T-REX Rover Image
Michigan Technological University's T-REX rover would extract and use the water ice located in and around the lunar polar regions through the use of superconducting cables to deliver large quantities of power to extremely hard-to-access regions. (Credit: Michigan Technological University)

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.