Skip to Main Content
This paper describes the design and control of the first generation active suspension for NASA's Chariot rover and Lunar Electric Rover (LER). Within the paper is a general overview of the needs and benefits of active suspensions for crew mobility systems on the lunar surface. In the spectrum of active suspensions, the Chariot system falls into the category of a series active or low bandwidth suspension. The passive suspension elements absorb the high frequency content of driving over rugged terrain and the active element sets the height of the suspension allowing the vehicle to conform to the terrain. This suspension system is capable of raising and lowering the vehicle, adjusting roll and pitch attitude for docking operations, leveling the chassis against gravity, and balancing the force across the six wheels during low speed operations. In addition to the existing system, initial results of an incremental design upgrade are discussed and future considerations for suspension systems for the lunar surface are described.