• Question: Hello there, Elie. How do the rovers know which is the safest route around terrain?

    Asked by Jarman to Elie, Jenn on 7 Mar 2016. This question was also asked by obi.
    • Photo: Elie Allouis

      Elie Allouis answered on 7 Mar 2016:

      Hi Jarman,

      Great question! This is always a difficult operation. Currently the U.S. rovers (Spirit, Opportunity and Curiosity) are all controlled through careful planning on the ground of their movements. To do that they capture a lot of images and process them to create a 3D model of the environment, and mission planner send commands to the rover (e.g. move 10m ahead, a bit on the left)

      But all this is going to change with Exomars that will have – on board – the capability to take decisions autonomously as to where to go and how to get there. It can create its own 3D maps, and based on local slopes, capability of the rover, and size of the rocks,… it will plan a safe path and follow it by itself…

      This means that we can go further a faster…
      Watch this space…