First Astronaut - Rover Interaction Field Test 2000-01-2482
The first ever Astronaut - Rover (ASRO) Interaction Field Test was conducted successfully on February 22-27, 1999, in Silver Lake, Mojave Desert, California in a representative surface terrain. This test was a joint effort between the NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California and the NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas to investigate the interaction between humans and robotic rovers for potential future planetary surface exploration. As prototype advanced planetary surface space suit and rover technologies are being developed for human planetary surface exploration, it is desirable to better understand the interaction and potential benefits of an Extravehiclar Activity (EVA) crewmember interacting with a robotic rover. This interaction between an EVA astronaut and a robotic rover is seen as complementary and can greatly enhance the productivity and safety of surface excursions. This field test also identified design requirements and desirable options in an advanced space suit and robotic rover.
The test objectives were: 1. To identify and develop the operational scenarios where EVA astronauts and rover are complementary and can interact, thus can collaborate in a safe, productive and cost effective way, 2. To identify and develop preliminary requirements and recommendations for advanced space suits and rovers that facilitate their cooperative and complementary interaction, 3. To test and evaluate these scenarios and procedures during representative mission task activities during field experiments by simulating the exploration of a planetary landing site by a human crew interacting with a rover, 4. To test the feasibility and utility of adding some automation to the interaction between the EVA crewmember and the rover by providing a stereo vision that tracks the position of the crewmember relative to the rover, 5. To evaluate and document human factor aspects of the ASRO interaction field test in order to guide future technology designs. Test results and recommendations for future research are discussed.