Structural Design and Optimisation of a Lunar Rover Wheel

This paper was produced for the 2019 NAFEMS World Congress in Quebec Canada

Resource Abstract

This project is a part of the Canadian Space Agency’s SWARM technology development project, whose purpose is to develop durable wheels for a potential Canadian lunar rover that would land on the moon in 2025. Harsh lunar environmental forces the use of full metallic wheel. To accomplish the rover mission, the main structural requirements of the wheel is to resist at many lunar days and at a travel distance of 600 km. The methodology applied to fulfil these requirements combines the use of numerical modeling supported by experimental tests. This paper presents the developed model and its experimental validation. Then this paper presents some of the requirement verifications made, including a flexibility capacity, a static rolling load, a dynamic load induced while driving at higher speed over small rocks and a thermal load case. In addition, an introduction of the wheel design optimisation is presented where the thickness variation of a crucial part is studied. The current progress of the project demonstrates a good agreement with experimental, concluding that the model can be used with confidence for structural sizing and optimization. It was also conclude that the requirement of 600 km of rolling on flat ground is not an issue. The objective of a flexibility of 5% the wheel diameter is not fully reached; a small amount of plastic deformation is expected. Finally, it was shown that the thermal stress inside the wheel is not an issue. The present study is on progress and works remain to do, some results are not yet available.

Document Details

AuthorRoux. M
Date 18th June 2019
OrganisationCentre de Technologies Avancees BRP - Udes


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