Monday, October 01, 2007

Nuclear Powered Lunar Prospector

The folks at Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Institute have come up with another unique robot creation.

The Scarab is a 4-wheel robot is designed for prospecting on the Moon. The design has been optimized for drilling into rock in cold and dark environments.

The drill in the center of the robot body can drill out a core sample up to meter deep. The body is shaped so the relatively small drilling robot - only 250 kgs ( 550 lbs) - can get enough weight on the bit to drill.

The Scarab can run in the dark bottoms of moon craters with its nuclear power source. The advanced sterling radioisotope generator (ASRG) converts the emissions from a radioactive isotope to electricity. According to the article the generator can provide 100 watts of power for 10 years.

The robot has a laser navigation system so it can see the local terrain in the dark and find its way around.

So far NASA does not have have any specific plans for sending the Scarab to the moon but the robot is being used to test technologies for the task.

There is no mention if CMU is thinking of fielding a team for the $30 million Google Lunar robot X-prize.


The Tartan Online : 'Scarab' the robot

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2 Comments:

Blogger Alvin said...

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Me & my neighbour were preparing to do some research about that. We got a good book on that matter from our local library and most books where not as influensive as your information. I am very glad to see such information which I was searching for a long time.

11:21 PM, July 16, 2010  
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