NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California
A physical-based simulation has been developed for the Mars
Exploration Rover (MER) mission that applies a slope-induced
wheel-slippage to the rover location estimator. Using the digital
elevation map from the stereo images, the computational
method resolves the quasi-dynamic equations of motion that
incorporate the actual wheel-terrain speed to estimate the
gross velocity of the vehicle. Based on the empirical slippage measured by the Visual
Odometry software of the rover, this algorithm computes two factors for the slip model by minimizing
the distance of the predicted and
actual vehicle location, and then uses
the model to predict the next drives.
This technique, which has been
deployed to operate the MER rovers in
the extended mission periods, can
accurately predict the rover position
and attitude, mitigating the risk and
uncertainties in the path planning on
This work was done by Jeng Yen of Caltech
for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
The software used in this innovation is
available for commercial licensing. Please
contact Karina Edmonds of the California
Institute of Technology at (626) 395-2322.
Refer to NPO-45240.
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