FP7 FASTER project - Demonstration of Multi-platform Operation for Safer Planetary Traverses
E. Allouis, R. Marc, J. Gancet, Y. Nevatia, F. Cantori, Roland Sonsalla, M. Fritsche, J. Machowinski, T. Vögele, F. Comin, W. Lewinger, B. Yeomans, C. Saaj, Y. Gao, J. Delfa, P. Weclewski, K. Skocki, B. Imhof, S. Ransom, L. Richter
In Proceedings of the 13th Symposium on Advanced Space Technologies in Robotics and Automation (ASTRA-2015), (ASTRA-2015), Noordwijk, The Netherlands, ESA, May/2015. ESA.

Zusammenfassung (Abstract) :

As future planetary missions evolve from local exploration in the vicinity of the lander (up to a few km) to more regional operations, (with a reach beyond tens of km), the need for a safe and efficient traverse wil l be greater than ever. To address these challenges, the FASTER pro ect has tackled for the past 4 years the Forward Ac uisition of Soil and Terrain data for Exploration Rover which culminated in the successful demonstration of the operational scenario in late 4 in a Mars representative environment. uilding on * +, this paper briefly recalls the selected operational concept for safe and reliable long range traverses for planetary rovers as well as the various sensors created for this purpose during this pro ect. t then focuses on the latest developments including the setup and running of the various integration campaigns leading up to the final test campaigns at the Airbus DS Mars Yard. Setup as a multi-platform operation, the FASTER scenario relies on a light mobile rover designed to scout ahead of the primary (mother) rover to estimate terrain trafficability through a range of sensing techni ues. y combining the scout sensor data with the primary rover onboard sensors, multi -layer navigation map is generated that identifies trafficable and ha ardous terrain, such as rocks and sand traps, in front of the primary rover. Autonomous path planning for both the primary and scout rovers as well as autonomous online re -planning, ensure the two rovers can identify and react to the unknown local environment to ultimately reach their target without the need for a human in the loop. As a complex heterogeneous system, a staged approach was implemented to address the verification of the system at each stage of the development. The paper discusses some of the lessons learnt over the course of the pro ect, including the need for flexible test campaigns during development, how to deal with the pan -European nature of the pro ect, and the inherent complexity of testing the autonomous functions including the executive layer and collaborative behaviours between the two platforms. Finally, looking ahead to futures mission concepts, specific aspects of the FASTER pro ect can be identified that will 49 contribute the robustness and safety of future platforms and allow more daring exploration scenarios. * + Y. Nevatia, F. ulens, J. ancet, Y. ao, S. Al-Mili, R. . Sonsalla, T. . aupisch, M. Fritsche, T. ögele, E. Allouis, . Skocki, S. Ransom, C. Saa , M. Matthews, . Yeomans, . Richter, Safe ong-Range Travel for lanetary Rovers through Forward Sensing, th Symposium on Advanced Space Technologies in Robotics and Automation (ASTRA 3).

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