Predicted Behavior of Lunar Vehicles With Metalastic Wheels 640036
To investigate the behavior of a lunar roving vehicle equipped with an elastic wheel system, Grumman engineers conducted analytical studies followed by extensive tests with 1/6 scale models. The results were significant-and some-what surprising.
The elastic wheel system demonstrated distinct advantages over rigid wheels, both in weak soil and on a rough-textured surface. In weak soil the elastic wheel proves to be as effective as a rigid wheel three times its size, and can maintain a near-constant footprint pressure during a 3 to 1 increase in load. Chief advantage on a rough-textured surface is the reduction of unsprung weight.