Dark Ages Lunar Interferometer (DALI): Deployment-Rover - Mobility System

University essay from Högskolan i Halmstad/Sektionen för ekonomi och teknik (SET); Högskolan i Halmstad/Sektionen för ekonomi och teknik (SET)

Abstract:

This thesis is issued in collaboration with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California. JPL's primary function is the construction and operation of robotic planetary spacecraft. At the time being JPL has 22 spacecraft and 10 instruments conducting active missions.

The "Dark Ages" represent the last frontier in cosmology, the era between the genesis of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) and the formation of the first stars. During the Dark Ages, when the Universe was unlit by any star, the only detectable signal is likely to be that from neutral hydrogen (HI).

The HI absorption occurs in dark matter-dominated overdensities, locations that will later become the birthplaces of the first stars. Tracing this evolution will provide crucial insights into the properties of dark matter and potentially reveal aspects of cosmic inflation. This could be accomplished using a radio telescope located on the far side of the Moon, the only site in the solar system shielded from human-generated interference and, at night, from solar radio emissions.

Our objective has been the development of the concept of an autonomous rover that would be capable of deploying a large number of low frequency radio antennas on the lunar surface. This is an enabling task for the eventual creation of a radio telescope.

The project at Halmstad University was divided into three sub-projects, where our area of responsibility has been the development of a concept of the rover's mobility system.

The result of the project is the concept of a "Rocker-Bogie" suspension system, created in a 3D-environment. A concept which underwent a series of digital analyses and simulations to ensure the compliance with required specifications.

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