Concept and design of an autonomous micro rover for long term lunar exploration
Niklas A. Mulsow, Benjamin Hülsen, Joel Gützlaff, Leon Spies, Andreas Bresser, Adam Dabrowski, Markus Czupalla, Frank Kirchner
In Proceedings of the 74th International Astronautical Congress (IAC), IAC-23-D1,2,11,x77783, (IAC-2023), 02.10.-06.10.2023, Baku, International Astronautical Federation (IAF), Oct/2023.

Abstract :

Research on robotic lunar exploration has seen a broad revival, especially since the Google Lunar X-Prize increasingly brought private endeavors into play. This development is supported by national agencies with the aim of enabling long-term lunar infrastructure for in-situ operations and the establishment of a moon village. One challenge for effective exploration missions is developing a compact and lightweight robotic rover to reduce launch costs and open the possibility for secondary payload options. Existing micro rovers for exploration missions are clearly limited by their design for one day of sunlight and their low level of autonomy. For expanding the potential mission applications and range of use, an extension of lifetime could be reached by surviving the lunar night and providing a higher level of autonomy. To address this objective, the paper presents a system design concept for a lightweight micro rover with long-term mission duration capabilities, derived from a multi-day lunar mission scenario at equatorial regions. Technical solution approaches are described, analyzed, and evaluated, with emphasis put on the harmonization of hardware selection due to a strictly limited budget in dimensions and power.

Keywords :

Micro, rover, lunar, night survival, space, robotic




last updated 28.02.2023