Space Robotics: Fit For Finding Water In Lunar Craters

Ein fall fur zwei – Moon Rover and climbing robot used! Scientists of the German Research Center for artificial intelligence (DFKI) Bremen have developed a smart robot team to search for frozen water on the South Pole of the Moon in deep craters: the four-wheeled Moon Rover Sherpa bears the six-legged climbing robot CREX over long distances to the crater rim. Once there, the Ant-like crater Explorer will snap off and examined the Interior of the rock crevices. Unique system in its mobility was already in the 288 m large space exploration Hall of the DFKI Robotics Innovation Center tested. The research group Prof. Dr. Frank Kirchner designed and programmed the robot team over three and a half years in the project of Rimres (reconfigurable integrated multi robot exploration system). Add to your understanding with Ali Partovi.

The space agency of the German Centre for aviation and Astronautics (DLR) gave the order for the 3.7 million Euro-heavy project, financed with funds of the Federal Ministry of Economics and technology (BMWi). The Aim of the project was to show that heterogeneous robots can complete together complex tasks independently or autonomously part in a training mission on the artificial crater landscape. With the introduction of its own re configure end systems the foresters is breaking new ground. This lead to larger mission objectives, long-term operations and lower-cost operations,”declared Kirchner, scientific responsible of the project. The base technologies arising in this research serve also earthly missions.” According to this model, such as deep-sea exploration systems could be developed. Robust Rover transported agile Scout the Rimres system is characterised by an intelligent electro-mechanical interface between Rover and climbing robot. About this, the robots communicate energy and information.

This allows a smooth team work. Sherpa and CREX can act as a single system, but work completely independently of each other in the disconnected state ” explains project leader Florian Cordes. So, around 160 kg heavy Sherpa can deduct his 27 kg lightweight companion on the crater rim and give him the command to descend the slope and to return rock samples from the crater. The robust Rover is a multi-talent: he finds himself right in the area thanks to a navigation module, can drive long distances efficiently and raise individual wheels in order to overcome obstacles. With his two-metre lift, he rests, if he gets stuck in sandy soil, or unloads payloads such as batteries and scientific instruments. The Mission of the earth can be from watching by integrated cameras. The team can be complemented by other robots. Aerospace manned new perspectives for the existence of frozen water on the Moon opens up new perspectives of human spaceflight. Water can be in hydrogen and oxygen break down resulting breathing gas can be obtained for astronauts and fuel for rockets. Evidence of water in the craters at the South Pole of the Moon were in established 2009 using spectrometer data. Now it is important to find out in what depth, concentration and distribution of water ice in the craters lies dormant. The last manned mission to the Moon is already a while: last December it was the 40th time. Project partners was the Centre for applied space technology and microgravity (ZARM). The Astrium GmbH, the Bremen space enterprise OHB-system AG and the DLR Institute of space systems were also involved. Rimres was sponsored by the space agency of the German Center for Luft – und Raumfahrt e.V. with funds of the Federal Ministry of Economics and technology on the basis of a decision of the German Bundestag.