Modular Payload-Items for Payload-assembly and System Enhancement for Future Planetary Missions
In Proceedings of the 2018 IEEE Aerospace Conference, 03.3.-10.3.2018, Big Sky, Montana, IEEE, Mar/2018.
This paper describes the development and verification
of immobile modular compatible and combinable payloaditems,
which can serve as multi-purpose containers in future
robotic missions. The core payload-item is a cube-shaped container
(154 mm x 154 mm x 154 mm) with a rigid internal frame
with easily detachable side panels; its main features are two
electromechanical interfaces (EMIs), one on the top and one
on the bottom. Several payload-items were developed to realize
an adaption of the robots according to mission requirements; a
battery module in order to extend the power capacity of robots
and/or to allow the creation of standalone sensor modules, a
camera assembly for observation purposes, a DGPS module to
provide a high precision positional reference sensor (in earth
bound test scenarios), and a device for collecting soil samples.
Along with the design and development of the payload-items
and the associated modules, this paper presents the conducted
tests and experiments in laboratory and field environments,
deploying the integrated modules with the rover systems. The
lessons learned as based on these experiments are given within
the paper as well as an outlook to further developments and
utilization of the modular payload-items.