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The Mars Exploration Rover surface mobility flight software driving ambition

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2 Author(s)
Biesiadecki, J.J. ; Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Technol., Pasadena, CA ; Maimone, M.W.

NASA's Mars exploration rovers' (MER) onboard mobility flight software was designed to provide robust and flexible operation. The MER vehicles can be commanded directly, or given autonomous control over multiple aspects of mobility: which motions to drive, measurement of actual motion, terrain interpretation, even the selection of targets of interest (although this mode remains largely underused). Vehicle motion can be commanded using multiple layers of control: motor control, direct drive operations (arc, turn in place), and goal-based driving (goto waypoint). Multiple layers of safety checks ensure vehicle performance: command limits (command timeout, time of day limit, software enable, activity constraints), reactive checks (e.g., motor current limit, vehicle tilt limit), and predictive checks (e.g., step, tilt, roughness hazards). From January 2004 through October 2005, Spirit accumulated over 5000 meters and Opportunity 6000 meters of odometry, often covering more than 100 meters in a single day. In this paper we describe the software that has driven these rovers more than a combined 11,000 meters over the Martian surface, including its design and implementation, and summarize current mobility performance results from Mars

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Aerospace Conference, 2006 IEEE

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