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Planetary Vehicle Suspension Options

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3 Author(s)
Thomas Thueer ; Autonomous Systems Lab, ETH Zurich, Tannenstr. 3, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland. +41 44 632 71 78, thomas.thueer@mavt.ethz.ch ; Roland Siegwart ; Paul G. Backes

A study of locomotion performance of different suspension types was conducted in order to find the rover that matches best any given mission requirements. Two modeling approaches were chosen to evaluate the performance on hard ground and obstacles, as well as on loose soil and inclined planes. A number of metrics were defined which precisely specify what qualifies as good or bad performance. The simulations revealed significant differences between the various configurations for important metrics like torque, power or velocity. These results were used to characterize the performance of each rover and put it in relation to the weighted mission requirements. The sum of the performances multiplied by the weight factors of the requirements was taken as the measure for how good a rover fits the mission needs. This study has shown that a four wheeled rover can be a valuable alternative to the rocker bogie but only in very specific missions.

Published in:

Aerospace Conference, 2008 IEEE

Date of Conference:

1-8 March 2008