The Planetary Rover

The Planetary Rover

  • Submitted By: NovaZhao
  • Date Submitted: 07/21/2010 6:45 PM
  • Category: Science
  • Words: 753
  • Page: 4
  • Views: 344

Short Essay Assignment:
Planetary Rover

By: Nova Zhao
For: Mr. Gorlick

Every year, a great deal of effort is put into the Martian Rovers who explore the surface of the planet Mars. Designing an unmanned robotic vehicle like a rover takes several test drives on various terrains; however the rover’s reaction to the terrains on different planets is unpredictable. The rover reacts differently under higher gravity and under lower gravity. In high gravity, three problems the rover may encounter are the durability, overcoming craters, and overcoming soft surfaces. In low gravity, the rover may encounter problems with slopes, bumps and rocks, and turning. When assessing these problems, Newton’s Laws, gravity, and friction come into consideration.
Free Body Diagram:

In high gravity, there are three problems. First, durability and structure of the vehicle may become a problem. This is based on the gravitational force (weight) of the vehicle. Because the gravity is higher, so is the weight (Fg=mg). A heavier weight means more force acting on the structure of the vehicle. If the vehicle is not strong enough, it may become damaged. To compensate this problem, shock absorbers may be added to the rover’s wheels. These absorb the large weight with ease, preventing damage from weight. Another way to compensate would be changing certain materials of the vehicle. This can strengthen the rover and also prevent damage from weight. These changes may cause a new problem of friction between the new materials and their surroundings. This friction can be resolved by adding a long-lasting lubricant. Another problem in high gravity is craters. The heavier the vehicle, the harder it is to move it up the inside of a crater. Adding friction with grits on the wheels will compensate. A third problem in high gravity is soft surfaces on the planet. The heavy weight of the rover makes it sink in soft surfaces, such as sand, because the Normal Force does not equal the...

Similar Essays