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SILVRCLAW - an inflatable, rigidizable wheel technology for planetary rover applications

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2 Author(s)
G. Mungas ; Firestar Eng., Broomfield, CO, USA ; J. Boynton

SILVRCLAW (stowable, inflatable, large, vectran, rigidizable, cold-resistant, lightweight, all-terrain wheel) is an inflatable, rigidizable wheel technology that would enable compact robotic vehicles to be deployed in a state with significant ground clearance such that path planning could conceivably be performed from orbit (i.e. with Mars reconnaissance orbiter's ∼30cm/pixel resolution). The wheel concept transfers load and rim stress through pretensioned spokes such that large wheel loads and torques can be applied enabling significantly more massive payload and vehicle structure (>100kg) than current inflatable rover concepts have been able to provide. We discuss the terrain metrics for deriving wheel size, dynamic and structural finite element analysis of the wheel concept, wheel interaction with terrain, and deployment and dynamics analysis.

Published in:

2005 IEEE Aerospace Conference

Date of Conference:

5-12 March 2005