The Tethered permanently shadowed Region EXplorer (T-REX) rover, designed and built by a team of Michigan Technological University students – is designed to provide reliable power and data to other operations within Permanently Shadowed Regions (PSRs) of the Moon, where conventional line-of-sight radio-frequency (RF) communications and solar power generation are limited.
T-REX will deploy a lightweight, superconducting cable for power and communications into a permanently shadowed region. It will be unspooled by a two-wheeled rover that traverses down the slope of the crater. After reaching its final destination, the rover becomes an electrical recharging hub and a communications relay for other robots operating in the dark region. This technology leverages the ultra-cold temperatures of the Moon’s polar shadows, enabling the use of superconducting materials without active cooling systems.