By: Natalie Lawton
Wheel and lower leg structural design to reduce rock entanglements in a planetary rover
The SherpaTT rover wheels were found to become entangled in rocks during the last field deployment in Morocco. As human intervention would be impossible on Mars the aim is to reduce the possibility of rock entanglements by performing a mechanical redesign of the wheels. During this redesign care must be taken to ensure the current traction, slip-resistance, weight and strength are not adversely affected. In addition, the durability of the wheels will be investigated in terms of materials to review whether the current wheels would be suitable for a Mars deployment. A literature study is conducted to examine how previous, current and future Mars rover missions have designed their wheels and compare them to the current wheels on SherpaTT. Possible Martian deployment sites will be studied for viability. It is envisaged that following this stage preliminary designs will be drawn up and potentially prototyped. The results of this study aim to produce wheels which show reduced entanglements on rocks without detriment to wheel traction, slip resistance, weight or strength. Additionally recommendations will be made regarding the materials of the wheel and the durability.A 1.03
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