Design and Development of an EVA Assistance Roving Vehicle for Artemis and Beyond

TitleDesign and Development of an EVA Assistance Roving Vehicle for Artemis and Beyond
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsAkin, D., C. Hanner, N. Bolatto, D. Gribok, and Z. Lachance

It seems logical that the Artemis program to return humans to the Moon should begin with capabilities at least equivalent to the last Apollo missions: specifically, a roving vehicle for crew transport. Given the intervening half-century, such a vehicle should also have advanced robotic capabilities to enhance and extend human exploration activities. Under support from the NASA Moon-to-Mars X-Hab program, the University of Maryland is developing such a robotic roving vehicle concept for Earth analog testing and evaluation. The approach taken is to design a vehicle for lunar use, then prototype the most similar vehicle possible for testing on Earth. Rather than a single vehicle for two EVA crew, probabilistic risk assessments indicated a greater utility for two vehicles designed for nominal single-person use, but each capable of carrying a second EVA crew in the event of a vehicle failure. This mitigates the Apollo-era stringent �walk-back� criteria, which limited both overall traverse distance and allowable exploration time at remote sites. Since human lunar landing systems are in preliminary design at this time, the UMd rover design was constrained to permit launching a pair on a single Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) landing mission, allowing the rovers to be pre-emplaced at the Artemis landing site before the arrival of the crew. The mobility system for the rover is designed to transport a 170 kg suited crew with 80 kg of exploration payload in nominal circumstances, and to additionally transport a second 170 kg crew as a contingency. The rover is designed for a top speed of 4 m/sec, �cruising� speed of 2.5 m/sec, with a 54 km range and peak slope capability of 30�. The paper covers design trades, prototype fabrication, and initial testing results in analog conditions with EVA simulation.

Citation Keyakin_design_2021