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


The Subsequent Problems: Communication, Range, and Reliability

Another, perhaps more important problem, is that of communication. It is not too difficult to maintain a solid communications link between the base and LMRs over a comfortable distance of around 100 meters. This would allow for easy direct line of sight communication, and a power efficient, light, hardware setup for the LMRs that would allow them to effectively stay in constant contact with the base/lander. The LMRs would not be capable of effectively extending beyond this 100 meter limit, seriously limiting the range and coverage of the mission. Our LMRs simply cannot be restricted to this extent.

Even if the LMRs could travel many kilometers away from the base and stay in contact with the astronauts, the LMRs would face serious reliability problems. As the LMRs travel farther away from each other, it becomes difficult for them to check upon the status of each other. If an LMR breaks down, it would be difficult to determine the extent of its damage, thereby inhibiting the restoration of the operation of the mission in the LMR's specific area.

Another issue is that of efficiency. Sending one LMR to cover an entire area would not allow for extensive, comprehensive, sensor coverage of that area. Though the many separate LMRs would be capable of covering huge amounts of area, they would not manage to sustain a detailed, complete, coverage of their surroundings. The larger "quantity" of coverage would be offset by a smaller "quality" of coverage.

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