Project TRAILER: Tandem of Rover and Associated Wain for Lunar Extended Roaming
In International Symposium on Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Automation in Space (i-SAIRAS2020), (iSAIRAS), online, n.n., Sep/2020.
TRAILER is a two-year project contracted by the European Space Agency ESA to test a novel architec-ture of robotic cooperation based on a tandem of two rovers for lunar surface exploration missions.
The future lunar GATEWAY can be considered as a “Base Camp” that will serve to perform human and robotic expeditions on the surface of the Moon. As-tronauts and robots will work together to prepare the coming era of space exploration with missions to the lunar South Pole and other locations: robotic explor-ers will search for ISRU elements that could support a human presence on the surface. These scouts will be operated either from Earth or from GATEWAY; and they will need to perform certain tasks in auton-omy.
The main objective of the TRAILER activity is to develop a rover system consisting of i) An agile and powerful rover (TRACTOR) equipped with high per-formance locomotion and navigation, local wireless transceiver, short-term energy storage, sample acqui-sition system, and ii) An active trailer (WAIN) equipped with limited locomotion and navigation, high power generation or storage and local wireless network that could assure lunar-earth communication and a scientific laboratory for sample collection and analysis. The TRAILER activity is under a contract by ESA and led by the Marseille-based company COMEX that develops the “WAIN". The German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence Robotics Innovation Center (DFKI RIC) in Germany is re-sponsible for simulations and development of the second robot, the “TRACTOR". LIQUIFER Systems Group in Austria defines the mission and operation scenarios of the robotic tandem and planning. The TRAILER system will be tested in facilities at the partner organizations in France, Germany and Aus-tria.