This is how NASA’s Perseverance navigates the arid lands of Mars
NASA’s Perseverance rover has been roaming the surface of Mars since it made a spectacular landing on the planet in February of last year. We show you a video that the company itself has published to understand how its autonomous driving works.
“Touchdown confirmed” was heard in the NASA control room on February 18, 2021. This phrase made those who were there jump for joy, along with the rest of those involved in the project.
For NASA, the arrival of a new rover on Mars was a new opportunity to strengthen its leadership position against other powers that have strongly joined the space race. We leave you then the tweet that NASA published on the day of the landing.
In a new video, Tyler Del Sesto, rover driver and strategic route planner at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, explains how Perseverance uses its self-driving intelligence to safely navigate the Martian surface.
With a 0.1mph top speed, Perseverance moves at the same pace as a tortoise, covering about 300 meters a day. The team only needs to plot a few points for its basic route, leaving the rest to the vehicle’s AutoNav autonomous navigation system.
“The rover’s self-driving capability is very similar to that of self-driving cars on Earth, but the challenges are different”says the team. The Perseverance uses technology similar to that of autonomous carsIt’s to stay away from the geographical features that you find along the way.
One of the great advantages Compared to previous NASA vehicles, such as Curiosity, it is capable of processing and analyzing images captured while driving, allowing it to complete trips more quickly than its predecessor. NASA defines the Perseverance system as a vehicle with the ability to think while driving.
For more complex routes or driving maneuvers, the team will put on 3D glasses and examine the nearby terrain more closely as the rover moves forward.