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Innovative Mars exploration rover using inflatable or unfolding wheels

Objective

Mars exploration programs that require surface mobility, such as geology studies, search for past life or infrastructure deployment for future manned missions, make use of wheeled rovers.
The total mass of the rover and its volume during lauchching phase are very constrained, thus resulting in moderate ability to overcome obstacles, despite the efforts in optimising the kinematics design, due to the limitations on wheel diameter.

This limitation can be turned away using inflating or unfolding wheels that can reach large diameters and thus present high cross-country ability, still being compatible with the launching constraints.

The dragstic changes in the mechanical design, relative to the conventional rigid wheels makes necessary to review the whole rover operational scenario and equipment design, as well as the payload accommodation.

The objective of the study is to compare a classical rover design with the unfolding one with the same mission objectives and constraints

Coordinator

Robotics Space center
Address
E. Belin 18
31401 Toulouse
France

Participants (6)

Agency of conventional J.-S.Co VNIITRANSMASH
Russia
Address
Zarechanja 2
198323 St. Petersburg
CNRS
France
Address
Colonel Roche 7
31077 Toulouse
National Academy of Sciences of Belarus United Institute of Informatics Problems
Belarus
Address
Surganov 6
220012 Minsk
Russian Academy of Sciences Keldysh Institute of Applied Mathematics
Russia
Address
Miusskaya Square 4
125047 Moscow
Space Infrastructure EADS SPACE Transportation
Germany
Address
Huenefeldstr 1-5
28361 Bremen
Universite de Paris 6
France
Address
Route Du Panorama 18
92265 Fontenay-aux-roses