DIGITAL

Scientific publication

The Lucid Field Test Campaign - Operations of a Rover in Lunar Near-pole conditions

Publication from Digital

Carlos Crespo and Jakub Tomasek and Fernando Gandía and Sergio Martini and Alba Guerra and Karl Buckley and Konstantinos Kapellos and Jochen Steiner and Sarmad Aziz

, 1/2018

Abstract:

Interest in the Lunar South Polar region has grown significantly within the international exploration and science community in recent years, fuelled by the abundance of new orbital data acquired by the fleet of orbiter missions sent to the Moon during the past decade. As part of a broader lunar exploration effort, ROSCOSMOS and ESA strive towards the Lunar Polar Sample Return mission. In this frame, the objective of LUCID (LUnar scenario Concept valIdation and Demonstration) is
 to assess the combination of tools and techniques required to operate in the environmental and operational constraints of the polar lunar environment. This paper covers the field test specification, the development carried out for the FTRS (Field Test Rover systems), together with early results and conclusions obtained from the preparatory test campaigns performed in GMV. Focusing our efforts on the Situational Awareness Techniques, by means of a test campaign we will depict the mission scenario of the LPR (Lunar Prospector Rover), trying to answer the following questions: what does it take to operate a rover in Lunar near-pole conditions? What is the best situational awareness that can be implemented with present-day technology? How
 far can a rover traverse under these conditions per unit of time? In order to answer these questions, we have designed a Field Test Campaign to be executed in the terrestrial analogue of the Lunar South Pole at Teide National Park located in Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. In this location, the mission scenario of the LPR will be reconstructed and we will address particular challenges such as the low angle illumination, representative communications, terrain characteristics, simulated ice sources and observability of the surroundings for both operational scenarios: short term autonomy and teleoperation. Prior to this field test campaign, a set of tests have been designed following the principles of randomization, complementarity, statistical replication,
 orthogonality and grouping, defining metrics for measuring the topics under study while varying the conditions of the site and the rover to obtain meaningful data for scientific analysis, answering the inquiries set as objectives and gathering a complete data package for further offline study. As part of the activity, a software suite based in ROS has been developed to cover all the necessities of the field Test Campaign that comprises the FTRS (Field Test Rover System), the Remote Control Console and the Local Control Console. In this paper, we present an integrated system that covers all the needs of a representative Lunar near-pole test campaign, describing the different subsystems: DEM generation module, localization module, locomotion module, PTU module, system module and imagers module.