Desert Research and Technology Studies 2006 Report 2007-01-3131
During the first two weeks of September, 2006, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Johnson Space Center (JSC) Advanced Extra Vehicular Activity (AEVA) team led the field test portion of the 2006 Desert Research and Technology Studies (D-RATS) in the Flagstaff, AZ area. The Desert RATS field test activity is the year-long culmination of various individual science and advanced engineering discipline areas’ technology and operations development efforts into a coordinated field test demonstration under representative (analog) planetary surface terrain conditions.
The 2006 Desert RATS was the ninth RATS field test and was the largest, most systems-oriented, integrated field test to date with participants from seven NASA field centers, three industry partners, and two research organizations. Each week of the test, RATS addressed specific sets of objectives. The first week of field testing focused on Lunar surface science and in-situ resource utilization tasks. The second week of field testing focused on integrated testing with the Science, Crew, Operations, and Utility Testbed (SCOUT) and the Coordinated Field Demonstration (CFD) team (robotics demonstrations including the JSC Centaur, the JSC SCOUT, the Ames Research Center (ARC) K-10, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) All-Terrain Hex-Legged Extra-Terrestrial Explorer (ATHLETE) robots).
Data regarding requirements for technology development, hardware design, operations, and interfaces were gathered from the test activities. The test was extremely successful with all teams meeting all primary test objectives. This paper summarizes Desert RATS 2006 test hardware, detailed test objectives, test operations, and test results.