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The Mars Exploration Rover instrument positioning system

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5 Author(s)
E. T. Baumgartner ; Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Technol., Pasadena, CA, USA ; R. G. Bonitz ; J. P. Melko ; L. R. Shiraishi
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During Mars Exploration Rover (MER) surface operations, the scientific data gathered by the in situ instrument suite has been invaluable with respect to the discovery of a significant water history at Meridiani Planum and the hint of water processes at work in Gusev Crater. Specifically, the ability to perform precision manipulation from a mobile platform (i.e., mobile manipulation) has been a critical part of the successful operation of the Spirit and Opportunity rovers. As such, this paper describes the MER instrument positioning system that allows the in situ instruments to operate and collect their important science data using a robust, dexterous robotic arm combined with visual target selection and autonomous software functions.

Published in:

2005 IEEE Aerospace Conference

Date of Conference:

5-12 March 2005