ESA StarTiger : Seeker
Rimmer at Hills Quarry on its first field trial
StarTiger is a European Space Agency programme aimed at tackling complex design issues by co-locating a group of experts, typically eight, from different organisations, in an intensive design environment for around six months.
RAL Space is leading a Consortium to develop long-distance (>1km/day) autonomous navigation systems for interplanetary rovers. The team includes RAL Space, SciSys, BAe Systems, Roke Manor, MDA Space & Robotics, LAAS(F) and Oxford University. The StarTiger campaign is being conducted in offices and a Robotics Lab at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory and makes use of RAL Space’s new Concurrent Design Facility (link opens in a new window) (CDF).
RoboVolc at the Robotics Trials Area, RAL Space
The rover platforms that are being used for Seeker are RoboVolc, a rugged terrestrial rover designed originally for working in volcano craters, provided by BAe Systems, and our own Rimmer rover. During the development period, local rover and sensor trials are being conducted in a specially landscaped area adjacent to the Robotics Lab, known colloquially as the Mars Yard. Longer distance trials are also being undertaken in a local quarry, with the kind permission of Hills Quarries. The final long distance demonstration will take place in June this year in an overseas location with Mars-like terrain, most probably the Atacama desert in Chile.
RAL Space Robotics
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