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Lunar Nano Drone for a mission of exploration of lava tubes on the Moon: Navigation System

Gael Latiro

Lunar Nano Drone for a mission of exploration of lava tubes on the Moon: Navigation System.

Rel. Paolo Maggiore, Piero Messidoro. Politecnico di Torino, Corso di laurea magistrale in Ingegneria Aerospaziale, 2020

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On October 5th, 2017, Vice President Mike Pence announced the Trump administration’s plan to return astronauts to the Moon. Looking to the long-term, NASA and several other space agencies are also intent on establishing a permanent lunar base there. This base will not only provide opportunities for lunar science but will also facilitate missions to Mars and beyond. The only question is, where should such a base be built? For many years, NASA, the ESA and other agencies have been exploring the possibility of stable lava tubes as a potential site. According to new study by a team of international scientists, the presence of such a tube has now been confirmed in the Marius Hills region. This location is likely to be the site of future lunar missions and could even be the site of a future lunar habitat. This study aims to achieve the preliminary design of a Lunar drone and its mission feasibility, focusing mainly on the problem of navigation. The main purpose is to explore the lunar caves and to provide pictures of them, all taking into consideration the use, if possible, of Italian technologies that have directed many of the choices in the system design made to the detriment of a purely theoretical treatment. This thesis at first provides a purely theoretical overview of the systems used for autonomous navigation in an environment without GPS and in lack of lighting. Consequently, there is a discussion concerning the research for the components necessary for autonomous navigation. In particular, the two methods chosen: visual navigation and LiDAR, are then compared in terms of performance, masses, dimensions and energy consumption. The autonomous navigation inside tunnels is finally treated by focusing on the problems of maximum speed, lighting. Always taking into consideration the comparison in terms of masses, dimensions, consumption and performance of the two architectures taken into consideration. Finally, a discussion on the CAD of the individual components that will make up the drone is carried out in order to reach a possible configuration.

Relators: Paolo Maggiore, Piero Messidoro
Academic year: 2020/21
Publication type: Electronic
Number of Pages: 129
Corso di laurea: Corso di laurea magistrale in Ingegneria Aerospaziale
Classe di laurea: New organization > Master science > LM-20 - AEROSPATIAL AND ASTRONAUTIC ENGINEERING
Aziende collaboratrici: Politecnico di Torino
URI: http://webthesis.biblio.polito.it/id/eprint/17032
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