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ExoMars Rover Twin Launches Earth-Based Mission in Mars Terrain Simulator

A replica of the ExoMars Rover (Ground Test Model (GTM)) used at the Rover Operations Control Center to support mission training and operations has completed its first drive around the Mars Terrain Simulator. This image shows a GTM approaching a hill created by the Mars Terrain Simulator. Credits: Thales Alenia Space

The replica ExoMars Rover, used to support mission training and operations at the Rover Operations Control Center, has been fully assembled and completed its first run on ALTEC’s Mars Terrain Simulator in Turin, Italy.


Is Rover The Ground Test Model (GTM) will play an important role in the coming months as Rosalind Franklin prepares to arrive at Oxya Planam on Mars in June 2023.

The GTM has already completed important command tests while stationary in the clean room of Thales Alenia Space and is now fully assembled in the Mars Terrain Simulator.

To best represent what a real Rosalind Franklin rover will experience on Mars, the GTM is supported by a device that reproduces the gravity level of Mars. Since Mars’s gravity is about one-third that of Earth, two-thirds of Rover’s total mass of 290 kg is absorbed by a “Rover unload device” mounted on the GTM from the ceiling of the test area.

Rover operators use replica rover to rehearse a number of activities, from navigating different terrains to deploying scientific equipment.

The first test was a simple driving activity. He traveled on different roads and worked on horizontal slopes, small hills and rocky terrain. On the hill, Rover was ordered to take a panoramic image sequence.

A replica of the ExoMars Rover (Ground Test Model (GTM)) used at the Rover Operations Control Center to support mission training and operations has completed its first drive around the Mars Terrain Simulator. This video is accelerated at 16x and shows different scenes of activity. More tests will be done in the coming months. Credits: Thales Alenia Space

This test paves the way for more advanced activities in the coming months.For example, the first driving test was performed according to a direct drive command, but the second is track control. test: That is, the rover automatically corrects the terrain and deviations caused by terrain undulations and stays within 20 cm of the commanded path. The more advanced autonomous driving capabilities are then tested and Rover uses onboard computing capabilities to independently assess the safety of the terrain.

ExoMars Rover Twin Launches Earth-Based Mission in Mars Terrain Simulator

A replica of the ExoMars Rover (Ground Test Model (GTM)) used at the Rover Operations Control Center to support mission training and operations has completed its first drive around the Mars Terrain Simulator. As part of the exercise, GTM’s black-and-white navigation camera (NavCam) took a series of images to create this panoramic view. Credits: ESA / ExoMars / NavCam

GTM will also be used for drilling activities in the coming weeks. The ExoMars Rover will first drill 2 m below the surface of Mars to collect analytical samples in a sophisticated in-flight laboratory that is unique in Mars exploration. Underground samples are likely to contain biomarkers, as the dilute atmosphere of Mars has little protection from surface radiation and photochemistry. Understanding whether life once existed on Mars is It is an important issue in planetary science and is at the heart of the ExoMars program.



Quote: ExoMars Rover Twin was acquired from https://phys.org/news/2021-06-exomars-rover-twin-earth-based-mission on June 4, 2021 (June 4, 2021). The Earth-based mission will begin on Sunday). html

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ExoMars Rover Twin Launches Earth-Based Mission in Mars Terrain Simulator

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