Lunar Volatiles Mobile Instrumentation (LUVMI) Project Results

Garcet, Jeremi; Urbina, Diego; Sheridan, Simon; Biswas, Janos; Evagora, Anthony; Richter, Luiz; Fau, Guillaume; Kumar, Hemanth; Fodorcan, Daniel; Chupin, Thibaud; Kullack, Kasrten; Pitcher, Craig; Murray, Neil; Reiss, Philipp; Reganaz, Mattia; Govindaraj, Shashank; Aked, Richard and Salini, Joseph (2019). Lunar Volatiles Mobile Instrumentation (LUVMI) Project Results. In: 70th International Astronautical Congress (IAC), 21-25 Oct 2019, Washington DC / USA.


LUVMI is an innovative, low mass, mobile robotic payload designed specifically for operations at the South Pole of the Moon with a range of several kilometres. Over the 2 past years of the project, the key LUVMI scientific instruments (volatiles analyser and volatiles sampler) were successfully developed and validated up to TRL 5-6. In addition, a ground prototype of the LUVMI rover was developed and tested in a series of outdoor trials, in rocky and sandy environments. This rover, with a target dry mass of ~40kg for a flight version, features an adjustable height chassis to adapt to terrain roughness and allowing to bring instruments very closely and precisely to the surface. The locomotion capability of the LUVMI rover was tested in partially representative conditions, as part of the project. This paper reports on the project’s results and lessons learnt, and gives indications of how LUVMI may be further matured to target potential mission slots in the mid-2020s, as part of ESA mission and/or supported by private funding.

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