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Mars exploration mobility within safety constraints

Mann, G. (2005) Mars exploration mobility within safety constraints. In: 5th Australian Mars Exploration Conference (AMEC) 2005, 19-21 August, 2005, Canberra, Australia



Whether on foot or by vehicle, planning for any safe exploratory activity at a Mars base will need to achieve a complex balance of factors such as: i) the value of the exploratory target site ii) the life support consumables available iii) the capabilities of the vehicle (or the explorer in a spacesuit) iv) the available daylight hours and v) the terrain the expedition must traverse. The balance is complex because the factors themselves are not simple (e.g. the capabilities of a vehicle may include range, speed, climbing ability, maximum payload etc.) and the variables interact in complex ways (e.g. available life support consumables might vary depending on mission and vehicle type, and may be affected by terrain). Reliable methods for planning safe sorties will likely depend on constraint-satisfaction methods - almost certainly delivered as software - moderated by human judgement. A geometrical method for planning under a daylight-only driving policy is offered as an example of a constraint-satisfaction method. It is proposed that this method be tested by implementing it in sortie planning software on the Starchaser Rover as part of the operational testing of Project Marsupial, where it would be combined with human judgement.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Information Technology
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