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Intelligent Robotics Group Provides Key Science Operations Software for In-Situ Resource Utilization Field Test
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Intelligent Robotics Group Provides Key Science Operations Software for In-Situ Resource Utilization Field Test

The Intelligent Robotics Group (IRG) provided key science tools to the operations team for the Regolith and Environment Science, Oxygen, and Lunar Volatile Extraction (RESOLVE) hardware In Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) Field Test. The test took place on the Mauna Kea volcano on the big island of Hawaii. The IRG-developed Exploration Ground Data System (xGDS) was used to create traverse plans for the Artemis Jr. rover, to visualize real-time science data streaming back from the RESOLVE payload and Artemis rover, and to analyze data from the Neutron Spectrometer and the Near Infrared Spectrometer and Drill during the course of a lunar polar volatiles prospecting mission simulation. The simulation looked for both naturally occurring moisture in the soil and buried plastic targets used as simulations of lunar ice.

BACKGROUND: The simulated mission was conducted in Pu'u Ha'iwahine valley at 9,000 feet elevation and lasted seven days. The test showed that real-time science operations are feasible for short-term surface missions to find and quantify polar volatiles.

The Ames science team also used the TI lab in N269 as a science backroom to support the mission remotely in real time. Ames was one of four mainland operations centers using xGDS for real-time science. A total of approximately 100 mission operators and scientists used xGDS for the field test. This work was done in conjunction with Tony Colaprete and Rick Elphic and their instrument development teams from ARC Code S, and with the rest of the RESOLVE team from the Kennedy and Johnson Space Centers and the Canadian Space Agency.

NASA PROGRAM FUNDING: The Intelligent Robotics Group’s involvement in the ISRU Field Test was supported by the Advanced Exploration System’s (AES) Analog Missions project funded by the Human Exploration Operations Mission Directorate (HEOMD), and from a competitively selected Lunar Advanced Science and Exploration Research (LASER) project funded by the Science Mission Directorate (SMD). xGDS’ core technology development is supported by the Human Robotic Systems (HRS) project funded by the Office of the Chief Technologist’s (OCT) Game Changing Development program.

TEAM: ARC-TI: Tamar Cohen (SGT), Matthew Deans (NASA), David Lees (CMU), Ted Scharff (SGT), and Trey Smith (CMU). ARC-RE: Josh Benton (USRA) and Robert McMurray (NASA). ARC-SSA: Kim Ennico (NASA). ARC-SST: Tony Colaprete (NASA), Rick Elphic (NASA), Jen Heldmann (NASA), Darlene Lim (SETI), Margarita Marinova (BAER), Ted Rousch (NASA), and Carol Stoker (NASA). ARC-VS: Erin Fritzler (LMS) and Stephanie Morse (LMS).

Contact: Matthew Deans

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