The LMRs' Role
Astronaut Limitations
The Big Picture
LMR Advantages
In-field LMR Control
Habitat LMR Control
Problem 1: Complication
Subsequent Problems
LMR Families
LMR Chain of Command
LMR Overdependency
Beyond Mission 2004
A Design Note
LMR Design
Systems Outline


Deploying the LMRs: Navigation

Another important aspect of the LMR family is long-range navigation. Long range navigation commands will be provided by humans. This is done through the waypoint system. Humans and the automated base computer will be in charge of choosing an optimal path of travelling from one waypoint to another.

To keep track of their position, the medium and smal LMRs will be equipped with a visual triangulation system that uses a camera to identify certain key landmarks on the martian surface to triangulate and determine the LMR's position. Dead reckoning will also be used as a backup to determine the position of the medium LMR.

The medium LMR will be in charge of giving the small LMRs navigational instructions for close range navigation. The instructions will be given at waypoints and while travelling between waypoints. The medium LMRs will be capable of making efficient choices for the distribution of small LMRs.

The small LMRs will be in charge of their own obstacle-avoidance navigation sytems. These systems are designed to ensure that the LMRs do not damage themselves or attempt to travel over terrain that is too complicated to navigate.

These various systems should help the LMRs' reliability. A "family" of LMRs guided by humans and the medium LMR navigation system should be capable of traversing the Martian terrain. The LMRs could be used to assess each other's damage by visually inspecting each other. Should one LMR cease to function, then the other LMRs would be capable of continuing the sensor scan of the nearby area.

mitCopyright © 2000 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Comments and questions to Last updated: 10 December, 2000