Mars delivery service - development of the electro-mechanical systems of the Sample Fetch Rover for the Mars Sample Return Campaign

Ridolfi, Paolo (2023) Mars delivery service - development of the electro-mechanical systems of the Sample Fetch Rover for the Mars Sample Return Campaign, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Meccanica e scienze avanzate dell'ingegneria, 35 Ciclo. DOI 10.48676/unibo/amsdottorato/10611.
Documenti full-text disponibili:
[img] Documento PDF (English) - Richiede un lettore di PDF come Xpdf o Adobe Acrobat Reader
Disponibile con Licenza: Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial ShareAlike 4.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) .
Download (17MB)


This thesis describes the development of the Sample Fetch Rover (SFR), studied for Mars Sample Return (MSR), an international campaign carried out in cooperation between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the European Space Agency (ESA). The focus of this document is the design of the electro-mechanical systems of the rover. After placing this work into the general context of robotic planetary exploration and summarising the state of the art for what concerns Mars rovers, the architecture of the Mars Sample Return Campaign is presented. A complete overview of the current SFR architecture is provided, touching upon all the main subsystems of the spacecraft. For each area, it is discussed what are the design drivers, the chosen solutions and whether they use heritage technology (in particular from the ExoMars Rover) or new developments. This research focuses on two topics of particular interest, due to their relevance for the mission and the novelty of their design: locomotion and sample acquisition, which are discussed in depth. The early SFR locomotion concepts are summarised, covering the initial trade-offs and discarded designs for higher traverse performance. Once a consolidated architecture was reached, the locomotion subsystem was developed further, defining the details of the suspension, actuators, deployment mechanisms and wheels. This technology is presented here in detail, including some key analysis and test results that support the design and demonstrate how it responds to the mission requirements. Another major electro-mechanical system developed as part of this work is the one dedicated to sample tube acquisition. The concept of operations of this machinery was defined to be robust against the unknown conditions that characterise the mission. The design process led to a highly automated robotic system which is described here in its main components: vision system, robotic arm and tube storage.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Ridolfi, Paolo
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Sample Fetch Rover Mars Sample Return Mechanical Systems Locomotion Robotics
Data di discussione
29 Marzo 2023

Altri metadati

Statistica sui download

Gestione del documento: Visualizza la tesi