Red Rover

Problem Statement


Problem Statement
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Unpressurized Manned Rover for Mars Surface – TSGC Specifications


bullet •Crew of Two
bulletErgonomically Designed Seats
bulletBack Pack Life Support Systems
bulletRange – 10 km at 10 km/hr
bulletMission Duration – 8 hrs w/ 4 hr safety margin
bulletCarry Tools / Equipment
bulletCapability of pulling a trailer
bulletAppropriate Suspension System


Design Objective

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 astronaut’s 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.


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This site was last updated 11/11/03