FURI | Spring 2019

A Comparative Study of Simulations and Experimental Testing on Screw-Propelled Vehicle in a Lunar Simulant

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Screw-propelled vehicles are effective in difficult environments on earth; however they have not been properly investigated for space application. A better understanding of the terra-mechanics of dirt in lesser gravities is necessary to understand how a rover will move and interact with its surroundings on different planets or smaller bodies. Through experimentations and Discrete Element Modeling (DEM) simulations, a better understanding of how a screw-propelled vehicle moves in a lunar simulant called Black-Point 1 (BP-1) was developed. By developing and verifying accurate simulations of this environment, rover designs can be tested in different scenarios before even leaving earth.

Student researcher

Teresa McBryan

Aerospace engineering

Hometown: Phoenix, Arizona

Graduation date: Spring 2020