Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

MAE 297 Seminar – Dr. Matt Sorgenfrei

Dr. Matt Sorgenfrei

Intelligent Systems Division, NASA Ames Research Center

Topic: Kinematic Modeling of a Lunar Rover

Recent robotic exploration of the Moon has revealed an abundance of resources at or near the surface that could support future human exploration. Prior to the design of any human mission, it will be necessary to better characterize the nature and distribution of such resources, likely through robotic precursor missions. This presentation will describe an effort currently underway at NASA Ames Research Center to design a robotic mobility system that could support scientific exploration of the polar regions of the Moon, with a particular emphasis on resource characterization. Autonomous rover operations on the lunar surface are complex: the distribution of rocks and other obstacles is poorly characterized, the soil can be quite soft, and the differences in lighting conditions that will be encountered during operations are stark. In collaboration with researchers at Johnson Space Center, the NASA Ames team has developed an architecture for a four-wheeled rover that is capable of semi-autonomous exploration of the lunar poles. This talk will describe the baseline design for the rover, including the mobility, navigation, and command and data handling systems, as well as the simulation environment that has been developed to study rover mobility. Additionally, this talk will examine some of the trade studies that were undertaken when considering the needs of the science suite, such as rover wheel sizing, steering architecture, and selection of navigation/localization sensor.

For more information, contact Zac Sabato:

Date(s) - 11/03/2016
4:10 pm - 5:00 pm

1062 Bainer Classroom


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