S. Seriani, L. Scalera, A. Gasparetto, P. Gallina
Preloaded structures for space exploration vehicles
Proceedings of the 4th IFToMM Symposium on Mechanism Design for Robotics, MEDER 2018, Udine, Italy, September 11-13, 2018

Abstract: This paper is devoted to the design and simulation of a rover equipped with 4 preloaded structure legs. Space exploration vehicles (rovers) are employed for moving sensors, transporting planet samples and manipulating small modules. In order to perform such tasks with high accuracy, high mechanical stiffness frames are required. At the same time, a certain degree of compliance is required to mitigate mechanical stress caused by motion over a rough surface or in case of unexpected collisions. For this reasons, preloaded structures could represent a suitable solution. They present sharp stiff-to-compliant transitions at design-determined load thresholds. The paper describes the dynamic model of a single rover leg, the simulation of an impact event and the overall design of system.

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