Planetary Rovers & Mobility Systems
Neptec’s Artemis Jr Rover is a light weight terrestrial prototype of a lunar rover that was designed, developed and tested by a Neptec-led team of commercial and academic organizations. Artemis Jr was designed to operate as a surface mobility platform for a variety of science payloads and instruments for future lunar missions. With a mass of 230 kg and a payload capacity of up to 150 kg, Artemis Jr. is a four-wheeled, skid-steer design with a two-speed mechanical drive train powered by brushless DC electric motors. Artemis Jr. incorporates a passive, rigid suspension and compliant metal wheels to provide a simple, terrainable and reliable mobility chassis. The rover can be controlled directly through an RF-handheld transmitter, tele-operated remotely, or can be commanded to autonomously navigate and avoid obstacles using an onboard suite of vision and navigation sensors.
DESTIN LUNAR DRILL
DESTIN (Drilling Exploration & Sample Technology Integrated) is a one metre lunar drill that was designed by Neptec partner Deltion Innovations Ltd of Sudbury, Ontrario. The DESTIN drill was built under contract to the Canadian Space Agency and was integrated and field tested on Neptec’s Artemis Junior Rover. The DESTIN drill is designed to drill into the lunar surface and collect samples of the soil (regolith) that can then be analyzed to determine the presence of water-bearing minerals or water ice.
The Juno Rover is an early prototype rover designed, developed and built by a Neptec-led team for the Canadian Space Agency. The Juno Rover is actually a family of multi-purpose rovers that can be adapted to carry different science instruments and payloads on the Moon. The Juno Rover offers a high degree of modularity while allowing the rover to be adapted to a variety of different payloads and mission scenarios. Juno has a mass of 300 kg, can drive over all sorts of terrain and large obstacles and can carry up to 275 kg – almost as much as it weighs. Powered by lithium-ion batteries, Juno has a top speed of 12.5 km/h and can be fitted to use many different types of wheels or a set of metal tracks.
LINIS 360 LiDAR
Neptec, in partnership with the CSA, developed the LiNIS 360 scanning LiDAR to provide situational awareness, mapping and hazard avoidance in planetary rover applications. Using Neptec’s patented spinning design, the sensor is able to rapidly scan a 360° by 45° (elevation) field of view. Through the use of two scanning regimes, the sensor can gather measurements at 200 kHz, which corresponds to a maximum range of 200 m and provides detailed mapping information of the immediate surroundings. Alternatively, the 25 kHz acquisition rate yields a maximum range of 1 km and provides information appropriate to maintaining situational awareness and hazard avoidance. A hybrid acquisition mode is also available that employs a phase-shifted high scan rate that evolves over time to fill gaps left in previous passes.