A captured screen graphic depicting a rover, with shaded cones showing the terrain viewed by the front and back stereo cameras, during simulation of rough terrain navigation.
We are developing technology for modeling and simulation (M&S) of the surface phase of future Mars lander missions beginning with MSL, to support the credible use of virtual testbeds in system validation and verification. Virtual testbeds not only provide cost-effective closed-loop environments to supplement the testing effort with hardware and physical testbeds, but also allow exploration of scenarios and environment regimes not possible using physical testbeds.
As part of the surface flight system development, higher-fidelity testbeds are needed to support the development and testing of flight software and hardware developed from the underlying algorithms and component technologies. These testbeds include flightlike interfaces and real-time simulations. The M&S models and capabilities we are developing will support these higher-fidelity simulations. M&S allows the determination of performance bounds as well as sensitivity information that is important for trade studies.
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