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Rover Design essentials

Posted by: Rocket Scientist - Sat Sep 22, 2007 10:21 pm
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Rover Design essentials 
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Rocket Constructor
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Post Re: Rover Design essentials   Posted on: Wed May 19, 2010 12:34 am
The main issue I have with sub gram rc vehicles is (a) charged lunar dust effecting the circuitry, and (b) cosmic radiation doing the same. Not to bash the idea, but there are too many unknowns and I can't see loading the necessary equipment unless nanotechnology is involved, which it isnt.


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Post Re: Rover Design essentials   Posted on: Wed May 19, 2010 1:46 am
Sean_Dorman wrote:
The main issue I have with sub gram rc vehicles is (a) charged lunar dust effecting the circuitry, and (b) cosmic radiation doing the same. Not to bash the idea, but there are too many unknowns and I can't see loading the necessary equipment unless nanotechnology is involved, which it isnt.


Team Frednet is doing stuff along these lines without resorting to nanotech

http://www.googlelunarxprize.org/lunar/ ... n-the-news

@ckpooley if you read this i pmed you about some Nprize stuff in this forum a while ago its still in my outbox can you check it please.

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Post Re: Rover Design essentials   Posted on: Wed May 19, 2010 2:04 am
While I admire the idea of using remote control vehicles to test out ideas, where it gets impractical is when electronics like those illustrated in the Picorover video are exposed to temperatures in the vicinity of approx. -150°C (-240°F) at the Moon's coldest and -230°C (-390°F). at it's warmest.

Most electronic components have a specific threshold they can operate at, and it differs between hardware.

If I took my remote controlled Starsky & Hutch Torino I had, when I was a kid, to the moon, just the extreme temperature of space would be prohibitive. My control unit would not turn on and my car would just lie prone on the ground, unless I took my rc car and built in some impressive pressurized containment of the electronics as well as AC control to keep the electronics onboard within the specified temp range it was built to work in.

Add to that the problem of addressing the electrical charge of the lunar dust, as well as errant cosmic radiation exposed to the moon.


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Post Re: Rover Design essentials   Posted on: Wed May 19, 2010 2:54 am
The arguments re levitated dust, cosmic rays are straw-man arguments.

Cosmic rays will only slowly affect electronics over months, not at all in a day or two.

The works could be contained in a slightly pressurized container, as were all the earliest satellites. A 12 oz beer can weighs 13 grams.

The temperature argument does not apply as the entire prize effort can be done in the first lunar day and the temperature of the package can be controlled. Not a problem as the electronic power can be less than one watt, and the solar cell to power it can be on the order of 100-200 sq cm and weigh 10 grams or so (they are very thin).

As for temp tolerance of electronics--best to avoid electrolytic caps and batteries. Or if a small battery is used, the solar cell should be capable of carrying on if the battery dies. Most electronic components can withstand a gradual cooling, rewarming if it's assumed it does not have to work cold. Like an insect, it would stop when cold, wake up when sun comes up, for the overnight bonus prize. But the main prize can be won in first 24 hours or so.

SANEAlex mentions contacting me somehow. Not aware of that. I do not use Twitter, Facebook, etc.

N Prize preparations ongoing and I will be seeking participants after relocating to the Las Vegas NV area (cannot start a business in CA).


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Post Re: Rover Design essentials   Posted on: Thu May 20, 2010 9:14 pm
@CPooley Good luck with your remote control studies.

One additional idea to consider for the list is an automated space rated means of cleaning solar panels.


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