PIA26161: CADRE Rover on the Moon (Artist's Concept)
 Mission:  Cooperative Autonomous Distributed Robotic Exploration (CADRE) 
 Product Size:  4370 x 2456 pixels (w x h)
 Produced By:  Motiv Space Systems 
 Full-Res TIFF:  PIA26161.tif (25.37 MB)
 Full-Res JPEG:  PIA26161.jpg (2.259 MB)

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Figure A

This artist's concept depicts a small rover – part of NASA's CADRE (Cooperative Autonomous Distributed Robotic Exploration) technology demonstration headed for the Moon – on the lunar surface. Motiv Space Systems in Pasadena, California, created the rendering and is collaborating with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory on critical rover and mobility functions.

Figure A is another rendering of a CADRE rover from a different angle.

Slated to arrive aboard a lunar lander in 2024 under NASA's CLPS (Commercial Lunar Payload Services) initiative, CADRE is designed to demonstrate that multiple robots can cooperate and explore together autonomously – without direct input from human mission controllers.

A trio of the miniature solar-powered rovers, each about the size of a carry-on suitcase, will explore the Moon as a team, communicating via radio with each other and a base station aboard a lunar lander. By taking simultaneous measurements from multiple locations, CADRE will also demonstrate how multirobot missions can record data impossible for a single robot to achieve – a tantalizing prospect for future missions.

Motiv contributed subsystems and hardware elements for three of four CADRE systems, including designing and building the mobility system and rover chassis, the base station, the rover deployers, and the motor controller boards. The company also procured and tested the actuators with the flight motor controller boards.

JPL, a division of Caltech in Pasadena, California, manages CADRE for the Game Changing Development program within NASA's Space Technology Mission Directorate in Washington. The technology demonstration will launch as a payload on the third lunar lander mission by Intuitive Machines, called IM-3, under the CLPS initiative, which is managed by NASA's Science Mission Directorate, also in Washington. The agency's Glenn Research Center in Cleveland and its Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, California, have both supported the project. Motiv Space Systems designed and built key hardware elements at the company's Pasadena, California, facility. Clemson University in South Carolina contributed research in support of the project.

Image Credit:
Motiv Space Systems

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