Science and Technology Facilities Council
STFC host Mars rover remote testing
Field trials of a UK built Mars rover took place in the Tabernas Desert in Spain last week. The rover was remote controlled by a team a thousand miles away at the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s (STFC) RAL Space in Oxfordshire.
The ExoFiT Mars rover testing team used a new model called ‘Charlie’, built by Airbus, to test hardware, software and to practise science operations for the future European Space Agency (ESA) ExoMars rover, which will look for life on Mars in 2021.
The Remote Control Centre (RCC) for Charlie was hosted at STFC RAL Space’s Harwell Mission Operation Centre. The RCC was home to a team of scientists and engineers to operate the rover and the instruments on board.
Dr Rain Irshad, Autonomous Systems Group Leader at STFC RAL Space said: "It's been a really exciting week. The team at Harwell were working from limited information - we created digital maps of the terrain for them and they had the data sent each day by the rover. From this they had to decide where the rover should go and what instruments it should use to get the most interesting science. This test-run was very similar to the way that rovers are operated on Mars"
Find out more about the 7 day trial on the STFC RAL Space website.
RAL Space is an integral part of STFC’s Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL). RAL Space carries out world-class space research and technology development with involvement in over 210 space missions.
Its Autonomous Systems Group (ASG) is comprised of a unique team of multidisciplinary engineers with expertise in space systems design, mechanical and electronics engineering as well as planning and conducting robotic operations in hazardous and challenging locations. This group brings a diverse range of technical skills that are key to the success of robotics-oriented projects and have a proven track record of delivering robust and reliable robotic platforms for hazardous and challenging environments. The group can support the full development cycle of robotics solutions including supporting and participating in international engagement projects.
Latest News from
Science and Technology Facilities Council
UK scientists and engineers working to reduce food waste in developing countries17/01/2019 16:05:00
Scientists and engineers in the UK are working to use ideas from advanced space technology to improve the lives of farmers and reduce food waste in developing countries.
International collaboration publishes design for an even larger hadron collider at CERN16/01/2019 13:05:00
An international collaboration of scientists and engineers, including many from the UK, have submitted its Conceptual Design Report (CDR) for the Future Circular Collider (FCC).
Helping unlock mysteries of rare cosmic rays15/01/2019 14:05:00
UK scientists, as part of an international team, have helped to design and build a prototype particle detector that aims to unlock some of the mysteries surrounding rare cosmic rays that enter Earth’s atmosphere from deep space.
Using space technology to tackle air pollution caused by farming14/01/2019 11:05:00
A team of UK scientists are applying technology developed for space research to help tackle the amount of ammonia that the farming industry releases into the atmosphere and try to make farming more efficient.
Thousands of stars are turning into crystals11/01/2019 15:05:00
For the first time, astronomers have direct evidence of white dwarf stars solidifying into crystals – fifty years after the discovery was first predicted.
A giant space bubble being blown in nearby galaxy11/01/2019 13:05:00
Astrophysicists have discovered an enormous bubble currently being ‘blown’ by the regular eruptions from a star in a nearby galaxy – and studying this phenomenon could help scientists to better understand how the universe expands.
STFC speeding up analysis of experimental data by using AI technologies08/01/2019 12:05:00
STFC is about to harness the power of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to more efficiently sort through the swathes of experimental data produced at its national multidisciplinary science facilities with the aim of making quicker scientific breakthroughs.
Milky Way headed for catastrophic galactic collision course07/01/2019 09:05:00
A nearby galaxy is headed on a collision course with the Milky Way, scientists have warned, which could cause Earth’s solar system to be shunted out of its galaxy into the depths of space.