Concept Study For The Faster Micro Scout Rover
In Proceedings of the 12th Symposium on Advanced Space Technologies in Robotics and Automation, (ASTRA-2013), 15.5.-17.5.2013, Noordwijk, o.A., May/2013.
In contrast to the present Mars exploration missions future mission concepts ask for a fast and save traverse through vast and varied expanses of terrain. The goal of the FASTER1 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. In order to achieve this goal, a small scout rover will be used for soil and terrain sensing ahead of the main rover. In the present paper the problem of defining a highly mobile, all-terrain micro scout rover that can be used for soil and terrain sensing and collaborate with a primary rover is addressed by means of a concept study. Alternative concepts for the scout rover mission architecture and system bus design are treated. Based on trade-offs, a single scout rover is proposed using the primary rover as communication relay and for energy transfer while the scout rover can co-operate autonomously with the primary rover. Based on the chosen concept a terrestrial scout rover testbed has been derived, which will be used for further tests to prove the choice of the concept.