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Technical Paper

The Distributed Simulation of Intelligent Terrain Exploration

In this study we consider the coordinated exploration of an unfamiliar Martian landscape by a swarm of small autonomous rovers, called Swarmies, simulated in a distributed setting. With a sustainable program of return missions to and from Mars in mind, the goal of said exploration is to efficiently prospect the terrain for water meant to be gathered and then utilized in the production of rocket fuel. The rovers are tasked with relaying relevant data to a home base that is responsible for maintaining a mining schedule for an arbitrarily large group of rovers extracting water-rich regolith. For this reason, it is crucial that the participants maintain a wireless connection with one another and with the base throughout the entire process. We describe the architecture of our simulation which is composed of HLA-compliant components that are visualized via the Distributed Observer Network tool developed by NASA.