Rover Analysis, Modeling, and Simulations (ROAMS) is a computer program that simulates the operation of a robotic vehicle (rover) engaged in exploration of a remote planet. ROAMS is a rover-specific extension of the DARTS and Dshell programs, described in prior NASA Tech Briefs articles, which afford capabilities for mathematical modeling of the dynamics of a spacecraft as a whole and of its instruments,actuators, and other subsystems. ROAMS incorporates mathematical models of kinematics and dynamics of rover mechanical subsystems, sensors, interactions with terrain, solar panels and batteries, and onboard navigation and locomotion-control software. ROAMS provides a modular simulation framework that can be used for analysis, design, development, testing,and operation of rovers. ROAMS can be used alone for system performance and trade studies. Alternatively, ROAMS can be used in an operator-in-the-loop or flight-software closed-loop environment. ROAMS can also be embedded within other software for use in analysis and development of algorithms,or for Monte Carlo studies, using a variety of terrain models, to generate performance statistics. Moreover, taking advantage of real-time features of the underlying DARTS/Dshell simulation software, ROAMS can also be used for real-time simulations.

This program was written by Abhinandan Jain, Jeng Yen, Garrett Sohl, Robert Steele, and J. Balaram of Caltech for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. This software is available for commercial licensing. Please contact Don Hart of the California Institute of Technology at (818) 393-3425. Refer to NPO-30722.

This Brief includes a Technical Support Package (TSP).
Simulating Operations of a Planetary Rover

(reference NPO30722) is currently available for download from the TSP library.

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NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the September, 2004 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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