Mission Requirements

Travel and Weight Requirements:

The robot will need to travel ~60 km per day for 10 days towing a science sled with a weight of 100 lbs.  See figure 1 for the traverse route planned for the robot.  The robot will need to be able to start and stop on a prescheduled grid pattern to record surface temperatures and firn stratigraphy during satellite overpasses.  The robot must be able to navigate a flat snow covered area with a snow density of ~250-400 kg/m3 with surface roughness, from wind distributed snow, up to 20 cm.

terrain pattern

Figure 1: Traverse pattern across 50 km by 50 km square.  The total travel distance of the robot will be 600 km.

Power Requirements: The robot will need to power itself as well as the science sled equipment. Power at 95 W will need to be supplied to the sled instruments through an insulated power cord.  The power will run to a laptop using 70 to 90 W and the radar oscillator using 2 W.  If power is shut down to the science sled for longer than a few hours heat may need to be supplied to the science box.  Temperature in the box must remain above -20 C and below 35 C.

Data Transfer Requirements: The robot will need to transmit it’s position along with 100 kB of radar data through an iridium link at an hourly or better time interval.   The data will need to travel through USB or serial cord from the radar on the science sled to the iridium phone.