FURI | Fall 2018

A Comparative Study of DEM Simulations with Testing of a Screw-Propelled Vehicle in BP-1

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Space exploration is a very costly yet important endeavor. Screw-propelled vehicles are often used to overcome difficult terrain on earth. However, they have not been fully explored for space application. The primary goal of this research is to understand how a screw-propelled vehicle behaves in extraterrestrial environments through the testing of a rover design in a lunar stimulant known as Black Point 1 (BP-1). Experimental results were compared to simulations created using DEM (Discrete Element Modeling) software. By creating accurate simulations, vigorous testing can be done before spending millions of dollars on the construction and launch of a design.

Student researcher

Teresa McBryan

Aerospace engineering

Hometown: Phoenix, Arizona

Graduation date: Spring 2020