May 26, 2022 8:00 pm

Thales Alenia Space España, rover Rosalind Franklin y Exomars 2022

The role of the Spanish industry in the EXOMARS 2022 mission is highlighted in this brief article and, specifically, in the Rosalind Franklin rover

Francis Martin Leon 3 min
Rosalind Franklin rover version of ExoMars 2022. ESA

ESA has announced that the Rosalind Franklin rover (joint mission with the Russian space agency Roscosmos Exomars 2022), is ready to fly to mars, in the absence of minor evidence. The launch is scheduled for September this year and its objective is to search for signs of life on the red planet. The Rosalind Franklin vehicle is currently in an ultra-clean room at Thales Alenia Space in Turin, Italy..

We take advantage of this milestone to send you information about the role of Thales Alenia Space in Spain in this vehicle, in line with some more in-depth topic of the role of the Spanish industry in space missions as relevant as this one.

Thales Alenia Space has developed and produced in its facilities in Tres Cantos (Madrid) the Actuator Control Electronics (ADE) for the ExoMars 2022 rover Rosalind Franklin. These electronic units are at the heart of the locomotion system and control the mechanisms that deploy, turn and steer the wheels. In addition to controlling the deployment of the solar panels, raising the panoramic camera mast and rotating the camera head.

It should be noted that the vehicles sent to Mars have sometimes become trapped in the sand and that the continuous rotation of the wheels can contribute to sinking them even more. To avoid this, Rosalind has a unique mode of locomotion called “wheel-walking” (walking on wheels), which provides good traction both on soft and sandy soils and on slopes.

The Rosalind Franklin will also be able to climb and overcome obstacles (rocks) as big as its own wheels, thanks to the locomotion system made up of six metal wheels, which provide very good grip, joined on three axes and driven independently by the ADE units.

Extreme temperatures

The ADE units have the most complex electronics ever exposed to the hostile Martian environment, having to cope with temperatures ranging between -100ºC due to the cold Martian nights and +90ºC working in broad daylight. These units are located on the outside of the rover, while the thermally controlled interior is reserved for the scientific laboratory (where soil samples taken up to 2 meters deep are analyzed) and other subsystems of the rover.

Thales Alenia Space – Acento

This entry was posted in Reports on 21 Jan 2022 by Francisco Martín León

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