Desert Research and Technology Studies 2008 Report 2009-01-2563
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Johnson Space Center (JSC) Advanced Extravehicular Activity (AEVA) Team, during the last two weeks of October 2008, led the field test portion of the 2008 Desert Research and Technology Studies (D-RATS) near Flagstaff, AZ. The D-RATS field test activity is the year-long culmination of the technology and operations development efforts of various individual science and advanced engineering discipline areas into a coordinated field test demonstration under representative (analog) planetary surface terrain conditions.
The 2008 D-RATS, which was the eleventh RATS field test, was the most focused and successful test to date. It hosted participants from six NASA field centers, three research organizations, one university, and one other government agency. The main test objective was to collect Unpressurized Rover (UPR) and Lunar Electric Rover (LER) engineering performance and human factors metrics while under extended periods of representative mission-based scenario test operations involving long drive distances, night-time driving, Extravehicular Activity (EVA) operations, and overnight campover periods.
The test was extremely successful, with all teams meeting the primary test objective. This paper summarizes the D-RATS 2008 test hardware, detailed test objectives, test operations, and test results.