OFMM Development: Mars Ground Ops

Bloodworth

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This discussion will be for brainstorming and finalizing ground expeditions while on the surface of Mars.

Here are my ideas:

1) We will need surface exploration for the location and mining of minerals for earth return (to pay for the project) and fuel for the ships and bases and water for the bases.

2) Ground and air (baloon, uav, and DG) expeditions for the collection of scientific data. We will also need to figure a way to collect that data within the confines of orbiter.

3) Ground expeditions purely for their historic significance (the summit of Olympus mons, the bottom of Valles Marinaris etc...)

4) Location of as many mars landers as we can, for the purposes of assessing their condition and possible preservation. We could conceivably collect and return Sojourner and enshrine Viking 1 (glass dome and memorial plaque).
 

Bloodworth

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Ok, tonight i am going to work on a base design and parts list for a ground crew of 10 (tentative) using ucgo modules (that's all I have). This will be just to get the ball rolling on planning and starting to figure out materials needed.
 

Bj

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Bloodworth said:
This discussion will be for brainstorming and finalizing ground expeditions while on the surface of Mars.

Here are my ideas:

1) We will need surface exploration for the location and mining of minerals for earth return (to pay for the project) and fuel for the ships and bases and water for the bases.

2) Ground and air (baloon, uav, and DG) expeditions for the collection of scientific data. We will also need to figure a way to collect that data within the confines of orbiter.

3) Ground expeditions purely for their historic significance (the summit of Olympus mons, the bottom of Valles Marinaris etc...)

4) Location of as many mars landers as we can, for the purposes of assessing their condition and possible preservation. We could conceivably collect and return Sojourner and enshrine Viking 1 (glass dome and memorial plaque).
Good ideas, I think something like the Phoenix WCL would work for the 'testing' of Mars surface samples.

Maybe we could use the MER concept as the platform for testing material?
 

Bloodworth

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Bj said:
I think something like the Phoenix WCL would work for the 'testing' of Mars surface samples.

Maybe we could use the MER concept as the platform for testing material?
I concur, we just need to get somebody to model and code it.
 

Bj

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Bloodworth said:
I concur, we just need to get somebody to model and code it.
Coding is easy, modeling is hard :thumbup:

Ill give modeling a go tomorrow, though most of my previous attempts have resulted in models not worth looking at, it was a while ago the last time I attempted it.
 

Urwumpe

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Bloodworth said:
I concur, we just need to get somebody to model and code it.
Coding is easy.

I could produce a semi-rigid greenhouse if somebody would just make good meshes and a single bitmap graphic for the user interface. Could even permit any number of crops for it, as long as somebody has fun researching plants and writing/editing a JSON file for such input data.
 

fireballs619

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I don't recall us ever picking an actual landing site. Did I miss it, or do we still need to pick one?
 

Izack

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For what it's worth, I believe somewhere near the Juventae Chasma at Valles Marineris was decided as ideal. Nothing was conclusive, though.

Bj, I half agree with you. It isn't imperative we pick a spot now, but the location determines what sorts of things can be done by the surface team, which strongly influences mission design, as well as equipment and vehicles.
 

fireballs619

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And the discussions about the rovers belows to the ground operations, people. And no, the MER rovers remain where they are. You sure wouldn't think about repairing your modern Ferrari with parts from a VW Beetle, why should that be different with the MER rovers?
Urwumpe was right about that, so I'll continue discussion here. Should we use the default lunar rover that comes with UCGO or develop our own to fit our needs?
 

Urwumpe

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Urwumpe was right about that, so I'll continue discussion here. Should we use the default lunar rover that comes with UCGO or develop our own to fit our needs?
We do it by the manual: First we determine what our needs are, then we decide what fits our needs. ;)

The less we need to develop, the better, but if nothing is around, that fits into the job description, we need to develop it.

I am strongly against selecting a solution first and then decide what to do with it - such a huge error already killed Ares.
 

fireballs619

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Requirements for the rover

I spent some time thinking, and this is what I came up with for the requirments for the rovers:

  1. Versatile- they have to be able to go over many types of terrain; we can't assume that we are only going to cross Martian plains. This means it should have high traction so it can easily (or with reduced effort) climb and descend (shallow) crater walls. There are no two lane roads on Mars!
  2. Durable- this in part fits in with the 'Versatile'. We need to have a rover that wont break down after a few big bumps. We have a somewhat limited time on the Martian surface, so we don't want to be wasting it repairing vehicles.
  3. Lightweight- My goal is to bring multiple rovers along, because bringing one along would simply not be efficient for the amount of astronauts we have. Perhaps 3, maybe four, would be a good amount. That is 6-8 astronauts we can have exploring at a time, as apposed to two.
  4. Strong- This one is obvious. We need a strong rover to carry the needed cargoes and tools to destinations. I think a good weight:load ratio would be about 1:2. We should at least be able to carry double its weight, or very close to it.
That's all I could think of. In short we need a versatile, durable, lightweight, and strong rover. Speed isn't a major concern, because I dont envision us going past 20-25 km from the base with these. Anything further I believe we are using UAVs or suborbital aircraft.
 

Urwumpe

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Ok, now you just need to make your 4 goals into quantifiable objectives, that we can use for comparing different rovers. ;)

(Quantifiable = Can be described and counted by numbers)

That is the tough part actually, such fluffy objectives are quickly found, but when you have to decide what "robust" or "strong" actually should mean, things get complex.

And speed does actually matter, since speed also limits range in a way, that you don't want to be overtaken by plate tectonics.
 
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fireballs619

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Ok, let the quantifying begin:


  1. Versatile- It should be able to climb steep slopes. Perhaps a 30% grade at the minimum. I may be a little optimistic there, but it should be good.
  2. Durable- The chassis will have to be made out of a strong material, most likely a metal. The metal will be lightweight, as to fit in with the next item. Perhaps it can be made of interchangeable parts so needed repairs are quick. Possible candidates:
    • Titanium: So far this is looking like the winner. It has the highest strength-to-weight ratio of any metal. The preferred alloy is Grade-5.
    • Tin- Thought about this because of its weight, but it becomes very brittle at temperatures below 13.2 °C. Mars is far below that
  3. Lightweight- Again, this depends on the materials used in its making. Without a load, I think 500 kg should be the limit, preferably less. Remember; the heavier it is, the less we can bring.
  4. Strong- This refers to the load it can handle. Again, double its mass should be fine i.e. Mass is 500 kg, its load should be at least 1000kg.

In short, the requirements are:

  1. Able to traverse a minimum of 30% grade slopes.
  2. Chassis made of durable metal. A durable metal is one that has: At least a tensile strength of 600 KPa, and Young's modulus of 100 GPa. Interchangeable parts for quick repairs is preferred.
  3. Lightweight metal used. (lightweight being no more than 6000 kg/m3). Mass should be no more than 500 kg.
  4. Strong, having a 1:2 mass:load ratio.
 

Izack

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The UCGO Azure rover pretty much fits the bill. 4 passengers, 2 cargoes, ~50km/h top speed on electric power, looks totally kickass. :thumbup:

AFAIK, there's nothing unrealistic about it, either.


EDIT: Wait, 500kg? Well, then this is 21 000kg over the limit.
 
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fireballs619

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Looks good to me. Do you know its mass? Do you think we would have room for two?
 

Izack

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Looks good to me. Do you know its mass? Do you think we would have room for two?
It's 21 500kg, unfortunately (crossposting led to me not seeing the quantifications until a second ago.)

Although, are you sure 500kg is a good mass limit? It's a little on the scrawny side.
 

fireballs619

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It's 21 500kg, unfortunately (crossposting led to me not seeing the quantifications until a second ago.)

Although, are you sure 500kg is a good mass limit? It's a little on the scrawny side.
No I knew it wasn't a good mass limit when I posted, but I was going off of the Apollo Lunar rovers. I wasn't sure how much space we were going to have when all was said and done, so i picked a small one to be safe. If you think it'll fit, it looks perfect to me.
 

Urwumpe

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I think #2 is prescribing already a solution for technical problems, you should leave this away, since it doesn't help in the design. Also it says nothing about how robust the rover actually is. Better describe it in terms like "Mean time between failures" or "maximum speed in rough terrain, fully loaded". The rough terrain is still something that needs to be defined, but there could be easily made tests that confirm how much punishment the suspension would have to take.

Setting a maximum mass for it is OK, since this is the interface for the orbital operations, but 500 kg might be a bit low. At least for serving as long-distance pickup truck. Maybe you should then describe the limitations as "maximum velocity in terrain by payload mass" and define some example values that should be achieved.

Also, I would say you should have a remote control feature, that can be used such, that either you can command the vehicle by a remote control package while you have the rover in sight (like a RC car), or by making the rover follow another rover.
 
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lennartsmit

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How about using something like this: Mammoet Kamag

It's not really fast it can carry more then 100 tonnes whilst weighing only 15 tonnes.
That's a mass:load ratio of 1:8! We could make a light version of this with some more speed.

The UCGO container that has just been released can come in very handy for transport for us.
An automated version of this kind of vehicle is already being used in the harbour of Rotterdam.
 
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