Further Tests Designed for Rover's Right-Rear Wheel

Dec 08, 2009
An artist's concept portrays a NASA Mars Exploration Rover on the surface of Mars. Image credit: NASA/JPL/Cornell University

(PhysOrg.com) -- A series of diagnostic tests on Spirit's right-rear wheel on sols 2104 and 2105 (Dec. 3 and 4) investigated stalls that occurred on Sol 2099 (Nov. 28) and earlier. The rover team cannot draw any conclusions at this point, but the results are not encouraging, and further tests are planned.

The recent tests included rotor-resistance tests at three temperatures and a one-radian (about 57 degrees) forward motion test. The resistance tests indicate anomalously high resistance in the motor winding at all three temperatures. However, a curious transition from anomalously low resistance to high resistance was observed very briefly on the very first resistance test.

The resistance remained high for the balance of all the testing. Control measurements on the left-rear wheel showed normal resistance for that actuator motor. For the forward wheel motion test, the right-rear wheel stalled immediately and did not produce any motion.

The plan ahead is to explore a set of hypotheses: possible failure, possible internal gearbox jam, possible external jam (e.g., a rock in the ). Commands being developed for Spirit's activities on sols 2109 and 2110 (Tuesday and Wednesday, Dec. 8 and 9) will include more diagnostics to explore these hypotheses.

Provided by JPL/ (news : web)

Explore further: Mercury MESSENGER nears epic mission end

Related Stories

NASA Investigates Problems With Spirit

Oct 06, 2004

Engineers on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover team are investigating possible causes and remedies for a problem affecting the steering on Spirit. The relay for steering actuators on Spirit's right-front and lef ...

Spirit Completes Fourth Mile On Mars

Feb 14, 2006

Spirit is healthy and continues to make progress toward "Home Plate" after driving more than 150 meters (492 feet), taking images, making atmospheric observations, and analyzing geology.

Recommended for you

Mercury MESSENGER nears epic mission end

12 hours ago

A spacecraft that carries a sensor built at the University of Michigan is about to crash into the planet closest to the sun—just as NASA intended.

Dawn glimpses Ceres' north pole

14 hours ago

After spending more than a month in orbit on the dark side of dwarf planet Ceres, NASA's Dawn spacecraft has captured several views of the sunlit north pole of this intriguing world. These images were taken ...

A blueprint for clearing the skies of space debris

Apr 17, 2015

An international team of scientists have put forward a blueprint for a purely space-based system to solve the growing problem of space debris. The proposal, published in Acta Astronautica, combines a super-wide field-of-view telesc ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.