by Staff Writers
Paris, France (ESA) Jul 03, 2008
As interest in exploration of the Moon soars among the world's space agencies, ESA, through it's General Studies Programme, has challenged university students to develop a robotic vehicle that is capable of working in difficult terrain, comparable to that found at the lunar poles.
Eight university teams have been selected to proceed to the design stage of ESA's Lunar Robotics Challenge.
ESA's first Lunar Robotics Challenge got under way in late March with the issuing of an Announcement of Opportunity that invited teams of university students to create an innovative, mobile robot capable of retrieving samples from a lunar-like crater.
Eight of the submitted proposals have been selected for funding after evaluation by a team of ESA experts. The selected student teams received the go-ahead to design their robotic systems, and eventually build them to compete in the challenge event.
The robot's test mission includes a number of objectives:
- move from a 'landing site' to the rim of a lunar-like crater
- descend into the crater, negotiating an incline of up to 40 degrees
- operate in sunlight on the crater rim, and in the dark interior of the crater
- reach the bottom of the 15 m deep crater
- locate and retrieve at least 0.1 kg of selected, visually distinctive, soil samples from the bottom of the crater
- return to the crater rim and then the 'landing site'
- The vehicle will be remotely operated by a workstation placed outside the crater and with no direct visibility of the crater or rim.
The teams selected to proceed with the design phase, supported by funding from the ESA General Studies Programme (GSP), are:
- Universitšt Bremen, Germany,
- Jacobs University Bremen, Germany,
- Universidad Politecnica de Madrid, Spain,
- Oulun Yliopisto (University of Oulu), Finland
- Universitŗ di Pisa, Italy,
- Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna Pisa, Italy,
- Surrey Space Centre, University of Surrey, United
- Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (Eidgenossische Technische Hochschule - ETH) Zurich, Switzerland
Each team is required to maintain a web blog during the challenge.
Reviews and competition
If they are successful at the CDR, the teams will be given approval and further funding to build their entry.
A Test Readiness Review will be held at the premises of each university team once construction of their robot is complete. The challenge will culminate in a 10-day competition, to be held in October 2008.
Automation and Robotics
All about the robots on Earth and beyond!
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement|