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Mobile Payload Element (MPE): Concept study for a sample fetching rover for the ESA Lunar Lander Mission

Haarmann, R. and Jaumann, R. and Claasen, F. and Apfelbeck, M. and Klinkner, S. and Richter, L. and Schwendner, J. and Wolf, M. and Hofmann, P. (2012) Mobile Payload Element (MPE): Concept study for a sample fetching rover for the ESA Lunar Lander Mission. Planetary and Space Science, 74 (1), pp. 283-295. Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/j.pss.2012.08.008.

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In late 2010, the DLR Space Administration invited the German industry to submit a proposal for a study about a Mobile Payload Element (MPE), which could be a German national contribution to the ESA Lunar Lander Mission. Several spots in the south polar region of the moon come into consideration as landing site for this mission. All possible spots provide sustained periods of solar illumination, interrupted by darkness periods of several 10 h. The MPE is outlined to be a small, autonomous, innovative vehicle in the 10 kg class for scouting and sampling the environment in the vicinity of the lunar landing site. The novel capabilities of the MPE will be to acquire samples of lunar regolith from surface, subsurface as well as shadowed locations, define their geological context and bring them back to the lander. This will enable access to samples that are not contaminated by the lander descent propulsion system plumes to increase the chances of detecting any indigenous lunar volatiles contained within the samples. Kayser-Threde, as prime industrial contractor for Phase 0/A, has assembled for this study a team of German partners with relevant industrial and institutional competence in space robotics and lunar science. The primary scientific objective of the MPE is to acquire clearly documented samples and to bring them to the lander for analysis with the onboard Lunar Dust Analysis Package (L-DAP) and Lunar Volatile Resources Analysis Package (L-VRAP). Due to the unstable nature of volatiles, which are of particular scientific interest, the MPE design needs to provide a safe storage and transportation of the samples to the lander. The proposed MPE rover concept has a four-wheeled chassis configuration with active suspension, being a compromise between innovation and mass efficiency. The suspension chosen allows a compact stowage of the MPE on the lander as well as precise alignment of the solar generators and instruments. Since therefore no further complex mechanics are necessary, the active suspension significantly contributes to the lightweight MPE design. The thermal control system enables the MPE to operate in shaded areas for about 2 h and hibernate darkness periods of about 14 h. Increasing the hibernation capability requires additional battery capacity and thus increases the MPE mass. As operational modes teleoperations from earth and autonomous navigation are foreseen. The MPE payload includes navigation cameras, a close-up imager and a mole as sampling device. The MPE phase 0/A study finished in early 2012. This article describes the resulting MPE rover concept with focus on its scientific benefit for the Lunar Lander Mission.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/80600/
Document Type:Article
Title:Mobile Payload Element (MPE): Concept study for a sample fetching rover for the ESA Lunar Lander Mission
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Haarmann, R.Kayser-Threde GmbH, Wolfratshauser Strasse 48, 81379 Munich, GermanyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Apfelbeck, M.DLR Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics, Wessling, GermanyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Klinkner, S.von Hoerner & Sulger GmbH, Schwetzingen, GermanyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Richter, L.Kayser-Threde GmbH, Wolfratshauser Strasse 48, 81379 Munich, GermanyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Schwendner, J.DFKI Robotics Innovation Center, Bremen, GermanyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Wolf, M.Astrium Space Transportation, Bremen, GermanyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Hofmann, P.Kayser-Threde GmbH, Wolfratshauser Strasse 48, 81379 Munich, GermanyUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Journal or Publication Title:Planetary and Space Science
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:pp. 283-295
Keywords:Rover; Robotics; Moon; Lunar exploration; Study
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space Exploration
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R EW - Space Exploration
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Exploration of the Solar System
Location: Köln-Porz , Berlin-Adlershof , Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Vorstandsbereich Raumfahrtmanagement
Institute of Planetary Research
Institute of Planetary Research > Planetary Geology
Deposited By: Pieth, Susanne
Deposited On:14 Jan 2013 08:05
Last Modified:18 Apr 2013 11:39

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