KEGS Seminar - Challenges in Designing Planetary Rovers


Getting Around on Another Planet:

 Challenges in Designing Planetary Rovers

Dr. Michele Faragalli
Manager - Space Exploration and Advanced Technologies,
Mission Control Space Services Inc.

Tuesday, December 15th
4:30 p.m.  

Gamble Hall
Geological Survey of Canada
615 Booth Street


Planetary rovers enable scientists to gather surface and subsurface data to characterize planetary bodies, detect current or past traces of water and even search for life. However, whether drilling for water ice on the Lunar South Pole or measuring the chemical composition of Martian soils – the nuances in the design of rovers are often ignored.  This lecture will explain the importance of rover design for the success of surface exploration missions. An overview of rover subsystems critical to meeting these requirements will be provided, including a summary of the state-of-the-art in power, communication, control, navigation and localization, environmental protection and locomotion system designs. Examples of existing flight and terrestrial analogue rovers will be used to illustrate the relationship between rover functionality and design. Finally, technology developments required for the next generation of planetary rovers will be discussed. 



Michele Faragalli is the Space Exploration and Advanced Technologies Manager at Mission Control Space Services. His research expertise and professional experience is broad, spanning robotic controls, terramechanics, planetary exploration, structural and thermal design for aerospace electro-mechanical systems and multidisciplinary design optimization. Dr. Faragalli moonlights as a sessional lecturer in the Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering at Carleton University and is currently a member of the Queen’s University Mechanical and Materials Engineering Department Industry-Academic Advisory Committee. He holds a Ph.D. and M.Eng. in Mechanical Engineering from McGill University, an M.Sc. in Space Studies from the International Space University and a B.Eng. in Mechanical Engineering from Memorial University of Newfoundland.