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
No needles required – Cutting edge sweat sensor will monitor glucose levels for diabetics in real time14/11/2018 16:42:00
New technology will make it easier for people with diabetes to manage their glucose levels, without the use of a finger pricking device.
STFC mourns the loss of leading UK physicist Professor James Stirling CBE, FRS13/11/2018 11:42:00
STFC mourns the loss of Professor James Stirling, one of the UK’s leading theoretical particle physicists and a member from 2009 to 2015 of STFC’s Council, our senior strategic advisory body.
Meteoric stargazing in the Scottish Highlands12/11/2018 12:20:00
Families in the Highlands caught sight of a meteor during this year’s first Star Stories stargazing session.
New lab set up in South Africa thanks to UK partnership09/11/2018 12:37:00
A new South African particle detector laboratory, which has been set up thanks to UK funding, will help to train the next generation of nuclear scientists – with hopes to provide low-cost medical equipment and environmental monitoring technology to the country.
Inspirational prize for STEM Inspiration Award winners02/11/2018 14:05:00
The outstanding efforts of individuals and organisations up and down the UK to inspire young people to study STEM subjects were yesterday (1 November 2018) celebrated at the STEM Inspiration Awards at the House of Lords.
Breast cancer detection research receives STFC funding31/10/2018 12:37:00
A collaboration of researchers from the UK is pursuing a technique to detect breast cancer more quickly, thanks to funding from STFC and partners.
Can computer scientists improve Oxfordshire infrastructure?24/10/2018 12:47:00
A team of STFC scientists will soon be using cutting edge computer simulations to see if Oxfordshire’s transport and healthcare infrastructures could run more efficiently.
UK celebrates successful launch of Mercury probe23/10/2018 12:15:00
Scientists across the UK are celebrating after the successful launch of a spacecraft bound for Mercury.