GMV is running a test campaign with the LUCID rover

GMV is leading the ESA-funded LUCID (Lunar Scenario Concept Validation and Demonstration) project, the aim of which is to evaluate the combination of necessary techniques and tools to allow a Lunar Prospector Rover (LPR) to operate efficiently within the environmental and operational constraints of the lunar polar region.

Under this project GMV is now preparing a trial robotics platform to assess the use and combination of various necessary techniques and tools to ensure an autonomous robot works properly in the moon’s south pole.

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These operations call for the development and testing of situational awareness techniques. The first trials of this complex autonomous system were carried out in late April in Madrid. For two weeks the future planetary exploration robot was put through its paces to vet and check all its systems, including optical cameras, stereovision systems and laser systems for reconstruction of 3D terrain models, night navigation systems and many more.

The Council of Madrid’s outlying town of Colmenar Viejo took the project to heart, providing GMV with an open Mediterranean woodland area known as Dehesa de Navalvillar for two weeks testing of all the rover’s systems.

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Additionally, while the rover trials were underway, various scientific/technical awareness-raising events were held with students of a local polytechnic, with visits from the media and institutional representatives.

The LUCID robotics platform’s next destination will be the Canary Islands. May will see the start of the rover trial phase in the National Park of Teide on the isle of Tenerife.