The ExoFiT Mars rover test team will use a new model called "Charlie" to test hardware, software and scientific operations for the European Space Agency (ESA) ExoMars Rover, which will live on Mars in 2021.
The team will practice driving Charlie away from his lander, identifying with a geological outcrop and traveling, and then sampling the rock with his drill.
Graham Turnock, CEO of the UK Space Agency, said:
After Earth, Mars It is the most habitable planet in the solar system, so it's a perfect destination to explore the possibility of living on other planets as well To explore history.
These small steps to review systems in Spain give us confidence ExoMars will achieve what it was designed for. These and future experiments will prepare our scientists and engineers for the actual events. I am proud that British science and ingenuity are crucial to the success of this mission.
During the tests, the ExoFiT team will evaluate Charlie's individual systems, including:
- WISDOM ground radar
- CLUPI close up imager
- 19659010] The panoramic camera (PanCam) mast imager, the 3D maps of the area surrounding the Rovers and the drill core to extract subterranean samples, which were identified by WISDOM.
Rigorous Equipment Testing and Best Practice Development Will Contribute to Mission Success with the Mars Rover of the Future
Ben Dobke, Airbus Project Manager at ExoFiT, said:
One of the main goals of ExoFiT is to build efficient remote sensing operations. It will enable the team of instrument scientists and engineers to practice how to remotely manipulate and interpret data from Rover-mounted instruments. It is used as a blueprint for the development of operational experience for both ExoMars and future Mars robotic missions.
Charlie's Remote Control Center (RCC) operates at the STFC Harwell Mission Operation Center, with each science team having a Remote Device Manager
Dr. Rain Irshad, Group Leader Autonomous Systems at STFC RAL Space, said:
It was a really exciting week. The team at Harwell worked with limited information – we created digital maps of the terrain for them and they sent the data from the rover every day. From this, they had to decide where the rover should go and which instruments to use to get the most interesting science. This test run was very similar to the operation of rovers on Mars
In the Atacama desert in Chile, there will be a follow-up run next year
ExoFiT is an ESA-funded project managed and implemented by Airbus Defense and Space, supported by Mars Robotic Exploration Program (MREP) as technology development activity
The future ExoMars rover will be the first of its kind to travel across the surface of Mars and drill down to see if evidence of life is hidden underground, shielded from the radiation Sun bombarding the surface of the "Red Planet".
The United Kingdom is the second largest European for the ExoMars mission and has invested 287 million euros in the mission and 14 million pounds in the instruments.
Airbus Defense and Space at Stevenage directs the construction of the rover, while the UCL Mullard Space Science Laboratory conducts an important instrument, the PanCam, a high-resolution 3D camera that is used on the loo k on terrain and rocks try to discover signs of life.
Leicester University and Teledyne e2v work on the Raman spectrometer with STFC-RAL-Space, which supplies some of the electronics including the data processing board.
British space officials are looking for a good name for the Mars rover