SST Instrument used in Milestone ISRU Field Test


HIGHLIGHT: Members of SST provided key science instrumentation and support for the RESOLVE In Situ Resource Utilization field test on Mauna Kea on the big island of Hawaii.

Members of SST, SSA and Codes Ti, VS and RE served in key operational capacities during the RESOLVE ISRU field test. Two SST-provided prospecting instruments, a Neutron Spectrometer and Near Infrared Spectrometer, were integrated on the RESOLVE payload and used to prospect for volatiles in the mission simulation. Tony Colaprete (NIR) and Rick Elphic (NS) served as console science leads in Hawai’i while several ARC scientists and engineers served in a Science Backroom capacity on the mainland. The prospecting activity entailed the use of the instruments on a Canadian rover, looking for both naturally occurring moisture in the soil and buried plastic targets used as proxies for lunar ice.

BACKGROUND: The simulated mission was conducted in Pu’u Ha’iwahine valley at 9,000′ on the south flank of Mauna Kea and lasted 7 days, July 13 – 19. The test showed that real time
science operations are feasible for a short term lunar surface mission to locate and quantify polar volatiles.

The Ames science team also used a Code TI lab in N269 as a Science Backroom to support the mission remotely in real time. Ames was one of 4 mainland ops centers.

This work was done in close collaboration with the Intelligent Robotics Group (IRG) in Code TI, who provided the Exploration Ground Data System (xGDS) software system for real-time display of instrument data, maps, traverse plans and many other aspects of the exercise. This software was absolutely essential to the success of the field test. Other collaborators included the RESOLVE team members from KSC, JSC, and the Canadian Space Agency.

PROGRAM FUNDING: SST and IRG’s involvement in the ISRU Field Test was supported by the AES Analog Missions Project (HEOMD), and from a competitively selected Lunar Advanced Science and Exploration Research (LASER) project (SMD). Additional support for SST came out of AES/RESOLVE project funds (HEOMD). xGDS core technology development is supported by the Human Robotic Systems (HRS) Project (OCT Game Changing Development program).

ARC-SST: Tony Colaprete (NASA), Rick Elphic (NASA), Margarita Marinova
(BAER), Jen Heldmann (NASA), Carol Stoker (NASA), Ted Rousch (NASA),
ARC-SSA: Kim Ennico NASA)
ARC-TI: Matthew Deans (NASA), Trey Smith (CMU), David Lees (CMU)
Ted Scharff (SGT), and Tamar Cohen (SGT).
ARC-VS: Stephanie Morse (LMS), Erin Fritzler (LMS)
ARC-RE: Robert McMurray (NASA), Josh Benton (USRA),