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Prototyping of Energetically-Autonomous UWB Anchors for Rover Localization in Lunar Environment

Michelangelo Levati

Prototyping of Energetically-Autonomous UWB Anchors for Rover Localization in Lunar Environment.

Rel. Marcello Chiaberge, Marco Ambrosio. Politecnico di Torino, Corso di laurea magistrale in Mechatronic Engineering (Ingegneria Meccatronica), 2022

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The space race began in the 1950s, the world's great powers competed to reach farther and farther frontiers, mainly for political reasons related to the Cold War. From launching satellites into orbit to putting space stations into orbit, from the first man on the moon to conquer the Solar System. On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin left the first footprint on the Lunar surface, while Eugene Cernan, Ron Evans, and Harrison Schmitt were the last humans to leave Earth orbit in December 1972. To this day, the desire to return to the Moon continues, and more and more missions are being planned and completed for the grand return. This thesis has its roots in an expedition to the Lunar surface during which a mobile rover must be able to pinpoint its location relative to a Lunar base. An Ultra Wide-Band Anchor network is chosen for localization. This technology uses wide-band radio waves to transmit information, which can be exploited for high-precision real-time localization by triangulating at least three signals. The greater the number of Anchors, the greater the accuracy as noise effects are reduced. The network consists of several Anchors, each equipped with a UWB module, to be placed at strategic locations with the rover itself so that it can communicate at any time with at least three Anchors. Thus, the goal is to prototype a series of Anchors, devices capable of working autonomously after placement on the Lunar ground. The work was divided into four macro areas, including the identification of the best power supply system for the devices, the mechanical design of the Anchors, the electrical design of the Motherboard to manage the systems, and the distribution of the Anchors on the lunar ground. The four design phases were carried out simultaneously to ensure that they matched. For the power supply, a system was designed consisting of five solar panels and five Li-Po batteries, which ensure standby operation of the device even during the period of no light; the design was completed to minimize the size during transportation; the Motherboard is responsible for managing the charging system and powering up the UWB module under specific conditions; and for the method of distributing the Anchors, on the other hand, a code was developed in Python based on QR code recognition to identify the device and pick and place through a six-joint mechanical arm. In addition, the device was realized with the ability to close up to be moved, so that multiple missions of the same type could be carried out in different locations with the same Anchors.

Relators: Marcello Chiaberge, Marco Ambrosio
Academic year: 2022/23
Publication type: Electronic
Number of Pages: 140
Corso di laurea: Corso di laurea magistrale in Mechatronic Engineering (Ingegneria Meccatronica)
Classe di laurea: New organization > Master science > LM-25 - AUTOMATION ENGINEERING
Aziende collaboratrici: UNSPECIFIED
URI: http://webthesis.biblio.polito.it/id/eprint/25534
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