Preliminary Assessment of the Power Requirements of a Manned Rover for Mars Missions

by Mohamed S. El-Genk, Univ of New Mexico, United States,
Nicholas J. Morley, Univ of New Mexico, United States,
Robert Cataldo, Univ of New Mexico, United States,
Harvey Bloomfield, Univ of New Mexico, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Engineering, Construction, and Operations in Space II


This paper presents the results of a preliminary study to determine the total mass and power requirements of a Manned Mars Rover. The primary power for the Rover is provided by a Nuclear Reactor Power System while the Auxiliary and Emergency Power System is a hybrid of Solar Photovoltaics and Oxygen-Hydrogen Fuel Cells. Estimates of the Power requirements for the Nuclear Reactor Power System are determined as functions of the number of astronauts on board; the scenario of the emergency return trip in case of a complete malfunction of the reactor system; Specific Mass of the Power System; and the range and cruising speed of the Mars Rover vehicle. Results show that the cruising speed of the Rover and the soil traction factor strongly affect the traversing power requirement, and hence the mass of the nuclear power system.

Subject Headings: Space exploration | Aircraft and spacecraft | Solar power | Hydro power | Emergency management | Energy infrastructure | Electric power | Equipment and machinery

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