Given NASA’s renewed initiative to return to the moon, it is imperative to develop a mobility platform which will enable a wider range of exploration and science. To this end a wheel which can perform in a lunar environment for an extended period of time and distance is needed. This paper analyzes and evaluates the attempts to develop such a solution and the challenges which have arisen. Furthermore, it builds upon an analytical basis for the proposed solution and examines further applications in vehicular mobility. Specifically, three concepts were conceived, analyzed, prototyped, and tested in a senior design project class supported by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Michelin Tire Corporation, then critically examined for failure modes. The lessons learned from the analysis are currently being applied in the development of third and fourth generation prototypes.
- Design Engineering Division and Computers in Engineering Division
Designing a Lunar Wheel
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Stowe, D, Conger, K, Summers, JD, Joseph, P, Thompson, B, & Matthews, J. "Designing a Lunar Wheel." Proceedings of the ASME 2008 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference. Volume 5: 13th Design for Manufacturability and the Lifecycle Conference; 5th Symposium on International Design and Design Education; 10th International Conference on Advanced Vehicle and Tire Technologies. Brooklyn, New York, USA. August 3–6, 2008. pp. 627-639. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/DETC2008-49981
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