The European Space Agency's (ESA) ExoMars rover has recently been subject to a Phase A study led by EADS Astrium, UK. This rover mission represents a highly ambitious venture in that the rover is of considerable size ∼200+kg with high mobility carrying a highly complex scientific instrument suite (Pasteur) of up to 40 kg in mass devoted to exobiological investigation of the Martian surface and sub-surface. The chassis design has been a particular challenge given the inhospitable terrain on Mars and the need to traverse such terrain robustly in order to deliver the scientific instruments to science targets of exobiological interest. We present some of the results and design issues encountered during the Phase A study related to the chassis. In particular, we have focussed on the overall tractive performance of a number of candidate chassis designs and selected the RCL (Science & Technology Rover Company Ltd in Russian) concept C design as the baseline option in terms of high performance with minimal mechanical complexity overhead. This design is a six-wheeled double-rocker bogie design to provide springless suspension and maintain approximately equal weight distribution across each wheel.

Transactions of the Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Ellery, A, Richter, L. (Lutz), & Bertrand, R. (Reinhold). (2005). Chassis design & performance analysis for the european exomars rover. In Transactions of the Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering (Vol. 29, pp. 507–517).