The Phileas Rover

Human-AND-Machine instead of Human-OR-Machine

A first model of the Phileas rover on duty during a field test in Rio Tinto, Southern Spain (c) OeWF (Paul Santek)

A first model of the Phileas rover on duty during a field test in Rio Tinto, Southern Spain (c) OeWF (Paul Santek)

Rovers are excellent partners for manned missions to Mars: They can be used for dangerous or repetitive tasks. In addition, they can also function as a relay station, as an energy source, or transport rock samples and tools. Other than the rovers which are currently on Mars, like the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity or the Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity, Phileas is a conceptual model of a rover which is optimized for a mission alongside astronauts.

Three requirements have been defined for the PolAres rover Phileas: it must function in temperatures as low as -80° C, both in a desert or an arctic environment (robustness), it has must functionally operate over 80 days without any break or disruption of operation and cover 80km per day (endurance and range), and it must operate in any environment between 80 degrees latitude North and South (flexibility). These requirements demand a well thought thermal budget, sturdy components, and an efficient energy system.

Phileas is developed in collaboration with the higher technical school (HTL TGM) in Vienna.

This article is available in: German