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AndyMc
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« on: November 25, 2005, 11:35:10 AM »

Zachstar has kindly Wink asked me if I would manage the Rover development for the Mars Direct project.

This is what I have produced so far using Anim8tor:
http://www.aovi93.dsl.pipex.com/mars_direct.htm

When last discussed on the previous forum, there were opinions expressed that the cab windows needed to have rounded corners or be completely circular (around 300mm diameter) also that only two front windows were needed and these also should be smaller and rounded or round.

I'm happy to go with smaller windows with rounded corners. But as I am at the limit of my modeling skills I'm happy for anyone else to take over developing the cabin section, or the rest of it if they wish to.

At the front of the cabin there needs to be a remote arm to pick up mineral samples and a small air-lock (like a drawer) that can be extended and into which the samples can be placed, before bringing them inside.

Also there were discussions as to what shape the inner pressure vessel should take. Some preferred a cylinder, myself a rounded box. The thing to remember is this rover is quite small, about SUV/small van size and its supposed to ferry 3/4 astronauts about for expeditions lasting days, so space is cramped for changing into space suits etc. Its asking a bit much for the volume we have to work with really.

I settled for a rover powered by 4 independant electric motors mounted in each wheel hub (like the original lunar rover) powered by 3 parallel fuel cells mounted under the floor, as described in this document: http://www.aovi93.dsl.pipex.com/Mars_Rover/Mars%20Rover%20Power%20Generation%20and%20Energy%20Usage.pdf

The fuel (methane) and oxygen are contained in the blue panniers either side of the rover (not under the floor as described in the document).

The document suggests using methane fuel tanks in the ceiling to prevent radiation exposure, which seems illogical to me as they will need to be insulated and when the fuel is used, the radiation protection is gone, so I would go with some passive kind of insulation such as polypropylene in addition to thermal insulation.

My idea for the suspension was to have secondary adjustable suspension units attaching the cab to the forks over the lower suspension. This suspension could be raised and lowered to provide comfort when moving over uneven terrain and leveling the cabin when stationary. The fuel cells are in the floor of the cabin so some flexible hoses & cables would be needed for transfer of fuel from the panniers to the fuel cells and power from the fuel cells to the motors.

Its also possible that the rover could be made a little longer so as to incorporate a rear air lock, to save de-pressurisation of the cabin during EVAs. I think the Hab has space for it.

Well there's my ideas! What the rover needs now is a competent modeler or two and someone to program it. Volunteers are more than welcome Happy

Cheers,

Andy Happy
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AndyMc
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« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2005, 05:13:09 PM »

Today I added some side windows to the Rover Cab. It looks a bit better now . I'll try to improve on the front windows over the next week if I have time. Also some surface detail needs to be added to the cab to make it look a bit more realistic.

For those that think the windows are a bit on the big side, your probably right. However take a look at the link to the Mars Direct Groups working on a Rover design http://www.marssociety.org/projects/rover/ and you will see that most of them have large panoramic windows. Also recent devlopments in the manufacture of transparent aluminium (aluminium Oxide) make windows such as these more feasible, without incurring a weight penalty.

http://www.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123012131

http://memory-alpha.org/en/wiki/Transparent_aluminum

All for now!
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AndyMc
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« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2006, 12:37:20 PM »

Well, here I am again on my Mars Rover Monologue  Confused

I completely re-worked the cab and followed some advice from Terry Wilson.  I hope I'm on the right track - cause this was hard (for me anyway).

Cab now has a double thickness hull with a 'submersible' look. This screenshot shows the front instrument/sample collection panel that I'm currently working on.



There will be probably be a sample collection drawer in the lower centre. Two arms, and a stereo camera on telescopic mount at the top of the centre panel for autonomous driving.

For mesh and more info: http://www.aovi93.dsl.pipex.com/mars_direct.htm


Bye for now,

Andy
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smoothvirus
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« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2006, 01:06:34 AM »

Looks good!

It reminds me of the rover from The Mars Underground documentary. It's a flash site so I can't link directly to it but there's a picture of it in the Image Gallery at www.themarsunderground.com
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AndyMc
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« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2006, 06:07:12 AM »

Hi again,

I've done a little more in the past few days and have added some extras, as you can see from the updated picture. The add-on and revised mesh can still be downloaded from: http://www.aovi93.dsl.pipex.com/mars_direct.htm

To do: Some internal equipment and detail, 2 more seats. Sampling equipment fitted to the ends of the arms.

If anyone has some suitable textures, or know if I can use/modify some of those used for the HAB I'd be grateful.

Also if anyone could help with poly reduction, especially in the cab areas, I'm more than happy to send you the file.

Cheers,

Andy
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smoothvirus
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« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2006, 12:20:17 AM »

Stickied, I'm doing this with all the vehicle development threads
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aftercolumbia
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« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2006, 03:52:17 PM »

I love it.  I've noticed that most non-OMDP rovers have rounded pressure volumes, probably because that's the lightest way to do it.  However, the box-type shape fits in the lander better.

The only problem I see is that this one shows no method of being able to dock with the Hab so that people can walk to and from it without putting spacesuits on.  I think this would be best accomodated on a side with a little inflatable extension.  Most "other" rovers do this from the back, so it would be original...of course who's bed are you going to have to crawl over, and where else are you going to put the radiators?  Ah...what fun, eh?

It leaves me with the overall impression that it uses a pure-oxygen, approx. 5psi life support system.  The shape doesn't look like it'll bear a whole lot of pressure, and it doesn't have anything that looks like a pressure/Dewar tank for life support supplies at all...mebbe its in those blue things.  It also looks very well insulated from the wall thickness I see through the windows.

I like the arms...I really like the wheels.  It has a real, "economy" impression...it looks like it could be built for less than anything currently out there...it looks like it could be built for less than an MER!  I also like that MER-like Pancam tower on the front, if that's really what it is.  One other thing I might recommend is a couple of footholds on each fender so we can sweep the dust off the roof...if it's that tall.
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aftercolumbia
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« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2006, 09:06:25 PM »

The 2006 Global Petroleum Show is coming up...I'll be going to see what sort of gadgets there may be...
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AndyMc
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« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2006, 07:36:33 PM »

Quote from: aftercolumbia
I love it.  I've noticed that most non-OMDP rovers have rounded pressure volumes, probably because that's the lightest way to do it.  However, the box-type shape fits in the lander better.

The only problem I see is that this one shows no method of being able to dock with the Hab so that people can walk to and from it without putting spacesuits on.  I think this would be best accomodated on a side with a little inflatable extension.  Most "other" rovers do this from the back, so it would be original...of course who's bed are you going to have to crawl over, and where else are you going to put the radiators?  Ah...what fun, eh?

It leaves me with the overall impression that it uses a pure-oxygen, approx. 5psi life support system.  The shape doesn't look like it'll bear a whole lot of pressure, and it doesn't have anything that looks like a pressure/Dewar tank for life support supplies at all...mebbe its in those blue things.  It also looks very well insulated from the wall thickness I see through the windows.

I like the arms...I really like the wheels.  It has a real, "economy" impression...it looks like it could be built for less than anything currently out there...it looks like it could be built for less than an MER!  I also like that MER-like Pancam tower on the front, if that's really what it is.  One other thing I might recommend is a couple of footholds on each fender so we can sweep the dust off the roof...if it's that tall.


Hi,

To answer some of your points.

Access to the rover is via the back door. It docks to an internal port inside the HAB. The handrails are designed to fold in two and back againts the rear face of the rover. The platform and step ladder either hang down when stowed or are fitted/removed after/before berthing in the HAB. The ladder is raised and lays across the platform before setting off on a trip.

Oxygen and fuel are inside the blue pannier tanks (covers). Internal detail will need some more thought.

Yes its a MER-like pancam that can look over the top of the rover. There's also cameras on the from for autonamous navigation and looking down into the sample drawer.

Point taken on the footholds, though the solar panels might be 'tiltable' in reality to better collect the sunlight and shake off the dust.

Yes it would be low pressure - I dont know much about this. Perhaps the body could be an inflatable structures like Bigelows. or a composite structure in some way?

Anyway: The latest Iteration can be downloaded in full from here:
http://www.aovi93.dsl.pipex.com/Mars_Rover/Mars%20Rover%20MD-Version.zip




All for now,
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aftercolumbia
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« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2006, 11:48:00 PM »

If it's inflatable, it'll wind up being round.  Pressure likes to inflate round shapes, I can't imagine it being easy to rigidize an inflatable box too well with internal pressure.  Also, if its inflatable, there is little need to worry about fitting the final shape into the lander, only its stowed shape.  An inflatable would wind up operationally resembling a tent-trailer.

I think it would be best for it to have its main power rely on propellant provided from the SP-100 fuel plant and use the solars mostly as a back-up, or as aux power if it uses internal combustion engines for locomotion (i.e. if electrical power is incapable of moving the vehicle, it would be best to use two engines so that you aren't stranded if one fails; Apollo limited themselves to walk-back distance in the event the LRV failed, so it not-quite-doubled walking radius.  We have a year and a half, not a day and a half, such a restriction would be a major pain.)
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