Thursday, June 11, 2009

MIT TALARIS 100% throttle ground test

"Video from the 4-fan 100% throttle ground test of the TALARIS vehicle, a prototype test vehicle for robotic lunar landers. At this throttle level, the vehicle's 4 fans consume 24 kW of power at 500 A and provide a power-to-weight ratio higher than both the Bugatti Veyron and a fully-loaded Boeing 747 at take-off."

"Talaris is a student project at MIT's Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, aiming to produce a small-scale prototype vehicle similar to the Apollo Program's Lunar Landing Training Vehicle (LLTV) -- that is, a vehicle that can recreate lunar gravity by using downward-pointing fans to counter 5/6 of the vehicle's weight. A secondary propulsion system (in our case, a compressed gas propulsion system) can then maneuver the vehicle as if it is operating in lunar gravity. This allows direct testing of guidance, navigation and control algorithms for automated robotic lunar landers. The end goal of this work is to feed forward into the design of a Google Lunar X-Prize vehicle being produced by the Next Giant Leap team (an official GLXP team of which MIT is a partner). The Google Lunar X-Prize is a worldwide competition awarding $20 million to the first privately-funded team to land a robotic vehicle on the Moon and traverse 500m across the lunar surface."

Videos from the TALARIS Project

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