Analysis of soil flow and traction mechanics for lunar rovers over different types of soils using particle image velocimetry

Shoko Ono, Shohei Namikawa, Kazuya Yoshida

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Grouser wheels have been used in planetary rovers to improve mobility performance on sandy terrains. The biggest difference between a wheel with and without grousers is the soil behavior beneath the wheel as the grousers shovel the soil. By analyzing the soil flow, we gain insight into the mechanics dominating the interaction between the wheel and the soil, directly impacting performance. As the soil flow varies depending on the soil properties, the effects of soil type on soil behavior and wheel-traveling performance should be studied. This paper reveals the difference in soil flow and wheel performance on cohesive and non-cohesive soils. We conducted a series of single wheel tests over different types of soils under several wheel-traveling conditions. Soil flow was visualized by using particle image velocimetry (PIV). The experimental results indicate that soil flow characteristics highly depend on the shear strength of the soil. The cohesive soil exhibited lower fluidity due to its higher shear strength. At the same time, the wheel displayed a higher traveling performance over the cohesive soil, that is, a lower slip ratio.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89-100
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Terramechanics
Volume95
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jun

Keywords

  • Cohesive soil
  • Grouser wheel
  • Particle image velocimetry
  • Soil flow analysis
  • Traction mechanics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering

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