Fast Traversing Autonomous Rover for Mars Sample Collection

What is “Fast Traverse”

In the project context, fast traverse is defined as completing the mission required total traverse distance in a significantly less number of sols compared to the current rovers with the help of onboard autonomy.

How Fast is “Fast”?

The distance traveled by a rover per day would be highly dependent on the complexity of the terrain it is driving on. There is also no plan to increase the instantaneous travel speed of the rover. Therefore, no specific rover “km/h” goal is proposed for this project. Instead, the rover will achieve “fast traverse” through an increased “duty cycle”. That is, the rover should keep moving when there is still battery power remaining. This requires safe and intelligent onboard decision making for robot motion planning as well as energy use optimization. Accordingly, the project will be evaluated base on the “mean time between human interventions” and the operation “duty cycle”