The Technology Transfer and Partnerships Office
3rd ISRU Surface Operations Analog Field Test
Field Dates: July, 2012                                                             Location: Mauna Kea , Hawaii

Regolith and Environment Science and Oxygen and Lunar Volatile Extraction

The third field test planned for July 2012 will demonstrate that a mission to the lunar poles to locate and characterize ice and other volatiles is possible in a highly integrated mission with multiple space agencies. The RESOLVE prototype hardware in its third generation will be the instrumentation centerpiece of the campaign, funded by the Advanced Exploration Systems division of the Human Exploration and Operations Directorate.

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Main Analog Objectives
  • Science/Site/Resource Characterization
    • Perform robotic lunar polar ice/volatile characterization mission (applicable to Mars and Near Earth Objects)
    • Perform robotic science/resource/site characterization mission with multiple rovers and control centers (applicable to multiple destinations)
  • Mission Support, Operations, and Communications
    • Utilize mission representative communications infrastructure and remote operation centers and procedures

RESOLVE mounted on a NASA Rover

RESOLVE mounted on a NASA Rover

RESOLVE mounted on a CSA Rover

RESOLVE mounted on a CSA Rover

Questions to Be Addressed
  • What science & resource characterization instruments should be mounted on a single platform?
  • How are operations and data collection effected by control from multiple control centers?
  • How does remote scientist involvement (in the loop?) impact productivity?
  • How are operations effected by Remote Operations, Power, and level of Autonomy?
  • Are navigation capabilities sufficient to for mission scenarios evaluated?

Primary Operations Objectives
  • Successfully complete science and engineering based mission objectives through remote operations
    • Roving / Mapping
    • Drilling / Sample Transfer
    • Sample Processing / Analysis
  • Successfully operate with lunar-like communications, power, and other operational constraints
    • Uplink (10 kbps) and downlink (380 kbps) bandwidth
    • 1.7 second communications delay each direction
    • Optimize power timeline to reduce total energy needs and peak powers
  • Demonstrate pre-mission planning and real-time re-planning of field demo timeline
    • Develop tools and products for the real-time execution of a mission
  • Demonstrate effective operations control team
    • Coordination of multiple participants in multiple locations
    • Develop mission decision making hierarchy for flight control and management teams
    • Develop control center architecture: console positions, voice loops, console tools, etc needed for lunar mission
  • Collect inputs on the flight control team's needs for real-time data viewing, manipulation, recording, and distribution
    • Define operations, software, and display requirements for lunar mission

Secondary Operations Objectives
  • Characterize the time required for various mission activities to help refine future timelines Demonstrate end-to-end integrated operations of RESOLVE hardware and software

RESOLVE 3rd Generation Hardware
  • Develop miniaturized unit for field test in July 2012
  • Develop lunar vacuum compatible unit for testing in 2014
  • The schematic below displays the notional configuration of the 3rd generation RESOLVE system being readied for testing in July 2012.