Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Function analysis drives the development of a concept Mars rover

03.11.2010
This human factors/ergonomics method, applied early in the rover's development, helped to ensure usability and effectiveness.

Humans have walked on the Moon, and inevitably, according to NASA, humans will tread the Red Planet as well, possibly by 2037.

An ergonomist and an industrial designer pondered the challenges of the Martian environment and developed an award-winning concept rover that could someday transport and house astronauts on the surface of Mars. The rover is described in an article to be published in Ergonomics in Design: The Quarterly of Human Factors Applications.

Using a human factors/ergonomics method called function analysis, part of a larger systems approach, Steven Casey and Gregg Montgomery considered the functional requirements of a future Mars exploration rover for use by people instead of robots. A number of questions needed to be answered before they could begin their design, these among them:

What functions will the system perform?
For what kinds of users is the system being designed?
How will the system be used, and how might the system be misused?
What might the user-system interfaces look like?
They conceptualized a vehicle that could withstand the extreme cold of Mars, with its pervasive dust, ultraviolet radiation, and seasonal storms. Features of the concept rover include a nuclear power source; enhanced handling and traction on Martian soil; robust, ceramic-matrix composite walls; maneuverability and visibility; lightweight, foldaway controls; and modular flexibility.

Conducting a function analysis early in the system development process is critical in ensuring that the vehicle can meet the demands of the environment and the users while also meeting constraints such as expense, weight, and shape.

Casey and Montgomery's concept Mars exploration rover received the GOOD DESIGN Award by the Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design together with The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies. Future rovers may not resemble their rover concept in all details, but function analysis is certain to be part of the design, development, testing, and usability studies that theoretically should generate similar results and ensure the safety and comfort of the Mars explorers.

Media: For an advance copy of the complete article, contact HFES Communications Director Lois Smith (lois@hfes.org, 310/394-1811).

The Human Factors and Ergonomics Society is the world's largest nonprofit individual-member, multidisciplinary scientific association for HF/E professionals, with more than 4,500 members in the United States and other countries. HFES members include psychologists and other scientists, designers, and engineers, all of whom share a common interest in designing systems and equipment to be safe and effective for the people who operate and maintain them. "Human Factors and Ergonomics: People-Friendly Design Through Science and Engineering."

Lois Smith | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.hfes.org

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht NASA laser communications to provide Orion faster connections
30.03.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

nachricht Pinball at the atomic level
30.03.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Struktur und Dynamik der Materie

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

'On-off switch' brings researchers a step closer to potential HIV vaccine

30.03.2017 | Health and Medicine

Penn studies find promise for innovations in liquid biopsies

30.03.2017 | Health and Medicine

An LED-based device for imaging radiation induced skin damage

30.03.2017 | Medical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>