Analysis of the traveling performance of planetary rovers with wheels equipped with lugs over loose soil

M. Sutoh, K. Nagatani, K. Yoshida

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

The surfaces of the Moon and Mars are covered with loose soil. In such conditions, planetary rovers can get stuck and even cause failure of an exploration mission. To avoid such problems, the wheels of planetary rovers typically have lugs (i.e., grousers) on their surface, which substantially improve their traveling performance. However, there exists no theoretical method to determine a suitable lug interval. In this study, we first modeled the linear traveling speed of a wheel with lugs and provided guidelines for determining a suitable lug interval, as well as the corresponding terramechanical stress models. Next, to verify the suitable interval for lugs, we performed traveling tests using a two-wheeled rover with wheels having different numbers of lugs of different heights. According to the experimental results, when a wheel has three lugs in a range where normal stress is generated beneath it, it can travel with constant speed while the traveling performance is substantially improved.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEarth and Space 2012 - Proceedings of the 13th ASCE Aerospace Division Conference and the 5th NASA/ASCE Workshop on Granular Materials in Space Exploration
PublisherAmerican Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
Pages1-10
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9780784412190
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Jan 1
Event13th Biennial ASCE Aerospace Division International Conference on Engineering, Science, Construction, and Operations in Challenging Environments, Earth and Space 2012 and the 5th NASA/ASCE Workshop on Granular Materials in Space Exploration - Pasadena, CA, United States
Duration: 2012 Apr 152012 Apr 18

Publication series

NameEarth and Space 2012 - Proceedings of the 13th ASCE Aerospace Division Conference and the 5th NASA/ASCE Workshop on Granular Materials in Space Exploration

Other

Other13th Biennial ASCE Aerospace Division International Conference on Engineering, Science, Construction, and Operations in Challenging Environments, Earth and Space 2012 and the 5th NASA/ASCE Workshop on Granular Materials in Space Exploration
CountryUnited States
CityPasadena, CA
Period12/4/1512/4/18

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Building and Construction

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  • Cite this

    Sutoh, M., Nagatani, K., & Yoshida, K. (2012). Analysis of the traveling performance of planetary rovers with wheels equipped with lugs over loose soil. In Earth and Space 2012 - Proceedings of the 13th ASCE Aerospace Division Conference and the 5th NASA/ASCE Workshop on Granular Materials in Space Exploration (pp. 1-10). (Earth and Space 2012 - Proceedings of the 13th ASCE Aerospace Division Conference and the 5th NASA/ASCE Workshop on Granular Materials in Space Exploration). American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). https://doi.org/10.1061/9780784412190.001