Lunar Rover Concept Design – MDA Selected by Canadian Space Agency

Deep Space Exploration Motion Control & Mechatronics

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) has selected MDA, a Maxar Technologies company to design a lunar rover concept as part of their mission to advance deep space exploration, and to prepare for human operations on the lunar surface.

The proposed conceptual design is expected to conduct expeditions near the South Pole region – located on the far side of the moon.

Engineered to travel up to 600 km over its lifetime, the lunar rover concept would use a robotic arm and a sample capture system to collect lunar samples for future analysis back on Earth.

The samples are intended to enhance our knowledge of the moon and the early formation of our solar system, as well as to prepare for extended human presence beyond Low Earth Orbit (LEO).

The lunar rover concept would use artificial intelligence (AI) to support tele-robotic control and advanced autonomous mode. AI would be controlled from NASA’s proposed Lunar Gateway, as well as from Earth.

The lunar rover concept must be able to endure and successfully operate within the harsh lunar environment, where lunar dust affects moving parts, optical coatings and poses problems for navigation.

Temperature will be another major factor for the lunar rover as each hot lunar day and each cold lunar day last approximately 14 consecutive Earth days.

Technologies that will be particularly important for the success of the lunar rover include:

  • Guidance, Navigation and Control (GNC)
  • Intelligent Orientation Control (IOC)
  • Collision/Obstacle Avoidance
  • Resistance to Temperature Extremes/Harsh Environments

The lunar rover is projected to land on the surface by mid-2020. Together, the development of the Lunar Gateway and the lunar rover will be instrumental in advancing deep space exploration.

US Motion has the advanced capabilities and technical expertise to provide mechatronics and motion control solutions for orbital, Mars and deep space missions.

We engineer spaceflight-qualified motors, controllers and servo motor assemblies to meet the unique needs of deep space exploration missions.

Start the conversation with US Motion today and tell us how we can help advance your spaceflight technologies.