PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe Spatial Exploration with Robotic Observers (SpERO) Mission is a system designed for the exploration of Martian lava tubes. As humanity seeks to send manned missions to Mars, the need for shelter from the harsh conditions of the surface arises. Lava tubes are suspected to provide significant insight into the geology of Mars, as well as reveal possible lifeforms. They may protect from the harsh radiation and temperature fluctuations found on the surface and hence are a promising location for a future human base. SpERO seeks to explore lava tubes and collect data on the environment, including 3D point maps, images, and temperature and radiation readings. To validate the mission feasibility, the team has designed a prototype to test the mission concept. This report overviews the Martian mission design and covers primary requirements, objectives, system components, and concepts of operations. It describes in detail the prototype components, consisting of a semi-autonomous drone that lowers a fully autonomous rover to collect data in a relevant environment. The hardware, system assembly, and detailed descriptions of the software and algorithms used are provided. The report also contains a detailed description of system testing and future work to be conducted.
Degree ProgramAerospace Engineering