An illustration of the steps for Ocean World traverse and sampling, being addressed by this research.
This task is aims to develop modes of robotic mobility uniquely suited to reaching targets of high science value on the icy, rugged terrains of Ocean Worlds. This advancement in capability is being achieved through the coupling of state-of-the-art microfluidic instrumentation and the RoboSimian robot, enabling realistic, multi-site science analogue operations. Field test campaigns are underway at the Matanuska glacier, Alaska, and Devil’s Golf Course, California. Additionally, mobility evaluations on loose, Enceladus regolith analogue are being performed inside a gravity-offloading testbed. This task comprises an interdisciplinary collaboration of scientists and technologists from JPL, Caltech and the U.S. Army’s Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory.
This work is funded by the NASA Science Mission Directorate, Planetary Science and Technology Through Analog Research Solicitation (PSTAR) program.