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Proceedings Paper

Unmanned systems to support the human exploration of Mars
Author(s): Douglas W. Gage
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Paper Abstract

Robots and other unmanned systems will play many critical roles in support of a human presence on Mars, including surveying candidate landing sites, locating ice and mineral resources, establishing power and other infrastructure, performing construction tasks, and transporting equipment and supplies. Many of these systems will require much more strength and power than exploration rovers. The presence of humans on Mars will permit proactive maintenance and repair, and allow teleoperation and operator intervention, supporting multiple dynamic levels of autonomy, so the critical challenges to the use of unmanned systems will occur before humans arrive on Mars. Nevertheless, installed communications and navigation infrastructure should be able to support structured and/or repetitive operations (such as excavation, drilling, or construction) within a "familiar" area with an acceptable level of remote operator intervention. This paper discusses some of the factors involved in developing and deploying unmanned systems to make humans' time on Mars safer and more productive, efficient, and enjoyable.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 May 2010
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 7692, Unmanned Systems Technology XII, 76920M (8 May 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.849578
Show Author Affiliations
Douglas W. Gage, XPM Technologies (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7692:
Unmanned Systems Technology XII
Grant R. Gerhart; Douglas W. Gage; Charles M. Shoemaker, Editor(s)

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