Tag Archive: rover

Nov 08 2014

#043: Automated Rover Test Drive #6

After finishing up maintenance on the rover, which experienced some technical difficulties on the previous drive, the team once again unleashed Lupek out into the wilderness hoping for a clean drive from start to finish. They were also testing out a new feature of the driving software that would allow Lupek to retrace its route back to the start. As Lupek has already proven itself on long voyages, the team decided to only send it out as far as the grasslands and back.

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Nov 04 2014

#041: Automated Rover Test Drive #5

Although the previous drive was ultimately successful, engineers on the rover team were still not satisfied with the damage done to the rover and the inability of the software to properly acquire the next waypoint. Further refinement to the driving parameters and some refactoring of the guidance code gives them high hopes of a clean run from start to finish on this next drive out to the west shore desert. Once again, the rover will be completely on its own and assisted only from mission control at KSC.

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Nov 03 2014

#040: Automated Rover Test Drive #4

Previous drives of the rover focused on testing and refining the code the would allow the rover to navigate itself over difficult and unknown terrain. The team is now at the point where they feel confident enough in the rover’s abilities to not only go out and drive itself around without a pace vehicle for backup, but also while carrying the full suite of instruments and equipment that will be loaded on it for its actual mission to Mun. Accidents now will not only endanger the rover, but the operability of several delicate science instruments.

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Oct 30 2014

#039: Automated Rover Test Drive #3

The previous test drive ended in disaster as the rover failed to control its speed as it backed down a steep slope it could not climb, tumbling and wrecking itself. While a new rover body was constructed, engineers used the time to work out what went wrong in the code and corrected the problem. This drive would take the rover straight out to the mountains to make sure the new code behaves as expected.

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Oct 26 2014

#037: Automated Rover Test Drive #2

After successfully navigating 169.3km from KSC out to the west shore desert, the rover team got to work planning an even harder route back home that would test the rover’s ability to handle a slope it couldn’t navigate, as well as refactoring a large portion of the rover driver software to give the team more data to look at while the rover operated.

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Oct 25 2014

#036: Automated Rover Test Drive #1

After completing the first phase of rover testing KSA engineers got to work on the software that would help to pilot the rover on other worlds where controllers won’t have immediate execution of commands. A stripped-down version of the rover was constructed for testing of waypoint acquisition and navigation, culminating in the first long-distance drive over 150km to the west shore desert.

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Oct 08 2014

#031: Rover Development Phase 1

The first extra-planetary goal of the rover program was Mun, a close neighbor that would provide minimal signal lag and 24/7 communication thanks to the established satellite network around both Mun and Kerbin. However rather than sending a rover directly to Mun, the team knew they had to test a version here on Kerbin first to make sure the design was capable of handling lower Mun gravity. They also wanted to begin working towards a completely automated drive capability, despite the low signal lag allowing for manual control. This first phase of development looks at the design of the rover, the first delivery vehicle concept, and the beginnings of automated drive software.

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