Autonomous Rover Navigation

Autonomous Navigation has received increasing attention in many domains and industries including space exploration. As vehicles and drones in daily life are reaching full autonomy in high-density traffic areas, the mobility of planetary rovers is still in the “stone age” with only a few meters covered by day. At SMT, our focus lies on developing and implementing autonomous navigation systems for planetary rovers. We aim to improve cruise speed by a factor 1000, to reach full autonomy and speed of 5 km/h.

At Space Mining Technologies (SMT), our experienced team is capable of designing and implementing complex tasks that can aid autonomous navigation for planetary rovers. Think about intelligent decision making powered by artificial intelligence and deep learning or detailing the intricacies of mission critical systems that can help rovers function optimally in a constrained environment, SMT is capable of delivering results with its technically qualified and well diverse team.

To outperform state-of-the-art navigation systems customized for planetary settings, the navigation algorithms need an immense amount of environmental data to be trained on, which because of its scarcity constitute a bottleneck. For this reason, we are developing our own high-fidelity lunar simulation environment. Based on scientific principles and recent advancements, it integrates lunar environment characteristics such as regolith properties, soil bearing capacity, illumination conditions, slope, temperature conditions, ice-deposits locations, and many more features that will be used for the training of our algorithms. This simulation environment leverages the state-of-the-art technologies in data integration and visualization thereby providing a realistic view and data of lunar environments. This can be used to train the navigation algorithms with precision thereby enabling robust and efficient navigation algorithm design and development suitable for lunar surfaces.