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Field Testing of Utility Robots for Lunar Surface Operations

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Presentation on theme: "Field Testing of Utility Robots for Lunar Surface Operations"— Presentation transcript:

1 Field Testing of Utility Robots for Lunar Surface Operations
Terry Fong Intelligent Robotics Group irg.arc.nasa.gov

2 Notional Lunar Campaign

3 During the first three years, crew is on the surface
3650 total days (robot on surface) 1140 days (robots on surface) 87 days (crew on surface) During the first three years, crew is on the surface 8% of the time

4 Lunar Surface Robotics
Un-crewed Missions Characterize environment Prepare for crew Build infrastructure Short-stay Missions EVA support: expand range and capability of sorties Off-load repetitive and time consuming tasks Outpost Missions Routine tasks: maintenance, ops support, survey, etc. Heavy duty: large payload transport, construction, etc.

5 NASA Human-Robotic Systems Project
Research areas Surface mobility Humans Payloads Utility robots Handling Cargo Material Human-robot interaction (HRI) Primary Objectives Address key technical challenges for lunar surface operations Develop requirements & mature surface systems Perform trade studies in relevant and analog environments 2006 Meteor Crater Field Test NASA Centers: ARC, GRC, GSFC, JPL, JSC, KSC, LaRC

6 Human-Robotic Systems Project
Chariot K10’s Scarab ATHLETE Centaur

7 HRS Analog Field Testing
Objectives Test and validate technologies, systems, & procedures Conduct integrated simulations Analogs are never perfect No place on Earth is exactly like the Moon No single site covers all needs Level of fidelity is key Every analog offers different levels of fidelity Choice of analog depends on what level of fidelity is needed HRS emphasis = operational + compositional analogs scale of site scope of activities logistically reasonable flats, slopes & craters dusty to bouldered geology

8 2006 Meteor Crater Field Test
3-16 September 2006 Coordinated human-robot operations ARC, JSC, JPL, & LaRC Co-located with Desert RATS (shared infrastructure)

9 Lunar Short Stay Mission Simulation
ATHLETE positions Pressurized Rover Compartment (PRC) Crew drive unpressurized rover to worksite Crew dismount and walk to PRC to recharge suits Centaur removes sample box (time-delayed teleop via satellite from Houston) K10 performs autonomous “walkaround” (for remote visual inspection) 1 1 2 2 3 3 4 4 5 5

10 Visual Inspection Rover-based imaging
Autonomous approach & circumnavigation HDR gigapixel panorama Crew (IVA or ground) analyzes images for problems K10 inspection of SCOUT Meteor Crater Field Test, Sept. 2006 M. Bualat et al “Autonomous Robotic Inspection for Lunar Surface Operations”, FSR ’07

11 Basic Panorama Source: 54 images (1,600x1,200) = 99 Mpix
Panorama: 90º x 40º (12,000x6,000)

12 HDR Panorama Source: 270 images (1,600x1,200) @ 5 stops = 494 Mpix
Panorama: 90º x 40º (12,000x6,000)

13 2007 Haughton Crater Field Test
10 July – 3 August 2007 Systematic site survey with two K10 robots 3D scanning lidar for topographic mapping Ground-penetrating radar for resource prospecting Multiple lunar analog sites at Haughton Crater Remote (habitat and ground control) robot operations Haughton Crater (Devon Island, Canada) K10 This field test is designed to examine: (1) multi-robot site survey, (2) IVA operations from a simulated habitat (Haughton-Mars Project base camp), (3) simulated ground operations (JSC Code ER “cockpit”) that is fundamentally different from MER (command-cycle based goal-directed traverses). Note: We are studying SURVEY OPERATIONS and ROBOTIC SOFTWARE. We are NOT testing robot mechatronics, nor locomotion performance. We use K10 robots (MER-class) because they are mature research systems that are well suited for terrestrial analog environments. Robotic site survey on the moon will LIKELY be performed with larger vehicles (e.g., a human-sized rover teleoperated from ground), but COULD be performed with MER-class robots (for more difficult terrain, permanently shadowed areas, far away from outpost).

14 Remote Operations “Pressurized Rover” ARC JSC “Lunar Outpost”
NASA ARC NASA JSC During the test, two types of remote operations were conducted: (1) “Hab Ops”: shirtsleeved IVA from a lunar outpost (Haughton-Mars Project base camp) and a mobile habitat (a HMMWV) with no delay, high-bandwidth (54 Mb/sec) data networking, and (2) “Ground Control” at ARC and JSC (data carried by CSA satellite from Haughton to Toronto ground station, and then by Internet to ARC and JSC) with variable delay and lower (1 Mb/sec) bandwidth. “Pressurized Rover” ARC JSC “Lunar Outpost” Ground Ops IVA Ops

15 “Drill Hill” Survey 700 m Survey plan K10 robot on-site for 3 days
One survey is of the “Drill Hill” region (location of previous ASTEP funded Mars drilling work), which is approximately 5km from base camp and requires a communications relay (provided by a HMMWV acting as a simulated pressurized rover). The surveyed region measures 700x700. This survey simulates lunar resource prospecting operations. GPR is one of two sensors (neutron spectrometer is the other) that is necessary for ground-truthing of buried water ice lateral and vertical distribution. Survey plan K10 robot on-site for 3 days HMMWV simulates pressurized rover (temporary habitat) Resource prospecting: subsurface ground-penetrating radar scans (parallel transects with 50 m spacing)

16 Parallel line transects (50 m spacing, E-W, N-S)
“Drill Hill” Survey Survey plan (green) Survey boundary (blue) K10 path (black) Parallel line transects (50 m spacing, E-W, N-S) 20.5 km total traverse

17 K10 Lidar Survey

18 K10 Lidar Survey

19 3D Terrain Modeling 130 m Valley mapping (1 m polar grid)

20 3D Terrain Modeling HMP base camp (1 m polar grid)
Full triangular mesh containing approximately two million points without resampling. The first model shows the area near Haughton-Mars Project base camp, including the HMP greenhouse and solar panels (shown on right). HMP base camp (1 m polar grid)

21 K10 GPR Survey K10 black crossing run-off from snow melt.

22 K10 GPR Survey

23 K10 GPR Survey K10 black at Drill Hill

24 GPR Survey Display GPR data (vertical) transect lines 1x1 meter grid
Robot state (health, task execution, terrain/obstacle assessment) and survey data is displayed in real-time. During K10 Black operations, data acquired by the GPR was visualized as a geolocated “strip-chart” (appears as ribbon draped behind the robot). transect lines 1x1 meter grid

25 2008 Moses Lake Sand Dunes Field Test
1-13 June 2008 Examine early lunar mission tasks (not precursor) (deploy infrastructure, site surveys, install beacons) Multi-robot & coordinated human-robot activities Experiment with different ops scenarios (shared & traded control, ground & surface) K10 Chariot ATHLETE

26 Moses Lake Sand Dunes 3,000 acre sand dune site
Soft soil with mixed gravel Rolling terrain, varied slopes Lightly vegetated Lunar operations analog Not lunar science analog

27 Moses Lake Sand Dunes

28 K10 Activities Utility robotics
Systematic science survey: ground penetrating radar Robotic recon: “high grade” science targets for traverse planning Topographic survey: 3D scanning lidar Comm network mapping: predicted vs. actual coverage Mobile camera (videographer) Predicted Ground ops (JSC) DEM (1m polar grid) Actual

29 Systematic Site Survey
Local Area Mapping Maps for engineering, science, & ISRU Dense coverage + repetitive measurements (e.g., parallel-line transects) Lidar, comm signal, GPR, penetrometer, etc K10 Black at Moses Lake Sand Dunes robot Function Polar volatiles search Mode Mapping Path Systematic coverage Science Instruments Visible imager(s) Ground-penetrating radar Microscopic terrain imager Science Objectives Map subsurface structure Identify particle distribution Assess site stratigraphy Identify water table depth

30 Robotic Recon Advance science scout K10 Red at Moses Lake Sand Dunes
Site & traverse recon before crew activity (“high grading” by science backroom) Increase crew productivity (traverse planning) Multi-modal sensing (not just visible imagery) K10 Red at Moses Lake Sand Dunes robot crew Function Geologic scouting Mode Exploration Path Circuitous Science Instruments Visible imager(s) on pan/tilt 3D scanning lidar Microscopic terrain imager Science Objectives Triage sample locations Identify particle distribution Assess surface composition Evaluate depositional history

31 EVA Traverse Planning Robotic recon identifies & priorities sites of interest Plan EVA traverse to maximize utility Traverse assessment Suited subjects (limited geology training) Unsuited subject: identify what missed while in suit Field geologist: ground truth

32 Ground Control Structure
Tactical Minutes to Hours Flight Control Team JSC B9 Flight Director “RoboCom” Systems Liaison Science Liaison JSC B9 Moses Lake JSC B9 Systems Lead Science PI Robot Cmdr Robot Driver Hardware Eng. K10 Red PI K10 Black PI Power Eng. Robot Ops Team MI PEL GPR PEL Control Eng. Lidar PEL Imager PEL Execution Secs to Hours Telemetry Eng. K10 Robot Data Curation Systems Support Team Science Operations Team Strategic Minutes to Days

33 Functional Flow Strategic Tactical Execution Robot Data Voice Systems
Key Functional Flow Data Voice Systems Support Team Science Ops Team Strategic Systems Lead Science PI Flight Control Team Sys Liaison Sci Liaison Tactical Flight Director RoboCom Robot Operations Team Execution Robot Cmdr Robot Driver Robot K10 Robot

34 Intelligent Robotics Group Intelligent Systems Division
NASA Ames Research Center irg.arc.nasa.gov Copyright © 2008


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