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JRM Vol.36 No.2 pp. 334-342
doi: 10.20965/jrm.2024.p0334
(2024)

Paper:

Development and Evaluation of Mobility and Excavation Rover Toward Lunar Base Construction

Masataku Sutoh ORCID Icon

Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency
3-1-1 Yoshinodai, Chuo-ku, Sagamihara, Kanagawa 252-5210, Japan

Received:
October 11, 2023
Accepted:
February 12, 2024
Published:
April 20, 2024
Keywords:
lunar base, construction, rover, mobility, excavation
Abstract

The exploration and utilization of water resources on the Moon are of substantial global interest. To utilize lunar resources and construct bases, the construction machinery should travel over the lunar surface (which is mainly covered with powdery regolith) and excavate the regolith. However, various technical issues should be resolved to achieve this efficiently. In this study, a new platform rover was developed, and its motion behavior was analyzed to better understand the traveling and excavation behaviors of construction machinery on the Moon. The rover is a four-track vehicle equipped with a robotic arm consisting of a boom, arm, and bucket. To analyze the rover’s motion behavior in sandy terrain, we first developed a simulator based on terramechanics and performed a numerical analysis. Subsequently, various experiments were conducted using the rover in the JAXA Space Exploration Field, which simulates the lunar environment. In the experiments, the rover traveled over level and sloped terrains and excavated the ground. The simulation and experimental results revealed similar trends in the traveling and excavation behaviors of the rover. These results can serve as basic guidelines for the design and operation of construction machinery on the Moon.

Platform rover for mobility and excavation

Platform rover for mobility and excavation

Cite this article as:
M. Sutoh, “Development and Evaluation of Mobility and Excavation Rover Toward Lunar Base Construction,” J. Robot. Mechatron., Vol.36 No.2, pp. 334-342, 2024.
Data files:
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Last updated on May. 19, 2024