We conquer Mars, we want to go back to the Moon, and we haven’t even explored every corner of the Earth. This, however, changes from year to year with new discoveries in the oceans and seas, but the team of Team Polar students wants to add their three cents to this better understanding of the world. They are involved in the project of an autonomous rover for Antarctica.
If all goes according to plan, the world of science will see an autonomous rover to Antarctica
Work on this rover is carried out by 17 students from eight different departments of TU / e to improve the current state of climate research at the South Pole. It is not easy, and above all cheap, because it requires special research stations and large fuel-powered vehicles that must be supplied from outside.
Also read: This way, the flies can tell where they are
The extreme cold does not help at all, so team members will soon embark on a two-week trip to the South Pole in their quest to develop a rover that is perfect for these conditions. What conclusions will they reach? We have to wait for this, but already now the work on their autonomous rover is advanced.
The intensity of the solar radiation is very low, as is the temperature. Solar panels and batteries tend to perform poorly in these conditions, so we are looking for ways to make the system more weatherproof. In addition, the white landscape and the lack of benchmarks pose a challenge for autonomous driving
Said Ewout Hulscher, one of Team Polar’s members.
Also read: A mechanical hand was formed. Its creators were inspired by geckos
In an effort to develop their autonomous rover for Antarctica, students split the project into three areas. One includes a durable battery-electric drive system with solar panels, a second chassis and all mechanics, and the third equips the vehicle with autonomous navigation technology with the option of transmitting data via satellite. Although work on this rover is currently at the design and render stage, the prototype is to be ready in 2022. It will connect tracks, sensors and ground-penetrating radar on board,