Find, get and collect. A simple task is testing the best strategy for collecting samples on the surface of Mars, about 290 000 km from home.
Testing technologies for Mars exploration is part of the daily work of Laura Bielenberg, ESA Young Graduate Intern for the Mars Sample Return Campaign.
The experiment is taking place in a rocky recreation of the Red Planet at ESA’s ESTEC Technology Center in Noordwijk, the Netherlands. This test site is nicknamed 'Mars Yard’ and is a part of it Planetary Robotics Laboratory.
The tube is a replica of NASA’s model caches Perseverance Rover Mars is sealed with precious Martian samples. They’re called RSTA, which stands for Returnable Sample Tube Assembly, and they look like lightsabers to most people on Earth.
With a test bed called RABBIT (RAS Bread Boarding In-house Testbed), Laura is investigating sample tube collection techniques from automated detection to evaluation of sample tubes on Mars.
A sample transfer arm will be loaded with tubes from the Martian surface to be sent back to Earth. ESA’s robotic arm will collect them from the Perseverance rover, and others may be dropped Model rescue helicopters As a backup.
Besides cameras and sensors, the team relies on neural networks to detect pipes and assess their condition. Inspired by the way the human brain works, neural networks mimic the way biological neurons signal to each other.
More news on the Mars sample return campaign at ESA Tuesday and back to the blog.
„Oddany rozwiązywacz problemów. Przyjazny hipsterom praktykant bekonu. Miłośnik kawy. Nieuleczalny introwertyk. Student.