Design and implementation of thermal control strategy for micro-size lunar exploration rover hakuto

Toshiki Tanaka, Takuto Oikawa, Keeni Shruti, Teruhito Iida, Kazuya Yoshida, John Walker

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The topic of this research is the thermal interface design of the HAKUTO Rover Flight Model (FM) and its evaluation using the final thermal vacuum experiment. Initially, an analytical thermal model was developed wherein the rover was split into six different radiating surfaces. The rover's surface temperature was then determined based on the rover's orientation relative to the solar radiative flux. Other thermal inputs such as lunar radiation, solar albedo, and conduction from the lunar regolith were accounted for. Based on the impact of these heat sources, feasible mounting locations for the avionics and the solar panel were determined to optimize the rover's thermal performance while maintaining the rover mass <4 kg. Once the preliminary thermal analysis was completed, numeric computational simulation was performed to verify the thermal response of the final HAKUTO Rover FM design in the expected lunar environment conditions. This research resulted in the system design for the HAKUTO lunar micro-rover FM thermal interface. We also present the results of the construction and integrated thermal vacuum tests.

Original languageEnglish
JournalProceedings of the International Astronautical Congress, IAC
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event69th International Astronautical Congress: #InvolvingEveryone, IAC 2018 - Bremen, Germany
Duration: 2018 Oct 12018 Oct 5


  • Google Lunar XPRIZE
  • Lunar Exploration
  • Lunar Rover

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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