TORONTO, ON / 6 JANUARY 2015 – Canadensys Aerospace has been contracted by New-Hamburg-based Ontario Drive & Gear for the environmental design and test to TRL6 of a lunar rover drivetrain prototype for the Canadian Space Agency.
The Lunar Rover Drivetrain Platform Prototype (LRPDP) is the latest in a line of lunar rover prototypes developed for the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), with the emphasis this time on advancement of those design elements required for the locomotion system to operate and survive in the harsh environment known to exist on the lunar surface. Ontario Drive & Gear is the prime contractor for the prototype, having longstanding heritage in the design of 4-wheel skid-steer vehicles, one of the candidate architectures being considered by CSA for future exploration rovers. Canadensys is responsible for lunar environmental design, analysis and test aspects of the LRPDP project, including testing in lunar dust and thermal vacuum conditions and ensuring robustness with respect to the deep space radiation environment.
“The next phase of global space exploration is set to involve increased activity on the lunar surface, from science and exploration to commercial utilization”, said Dr. Nadeem Ghafoor, VP of Space Exploration at Canadensys Aerospace, “yet, as shown on multiple international missions, the lunar environment can be pretty unforgiving. There are hazards everywhere, particularly in some of the as-yet unexplored areas which happen to be the areas of greatest potential reward. We’re increasingly looking to do more with less, and the next generation of missions will really push exciting boundaries in a number of areas.”
“Ruggedizing critical areas of the next-generation of low-cost missions is a key focus for us, and electromechanical systems are critical across the board for most surface scenarios. We’re pleased to be able to support on the flight–related design and test aspects of this interesting locomotion vehicle architecture, and we’re delighted to be working with ODG, Provectus Robotics and Centre des Technologies Avancées (CTA) on progressing a design that has thus far tested well in terrestrial conditions. We congratulate the CSA for taking the initiative on this important advancement and addressing one of the key building blocks in the development of a future flight rover.”
For additional information about the Canadian Space Agency and the LRPDP project, click here.