ESA GNC Conference Papers Repository

Moon-Hound: Test Bench for Exploration Rover GNC and Sensors Validation
Mollinedo, L. ; Medina, A. ; Colmenarejo, P.
Presented at:
Karlovy Vary 2011
Full paper:

The Moon-Hound rover is a medium-size rover (50 Kg) with 4-wheels all-terrain initially conceived as an exploration rover for planetary exploration of craters with 40º slopes (ESA Lunar Robotic Challenge, 2008). Later on, the Moon-Hound rover has been re-designed and re-furbished towards a laboratory rover platform. Special effort has been placed on achieving a high degree of modularity of its electronics and compatibility with the GenoM distributed robotics framework. All in one, the Moon-Hound is now a well-suited platform for rover GNC testing and sensors validation. Mechanically this rover includes a main mast able to support navigation sensors as IMU, stereovision systems, laser devices or 3D-TOF cameras. Additionally it carries a mobile arm of 1 Dof with the purpose of fetching samples or having closer images of scientific targets by inserting a micro-camera at the tip of the arm. The paper describes the recently finalized MoonHound architecture re-design and will present the approach and procedures to use this platform as laboratory test bench for GNC design (including sensors selection) iteration, implementation and ground validation. Results from a rover GNC suite based on a 3D Laser sensor for environment perception, geolocalization and path planning have been obtained using the GMV outdoor testing facilities. Feasibility of 3D Laser sensor (aided with odometry and/or inertial measurements) as main rover sensor for all needed tasks in a planetary exploration/servicing scenario has been demonstrated and will be reported in the paper. For the GNC concept demonstration and test campaign a commercial 3D laser based on a 2D Sick laser and a pan & tilt unit have been used. The 3D laser is mounted at a height of 1.2m over the ground and it generates DEM’s of 20x20m with an adjustable resolution between 1cm and 20cm.