established strategically positioned base camps to pre-position required equipment and consumables. These base camps are secure, safe positions from which expeditions can depart when conditions are favorable, at which technology and operations can be tested and validated, and facilitate timely access to more robust facilities in the event of an emergency. For human exploration missions into deep space, cis-lunar space is well suited to serve as such a base camp. The outer regions of cis-lunar space, such as the Earth-Moon Lagrange points, lie near the edge of Earth s gravity well, allowing equipment and consumables to be aggregated with easy access to deep space and to the lunar surface, as well as more distant destinations, such as near-Earth Asteroids (NEAs) and Mars and its moons. Several approaches to utilizing a cis-lunar base camp for sustainable human exploration, as well as some possible future applications are identified. The primary objective of the analysis presented in this paper is to identify options, show the macro trends, and provide information that can be used as a basis for more detailed mission development. Compared within are the high-level performance and cost of 15 preliminary cis-lunar exploration campaigns that establish the capability to conduct crewed missions of up to one year in duration, and then aggregate mass in cis-lunar space to facilitate an expedition from Cis-Lunar Base Camp. Launch vehicles, chemical propulsion stages, and electric propulsion stages are discussed and parametric sizing values are used to create architectures of in-space transportation elements that extend the existing in-space supply chain to cis-lunar space. The transportation options to cis-lunar space assessed vary in efficiency by almost 50%; from 0.16 to 0.68 kg of cargo in cis-lunar space for every kilogram of mass in Low Earth Orbit (LEO). For the 15 cases, 5-year campaign

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

    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

  18. Lunar resource base

    Pulley, John; Wise, Todd K.; Roy, Claude; Richter, Phil

    A lunar base that exploits local resources to enhance the productivity of a total SEI scenario is discussed. The goals were to emphasize lunar science and to land men on Mars in 2016 using significant amounts of lunar resources. It was assumed that propulsion was chemical and the surface power was non-nuclear. Three phases of the base build-up are outlined, the robotic emplacement of the first elements is detailed and a discussion of future options is included.

  19. Lunar and interplanetary trajectories

    Biesbroek, Robin

    2016-01-01

    This book provides readers with a clear description of the types of lunar and interplanetary trajectories, and how they influence satellite-system design. The description follows an engineering rather than a mathematical approach and includes many examples of lunar trajectories, based on real missions. It helps readers gain an understanding of the driving subsystems of interplanetary and lunar satellites. The tables and graphs showing features of trajectories make the book easy to understand. .

  20. Magnetically Attached Multifunction Maintenance Rover

    Bar-Cohen, Yoseph; Joffe, Benjamin

    2005-01-01

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

  1. The 3-D geological model around Chang'E-3 landing site based on lunar penetrating radar Channel 1 data

    Yuan, Yuefeng; Zhu, Peimin; Zhao, Na; Xiao, Long; Garnero, Edward; Xiao, Zhiyong; Zhao, Jiannan; Qiao, Le

    2017-07-01

    High-frequency lunar penetrating radar (LPR) data from an instrument on the lunar rover Yutu, from the Chang'E-3 (CE-3) robotic lander, were used to build a three-dimensional (3-D) geological model of the lunar subsurface structure. The CE-3 landing site is in the northern Mare Imbrium. More than five significant reflection horizons are evident in the LPR profile, which we interpret as different period lava flow sequences deposited on the lunar surface. The most probable directions of these flows were inferred from layer depths, thicknesses, and other geological information. Moreover, the apparent Imbrian paleoregolith homogeneity in the profile supports the suggestion of a quiescent period of lunar surface evolution. Similar subsurface structures are found at the NASA Apollo landing sites, indicating that the cause and time of formation of the imaged phenomena may be similar between the two distant regions.

  2. Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Lunar Workshops for Educators

    Jones, A. P.; Hsu, B. C.; Hessen, K.; Bleacher, L.

    2012-12-01

    The Lunar Workshops for Educators (LWEs) are a series of weeklong professional development workshops, accompanied by quarterly follow-up sessions, designed to educate and inspire grade 6-12 science teachers, sponsored by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). Participants learn about lunar science and exploration, gain tools to help address common student misconceptions about the Moon, find out about the latest research results from LRO scientists, work with data from LRO and other lunar missions, and learn how to bring these data to their students using hands-on activities aligned with grade 6-12 National Science Education Standards and Benchmarks and through authentic research experiences. LWEs are held around the country, primarily in locations underserved with respect to NASA workshops. Where possible, workshops also include tours of science facilities or field trips intended to help participants better understand mission operations or geologic processes relevant to the Moon. Scientist and engineer involvement is a central tenant of the LWEs. LRO scientists and engineers, as well as scientists working on other lunar missions, present their research or activities to the workshop participants and answer questions about lunar science and exploration. This interaction with the scientists and engineers is consistently ranked by the LWE participants as one of the most interesting and inspiring components of the workshops. Evaluation results from the 2010 and 2011 workshops, as well as preliminary analysis of survey responses from 2012 participants, demonstrated an improved understanding of lunar science concepts among LWE participants in post-workshop assessments (as compared to identical pre-assessments) and a greater understanding of how to access and effectively share LRO data with students. Teachers reported increased confidence in helping students conduct research using lunar data, and learned about programs that would allow their students to make authentic

  3. The Curiosity Mars Rover's Fault Protection Engine

    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.

  4. Comparative Field Tests of Pressurised Rover Prototypes

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

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

  5. Towards a Moon Village: Young Lunar Explorers Report

    Kamps, Oscar; Foing, Bernard; Batenburg, Peter

    2016-04-01

    Introduction: The Moon Village Workshop at ESTEC on the 14th December 2015 was organized by ILEWG/ESTEC in conjunction with the Moon 2020-2030 Symposium. It gathered a multi-disciplinary group of professionals from all around the world to discuss their ideas about the concept of a Moon Village, the vision of ESA's Director General (DG) Jan Woerner of a permanent lunar base within the next decades [1]. The workshop participants split in three working groups focusing on Moon Habitat Design, science and technology potentials of the Moon Village, and engaging stakeholders [2-3]. Their results and recommendations are presented in this abstract. The Moon Habitat Design group identified that the lunar base design is strongly driven by the lunar environment, which is characterized by high radiation, meteoroids, abrasive dust particles, low gravity and vacu-um. The base location is recommended to be near the poles to provide optimized illumination conditions for power generation, permanent communication to Earth, moderate temperature gradients at the surface and interesting subjects to scientific investigations. The abundance of nearby available resources, especially ice at the dark bottoms of craters, can be exploited in terms of In-Situ Resources Utilization (ISRU). The identified infrastructural requirements include a navigation, data- & commlink network, storage facilities and sustainable use of resources. This involves a high degree of recycling, closed-loop life support and use of 3D-printing technology, which are all technologies with great potential for terrestrial spin-off applications. For the site planning of the Moon Village, proven ideas from urban planning on Earth should be taken into account. A couple of principles, which could improve the quality of a long-term living milieu on the Moon, are creating spacious environments, visibility between interior and exterior spaces, areas with flora, such as gardens and greenhouses, establishing a sustainable community

  6. The Processing and Analysis of Lunar Penetrating Radar Channel-1 Data from Chang'E-3

    Gao Yun-ze; Dong Ze-hua; Fang Guang-you; Ji Yi-cai; Zhou Bin

    2015-01-01

    Lunar Penetrating Radar (LPR), which is one of the most important science payloads onboard the Chang'E-3 (CE-3) rover, is used to obtain electromagnetic image less than 100 m beneath the lunar surface. This paper describes the system composition and working mechanism of the LPR and presents a detailed analysis of its data. We investigated special signal-processing methods and present the result of channel-1 data. The result shows that the effective echo occurs at depths greater than 100 m. Mo...

  7. Researches on the Orbit Determination and Positioning of the Chinese Lunar Exploration Program

    Li, P. J.

    2015-07-01

    This dissertation studies the precise orbit determination (POD) and positioning of the Chinese lunar exploration spacecraft, emphasizing the variety of VLBI (very long baseline interferometry) technologies applied for the deep-space exploration, and their contributions to the methods and accuracies of the precise orbit determination and positioning. In summary, the main contents are as following: In this work, using the real-time data measured by the CE-2 (Chang'E-2) detector, the accuracy of orbit determination is analyzed for the domestic lunar probe under the present condition, and the role played by the VLBI tracking data is particularly reassessed through the precision orbit determination experiments for CE-2. The experiments of the short-arc orbit determination for the lunar probe show that the combination of the ranging and VLBI data with the arc of 15 minutes is able to improve the accuracy by 1-1.5 order of magnitude, compared to the cases for only using the ranging data with the arc of 3 hours. The orbital accuracy is assessed through the orbital overlapping analysis, and the results show that the VLBI data is able to contribute to the CE-2's long-arc POD especially in the along-track and orbital normal directions. For the CE-2's 100 km× 100 km lunar orbit, the position errors are better than 30 meters, and for the CE-2's 15 km× 100 km orbit, the position errors are better than 45 meters. The observational data with the delta differential one-way ranging (Δ DOR) from the CE-2's X-band monitoring and control system experimental are analyzed. It is concluded that the accuracy of Δ DOR delay is dramatically improved with the noise level better than 0.1 ns, and the systematic errors are well calibrated. Although it is unable to support the development of an independent lunar gravity model, the tracking data of CE-2 provided the evaluations of different lunar gravity models through POD, and the accuracies are examined in terms of orbit-to-orbit solution

  8. Lunar-A

    penetrators will be transmitted to the earth station via the Lunar-A mother spacecraft orbiting at an altitude of about .... to save the power consumption of the Lunar-A penetrator .... and an origin-time versus tidal-phases correlation. (Toksoz et al ...

  9. 2007 Lunar Regolith Simulant Workshop Overview

    McLemore, Carole A.; Fikes, John C.; Howell, Joe T.

    2007-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) vision has as a cornerstone, the establishment of an Outpost on the Moon. This Lunar Outpost will eventually provide the necessary planning, technology development, and training for a manned mission to Mars in the future. As part of the overall activity, NASA is conducting Earth-based research and advancing technologies to a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 6 maturity under the Exploration Technology Development Program that will be incorporated into the Constellation Project as well as other projects. All aspects of the Lunar environment, including the Lunar regolith and its properties, are important in understanding the long-term impacts to hardware, scientific instruments, and humans prior to returning to the Moon and living on the Moon. With the goal of reducing risk to humans and hardware and increasing mission success on the Lunar surface, it is vital that terrestrial investigations including both development and verification testing have access to Lunar-like environments. The Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) is supporting this endeavor by developing, characterizing, and producing Lunar simulants in addition to analyzing existing simulants for appropriate applications. A Lunar Regolith Simulant Workshop was conducted by MSFC in Huntsville, Alabama, in October 2007. The purpose of the Workshop was to bring together simulant developers, simulant users, and program and project managers from ETDP and Constellation with the goals of understanding users' simulant needs and their applications. A status of current simulant developments such as the JSC-1A (Mare Type Simulant) and the NASA/U.S. Geological Survey Lunar Highlands-Type Pilot Simulant (NU-LHT-1 M) was provided. The method for evaluating simulants, performed via Figures of Merit (FoMs) algorithms, was presented and a demonstration was provided. The four FoM properties currently being assessed are: size, shape, density, and composition. Some of the

  10. Lunar Lava Tube Sensing

    York, Cheryl Lynn; Walden, Bryce; Billings, Thomas L.; Reeder, P. Douglas

    1992-01-01

    Large (greater than 300 m diameter) lava tube caverns appear to exist on the Moon and could provide substantial safety and cost benefits for lunar bases. Over 40 m of basalt and regolith constitute the lava tube roof and would protect both construction and operations. Constant temperatures of -20 C reduce thermal stress on structures and machines. Base designs need not incorporate heavy shielding, so lightweight materials can be used and construction can be expedited. Identification and characterization of lava tube caverns can be incorporated into current precursor lunar mission plans. Some searches can even be done from Earth. Specific recommendations for lunar lava tube search and exploration are (1) an Earth-based radar interferometer, (2) an Earth-penetrating radar (EPR) orbiter, (3) kinetic penetrators for lunar lava tube confirmation, (4) a 'Moon Bat' hovering rocket vehicle, and (5) the use of other proposed landers and orbiters to help find lunar lava tubes.

  11. Lunar and Planetary Science XXXVI, Part 7

    2005-01-01

    Topics discussed include: Lunar Geologic Mapping: Preliminary Mapping of Copernicus Quad High-Resolution Topography of Layers in the Valles Marineris Via Thermoclinometry ; The Critical Importance of Data Reduction Calibrations in the Interpretability of S-type Asteroid Spectra; (sup 238)U-(sup 206)Pb Age and Uranium-Lead Isotope Systematics of Mare Basalt 10017; Morphological Investigations of Martian Spherules, Comparisons to Collected Terrestrial Counterparts; The Vapor Pressure of Palladium at Temperatures up to 1973K; Areas of Favorable Illumination at the Lunar Poles Calculated from Topography; An Indigenous Origin for the South Pole-Aitken Basin Thorium Anomaly; Ar-Ar Ages of Nakhlites Y000593, NWA998, and Nakhla and CRE Ages of NWA998; Experiments on the Acoustic Properties of Titan-like Atmospheres; Analysis of Downstream Transitions in Morphology and Structure of Lava Channels on Mars; Structure and Bonding of Carbon in Clays from CI Carbonaceous Chondrites; Comparison of Three Hydrogen Distributions at the Equator of Mars; An Impact Origin for the Foliation of Ordinary Chondrites; A New Micrometeorite Collection from Antarctica and Its Preliminary Characterization by Microobservation, Microanalysis and Magnetic Methods; Volcanic Plumes and Plume Deposits on Io; Results of the Alpha-Particle-X-Ray Spectrometer on Board of the Mars Exploration Rovers; Effects of Oceans on Atmospheric Loss During the Stage of Giant Impacts; and Identification of Predominant Ferric Signatures in Association to the Martian Sulfate Deposits

  12. Lunar architecture

    Malek, Shahin

    The climatic conditions of Earth and human trends for discover the space, make these questions that how we can design a camp on the moon as a base for traveling in space or how we can live on that condition and what kind of camp we can have on the moon?!The first step in this way was creating the International Space Station on earth's orbit. (International Space Station, 2001) Settlement on moon was proposed since knowledge about it growth. Regarding to new technologies, architects parallel to engineers are trying to design and invent new ways for human settlement on moon because of its suitable conditions. Proposed habitats range from the actual spacecraft lander or their used fuel tanks, to inflatable modules of various shapes. Due to the researches until now, the first requirement for the living on other planets is water existence for human breath and fuel and after that we need to solve air pressure and gravity difference. (Colonization of the Moon, 2004) The Goal of this research is to answer to the question which is designing a camp on the Moon. But for this goal, there is need to think and study more about the subject and its factors. With qualitative and comparative methodology, the conditions of the Earth and the Moon will be comparing in different categories such as nature, human and design. I think that after water discovery, with using local materials and appropriate building design which can be on surface or underground, along with new sciences, we can plan for long period living on Moon. The important point is to consider Function, Form and Structure together in designing on the Moon. References: Colonization of the Moon. (2004). Retrieved December 14, 2009, from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colonizationo ft heM oonStructure, InternationalSpaceStation.(2001).Retrie http : //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/InternationalS paceS tation

  13. Development of a lunar infrastructure

    Burke, J. D.

    If humans are to reside continuously and productively on the Moon, they must be surrounded and supported there by an infrastructure having some attributes of the support systems that have made advanced civilization possible on Earth. Building this lunar infrastructure will, in a sense, be an investment. Creating it will require large resources from Earth, but once it exists it can do much to limit the further demands of a lunar base for Earthside support. What is needed for a viable lunar infrastructure? This question can be approached from two directions. The first is to examine history, which is essentially a record of growing information structures among humans on Earth (tribes, agriculture, specialization of work, education, ethics, arts and sciences, cities and states, technology). The second approach is much less secure but may provide useful insights: it is to examine the minimal needs of a small human community - not just for physical survival but for a stable existence with a net product output. This paper presents a summary, based on present knowledge of the Moon and of the likely functions of a human community there, of some of these infrastructure requirements, and also discusses possible ways to proceed toward meeting early infrastructure needs.

  14. Energy for lunar resource exploitation

    Glaser, Peter E.

    1992-02-01

    Humanity stands at the threshold of exploiting the known lunar resources that have opened up with the access to space. America's role in the future exploitation of space, and specifically of lunar resources, may well determine the level of achievement in technology development and global economic competition. Space activities during the coming decades will significantly influence the events on Earth. The 'shifting of history's tectonic plates' is a process that will be hastened by the increasingly insistent demands for higher living standards of the exponentially growing global population. Key to the achievement of a peaceful world in the 21st century, will be the development of a mix of energy resources at a societally acceptable and affordable cost within a realistic planning horizon. This must be the theme for the globally applicable energy sources that are compatible with the Earth's ecology. It is in this context that lunar resources development should be a primary goal for science missions to the Moon, and for establishing an expanding human presence. The economic viability and commercial business potential of mining, extracting, manufacturing, and transporting lunar resource based materials to Earth, Earth orbits, and to undertake macroengineering projects on the Moon remains to be demonstrated. These extensive activities will be supportive of the realization of the potential of space energy sources for use on Earth. These may include generating electricity for use on Earth based on beaming power from Earth orbits and from the Moon to the Earth, and for the production of helium 3 as a fuel for advanced fusion reactors.

  15. A Modular Re-configurable Rover System

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

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

  16. An Extension of Analysis of Solar-Heated Thermal Wadis to Support Extended-Duration Lunar Exploration

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

    2010-01-01

    The realization of the renewed exploration of the Moon presents many technical challenges; among them is the survival of lunar surface assets during periods of darkness when the lunar environment is very cold. Thermal wadis are engineered sources of stored solar energy using modified lunar regolith as a thermal storage mass that can supply energy to protect lightweight robotic rovers or other assets during the lunar night. This paper describes an extension of an earlier analysis of performance of thermal wadis based on the known solar illumination of the Moon and estimates of producible thermal properties of modified lunar regolith. The current analysis has been performed for the lunar equatorial region and validates the formerly used 1-D model by comparison of predictions to those obtained from 2-D and 3-D computations. It includes the effects of a thin dust layer covering the surface of the wadi, and incorporating either water as a phase-change material or aluminum stakes as a high thermal conductivity material into the regolith. The calculations indicate that thermal wadis can provide the desired thermal energy and temperature control for the survival of rovers or other equipment during periods of darkness.

  17. Electromagnetic Simulations of Ground-Penetrating Radar Propagation near Lunar Pits and Lava Tubes

    Zimmerman, M. I.; Carter, L. M.; Farrell, W. M.; Bleacher, J. E.; Petro, N. E.

    2013-01-01

    Placing an Orion capsule at the Earth-Moon L2 point (EML2) would potentially enable telerobotic operation of a rover on the lunar surface. The Human Exploration Virtual Institute (HEVI) is proposing that rover operations be carried out near one of the recently discovered lunar pits, which may provide radiation shielding for long duration human stays as well as a cross-disciplinary, science-rich target for nearer-term telerobotic exploration. Ground penetrating radar (GPR) instrumentation included onboard a rover has the potential to reveal many details of underground geologic structures near a pit, as well as characteristics of the pit itself. In the present work we employ the full-wave electromagnetic code MEEP to simulate such GPR reflections from a lunar pit and other subsurface features including lava tubes. These simulations will feed forward to mission concepts requiring knowledge of where to hide from harmful radiation and other environmental hazards such as plama charging and extreme diurnal temperatures.

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

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

    2008-12-01

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

  19. Spectroscopic observations of the Moon at the lunar surface

    Wu, Yunzhao; Hapke, Bruce

    2018-02-01

    The Moon's reflectance spectrum records many of its important properties. However, prior to Chang'E-3 (CE-3), no spectra had previously been measured on the lunar surface. Here we show the in situ reflectance spectra of the Moon acquired on the lunar surface by the Visible-Near Infrared Spectrometer (VNIS) onboard the CE-3 rover. The VNIS detected thermal radiation from the lunar regolith, though with much shorter wavelength range than typical thermal radiometer. The measured temperatures are higher than expected from theoretical model, indicating low thermal inertia of the lunar soil and the effects of grain facet on soil temperature in submillimeter scale. The in situ spectra also reveal that 1) brightness changes visible from orbit are related to the reduction in maturity due to the removal of the fine and weathered particles by the lander's rocket exhaust, not the smoothing of the surface and 2) the spectra of the uppermost soil detected by remote sensing exhibit substantial differences with that immediately beneath, which has important implications for the remote compositional analysis. The reflectance spectra measured by VNIS not only reveal the thermal, compositional, and space-weathering properties of the Moon but also provide a means for the calibration of optical instruments that view the surface remotely.

  20. The Apollo lunar samples collection analysis and results

    Young, Anthony

    2017-01-01

    This book focuses on the specific mission planning for lunar sample collection, the equipment used, and the analysis and findings concerning the samples at the Lunar Receiving Laboratory in Texas. Anthony Young documents the collection of Apollo samples for the first time for readers of all backgrounds, and includes interviews with many of those involved in planning and analyzing the samples. NASA contracted with the U.S. Geologic Survey to perform classroom and field training of the Apollo astronauts. NASA’s Geology Group within the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston, Texas, helped to establish the goals of sample collection, as well as the design of sample collection tools, bags, and storage containers. In this book, detailed descriptions are given on the design of the lunar sampling tools, the Modular Experiment Transporter used on Apollo 14, and the specific areas of the Lunar Rover vehicle used for the Apollo 15, 16, and 17 missions, which carried the sampling tools, bags, and other related equipment ...

  1. NASA Lunar and Planetary Mapping and Modeling

    Day, B. H.; Law, E.

    2016-12-01

    NASA's Lunar and Planetary Mapping and Modeling Portals provide web-based suites of interactive visualization and analysis tools to enable mission planners, planetary scientists, students, and the general public to access mapped lunar data products from past and current missions for the Moon, Mars, and Vesta. New portals for additional planetary bodies are being planned. This presentation will recap significant enhancements to these toolsets during the past year and look forward to the results of the exciting work currently being undertaken. Additional data products and tools continue to be added to the Lunar Mapping and Modeling Portal (LMMP). These include both generalized products as well as polar data products specifically targeting potential sites for the Resource Prospector mission. Current development work on LMMP also includes facilitating mission planning and data management for lunar CubeSat missions, and working with the NASA Astromaterials Acquisition and Curation Office's Lunar Apollo Sample database in order to help better visualize the geographic contexts from which samples were retrieved. A new user interface provides, among other improvements, significantly enhanced 3D visualizations and navigation. Mars Trek, the project's Mars portal, has now been assigned by NASA's Planetary Science Division to support site selection and analysis for the Mars 2020 Rover mission as well as for the Mars Human Landing Exploration Zone Sites. This effort is concentrating on enhancing Mars Trek with data products and analysis tools specifically requested by the proposing teams for the various sites. Also being given very high priority by NASA Headquarters is Mars Trek's use as a means to directly involve the public in these upcoming missions, letting them explore the areas the agency is focusing upon, understand what makes these sites so fascinating, follow the selection process, and get caught up in the excitement of exploring Mars. The portals also serve as

  2. A vision system for a Mars rover

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

    1988-01-01

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

  3. Creating a Lunar EVA Work Envelope

    Griffin, Brand N.; Howard, Robert; Rajulu, Sudhakar; Smitherman, David

    2009-01-01

    A work envelope has been defined for weightless Extravehicular Activity (EVA) based on the Space Shuttle Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU), but there is no equivalent for planetary operations. The weightless work envelope is essential for planning all EVA tasks because it determines the location of removable parts, making sure they are within reach and visibility of the suited crew member. In addition, using the envelope positions the structural hard points for foot restraints that allow placing both hands on the job and provides a load path for reacting forces. EVA operations are always constrained by time. Tasks are carefully planned to ensure the crew has enough breathing oxygen, cooling water, and battery power. Planning first involves computers using a virtual work envelope to model tasks, next suited crew members in a simulated environment refine the tasks. For weightless operations, this process is well developed, but planetary EVA is different and no work envelope has been defined. The primary difference between weightless and planetary work envelopes is gravity. It influences anthropometry, horizontal and vertical mobility, and reaction load paths and introduces effort into doing "overhead" work. Additionally, the use of spacesuits other than the EMU, and their impacts on range of motion, must be taken into account. This paper presents the analysis leading to a concept for a planetary EVA work envelope with emphasis on lunar operations. There is some urgency in creating this concept because NASA has begun building and testing development hardware for the lunar surface, including rovers, habitats and cargo off-loading equipment. Just as with microgravity operations, a lunar EVA work envelope is needed to guide designers in the formative stages of the program with the objective of avoiding difficult and costly rework.

  4. Autonomous Warplanes: NASA Rovers Lead the Way

    2016-04-01

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

  5. Onboard autonomous mineral detectors for Mars rovers

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

    2005-12-01

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

  6. Lunar neutron source function

    Kornblum, J.J.

    1974-01-01

    The search for a quantitative neutron source function for the lunar surface region is justified because it contributes to our understanding of the history of the lunar surface and of nuclear process occurring on the moon since its formation. A knowledge of the neutron source function and neutron flux distribution is important for the interpretation of many experimental measurements. This dissertation uses the available pertinent experimental measurements together with theoretical calculations to obtain an estimate of the lunar neutron source function below 15 MeV. Based upon reasonable assumptions a lunar neutron source function having adjustable parameters is assumed for neutrons below 15 MeV. The lunar neutron source function is composed of several components resulting from the action of cosmic rays with lunar material. A comparison with previous neutron calculations is made and significant differences are discussed. Application of the results to the problem of lunar soil histories is examined using the statistical model for soil development proposed by Fireman. The conclusion is drawn that the moon is losing mass

  7. Lunar transportation system

    1993-07-01

    The University Space Research Association (USRA) requested the University of Minnesota Spacecraft Design Team to design a lunar transportation infrastructure. This task was a year long design effort culminating in a complete conceptual design and presentation at Johnson Space Center. The mission objective of the design group was to design a system of vehicles to bring a habitation module, cargo, and crew to the lunar surface from LEO and return either or both crew and cargo safely to LEO while emphasizing component commonality, reusability, and cost effectiveness. During the course of the design, the lunar transportation system (LTS) has taken on many forms. The final design of the system is composed of two vehicles, a lunar transfer vehicle (LTV) and a lunar excursion vehicle (LEV). The LTV serves as an efficient orbital transfer vehicle between the earth and the moon while the LEV carries crew and cargo to the lunar surface. Presented in the report are the mission analysis, systems layout, orbital mechanics, propulsion systems, structural and thermal analysis, and crew systems, avionics, and power systems for this lunar transportation concept.

  8. Slip Validation and Prediction for Mars Exploration Rovers

    Jeng Yen

    2008-04-01

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

  9. Mission Operations of the Mars Exploration Rovers

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

    2007-01-01

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

  10. Requirements and Designs for Mars Rover RTGs

    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.

  11. Reconfigurable Autonomy for Future Planetary Rovers

    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.

  12. Improved Lunar and Martian Regolith Simulant Production, Phase I

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — NASA's new exploration initiative created immediate need for materials science and technology research to enable safe human travel and work on future lunar or...

  13. Gear Bearing Transmission for the Lunar Environment, Phase I

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Honeybee Robotics proposes to build upon technology we have previously developed with Goddard Space Flight Center and redesign specifically for the lunar environment...

  14. Innovative Ground Habitats for Lunar Operational Outpost (IGLOO), Phase I

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — NextGen Aeronautics, Inc. is proposing an alternate architecture for inflatable lunar habitats that takes advantage of inflatable beam technologies currently being...

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

    Hertzler, T.

    1993-02-01

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

  16. Structural Analysis of Lunar Subsurface with Chang'E 3 Lunar Penetrating Radar

    Xu, Yi; Lai, Jialong; Tang, Zesheng

    2015-04-01

    Geological structure of the subsurface of the Moon provides valuable information for our understanding of lunar evolution. Recently, Chang'E 3 has utilized lunar penetrating radar (LPR), which is equipped on the lunar rover named as Yutu, to detect the lunar geological structure in Northern Imbrium (44.1260N, 19.5014W) for the first time. As an in-situ detector, Chang'E 3 LPR has higher horizontal and vertical resolution and less clutter impact compared to spaceborne radars such as Chandrayaan-1 and Kaguya. In this work, we analyze the LPR data at 500 MHz transmission frequency to obtain the shallow subsurface structure of the landing area of Chang'E 3 in Mare Imbrium. First, filter method and amplitude recover algorithms are introduced for data processing to alleviate the adverse effects of environment and system noises and compensate the amplitude losses during signal propagation. Next, based on the processed LPR data, we present the methods to determine the interfaces between layers. A three-layered structure of the shallow surface of the Moon has been observed. The corresponding real part of relative dielectric constant is inverted with deconvolution method. The average dielectric constants of the surface, second and third layer is 2.8, 3.2 and 3.6, respectively. The phenomenon that the average dielectric constant increases with the depth is consistent with prior art. With the obtained dielectric constants, the thickness of each layer can be calculated. One possible geological picture of the observed three-layered structure is presented as follows. The top layer is lunar regolith with its thickness ranging from 0.59 m to 0.9 m. The second layer is the ejecta blanket of the nearby impact crater, and the corresponding thickness is between 3.6m to 3.9m, which is in good agreement with the model of ejecta blanket thickness (height) as a function of distance from the crater center proposed by Melosh in 1989. The third layer is regarded as early lunar regolith with 4

  17. Astronomical Orientation Method Based on Lunar Observations Utilizing Super Wide Field of View

    PU Junyu

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available In this paper,astronomical orientation is achieved by observing the moon utilizing camera with super wide field of view,and formulae are deduced in detail.An experiment based on real observations verified the stability of the method.In this experiment,after 15 minutes' tracking shoots,the internal precision could be superior to ±7.5" and the external precision could approximately reach ±20".This camera-based method for astronomical orientation can change the traditional mode (aiming by human eye based on theodolite,thus lowering the requirements for operator's skill to some extent.Furthermore,camera with super wide field of view can realize the function of continuous tracking shoots on the moon without complicated servo control devices.Considering the similar existence of gravity on the moon and the earth's phase change when observed from the moon,once the technology of self-leveling is developed,this method can be extended to orientation for lunar rover by shooting the earth.

  18. Lunar Map Catalog

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Lunar Map Catalog includes various maps of the moon's surface, including Apollo landing sites; earthside, farside, and polar charts; photography index maps; zone...

  19. Consolidated Lunar Atlas

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Consolidated Lunar Atlas is a collection of the best photographic images of the moon, including low-oblique photography, full-moon photography, and tabular and...

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

    Johnson, Michael R.

    2013-01-01

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

  1. The Lunar Dust Environment

    Szalay, Jamey Robert

    Planetary bodies throughout the solar system are continually bombarded by dust particles, largely originating from cometary activities and asteroidal collisions. Surfaces of bodies with thick atmospheres, such as Venus, Earth, Mars and Titan are mostly protected from incoming dust impacts as these particles ablate in their atmospheres as 'shooting stars'. However, the majority of bodies in the solar system have no appreciable atmosphere and their surfaces are directly exposed to the flux of high speed dust grains. Impacts onto solid surfaces in space generate charged and neutral gas clouds, as well as solid secondary ejecta dust particles. Gravitationally bound ejecta clouds forming dust exospheres were recognized by in situ dust instruments around the icy moons of Jupiter and Saturn, and had not yet been observed near bodies with refractory regolith surfaces before NASA's Lunar Dust and Environment Explorer (LADEE) mission. In this thesis, we first present the measurements taken by the Lunar Dust Explorer (LDEX), aboard LADEE, which discovered a permanently present, asymmetric dust cloud surrounding the Moon. The global characteristics of the lunar dust cloud are discussed as a function of a variety of variables such as altitude, solar longitude, local time, and lunar phase. These results are compared with models for lunar dust cloud generation. Second, we present an analysis of the groupings of impacts measured by LDEX, which represent detections of dense ejecta plumes above the lunar surface. These measurements are put in the context of understanding the response of the lunar surface to meteoroid bombardment and how to use other airless bodies in the solar system as detectors for their local meteoroid environment. Third, we present the first in-situ dust measurements taken over the lunar sunrise terminator. Having found no excess of small grains in this region, we discuss its implications for the putative population of electrostatically lofted dust.

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

    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.

  3. Beneficiation of lunar ilmenite

    Ruiz, Joaquin

    1991-01-01

    One of the most important commodities lacking in the moon is free oxygen which is required for life and used extensively for propellent. Free oxygen, however, can be obtained by liberating it from the oxides and silicates that form the lunar rocks and regolith. Ilmenite (FeTiO3) is considered one of the leading candidates for production of oxygen because it can be reduced with a reasonable amount of energy and it is an abundant mineral in the lunar regolith and many mare basalts. In order to obtain oxygen from ilmenite, a method must be developed to beneficiate ilmenite from lunar material. Two possible techniques are electrostatic or magnetic methods. Both methods have complications because lunar ilmenite completely lacks Fe(3+). Magnetic methods were tested on eucrite meteorites, which are a good chemical simulant for low Ti mare basalts. The ilmenite yields in the experiments were always very low and the eucrite had to be crushed to xxxx. These data suggest that magnetic separation of ilmenite from fine grain lunar basalts would not be cost effective. Presently, experiments are being performed with electrostatic separators, and lunar regolith is being waited for so that simulants do not have to be employed.

  4. Lunar Sample Compendium

    Meyer, Charles

    2005-01-01

    The purpose of the Lunar Sample Compendium will be to inform scientists, astronauts and the public about the various lunar samples that have been returned from the Moon. This Compendium will be organized rock by rock in the manor of a catalog, but will not be as comprehensive, nor as complete, as the various lunar sample catalogs that are available. Likewise, this Compendium will not duplicate the various excellent books and reviews on the subject of lunar samples (Cadogen 1981, Heiken et al. 1991, Papike et al. 1998, Warren 2003, Eugster 2003). However, it is thought that an online Compendium, such as this, will prove useful to scientists proposing to study individual lunar samples and should help provide backup information for lunar sample displays. This Compendium will allow easy access to the scientific literature by briefly summarizing the significant findings of each rock along with the documentation of where the detailed scientific data are to be found. In general, discussion and interpretation of the results is left to the formal reviews found in the scientific literature. An advantage of this Compendium will be that it can be updated, expanded and corrected as need be.

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

    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.

  6. Automated Planning and Scheduling for Planetary Rover Distributed Operations

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

    1999-01-01

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

  7. A Multi-Decadal Sample Return Campaign Will Advance Lunar and Solar System Science and Exploration by 2050

    Neal, C. R.; Lawrence, S. J.

    2017-01-01

    There have been 11 missions to the Moon this century, 10 of which have been orbital, from 5 different space agencies. China became the third country to successfully soft-land on the Moon in 2013, and the second to successfully remotely operate a rover on the lunar surface. We now have significant global datasets that, coupled with the 1990s Clementine and Lunar Prospector missions, show that the sample collection is not representative of the lithologies present on the Moon. The M3 data from the Indian Chandrayaan-1 mission have identified lithologies that are not present/under-represented in the sample collection. LRO datasets show that volcanism could be as young as 100 Ma and that significant felsic complexes exist within the lunar crust. A multi-decadal sample return campaign is the next logical step in advancing our understanding of lunar origin and evolution and Solar System processes.

  8. Closer look at lunar volcanism

    Vaniman, D.T.; Heiken, G.; Taylor, G.J.

    1984-01-01

    Although the American Apollo and Soviet Luna missions concentrated on mare basalt samples, major questions remain about lunar volcanism. Lunar field work will be indispensable for resolving the scientific questions about ages, compositions, and eruption processes of lunar volcanism. From a utilitarian standpoint, a better knowledge of lunar volcanism will also yield profitable returns in lunar base construction (e.g., exploitation of rille or lava-tube structures) and in access to materials such as volatile elements, pure glass, or ilmenite for lunar industry

  9. Data processing and initial results of Chang'e-3 lunar penetrating radar

    Su, Yan; Fang, Guang-You; Feng, Jian-Qing; Xing, Shu-Guo; Ji, Yi-Cai; Zhou, Bin; Gao, Yun-Ze; Li, Han; Dai, Shun; Xiao, Yuan; Li, Chun-Lai

    2014-12-01

    To improve our understanding of the formation and evolution of the Moon, one of the payloads onboard the Chang'e-3 (CE-3) rover is Lunar Penetrating Radar (LPR). This investigation is the first attempt to explore the lunar subsurface structure by using ground penetrating radar with high resolution. We have probed the subsurface to a depth of several hundred meters using LPR. In-orbit testing, data processing and the preliminary results are presented. These observations have revealed the configuration of regolith where the thickness of regolith varies from about 4 m to 6 m. In addition, one layer of lunar rock, which is about 330 m deep and might have been accumulated during the depositional hiatus of mare basalts, was detected.

  10. Data processing and initial results of Chang'e-3 lunar penetrating radar

    Su Yan; Feng Jian-Qing; Xing Shu-Guo; Li Han; Dai Shun; Xiao Yuan; Li Chun-Lai; Fang Guang-You; Ji Yi-Cai; Zhou Bin; Gao Yun-Ze

    2014-01-01

    To improve our understanding of the formation and evolution of the Moon, one of the payloads onboard the Chang'e-3 (CE-3) rover is Lunar Penetrating Radar (LPR). This investigation is the first attempt to explore the lunar subsurface structure by using ground penetrating radar with high resolution. We have probed the subsurface to a depth of several hundred meters using LPR. In-orbit testing, data processing and the preliminary results are presented. These observations have revealed the configuration of regolith where the thickness of regolith varies from about 4 m to 6 m. In addition, one layer of lunar rock, which is about 330 m deep and might have been accumulated during the depositional hiatus of mare basalts, was detected

  11. The Athena Mars Rover Science Payload

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

    1998-01-01

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

  12. Lunar geophysics, geodesy, and dynamics

    Williams, J. G.; Dickey, J. O.

    2002-01-01

    Experience with the dynamics and data analyses for earth and moon reveals both similarities and differences. Analysis of Lunar Laser Ranging (LLR) data provides information on the lunar orbit, rotation, solid-body tides, and retroreflector locations.

  13. A Study of an Optical Lunar Surface Communications Network with High Bandwidth Direct to Earth Link

    Wilson, K.; Biswas, A.; Schoolcraft, J.

    2011-01-01

    Analyzed optical DTE (direct to earth) and lunar relay satellite link analyses, greater than 200 Mbps downlink to 1-m Earth receiver and greater than 1 Mbps uplink achieved with mobile 5-cm lunar transceiver, greater than 1Gbps downlink and greater than 10 Mpbs uplink achieved with 10-cm stationary lunar transceiver, MITLL (MIT Lincoln Laboratory) 2013 LLCD (Lunar Laser Communications Demonstration) plans to demonstrate 622 Mbps downlink with 20 Mbps uplink between lunar orbiter and ground station; Identified top five technology challenges to deploying lunar optical network, Performed preliminary experiments on two of challenges: (i) lunar dust removal and (ii)DTN over optical carrier, Exploring opportunities to evaluate DTN (delay-tolerant networking) over optical link in a multi-node network e.g. Desert RATS.

  14. Structural analysis of lunar subsurface with Chang'E-3 lunar penetrating radar

    Lai, Jialong; Xu, Yi; Zhang, Xiaoping; Tang, Zesheng

    2016-01-01

    Geological structure of the subsurface of the Moon provides valuable information on lunar evolution. Recently, Chang'E-3 has utilized lunar penetrating radar (LPR), which is equipped on the lunar rover named as Yutu, to detect the lunar geological structure in Northern Imbrium (44.1260N, 19.5014W) for the first time. As an in situ detector, Chang'E-3 LPR has relative higher horizontal and vertical resolution and less clutter impact compared to spaceborne radars and earth-based radars. In this work, we analyze the LPR data at 500 MHz transmission frequency to obtain the shallow subsurface structure of the landing area of Chang'E-3 in Mare Imbrium. Filter method and amplitude recovery algorithms are utilized to alleviate the adverse effects of environment and system noises and compensate the amplitude losses during signal propagation. Based on the processed radar image, we observe numerous diffraction hyperbolae, which may be caused by discrete reflectors beneath the lunar surface. Hyperbolae fitting method is utilized to reverse the average dielectric constant to certain depth (ε bar). Overall, the estimated ε bar increases with the depth and ε bar could be classified into three categories. Average ε bar of each category is 2.47, 3.40 and 6.16, respectively. Because of the large gap between the values of ε bar of neighboring categories, we speculate a three-layered structure of the shallow surface of LPR exploration region. One possible geological picture of the speculated three-layered structure is presented as follows. The top layer is weathered layer of ejecta blanket with its average thickness and bound on error is 0.95±0.02 m. The second layer is the ejecta blanket of the nearby impact crater, and the corresponding average thickness is about 2.30±0.07 m, which is in good agreement with the two primary models of ejecta blanket thickness as a function of distance from the crater center. The third layer is regarded as a mixture of stones and soil. The

  15. Mars Exploration Rovers Propulsive Maneuver Design

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

    2004-01-01

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

  16. Lunar and Vesta Web Portals

    Law, E.; JPL Luna Mapping; Modeling Project Team

    2015-06-01

    The Lunar Mapping and Modeling Project offers Lunar Mapping and Modeling Portal (http://lmmp.nasa.gov) and Vesta Trek Portal (http://vestatrek.jpl.nasa.gov) providing interactive visualization and analysis tools to enable users to access mapped Lunar and Vesta data products.

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

    Henrikson, D.J.

    1995-01-01

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

  18. A lunar polar expedition

    Dowling, Richard; Staehle, Robert L.; Svitek, Tomas

    1992-09-01

    Advanced exploration and development in harsh environments require mastery of basic human survival skill. Expeditions into the lethal climates of Earth's polar regions offer useful lessons for tommorrow's lunar pioneers. In Arctic and Antarctic exploration, 'wintering over' was a crucial milestone. The ability to establish a supply base and survive months of polar cold and darkness made extensive travel and exploration possible. Because of the possibility of near-constant solar illumination, the lunar polar regions, unlike Earth's may offer the most hospitable site for habitation. The World Space Foundation is examining a scenario for establishing a five-person expeditionary team on the lunar north pole for one year. This paper is a status report on a point design addressing site selection, transportation, power, and life support requirements.

  19. Lunar Advanced Volatile Analysis Subsystem: Pressure Transducer Trade Study

    Kang, Edward Shinuk

    2017-01-01

    In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) is a key factor in paving the way for the future of human space exploration. The ability to harvest resources on foreign astronomical objects to produce consumables and propellant offers potential reduction in mission cost and risk. Through previous missions, the existence of water ice at the poles of the moon has been identified, however the feasibility of water extraction for resources remains unanswered. The Resource Prospector (RP) mission is currently in development to provide ground truth, and will enable us to characterize the distribution of water at one of the lunar poles. Regolith & Environment Science and Oxygen & Lunar Volatile Extraction (RESOLVE) is the primary payload on RP that will be used in conjunction with a rover. RESOLVE contains multiple instruments for systematically identifying the presence of water. The main process involves the use of two systems within RESOLVE: the Oxygen Volatile Extraction Node (OVEN) and Lunar Advanced Volatile Analysis (LAVA). Within the LAVA subsystem, there are multiple calculations that depend on accurate pressure readings. One of the most important instances where pressure transducers (PT) are used is for calculating the number of moles in a gas transfer from the OVEN subsystem. As a critical component of the main process, a mixture of custom and commercial off the shelf (COTS) PTs are currently being tested in the expected operating environment to eventually down select an option for integrated testing in the LAVA engineering test unit (ETU).

  20. Endogenous Lunar Volatiles

    McCubbin, F. M.; Liu, Y.; Barnes, J. J.; Boyce, J. W.; Day, J. M. D.; Elardo, S. M.; Hui, H.; Magna, T.; Ni, P.; Tartese, R.; hide

    2017-01-01

    The chapter will begin with an introduction that defines magmatic volatiles (e.g., H, F, Cl, S) versus geochemical volatiles (e.g., K, Rb, Zn). We will discuss our approach of understanding both types of volatiles in lunar samples and lay the ground work for how we will determine the overall volatile budget of the Moon. We will then discuss the importance of endogenous volatiles in shaping the "Newer Views of the Moon", specifically how endogenous volatiles feed forward into processes such as the origin of the Moon, magmatic differentiation, volcanism, and secondary processes during surface and crustal interactions. After the introduction, we will include a re-view/synthesis on the current state of 1) apatite compositions (volatile abundances and isotopic compositions); 2) nominally anhydrous mineral phases (moderately to highly volatile); 3) volatile (moderately to highly volatile) abundances in and isotopic compositions of lunar pyroclastic glass beads; 4) volatile (moderately to highly volatile) abundances in and isotopic compositions of lunar basalts; 5) volatile (moderately to highly volatile) abundances in and isotopic compositions of melt inclusions; and finally 6) experimental constraints on mineral-melt partitioning of moderately to highly volatile elements under lunar conditions. We anticipate that each section will summarize results since 2007 and focus on new results published since the 2015 Am Min review paper on lunar volatiles [9]. The next section will discuss how to use sample abundances of volatiles to understand the source region and potential caveats in estimating source abundances of volatiles. The following section will include our best estimates of volatile abundances and isotopic compositions (where permitted by available data) for each volatile element of interest in a number of important lunar reservoirs, including the crust, mantle, KREEP, and bulk Moon. The final section of the chapter will focus upon future work, outstanding questions

  1. Mission control team structure and operational lessons learned from the 2009 and 2010 NASA desert RATS simulated lunar exploration field tests

    Bell, Ernest R.; Badillo, Victor; Coan, David; Johnson, Kieth; Ney, Zane; Rosenbaum, Megan; Smart, Tifanie; Stone, Jeffry; Stueber, Ronald; Welsh, Daren; Guirgis, Peggy; Looper, Chris; McDaniel, Randall

    2013-10-01

    The NASA Desert Research and Technology Studies (Desert RATS) is an annual field test of advanced concepts, prototype hardware, and potential modes of operation to be used on human planetary surface space exploration missions. For the 2009 and 2010 NASA Desert RATS field tests, various engineering concepts and operational exercises were incorporated into mission timelines with the focus of the majority of daily operations being on simulated lunar geological field operations and executed in a manner similar to current Space Shuttle and International Space Station missions. The field test for 2009 involved a two week lunar exploration simulation utilizing a two-man rover. The 2010 Desert RATS field test took this two week simulation further by incorporating a second two-man rover working in tandem with the 2009 rover, as well as including docked operations with a Pressurized Excursion Module (PEM). Personnel for the field test included the crew, a mission management team, engineering teams, a science team, and the mission operations team. The mission operations team served as the core of the Desert RATS mission control team and included certified NASA Mission Operations Directorate (MOD) flight controllers, former flight controllers, and astronaut personnel. The backgrounds of the flight controllers were in the areas of Extravehicular Activity (EVA), onboard mechanical systems and maintenance, robotics, timeline planning (OpsPlan), and spacecraft communicator (Capcom). With the simulated EVA operations, mechanized operations (the rover), and expectations of replanning, these flight control disciplines were especially well suited for the execution of the 2009 and 2010 Desert RATS field tests. The inclusion of an operations team has provided the added benefit of giving NASA mission operations flight control personnel the opportunity to begin examining operational mission control techniques, team compositions, and mission scenarios. This also gave the mission operations

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

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

    2007-04-15

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

  3. Lunar base thermoelectric power station study

    Determan, William; Frye, Patrick; Mondt, Jack; Fleurial, Jean-Pierre; Johnson, Ken; Stapfer, G.; Brooks, Michael D.; Heshmatpour, Ben

    2006-01-01

    Under NASA's Project Prometheus, the Nuclear Systems Program, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, and Teledyne Energy Systems have teamed with a number of universities, under the Segmented Thermoelectric Multicouple Converter (STMC) program, to develop the next generation of advanced thermoelectric converters for space reactor power systems. Work on the STMC converter assembly has progressed to the point where the lower temperature stage of the segmented multicouple converter assembly is ready for laboratory testing and the upper stage materials have been identified and their properties are being characterized. One aspect of the program involves mission application studies to help define the potential benefits from the use of these STMC technologies for designated NASA missions such as the lunar base power station where kilowatts of power are required to maintain a permanent manned presence on the surface of the moon. A modular 50 kWe thermoelectric power station concept was developed to address a specific set of requirements developed for this mission. Previous lunar lander concepts had proposed the use of lunar regolith as in-situ radiation shielding material for a reactor power station with a one kilometer exclusion zone radius to minimize astronaut radiation dose rate levels. In the present concept, we will examine the benefits and requirements for a hermetically-sealed reactor thermoelectric power station module suspended within a man-made lunar surface cavity. The concept appears to maximize the shielding capabilities of the lunar regolith while minimizing its handling requirements. Both thermal and nuclear radiation levels from operation of the station, at its 100-m exclusion zone radius, were evaluated and found to be acceptable. Site preparation activities are reviewed and well as transport issues for this concept. The goal of the study was to review the entire life cycle of the unit to assess its technical problems and technology

  4. The lunar community church: Contributions to lunar living and to evolution of ethical and spiritual thinking

    Allton, J. H.

    1992-01-01

    Should religious institutions get interested in lunar settlement? Would their participation make positive contributions or would it discourage creative diversity and interfere with science and good technical judgement? Among the spacefaring nations of today, religion is distinctly separated from the governments that plan and pay for space exploration. However, as we move off the Earth, our art and philosophy will follow our science and technology. Spiritual thinking will follow as part of our culture. It is time to consider in what ways this can occur constructively. Transport of religious values to a lunar base may have positive effects in two ways. First, the social structure of a 'community church' as found in today's United States, supports its members psychologically. Mutual psychological and social support will be needed in a lunar community. Second, our space pioneers will experience a unique view of the universe which may, in their philosophical discussions, forge new ideas in the spiritual realm.

  5. Lightweight Bulldozer Attachment for Construction and Excavation on the Lunar Surface

    Mueller, Robert; Wilkinson, R. Allen; Gallo, Christopher A.; Nick, Andrew J.; Schuler, Jason M.; King, Robert H.

    2009-01-01

    A lightweight bulldozer blade prototype has been designed and built to be used as an excavation implement in conjunction with the NASA Chariot lunar mobility platform prototype. The combined system was then used in a variety of field tests in order to characterize structural loads, excavation performance and learn about the operational behavior of lunar excavation in geotechnical lunar simulants. The purpose of this effort was to evaluate the feasibility of lunar excavation for site preparation at a planned NASA lunar outpost. Once the feasibility has been determined then the technology will become available as a candidate element in the NASA Lunar Surface Systems Architecture. In addition to NASA experimental testing of the LANCE blade, NASA engineers completed analytical work on the expected draft forces using classical soil mechanics methods. The Colorado School of Mines (CSM) team utilized finite element analysis (FEA) to study the interaction between the cutting edge of the LANCE blade and the surface of soil. FEA was also used to examine various load cases and their effect on the lightweight structure of the LANCE blade. Overall it has been determined that a lunar bulldozer blade is a viable technology for lunar outpost site preparation, but further work is required to characterize the behavior in 1/6th G and actual lunar regolith in a vacuum lunar environment.

  6. Determination of lunar ilmenite abundances from remotely sensed data

    Larson, Stephen M.; Johnson, Jeffrey R.; Singer, Robert B.

    1991-01-01

    The mineral ilmenite (FeTiO3) was found in abundance in lunar mare soils returned during the Apollo project. Lunar ilmenite often contains greater than 50 weight-percent titanium dioxide (TiO2), and is a primary potential resource for oxygen and other raw materials to supply future lunar bases. Chemical and spectroscopic analysis of the returned lunar soils produced an empirical function that relates the spectral reflectance ratio at 400 and 560 nm to the weight percent abundance of TiO2. This allowed mapping of the lunar TiO2 distribution using telescopic vidicon multispectral imaging from the ground; however, the time variant photometric response of the vidicon detectors produced abundance uncertainties of at least 2 to 5 percent. Since that time, solid-state charge-coupled device (CCD) detector technology capable of much improved photometric response has become available. An investigation of the lunar TiO2 distribution was carried out utilizing groundbased telescopic CCD multispectral imagery and spectroscopy. The work was approached in phases to develop optimum technique based upon initial results. The goal is to achieve the best possible TiO2 abundance maps from the ground as a precursor to lunar orbiter and robotic sample return missions, and to produce a better idea of the peak abundances of TiO2 for benefaction studies. These phases and the results are summarized.

  7. Benefits of Using a Mars Forward Strategy for Lunar Surface Systems

    Mulqueen, Jack; Griffin, Brand; Smitherman, David; Maples, Dauphne

    2009-01-01

    This paper identifies potential risk reduction, cost savings and programmatic procurement benefits of a Mars Forward Lunar Surface System architecture that provides commonality or evolutionary development paths for lunar surface system elements applicable to Mars surface systems. The objective of this paper is to identify the potential benefits for incorporating a Mars Forward development strategy into the planned Project Constellation Lunar Surface System Architecture. The benefits include cost savings, technology readiness, and design validation of systems that would be applicable to lunar and Mars surface systems. The paper presents a survey of previous lunar and Mars surface systems design concepts and provides an assessment of previous conclusions concerning those systems in light of the current Project Constellation Exploration Architectures. The operational requirements for current Project Constellation lunar and Mars surface system elements are compared and evaluated to identify the potential risk reduction strategies that build on lunar surface systems to reduce the technical and programmatic risks for Mars exploration. Risk reduction for rapidly evolving technologies is achieved through systematic evolution of technologies and components based on Moore's Law superimposed on the typical NASA systems engineering project development "V-cycle" described in NASA NPR 7120.5. Risk reduction for established or slowly evolving technologies is achieved through a process called the Mars-Ready Platform strategy in which incremental improvements lead from the initial lunar surface system components to Mars-Ready technologies. The potential programmatic benefits of the Mars Forward strategy are provided in terms of the transition from the lunar exploration campaign to the Mars exploration campaign. By utilizing a sequential combined procurement strategy for lunar and Mars exploration surface systems, the overall budget wedges for exploration systems are reduced and the

  8. Methane Lunar Surface Thermal Control Test

    Plachta, David W.; Sutherlin, Steven G.; Johnson, Wesley L.; Feller, Jeffrey R.; Jurns, John M.

    2012-01-01

    NASA is considering propulsion system concepts for future missions including human return to the lunar surface. Studies have identified cryogenic methane (LCH4) and oxygen (LO2) as a desirable propellant combination for the lunar surface ascent propulsion system, and they point to a surface stay requirement of 180 days. To meet this requirement, a test article was prepared with state-of-the-art insulation and tested in simulated lunar mission environments at NASA GRC. The primary goals were to validate design and models of the key thermal control technologies to store unvented methane for long durations, with a low-density high-performing Multi-layer Insulation (MLI) system to protect the propellant tanks from the environmental heat of low Earth orbit (LEO), Earth to Moon transit, lunar surface, and with the LCH4 initially densified. The data and accompanying analysis shows this storage design would have fallen well short of the unvented 180 day storage requirement, due to the MLI density being much higher than intended, its substructure collapse, and blanket separation during depressurization. Despite the performance issue, insight into analytical models and MLI construction was gained. Such modeling is important for the effective design of flight vehicle concepts, such as in-space cryogenic depots or in-space cryogenic propulsion stages.

  9. Applying FastSLAM to Articulated Rovers

    Hewitt, Robert Alexander

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

  10. Rover's Wheel Churns Up Bright Martian Soil

    2009-01-01

    NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit acquired this mosaic on the mission's 1,202nd Martian day, or sol (May 21, 2007), while investigating the area east of the elevated plateau known as 'Home Plate' in the 'Columbia Hills.' The mosaic shows an area of disturbed soil, nicknamed 'Gertrude Weise' by scientists, made by Spirit's stuck right front wheel. The trench exposed a patch of nearly pure silica, with the composition of opal. It could have come from either a hot-spring environment or an environment called a fumarole, in which acidic, volcanic steam rises through cracks. Either way, its formation involved water, and on Earth, both of these types of settings teem with microbial life. Spirit acquired this mosaic with the panoramic camera's 753-nanometer, 535-nanometer, and 432-nanometer filters. The view presented here is an approximately true-color rendering.

  11. Data Management for Mars Exploration Rovers

    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).

  12. The Sooner Lunar Schooner: Lunar engineering education

    Miller, D. P.; Hougen, D. F.; Shirley, D.

    2003-06-01

    The Sooner Lunar Schooner is a multi-disciplinary ongoing project at the University of Oklahoma to plan, design, prototype, cost and (when funds become available) build/contract and fly a robotic mission to the Moon. The goal of the flight will be to explore a small section of the Moon; conduct a materials analysis of the materials left there by an Apollo mission thirty years earlier; and to perform a selenographic survey of areas that were too distant or considered too dangerous to be done by the Apollo crew. The goal of the Sooner Lunar Schooner Project is to improve the science and engineering educations of the hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students working on the project. The participants, while primarily from engineering and physics, will also include representatives from business, art, journalism, law and education. This project ties together numerous existing research programs at the University, and provides a framework for the creation of many new research proposals. The authors were excited and motivated by the Apollo missions to the Moon. When we asked what we could do to similarly motivate students we realized that nothing is as exciting as going to the Moon. The students seem to agree.

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

    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...

  14. Toxicity of lunar dust

    Linnarsson, D.; Carpenter, J.; Fubini, B.; Gerde, P.; Loftus, D.; Prisk, K.; Staufer, U.; Tranfield, E.; van Westrenen, W.

    2012-01-01

    The formation, composition and physical properties of lunar dust are incompletely characterised with regard to human health. While the physical and chemical determinants of dust toxicity for materials such as asbestos, quartz, volcanic ashes and urban particulate matter have been the focus of

  15. Lunar Phases Planisphere

    Shawl, Stephen J.

    2010-01-01

    This paper describes a lunar phases planisphere with which a user can answer questions about the rising and setting times of the Moon as well as questions about where the Moon will be at a given phase and time. The article contains figures that can be photocopied to make the planisphere. (Contains 2 figures.)

  16. Lunar magma transport phenomena

    Spera, Frank J.

    1992-01-01

    An outline of magma transport theory relevant to the evolution of a possible Lunar Magma Ocean and the origin and transport history of the later phase of mare basaltic volcanism is presented. A simple model is proposed to evaluate the extent of fractionation as magma traverses the cold lunar lithosphere. If Apollo green glasses are primitive and have not undergone significant fractionation en route to the surface, then mean ascent rates of 10 m/s and cracks of widths greater than 40 m are indicated. Lunar tephra and vesiculated basalts suggest that a volatile component plays a role in eruption dynamics. The predominant vapor species appear to be CO CO2, and COS. Near the lunar surface, the vapor fraction expands enormously and vapor internal energy is converted to mixture kinetic energy with the concomitant high-speed ejection of vapor and pyroclasts to form lunary fire fountain deposits such as the Apollo 17 orange and black glasses and Apollo 15 green glass.

  17. Towards the Next International Lunar Decade

    Beldavs, Vidvuds

    2016-07-01

    The idea of an International Lunar Decade (ILD) germinated in work underway in the International Lunar Working Group (ILEWG) coordinated by ESA starting before 2000. Envisioned was an International Geophysical Year (IGY) inspired global collaborative undertaking to better understand the Moon, its origins and resources as a step towards lunar development and possible human settlement. By 2006 the ILD idea had evolved sufficiently that the ILEWG endorsed it and endorsement was also received from COSPAR [1] The Planetary Society under the leadership of Louis Friedman championed the ILD idea, received a grant from the Secure World Foundation to promote it at various conferences as well as to the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS). Friedman made a presentation about ILD to COPUOS in February, 2007 [2]. Despite positive interest in the idea no member state of COPUOS chose to promote it. The ILD agenda was adopted by ILEWG and largely fulfilled by the member space agencies in the decade from 2007-2014, but without UN endorsement as a global initiative. In 2013 an idea for an International Lunar Decade took hold among a group of space activists that included ideas for an International Lunar Research Park [3], an International Lunar Geophysical Year and other elements including an article published by V. Beldavs in the Space Review on January 14, 2014 [4]. These various thought streams were brought to focus at the conference "The Next Giant Leap: Leveraging Lunar Assets for Sustainable Pathways to Space", November 9-13, 2014 in Hawaii that resulted in the International Lunar Decade Declaration [3] and the formation of the working group (ILDWG) to promote implementation of ILD. In 2015 numerous organizations and influential persons were approached and informed about the idea of a framework for international collaboration sustained over a decade to gain an understanding of the Moon and its resources and to develop the technologies and

  18. Lunar Riometry: Proof-of-Concept Instrument Package

    Lazio, J.; Jones, D. L.; MacDowall, R. J.; Stewart, K.; Giersch, L.; Burns, J. O.; Farrell, W. M.; Kasper, J. C.; O'Dwyer, I.; Hartman, J.

    2012-12-01

    The lunar exosphere is the exemplar of a plasma near the surface of an airless body. Exposed to both the solar and interstellar radiation fields, the lunar exosphere is mostly ionized, and enduring questions regarding its properties include its density and vertical extent, the extent of contributions from volatile outgassing from the Moon, and its behavior over time, including response to the solar wind and modification by landers. Relative ionospheric measurements (riometry) is based on the simple physical principle that electromagnetic waves cannot propagate through a partially or fully ionized medium below the plasma frequency, and riometers have been deployed on the Earth in numerous remote and hostile environments. A multi-frequency riometer on the lunar surface would be able to monitor, in situ, the vertical extent of the lunar exosphere over time. We describe a concept for a riometer implemented as a secondary science payload on future lunar landers, such as those recommended in the recent Planetary Sciences Decadal Survey report. The instrument concept is simple, consisting of an antenna implemented as a metal deposited on polyimide film and receiver. We illustrate various deployment mechanisms and performance of a prototype in increasing lunar analog conditions. While the prime mission of such a riometer would be probing the lunar exosphere, our concept would also be capable to measuring the properties of dust impactors. The Lunar University Network for Astrophysical Research consortium is funded by the NASA Lunar Science Institute to investigate concepts for astrophysical observatories on the Moon. Part of this research was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with NASA.

  19. Autonomous navigation and control of a Mars rover

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

    1990-01-01

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

  20. Feasibility of lunar Helium-3 mining

    Kleinschneider, Andreas; Van Overstraeten, Dmitry; Van der Reijnst, Roy; Van Hoorn, Niels; Lamers, Marvin; Hubert, Laurent; Dijk, Bert; Blangé, Joey; Hogeveen, Joel; De Boer, Lennaert; Noomen, Ron

    With fossil fuels running out and global energy demand increasing, the need for alternative energy sources is apparent. Nuclear fusion using Helium-3 may be a solution. Helium-3 is a rare isotope on Earth, but it is abundant on the Moon. Throughout the space community lunar Helium-3 is often cited as a major reason to return to the Moon. Despite the potential of lunar Helium-3 mining, little research has been conducted on a full end-to-end mission. This abstract presents the results of a feasibility study conducted by students from Delft University of Technology. The goal of the study was to assess whether a continuous end-to-end mission to mine Helium-3 on the Moon and return it to Earth is a viable option for the future energy market. The set requirements for the representative end-to-end mission were to provide 10% of the global energy demand in the year 2040. The mission elements have been selected with multiple trade-offs among both conservative and novel concepts. A mission architecture with multiple decoupled elements for each transportation segment (LEO, transfer, lunar surface) was found to be the best option. It was found that the most critical element is the lunar mining operation itself. To supply 10% of the global energy demand in 2040, 200 tons of Helium-3 would be required per year. The resulting regolith mining rate would be 630 tons per second, based on an optimistic concentration of 20 ppb Helium-3 in lunar regolith. Between 1,700 to 2,000 Helium-3 mining vehicles would be required, if using University of Wisconsin’s Mark III miner. The required heating power, if mining both day and night, would add up to 39 GW. The resulting power system mass for the lunar operations would be in the order of 60,000 to 200,000 tons. A fleet of three lunar ascent/descent vehicles and 22 continuous-thrust vehicles for orbit transfer would be required. The costs of the mission elements have been spread out over expected lifetimes. The resulting profits from Helium

  1. Production and use of metals and oxygen for lunar propulsion

    Hepp, Aloysius F.; Linne, Diane L.; Groth, Mary F.; Landis, Geoffrey A.; Colvin, James E.

    1991-01-01

    Production, power, and propulsion technologies for using oxygen and metals derived from lunar resources are discussed. The production process is described, and several of the more developed processes are discussed. Power requirements for chemical, thermal, and electrical production methods are compared. The discussion includes potential impact of ongoing power technology programs on lunar production requirements. The performance potential of several possible metal fuels including aluminum, silicon, iron, and titanium are compared. Space propulsion technology in the area of metal/oxygen rocket engines is discussed.

  2. Costs and benefits of lunar oxygen: Engineering, operations, and economics

    Sherwood, Brent; Woodcock, Gordon R.

    1991-01-01

    Oxygen is the most commonly discussed lunar resource. It will certainly not be the easiest to retrieve, but oxygen's fundamental place in propulsion and life support guarantees it continued attention as a prime candidate for early in situ resource utilization (ISRU). The findings are reviewed of recent investigation, sponsored by NASA-Ames, into the kinds of technologies, equipment, and scenarios (the engineering and operations costs) that will be required even to initiate lunar oxygen production. The infrastructure necessary to surround and support a viable oxygen-processing operation is explained. Selected details are used to illustrate the depth of technology challenges, extent of operations burdens, and complexity of decision linkages. Basic assumptions, and resulting timelines and mass manifests, are listed. These findings are combined with state-of-the-art knowledge of lunar and Mars propulsion options in simple economic input/output and internal-rate-of-return models, to compare production costs with performance benefits. Implications for three realistic scales of exploration architecture - expeditionary, aggressive science, and industrialization/settlement - are discussed. Conclusions are reached regarding the contextual conditions within which production of lunar oxygen (LLOX) is a reasonable activity. LLOX appears less useful for Mars missions than previously hoped. Its economical use in low Earth orbit hinges on production of lunar hydrogen as well. LLOX shows promise for lunar ascent/descent use, but that depends strongly on the plant mass required.

  3. A Multispectral Micro-Imager for Lunar Field Geology

    Nunez, Jorge; Farmer, Jack; Sellar, Glenn; Allen, Carlton

    2009-01-01

    Field geologists routinely assign rocks to one of three basic petrogenetic categories (igneous, sedimentary or metamorphic) based on microtextural and mineralogical information acquired with a simple magnifying lens. Indeed, such observations often comprise the core of interpretations of geological processes and history. The Multispectral Microscopic Imager (MMI) uses multi-wavelength, light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and a substrate-removed InGaAs focal-plane array to create multispectral, microscale reflectance images of geological samples (FOV 32 X 40 mm). Each pixel (62.5 microns) of an image is comprised of 21 spectral bands that extend from 470 to 1750 nm, enabling the discrimination of a wide variety of rock-forming minerals, especially Fe-bearing phases. MMI images provide crucial context information for in situ robotic analyses using other onboard analytical instruments (e.g. XRD), or for the selection of return samples for analysis in terrestrial labs. To further assess the value of the MMI as a tool for lunar exploration, we used a field-portable, tripod-mounted version of the MMI to image a variety of Apollo samples housed at the Lunar Experiment Laboratory, NASA s Johnson Space Center. MMI images faithfully resolved the microtextural features of samples, while the application of ENVI-based spectral end member mapping methods revealed the distribution of Fe-bearing mineral phases (olivine, pyroxene and magnetite), along with plagioclase feldspars within samples. Samples included a broad range of lithologies and grain sizes. Our MMI-based petrogenetic interpretations compared favorably with thin section-based descriptions published in the Lunar Sample Compendium, revealing the value of MMI images for astronaut and rover-mediated lunar exploration.

  4. Hazard Detection Software for Lunar Landing

    Huertas, Andres; Johnson, Andrew E.; Werner, Robert A.; Montgomery, James F.

    2011-01-01

    The Autonomous Landing and Hazard Avoidance Technology (ALHAT) Project is developing a system for safe and precise manned lunar landing that involves novel sensors, but also specific algorithms. ALHAT has selected imaging LIDAR (light detection and ranging) as the sensing modality for onboard hazard detection because imaging LIDARs can rapidly generate direct measurements of the lunar surface elevation from high altitude. Then, starting with the LIDAR-based Hazard Detection and Avoidance (HDA) algorithm developed for Mars Landing, JPL has developed a mature set of HDA software for the manned lunar landing problem. Landing hazards exist everywhere on the Moon, and many of the more desirable landing sites are near the most hazardous terrain, so HDA is needed to autonomously and safely land payloads over much of the lunar surface. The HDA requirements used in the ALHAT project are to detect hazards that are 0.3 m tall or higher and slopes that are 5 or greater. Steep slopes, rocks, cliffs, and gullies are all hazards for landing and, by computing the local slope and roughness in an elevation map, all of these hazards can be detected. The algorithm in this innovation is used to measure slope and roughness hazards. In addition to detecting these hazards, the HDA capability also is able to find a safe landing site free of these hazards for a lunar lander with diameter .15 m over most of the lunar surface. This software includes an implementation of the HDA algorithm, software for generating simulated lunar terrain maps for testing, hazard detection performance analysis tools, and associated documentation. The HDA software has been deployed to Langley Research Center and integrated into the POST II Monte Carlo simulation environment. The high-fidelity Monte Carlo simulations determine the required ground spacing between LIDAR samples (ground sample distances) and the noise on the LIDAR range measurement. This simulation has also been used to determine the effect of

  5. Manned in Situ Confirmation of Lunar Ice

    Gerené, S. P. B.; Hummeling, R. W. J.; Ockels, W. J.

    construction of a telescope, a lunar hotel, a lunar solar power system or even harvesting of Helium-3. The preliminary design study shows the feasibility of both missions, meaning that ESA has the capability to put a man on the Moon to search for ice and bring him back safely with today's technology.

  6. Hybrid Heat Pipes for Lunar and Martian Surface and High Heat Flux Space Applications

    Ababneh, Mohammed T.; Tarau, Calin; Anderson, William G.; Farmer, Jeffery T.; Alvarez-Hernandez, Angel R.

    2016-01-01

    Novel hybrid wick heat pipes are developed to operate against gravity on planetary surfaces, operate in space carrying power over long distances and act as thermosyphons on the planetary surface for Lunar and Martian landers and rovers. These hybrid heat pipes will be capable of operating at the higher heat flux requirements expected in NASA's future spacecraft and on the next generation of polar rovers and equatorial landers. In addition, the sintered evaporator wicks mitigate the start-up problems in vertical gravity aided heat pipes because of large number of nucleation sites in wicks which will allow easy boiling initiation. ACT, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, and NASA Johnson Space Center, are working together on the Advanced Passive Thermal experiment (APTx) to test and validate the operation of a hybrid wick VCHP with warm reservoir and HiK"TM" plates in microgravity environment on the ISS.

  7. Petrology of lunar rocks and implication to lunar evolution

    Ridley, W. I.

    1976-01-01

    Recent advances in lunar petrology, based on studies of lunar rock samples available through the Apollo program, are reviewed. Samples of bedrock from both maria and terra have been collected where micrometeorite impact penetrated the regolith and brought bedrock to the surface, but no in situ cores have been taken. Lunar petrogenesis and lunar thermal history supported by studies of the rock sample are discussed and a tentative evolutionary scenario is constructed. Mare basalts, terra assemblages of breccias, soils, rocks, and regolith are subjected to elemental analysis, mineralogical analysis, trace content analysis, with studies of texture, ages and isotopic composition. Probable sources of mare basalts are indicated.

  8. ''Fast track'' lunar NTR systems assessment for NASA's first lunar outpost and its evolvability to Mars

    Borowski, S.K.; Alexander, S.W.

    1993-01-01

    Integrated systems and missions studies are presented for an evolutionary lunar-to-Mars space transportion system (STS) based on nuclear thermal rocket (NTR) technology. A ''standardized'' set of engine and stage components are identified and used in a ''building block'' fashion to configure a variety of piloted and cargo, lunar and Mars vehicles. The reference NTR characteristics include a thrust of 50 thousand pounds force (klbf), specific impulse (I sp ) of 900 seconds, and an engine thrust-to-weight ratio of 4.3. For the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) First Lunar Outpost (FLO) mission, an expendable NTR stage powered by two such engines can deliver ∼96 metric tonnes (t) to trans-lunar injection (TLI) conditions for an initial mass in low Earth orbit (IMLEO) of ∼198 t compared to 250 t for a cryogenic chemical system. The stage liquid hydrogen (LH 2 ) tank has a diameter, length, and capacity of 10 m, 14.5 m and 66 t, respectively. By extending the stage length and LH 2 capacity to ∼20 m and 96 t, a single launch Mars cargo vehicle could deliver to an elliptical Mars parking orbit a 63 t Mars excursion vehicle (MEV) with a 45 t surface payload. Three 50 klbf engines and the two standardized LH 2 tanks developed for the lunar and Mars cargo vehicles are used to configure the vehicles supporting piloted Mars missions as early as 2010. The ''modular'' NTR vehicle approach forms the basis for an efficient STS able to handle the needs of a wide spectrum of lunar and Mars missions

  9. Modelling of Lunar Dust and Electrical Field for Future Lunar Surface Measurements

    Lin, Yunlong

    Modelling of the lunar dust and electrical field is important to future human and robotic activities on the surface of the moon. Apollo astronauts had witnessed the maintaining of micron- and millimeter sized moon dust up to meters level while walked on the surface of the moon. The characterizations of the moon dust would enhance not only the scientific understanding of the history of the moon but also the future technology development for the surface operations on the moon. It has been proposed that the maintaining and/or settlement of the small-sized dry dust are related to the size and weight of the dust particles, the level of the surface electrical fields on the moon, and the impaction and interaction between lunar regolith and the solar particles. The moon dust distributions and settlements obviously affected the safety of long term operations of future lunar facilities. For the modelling of the lunar dust and the electrical field, we analyzed the imaging of the legs of the moon lander, the cover and the footwear of the space suits, and the envelope of the lunar mobiles, and estimated the size and charges associated with the small moon dust particles, the gravity and charging effects to them along with the lunar surface environment. We also did numerical simulation of the surface electrical fields due to the impaction of the solar winds in several conditions. The results showed that the maintaining of meters height of the micron size of moon dust is well related to the electrical field and the solar angle variations, as expected. These results could be verified and validated through future on site and/or remote sensing measurements and observations of the moon dust and the surface electrical field.

  10. Soft-Robotic Rover with Electrodynamic Power Scavenging

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

  11. Microbiological cleanliness of the Mars Exploration Rover spacecraft

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

    2002-01-01

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

  12. UWB Technology and Applications on Space Exploration

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

    2006-01-01

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

  13. Technologies for Low Frequency Radio Observations of the Cosmic Dawn

    Jones, Dayton L.

    2014-01-01

    The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is developing concepts and technologies for low frequency radio astronomy space missions aimed at observing highly redshifted neutral Hydrogen from the Dark Ages. This is the period of cosmic history between the recombination epoch when the microwave background radiation was produced and the re-ionization of the intergalactic medium by the first generation of stars (Cosmic Dawn). This period, at redshifts greater than about 20, is a critical epoch for the formation and evolution of large-scale structure in the universe. The 21-cm spectral line of Hydrogen provides the most promising method for directly studying the Dark Ages, but the corresponding frequencies at such large redshifts are only tens of MHz and thus require space-based observations to avoid terrestrial RFI and ionospheric absorption and refraction. This paper reports on the status of several low frequency technology development activities at JPL, including deployable bi-conical dipoles for a planned lunar-orbiting mission, and both rover-deployed and inflation-deployed long dipole antennas for use on the lunar surface.

  14. Laser-powered lunar base

    Costen, R.; Humes, D.H.; Walker, G.H.; Williams, M.D.; Deyoung, R.J.

    1989-01-01

    The objective was to compare a nuclear reactor-driven Sterling engine lunar base power source to a laser-to-electric converter with orbiting laser power station, each providing 1 MW of electricity to the lunar base. The comparison was made on the basis of total mass required in low-Earth-orbit for each system. This total mass includes transportation mass required to place systems in low-lunar orbit or on the lunar surface. The nuclear reactor with Sterling engines is considered the reference mission for lunar base power and is described first. The details of the laser-to-electric converter and mass are discussed. The next two solar-driven high-power laser concepts, the diode array laser or the iodine laser system, are discussed with associated masses in low-lunar-orbit. Finally, the payoff for laser-power beaming is summarized

  15. Lunar ash flows - Isothermal approximation.

    Pai, S. I.; Hsieh, T.; O'Keefe, J. A.

    1972-01-01

    Suggestion of the ash flow mechanism as one of the major processes required to account for some features of lunar soil. First the observational background and the gardening hypothesis are reviewed, and the shortcomings of the gardening hypothesis are shown. Then a general description of the lunar ash flow is given, and a simple mathematical model of the isothermal lunar ash flow is worked out with numerical examples to show the differences between the lunar and the terrestrial ash flow. The important parameters of the ash flow process are isolated and analyzed. It appears that the lunar surface layer in the maria is not a residual mantle rock (regolith) but a series of ash flows due, at least in part, to great meteorite impacts. The possibility of a volcanic contribution is not excluded. Some further analytic research on lunar ash flows is recommended.

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

    Birrer, S.A.

    1978-04-01

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

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

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

    1997-01-01

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

  18. Lunar Core and Tides

    Williams, J. G.; Boggs, D. H.; Ratcliff, J. T.

    2004-01-01

    Variations in rotation and orientation of the Moon are sensitive to solid-body tidal dissipation, dissipation due to relative motion at the fluid-core/solid-mantle boundary, and tidal Love number k2 [1,2]. There is weaker sensitivity to flattening of the core-mantle boundary (CMB) [2,3,4] and fluid core moment of inertia [1]. Accurate Lunar Laser Ranging (LLR) measurements of the distance from observatories on the Earth to four retroreflector arrays on the Moon are sensitive to lunar rotation and orientation variations and tidal displacements. Past solutions using the LLR data have given results for dissipation due to solid-body tides and fluid core [1] plus Love number [1-5]. Detection of CMB flattening, which in the past has been marginal but improving [3,4,5], now seems significant. Direct detection of the core moment has not yet been achieved.

  19. Lunar Health Monitor (LHM)

    Lisy, Frederick J.

    2015-01-01

    Orbital Research, Inc., has developed a low-profile, wearable sensor suite for monitoring astronaut health in both intravehicular and extravehicular activities. The Lunar Health Monitor measures respiration, body temperature, electrocardiogram (EKG) heart rate, and other cardiac functions. Orbital Research's dry recording electrode is central to the innovation and can be incorporated into garments, eliminating the need for conductive pastes, adhesives, or gels. The patented dry recording electrode has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The LHM is easily worn under flight gear or with civilian clothing, making the system completely versatile for applications where continuous physiological monitoring is needed. During Phase II, Orbital Research developed a second-generation LHM that allows sensor customization for specific monitoring applications and anatomical constraints. Evaluations included graded exercise tests, lunar mission task simulations, functional battery tests, and resting measures. The LHM represents the successful integration of sensors into a wearable platform to capture long-duration and ambulatory physiological markers.

  20. The Lunar Sample Compendium

    Meyer, Charles

    2009-01-01

    The Lunar Sample Compendium is a succinct summary of the data obtained from 40 years of study of Apollo and Luna samples of the Moon. Basic petrographic, chemical and age information is compiled, sample-by-sample, in the form of an advanced catalog in order to provide a basic description of each sample. The LSC can be found online using Google. The initial allocation of lunar samples was done sparingly, because it was realized that scientific techniques would improve over the years and new questions would be formulated. The LSC is important because it enables scientists to select samples within the context of the work that has already been done and facilitates better review of proposed allocations. It also provides back up material for public displays, captures information found only in abstracts, grey literature and curatorial databases and serves as a ready access to the now-vast scientific literature.

  1. Positive-Buoyancy Rover for Under Ice Mobility

    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.

  2. Lunar concrete for construction

    Cullingford, Hatice S.; Keller, M. Dean

    1988-01-01

    Feasibility of using concrete for lunar-base construction has been discussed recently without relevant data for the effects of vacuum on concrete. Experimental studies performed earlier at Los Alamos have shown that concrete is stable in vacuum with no deterioration of its quality as measured by the compressive strength. Various considerations of using concrete successfully on the moon are provided in this paper along with specific conclusions from the existing data base.

  3. First lunar outpost

    Andino, Aureo F.; Silva, Daniel; Ortiz, Nelson; Alvarez, Omar; Colon, Julio A.; Colon, Myrelle; Diaz, Alicia; Escobar, Xochiquetzal Y.; Garcia, Alberto; Gonzalez, Isabel C.

    1992-01-01

    Design and research efforts at the University of Puerto Rico have focused on the evaluation and refinement of the Habitability Criteria for a prolonged human presence in space during the last four years. Living quarters for a Mars mission and a third generation lunar base concept were proposed. This academic year, 1991-92, work on further refinement of the habitability criteria and design of partial gravity furniture was carried on. During the first semester, design alternatives for furniture necessary in a habitat design optimized for lunar and Martian environments were developed. Designs are based on recent research data from lunar and Mars gravity simulations, and current NASA standards. Artifacts will be submitted to NASA architects to be tested in KC-135 flights. Test findings will be submitted for incorporation in future updates to NASA habitat design standards. Second semester work was aimed at integrating these findings into the First Lunar Outpost (FLO), a mission scenario currently being considered by NASA. The mission consists of a manned return to the moon by crews of four astronauts for periods of 45 days. The major hardware components of the mission are as follows: (1) a Crew Module for the delivery of the crew and their supplies, and (2) the Habitat Module, which will arrive on the Moon unmanned. Our design efforts concentrated on this Habitat Module and on application of habitability criteria. Different geometries for the pressure vessel and their impact on the interior architecture were studied. Upon the selection of a geometry, a more detailed analysis of the interior design was performed, taking into consideration the reduced gravity, and the protection against radiation, micrometeorites, and the extreme temperature variation. A proposal for a FLO was submitted by the students, consisting essentially of a 24-feet (7.3 m.) by 35-feet (10.67 m) high vertical cylinder with work areas, crew quarters, galley, wardroom, leisure facilities, health

  4. Religion and Lunar Exploration

    Pop, V.

    1969: The Eagle lands on the Moon. A moment that would not only mark the highest scientific achievement of all times, but would also have significant religious impli- cations. While the island of Bali lodges a protest at the United Nations against the US for desecrating a sacred place, Hopi Indians celebrate the fulfilment of an ancient prophecy that would reveal the "truth of the Sacred Ways". The plaque fastened to the Eagle - "We Came in Peace for All Mankind" would have contained the words "under God" as directed by the US president, if not for an assistant administrator at NASA that did not want to offend any religion. In the same time, Buzz Aldrin takes the Holy Communion on the Moon, and a Bible is left there by another Apollo mission - not long after the crew of Apollo 8 reads a passage from Genesis while circling the Moon. 1998: Navajo Indians lodge a protest with NASA for placing human ashes aboard the Lunar Prospector, as the Moon is a sacred place in their religion. Past, present and fu- ture exploration of the Moon has significant religious and spiritual implications that, while not widely known, are nonetheless important. Is lunar exploration a divine duty, or a sacrilege? This article will feature and thoroughly analyse the examples quoted above, as well as other facts, as for instance the plans of establishing lunar cemeteries - welcomed by some religions, and opposed by others.

  5. Lunar sample studies

    1977-01-01

    Lunar samples discussed and the nature of their analyses are: (1) an Apollo 15 breccia which is thoroughly analyzed as to the nature of the mature regolith from which it derived and the time and nature of the lithification process, (2) two Apollo 11 and one Apollo 12 basalts analyzed in terms of chemistry, Cross-Iddings-Pirsson-Washington norms, mineralogy, and petrography, (3) eight Apollo 17 mare basalts, also analyzed in terms of chemistry, Cross-Iddings-Pirsson-Washington norms, mineralogy, and petrography. The first seven are shown to be chemically similar although of two main textural groups; the eighth is seen to be distinct in both chemistry and mineralogy, (4) a troctolitic clast from a Fra Mauro breccia, analyzed and contrasted with other high-temperature lunar mineral assemblages. Two basaltic clasts from the same breccia are shown to have affinities with rock 14053, and (5) the uranium-thorium-lead systematics of three Apollo 16 samples are determined; serious terrestrial-lead contamination of the first two samples is attributed to bandsaw cutting in the lunar curatorial facility

  6. Modeling lunar volcanic eruptions

    Housley, R. M.

    1978-01-01

    Simple physical arguments are used to show that basaltic volcanos on different planetary bodies would fountain to the same height if the mole fraction of gas in the magma scaled with the acceleration of gravity. It is suggested that the actual eruption velocities and fountain heights are controlled by the velocities of sound in the two phase gas/liquid flows. These velocities are in turn determined by the gas contents in the magma. Predicted characteristics of Hawaiian volcanos are in excellent accord with observations. Assuming that the only gas in lunar volcano is the CO which would be produced if the observed Fe metal in lunar basalts resulted from graphite reduction, lunar volcanos would fountain vigorously, but not as spectacularly as their terrestrial counterparts. The volatile trace metals, halogens, and sulfur released would be transported over the entire moon by the transient atmosphere. Orange and black glass type pyroclastic materials would be transported in sufficient amounts to produce the observed dark mantle deposits.

  7. Mars Exploration Rovers Landing Dispersion Analysis

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

    2004-01-01

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

  8. Lunar construction/mining equipment

    Ozdemir, Levent

    1990-01-01

    For centuries, mining has utilized drill and blast as the primary method of rock excavation. Although this technique has undergone significant improvements, it still remains a cyclic, labor intensive operation with inherent safety hazards. Other drawbacks include damage to the surrounding ground, creation of blast vibrations, rough excavation walls resulting in increased ventilation requirements, and the lack of selective mining ability. Perhaps the most important shortcoming of drill and blast is that it is not conducive to full implementation of automation or robotics technologies. Numerous attempts have been made in the past to automate drill and blast operations to remove personnel from the hazardous work environment. Although most of the concepts devised look promising on paper, none of them was found workable on a sustained production basis. In particular, the problem of serious damage to equipment during the blasting cycle could not be resolved regardless of the amount of charge used in excavation. Since drill and blast is not capable of meeting the requirements of a fully automated rock fragmentation method, its role is bound to gradually decrease. Mechanical excavation, in contrast, is highly suitable to automation because it is a continuous process and does not involve any explosives. Many of the basic principles and trends controlling the design of an earth-based mechanical excavator will hold in an extraterrestrial environment such as on the lunar surface. However, the economic and physical limitations for transporting materials to space will require major rethinking of these machines. In concept, then, a lunar mechanical excavator will look and perform significantly different from one designed for use here on earth. This viewgraph presentation gives an overview of such mechanical excavator systems.

  9. Stonehenge: A Simple and Accurate Predictor of Lunar Eclipses

    Challener, S.

    1999-12-01

    Over the last century, much has been written about the astronomical significance of Stonehenge. The rage peaked in the mid to late 1960s when new computer technology enabled astronomers to make the first complete search for celestial alignments. Because there are hundreds of rocks or holes at Stonehenge and dozens of bright objects in the sky, the quest was fraught with obvious statistical problems. A storm of controversy followed and the subject nearly vanished from print. Only a handful of these alignments remain compelling. Today, few astronomers and still fewer archaeologists would argue that Stonehenge served primarily as an observatory. Instead, Stonehenge probably served as a sacred meeting place, which was consecrated by certain celestial events. These would include the sun's risings and settings at the solstices and possibly some lunar risings as well. I suggest that Stonehenge was also used to predict lunar eclipses. While Hawkins and Hoyle also suggested that Stonehenge was used in this way, their methods are complex and they make use of only early, minor, or outlying areas of Stonehenge. In contrast, I suggest a way that makes use of the imposing, central region of Stonehenge; the area built during the final phase of activity. To predict every lunar eclipse without predicting eclipses that do not occur, I use the less familiar lunar cycle of 47 lunar months. By moving markers about the Sarsen Circle, the Bluestone Circle, and the Bluestone Horseshoe, all umbral lunar eclipses can be predicted accurately.

  10. Lunar imaging and ionospheric calibration for the Lunar Cherenkov technique

    McFadden, R.; Scholten, O.; Mevius, M.

    2013-01-01

    The Lunar Cherenkov technique is a promising method for UHE neutrino and cosmic ray detection which aims to detect nanosecond radio pulses produced during particle interactions in the Lunar regolith. For low frequency experiments, such as NuMoon, the frequency dependent dispersive effect of the

  11. Development of a Modified Vacuum Cleaner for Lunar Surface Systems

    Toon, Katherine P.; Lee, Steve A.; Edgerly, Rachel D.

    2010-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) mission to expand space exploration will return humans to the Moon with the goal of maintaining a long-term presence. One challenge that NASA will face returning to the Moon is managing the lunar regolith found on the Moon's surface, which will collect on extravehicular activity (EVA) suits and other equipment. Based on the Apollo experience, the issues astronauts encountered with lunar regolith included eye/lung irritation, and various hardware failures (seals, screw threads, electrical connectors and fabric contamination), which were all related to inadequate lunar regolith mitigation. A vacuum cleaner capable of detaching, transferring, and efficiently capturing lunar regolith has been proposed as a method to mitigate the lunar regolith problem in the habitable environment on lunar surface. In order to develop this vacuum, a modified "off-the-shelf' vacuum cleaner will be used to determine detachment efficiency, vacuum requirements, and optimal cleaning techniques to ensure efficient dust removal in habitable lunar surfaces, EVA spacesuits, and air exchange volume. During the initial development of the Lunar Surface System vacuum cleaner, systematic testing was performed with varying flow rates on multiple surfaces (fabrics and metallics), atmospheric (14.7 psia) and reduced pressures (10.2 and 8.3 psia), different vacuum tool attachments, and several vacuum cleaning techniques in order to determine the performance requirements for the vacuum cleaner. The data recorded during testing was evaluated by calculating particulate removal, relative to the retained simulant on the tested surface. In addition, optical microscopy was used to determine particle size distribution retained on the surface. The scope of this paper is to explain the initial phase of vacuum cleaner development, including historical Apollo mission data, current state-of-the-art vacuum cleaner technology, and vacuum cleaner testing that has

  12. KOREAN LUNAR LANDER – CONCEPT STUDY FOR LANDING-SITE SELECTION FOR LUNAR RESOURCE EXPLORATION

    K. J. Kim

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available As part of the national space promotion plan and presidential national agendas South Korea’s institutes and agencies under the auspices of the Ministry of Science, Information and Communication Technology and Future Planning (MSIP are currently developing a lunar mission package expected to reach Moon in 2020. While the officially approved Korean Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter (KPLO is aimed at demonstrating technologies and monitoring the lunar environment from orbit, a lander – currently in pre-phase A – is being designed to explore the local geology with a particular focus on the detection and characterization of mineral resources. In addition to scientific and potential resource potentials, the selection of the landing-site will be partly constrained by engineering constraints imposed by payload and spacecraft layout. Given today’s accumulated volume and quality of available data returned from the Moon’s surface and from orbital observations, an identification of landing sites of potential interest and assessment of potential hazards can be more readily accomplished by generating synoptic snapshots through data integration. In order to achieve such a view on potential landing sites, higher level processing and derivation of data are required, which integrates their spatial context, with detailed topographic and geologic characterizations. We are currently assessing the possibility of using fuzzy c-means clustering algorithms as a way to perform (semi- automated terrain characterizations of interest. This paper provides information and background on the national lunar lander program, reviews existing approaches – including methods and tools – for landing site analysis and hazard assessment, and discusses concepts to detect and investigate elemental abundances from orbit and the surface. This is achieved by making use of manual, semi-automated as well as fully-automated remote-sensing methods to demonstrate the applicability of

  13. Robotic Subsurface Analyzer and Sample Handler for Resource Reconnaissance and Preliminary Site Assessment for ISRU Activities at the Lunar Cold Traps

    Gorevan, S. P.; Wilson, J.; Bartlett, P.; Powderly, J.; Lawrence, D.; Elphic, R.; Mungas, G.; McCullough, E.; Stoker, C.; Cannon, H.

    2004-01-01

    ) a self-contained, low power, low mass, "black box'' configuration for operations from a lander, various classes of rovers or a surface-based platform with human assistance or robotic anchoring mechanisms; (2) reconfigurable and scalable sample handling for delivery to various types of instrumentation, depending on mission requirements; and (3) the use of advanced automation control and diagnostic techniques that will afford local human deployed, remote teleoperation and fully autonomous intelligent operations. Though a great deal of technology has been advanced toward these objectives, the SASH system faces significant design challenges, including the low gravity environment, various levels of autonomy in operations, radiation exposure, dust contamination, and temperature extremes and deltas. Significant input from the scientific and engineering communities, as well as a significant environmental testing program, will be required to guide the design process.

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

    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

  15. REE Partitioning in Lunar Minerals

    Rapp, J. F.; Lapen, T. J.; Draper, D. S.

    2015-01-01

    Rare earth elements (REE) are an extremely useful tool in modeling lunar magmatic processes. Here we present the first experimentally derived plagioclase/melt partition coefficients in lunar compositions covering the entire suite of REE. Positive europium anomalies are ubiquitous in the plagioclase-rich rocks of the lunar highlands, and complementary negative Eu anomalies are found in most lunar basalts. These features are taken as evidence of a large-scale differentiation event, with crystallization of a global-scale lunar magma ocean (LMO) resulting in a plagioclase flotation crust and a mafic lunar interior from which mare basalts were subsequently derived. However, the extent of the Eu anomaly in lunar rocks is variable. Fagan and Neal [1] reported highly anorthitic plagioclase grains in lunar impact melt rock 60635,19 that displayed negative Eu anomalies as well as the more usual positive anomalies. Indeed some grains in the sample are reported to display both positive and negative anomalies. Judging from cathodoluminescence images, these anomalies do not appear to be associated with crystal overgrowths or zones.

  16. Space strategy for Europe and the International Lunar Decade

    Beldavs, VZ

    2017-09-01

    The 2020-2030 decade offers extraordinary opportunity for the European space sector that is largely not recognized in present space strategy which does not recognize commercial space activities beyond communications satellites, launchers, and earth observation and navigation and downstream activities. Lunar and cislunar development can draw on the extensive experience of Europe in mining, clean energy, ecological systems as well as deep experience in managing the development of technologies through TRL1 through commercial sale via Horizon 2020 and previous Framework programs. The EU has unrivalled experience in coordinating research and advanced technology development from research centers, major firms and SMEs across multiple sovereign states. This capacity to coordinate across national boundaries can be a significant contribution to a global cooperative program like the International Lunar Decade. This paper will present a European space strategy for beyond 2020 and how this can mesh with the International Lunar Decade.

  17. Lunar astrobiology: a review and suggested laboratory equipment.

    Gronstal, Aaron; Cockell, Charles S; Perino, Maria Antonietta; Bittner, Tobias; Clacey, Erik; Clark, Olathe; Ingold, Olivier; Alves de Oliveira, Catarina; Wathiong, Steven

    2007-10-01

    In October of 2005, the European Space Agency (ESA) and Alcatel Alenia Spazio released a "call to academia for innovative concepts and technologies for lunar exploration." In recent years, interest in lunar exploration has increased in numerous space programs around the globe, and the purpose of our study, in response to the ESA call, was to draw on the expertise of researchers and university students to examine science questions and technologies that could support human astrobiology activity on the Moon. In this mini review, we discuss astrobiology science questions of importance for a human presence on the surface of the Moon and we provide a summary of key instrumentation requirements to support a lunar astrobiology laboratory.

  18. Chronology of early lunar crust

    Dasch, E.J.; Nyquist, L.E.; Ryder, G.

    1988-01-01

    The chronology of lunar rocks is summarized. The oldest pristine (i.e., lacking meteoritic contamination of admixed components) lunar rock, recently dated with Sm-Nd by Lugmair, is a ferroan anorthosite, with an age of 4.44 + 0.02 Ga. Ages of Mg-suite rocks (4.1 to 4.5 Ga) have large uncertainties, so that age differences between lunar plutonic rock suites cannot yet be resolved. Most mare basalts crystallized between 3.1 and 3.9 Ga. The vast bulk of the lunar crust, therefore, formed before the oldest preserved terrestrial rocks. If the Moon accreted at 4.56 Ga, then 120 Ma may have elapsed before lunar crust was formed

  19. Lunar Regolith Particle Shape Analysis

    Kiekhaefer, Rebecca; Hardy, Sandra; Rickman, Douglas; Edmunson, Jennifer

    2013-01-01

    Future engineering of structures and equipment on the lunar surface requires significant understanding of particle characteristics of the lunar regolith. Nearly all sediment characteristics are influenced by particle shape; therefore a method of quantifying particle shape is useful both in lunar and terrestrial applications. We have created a method to quantify particle shape, specifically for lunar regolith, using image processing. Photomicrographs of thin sections of lunar core material were obtained under reflected light. Three photomicrographs were analyzed using ImageJ and MATLAB. From the image analysis measurements for area, perimeter, Feret diameter, orthogonal Feret diameter, Heywood factor, aspect ratio, sieve diameter, and sieve number were recorded. Probability distribution functions were created from the measurements of Heywood factor and aspect ratio.

  20. Lunar Circular Structure Classification from Chang 'e 2 High Resolution Lunar Images with Convolutional Neural Network

    Zeng, X. G.; Liu, J. J.; Zuo, W.; Chen, W. L.; Liu, Y. X.

    2018-04-01

    Circular structures are widely distributed around the lunar surface. The most typical of them could be lunar impact crater, lunar dome, et.al. In this approach, we are trying to use the Convolutional Neural Network to classify the lunar circular structures from the lunar images.

  1. An Analog Rover Exploration Mission for Education and Outreach

    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

  2. NASA Lunar Impact Monitoring

    Suggs, Robert M.; Moser, D. E.

    2015-01-01

    The MSFC lunar impact monitoring program began in 2006 in support of environment definition for the Constellation (return to Moon) program. Work continued by the Meteoroid Environment Office after Constellation cancellation. Over 330 impacts have been recorded. A paper published in Icarus reported on the first 5 years of observations and 126 calibrated flashes. Icarus: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0019103514002243; ArXiv: http://arxiv.org/abs/1404.6458 A NASA Technical Memorandum on flash locations is in press

  3. Lunar architecture and urbanism

    Sherwood, Brent

    1992-01-01

    Human civilization and architecture have defined each other for over 5000 years on Earth. Even in the novel environment of space, persistent issues of human urbanism will eclipse, within a historically short time, the technical challenges of space settlement that dominate our current view. By adding modern topics in space engineering, planetology, life support, human factors, material invention, and conservation to their already renaissance array of expertise, urban designers can responsibly apply ancient, proven standards to the exciting new opportunities afforded by space. Inescapable facts about the Moon set real boundaries within which tenable lunar urbanism and its component architecture must eventually develop.

  4. Archiving Data From the 2003 Mars Exploration Rover Mission

    Arvidson, R. E.

    2002-12-01

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

  5. ATHLETE: Lunar Cargo Handling for International Lunar Exploration

    Wilcox, Brian H.

    2010-01-01

    As part of the Human-Robot Systems Project within the NASA Exploration Technology Development Program, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory is developing a vehicle called ATHLETE: the All-Terrain Hex-Limbed Extra-Terrestrial Explorer. The basic idea of ATHLETE is to have six relatively small wheels on the ends of legs. The small wheels and associated drive actuators are much less massive than the larger wheels and gears needed for an "all terrain" vehicle that cannot "walk" out of extreme terrain. The mass savings for the wheels and wheel actuators is greater than the mass penalty of the legs, for a net mass savings. Starting in 2009, NASA became engaged in detailed architectural studies for international discussions with the European Space Agency (ESA), the Japanese Space Agency (JAXA), and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) under the auspices of the International Architecture Working Group (IAWG). ATHLETE is considered in most of the campaign options considered, providing a way to offload cargo from large Altair-class landers (having a cargo deck 6+ meters above the surface) as well as offloading international landers launched on Ariane-5 or H-2 launch vehicles. These international landers would carry provisions as well as scientific instruments and/or small rovers that would be used by international astronauts as part of an international effort to explore the moon.Work described in this paper includes architectural studies in support of the international missions as well as field testing of a half-scale ATHLETE prototype performing cargo offloading from a lander mockup, along with multi-kilometer traverse, climbing over greater than 1 m rocks, tool use, etc.

  6. Creating Methane from Plastics: Recycling at a Lunar Outpost

    Captain, Janine; Santiago, Eddie; Wheeler, Ray; Strayer, RIchard; Garland, Jay; Parrish, Clyde

    2010-01-01

    The high cost of re-supply from Earth demands resources to be utilized to the fullest extent for exploration missions. Recycling is a key technology that maximizes the available resources by converting waste products into useful commodities. One example of this is to convert crew member waste such as plastic packaging, food scraps, and human waste, into fuel. The ability to refuel on the lunar surface would reduce the vehicle mass during launch and provide excess payload capability. The goal of this project is to determine the feasibility of recycling waste into methane on the lunar outpost by performing engineering assessments and lab demonstrations of the technology. The first goal of the project was to determine how recycling could influence lunar exploration. Table I shows an estimation of the typical dried waste stream generated each day for a crew of four. Packaging waste accounts for nearly 86% of the dry waste stream and is a significant source of carbon on the lunar surface. This is important because methane (CH4) can be used as fuel and no other source of carbon is available on the lunar surface. With the initial assessment indicating there is sufficient resources in the waste stream to provide refueling capabilities, the project was designed to examine the conversion of plastics into methane.

  7. Simulated Lunar Testing of Metabolic Heat Regenerated Temperature Swing Adsorption

    Padilla, Sebastian A.; Bower, Chad E.; Iacomini, Christie S.; Paul, Heather L.

    2012-01-01

    Metabolic heat regenerated Temperature Swing Adsorption (MTSA) technology is being developed for thermal and carbon dioxide (CO2) control for a Portable Life Support System (PLSS), as well as water recycling. An Engineering Development Unit (EDU) of the MTSA Subassembly (MTSAS) was designed and assembled for optimized Martian operations, but also meets system requirements for lunar operations. For lunar operations the MTSA sorption cycle is driven via a vacuum swing between suit ventilation loop pressure and lunar vacuum. The focus of this effort was testing in a simulated lunar environment. This environment was simulated in Paragon's EHF vacuum chamber. The objective of the testing was to evaluate the full cycle performance of the MTSA Subassembly EDU, and to assess CO2 loading and pressure drop of the wash coated aluminum reticulated foam sorbent bed. Lunar environment testing proved out the feasibility of pure vacuum swing operation, making MTSA a technology that can be tested and used on the Moon prior to going to Mars. Testing demonstrated better than expected CO2 Nomenclature loading on the sorbent and nearly replicates the equilibrium data from the sorbent manufacturer. This exceeded any of the previous sorbent loading tests performed by Paragon. Subsequently, the increased performance of the sorbent bed design indicates future designs will require less mass and volume than the current EDU rendering MTSA as very competitive for Martian PLSS applications.

  8. Hydrogen Distribution in the Lunar Polar Regions

    Sanin, A. B.; Mitrofanov, I. G.; Litvak, M. L.; Bakhtin, B. N.; Bodnarik, J. G.; Boynton, W. V.; Chin, G.; Evans, L. G.; Harshmann, K.; Fedosov, F.; hide

    2016-01-01

    We present a method of conversion of the lunar neutron counting rate measured by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) Lunar Exploration Neutron Detector (LEND) instrument collimated neutron detectors, to water equivalent hydrogen (WEH) in the top approximately 1 m layer of lunar regolith. Polar maps of the Moon’s inferred hydrogen abundance are presented and discussed.

  9. Lunar Topography: Results from the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter

    Neumann, Gregory; Smith, David E.; Zuber, Maria T.; Mazarico, Erwan

    2012-01-01

    The Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) onboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) has been operating nearly continuously since July 2009, accumulating over 6 billion measurements from more than 2 billion in-orbit laser shots. LRO's near-polar orbit results in very high data density in the immediate vicinity of the lunar poles, with full coverage at the equator from more than 12000 orbital tracks averaging less than 1 km in spacing at the equator. LRO has obtained a global geodetic model of the lunar topography with 50-meter horizontal and 1-m radial accuracy in a lunar center-of-mass coordinate system, with profiles of topography at 20-m horizontal resolution, and 0.1-m vertical precision. LOLA also provides measurements of reflectivity and surface roughness down to its 5-m laser spot size. With these data LOLA has measured the shape of all lunar craters 20 km and larger. In the proposed extended mission commencing late in 2012, LOLA will concentrate observations in the Southern Hemisphere, improving the density of the polar coverage to nearly 10-m pixel resolution and accuracy to better than 20 m total position error. Uses for these data include mission planning and targeting, illumination studies, geodetic control of images, as well as lunar geology and geophysics. Further improvements in geodetic accuracy are anticipated from the use of re ned gravity fields after the successful completion of the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission in 2012.

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

    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

  11. Rovers Pave the Way for Hospital Robots

    2013-01-01

    The Jet Propulsion Laboratory provided funding for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to develop capabilities for robotics like Rocky 7. After developing the operating system, Daniel Theobald started working at Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Vecna Technologies. Today, Vecna's QC Bot incorporates systems based on the NASA work and is being used to ease logistics at hospitals. The technology has contributed to 20 new jobs.

  12. Dielectric properties estimation of the lunar regolith at CE-3 landing site using lunar penetrating radar data

    Feng, Jianqing; Su, Yan; Ding, Chunyu; Xing, Shuguo; Dai, Shun; Zou, Yongliao

    2017-03-01

    The second channel (CH2) of the Lunar Penetrating Radar (LPR) carried on the Chang'e-3 (CE-3) Yutu Rover was used to determine the thickness and structure of the lunar regolith. Accurately revealing the true structure beneath the surface requires knowledge of the dielectric permittivity of the regolith, which allows one to properly apply migration to the radar image. In contrast to simple assumptions in previous studies, this paper takes account of heterogeneity of the regolith and derives regolith's permittivity distribution laterally and vertically by a method widely used in data processing of terrestrial Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR). We find that regolith permittivity at the landing site increases with depth more quickly than previously recognized. At a depth of ∼2.5-3 m, the dielectric constant reaches the value of solid basalt. The radar image was migrated on the basis of the permittivity profile. We do not find any continuous distinct layers or an apparent regolith/rock interface in the migrated radargram, which implies that this area is covered by relatively young, poorly layered deposits.

  13. Development of near-zero water consumption cement materials via the geopolymerization of tektites and its implication for lunar construction.

    Wang, Kai-Tuo; Tang, Qing; Cui, Xue-Min; He, Yan; Liu, Le-Ping

    2016-07-13

    The environment on the lunar surface poses some difficult challenges to building long-term lunar bases; therefore, scientists and engineers have proposed the creation of habitats using lunar building materials. These materials must meet the following conditions: be resistant to severe lunar temperature cycles, be stable in a vacuum environment, have minimal water requirements, and be sourced from local Moon materials. Therefore, the preparation of lunar building materials that use lunar resources is preferred. Here, we present a potential lunar cement material that was fabricated using tektite powder and a sodium hydroxide activator and is based on geopolymer technology. Geopolymer materials have the following properties: approximately zero water consumption, resistance to high- and low-temperature cycling, vacuum stability and good mechanical properties. Although the tektite powder is not equivalent to lunar soil, we speculate that the alkali activated activity of lunar soil will be higher than that of tektite because of its low Si/Al composition ratio. This assumption is based on the tektite geopolymerization research and associated references. In summary, this study provides a feasible approach for developing lunar cement materials using a possible water recycling system based on geopolymer technology.

  14. Lunar and Planetary Geology

    Basilevsky, Alexander T.

    2018-05-01

    Lunar and planetary geology can be described using examples such as the geology of Earth (as the reference case) and geologies of the Earth's satellite the Moon; the planets Mercury, Mars and Venus; the satellite of Saturn Enceladus; the small stony asteroid Eros; and the nucleus of the comet 67P Churyumov-Gerasimenko. Each body considered is illustrated by its global view, with information given as to its position in the solar system, size, surface, environment including gravity acceleration and properties of its atmosphere if it is present, typical landforms and processes forming them, materials composing these landforms, information on internal structure of the body, stages of its geologic evolution in the form of stratigraphic scale, and estimates of the absolute ages of the stratigraphic units. Information about one body may be applied to another body and this, in particular, has led to the discovery of the existence of heavy "meteoritic" bombardment in the early history of the solar system, which should also significantly affect Earth. It has been shown that volcanism and large-scale tectonics may have not only been an internal source of energy in the form of radiogenic decay of potassium, uranium and thorium, but also an external source in the form of gravity tugging caused by attractions of the neighboring bodies. The knowledge gained by lunar and planetary geology is important for planning and managing space missions and for the practical exploration of other bodies of the solar system and establishing manned outposts on them.

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

    Santoli, S.

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

  16. Evaluating the High School Lunar Research Projects Program

    Shaner, A. J.; Shipp, S. S.; Allen, J.; Kring, D. A.

    2012-12-01

    instrument is an open-ended, modified version of the Views of Nature of Science questionnaire. The science attitudes Likert-scale instrument is a modified version of the Attitudes Toward Science Inventory. The lunar science content instrument was developed by CLSE education staff. All three of these instruments are administered to students before and after their research experience to measure the program's impact on student views of the nature of science, attitudes toward science, and knowledge of lunar science. All instruments are administered online via Survey Monkey®. When asked if the program changed the way they view the Moon, 77.4% of students (n=53) replied "yes" and described their increase in knowledge of the formation of the Moon, lunar surface processes, etc. Just under half (41.5%) of the students reported that their experience in the program has contributed to their consideration of a career in science. When asked about obstacles teams had to overcome, teachers described issues with time, student motivation and technology. However, every teacher enthusiastically agreed that the authentic research experience was worthwhile to their students. Detailed evaluation results for the 2011-2012 program will be presented.

  17. A Battery Health Monitoring Framework for Planetary Rovers

    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.

  18. Propulsive maneuver design for the Mars Exploration Rover mission

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

    2006-01-01

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

  19. Lunar Exploration Missions Since 2006

    Lawrence, S. J. (Editor); Gaddis, L. R.; Joy, K. H.; Petro, N. E.

    2017-01-01

    The announcement of the Vision for Space Exploration in 2004 sparked a resurgence in lunar missions worldwide. Since the publication of the first "New Views of the Moon" volume, as of 2017 there have been 11 science-focused missions to the Moon. Each of these missions explored different aspects of the Moon's geology, environment, and resource potential. The results from this flotilla of missions have revolutionized lunar science, and resulted in a profoundly new emerging understanding of the Moon. The New Views of the Moon II initiative itself, which is designed to engage the large and vibrant lunar science community to integrate the results of these missions into new consensus viewpoints, is a direct outcome of this impressive array of missions. The "Lunar Exploration Missions Since 2006" chapter will "set the stage" for the rest of the volume, introducing the planetary community at large to the diverse array of missions that have explored the Moon in the last decade. Content: This chapter will encompass the following missions: Kaguya; ARTEMIS (Acceleration, Reconnection, Turbulence, and Electrodynamics of the Moon’s Interaction with the Sun); Chang’e-1; Chandrayaan-1; Moon Impact Probe; Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO); Lunar Crater Observation Sensing Satellite (LCROSS); Chang’e-2; Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL); Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer (LADEE); Chang’e-3.

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

    Mattaboni, Paul

    1994-01-01

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

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

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

    2018-04-01

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

  2. Tests of the lunar hypothesis

    Taylor, S. R.

    1984-01-01

    The concept that the Moon was fissioned from the Earth after core separation is the most readily testable hypothesis of lunar origin, since direct comparisons of lunar and terrestrial compositions can be made. Differences found in such comparisons introduce so many ad hoc adjustments to the fission hypothesis that it becomes untestable. Further constraints may be obtained from attempting to date the volatile-refractory element fractionation. The combination of chemical and isotopic problems suggests that the fission hypothesis is no longer viable, and separate terrestrial and lunar accretion from a population of fractionated precursor planetesimals provides a more reasonable explanation.

  3. Synthesis for Lunar Simulants: Glass, Agglutinate, Plagioclase, Breccia

    Weinstein, Michael; Wilson, Stephen A.; Rickman, Douglas L.; Stoeser, Douglas

    2012-01-01

    The video describes a process for making glass for lunar regolith simulants that was developed from a patented glass-producing technology. Glass composition can be matched to simulant design and specification. Production of glass, pseudo agglutinates, plagioclase, and breccias is demonstrated. The system is capable of producing hundreds of kilograms of high quality glass and simulants per day.

  4. Year 3 LUNAR Annual Report to the NASA Lunar Science Institute

    Burns, Jack; Lazio, Joseph

    2012-01-01

    The Lunar University Network for Astrophysics Research (LUNAR) is a team of researchers and students at leading universities, NASA centers, and federal research laboratories undertaking investigations aimed at using the Moon as a platform for space science. LUNAR research includes Lunar Interior Physics & Gravitation using Lunar Laser Ranging (LLR), Low Frequency Cosmology and Astrophysics (LFCA), Planetary Science and the Lunar Ionosphere, Radio Heliophysics, and Exploration Science. The LUN...

  5. Cryogenic propulsion for lunar and Mars missions

    Redd, Larry

    1988-01-01

    Future missions to the moon and Mars have been investigated with regard to propulsion system selection. The results of this analysis show that near state-of-the-art LO2/LH2 propulsion technology provides a feasible means of performing lunar missions and trans-Mars injections. In other words, existing cryogenic space engines with certain modifications and product improvements would be suitable for these missions. In addition, present day cryogenic system tankage and structural weights appear to scale reasonably when sizing for large payload and high energy missions such as sending men to Mars.

  6. Data Analysis Techniques for a Lunar Surface Navigation System Testbed

    Chelmins, David; Sands, O. Scott; Swank, Aaron

    2011-01-01

    NASA is interested in finding new methods of surface navigation to allow astronauts to navigate on the lunar surface. In support of the Vision for Space Exploration, the NASA Glenn Research Center developed the Lunar Extra-Vehicular Activity Crewmember Location Determination System and performed testing at the Desert Research and Technology Studies event in 2009. A significant amount of sensor data was recorded during nine tests performed with six test subjects. This paper provides the procedure, formulas, and techniques for data analysis, as well as commentary on applications.

  7. Image Processing in Optical Guidance for Autonomous Landing of Lunar Probe

    Meng, Ding; Yun-feng, Cao; Qing-xian, Wu; Zhen, Zhang

    2008-01-01

    Because of the communication delay between earth and moon, the GNC technology of lunar probe is becoming more important than ever. Current navigation technology is not able to provide precise motion estimation for probe landing control system Computer vision offers a new approach to solve this problem. In this paper, author introduces an image process algorithm of computer vision navigation for autonomous landing of lunar probe. The purpose of the algorithm is to detect and track feature poin...

  8. Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Lunar Workshops for Educators, Year 1 Report

    Jones, A. P.; Hsu, B. C.; Bleacher, L.; Shaner, A. J.; Dalton, H.

    2011-12-01

    This past summer, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) sponsored a series of weeklong professional development workshops designed to educate and inspire grade 6-12 science teachers: the Lunar Workshops for Educators. Participants learned about lunar science and exploration, gained tools to help address common student misconceptions about the Moon, heard some of the latest research results from LRO scientists, worked with LRO data, and learned how to bring these data to their students using hands-on activities aligned with grade 6-12 National Science Education Standards and Benchmarks. Where possible, the workshops also included tours of science facilities or field trips intended to help the teachers better understand mission operations or geologic processes relevant to the Moon. The workshops were very successful. Participants demonstrated an improved understanding of lunar science concepts in post-workshop assessments (as compared to identical pre-assessments) and a greater understanding of how to access and productively share data from LRO with their students and provide them with authentic research experiences. Participant feedback on workshop surveys was also enthusiastically positive. 5 additional Lunar Workshops for Educators will be held around the country in the summer of 2012. For more information and to register, visit http://lunar.gsfc.nasa.gov/lwe/index.html.

  9. Early lunar magnetism

    Banerjee, S. K.; Mellema, J. P.

    1976-01-01

    A new method (Shaw, 1974) for investigating paleointensity (the ancient magnetic field) was applied to three subsamples of a single, 1-m homogeneous clast from a recrystallized boulder of lunar breccia. Several dating methods established 4 billion years as the age of boulder assembly. Results indicate that the strength of the ambient magnetic field at the Taurus-Littrow region of the moon was about 0.4 oersted at 4 billion years ago. Values as high as 1.2 oersted have been reported (Collison et al., 1973). The required fields are approximately 10,000 times greater than present interplanetary or solar flare fields. It is suggested that this large field could have arisen from a pre-main sequence T-Tauri sun.

  10. Electrochemistry of lunar rocks

    Lindstrom, D. J.; Haskin, L. A.

    1979-01-01

    Electrolysis of silicate melts has been shown to be an effective means of producing metals from common silicate materials. No fluxing agents need be added to the melts. From solution in melts of diopside (CaMgSi2O6) composition, the elements Si, Ti, Ni, and Fe have been reduced to their metallic states. Platinum is a satisfactory anode material, but other cathode materials are needed. Electrolysis of compositional analogs of lunar rocks initially produces iron metal at the cathode and oxygen gas at the anode. Utilizing mainly heat and electricity which are readily available from sunlight, direct electrolysis is capable of producing useful metals from common feedstocks without the need for expendable chemicals. This simple process and the products obtained from it deserve further study for use in materials processing in space.

  11. Development and mechanical properties of structural materials from lunar simulants

    Desai, Chandra S.; Girdner, K.; Saadatmanesh, H.; Allen, T.

    1991-01-01

    Development of the technologies for manufacture of structural and construction materials on the Moon, utilizing local lunar soil (regolith), without the use of water, is an important element for habitats and explorations in space. Here, it is vital that the mechanical behavior such as strength and flexural properties, fracture toughness, ductility and deformation characteristics be defined toward establishment of the ranges of engineering applications of the materials developed. The objective is to describe the research results in two areas for the above goal: (1) liquefaction of lunar simulant (at about 100 C) with different additives (fibers, powders, etc.); and (2) development and use of a new triaxial test device in which lunar simulants are first compressed under cycles of loading, and then tested with different vacuums and initial confining or in situ stress.

  12. Design of a Lunar Quick-Attach Mechanism to Hummer Vehicle Mounting Interface

    Grismore, David A.

    2010-01-01

    This report presents my work experiences while I was an intern with NASA (National Aeronautic and Space Administration) in the Spring of2010 at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) launch facility in Cape Canaveral, Florida as a member of the NASA USRP (Undergraduate Student Research Program) program. I worked in the Surface Systems (NE-S) group during the internship. Within NE-S, two ASRC (Arctic Slope Regional Corporation) contract engineers, A.J. Nick and Jason Schuler, had developed a "Quick-Attach" mechanism for the Chariot Rover, the next generation lunar rover. My project was to design, analyze, and possibly fabricate a mounting interface between their "Quick-Attach" and a Hummer vehicle. This interface was needed because it would increase their capabilities to test the Quick Attach and its various attachments, as they do not have access to a Chariot Rover at KSC. I utilized both Pro Engineer, a 3D CAD software package, and a Coordinate Measuring Machine (CMM) known as a FAROarm to collect data and create my design. I relied on hand calculations and the Mechanica analysis tool within Pro Engineer to perform stress analysis on the design. After finishing the design, I began working on creating professional level CAD drawings and issuing them into the KSC design database known as DDMS before the end of the internship.

  13. Google Moon Lunar Mapping Data

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — A collection of lunar maps and charts. This tool is an exciting new way to explore the story of the Apollo missions, still the only time mankind has set foot on...

  14. First oxygen from lunar basalt

    Gibson, M. A.; Knudsen, C. W.; Brueneman, D. J.; Kanamori, H.; Ness, R. O.; Sharp, L. L.; Brekke, D. W.; Allen, C. C.; Morris, R. V.; Keller, L. P.

    1993-01-01

    The Carbotek/Shimizu process to produce oxygen from lunar soils has been successfully demonstrated on actual lunar samples in laboratory facilities at Carbotek with Shimizu funding and support. Apollo sample 70035 containing approximately 25 percent ilmenite (FeTiO3) was used in seven separate reactions with hydrogen varying temperature and pressure: FeTiO3 + H2 yields Fe + TiO2 + H2O. The experiments gave extremely encouraging results as all ilmenite was reduced in every experiment. The lunar ilmenite was found to be about twice as reactive as terrestrial ilmenite samples. Analytical techniques of the lunar and terrestrial ilmenite experiments performed by NASA Johnson Space Center include iron Mossbauer spectroscopy (FeMS), optical microscopy, SEM, TEM, and XRD. The Energy and Environmental Research Center at the University of North Dakota performed three SEM techniques (point count method, morphology determination, elemental mapping), XRD, and optical microscopy.

  15. Thermodynamics of lunar ilmenite reduction

    Altenberg, B. H.; Franklin, H. A.; Jones, C. H.

    1993-01-01

    With the prospect of returning to the moon, the development of a lunar occupation would fulfill one of the goals of the Space Exploration Initiative (SEI) of the late 1980's. Processing lunar resources into useful products, such as liquid oxygen for fuel and life support, would be one of many aspects of an active lunar base. ilmenite (FeTiO3) is found on the lunar surface and can be used as a feed stock to produce oxygen. Understanding the various ilmenite-reduction reactions elucidates many processing options. Defining the thermodynamic chemical behavior at equilibrium under various conditions of temperature and pressures can be helpful in specifying optimal operating conditions. Differences between a previous theoretical analysis and experimentally determined results has sparked interest in trying to understand the effect of operating pressure on the hydrogen-reduction-of-ilmenite reaction. Various aspects of this reduction reaction are discussed.

  16. The enigma of lunar magnetism

    Hood, L. L.

    1981-01-01

    Current understandings of the nature and probable origin of lunar magnetism are surveyed. Results of examinations of returned lunar samples are discussed which reveal the main carrier of the observed natural remanent magnetization to be iron, occasionally alloyed with nickel and cobalt, but do not distinguish between thermoremanent and shock remanent origins, and surface magnetometer data is presented, which indicates small-scale magnetic fields with a wide range of field intensities implying localized, near-surface sources. A detailed examination is presented of orbital magnetometer and charged particle data concerning the geologic nature and origin of magnetic anomaly sources and the directional properties of the magnetization, which exhibit a random distribution except for a depletion in the north-south direction. A lunar magnetization survey with global coverage provided by a polar orbiting satellite is suggested as a means of placing stronger constraints on the origin of lunar crustal magnetization.

  17. Lunar Health Monitor, Phase II

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — During the Phase II Lunar Health Monitor program, Orbital Research will develop a second generation wearable sensor suite for astronaut physiologic monitoring. The...

  18. Prospective Ukrainian lunar orbiter mission

    Shkuratov, Y.; Litvinenko, L.; Shulga, V.; Yatskiv, Y.; Kislyuk, V.

    Ukraine has launch vehicles that are able to deliver about 300 kg to the lunar orbit. Future Ukrainian lunar program may propose a polar orbiter. This orbiter should fill principal information gaps in our knowledge about the Moon after Clementine and Lunar Prospector missions and the future missions, like Smart-1, Lunar-A, and Selene. We consider that this can be provided by radar studies of the Moon with supporting optical polarimetric observations from lunar polar orbit. These experiments allow one to better understand global structure of the lunar surface in a wide range of scales, from microns to kilometers. We propose three instruments for the prospective lunar orbiter. They are: a synthetic aperture imaging radar (SAR), ground-penetrating radar (GPR), and imaging polarimeter (IP). The main purpose of SAR is to study with high resolution (50 m) the permanently shadowed sites in the lunar polar regions. These sites are cold traps for volatiles, and have a potential of resource utilization. Possible presence of water ice in the regolith in the sites makes them interesting for permanent manned bases on the Moon. Radar imaging and mapping of other interesting regions could be also planned. Multi-frequencies multi-polarization soun d ing of the lunar surface with GPR can provide information about internal structure of the lunar surface from meters to several hundred meters deep. GPR can be used for measuring the megaregolith layer properties, detection of cryptomaria, and studies of internal structure of the largest craters. IP will be a CCD camera with an additional suite of polarizers. Modest spatial resolution (100 m) should provide a total coverage or a large portion of the lunar surface in oblique viewing basically at large phase angles. Polarization degree at large (>90°) phase angles bears information about characteristic size of the regolith particles. Additional radiophysical experiments are considered with the use of the SAR system, e.g., bistatic radar

  19. Dielectric properties of lunar surface

    Yushkova, O. V.; Kibardina, I. N.

    2017-03-01

    Measurements of the dielectric characteristics of lunar soil samples are analyzed in the context of dielectric theory. It has been shown that the real component of the dielectric permittivity and the loss tangent of rocks greatly depend on the frequency of the interacting electromagnetic field and the soil temperature. It follows from the analysis that one should take into account diurnal variations in the lunar surface temperature when interpreting the radar-sounding results, especially for the gigahertz radio range.

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

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

    2005-01-01

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

  1. A Raman Spectrometer for the ExoMars 2020 Rover

    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.

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

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

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

    2005-01-01

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

  4. Autonomous navigation and mobility for a planetary rover

    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.

  5. Absolute Navigation Information Estimation for Micro Planetary Rovers

    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.

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

    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.

  7. Lunar Navigation Architecture Design Considerations

    D'Souza, Christopher; Getchius, Joel; Holt, Greg; Moreau, Michael

    2009-01-01

    The NASA Constellation Program is aiming to establish a long-term presence on the lunar surface. The Constellation elements (Orion, Altair, Earth Departure Stage, and Ares launch vehicles) will require a lunar navigation architecture for navigation state updates during lunar-class missions. Orion in particular has baselined earth-based ground direct tracking as the primary source for much of its absolute navigation needs. However, due to the uncertainty in the lunar navigation architecture, the Orion program has had to make certain assumptions on the capabilities of such architectures in order to adequately scale the vehicle design trade space. The following paper outlines lunar navigation requirements, the Orion program assumptions, and the impacts of these assumptions to the lunar navigation architecture design. The selection of potential sites was based upon geometric baselines, logistical feasibility, redundancy, and abort support capability. Simulated navigation covariances mapped to entry interface flightpath- angle uncertainties were used to evaluate knowledge errors. A minimum ground station architecture was identified consisting of Goldstone, Madrid, Canberra, Santiago, Hartebeeshoek, Dongora, Hawaii, Guam, and Ascension Island (or the geometric equivalent).

  8. 2D/3D Visual Tracker for Rover Mast

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

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

    2005-01-01

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

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

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

    2017-12-01

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

  11. MINERAL ABUNDANCE AND PARTICLE SIZE DISTRIBUTION DERIVED FROM IN-SITU SPECTRA MEASUREMENTS OF YUTU ROVER OF CHANG’E-3

    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.

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

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. 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

    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.

  14. Lunar Quest in Second Life, Lunar Exploration Island, Phase II

    Ireton, F. M.; Day, B. H.; Mitchell, B.; Hsu, B. C.

    2010-12-01

    Linden Lab’s Second Life is a virtual 3D metaverse created by users. At any one time there may be 40,000-50,000 users on line. Users develop a persona and are seen on screen as a human figure or avatar. Avatars move through Second Life by walking, flying, or teleporting. Users form communities or groups of mutual interest such as music, computer graphics, and education. These groups communicate via e-mail, voice, and text within Second Life. Information on downloading the Second Life browser and joining can be found on the Second Life website: www.secondlife.com. This poster details Phase II in the development of Lunar Exploration Island (LEI) located in Second Life. Phase I LEI highlighted NASA’s LRO/LCROSS mission. Avatars enter LEI via teleportation arriving at a hall of flight housing interactive exhibits on the LRO/ LCROSS missions including full size models of the two spacecraft and launch vehicle. Storyboards with information about the missions interpret the exhibits while links to external websites provide further information on the mission, both spacecraft’s instrument suites, and related EPO. Other lunar related activities such as My Moon and NLSI EPO programs. A special exhibit was designed for International Observe the Moon Night activities with links to websites for further information. The sim includes several sites for meetings, a conference stage to host talks, and a screen for viewing NASATV coverage of mission and other televised events. In Phase II exhibits are updated to reflect on-going lunar exploration highlights, discoveries, and future missions. A new section of LEI has been developed to showcase NASA’s Lunar Quest program. A new exhibit hall with Lunar Quest information has been designed and is being populated with Lunar Quest information, spacecraft models (LADEE is in place) and kiosks. A two stage interactive demonstration illustrates lunar phases with static and 3-D stations. As NASA’s Lunar Quest program matures further

  15. Lunar Science from and for Planet Earth

    Pieters, M. C.; Hiesinger, H.; Head, J. W., III

    2008-09-01

    in the inner solar system and the environment under which early life was able to survive. We learned that the long-lived heat producing elements are concentrated on the lunar nearside and a major geologic event must have occurred very early during the evolution of the crust and mantle to accomplish this. We learned that significant volatile deposits occur at both lunar poles and may have resulted in water ice in their permanently shadowed regions. The embers then fire from this small influx of new information and understanding in the 1990s set the stage for the next generation of lunar exploration. International Lunar Exploration: The Golden Age In 2003 ESA launched what was to become a highly successful technology demonstration mission to the Moon, SMART-1. This small pathfinder has now been followed by some of the most sophisticated remote sensing robotic missions ever sent to the Moon. The SELENE/KAGUYA mission from JAXA and the Chang'E mission from China were launched in 2007 and are successfully returning remarkable data to Earth with unprecedented resolution and detail. The Chandrayaan-1 mission of ISRO with a complement of modern Indian as well foreign instruments is set to launch in 2008. The LRO/LCROSS pair of NASA will be next, followed by NASA's GRAIL geophysics mission in 2010. It is fitting that Earth's neighbour, which harbours so many secrets about our own origins and place in the universe, is now being explored independently by a virtual armada originating from space-faring nations across the Earth. The opportunities for peaceful coordination and cooperation abound, both at the personal scientist-to-scientist level as well as at the national policy level. The next 50 years of exploration of the Earth-Moon system will be truly remarkable with the new foundation of knowledge brought forth by this golden age of lunar exploration.

  16. Lunar Meteorites: A Global Geochemical Dataset

    Zeigler, R. A.; Joy, K. H.; Arai, T.; Gross, J.; Korotev, R. L.; McCubbin, F. M.

    2017-01-01

    To date, the world's meteorite collections contain over 260 lunar meteorite stones representing at least 120 different lunar meteorites. Additionally, there are 20-30 as yet unnamed stones currently in the process of being classified. Collectively these lunar meteorites likely represent 40-50 distinct sampling locations from random locations on the Moon. Although the exact provenance of each individual lunar meteorite is unknown, collectively the lunar meteorites represent the best global average of the lunar crust. The Apollo sites are all within or near the Procellarum KREEP Terrane (PKT), thus lithologies from the PKT are overrepresented in the Apollo sample suite. Nearly all of the lithologies present in the Apollo sample suite are found within the lunar meteorites (high-Ti basalts are a notable exception), and the lunar meteorites contain several lithologies not present in the Apollo sample suite (e.g., magnesian anorthosite). This chapter will not be a sample-by-sample summary of each individual lunar meteorite. Rather, the chapter will summarize the different types of lunar meteorites and their relative abundances, comparing and contrasting the lunar meteorite sample suite with the Apollo sample suite. This chapter will act as one of the introductory chapters to the volume, introducing lunar samples in general and setting the stage for more detailed discussions in later more specialized chapters. The chapter will begin with a description of how lunar meteorites are ejected from the Moon, how deep samples are being excavated from, what the likely pairing relationships are among the lunar meteorite samples, and how the lunar meteorites can help to constrain the impactor flux in the inner solar system. There will be a discussion of the biases inherent to the lunar meteorite sample suite in terms of underrepresented lithologies or regions of the Moon, and an examination of the contamination and limitations of lunar meteorites due to terrestrial weathering. The

  17. Precision Lunar Laser Ranging For Lunar and Gravitational Science

    Merkowitz, S. M.; Arnold, D.; Dabney, P. W.; Livas, J. C.; McGarry, J. F.; Neumann, G. A.; Zagwodzki, T. W.

    2008-01-01

    Laser ranging to retroreflector arrays placed on the lunar surface by the Apollo astronauts and the Soviet Lunar missions over the past 39 years have dramatically increased our understanding of gravitational physics along with Earth and Moon geophysics, geodesy, and dynamics. Significant advances in these areas will require placing modern retroreflectors and/or active laser ranging systems at new locations on the lunar surface. Ranging to new locations will enable better measurements of the lunar librations, aiding in our understanding of the interior structure of the moon. More precise range measurements will allow us to study effects that are too small to be observed by the current capabilities as well as enabling more stringent tests of Einstein's theory of General Relativity. Setting up retroreflectors was a key part of the Apollo missions so it is natural to ask if future lunar missions should include them as well. The Apollo retroreflectors are still being used today, and nearly 40 years of ranging data has been invaluable for scientific as well as other studies such as orbital dynamics. However, the available retroreflectors all lie within 26 degrees latitude of the equator, and the most useful ones within 24 degrees longitude of the sub-earth meridian. This clustering weakens their geometrical strength.

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

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

    2014-04-01

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

  19. View of the Lunar Module 'Orion' and Lunar Roving Vehicle during first EVA

    1972-01-01

    A view of the Lunar Module (LM) 'Orion' and Lunar Roving Vehicle (LRV), as photographed by Astronaut Charles M. Duke Jr., lunar module pilot, during the first Apollo 16 extravehicular activity (EVA-1) at the Descates landing site. Astronaut John W. Young, commander, can be seen directly behind the LRV. The lunar surface feature in the left background is Stone Mountain.

  20. Strategy for the International Lunar Decade

    Beldavs, V.; Dunlop, D.; Foing, B.

    2015-10-01

    LD is a global event and process for international collaboration in space initiated by the International Lunar Exploration Working Group (ILEWG), the National Space Society and the National Science Centre FOTONIKA-LV of the University of Latvia. ILD is planned for launch in 2017, the 60th anniversary of the International Geophysical Year that marked the dawn of the space age with the launch of Sputnik. ILD is envisioned as a decade long process of international collaboration with lunar exploration concurrent with development of policies, key enabling technologies and infrastructures on the Moon and in cislunar space leading towards an eventual goal of industrial development of the Moon and economic activity beyond Earth orbit[1]. This second International Lunar Decade will build on the foundations of the ILD first proposed in by the Planetary Society in 2006 at International Conference on Exploration and Utilisation of the Moon (ICEUM), was endorsed by ICEUM participants[3], and then by ILEWG, COSPAR and other organizations. Starting in 2007, the work plan included a series of recommendations for lunar exploration missions coordinated through the ILEWG agencies and COSPAR. Advances in technology such as CubeSats and 3D printing and fundamental changes in mind-set marked by initiatives such as the Google Lunar-X prize and asteroid mining ventures have made industrial development of the Moon a thinkable proposition. The ILD to be launched in 2017 is intended to set the stage for the Moon to become a wealth generating platform for human expansion into the solar system.ILD is being organized to engage existing organizations involved in space collaboration such as COSPAR, COPUOS, ISECG, technical and scientific organizations and others that address space policy, space law, space security, governance and related concerns. Additional organizations will be involved that deal with structures, ecosystems, financing, economic development and health and life support and

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

    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

  2. Two lunar global asymmetries

    Hartung, J. B.

    1984-01-01

    The Moon's center of mass is displaced from its center of figure about 2 km in a roughly earthward direction. Most maria are on the side of the Moon which faces the Earth. It is assumed that the Moon was initially spherically symmetric. The emplacement of mare basalts transfers mass which produces most of the observed center of mass displacement toward the Earth. The cause of the asymmetric distribution of lunar maria was examined. The Moon is in a spin orbit coupled relationship with the Earth and the effect of the Earth's gravity on the Moon is asymmetric. The earth-facing side of the Moon is a gravitational favored location for the extrusion of mare basalt magma in the same way that the topographically lower floor of a large impact basin is a gravitationally favored location. This asymmetric effect increases inversely with the fourth power of the Earth Moon distance. The history of the Earth-Moon system includes: formation of the Moon by accretion processes in a heliocentric orbit ner that of the Earth; a gravitational encounter with the Earth about 4 billion years ago resulting in capture of the Moon into a geocentric orbit and heating of the Moon through dissipation of energy related to tides raised during close approaches to the Earth(5) to produce mare basalt magma; and evolution of the Moon's orbit to its present position, slowly at first to accommodate more than 500 million years during which magmas were extruded.

  3. Battery and Fuel Cell Development Goals for the Lunar Surface and Lander

    Mercer, Carolyn R.

    2008-01-01

    NASA is planning a return to the moon and requires advances in energy storage technology for its planned lunar lander and lunar outpost. This presentation describes NASA s overall mission goals and technical goals for batteries and fuel cells to support the mission. Goals are given for secondary batteries for the lander s ascent stage and suits for extravehicular activity on the lunar surface, and for fuel cells for the lander s descent stage and regenerative fuel cells for outpost power. An overall approach to meeting these goals is also presented.

  4. Apollo Missions to the Lunar Surface

    Graff, Paige V.

    2018-01-01

    Six Apollo missions to the Moon, from 1969-1972, enabled astronauts to collect and bring lunar rocks and materials from the lunar surface to Earth. Apollo lunar samples are curated by NASA Astromaterials at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX. Samples continue to be studied and provide clues about our early Solar System. Learn more and view collected samples at: https://curator.jsc.nasa.gov/lunar.

  5. Lunar surface engineering properties experiment definition

    Mitchell, J. K.; Goodman, R. E.; Hurlbut, F. C.; Houston, W. N.; Willis, D. R.; Witherspoon, P. A.; Hovland, H. J.

    1971-01-01

    Research on the mechanics of lunar soils and on developing probes to determine the properties of lunar surface materials is summarized. The areas of investigation include the following: soil simulation, soil property determination using an impact penetrometer, soil stabilization using urethane foam or phenolic resin, effects of rolling boulders down lunar slopes, design of borehole jack and its use in determining failure mechanisms and properties of rocks, and development of a permeability probe for measuring fluid flow through porous lunar surface materials.

  6. Lunar power systems. Final report

    1986-12-01

    The findings of a study on the feasibility of several methods of providing electrical power for a permanently manned lunar base are provided. Two fundamentally different methods for lunar electrical power generation are considered. One is the use of a small nuclear reactor and the other is the conversion of solar energy to electricity. The baseline goal was to initially provide 300 kW of power with growth capability to one megawatt and eventually to 10 megawatts. A detailed, day by day scenario for the establishment, build-up, and operational activity of the lunar base is presented. Also presented is a conceptual approach to a supporting transportation system which identifies the number, type, and deployment of transportation vehicles required to support the base. An approach to the use of solar cells in the lunar environment was developed. There are a number of heat engines which are applicable to solar/electric conversions, and these are examined. Several approaches to energy storage which were used by the electric power utilities were examined and those which could be used at a lunar base were identified

  7. Lunar mission design using nuclear thermal rockets

    Stancati, M.L.; Collins, J.T.; Borowski, S.K.

    1991-01-01

    The NERVA-class Nuclear Thermal Rocket (NTR), with performance nearly double that of advanced chemical engines, has long been considered an enabling technology for human missions to Mars. NTR engines address the demanding trip time and payload delivery needs of both cargo-only and piloted flights. But NTR can also reduce the Earth launch requirements for manned lunar missions. First use of NTR for the Moon would be less demanding and would provide a test-bed for early operations experience with this powerful technology. Study of application and design options indicates that NTR propulsion can be integrated with the Space Exploration Initiative scenarios to deliver performance gains while managing controlled, long-term disposal of spent reactors to highly stable orbits

  8. Long-Term Lunar Radiation Degradation Effects on Materials

    Rojdev, Kristina; ORourke, Mary Jane; Koontz, Steve; Alred, John; Hill, Charles; Devivar, Rodrigo; Morera-Felix, Shakira; Atwell, William; Nutt, Steve; Sabbann, Leslie

    2010-01-01

    The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is focused on developing technologies for extending human presence beyond low Earth orbit. These technologies are to advance the state-of-the-art and provide for longer duration missions outside the protection of Earth's magnetosphere. One technology of great interest for large structures is advanced composite materials, due to their weight and cost savings, enhanced radiation protection for the crew, and potential for performance improvements when compared with existing metals. However, these materials have not been characterized for the interplanetary space environment, and particularly the effects of high energy radiation, which is known to cause damage to polymeric materials. Therefore, a study focusing on a lunar habitation element was undertaken to investigate the integrity of potential structural composite materials after exposure to a long-term lunar radiation environment. An overview of the study results are presented, along with a discussion of recommended future work.

  9. International lunar observatory / power station: from Hawaii to the Moon

    Durst, S.

    -like lava flow geology adds to Mauna Kea / Moon similarities. Operating amidst the extinct volcano's fine grain lava and dust particles offers experience for major challenges posed by silicon-edged, powdery, deep and abundant lunar regolith. Power stations for lunar observatories, both robotic and low cost at first, are an immediate enabling necessity and will serve as a commercial-industrial driver for a wide range of lunar base technologies. Both microwave rectenna-transmitters and radio-optical telescopes, maybe 1-meter diameter, can be designed using the same, new ultra-lightweight materials. Five of the world's six major spacefaring powers - America, Russia, Japan, China and India, are located around Hawaii in the Pacific / Asia area. With Europe, which has many resources in the Pacific hemisphere including Arianespace offices in Tokyo and Singapore, they have 55-60% of the global population. New international business partnerships such as Sea Launch in the mid-Pacific, and national ventures like China's Hainan spaceport, Japan's Kiribati shuttle landing site, Australia and Indonesia's emerging launch sites, and Russia's Ekranoplane sea launcher / lander - all combine with still more and advancing technologies to provide the central Pacific a globally representative, state-of-the-art and profitable access to space in this new century. The astronomer / engineers tasked with operation of the lunar observatory / power station will be the first to voyage from Hawaii to the Moon, before this decade is out. Their scientific and technical training at the world's leading astronomical complex on the lunar-like landscape of Mauna Kea may be enhanced with the learning and transmission of local cultures. Following the astronomer / engineers, tourism and travel in the commercially and technologically dynamic Pacific hemisphere will open the new ocean of space to public access in the 21st century like they opened the old ocean of sea and air to Hawaii in the 20th - with Hawaii

  10. Basic radio interferometry for future lunar missions

    Aminaei, Amin; Klein Wolt, Marc; Chen, Linjie; Bronzwaer, Thomas; Pourshaghaghi, Hamid Reza; Bentum, Marinus Jan; Falcke, Heino

    2014-01-01

    In light of presently considered lunar missions, we investigate the feasibility of the basic radio interferometry (RIF) for lunar missions. We discuss the deployment of two-element radio interferometer on the Moon surface. With the first antenna element is envisaged to be placed on the lunar lander,

  11. Status and Future of Lunar Geoscience.

    1986

    A review of the status, progress, and future direction of lunar research is presented in this report from the lunar geoscience working group of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Information is synthesized and presented in four major sections. These include: (1) an introduction (stating the reasons for lunar study and identifying…

  12. Nanophase Fe0 in lunar soils

    globules that occur in the rinds of many soil grains and in the ... tinitic glass is a quenched product of silicate melts, also produced by micrometeorite impacts on lunar soils ..... stand impact processes and their products. ... cules at night; the earth's atmosphere by con- .... deep lunar interior from an inversion of lunar free oscil-.

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

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

    2001-01-01

    The Athena Mars rover payload is a suite of scientific instruments and tools for geologic exploration of the martian surface. It is designed to: (1) Provide color stereo imaging of martian surface environments, and remotely-sensed point discrimination of mineralogical composition. (2) Determine the elemental and mineralogical composition of martian surface materials, including soils, rock surfaces, and rock interiors. (3) Determine the fine-scale textural properties of these materials. Two identical copies of the Athena payload will be flown in 2003 on the two Mars Exploration Rovers. The payload is at a high state of maturity, and first copies of several of the instruments have already been built and tested for flight.

  14. NASA Curiosity rover hits organic pay dirt on Mars

    Voosen, Paul

    2018-06-01

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

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

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

    2004-01-01

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

  16. Lunar Cube Transfer Trajectory Options

    Folta, David; Dichmann, Donald James; Clark, Pamela E.; Haapala, Amanda; Howell, Kathleen

    2015-01-01

    Numerous Earth-Moon trajectory and lunar orbit options are available for Cubesat missions. Given the limited Cubesat injection infrastructure, transfer trajectories are contingent upon the modification of an initial condition of the injected or deployed orbit. Additionally, these transfers can be restricted by the selection or designs of Cubesat subsystems such as propulsion or communication. Nonetheless, many trajectory options can b e considered which have a wide range of transfer duration, fuel requirements, and final destinations. Our investigation of potential trajectories highlights several options including deployment from low Earth orbit (LEO) geostationary transfer orbits (GTO) and higher energy direct lunar transfer and the use of longer duration Earth-Moon dynamical systems. For missions with an intended lunar orbit, much of the design process is spent optimizing a ballistic capture while other science locations such as Sun-Earth libration or heliocentric orbits may simply require a reduced Delta-V imparted at a convenient location along the trajectory.

  17. Lunar Rotation, Orientation and Science

    Williams, J. G.; Ratcliff, J. T.; Boggs, D. H.

    2004-12-01

    The Moon is the most familiar example of the many satellites that exhibit synchronous rotation. For the Moon there is Lunar Laser Ranging measurements of tides and three-dimensional rotation variations plus supporting theoretical understanding of both effects. Compared to uniform rotation and precession the lunar rotational variations are up to 1 km, while tidal variations are about 0.1 m. Analysis of the lunar variations in pole direction and rotation about the pole gives moment of inertia differences, third-degree gravity harmonics, tidal Love number k2, tidal dissipation Q vs. frequency, dissipation at the fluid-core/solid-mantle boundary, and emerging evidence for an oblate boundary. The last two indicate a fluid core, but a solid inner core is not ruled out. Four retroreflectors provide very accurate positions on the Moon. The experience with the Moon is a starting point for exploring the tides, rotation and orientation of the other synchronous bodies of the solar system.

  18. Lunar heat-flow experiment

    Langseth, M. G.

    1977-01-01

    The principal components of the experiment were probes, each with twelve thermometers of exceptional accuracy and stability, that recorded temperature variations at the surface and in the regolith down to 2.5 m. The Apollo 15 experiment and the Apollo 17 probes recorded lunar surface and subsurface temperatures. These data provided a unique and valuable history of the interaction of solar energy with lunar surface and the effects of heat flowing from the deep interior out through the surface of the moon. The interpretation of these data resulted in a clearer definition of the thermal and mechanical properties of the upper two meters of lunar regolith, direct measurements of the gradient in mean temperature due to heat flow from the interior and a determination of the heat flow at the Apollo 15 and Apollo 17 sites.

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

    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.

  20. Technologies for low radio frequency observations of the Cosmic Dawn

    Jones, D. L.

    2014-03-01

    The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is developing concepts and technologies for low frequency radio astronomy space missions aimed at observing highly redshifted neutral Hydrogen from the Dark Ages. This is the period of cosmic history between the recombination epoch when the microwave background radiation was produced and the re-ionization of the intergalactic medium by the first generation of stars (Cosmic Dawn). This period, at redshifts z > ~20, is a critical epoch for the formation and evolution of large-scale structure in the universe. The 21-cm spectral line of Hydrogen provides the most promising method for directly studying the Dark Ages, but the corresponding frequencies at such large redshifts are only tens of MHz and thus require space-based observations to avoid terrestrial RFI and ionospheric absorption and refraction. This paper reports on the status of several low frequency technology development activities at JPL, including deployable bi-conical dipoles for a planned lunar-orbiting mission, and both rover-deployed and inflation-deployed long dipole antennas for use on the lunar surface. In addition, recent results from laboratory testing of low frequency receiver designs are presented. Finally, several concepts for space-based imaging interferometers utilizing deployable low frequency antennas are described. Some of these concepts involve large numbers of antennas and consequently a large digital cross-correlator will be needed. JPL has studied correlator architectures that greatly reduce the DC power required for this step, which can dominate the power consumption of real-time signal processing. Strengths and weaknesses of each mission concept are discussed in the context of the additional technology development required.

  1. EVA Physiology, Systems and Performance [EPSP] Project

    Gernhardt, Michael L.

    2010-01-01

    This viewgraph presentation gives a general overview of the biomedical and technological challenges of Extravehicular Activity (EVA). The topics covered include: 1) Prebreathe Protocols; 2) Lunar Suit Testing and Development; and 3) Lunar Electric Rover and Exploration Operations Concepts.

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

    Gavin, Andrew S.; Brooks, Rodney A.

    1994-01-01

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

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

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

    1988-01-01

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

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Stein, Thomas

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

  6. Application of automation and robotics to lunar surface human exploration operations

    Woodcock, Gordon R.; Sherwood, Brent; Buddington, Patricia A.; Bares, Leona C.; Folsom, Rolfe; Mah, Robert; Lousma, Jack

    1990-01-01

    Major results of a study applying automation and robotics to lunar surface base buildup and operations concepts are reported. The study developed a reference base scenario with specific goals, equipment concepts, robot concepts, activity schedules and buildup manifests. It examined crew roles, contingency cases and system reliability, and proposed a set of technologies appropriate and necessary for effective lunar operations. This paper refers readers to four companion papers for quantitative details where appropriate.

  7. Environmental Monitoring as Part of Life Support for the Crew Habitat for Lunar and Mars Missions

    Jan, Darrell L.

    2010-01-01

    Like other crewed space missions, future missions to the moon and Mars will have requirements for monitoring the chemical and microbial status of the crew habitat. Monitoring the crew habitat becomes more critical in such long term missions. This paper will describe the state of technology development for environmental monitoring of lunar lander and lunar outpost missions, and the state of plans for future missions.

  8. Lunar Base Heat Pump

    Walker, D.; Fischbach, D.; Tetreault, R.

    1996-01-01

    The objective of this project was to investigate the feasibility of constructing a heat pump suitable for use as a heat rejection device in applications such as a lunar base. In this situation, direct heat rejection through the use of radiators is not possible at a temperature suitable for lde support systems. Initial analysis of a heat pump of this type called for a temperature lift of approximately 378 deg. K, which is considerably higher than is commonly called for in HVAC and refrigeration applications where heat pumps are most often employed. Also because of the variation of the rejection temperature (from 100 to 381 deg. K), extreme flexibility in the configuration and operation of the heat pump is required. A three-stage compression cycle using a refrigerant such as CFC-11 or HCFC-123 was formulated with operation possible with one, two or three stages of compression. Also, to meet the redundancy requirements, compression was divided up over multiple compressors in each stage. A control scheme was devised that allowed these multiple compressors to be operated as required so that the heat pump could perform with variable heat loads and rejection conditions. A prototype heat pump was designed and constructed to investigate the key elements of the high-lift heat pump concept. Control software was written and implemented in the prototype to allow fully automatic operation. The heat pump was capable of operation over a wide range of rejection temperatures and cooling loads, while maintaining cooling water temperature well within the required specification of 40 deg. C +/- 1.7 deg. C. This performance was verified through testing.

  9. Applications for special-purpose minerals at a lunar base

    Ming, Douglas W.

    1992-01-01

    catalysts, as media for nuclear and hazardous waste disposal, as exchange media for waste-water treatment, and in other potential applications. Special-purpose minerals synthesized at a lunar base may also have important applications at a space station and for other planetary missions. New technologies will be required at a lunar base to develop life support systems that are self-sufficient, and the use of special-purpose minerals may help achieve this self-sufficiency.

  10. Mars Exploration Rover Spirit End of Mission Report

    Callas, John L.

    2015-01-01

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

  11. GIS Methodology for Planning Planetary-Rover Operations

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

    2007-01-01

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

  12. Lunar Prospecting With Chandra

    2003-09-01

    Observations of the bright side of the Moon with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory have detected oxygen, magnesium, aluminum and silicon over a large area of the lunar surface. The abundance and distribution of those elements will help to determine how the Moon was formed. "We see X-rays from these elements directly, independent of assumptions about the mineralogy and other complications," said Jeremy Drake of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass., at a press conference at the "Four Years with Chandra" symposium in Huntsville, Alabama. "We have Moon samples from the six widely-space Apollo landing sites, but remote sensing with Chandra can cover a much wider area," continued Drake. "It's the next best thing to being there, and it's very fast and cost-effective." The lunar X-rays are caused by fluorescence, a process similar to the way that light is produced in fluorescent lamps. Solar X-rays bombard the surface of the Moon, knock electrons out of the inner parts of the atoms, putting them in a highly unstable state. Almost immediately, other electrons rush to fill the gaps, and in the process convert their energy into the fluorescent X-rays seen by Chandra. According to the currently popular "giant impact" theory for the formation of the Moon, a body about the size of Mars collided with the Earth about 4.5 billion years ago. This impact flung molten debris from the mantle of both the Earth and the impactor into orbit around the Earth. Over the course of tens of millions of years, the debris stuck together to form the Moon. By measuring the amounts of aluminum and other elements over a wide area of the Moon and comparing them to the Earth's mantle, Drake and his colleagues plan to help test the giant impact hypothesis. "One early result," quipped Drake, "is that there is no evidence for large amounts of calcium, so cheese is not a major constituent of the Moon." Illustration of Earth's Geocorona Illustration of Earth's Geocorona The same

  13. Building lunar roads - An overview

    Rutledge, Bennett

    The problems involved in constructing lunar roads are explored. The main challenges are airlessness, low gravity, and solar effects, especially temperature extremes. Also involved are the expense of delivering equipment and material to the job site (especially for bridges and other structures), obtaining skilled labor, and providing maintenance. The lunar road will most likely be gravel, but with the size of the material closer to cobblestone to reduce scattering. They will probably be very winding, even on the flats, and feature numerous bridges and some cuts. This traffic will be mostly automatic or teleoperated cargo carriers with a handful of shirtsleeve-pressurized 'passenger cars' large enough to live in for several days.

  14. Lunar phases and crisis center telephone calls.

    Wilson, J E; Tobacyk, J J

    1990-02-01

    The lunar hypothesis, that is, the notion that lunar phases can directly affect human behavior, was tested by time-series analysis of 4,575 crisis center telephone calls (all calls recorded for a 6-month interval). As expected, the lunar hypothesis was not supported. The 28-day lunar cycle accounted for less than 1% of the variance of the frequency of crisis center calls. Also, as hypothesized from an attribution theory framework, crisis center workers reported significantly greater belief in lunar effects than a non-crisis-center-worker comparison group.

  15. What is a lunar standstill III?

    Lionel Duke Sims

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Prehistoric monument alignments on lunar standstills are currently understood for horizon range, perturbation event, crossover event, eclipse prediction, solstice full Moon and the solarisation of the dark Moon. The first five models are found to fail the criteria of archaeoastronomy field methods. The final model of lunar-solar conflation draws upon all the observed components of lunar standstills – solarised reverse phased sidereal Moons culminating in solstice dark Moons in a roughly nine-year alternating cycle between major and minor standstills. This lunar-solar conflation model is a syncretic overlay upon an antecedent Palaeolithic template for lunar scheduled rituals and amenable to transformation.

  16. Fostering Outreach, Education and Exploration of the Moon Using the Lunar Mapping & Modeling Portal

    Dodge, K.; Law, E.; Malhotra, S.; Chang, G.; Kim, R. M.; Bui, B.; Sadaqathullah, S.; Day, B. H.

    2014-12-01

    The Lunar Mapping and Modeling Portal (LMMP)[1], is a web-based Portal and a suite of interactive visualization and analysis tools for users to access mapped lunar data products (including image mosaics, digital elevation models, etc.) from past and current lunar missions (e.g., Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, Apollo, etc.). Originally designed as a mission planning tool for the Constellation Program, LMMP has grown into a generalized suite of tools facilitating a wide range of activities in support of lunar exploration including public outreach, education, lunar mission planning and scientific research. LMMP fosters outreach, education, and exploration of the Moon by educators, students, amateur astronomers, and the general public. These efforts are enhanced by Moon Tours, LMMP's mobile application, which makes LMMP's information accessible to people of all ages, putting opportunities for real lunar exploration in the palms of their hands. Our talk will include an overview of LMMP and a demonstration of its technologies (web portals, mobile apps), to show how it serves NASA data as commodities for use by advanced visualization facilities (e.g., planetariums) and how it contributes to improving teaching and learning, increasing scientific literacy of the general public, and enriching STEM efforts. References:[1] http://www.lmmp.nasa.gov

  17. Lunar-based optical telescopes: Planning astronomical tools of the twenty-first century

    Hilchey, J. D.; Nein, M. E.

    1995-02-01

    A succession of optical telescopes, ranging in aperture from 1 to 16 m or more, can be deployed and operated on the lunar surface over the next half-century. These candidates to succeed NASA's Great Observatories would capitalize on the unique observational advantages offered by the Moon. The Lunar Telescope Working Group and the LUTE Task Team of the George C. Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) have assessed the feasibility of developing and deploying these facilities. Studies include the 16-m Large Lunar Telescope (LLT); the Lunar Cluster Telescope Experiment (LCTE), a 4-m precursor to the LLT; the 2-m Lunar Transit Telescope (LTT); and its precursor, the 1-m Lunar Ultraviolet Telescope Experiment (LUTE). The feasibility of developing and deploying each telescope was assessed and system requirements and options for supporting technologies, subsystems, transportation, and operations were detailed. Influences of lunar environment factors and site selection on telescope design and operation were evaluated, and design approaches and key tradeoffs were established. This paper provides an overview of the study results. Design concepts and brief system descriptions are provided, including subsystem and mission options selected for the concepts.

  18. Accessing Information on the Mars Exploration Rovers Mission

    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

  19. The Preliminary Processing and Geological Interpretation of Lunar Penetrating Radar Channel-1 Data from Chang'E-3

    Yuan, Y.; Zhu, P.; Zhao, N.; Guo, S.; Xiao, L.; Xiao, Z.

    2014-12-01

    This is the first time to obtain the subsurface profiles using the lunar penetrating radar (LPR) on the Moon surface. Two types of antennas, channel-1 and channel-2, with different resolutions were equipped on the LPR, which detected the lunar subsurface structure with low frequency and the thickness of regolith with high frequency, respectively. We focus on the study of the lunar subsurface structure using channel-1 data. Considering the propagation characteristics of radar wave, the processing of amplitude compensation and filtering are applied to improve the imaging quality, and the processed profile clearly represents deeper than 300 meters of layered information. Based on the geological background around landing site, we present the preliminary geological interpretation for the lunar subsurface structure. More than 5 obvious reflecting events should be concerned along the track of the Yutu rover, which infer different lava sequences, including the Eratosthenian basalts, paleo-regolith formed between Eratosthenian and Imbrium, and multistage infilled lavas formed inter-layers among the Imbrium basalts.

  20. Mechanical properties of lunar regolith and lunar soil simulant

    Perkins, Steven W.

    1989-01-01

    Through the Surveyor 3 and 7, and Apollo 11-17 missions a knowledge of the mechanical properties of Lunar regolith were gained. These properties, including material cohesion, friction, in-situ density, grain-size distribution and shape, and porosity, were determined by indirect means of trenching, penetration, and vane shear testing. Several of these properties were shown to be significantly different from those of terrestrial soils, such as an interlocking cohesion and tensile strength formed in the absence of moisture and particle cementation. To characterize the strength and deformation properties of Lunar regolith experiments have been conducted on a lunar soil simulant at various initial densities, fabric arrangements, and composition. These experiments included conventional triaxial compression and extension, direct tension, and combined tension-shear. Experiments have been conducted at low levels of effective confining stress. External conditions such as membrane induced confining stresses, end platten friction and material self weight have been shown to have a dramatic effect on the strength properties at low levels of confining stress. The solution has been to treat these external conditions and the specimen as a full-fledged boundary value problem rather than the idealized elemental cube of mechanics. Centrifuge modeling allows for the study of Lunar soil-structure interaction problems. In recent years centrifuge modeling has become an important tool for modeling processes that are dominated by gravity and for verifying analysis procedures and studying deformation and failure modes. Centrifuge modeling is well established for terrestrial enginering and applies equally as well to Lunar engineering. A brief review of the experiments is presented in graphic and outline form.

  1. Automation and robotics considerations for a lunar base

    Sliwa, Nancy E.; Harrison, F. Wallace, Jr.; Soloway, Donald I.; Mckinney, William S., Jr.; Cornils, Karin; Doggett, William R.; Cooper, Eric G.; Alberts, Thomas E.

    1992-01-01

    An envisioned lunar outpost shares with other NASA missions many of the same criteria that have prompted the development of intelligent automation techniques with NASA. Because of increased radiation hazards, crew surface activities will probably be even more restricted than current extravehicular activity in low Earth orbit. Crew availability for routine and repetitive tasks will be at least as limited as that envisioned for the space station, particularly in the early phases of lunar development. Certain tasks are better suited to the untiring watchfulness of computers, such as the monitoring and diagnosis of multiple complex systems, and the perception and analysis of slowly developing faults in such systems. In addition, mounting costs and constrained budgets require that human resource requirements for ground control be minimized. This paper provides a glimpse of certain lunar base tasks as seen through the lens of automation and robotic (A&R) considerations. This can allow a more efficient focusing of research and development not only in A&R, but also in those technologies that will depend on A&R in the lunar environment.

  2. Nuclear power systems for Lunar and Mars exploration

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

    1994-01-01

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

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

    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.

  4. NASA Lunar Base Wireless System Propagation Analysis

    Hwu, Shian U.; Upanavage, Matthew; Sham, Catherine C.

    2007-01-01

    There have been many radio wave propagation studies using both experimental and theoretical techniques over the recent years. However, most of studies have been in support of commercial cellular phone wireless applications. The signal frequencies are mostly at the commercial cellular and Personal Communications Service bands. The antenna configurations are mostly one on a high tower and one near the ground to simulate communications between a cellular base station and a mobile unit. There are great interests in wireless communication and sensor systems for NASA lunar missions because of the emerging importance of establishing permanent lunar human exploration bases. Because of the specific lunar terrain geometries and RF frequencies of interest to the NASA missions, much of the published literature for the commercial cellular and PCS bands of 900 and 1800 MHz may not be directly applicable to the lunar base wireless system and environment. There are various communication and sensor configurations required to support all elements of a lunar base. For example, the communications between astronauts, between astronauts and the lunar vehicles, between lunar vehicles and satellites on the lunar orbits. There are also various wireless sensor systems among scientific, experimental sensors and data collection ground stations. This presentation illustrates the propagation analysis of the lunar wireless communication and sensor systems taking into account the three dimensional terrain multipath effects. It is observed that the propagation characteristics are significantly affected by the presence of the lunar terrain. The obtained results indicate the lunar surface material, terrain geometry and antenna location are the important factors affecting the propagation characteristics of the lunar wireless systems. The path loss can be much more severe than the free space propagation and is greatly affected by the antenna height, surface material and operating frequency. The

  5. Lunar and Planetary Science XXXII

    2001-01-01

    This CD-ROM publication contains the extended abstracts that were accepted for presentation at the 32nd Lunar and Planetary Science Conference held at Houston, TX, March 12-16, 2001. The papers are presented in PDF format and are indexed by author, keyword, meteorite, program and samples for quick reference.

  6. MOONLIGHT: A NEW LUNAR LASER RANGING RETROREFLECTOR AND THE LUNAR GEODETIC PRECESSION

    M. Martini

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Since the 1970s Lunar Laser Ranging (LLR to the Apollo Cube Corner Retroreflector (CCR arrays (developed by the University of Maryland, UMD supplied almost all significant tests of General Relativity (Alley et al., 1970; Chang et al., 1971; Bender et al.,1973: possible changes in the gravitational constant, gravitational self-energy, weak equivalence principle, geodetic precession, inverse-square force-law. The LNF group, in fact, has just completed a new measurement of the lunar geodetic precession with Apollo array, with accuracy of 9 × 10−3, comparable to the best measurement to date. LLR has also provided significant information on the composition and origin of the moon. This is the only Apollo experiment still in operation. In the 1970s Apollo LLR arrays contributed a negligible fraction of the ranging error budget. Since the ranging capabilities of ground stations improved by more than two orders of magnitude, now, because of the lunar librations, Apollo CCR arrays dominate the error budget. With the project MoonLIGHT (Moon Laser Instrumentation for General relativity High-accuracy Tests, in 2006 INFN-LNF joined UMD in the development and test of a new-generation LLR payload made by a single, large CCR (100mm diameter unaffected by the effect of librations. With MoonLIGHT CCRs the accuracy of the measurement of the lunar geodetic precession can be improved up to a factor 100 compared to Apollo arrays. From a technological point of view, INFN-LNF built and is operating a new experimental apparatus (Satellite/lunar laser ranging Characterization Facility, SCF and created a new industry-standard test procedure (SCF-Test to characterize and model the detailed thermal behavior and the optical performance of CCRs in accurately laboratory-simulated space conditions, for industrial and scientific applications. Our key experimental innovation is the concurrent measurement and modeling of the optical Far Field Diffraction Pattern (FFDP and the

  7. Architecture Analysis of Wireless Power Transmission for Lunar Outposts

    2015-09-01

    continuous supply of electrical power would be required. The primary research was to determine if it is feasible to provide power to a lunar polar...space exploration business wish to go beyond the Moon, to Mars and to the asteroids , the technology for these ventures is not yet adequate for the task...klystron, both 16 developed during World War II, that the use of microwaves became available for effective transmission of energy. However, the

  8. Integrated lunar materials manufacturing process

    Gibson, Michael A. (Inventor); Knudsen, Christian W. (Inventor)

    1990-01-01

    A manufacturing plant and process for production of oxygen on the moon uses lunar minerals as feed and a minimum of earth-imported, process materials. Lunar feed stocks are hydrogen-reducible minerals, ilmenite and lunar agglutinates occurring in numerous, explored locations mixed with other minerals in the pulverized surface layer of lunar soil known as regolith. Ilmenite (FeTiO.sub.3) and agglutinates contain ferrous (Fe.sup.+2) iron reducible by hydrogen to yield H.sub.2 O and metallic Fe at about 700.degree.-1,200.degree. C. The H.sub.2 O is electrolyzed in gas phase to yield H.sub.2 for recycle and O.sub.2 for storage and use. Hydrogen losses to lunar vacuum are minimized, with no net hydrogen (or any other earth-derived reagent) consumption except for small leaks. Feed minerals are surface-mined by front shovels and transported in trucks to the processing area. The machines are manned or robotic. Ilmenite and agglutinates occur mixed with silicate minerals which are not hydrogen-reducible at 700.degree.-1,200.degree. C. and consequently are separated and concentrated before feeding to the oxygen generation process. Solids rejected from the separation step and reduced solids from the oxygen process are returned to the mine area. The plant is powered by nuclear or solar power generators. Vapor-phase water electrolysis, a staged, countercurrent, fluidized bed reduction reactor and a radio-frequency-driven ceramic gas heater are used to improve thermal efficiency.

  9. Scientific return of a lunar elevator

    Eubanks, T. M.; Radley, C. F.

    2016-11-01

    The concept of a space elevator dates back to Tsilokovsky, but they are not commonly considered in near-term plans for space exploration, perhaps because a terrestrial elevator would not be possible without considerable improvements in tether material. A Lunar Space Elevator (LSE), however, can be built with current technology using commercially available tether polymers. This paper considers missions leading to infrastructure capable of shortening the time, lowering the cost and enhancing the capabilities of robotic and human explorers. These missions use planetary scale tethers, strings many thousands of kilometers long stabilized either by rotation or by gravitational gradients. These systems promise major reduction in transport costs versus chemical rockets, in a rapid timeframe, for a modest investment. Science will thus benefit as well as commercial activities.

  10. Centralized vs decentralized lunar power system study

    Metcalf, Kenneth; Harty, Richard B.; Perronne, Gerald E.

    1991-09-01

    Three power-system options are considered with respect to utilization on a lunar base: the fully centralized option, the fully decentralized option, and a hybrid comprising features of the first two options. Power source, power conditioning, and power transmission are considered separately, and each architecture option is examined with ac and dc distribution, high and low voltage transmission, and buried and suspended cables. Assessments are made on the basis of mass, technological complexity, cost, reliability, and installation complexity, however, a preferred power-system architecture is not proposed. Preferred options include transmission based on ac, transmission voltages of 2000-7000 V with buried high-voltage lines and suspended low-voltage lines. Assessments of the total cost associated with the installations are required to determine the most suitable power system.

  11. A factory concept for processing and manufacturing with lunar material

    Driggers, G. W.

    1977-01-01

    A conceptual design for an orbital factory sized to process 1.5 million metric tons per year of raw lunar fines into 0.3 million metric tons of manufacturing materials is presented. A conservative approach involving application of present earth-based technology leads to a design devoid of new inventions. Earth based counterparts to the factory machinery were used to generate subsystem masses and lumped parameters for volume and mass estimates. The results are considered to be conservative since technologies more advanced than those assumed are presently available in many areas. Some attributes of potential space processing technologies applied to material refinement and component manufacture are discussed.

  12. Reference reactor module for NASA's lunar surface fission power system

    Poston, David I.; Kapernick, Richard J.; Dixon, David D.; Werner, James; Qualls, Louis; Radel, Ross

    2009-01-01

    Surface fission power systems on the Moon and Mars may provide the first US application of fission reactor technology in space since 1965. The Affordable Fission Surface Power System (AFSPS) study was completed by NASA/DOE to determine the cost of a modest performance, low-technical risk surface power system. The AFSPS concept is now being further developed within the Fission Surface Power (FSP) Project, which is a near-term technology program to demonstrate system-level TRL-6 by 2013. This paper describes the reference FSP reactor module concept, which is designed to provide a net power of 40 kWe for 8 years on the lunar surface; note, the system has been designed with technologies that are fully compatible with a Martian surface application. The reactor concept uses stainless-steel based. UO 2 -fueled, pumped-NaK fission reactor coupled to free-piston Stirling converters. The reactor shielding approach utilizes both in-situ and launched shielding to keep the dose to astronauts much lower than the natural background radiation on the lunar surface. The ultimate goal of this work is to provide a 'workhorse' power system that NASA can utilize in near-term and future Lunar and Martian mission architectures, with the eventual capability to evolve to very high power, low mass systems, for either surface, deep space, and/or orbital missions.

  13. The electrochemical generation of useful chemical species from lunar materials

    Tsai, Kan J.; Kuchynka, Daniel J.; Sammells, Anthony F.

    1989-01-01

    The current status of work on an electrochemical technology for the simultaneous generation of oxygen and lithium from a Li2O containing molten salt (Li2O-LiCl-LiF) is discussed. The electrochemical cell utilizes an oxygen vacancy conducting solid electrolyte, yttria-stabilized zirconia, to effect separation between the oxygen evolving and lithium reduction half-cell reactions. The cell, which operates at 700 to 800 C, possesses rapid electrode kinetics at the lithium-alloy electrode with exchange current density values being greater than 60 mA/sq cm, showing high reversibility for this reaction. When used in the electrolytic mode, lithium produced at the negative electrode would be continuously removed from the cell for later use (under lunar conditions) as an easily storable reducting agent (compared to H2) for the chemical refining of lunar ores via the general reaction: 2Li + MO yields Li2O + M where MO represents a lunar ore. Emphasis to this time has been on the simulated lunar ore ilmenite (FeTiO3), which we have found becomes chemically reduced by Li at 432 C. Furthermore, both Fe2O3 and TiO2 have been reduced by Li to give the corresponding metal. This electrochemical approach provides a convenient route for producing metals under lunar conditions and oxygen for the continuous maintenance of human habitats on the Moon's surface. Because of the high reversibility of this electrochemical system, it has also formed the basis for the lithium-oxygen secondary battery. This secondary lithium-oxygen battery system posses the highest theoretical energy density yet investigated.

  14. Spacecraft Conceptual Design Compared to the Apollo Lunar Lander

    Young, C.; Bowie, J.; Rust, R.; Lenius, J.; Anderson, M.; Connolly, J.

    2011-01-01

    Future human exploration of the Moon will require an optimized spacecraft design with each sub-system achieving the required minimum capability and maintaining high reliability. The objective of this study was to trade capability with reliability and minimize mass for the lunar lander spacecraft. The NASA parametric concept for a 3-person vehicle to the lunar surface with a 30% mass margin totaled was considerably heavier than the Apollo 15 Lunar Module "as flown" mass of 16.4 metric tons. The additional mass was attributed to mission requirements and system design choices that were made to meet the realities of modern spaceflight. The parametric tool used to size the current concept, Envision, accounts for primary and secondary mass requirements. For example, adding an astronaut increases the mass requirements for suits, water, food, oxygen, as well as, the increase in volume. The environmental control sub-systems becomes heavier with the increased requirements and more structure was needed to support the additional mass. There was also an increase in propellant usage. For comparison, an "Apollo-like" vehicle was created by removing these additional requirements. Utilizing the Envision parametric mass calculation tool and a quantitative reliability estimation tool designed by Valador Inc., it was determined that with today?s current technology a Lunar Module (LM) with Apollo capability could be built with less mass and similar reliability. The reliability of this new lander was compared to Apollo Lunar Module utilizing the same methodology, adjusting for mission timeline changes as well as component differences. Interestingly, the parametric concept's overall estimated risk for loss of mission (LOM) and loss of crew (LOC) did not significantly improve when compared to Apollo.

  15. Constellation Architecture Team-Lunar Scenario 12.0 Habitation Overview

    Kennedy, Kriss J.; Toups, Larry D.; Rudisill, Marianne

    2010-01-01

    This paper will describe an overview of the Constellation Architecture Team Lunar Scenario 12.0 (LS-12) surface habitation approach and concept performed during the study definition. The Lunar Scenario 12 architecture study focused on two primary habitation approaches: a horizontally-oriented habitation module (LS-12.0) and a vertically-oriented habitation module (LS-12.1). This paper will provide an overview of the 12.0 lunar surface campaign, the associated outpost architecture, habitation functionality, concept description, system integration strategy, mass and power resource estimates. The Scenario 12 architecture resulted from combining three previous scenario attributes from Scenario 4 "Optimized Exploration", Scenario 5 "Fission Surface Power System" and Scenario 8 "Initial Extensive Mobility" into Scenario 12 along with an added emphasis on defining the excursion ConOps while the crew is away from the outpost location. This paper will describe an overview of the CxAT-Lunar Scenario 12.0 habitation concepts and their functionality. The Crew Operations area includes basic crew accommodations such as sleeping, eating, hygiene and stowage. The EVA Operations area includes additional EVA capability beyond the suitlock function such as suit maintenance, spares stowage, and suit stowage. The Logistics Operations area includes the enhanced accommodations for 180 days such as enhanced life support systems hardware, consumable stowage, spares stowage, interconnection to the other habitation elements, a common interface mechanism for future growth, and mating to a pressurized rover or Pressurized Logistics Module (PLM). The Mission & Science Operations area includes enhanced outpost autonomy such as an IVA glove box, life support, medical operations, and exercise equipment.

  16. Lunar remote sensing and measurements

    Moore, H.J.; Boyce, J.M.; Schaber, G.G.; Scott, D.H.

    1980-01-01

    Remote sensing and measurements of the Moon from Apollo orbiting spacecraft and Earth form a basis for extrapolation of Apollo surface data to regions of the Moon where manned and unmanned spacecraft have not been and may be used to discover target regions for future lunar exploration which will produce the highest scientific yields. Orbital remote sensing and measurements discussed include (1) relative ages and inferred absolute ages, (2) gravity, (3) magnetism, (4) chemical composition, and (5) reflection of radar waves (bistatic). Earth-based remote sensing and measurements discussed include (1) reflection of sunlight, (2) reflection and scattering of radar waves, and (3) infrared eclipse temperatures. Photographs from the Apollo missions, Lunar Orbiters, and other sources provide a fundamental source of data on the geology and topography of the Moon and a basis for comparing, correlating, and testing the remote sensing and measurements. Relative ages obtained from crater statistics and then empirically correlated with absolute ages indicate that significant lunar volcanism continued to 2.5 b.y. (billion years) ago-some 600 m.y. (million years) after the youngest volcanic rocks sampled by Apollo-and that intensive bombardment of the Moon occurred in the interval of 3.84 to 3.9 b.y. ago. Estimated fluxes of crater-producing objects during the last 50 m.y. agree fairly well with fluxes measured by the Apollo passive seismic stations. Gravity measurements obtained by observing orbiting spacecraft reveal that mare basins have mass concentrations and that the volume of material ejected from the Orientale basin is near 2 to 5 million km 3 depending on whether there has or has not been isostatic compensation, little or none of which has occurred since 3.84 b.y. ago. Isostatic compensation may have occurred in some of the old large lunar basins, but more data are needed to prove it. Steady fields of remanent magnetism were detected by the Apollo 15 and 16 subsatellites

  17. Lunar COTS: An Economical and Sustainable Approach to Reaching Mars

    Zuniga, Allison F.; Rasky, Daniel; Pittman, Robert B.; Zapata, Edgar; Lepsch, Roger

    2015-01-01

    The NASA COTS (Commercial Orbital Transportation Services) Program was a very successful program that developed and demonstrated cost-effective development and acquisition of commercial cargo transportation services to the International Space Station (ISS). The COTS acquisition strategy utilized a newer model than normally accepted in traditional procurement practices. This new model used Space Act Agreements where NASA entered into partnerships with industry to jointly share cost, development and operational risks to demonstrate new capabilities for mutual benefit. This model proved to be very beneficial to both NASA and its industry partners as NASA saved significantly in development and operational costs while industry partners successfully expanded their market share of the global launch transportation business. The authors, who contributed to the development of the COTS model, would like to extend this model to a lunar commercial services program that will push development of technologies and capabilities that will serve a Mars architecture and lead to an economical and sustainable pathway to transporting humans to Mars. Over the past few decades, several architectures for the Moon and Mars have been proposed and studied but ultimately halted or not even started due to the projected costs significantly exceeding NASA's budgets. Therefore a new strategy is needed that will fit within NASA's projected budgets and takes advantage of the US commercial industry along with its creative and entrepreneurial attributes. The authors propose a new COTS-like program to enter into partnerships with industry to demonstrate cost-effective, cis-lunar commercial services, such as lunar transportation, lunar ISRU operations, and cis-lunar propellant depots that can enable an economical and sustainable Mars architecture. Similar to the original COTS program, the goals of the proposed program, being notionally referred to as Lunar Commercial Orbital Transfer Services (LCOTS

  18. Panoramic 3d Vision on the ExoMars Rover

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

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

  19. Mission-directed path planning for planetary rover exploration

    Tompkins, Paul

    2005-07-01

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

  20. The Lunar Magma Ocean (LMO) Paradigm Versus the Realities of Lunar Anorthosites

    Treiman, A. H.; Gross, J.

    2018-05-01

    The paradigm of the Lunar Magma Ocean (LMO) is inconsistent with much chemical and compositional data on lunar anorthosites. The paradigm of serial anorthosite diapirism is more consistent, though not a panacea.

  1. Report from ILEWG and Cape Canaveral Lunar Declaration 2008

    Foing, B. H.

    2009-04-01

    We shall report on the ILEWG charter, goals and activities, on ICEUM "lunar declarations" and follow-up activities, with focus on societal questions, and the Cape Canaveral Lunar Declaration 2008. ILEWG charter: ILEWG , the International Lunar Exploration Working Group is a public forum created in 1994, sponsored by the world's space agencies to support "international cooperation towards a world strategy for the exploration and utilization of the Moon - our natural satellite". The charter of ILEWG is: - To develop an international strategy for the exploration of the Moon - To establish a forum and mechanisms for the communication and coordination of activities - To implement international coordination and cooperation - In order to facilitate communication among all interested parties ILEWG agrees to establish an electronic communication network for exchange of science, technology and programmatic information related to lunar activities ILEWG meets regularly, at least, once a year, and leads the organization of an International Conference in order to discuss the state of lunar exploration. Formal reports are given at COSPAR meetings and to space agencies. ILEWG is sponsored by the world's space agencies and is intended to serve three relevant groups: - actual members of the ILEWG, ie delegates and repre-sentatives of the participating Space Agencies and organizations - allowing them to discuss and possibly harmonize their draft concepts and plans - team members of the relevant space projects - allowing them to coordinate their internal work according to the guidelines provided by the Charter of the ILEWG - members of the general public and of the Lunar Explorer's Society who are interested and wish to be informed on the progress of the Moon projects and possibly contribute their own ideas ILEWG activities and working groups: ILEWG task groups include science, technology, human aspects, socio-economics, young explorers and outreach, programmatics, roadmaps and

  2. MyMoon: Engaging the “Missing Link” in Lunar Science Exploration through New Media

    Shaner, A.; Shupla, C.; Shipp, S. S.; Eriksson, A.

    2009-12-01

    NASA’s new scientific exploration of the Moon, coupled with the public’s interest in the Moon and innovative social networking approaches, is being leveraged to engage a fresh adult audience in lunar science and exploration. In July 2009 the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) launched a lunar education new media portal, MyMoon. LPI is collaborating with lunar scientists, educators, artists - and the public - to populate the site with science content, diverse media exhibits, events, and opportunities for involvement. Through MyMoon, the general public interacts with lunar content that informs them about lunar science research and missions, and engages them in future plans for lunar exploration and eventual habitation. MyMoon’s objectives are to: 1) develop a dynamic, new media learning portal that will enable the general public, with a focus on adults ages 18-35; 2) host a growing, active audience that becomes further involved in NASA’s lunar exploration by sharing their ideas about lunar topics, creating their own materials, and participating in events and experiences; 3) build a community of enthusiasts through social networking media; 4) create a model for online engagement of audiences 18 to 35, and provide detailed evaluation data on best practices and strategies for success. Immersive new media technologies are changing the way that people interact, work, learn, and teach. These provide potentially high-impact opportunities for reaching an audience of young adults, age 18 to 35, that largely is not accessed by, or accessing, NASA (Dittmar, 2004). MyMoon strives to engage - and involve - this audience to build a community of enthusiasts for lunar scientific exploration through social networks and current and emerging new media platforms, including posting videos on YouTube, photo contests on Flickr, and sharing events and challenges on Facebook and Twitter. MyMoon features interactive exhibits that are audience driven and added on a quarterly basis

  3. Producing propellants from water in lunar soil using solar lasers

    de Morais Mendonca Teles, Antonio

    The exploration of the Solar System is directly related to the efficiency of engines designed to explore it, and consequently, to the propulsion techniques, materials and propellants for those engines. With the present day propulsion techniques it is necessary great quantities of propellants to impulse a manned spacecraft to Mars and beyond in the Solar System, which makes these operations financially very expensive because of the costs involved in launching it from planet Earth, due to its high gravity field strength. To solve this problem, it is needed a planetary place with smaller gravity field strength, near to the Earth and with great quantities of substances at the surface necessary for the in-situ production of propellants for spacecrafts. The only place available is Earth's natural satellite the Moon. So, here in this paper, I propose the creation of a Lunar Propellant Manufacturer. It is a robot-spacecraft which can be launched from Earth using an Energia Rocket, and to land on the Moon in an area (principally near to the north pole where it was discovered water molecules ice recently) with great quantities of oxygen and hydrogen (propellants) in the silicate soil, previously observed and mapped by spacecrafts in lunar orbit, for the extraction of those molecules from the soil and the in-situ production of the necessary propellants. The Lunar Propellant Manufacturer (LPM) spacecraft consists of: 1) a landing system with four legs (extendable) and rovers -when the spacecraft touches down, the legs retract in order that two apparatuses, analogue to tractor's wheeled belts parallel sided and below the spacecraft, can touch firmly the ground -it will be necessary for the displacement of the spacecraft to new areas with richer propellants content, when the early place has already exhausted in propellants; 2) a digging machine -a long, resistant extendable arm with an excavator hand, in the outer part of the spacecraft -it will extend itself to the ground

  4. Lunar domes properties and formation processes

    Lena, Raffaello; Phillips, Jim; Chiocchetta, Maria Teresa

    2013-01-01

    Lunar domes are structures of volcanic origin which are usually difficult to observe due to their low heights. The Lunar Domes Handbook is a reference work on these elusive features. It provides a collection of images for a large number of lunar domes, including telescopic images acquired with advanced but still moderately intricate amateur equipment as well as recent orbital spacecraft images. Different methods for determining the morphometric properties of lunar domes (diameter, height, flank slope, edifice volume) from image data or orbital topographic data are discussed. Additionally, multispectral and hyperspectral image data are examined, providing insights into the composition of the dome material. Several classification schemes for lunar domes are described, including an approach based on the determined morphometric quantities and spectral analyses. Furthermore, the book provides a description of geophysical models of lunar domes, which yield information about the properties of the lava from which the...

  5. Lower-Cost, Relocatable Lunar Polar Lander and Lunar Surface Sample Return Probes

    Amato, G. Michael; Garvin, James B.; Burt, I. Joseph; Karpati, Gabe

    2011-01-01

    Key science and exploration objectives of lunar robotic precursor missions can be achieved with the Lunar Explorer (LEx) low-cost, robotic surface mission concept described herein. Selected elements of the LEx concept can also be used to create a lunar surface sample return mission that we have called Boomerang

  6. Infrared Lunar Laser Ranging at Calern : Impact on Lunar Dynamics

    Viswanathan, Vishnu; Fienga, Agnes; Manche, Herve; Gastineau, Mickael; Courde, Clement; Torre, Jean Marie; Exertier, Pierre; Laskar, Jacques

    2017-04-01

    Introduction: Since 2015, in addition to the traditional green (532nm), infrared (1064nm) has been the preferred wavelength for lunar laser ranging at the Calern lunar laser ranging (LLR) site in France. Due to the better atmospheric transmission of IR with respect to Green, nearly 3 times the number of normal points have been obtained in IR than in Green [1]. Dataset: In our study, in addition to the historical data obtained from various other LLR sites, we include the recent IR normal points obtained from Calern over the 1 year time span (2015-2016), constituting about 4.2% of data spread over 46 years of LLR. Near even distribution of data provided by IR on both the spatial and temporal domain, helps us to improve constraints on the internal structure of the Moon modeled within the planetary ephemeris : INPOP [2]. Data reduction: IERS recommended models have been used in the data reduction software GINS (GRGS,CNES) [3]. Constraints provided by GRAIL [4], on the Lunar gravitational potential and Love numbers have been taken into account in the least-square fit procedure. Earth orientation parameters from KEOF series have been used as per a recent study [5]. Results: New estimates on the dynamical parameters of the lunar core will be presented. Acknowledgements: We thank the lunar laser ranging observers at Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur, France, McDonald Observatory, Texas, Haleakala Observatory, Hawaii, and Apache Point Observatory in New Mexico for providing LLR observations that made this study possible. The research described in this abstract was carried out at Geoazur-CNRS, France, as a part of a PhD thesis funded by Observatoire de Paris and French Ministry of Education and Research. References: [1] Clement C. et al. (2016) submitted to A&A [2] Fienga A. et al. (2015) Celest Mech Dyn Astr, 123: 325. doi:10.1007/s10569-015-9639-y [3] Viswanathan V. et al. (2015) EGU, Abstract 18, 13995 [4] Konopliv A. S. et al. (2013) J. Geophys. Res. Planets, 118, 1415

  7. Production of Synthetic Lunar Simulants, Phase I

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Zybek Advanced Products has proven the ability to produce industrial quantities of lunar simulant materials, including glass, agglutinate and melt breccias. These...

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

    Banerdt, W. B.

    2006-08-01

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

  9. Radiation shield analysis for a manned Mars rover

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

    1991-01-01

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

  10. Signal Processing for a Lunar Array: Minimizing Power Consumption

    D'Addario, Larry; Simmons, Samuel

    2011-01-01

    Motivation for the study is: (1) Lunar Radio Array for low frequency, high redshift Dark Ages/Epoch of Reionization observations (z =6-50, f=30-200 MHz) (2) High precision cosmological measurements of 21 cm H I line fluctuations (3) Probe universe before first star formation and provide information about the Intergalactic Medium and evolution of large scale structures (5) Does the current cosmological model accurately describe the Universe before reionization? Lunar Radio Array is for (1) Radio interferometer based on the far side of the moon (1a) Necessary for precision measurements, (1b) Shielding from earth-based and solar RFI (12) No permanent ionosphere, (2) Minimum collecting area of approximately 1 square km and brightness sensitivity 10 mK (3)Several technologies must be developed before deployment The power needed to process signals from a large array of nonsteerable elements is not prohibitive, even for the Moon, and even in current technology. Two different concepts have been proposed: (1) Dark Ages Radio Interferometer (DALI) (2)( Lunar Array for Radio Cosmology (LARC)

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

    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...

  12. Lunar feldspathic meteorites: Constraints on the geology of the lunar highlands, and the origin of the lunar crust

    Gross, Juliane; Treiman, Allan H.; Mercer, Celestine N.

    2014-02-01

    The composition of the lunar crust provides clues about the processes that formed it and hence contains information on the origin and evolution of the Moon. Current understanding of lunar evolution is built on the Lunar Magma Ocean hypothesis that early in its history, the Moon was wholly or mostly molten. This hypothesis is based on analyses of Apollo samples of ferroan anorthosites (>90% plagioclase; molar Mg/(Mg+Fe)=Mg#Moon's surface, and remote sensing data, show that ferroan anorthosites are not globally distributed and that the Apollo highland samples, used as a basis for the model, are influenced by ejecta from the Imbrium basin. In this study we evaluate anorthosites from all currently available adequately described lunar highland meteorites, representing a more widespread sampling of the lunar highlands than Apollo samples alone, and find that ∼80% of them are significantly more magnesian than Apollo ferroan anorthosites. Interestingly, Luna mission anorthosites, collected outside the continuous Imbrium ejecta, are also highly magnesian. If the lunar highland crust consists dominantly of magnesian anorthosites, as suggested by their abundance in samples sourced outside Imbrium ejecta, a reevaluation of the Lunar Magma Ocean model is a sensible step forward in the endeavor to understand lunar evolution. Our results demonstrate that lunar anorthosites are more similar in their chemical trends and mineral abundance to terrestrial massif anorthosites than to anorthosites predicted in a Lunar Magma Ocean. This analysis does not invalidate the idea of a Lunar Magma Ocean, which seems a necessity under the giant impact hypothesis for the origin of the moon. However, it does indicate that most rocks now seen at the Moon's surface are not primary products of a magma ocean alone, but are products of more complex crustal processes.

  13. Electromagnetic energy applications in lunar resource mining and construction

    Lindroth, D.P.; Podnieks, E.R.

    1988-01-01

    Past work during the Apollo Program and current efforts to determine extraterrestrial mining technology requirements have led to the exploration of various methods applicable to lunar or planetary resource mining and processing. The use of electromagnetic energy sources is explored and demonstrated using laboratory methods to establish a proof of concept for application to lunar mining, construction, and resource extraction. Experimental results of using laser, microwave, and solar energy to fragment or melt terrestrial basal under atmospheric and vacuum conditions are presented. Successful thermal stress fragmentation of dense igneous rock was demonstrated by all three electromagnetic energy sources. The results show that a vacuum environment has no adverse effects on fragmentation by induced thermal stresses. The vacuum environment has a positive effect for rock disintegration by melting, cutting, or penetration applications due to release of volatiles that assist in melt ejection. Consolidation and melting of basaltic fines are also demonstrated by these methods

  14. Interplanetary and lunar surface SP-100 nuclear power applications

    Josloff, A.T.; Shepard, N.F.; Smith, M.; Stephen, J.D.

    1992-01-01

    This paper describes how the SP-100 Space Reactor Power System (SRPS) can be tailored to meet the specific requirements for a lunar surface power system to meet the needs of the consolidation and utilization phases outlined in the 90-day NASA SEI study report. This same basic power system can also be configured to obtain the low specific masses needed to enable robotic interplanetary science missions employing Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP). In both cases it is shown that the SP-100 SRPS can meet the specific requirements. For interplanetary NEP missions, performance upgrades currently being developed in the area of light weight radiators and improved thermoelectric material are assumed to be technology ready in the year 2000 time frame. For lunar applications, some system rearrangement and enclosure of critical components are necessary modifications to the present baseline design

  15. Scalable Lunar Surface Networks and Adaptive Orbit Access

    Wang, Xudong

    2015-01-01

    Teranovi Technologies, Inc., has developed innovative network architecture, protocols, and algorithms for both lunar surface and orbit access networks. A key component of the overall architecture is a medium access control (MAC) protocol that includes a novel mechanism of overlaying time division multiple access (TDMA) and carrier sense multiple access with collision avoidance (CSMA/CA), ensuring scalable throughput and quality of service. The new MAC protocol is compatible with legacy Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 802.11 networks. Advanced features include efficiency power management, adaptive channel width adjustment, and error control capability. A hybrid routing protocol combines the advantages of ad hoc on-demand distance vector (AODV) routing and disruption/delay-tolerant network (DTN) routing. Performance is significantly better than AODV or DTN and will be particularly effective for wireless networks with intermittent links, such as lunar and planetary surface networks and orbit access networks.

  16. Low Cost Precision Lander for Lunar Exploration

    Head, J. N.; Gardner, T. G.; Hoppa, G. V.; Seybold, K. G.

    2004-12-01

    For 60 years the US Defense Department has invested heavily in producing small, low mass, precision guided vehicles. The technologies matured under these programs include terrain-aided navigation, closed loop terminal guidance algorithms, robust autopilots, high thrust-to-weight propulsion, autonomous mission management software, sensors, and data fusion. These technologies will aid NASA in addressing New Millennium Science and Technology goals as well as the requirements flowing from the Vision articulated in January 2004. Establishing and resupplying a long term lunar presence will require automated landing precision not yet demonstrated. Precision landing will increase safety and assure mission success. In the DOD world, such technologies are used routinely and reliably. Hence, it is timely to generate a point design for a precise planetary lander useful for lunar exploration. In this design science instruments amount to 10 kg, 16% of the lander vehicle mass. This compares favorably with 7% for Mars Pathfinder and less than 15% for Surveyor. The mission design flies the lander in an inert configuration to the moon, relying on a cruise stage for navigation and TCMs. The lander activates about a minute before impact. A solid booster reduces the vehicle speed to 300-450 m/s. The lander is now about 2 minutes from touchdown and has 600 to 700 m/s delta-v capability, allowing for about 10 km of vehicle divert during terminal descent. This concept of operations is chosen because it closely mimics missile operational timelines used for decades: the vehicle remains inert in a challenging environment, then must execute its mission flawlessly on a moment's notice. The vehicle design consists of a re-plumbed propulsion system, using propellant tanks and thrusters from exoatmospheric programs. A redesigned truss provides hard points for landing gear, electronics, power supply, and science instruments. A radar altimeter and a Digital Scene Matching Area Correlator (DSMAC

  17. The Current Status of the Japanese Penetrator Mission: LUNAR-A

    Tanaka, S.; Shiraishi, H.; Fujimura, A.; Hayakawa, H.

    The scientific objective of the LUNAR-A, Japanese Penetrator Mission, is to explore the lunar interior by seismic and heat-flow experiments. Two penetrators containing two seismometers (horizontal and vertical components) and heat-flow probes will be deployed from a spacecraft onto the lunar surface, one on the nearside and the other on the farside of the moon. The final impact velocity of the penetrator will be about 300m/sec; it will encounter a shock of about 8000 G at impact on the lunar surface. According to numerous experimental impact tests using model penetrators and a lunar regolith analog target, each penetrator is predicted to penetrate to a depth of 1 to 3 m. The data obtained by the penetrators will be transmitted to the earth station via the LUNAR-A mother spacecraft orbiting at an altitude of about 200 km. The penetrator is a missile-shaped instrument carrier, which is about 14cm in diameter, 75cm in length, and about 14kg in weight without attitude control system. It contains a two-component seismometer and heat flow probes together with other supporting instruments such as a tilt meter and an accelerometer. The seismic observations are expected to provide key data on the size of the lunar core, as well as data on deep lunar mantle structure. The heat flow measurements at two penetrator deployment sites will also provide important data on the thermal structure and bulk concentrations of heat-generating elements in the Moon. These data will provide much stronger geophysical constraints on the origin and evolution of the Moon than has been obtained so far. The LUNAR-A spacecraft was supposed to be launched in the summer of 2004, but it was postponed due to the necessity of a replacement of the valves used in the RCS propulsion system of the spacecraft, following a recall issued by the manufacturer who found a malfunction of similar valves. Then, the technological review boards by ISAS and JAXA recommended that both the more robustness of the

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

    Smith, Heather; Duncan, Andrew

    2016-07-01

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

  19. Conceptual design and analysis of roads and road construction machinery for initial lunar base operations

    Sines, Jeffrey L.; Banks, Joel; Efatpenah, Keyanoush

    1990-01-01

    Recent developments have made it possible for scientists and engineers to consider returning to the Moon to build a manned lunar base. The base can be used to conduct scientific research, develop new space technology, and utilize the natural resources of the Moon. Areas of the base will be separated, connected by a system of roads that reduce the power requirements of vehicles traveling on them. Feasible road types for the lunar surface were analyzed and a road construction system was designed for initial lunar base operations. A model was also constructed to show the system configuration and key operating features. The alternate designs for the lunar road construction system were developed in four stages: analyze and select a road type; determine operations and machinery needed to produce the road; develop machinery configurations; and develop alternates for several machine components. A compacted lunar soil road was selected for initial lunar base operations. The only machinery required to produce this road were a grader and a compactor. The road construction system consists of a main drive unit which is used for propulsion, a detachable grader assembly, and a towed compactor.

  20. "First Convention of Lunar Explorers" - Invitation to the media

    2001-03-01

    s SMART (Small Mission for Advanced Research and Technology) missions under the Horizon 2000 Scientific Programme. SMART-1 will be launched in October 2002 on board an Ariane-5 rocket as an auxiliary payload. The mission’s primary objective is to flight-test solar electric primary propulsion on a Moon voyage, preparing crucial new technology for ESA’s Bepi-Colombo mission to Mercury. Other new technologies for spacecraft and instruments will also be tested. It will be the first time that Europe sends a spacecraft to the Moon. Besides relying on solar electric primary propulsion to leave the Earth and reach the Moon, the spacecraft will also carry out a complete programme of scientific observations in lunar orbit. During the cruise phase to reach the Moon, the instruments will be tested by observing the Earth and celestial targets. Note to editors: Members of the media are invited to attend the complete conference free of charge. The sessions planned for 9 March are of particularly great interest for media participation. Individual interviews and a web forum will be organized. Media representatives wishing to take part in the Press Conference on 9 March at 09:00 (in English and French) are kindly requested to fill out and return the attached accreditation request by fax to: +33(0)1.53.69.76.90.

  1. Man-Made Debris In and From Lunar Orbit

    Johnson, Nicholas L.; McKay, Gordon A. (Technical Monitor)

    1999-01-01

    During 1966-1976, as part of the first phase of lunar exploration, 29 manned and robotic missions placed more than 40 objects into lunar orbit. Whereas several vehicles later successfully landed on the Moon and/or returned to Earth, others were either abandoned in orbit or intentionally sent to their destruction on the lunar surface. The former now constitute a small population of lunar orbital debris; the latter, including four Lunar Orbiters and four Lunar Module ascent stages, have contributed to nearly 50 lunar sites of man's refuse. Other lunar satellites are known or suspected of having fallen from orbit. Unlike Earth satellite orbital decays and deorbits, lunar satellites impact the lunar surface unscathed by atmospheric burning or melting. Fragmentations of lunar satellites, which would produce clouds of numerous orbital debris, have not yet been detected. The return to lunar orbit in the 1990's by the Hagoromo, Hiten, Clementine, and Lunar Prospector spacecraft and plans for increased lunar exploration early in the 21st century, raise questions of how best to minimize and to dispose of lunar orbital debris. Some of the lessons learned from more than 40 years of Earth orbit exploitation can be applied to the lunar orbital environment. For the near-term, perhaps the most important of these is postmission passivation. Unique solutions, e.g., lunar equatorial dumps, may also prove attractive. However, as with Earth satellites, debris mitigation measures are most effectively adopted early in the concept and design phase, and prevention is less costly than remediation.

  2. Discussion of thermal extraction chamber concepts for Lunar ISRU

    Pfeiffer, Matthias; Hager, Philipp; Parzinger, Stephan; Dirlich, Thomas; Spinnler, Markus; Sattelmayer, Thomas; Walter, Ulrich

    The Exploration group of the Institute of Astronautics (LRT) of the Technische Universitüt a München focuses on long-term scenarios and sustainable human presence in space. One of the enabling technologies in this long-term perspective is in-situ resource utilization (ISRU). When dealing with the prospect of future manned missions to Moon and Mars the use of ISRU seems useful and intended. The activities presented in this paper focus on Lunar ISRU. This basically incorporates both the exploitation of Lunar oxygen from natural rock and the extraction of solar wind implanted particles (SWIP) from regolith dust. Presently the group at the LRT is examining possibilities for the extraction of SWIPs, which may provide several gaseous components (such as H2 and N2) valuable to a human presence on the Moon. As a major stepping stone in the near future a Lunar demonstrator/ verification experiment payload is being designed. This experiment, LUISE (LUnar ISru Experiment), will comprise a thermal process chamber for heating regolith dust (grain size below 500m), a solar thermal power supply, a sample distribution unit and a trace gas analysis. The first project stage includes the detailed design and analysis of the extraction chamber concepts and the thermal process involved in the removal of SWIP from Lunar Regolith dust. The technique of extracting Solar Wind volatiles from Regolith has been outlined by several sources. Heating the material to a threshold value seems to be the most reasonable approach. The present paper will give an overview over concepts for thermal extraction chambers to be used in the LUISE project and evaluate in detail the pros and cons of each concept. The special boundary conditions set by solar thermal heating of the chambers as well as the material properties of Regolith in a Lunar environment will be discussed. Both greatly influence the design of the extraction chamber. The performance of the chamber concepts is discussed with respect to the

  3. NASA Lunar and Meteorite Sample Disk Program

    Foxworth, Suzanne

    2017-01-01

    The Lunar and Meteorite Sample Disk Program is designed for K-12 classroom educators who work in K-12 schools, museums, libraries, or planetariums. Educators have to be certified to borrow the Lunar and Meteorite Sample Disks by attending a NASA Certification Workshop provided by a NASA Authorized Sample Disk Certifier.

  4. Low temperature thermophysical properties of lunar soil

    Cremers, C. J.

    1973-01-01

    The thermal conductivity and thermal diffusivity of lunar fines samples from the Apollo 11 and Apollo 12 missions, determined at low temperatures as a function of temperature and various densities, are reviewed. It is shown that the thermal conductivity of lunar soil is nearly the same as that of terrestrial basaltic rock under the same temperature and pressure conditions.

  5. Lunar landing and launch facilities and operations

    1988-01-01

    A preliminary design of a lunar landing and launch facility for a Phase 3 lunar base is formulated. A single multipurpose vehicle for the lunar module is assumed. Three traffic levels are envisioned: 6, 12, and 24 landings/launches per year. The facility is broken down into nine major design items. A conceptual description of each of these items is included. Preliminary sizes, capacities, and/or other relevant design data for some of these items are obtained. A quonset hut tent-like structure constructed of aluminum rods and aluminized mylar panels is proposed. This structure is used to provide a constant thermal environment for the lunar modules. A structural design and thermal analysis is presented. Two independent designs for a bridge crane to unload/load heavy cargo from the lunar module are included. Preliminary investigations into cryogenic propellant storage and handling, landing/launch guidance and control, and lunar module maintenance requirements are performed. Also, an initial study into advanced concepts for application to Phase 4 or 5 lunar bases has been completed in a report on capturing, condensing, and recycling the exhaust plume from a lunar launch.

  6. Krypton and xenon in lunar fines

    Basford, J. R.; Dragon, J. C.; Pepin, R. O.; Coscio, M. R., Jr.; Murthy, V. R.

    1973-01-01

    Data from grain-size separates, stepwise-heated fractions, and bulk analyses of 20 samples of fines and breccias from five lunar sites are used to define three-isotope and ordinate intercept correlations in an attempt to resolve the lunar heavy rare gas system in a statistically valid approach. Tables of concentrations and isotope compositions are given.

  7. Lunar ranging instrument for Chandrayaan-1

    ... Committee on Scientific Values · Project Lifescape · Scientific Data of Public Interest ... Lunar Laser Ranging Instrument (LLRI)proposed for the first Indian lunar ... field by precisely measuring the altitude from a polar orbit around the Moon. ... Laboratory for Electro-Optics Systems, Indian Space Research Organization ...

  8. Armstrong practices in Lunar Module simulator

    1969-01-01

    Neil A. Armstrong, Commander for the Apollo 11 Moon-landing mission, practices for the historic event in a Lunar Module simulator in the Flight Crew Training building at KSC. Accompanying Armstrong on the Moon flight will be Command Module Pilot Michael Collins and Lunar Module Pilot Edwin E. Aldrin Jr.

  9. The properties of the lunar regolith at Chang'e-3 landing site: A study based on LPR data

    Feng, J.; Su, Y.; Xing, S.; Ding, C.; Li, C.

    2015-12-01

    In situ sampling from surface is difficult in the exploration of planets and sometimes radar sensing is a better choice. The properties of the surface material such as permittivity, density and depth can be obtained by a surface penetrating radar. The Chang'e-3 (CE-3) landed in the northern Mare Imbrium and a Lunar Penetrating Radar (LPR) is carried on the Yutu rover to detect the shallow structure of the lunar crust and the properties of the lunar regolith, which will give us a close look at the lunar subsurface. We process the radar data in a way which consist two steps: the regular preprocessing step and migration step. The preprocessing part includes zero time correction, de-wow, gain compensation, DC removal, geometric positioning. Then we combine all radar data obtained at the time the rover was moving, and use FIR filter to reduce the noise in the radar image with a pass band frequency range 200MHz-600MHz. A normal radar image is obtained after the preprocessing step. Using a nonlinear least squares fitting method, we fit the most hyperbolas in the radar image which are caused by the buried objects or rocks in the regolith and estimate the EM wave propagation velocity and the permittivity of the regolith. For there is a fixed mathematical relationship between dielectric constant and density, the density profile of the lunar regolith is also calculated. It seems that the permittivity and density at the landing site is larger than we thought before. Finally with a model of variable velocities, we apply the Kirchhoff migration method widely used in the seismology to transform the the unfocused space-time LPR image to a focused one showing the object's (most are stones) true location and size. From the migrated image, we find that the regolith depth in the landing site is smaller than previous study and the stone content rises rapidly with depth. Our study suggests that the landing site is a young region and the reworked history of the surface is short, which is

  10. xLuna - D emonstrator on ESA Mars Rover

    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.

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

    Lawson, Shelby J.

    1989-01-01

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

  12. Cross-Coupled Control for All-Terrain Rovers

    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.

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

    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.

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

    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.

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

    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.

  16. Lunar surface fission power supplies: Radiation issues

    Houts, M.G.; Lee, S.K.

    1994-01-01

    A lunar space fission power supply shield that uses a combination of lunar regolith and materials brought from earth may be optimal for early lunar outposts and bases. This type of shield can be designed such that the fission power supply does not have to be moved from its landing configuration, minimizing handling and required equipment on the lunar surface. Mechanisms for removing heat from the lunar regolith are built into the shield, and can be tested on earth. Regolith activation is greatly reduced compared with a shield that uses only regolith, and it is possible to keep the thermal conditions of the fission power supply close to these seen in free space. For a well designed shield, the additional mass required to be brought fro earth should be less than 1000 kg. Detailed radiation transport calculations confirm the feasibility of such a shield

  17. Lunar surface fission power supplies: Radiation issues

    Houts, M.G.; Lee, S.K.

    1994-01-01

    A lunar space fission power supply shield that uses a combination of lunar regolith and materials brought from earth may be optimal for early lunar outposts and bases. This type of shield can be designed such that the fission power supply does not have to be moved from its landing configuration, minimizing handling and required equipment on the lunar surface. Mechanisms for removing heat from the lunar regolith are built into the shield, and can be tested on earth. Regolith activation is greatly reduced compared with a shield that uses only regolith, and it is possible to keep the thermal conditions of the fission power supply close to those seen in free space. For a well designed shield, the additional mass required to be brought from earth should be less than 1,000 kg. Detailed radiation transport calculations confirm the feasibility of such a shield

  18. Lunar nitrogen: Secular variation or mixing?

    Norris, S.J.; Wright, I.P.; Pillinger, C.T.

    1986-01-01

    The two current models to explain the nearly 40% variation of the lunar nitrogen isotopic composition are: (1) secular variation of solar wind nitrogen; and (2) a two component mixing model having a constant, heavy solar wind admixed with varying amounts of indigenous light lunar N (LLN). Both models are needed to explain the step pyrolysis extraction profile. The secular variation model proposes that the low temperature release is modern day solar wind implanted into grain surfaces, the 900 C to 1100 C release is from grain surfaces which were once exposed to the ancient solar wind but which are now trapped inside agglutinates, and the >1100 C release as spallogenic N produced by cosmic rays. The mixing model ascribes the components to solar wind, indigenous lunar N and spallogenic N respectively. An extension of either interpretation is that the light N seen in lunar breccias or deep drill cores represent conditions when more N-14 was available to the lunar surface

  19. APOLLO 10 ASTRONAUT ENTERS LUNAR MODULE SIMULATOR

    1969-01-01

    Apollo 10 lunar module pilot Eugene A. Cernan prepares to enter the lunar module simulator at the Flight Crew Training Building at the NASA Spaceport. Cernan, Apollo 10 commander Thomas P. Stafford and John W. Young, command module pilot, are to be launched May 18 on the Apollo 10 mission, a dress rehearsal for a lunar landing later this summer. Cernan and Stafford are to detach the lunar module and drop to within 10 miles of the moon's surface before rejoining Young in the command/service module. Looking on as Cernan puts on his soft helmet is Snoopy, the lovable cartoon mutt whose name will be the lunar module code name during the Apollo 10 flight. The command/service module is to bear the code name Charlie Brown.

  20. Lunar soil as shielding against space radiation

    Miller, J. [Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, MS 83R0101, 1 Cyclotron Road, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States)], E-mail: miller@lbl.gov; Taylor, L. [Planetary Geosciences Institute, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996 (United States); Zeitlin, C. [Southwest Research Institute, Boulder, CO 80302 (United States); Heilbronn, L. [Department of Nuclear Engineering, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37996 (United States); Guetersloh, S. [Department of Nuclear Engineering, Texas A and M University, College Station, TX 77843 (United States); DiGiuseppe, M. [Northrop Grumman Corporation, Bethpage, NY 11714 (United States); Iwata, Y.; Murakami, T. [National Institute of Radiological Sciences, Chiba 263-8555 (Japan)

    2009-02-15

    We have measured the radiation transport and dose reduction properties of lunar soil with respect to selected heavy ion beams with charges and energies comparable to some components of the galactic cosmic radiation (GCR), using soil samples returned by the Apollo missions and several types of synthetic soil glasses and lunar soil simulants. The suitability for shielding studies of synthetic soil and soil simulants as surrogates for lunar soil was established, and the energy deposition as a function of depth for a particular heavy ion beam passing through a new type of lunar highland simulant was measured. A fragmentation and energy loss model was used to extend the results over a range of heavy ion charges and energies, including protons at solar particle event (SPE) energies. The measurements and model calculations indicate that a modest amount of lunar soil affords substantial protection against primary GCR nuclei and SPE, with only modest residual dose from surviving charged fragments of the heavy beams.

  1. Near-Infrared Monitoring of Volatiles in Frozen Lunar Simulants While Drilling

    Roush, Ted L.; Colaprete, Anthony; Elphic, Richard C.; Forgione, Joshua; White, Bruce; McMurray, Robert; Cook, Amanda M.; Bielawski, Richard; Fritzler, Erin L.; Thompson, Sarah J.; hide

    2016-01-01

    In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) focuses on using local resources for mission consumables. The approach can reduce mission cost and risk. Lunar polar volatiles, e.g. water ice, have been detected via remote sensing measurements and represent a potential resource for both humans and propellant. The exact nature of the horizontal and depth distribution of the ice remains to be documented in situ. NASA's Resource Prospector mission (RP) is intended to investigate the polar volatiles using a rover, drill, and the RESOLVE science package. RP component level hardware is undergoing testing in relevant lunar conditions (cryovacuum). In March 2015 a series of drilling tests were undertaken using the Honeybee Robotics RP Drill, Near-Infrared Volatile Spectrometer System (NIRVSS), and sample capture mechanisms (SCM) inside a 'dirty' thermal vacuum chamber at the NASA Glenn Research Center. The goal of these tests was to investigate the ability of NIRVSS to monitor volatiles during drilling activities and assess delivery of soil sample transfer to the SCMs in order to elucidate the concept of operations associated with this regolith sampling method.

  2. Development and mechanical properties of structural materials from lunar simulant

    Desai, Chandra S.

    1991-01-01

    Development of versatile engineering materials from locally available materials in space is an important step toward establishment of outposts such as on the moon and Mars. Here development of the technologies for manufacture of structural and construction materials on the moon, utilizing local lunar soil (regolith), without the use of water, is an important element for habitats and explorations in space. It is also vital that the mechanical behavior such as strength and flexural properties, fracture toughness, ductility, and deformation characteristics are defined toward establishment of the ranges of engineering applications of the materials developed. The objectives include two areas: (1) thermal liquefaction of lunar simulant (at about 1100 C) with different additives (fibers, powders, etc.); and (2) development and use of a traxial test device in which lunar simulants are first compacted under cycles of loading, and then tested with different vacuums and initial confining or insitu stress. The second area was described in previous progress reports and publications; since the presently available device allows vacuum levels up to only 10(exp -4) torr, it is recommended that a vacuum pump that can allow higher levels of vacuum is acquired.

  3. Development and mechanical properties of construction materials from lunar simulant

    Desai, Chandra S.

    1992-01-01

    Development of versatile engineering materials from locally available materials in space is an important step toward the establishment of outposts on the Moon and Mars. Development of the technologies for manufacture of structural and construction materials on the Moon, utilizing local lunar soil (regolith), without the use of water, is an important element for habitats and explorations in space. It is also vital that the mechanical behavior such as strength and tensile, flexural properties, fracture toughness, ductility, and deformation characteristics are defined toward establishment of the ranges of engineering applications of the materials developed. The objectives include two areas: (1) thermal 'liquefaction' of lunar simulant (at about 1100 C) with different additives (fibers, powders, etc.), and (2) development and use of a new triaxial test device in which lunar simulants are first compacted under cycles of loading, and then tested with different vacuums and initial confining or in situ stress. Details of the development of intermediate ceramic composites (ICC) and testing for their flexural and compression characteristics were described in various reports and papers. The subject of behavior of compacted simulant under vacuum was described in previous progress reports and publications; since the presently available device allows vacuum levels up to only 10(exp -4) torr, it is recommended that a vacuum pump that can allow higher levels of vacuum be utilized for further investigation.

  4. SP-100 power system conceptual design for lunar base applications

    Mason, L.S.; Bloomfield, H.S.; Hainley, D.C.

    1989-01-01

    A conceptual design is presented for a nuclear power system utilizing an SP-100 reactor and multiple Stirling cycle engines for operation on the lunar surface. Based on the results of this study, it was concluded that this power plant could be a viable option for an evolutionary lunar base. The design concept consists of a 2500 kWt (kilowatt thermal) SP-100 reactor coupled to eight free-piston Stirling engines. Two of the engines are held in reserve to provide conversion system redundancy. The remaining engines operate at 91.7 percent of their rated capacity of 150 kWe. The design power level for this system is 825 kWe. Each engine has a pumped heat-rejection loop connected to a heat pipe radiator. Power system performance, sizing, layout configurations, shielding options, and transmission line characteristics are described. System components and integration options are compared for safety, high performance, low mass, and ease of assembly. The power plant was integrated with a proposed human lunar base concept to ensure mission compatibility. This study should be considered a preliminary investigation; further studies are planned to investigate the effect of different technologies on this baseline design

  5. A Cis-Lunar Propellant Infrastructure for Flexible Path Exploration and Space Commerce

    Oeftering, Richard C.

    2012-01-01

    This paper describes a space infrastructure concept that exploits lunar water for propellant production and delivers it to users in cis-lunar space. The goal is to provide responsive economical space transportation to destinations beyond low Earth orbit (LEO) and enable in-space commerce. This is a game changing concept that could fundamentally affect future space operations, provide greater access to space beyond LEO, and broaden participation in space exploration. The challenge is to minimize infrastructure development cost while achieving a low operational cost. This study discusses the evolutionary development of the infrastructure from a very modest robotic operation to one that is capable of supporting human operations. The cis-lunar infrastructure involves a mix of technologies including cryogenic propellant production, reusable lunar landers, propellant tankers, orbital transfer vehicles, aerobraking technologies, and electric propulsion. This cislunar propellant infrastructure replaces Earth-launched propellants for missions beyond LEO. It enables users to reach destinations with smaller launchers or effectively multiplies the user s existing payload capacity. Users can exploit the expanded capacity to launch logistics material that can then be traded with the infrastructure for propellants. This mutually beneficial trade between the cis-lunar infrastructure and propellant users forms the basis of in-space commerce.

  6. Lunar Dust and Lunar Simulant Activation, Monitoring, Solution and Cellular Toxicity Properties

    Wallace, William; Jeevarajan, A. S.

    2009-01-01

    During the Apollo missions, many undesirable situations were encountered that must be mitigated prior to returning humans to the moon. Lunar dust (that part of the lunar regolith less than 20 microns in diameter) was found to produce several problems with mechanical equipment and could have conceivably produced harmful physiological effects for the astronauts. For instance, the abrasive nature of the dust was found to cause malfunctions of various joints and seals of the spacecraft and suits. Additionally, though efforts were made to exclude lunar dust from the cabin of the lunar module, a significant amount of material nonetheless found its way inside. With the loss of gravity correlated with ascent from the lunar surface, much of the finer fraction of this dust began to float and was inhaled by the astronauts. The short visits tothe Moon during Apollo lessened exposure to the dust, but the plan for future lunar stays of up to six months demands that methods be developed to minimize the risk of dust inhalation. The guidelines for what constitutes "safe" exposure will guide the development of engineering controls aimed at preventing the presence of dust in the lunar habitat. This work has shown the effects of grinding on the activation level of lunar dust, the changes in dissolution properties of lunar simulant, and the production of cytokines by cellular systems. Grinding of lunar dust leads to the production of radicals in solution and increased dissolution of lunar simulant in buffers of different pH. Additionally, ground lunar simulant has been shown to promote the production of IL-6 and IL-8, pro-inflammatory cytokines, by alveolar epithelial cells. These results provide evidence of the need for further studies on these materials prior to returning to the lunar surface.

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

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

    2011-01-01

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

  8. Mineralogical and chemical properties of the lunar regolith

    Mckay, David S.; Ming, Douglas W.

    1989-01-01

    The composition of lunar regolith and its attendant properties are discussed. Tables are provided listing lunar minerals, the abundance of plagioclase feldspar, pyroxene, olivine, and ilmenite in lunar materials, typical compositions of common lunar minerals, and cumulative grain-size distribution for a large number of lunar soils. Also provided are charts on the chemistry of breccias, the chemistry of lunar glass, and the comparative chemistry of surface soils for the Apollo sites. Lunar agglutinates, constructional particles made of lithic, mineral, and glass fragments welded together by a glassy matrix containing extremely fine-grained metallic iron and formed by micrometeoric impacts at the lunar surface, are discussed. Crystalline, igneous rock fragments, breccias, and lunar glass are examined. Volatiles implanted in lunar materials and regolith maturity are also addressed.

  9. Impact of Drilling Operations on Lunar Volatiles Capture: Thermal Vacuum Tests

    Kleinhenz, Julie E.; Paulsen, Gale; Zacny, Kris; Smith, Jim

    2015-01-01

    In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) enables future planetary exploration by using local resources to supply mission consumables. This idea of 'living off the land' has the potential to reduce mission cost and risk. On the moon, water has been identified as a potential resource (for life support or propellant) at the lunar poles, where it exists as ice in the subsurface. However, the depth and content of this resource has yet to be confirmed on the ground; only remote detection data exists. The upcoming Resource Prospector mission (RP) will 'ground-truth' the water using a rover, drill, and the RESOLVE science package. As the 2020 planned mission date nears, component level hardware is being tested in relevant lunar conditions (thermal vacuum). In August 2014 a series of drilling tests were performed using the Honeybee Robotics Lunar Prospecting Drill inside a 'dirty' thermal vacuum chamber at the NASA Glenn Research Center. The drill used a unique auger design to capture and retain the lunar regolith simulant. The goal of these tests was to investigate volatiles (water) loss during drilling and sample transfer to a sample crucible in order to validate this regolith sampling method. Twelve soil samples were captured over the course of two tests at pressures of 10(exp-5) Torr and ambient temperatures between -80C to -20C. Each sample was obtained from a depth of 40 cm to 50 cm within a cryogenically frozen bed of NU-LHT-3M lunar regolith simulant doped with 5 wt% water. Upon acquisition, each sample was transferred and hermetically sealed inside a crucible. The samples were later baked out to determine water wt% and in turn volatile loss by following ASTM standard practices. Of the twelve tests, four sealed properly and lost an average of 30% of their available water during drilling and transfer. The variability in the results correlated well with ambient temperature (lower the temperature lower volatiles loss) and the trend agreed with the sublimation rates for the

  10. Visual lunar and planetary astronomy

    Abel, Paul G

    2013-01-01

    With the advent of CCDs and webcams, the focus of amateur astronomy has to some extent shifted from science to art. The object of many amateur astronomers is now to produce “stunning images” that, although beautiful, are not intended to have scientific merit. Paul Abel has been addressing this issue by promoting visual astronomy wherever possible – at talks to astronomical societies, in articles for popular science magazines, and on BBC TV’s The Sky at Night.   Visual Lunar and Planetary Astronomy is a comprehensive modern treatment of visual lunar and planetary astronomy, showing that even in the age of space telescopes and interplanetary probes it is still possible to contribute scientifically with no more than a moderately priced commercially made astronomical telescope.   It is believed that imaging and photography is somehow more objective and more accurate than the eye, and this has led to a peculiar “crisis of faith” in the human visual system and its amazing processing power. But by anal...

  11. Robotic Lunar Lander Development Status

    Ballard, Benjamin; Cohen, Barbara A.; McGee, Timothy; Reed, Cheryl

    2012-01-01

    NASA Marshall Space Flight Center and John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory have developed several mission concepts to place scientific and exploration payloads ranging from 10 kg to more than 200 kg on the surface of the moon. The mission concepts all use a small versatile lander that is capable of precision landing. The results to date of the lunar lander development risk reduction activities including high pressure propulsion system testing, structure and mechanism development and testing, and long cycle time battery testing will be addressed. The most visible elements of the risk reduction program are two fully autonomous lander flight test vehicles. The first utilized a high pressure cold gas system (Cold Gas Test Article) with limited flight durations while the subsequent test vehicle, known as the Warm Gas Test Article, utilizes hydrogen peroxide propellant resulting in significantly longer flight times and the ability to more fully exercise flight sensors and algorithms. The development of the Warm Gas Test Article is a system demonstration and was designed with similarity to an actual lunar lander including energy absorbing landing legs, pulsing thrusters, and flight-like software implementation. A set of outdoor flight tests to demonstrate the initial objectives of the WGTA program was completed in Nov. 2011, and will be discussed.

  12. Understanding the Lunar System Architecture Design Space

    Arney, Dale C.; Wilhite, Alan W.; Reeves, David M.

    2013-01-01

    Based on the flexible path strategy and the desire of the international community, the lunar surface remains a destination for future human exploration. This paper explores options within the lunar system architecture design space, identifying performance requirements placed on the propulsive system that performs Earth departure within that architecture based on existing and/or near-term capabilities. The lander crew module and ascent stage propellant mass fraction are primary drivers for feasibility in multiple lander configurations. As the aggregation location moves further out of the lunar gravity well, the lunar lander is required to perform larger burns, increasing the sensitivity to these two factors. Adding an orbit transfer stage to a two-stage lunar lander and using a large storable stage for braking with a one-stage lunar lander enable higher aggregation locations than Low Lunar Orbit. Finally, while using larger vehicles enables a larger feasible design space, there are still feasible scenarios that use three launches of smaller vehicles.

  13. Lunar Dust Separation for Toxicology Studies

    Cooper, Bonnie L.; McKay, D. S.; Riofrio, L. M.; Taylor, L. A.; Gonzalex, C. P.

    2010-01-01

    During the Apollo missions, crewmembers were briefly exposed to dust in the lunar module, brought in after extravehicular activity. When the lunar ascent module returned to micro-gravity, the dust that had settled on the floor now floated into the air, causing eye discomfort and occasional respiratory symptoms. Because our goal is to set an exposure standard for 6 months of episodic exposure to lunar dust for crew on the lunar surface, these brief exposures of a few days are not conclusive. Based on experience with industrial minerals such as sandblasting quartz, an exposure of several months may cause serious damage, while a short exposure may cause none. The detailed characteristics of sub-micrometer lunar dust are only poorly known, and this is the size range of particles that are of greatest concern. We have developed a method for extracting respirable dust (<2.5 micron) from Apollo lunar soils. This method meets stringent requirements that the soil must be kept dry, exposed only to pure nitrogen, and must conserve and recover the maximum amount of both respirable dust and coarser soil. In addition, we have developed a method for grinding coarser lunar soil to produce sufficient respirable soil for animal toxicity testing while preserving the freshly exposed grain surfaces in a pristine state.

  14. Modeling Respiratory Toxicity of Authentic Lunar Dust

    Santana, Patricia A.; James, John T.; Lam, Chiu-Wing

    2010-01-01

    The lunar expeditions of the Apollo operations from the 60 s and early 70 s have generated awareness about lunar dust exposures and their implication towards future lunar explorations. Critical analyses on the reports from the Apollo crew members suggest that lunar dust is a mild respiratory and ocular irritant. Currently, NASA s space toxicology group is functioning with the Lunar Airborne Dust Toxicity Assessment Group (LADTAG) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to investigate and examine toxic effects to the respiratory system of rats in order to establish permissible exposure levels (PELs) for human exposure to lunar dust. In collaboration with the space toxicology group, LADTAG and NIOSH the goal of the present research is to analyze dose-response curves from rat exposures seven and twenty-eight days after intrapharyngeal instillations, and model the response using BenchMark Dose Software (BMDS) from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Via this analysis, the relative toxicities of three types of Apollo 14 lunar dust samples and two control dust samples, titanium dioxide (TiO2) and quartz will be determined. This will be executed for several toxicity endpoints such as cell counts and biochemical markers in bronchoaveolar lavage fluid (BALF) harvested from the rats.

  15. Bringing You the Moon: Lunar Education Efforts of the Center for Lunar Science and Education

    Shaner, A. J.; Shupla, C.; Shipp, S.; Allen, J.; Kring, D. A.; Halligan, E.; LaConte, K.

    2012-01-01

    The Center for Lunar Science and Exploration (CLSE), a collaboration between the Lunar and Planetary Institute and NASA's Johnson Space Center, is one of seven member teams of the NASA Lunar Science Institute. In addition to research and exploration activities, the CLSE team is deeply invested in education and public outreach. Overarching goals of CLSE education are to strengthen the future science workforce, attract and retain students in STEM disciplines, and develop advocates for lunar exploration. The team's efforts have resulted in a variety of programs and products, including the creation of a variety of Lunar Traveling Exhibits and the High School Lunar Research Project, featured at http://www.lpi.usra.edu/nlsi/education/.

  16. The Lunar Transit Telescope (LTT) - An early lunar-based science and engineering mission

    Mcgraw, John T.

    1992-01-01

    The Sentinel, the soft-landed lunar telescope of the LTT project, is described. The Sentinel is a two-meter telescope with virtually no moving parts which accomplishes an imaging survey of the sky over almost five octaves of the electromagnetic spectrum from the ultraviolet into the infrared, with an angular resolution better than 0.1 arsec/pixel. The Sentinel will incorporate innovative techniques of interest for future lunar-based telescopes and will return significant engineering data which can be incorporated into future lunar missions. The discussion covers thermal mapping of the Sentinel, measurement of the cosmic ray flux, lunar dust, micrometeoroid flux, the lunar atmosphere, and lunar regolith stability and seismic activity.

  17. Respiratory Toxicity of Lunar Highland Dust

    James, John T.; Lam, Chiu-wing; Wallace, William T.

    2009-01-01

    Lunar dust exposures occurred during the Apollo missions while the crew was on the lunar surface and especially when microgravity conditions were attained during rendezvous in lunar orbit. Crews reported that the dust was irritating to the eyes and in some cases respiratory symptoms were elicited. NASA s vision for lunar exploration includes stays of 6 months on the lunar surface hence the health effects of periodic exposure to lunar dust need to be assessed. NASA has performed this assessment with a series of in vitro and in vivo tests on authentic lunar dust. Our approach is to "calibrate" the intrinsic toxicity of lunar dust by comparison to a nontoxic dust (TiO2) and a highly toxic dust (quartz) using intratrachael instillation of the dusts in mice. A battery of indices of toxicity is assessed at various time points after the instillations. Cultures of selected cells are exposed to test dusts to assess the adverse effects on the cells. Finally, chemical systems are used to assess the nature of the reactivity of various dusts and to determine the persistence of reactivity under various environmental conditions that are relevant to a space habitat. Similar systems are used to assess the dissolution of the dust. From these studies we will be able to set a defensible inhalation exposure standard for aged dust and predict whether we need a separate standard for reactive dust. Presently-available data suggest that aged lunar highland dust is slightly toxic, that it can adversely affect cultured cells, and that the surface reactivity induced by grinding the dust persists for a few hours after activation.

  18. Testing Gravity via Lunar Laser Ranging: Maximizing Data Quality

    Murphy, Thomas

    Apache Observatory and from a high-quality Global Positioning System (GPS) station 2.5 km away, will greatly improve our understanding of the instantaneous location of the Observatory with respect to the Earth’s center of mass (needed for the gravitational tests) by exposing subtle Earth dynamics that must be incorporated into the model. In addition to dramatic improvements in the classical gravitational tests listed above, APOLLO will permit exploration of new ideas in physics relating to dark energy, extra dimensions, and violations of Lorentz Invariance. This proposal will have two thrusts: to continue acquiring APOLLO data, thereby probing longer-period terms in the lunar orbit; and to design and construct an absolute calibration system that can either verify APOLLO data accuracy and stability or expose elements in need of attention. APOLLO has been effective at public outreach and education not only by direct involvement with students and underrepresented groups, but also via news articles, magazine articles, radio interviews, and appearances on popular television shows. This level of media attention should continue into the future, given the appealing combination of tests of Einstein's gravity, the legendary lunar landings, and remarkable technology.

  19. Lunar Impact Flash Locations from NASA's Lunar Impact Monitoring Program

    Moser, D. E.; Suggs, R. M.; Kupferschmidt, L.; Feldman, J.

    2015-01-01

    Meteoroids are small, natural bodies traveling through space, fragments from comets, asteroids, and impact debris from planets. Unlike the Earth, which has an atmosphere that slows, ablates, and disintegrates most meteoroids before they reach the ground, the Moon has little-to-no atmosphere to prevent meteoroids from impacting the lunar surface. Upon impact, the meteoroid's kinetic energy is partitioned into crater excavation, seismic wave production, and the generation of a debris plume. A flash of light associated with the plume is detectable by instruments on Earth. Following the initial observation of a probable Taurid impact flash on the Moon in November 2005,1 the NASA Meteoroid Environment Office (MEO) began a routine monitoring program to observe the Moon for meteoroid impact flashes in early 2006, resulting in the observation of over 330 impacts to date. The main objective of the MEO is to characterize the meteoroid environment for application to spacecraft engineering and operations. The Lunar Impact Monitoring Program provides information about the meteoroid flux in near-Earth space in a size range-tens of grams to a few kilograms-difficult to measure with statistical significance by other means. A bright impact flash detected by the program in March 2013 brought into focus the importance of determining the impact flash location. Prior to this time, the location was estimated to the nearest half-degree by visually comparing the impact imagery to maps of the Moon. Better accuracy was not needed because meteoroid flux calculations did not require high-accuracy impact locations. But such a bright event was thought to have produced a fresh crater detectable from lunar orbit by the NASA spacecraft Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). The idea of linking the observation of an impact flash with its crater was an appealing one, as it would validate NASA photometric calculations and crater scaling laws developed from hypervelocity gun testing. This idea was

  20. Zinnia Germination and Lunar Soil Amendment

    Reese, Laura

    2017-01-01

    Germination testing was performed to determine the best method for germinating zinnias. This method will be used to attempt to germinate the zinnia seeds produced in space. It was found that seed shape may be critically important in determining whether a seed will germinate or not. The ability of compost and worm castings to remediate lunar regolith simulant for plant growth was tested. It was found that neither treatment effectively improves plant growth in lunar regolith simulant. A potential method of improving lunar regolith simulant by mixing it with arcillite was discovered.

  1. Adsorption of Hg on lunar samples

    Reed, G.W. Jr.; Jovanovic, S.

    1985-01-01

    Understanding the presence, migration mechanisms and trapping of indigneous gases and volatiles on the moon is the objective of this study. The rare gases Ar and Xe and highly volatile Hg 0 and Br 0 (and/or their compounds) have been determined to be present in the lunar regolith. Evidence for these elements in the moon was recently reviewed. Studies of the sorption behavior of Xe on lunar material have been carried out. We report here preliminary results of a study designed to rationalize the behavior of Hg in lunar material

  2. Bullialdus - Strengthening the case for lunar plutons

    Pieters, Carle M.

    1991-01-01

    Although many craters expose materials of a composition different from that of the local surroundings, Bullialdus has excavated material representing three distinct stratigraphic zones that occur in the upper 6 km of crust, the top two of which are gabbroic and the deepest of which is noritic. This three-component stratigraphy at Bullialdus provides strong evidence that the lunar crust includes pockets of compositionally layered material reminiscent of mafic layered plutons. When combined with previous information on the compositional diversity at other large craters, these remote analyses obtained in a geologic context substantially strengthen the hypothesis suggested from lunar samples that plutons play an integral role in lunar crustal evolution.

  3. Polar lunar power ring: Propulsion energy resource

    Galloway, Graham Scott

    1990-01-01

    A ring shaped grid of photovoltaic solar collectors encircling a lunar pole at 80 to 85 degrees latitude is proposed as the primary research, development, and construction goal for an initial lunar base. The polar Lunar Power Ring (LPR) is designed to provide continuous electrical power in ever increasing amounts as collectors are added to the ring grid. The LPR can provide electricity for any purpose indefinitely, barring a meteor strike. The associated rail infrastructure and inherently expandable power levels place the LPR as an ideal tool to power an innovative propulsion research facility or a trans-Jovian fleet. The proposed initial output range is 90 Mw to 90 Gw.

  4. Technicians work with Apollo 14 lunar sample material in Lunar Receiving Lab.

    1971-01-01

    Glove handlers work with freshly opened Apollo 14 lunar sample material in modularized cabinets in the Lunar Receiving Laboratory at the Manned Spacecraft Center. The glove operator on the right starts to pour fine lunar material which he has just taken from a tote bag. This powdery sample was among the last to be revealed of the 90-odd pounds of material brought back to Earth by the Apollo 14 crewmen.

  5. A Basic LEGO Reactor Design for the Provision of Lunar Surface Power

    John Darrell Bess

    2008-01-01

    A final design has been established for a basic Lunar Evolutionary Growth-Optimized (LEGO) Reactor using current and near-term technologies. The LEGO Reactor is a modular, fast-fission, heatpipe-cooled, clustered-reactor system for lunar-surface power generation. The reactor is divided into subcritical units that can be safely launched with lunar shipments from Earth, and then emplaced directly into holes drilled into the lunar regolith to form a critical reactor assembly. The regolith would not just provide radiation shielding, but serve as neutron-reflector material as well. The reactor subunits are to be manufactured using proven and tested materials for use in radiation environments, such as uranium-dioxide fuel, stainless-steel cladding and structural support, and liquid-sodium heatpipes. The LEGO Reactor system promotes reliability, safety, and ease of manufacture and testing at the cost of an increase in launch mass per overall rated power level and a reduction in neutron economy when compared to a single-reactor system. A single unshielded LEGO Reactor subunit has an estimated mass of approximately 448 kg and provides approximately 5 kWe. The overall envelope for a single subunit with fully extended radiator panels has a height of 8.77 m and a diameter of 0.50 m. Six subunits could provide sufficient power generation throughout the initial stages of establishing a lunar outpost. Portions of the reactor may be neutronically decoupled to allow for reduced power production during unmanned periods of base operations. During later stages of lunar-base development, additional subunits may be emplaced and coupled into the existing LEGO Reactor network, subject to lunar base power demand. Improvements in reactor control methods, fuel form and matrix, shielding, as well as power conversion and heat rejection techniques can help generate an even more competitive LEGO Reactor design. Further modifications in the design could provide power generative opportunities for

  6. Extreme Access & Lunar Ice Mining in Permanently Shadowed Craters Project

    Mueller, Robert P.

    2014-01-01

    Results from the recent LCROSS mission in 2010, indicate that H2O ice and other useful volatiles such as CO, He, and N are present in the permanently shadowed craters at the poles of the moon. However, the extreme topography and steep slopes of the crater walls make access a significant challenge. In addition temperatures have been measured at 40K (-233 C) so quick access and exit is desirable before the mining robot cold soaks. The Global Exploration Roadmap lists extreme access as a necessary technology for Lunar Exploration.

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

    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.

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

    Kryza, L.; Brieß, K.

    2018-04-01

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

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

    Andersson, T.

    2018-04-01

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

  10. Burn Delay Analysis of the Lunar Orbit Insertion for Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter

    Bae, Jonghee; Song, Young-Joo; Kim, Young-Rok; Kim, Bangyeop

    2017-12-01

    The first Korea lunar orbiter, Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter (KPLO), has been in development since 2016. After launch, the KPLO will execute several maneuvers to enter into the lunar mission orbit, and will then perform lunar science missions for one year. Among these maneuvers, the lunar orbit insertion (LOI) is the most critical maneuver because the KPLO will experience an extreme velocity change in the presence of the Moon’s gravitational pull. However, the lunar orbiter may have a delayed LOI burn during operation due to hardware limitations and telemetry delays. This delayed burn could occur in different captured lunar orbits; in the worst case, the KPLO could fly away from the Moon. Therefore, in this study, the burn delay for the first LOI maneuver is analyzed to successfully enter the desired lunar orbit. Numerical simulations are performed to evaluate the difference between the desired and delayed lunar orbits due to a burn delay in the LOI maneuver. Based on this analysis, critical factors in the LOI maneuver, the periselene altitude and orbit period, are significantly changed and an additional delta-V in the second LOI maneuver is required as the delay burn interval increases to 10 min from the planned maneuver epoch.

  11. Lunar and planetary cartography in Russia

    Shevchenko, Vladislav; Michael, Gregory

    2016-01-01

    This book is the first to document in depth the history of lunar and planetary cartography in Russia. The first map of the far side of the Moon was made with the participation of Lomonosov Moscow University (Sternberg Astronomical Institute, MSU) in 1960. The developed mapping technologies were then used in preparing the “Complete Map of the Moon” in 1967 as well as other maps and globes. Over the years, various maps of Mars have emerged from the special course “Mapping of extraterrestrial objects” in the MSU Geography Department, including the hypsometric map of Mars at a scale of 1:26,000,000, compiled by J.A. Ilyukhina and published in 2004 in an edition of 5,000 copies. A more detailed version of this map has since been produced with a new hypsometric scale. In addition, maps of the northern and southern hemispheres of Mars have been compiled for the hypsometric globe of Mars.  Relief maps of Venus were made in 2008, 2010, and 2011, and hypsometric maps of Phobos and Deimos at a scale of 1:60,000...

  12. Assessment of Mars Exploration Rover Landing Site Predictions

    Golombek, M. P.

    2005-05-01

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

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

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

    1997-01-01

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

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

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

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

    1998-01-01

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

  16. Sensor systems for the Altair Lunar Lander:

    Mariella, R

    2009-12-22

    The Altair Lunar Lander will enable astronauts to learn to live and work on the moon for extended periods of time, providing the experience needed to expand human exploration farther into the solar system. My overriding recommendation: Use independent and complementary [sometimes referred to as 'orthogonal'] techniques to disambiguate confounding/interfering signals. E.g.: a mass spectrometer ['MS'], which currently serves as a Majority Constituent Analyzer ['MCA'] can be very valuable in detecting the presence of a gaseous specie, so long as it falls on a mass-to-charge ratio ['m/z'] that is not already occupied by a majority constituent of cabin air. Consider the toxic gas, CO. Both N{sub 2} and CO have parent peaks of m/z = 28, and CO{sub 2} has a fragment peak at m/z = 28 [and at 16 and 12], so the N{sub 2} and CO{sub 2} m/z=28 signals could mask low, but potentially-dangerous levels of CO. However there are numerous surface-sensitive CO detectors, as well as tunable-diode-laser-based CO sensors that could provide independent monitoring of CO. Also, by appending a gas chromatograph ['GC'] as the front-end sample processer, prior to the inlet of the MS, one can rely upon the GC to separate CO from N{sub 2} and CO{sub 2}, providing the crew with another CO monitor. If the Altair Lunar Lander is able to include a Raman-based MCA for N{sub 2}, O{sub 2}, H{sub 2}O, and CO{sub 2}, then each type of MCA would have cross-references, providing more confidence in the ongoing performance of each technique, and decreasing the risk that one instrument might fail to perform properly, without being noticed. See, also Dr. Pete Snyder's work, which states 'An orthogonal technologies sensor system appears to be attractive for a high confidence detection of presence and temporal characterization of bioaerosols.' Another recommendation: Use data fusion for event detection to decrease uncertainty: tie together the

  17. Lunar base heat pump, phase 1

    Goldman, Jeffrey H.; Harvey, A.; Lovell, T.; Walker, David H.

    1994-01-01

    This report describes the Phase 1 process and analysis used to select a refrigerant and thermodynamic cycle as the basis of a vapor compression heat pump requiring a high temperature lift, then to perform a preliminary design to implement the selected concept, including major component selection. Use of a vapor compression heat pump versus other types was based on prior work performed for the Electric Power Research Institute. A high lift heat pump is needed to enable a thermal control system to remove heat down to 275 K from a habitable volume when the external thermal environment is severe. For example, a long-term lunar base habitat will reject heat from a space radiator to a 325 K environment. The first step in the selection process was to perform an optimization trade study, quantifying the effect of radiator operating temperature and heat pump efficiency on total system mass; then, select the radiator operating temperature corresponding to the lowest system mass. Total system mass included radiators, all heat pump components, and the power supply system. The study showed that lunar night operation, with no temperature lift, dictated the radiator size. To operate otherwise would require a high mass penalty to store power. With the defined radiation surface, and heat pump performances assumed to be from 40 percent to 60 percent of the Carnot ideal, the optimum heat rejection temperature ranged from 387 K to 377 K, as a function of heat pump performance. Refrigerant and thermodynamic cycles were then selected to best meet the previously determined design conditions. The system was then adapted as a ground-based prototype lifting temperature to 360 K (versus 385 K for flight unit) and using readily available commercial-grade components. Over 40 refrigerants, separated into wet and dry compression behavioral types, were considered in the selection process. Refrigerants were initially screened for acceptable critical temperature. The acceptable refrigerants were

  18. Electrostatic Transport and Manipulation of Lunar Soil and Dust

    Kawamoto, Hiroyuki

    2008-01-01

    Transport and manipulation technologies of lunar soil and dust are under development utilizing the electrostatic force. Transport of particles is realized by an electrostatic conveyer consisting of parallel electrodes. Four-phase traveling electrostatic wave was applied to the electrodes to transport particles upon the conveyer and it was demonstrated that particles were efficiently transported under conditions of low frequency, high voltage, and the application of rectangular wave. Not only linear but also curved and closed transport was demonstrated. Numerical investigation was carried out with a three-dimensional hard-sphere model of the Distinct Element Method to clarify the mechanism of the transport and to predict performances in the lunar environment. This technology is expected to be utilized not only for the transport of bulk soil but also for the cleaning of a solar panel and an optical lens. Another technology is an electrostatic manipulation system to manipulate single particle. A manipulator consisted of two parallel pin electrodes. When voltage was applied between the electrodes, electrophoresis force generated in non-uniform electrostatic field was applied to the particle near the tip of the electrode. The particle was captured by the application of the voltage and released from the manipulator by turning off the voltage. It was possible to manipulate not only insulative but also conductive particles. Three-dimensional electrostatic field calculation was conducted to calculate the electrophoresis force and the Coulomb force

  19. GN and C Subsystem Concept for Safe Precision Landing of the Proposed Lunar MARE Robotic Science Mission

    Carson, John M., III; Johnson, Andrew E.; Anderson, F. Scott; Condon, Gerald L.; Nguyen, Louis H.; Olansen, Jon B.; Devolites, Jennifer L.; Harris, William J.; Hines, Glenn D.; Lee, David E.; hide

    2016-01-01

    The Lunar MARE (Moon Age and Regolith Explorer) Discovery Mission concept targets delivery of a science payload to the lunar surface for sample collection and dating. The mission science is within a 100-meter radius region of smooth lunar maria terrain near Aristarchus crater. The location has several small, sharp craters and rocks that present landing hazards to the spacecraft. For successful delivery of the science payload to the surface, the vehicle Guidance, Navigation and Control (GN&C) subsystem requires safe and precise landing capability, so design infuses the NASA Autonomous precision Landing and Hazard Avoidance Technology (ALHAT) and a gimbaled, throttleable LOX/LCH4 main engine. The ALHAT system implemented for Lunar MARE is a specialization of prototype technologies in work within NASA for the past two decades, including a passive optical Terrain Relative Navigation (TRN) sensor, a Navigation Doppler Lidar (NDL) velocity and range sensor, and a Lidar-based Hazard Detection (HD) sensor. The landing descent profile is from a retrograde orbit over lighted terrain with landing near lunar dawn. The GN&C subsystem with ALHAT capabilities will deliver the science payload to the lunar surface within a 20-meter landing ellipse of the target location and at a site having greater than 99% safety probability, which minimizes risk to safe landing and delivery of the MARE science payload to the intended terrain region.

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

    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