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Proceedings Paper

New planetary rovers for long-range Mars science and sample return
Author(s): Paul S. Schenker; Eric T. Baumgartner; Randall A. Lindemann; Hrand Aghazarian; David Q. Zhu; A. J. Ganino; Lee F. Sword; Michael S. Garrett; Brett A. Kennedy; Gregory Scott Hickey; A. S. Lai; Larry Henry Matthies; B. D. Hoffman; Terrance L. Huntsberger
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Paper Abstract

There are significant international efforts underway to place mobile robots (`rovers') on the surface of Mars. This follows on the recent successful NASA Mars Pathfinder flight of summer 1997. In that mission, the 11+ Kg Sojourner rover explored a small 50 meter locale about its lander over a several week period. Future planned science missions of the Mars Surveyor Program are more aggressive, seeking to autonomously survey planetary climate, life and resources over multiple kilometers and many months duration. These missions will also retrieve collected sample materials back to a Mars Ascent Vehicle for more detailed analysis on Earth. In support of these future missions we are developing and field testing new rover technology concepts. We first overview the design and initial operations of SRR-1 (Sample Return Rover), a novel 10 kg-class four wheel, hybrid composite-metal vehicle for rapid (10 - 30 cm/sec) autonomous location, rendezvous, and retrieval of collected samples under integrated visual and beacon guidance. SRR is a light 88 X 55 X 36 (LWH) cm3 vehicle collapsing to less than one third its deployed field volume, and carrying a powerful, visually-servoed all-composite manipulator. We then sketch development of the FIDO rover (Field Integrated Design and Operations), a new 50+ kg, six wheel, approximately 100 X 80 X 50 (LWH) cm3, high mobility, multi-km range science vehicle which includes mast-mounted multi-spectral stereo, bore-sighted IR point spectrometer, robot arm with attached microscope, and body- mounted rock sampling corer. Currently in integration phase, FIDO rover will first be tested in September, 1998, `MarsYard (JPL)' operations, followed by CY99 full-scale terrestrial field simulations of a planned Mars '03 multi- kilometer roving mission (Athena-based science rover payload), demonstrating remote science selection, autonomous navigation, in situ sample analysis, and robotic sample collection functions.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 October 1998
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 3522, Intelligent Robots and Computer Vision XVII: Algorithms, Techniques, and Active Vision, (6 October 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.325751
Show Author Affiliations
Paul S. Schenker, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Eric T. Baumgartner, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Randall A. Lindemann, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Hrand Aghazarian, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
David Q. Zhu, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
A. J. Ganino, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Lee F. Sword, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Michael S. Garrett, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Brett A. Kennedy, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Gregory Scott Hickey, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
A. S. Lai, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Larry Henry Matthies, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
B. D. Hoffman, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
Terrance L. Huntsberger, Univ. of South Carolina (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3522:
Intelligent Robots and Computer Vision XVII: Algorithms, Techniques, and Active Vision
David P. Casasent, Editor(s)

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