Robotic Lunar Landing and Hopping

Bobby Cohanim 
Draper Laboratory

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

Abstract: Government and commercial efforts from around the world are racing to send exploration and scientific spacecraft back to the Moon. NASA is investigating the use of small missions to perform site surveys, environmental science, emplace early infrastructure, and provide test beds for technology development projects. The Google Lunar X-Prize will award the first privately funded team to send a robot to the Moon, travel 500 meters over the lunar surface and transmit video, images, and data back to the Earth. Space ventures are expanding from the public sector out to the private sector. Companies around the world are raising private funds to fuel innovation in technology and establish space infrastructure. This talk describes the history, research, and development of lunar landing and hopping at Draper and MIT: from the Apollo program, through recent prototype work in Hoppers, and NASA flights demonstrating autonomous GNC of terrestrial landers.  

Bobby Cohanim is the Mission Design Group Leader and a Principal Member of the Technical Staff at Draper Laboratory. He joined Draper Laboratory in September, 2006. He has worked extensively on NASA's ALHAT program developing the next generation of landing sensors and GNC for planetary landing, and developing and demonstrating landing and hopping technologies for the next generation of planetary vehicles. Before coming to Draper, Bobby worked at JPL developing mission concepts for future planetary missions, and at MIT developing techniques to develop large arrays for science observations. He received his B.S. from Iowa State University in Aerospace Engineering (2002), his S.M. in Aero/Astro from MIT (2004), and is a finishing ScD candidate in Aero/Astro at MIT (2009-2013).

April 24, 2013

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