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Proceedings Paper

Launchable and retrievable tetherbot exploration system
Author(s): P. Younse
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Paper Abstract

A launchable and retrievable tetherbot exploration system for low-gravity environments is proposed where a small, tethered robot is launched from a base lander or vehicle to a desired position up to 50 m away. When its exploration mission is complete, it hops vertically above the surface and is simultaneously reeled back in by the base vehicle while still above ground. Benefits include the ability to traverse long distances in short amounts of time and minimal energy expense independent of terrain roughness. This technique has the capability to reach locations too difficult, too dangerous, or unreachable by the base vehicle. Prototypes of a steerable six-legged hopping robot and electric reel were developed. A dynamic simulation demonstrated the capabilities of launching and tether retrieval.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 April 2008
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 6960, Space Exploration Technologies, 69600J (15 April 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.781708
Show Author Affiliations
P. Younse, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6960:
Space Exploration Technologies
Wolfgang Fink, Editor(s)

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