Mars Rover analog2: a MESR analog with environmental mapping and simulation

Advancing the realm of Mars exploration, this work presents a novel approach to developing and utilizing virtual and physical Mars rover analogues. Overcoming proprietary restrictions, ageing hardware, and privacy concerns inherent in traditional Mars rover research, developing versatile, small-scale analogues replicating the Mars Exploration Science Rover’s (MESR) mapping capabilities significantly. The approach encompassed two key facets: A physical analogue, scaled down to allow for research in more controlled environments with easier transportation, and a virtual analogue, providing a simulated environment for diverse experiments. These analogues mirror the MESR’s mobility and visual data-gathering ability, offering the flexibility of customizable modifications to meet diverse research objectives. The success of these analogues was determined based on their directional and speed compatibility with the MESR, their ability to accurately map surroundings, and other factors such as point cloud accuracy, scale factor, velocity, data transfer speed, and system framework. The virtual and physical analogues successfully replicated the shape and speed of the MESR, enabling appropriate navigation relative to their dimensions and mitigating privacy risks.


Baldur Logi Gautason

Eva María Hönnund. Sigurþórsd.

Sölvi Karl Einarsson

Unnar Freyr Arnþórsson