Rovers, due to their mobility, have become mainstream devices for the exploration of other planets. They are mobile, able to maneuver better, and can be controlled remotely from the Earth. However, the main shortcoming of these robots comes from their primary advantages – they cannot carry large-capacity power storage and generating mechanisms due to the limited space. NASA’s previous rovers suffered from the same disadvantage – solar batteries constantly died because of continuous blackouts. This paper provides several recommendations on alternative ways of powering rovers so that the robots can withstand the absence of solar energy for long periods.
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Solar systems are the most widely used method for powering rovers. The proposed solution, however, is a mix of a solar system and a wind turbine. Light-dependent resistors can be used to track the maximum light intensity (Orozco et al., 2018). As a result, mobile PVs generate more power, which will be enough to fill the backup batteries much faster (Kolikonda, Bhasker, & Rao, 2016). The sun, however, is not the only source of energy in space.
Some planets like Mars have winds on their surfaces, which can be converted into electrical power (Lapotre et al., 2016). Therefore, the windmill can be placed on the back of the rover – the turbine will charge the backup batteries when the sun is not available and power the rover during blackouts (Agarwal & Mishra, 2016). As a result, the system will be able to withstand multi-day blackouts.
Rovers are critical for the exploration of space objects because they are capable of reaching places where humans have no access yet. Powering these devices is a dilemma because the robot should stay mobile and be able to operate for longer periods. The proposed system that uses both solar and wind energy is capable of significantly extending the life of rovers.
Agarwal, P., & Mishra, J. (2016). Power sources for rovers. International Journal of Science and Research, 5(11), 1710-1715.
Kolikonda, Y., Bhasker, R., & Rao, D. (2016). The design and implementation of optimal battery charging robot using solar power. International Journal of Advanced Technology and Innovative Research, 8(5), 923-928.
Lapotre, M. G. A., Ewing, R. C., Lamb, M. P., Fischer, W. W., Grotzinger, J. P., Rubin, D. M.,… & Banham, S. G. (2016). Large wind ripples on Mars: A record of atmospheric evolution. Science, 353(6294), 55-58.
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Orozco, R. S., Chávez, P. M., Valencia-Ochoa, G., Yime-Rodríguez, E., & Roldán-Mckinley, J. (2018). Light thresholds for a light dependent resistor sensor in an OSPS prototype. Contemporary Engineering Sciences, 11(78), 3865-3872.