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Rimmed Wheel Performance on the Mars Science Laboratory Scarecrow Rover

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dc.contributor.author Graser, Evan
dc.contributor.author McGill, Sean M
dc.contributor.author Rankin, Arturo
dc.contributor.author Bielawiec, Alex
dc.date.accessioned 2021-10-12T17:51:07Z
dc.date.available 2021-10-12T17:51:07Z
dc.date.issued 2020-03-07
dc.identifier.citation 2020 IEEE Aerospace Conference, Big Sky, Montana, March 7-13, 2020
dc.identifier.clearanceno CL#20-0193
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2014/52251
dc.description.abstract The Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Curiosity rover experienced increasing wheel damage beginning in October 2013. While the wheels were designed to operate with considerable damage, the rate at which damage was occurring was unexpected and raised concerns regarding wheel life expectancy. As of Sol 2555 (10-14-19), there are two broken grousers on the left middle wheel, and one broken grouser on the right middle wheel. One possible scenario, albeit remote, is that enough grousers break on a wheel such that unconstrained portions of the wheel could contact the cable running from the rover motor controller assembly to the wheel's drive actuator. If the cable to a drive actuator is damaged, that wheel may no longer respond to commands. To make progress towards a navigation goal position, that wheel would need to be dragged. To mitigate the risk of damaging a cable running to a wheel’s drive actuator, the unconstrained portion of a wheel could be strategically shed by performing driving maneuvers on an immovable rock. What would remain after wheel shedding is a rimmed wheel (the outer 1/3 of the wheel). We studied the feasibility of remotely commanding the rover to perform the shed maneuver on one of its front wheels. To inform whether or not to shed the wheels, we tested the performance of driving on one or more rimmed wheels in flight. This led to a two-month test campaign in the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Mars Yard using the Scarecrow testbed rover. Driving and steering performance was characterized on a variety of terrain types and slopes in a worst-case rimmed wheeled configuration. Test results indicate that if wheel shedding could be successfully executed in flight, Curiosity could continue to drive indefinitely on rimmed wheels.
dc.description.sponsorship NASA/JPL en_US
dc.description.sponsorship NASA/JPL
dc.language.iso en_US
dc.publisher Pasadena, CA: Jet Propulsion Laboratory, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2020
dc.title Rimmed Wheel Performance on the Mars Science Laboratory Scarecrow Rover
dc.type Preprint


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