Lunar Rover upgrade
After the positive results of the test of June at the ALTEC Moon Mars Terrain Demonstrator (a video of this activity has been uploaded), the work of the team has been focused on the engineering model upgrade.
Tests have shown the need to reduce weight and optimize hardware and software engineering.
First of all a review of wheels and suspension design has been done, in order to identify and remove the weight in excess, all these activities has been done taking care to avoid to build new components, just modifying the existing ones.
As preventive study for a future use of more powerful motors was also developed a wheel design where the weight reduction of the material also create a bigger internal useful volume for the motors themselves.
In the meantime electronic engineers have corrected some software’s bugs and reduced the commands lag noticed during the tests. The speed of the firmware has been improved by 4 times.
In the end a backplane PCB was designed, developed and debugged able to connect all the electronic nodes in a more safe and strong way compared to the actual developer version. This circuit include voltage regulators, power distributions, communication between the nodes, motor driver, interrupt management, sensor conditioning and debug circuitry.
Particular care was taken in order to electrically insulate nodes to be able to exclude one if some fault happen, so the remaining circuitry could, in that unlucky event, safely continue his work.
Telecommunication engineers have finished the development of the first release of the radio board and the correlated receiver station that emulate the lunar lander.
After this new implementations the aim is to have new rover test campaign on the ALTEC MMTD before the end of 2012.
Team Blog Posts
May 17, 2013
May 8, 2013
April 30, 2013
April 30, 2013