Race to the Moon A profile of our team and its progress appear in the June edition of IEEE Spectrum. Prachi Patel wrote the article, and the great photographs are by Bill Cramer of Wonderful Machine. This is a moon/mars/space edition with articles covering Owen and Richard Garriott, The desire for lunar return, India and the moon, and even a blurb on lunar mining.
Sun Angles If these camera angles represented sun angle, then for equatorial missions......
(1) At sundown, the robot will generate generous power and cooling by orienting arrays toward the sun. The robot won't experience such low angle in the morning, since landing doesn't occur for an earth-day after lunar dawn. On the Tranquility Trek mission, the robot will experience sundown, but not sunrise.
Octant solar arrays Four octants of solar array serve five functions: (1) generate power at all azimuths and elevations of solar incidence - without pointed arrays (2) radiate heat from white surface interspersed between cells (3) conduct heat from plane-to-plane to cool hot-spots (4) enclose robot to preclude dust from interior (5) achieve structural strength and rigidity of folded planes
Rover release mechanism Four releasable Frangibolts securely bind the robot to the lander deck. These are stiff and strong during flight, and they reliably, intentionally release after landing. The secure mechanical coupling between lander and rover is essential since guidance avionics reside in the rover, but require a high fidelity of dynamic coupling with the lander deck. The high stiffness is also essential to preclude flexure during launch and flight maneuvers. The bolts are pre-notched to
Anodizing Anodizing achieves the dual purposes of surface-hardening for wear....and coloring to achieve thermal properties.
Batteries survive cryogenic freezing.
Motor controller prototype This board incorporates drivers for testing rover locomotion; camera pan, tilt, focus, zoom and aperture. Space-rated components are available as future changeouts for the commercial components.
Parts The whole is greater than the sum of its parts, but the sum of parts is notable in its own right.