Field Experiments in Mobility and Navigation with a Lunar Rover Prototype
Scarab is a prototype rover for lunar missions to survey resources, particularly water ice, in polar craters. It is designed as a prospector that would use a deep coring drill and apply soil analysis instruments. Its chassis can transform to stabilize its drill in contact with the ground and can also adjust posture to ascend and descent steep slopes. Scarab has undergone field testing at lunar analogue sites in Washington and Hawaii in an effort to quantify and validate its mobility and navigation capabilities. We report on results of experiments in slope ascent and descent and in autonomous kilometer-distance navigation in darkness.