A report presents a survey of the design engineering and scientific literature on airlocks and on planetary-exploration vehicles ("rovers"), from the perspective of evaluating existing and potential design concepts for airlocks for pressurized rovers. The airlocks are the key to designing a pressurized rover that is useful and productive for the full range of activities and operational requirements. The report presents a representative embodiment of each of these three airlock types through illustrations of a "simplified rover." The report concludes with a cogent set of design recommendations and characteristics for the three types of airlocks that would be particularly relevant to the design of a highly capable pressurized planetary rover.
This work was done by Marc M. Cohen of Ames Research Center. To obtain a copy of the report, "Pressurized Rover Airlocks," access the Technical Support Package (TSP) free on-line at www.nasatech.com/tsp under the Mechanics & Machinery category.