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Proceedings Paper

Inflatable rovers for planetary applications
Author(s): Jack A. Jones; Jiuum Jeng Wu
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Paper Abstract

A new task has recently been initiated at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) to design, fabricate and test an inflatable rover that can be used for various planetary applications, including operation on the Earth’s moon, on Mars, on Saturn’s moon Titan and on Jupiter’s moon, Europa. The primary application is for operation on Mars and, as such, the prototype model in development has large inflatable wheels (1.5-m diameter) that can traverse over 99 percent of the Martian surface, which is believed to be populated by rocks smaller than 0.5 meters in diameter. The 20-kg prototype requires 18 W to travel 2 km/hr on Earth, and could be capable of traveling 30 km/hr on Mars with about 100 W of power. The bench-model unit has been tested with a simple ‘joy stick’ type of radio control system as well as with a commercially available color-tracking camera system.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 November 1999
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 3838, Mobile Robots XIV, (15 November 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.369242
Show Author Affiliations
Jack A. Jones, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Jiuum Jeng Wu, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3838:
Mobile Robots XIV
Douglas W. Gage; Howie M. Choset, Editor(s)

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