The final product from this project will be the plans for a manned,
unpressurized rover suitable for the Mars atmosphere and capable of
carrying out the tasks outlined by NASA in the project description.
The rover is to support a crew of two astronauts and must be able to
travel at least 10 km at a minimum speed of 10 km/h,
with the capability of pulling a trailer (the
size of which will be determined as a part of this project).
It must have enough power to endure a 12-hour mission. Due to the
rocky surface of Mars, the rover will need a strong frame and
suspension able to withstand any obstacles the terrain may possess.
The power supply/generation of the vehicle also needs to support the
vehicle itself, along with the onboard systems and tools.
The rover will have a number of
onboard systems needed for the mission. The communications system
for the rover will include audio and video data feeds between the
vehicle, its crew (in and away from the rover), a base station, an
orbiter, and Earth. The precise path for communication will be
determined as a part of the design. This feed will not only carry
collected data (photographs, videos, and astronauts verbal
communications), but also information concerning the condition of
the rover (power level and diagnostics) and its crew (health status
of astronauts). Also, with these transmissions will come an
accurate method of tracking the position of the rover. This will
enable the astronauts in the rover and at the base station to know
the precise location of the rover at any time.
The proposed video system will be able to follow the movement of the
astronaut out in the field while keeping them centered in the
frame. This will involve a camera base with adjustable height that
can pan and tilt, and could incorporate multiple cameras.
The final product will be a CAD drawing portraying the physical
structure of the rover. A detailed report discussing the subsystems
will also be included to complete the design.