Press Release

GMV to Build First All-Terrain Vehicle for Space for ESA

By SpaceRef Editor
May 12, 2009
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GMV (www.gmv.com) has been commissioned by the European Space Agency (ESA) and Thales Alenia Space Italy (TAS-I) to build a prototype of an all-terrain, rover-type vehicle for Space to explore the surface of Mars and the Moon.

This prototype, called EGP–Rover, is part of another larger project called EGP (Eurobot Ground Prototype), which has been awarded to Thales Alenia Space by ESA. EGP is a prototype system of the “centaur” concept comprising a rover-type autonomous mobile platform (EGP-Rover) and two articulated arms (EGP-Robot).

EGP-Rover is being developed by GMV in Madrid with four all-terrain wheels, a reinforced aluminum structure and six 400W Maxon electric motors. GMV has incorporated an inertial navigation module based on gyroscopes, accelerometers and inhouse ultrasound sensors. Additionally, a stereoscopic vision system will enable 360 degree images to be taken, building up successive digital maps of the terrain covered by the rover. The resulting system is a totally autonomous vehicle capable of moving over the Martian or lunar surface and helping in the tasks of assembling and building future space stations. It can be controlled from earth or by an astronaut’s verbal orders.

The EGP-Rover platform is capable of carrying a 400 Kg payload (150 Kg of the astronaut, 150 Kg of the two robotized arms and 100 Kg in batteries) and it has been designed to climb slopes of up to 15 degrees and surmount obstacles of up to 20 cm. It is also highly maneuverable with rear-wheel steering with 120 degrees turning and four-wheel drive. Its Ni-Mh batteries allow for four hours of power.

Thales Alenia Space will then incorporate two robotic arms called Eurobot on this all- terrain vehicle, producing what could be considered the first robotic space “worker”. The EGP system will then travel to testing facilities of Dutch Space in Leiden (Holland) for qualification testing.

About GMV:

GMV is a privately owned technological business group with a strong presence around the world. Founded in 1984, GMV offers its solutions, services and products in very diverse sectors: Aeronautics, Banking and Finances, Space, Defense, Health, Security, Transportation, Telecommunications, and Information Technology for Public Administration and large corporations. GMV is one of the leading suppliers of satellite ground systems as well as management systems based upon GPS applications. GMV’s U.S. headquarters are in Rockville, Md. and its European headquarters are in Madrid, Spain. More information about GMV and its products can be found at www.gmv.com.

SpaceRef staff editor.