Amalia is a engineering-model of an Exploration Rover
Amalia is an engineering model of a rover for the exploration of the lunar surface designed by the team A.M.A.L.I.A., the Italian national team founded in order to join the Google Lunar X-Prize (GLXP).
Team A.M.A.L.I.A. was composed by the following univiersities:
- Politecnico di Torino
- Politecnico di Milano
- Università La Sapienza, Roma
- Università Federico II, Napoli
Team DIANA (founded in 2008) was the representative of the Polytechnic University of Turin and had the task of building the rover in compliance to the competition rules. Even though the funds were not enough to make the team attending the GLXP competition, team DIANA succeded in developing the engineering model of the rover.
THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE ROVER
Students working in the team come from different engineering fields. Electronic Engineering students developed PBC custom for the sensors interface and for the power distribution to all the subsystems. Together with the Computer Engineering students, they wrote the codes for the drivers. Aerospace and Mechanical engineering students designed the mechanical components, which have been tested by FEM analysis. Many “multi-body” simulations have been conducted to verify the correct behaviour of the rover.
The wheels they designed are made of spring steel, in order to avoid any problem related to the tires use in space. One interesting fact: these custom wheels are the outcome of a research project for the thesis of one of the member of the team and have been officially certified to be usable in space.
Furthermore, in order to increase the stability of the rover on the rough lunar surface the team developed an active suspension system that allows to adjust the height of each wheel independently. The rover is equipped with stereoscopic cameras, TOF sensors and the ROS environment, which make it able to locate itself in a 3D map of the surroundings which is created in real time without using any GPS system (not yet on the Moon).