GMV conducts the last trials of LUCID in Tenerife

From 2 to 16 October, in Minas de San José in the National Park of Teide on the Canary Island of Tenerife, GMV is carrying out the final phase of rover trials under the GMV-led European Space Agency (ESA) project LUCID (LUnar scenario Concept valIdation and Demonstration).

Throughout this year the prototype lunar rover LUCID has been put through its paces in Madrid and is now in the final trial phase in Tenerife, to check that all the rover’s systems work properly. The National Park of Teide has been chosen as the testing site because it is the best match in terms of reproducing the lie of the land to be found by the rover on certain regions of the Moon or Mars.

LUCID Tenerife octubre I

The first rover tests were carried out in GMV’s Tres Cantos site in Madrid, followed by outdoor tests in Dehesa de Navalvillar to the north of Madrid in Colmenar Viejo. Here an efficiency check was made of the all the rover’s components, including optical cameras, stereovision systems, laser 3D terrain-reconstruction systems and night navigation systems. Last June GMV’s team moved on to Teide to complete the first test phase in a lunar analog site.

Now, from 2 to 16 October LUCID will once again be running over the moon-like landscapes of Minas de San José in what will be the last testing phase. Definitive sensor tests are being conducted at sunset, while also vetting navigation techniques to provide the rover operating team with the best possible information. Other capabilities under test and validation are locomotion, illumination and capture of rover images, a fundamental factor in Moon exploration missions.

LUCID Tenerife octubre II

This series of tests is crucial as the best way of validating the human-machine interaction, i.e., assessing whether all the information supplied under real conditions is enough for the operator’s purposes and whether this information is offered in the best possible way. The trials are equally essential in terms of increasing reliability and maturity after subjection of the system to the most realistic conditions possible.