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  • "Lunar Surface Mobility Systems" resulting from the ESA Study on Surface Architectures for European Space Exploration

    Paper ID



    • Igor Vukman
    • Ernesto Vallerani
    • Giancarlo Genta
    • Alberto Della Torre
    • Emanuele Monchieri
    • Filippo Mailland







    The proposed paper intends to develop the concepts initially proposed by the authors in their work presented at IAC 07, covering innovative Surface Mobility solutions for Moon Exploration, by applying them to the actual Moon Surface Mobility Systems under definition by Carlo Gavazzi Space in the frame of the ESA study related to the "Analysis of Surface Architecture for European Space Exploration" and to their likely future extensions. The concepts of Modularity and Reconfiguration applicable to the Lunar Surface Mobility Systems will now be applied to the full set of Elements supporting the different phases of the Moon Exploration, starting from the initial Robotic Missions up to the full deployment of the Moon Surface Architecture supporting the Human Missions. The identified mobility elements range from the ones supporting the initial Exploration (Rovers, Hoppers, Mobility Systems supporting early Technology Demonstrations, like ISRU, or subsurface sampling and probe deployment, like Deep Drillers) up to the ones supporting the Moon Human Exploration and eventually its Development phase, including Pressurized Rovers and Mobility Systems supporting Transportation/Deployment of other Surface Elements, Logistics and Mining Operations in support of ISRU Production Plants. The paper will analyze the different Lunar Surface Mobility Elements with the purpose of identifying common features / requirements that allow designing and building them according to a modular approach, permitting to realize different elements starting from a common modular base, by configuring it according to the specific task that the element has to perform. Different element classes will be identified according to the optimal level of reconfiguration achievable, ranging from the simple reuse of element subsystems design up to the reuse of major mobility element assemblies, like the full tractor, that can be configured with different options for performing the required specific tasks. The proposed approach, if systematically applied, will contribute in reducing the surface architecture elements development time, risks and recurring costs, will improve maintainability, will increase reliability of the resulting surface mobility infrastructure and will eventually reduce the mass to be delivered to the Moon surface. Moreover, the early identification of the elements required for supporting the more mature phases of the Moon Exploration (the so called future-backwards concept) will contribute in better defining the basic class of mobility elements that can be configured not only for supporting different tasks within the same architecture but that can be reconfigured / improved for supporting the future architectures, limiting also the mass of the elements to be transported to the Moon.