Today we’re thrilled to announce a new partnership with Pleora Technologies!
This partnerships that combines our respective expertise in real-time sensor networking and artificial intelligence (AI) for robotic control and automation to enable advanced driver assistance in local situational awareness (LSA) and Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR) applications. We will be ntegrating their RuggedCONNECT smart video switcher platform and our Vehicle/Terrain AI Safety System. This AI capability is the evolution of our patented ASAS technology originally developed for space applications with the support of the Canadian Space Agency!
Spinning off space technology for terrestrial applications is a strength of the Canadian Space industry. Read the press release here.
We are very excited to share the Space.com story about our SAND-E Mission, which took place from July 8-August 5th in Iceland. Our team tested the prototype rover and a drone meant to showcase the potential capabilities of NASA’s Mars 2020 helicopter. Read about our exciting research and mission here!
Our SAND-E mission this summer in Iceland was a great opportunity to test and demonstrate our software in conjunction with our partners.
See our story covered in 20 minutes, FranceTV, and 24.
SAND-E has been a brilliant opportunity to do exciting work at the forefront of planetary exploration research, and part of that experience has been working closely with our international partners. Check out our story on the Share America website, highlighting our international collaboration!
Our team is wrapping up their time in Iceland and very pleased with the amazing research the SAND-E team was able to do, along with the fact that we had the opportunity to test our ASAS technology in the field.
SAND-E will allow our science teams to examine and determine causes of variability in the geochemistry, minerology and physical grain properties of fluvial and aeolian sediments. SAND-E scientists got to study the movement of sediments in these unique formations in Iceland, in hopes that it will better inform us of similar landscapes on Mars. We were able to conduct a series of surveys using a variety of operational protocols to test the most efficient approaches of gathering data. Some scenarios allowed the rover to autonomously drive and select scientific sites without human input, and in others the team measured the benefit of short drone flights to scout the area ahead, similar to NASA’s proposed Mars 2020 Mission.
Keep up with us on twitter as we prepare for next year’s field test in Iceland!
Earlier this summer, Mission Control was privileged to work with Dr. Tanya Harrison to put together a demo of our software for an audience at the Amazon Re:MARS conference in Las Vegas.
Among other things, Dr. Harrison’s talk “Roving Robots on the Red Planet,” described communications issues in operating Mars rovers (the time delays and the data transfer limitations) and the challenges current planetary exploration missions face – to highlight her point she operated a Clearpath Warthog UGV rover (our own rover was packed up and on its way to Iceland for our SAND-E mission), using our Mission Control Software thousands of miles away in the Canadian Space Agency Mars yard!
Read more about how we put it together with Clearpath Robotics here!
We are so happy that SAND-E is inspiring people and bringing light to some of the awesome research and tech being developed for NASA’s MARS 2020 mission. Here is a video about the mission on NBC.
SAND-E (Semi-Autonomous Navigation for Detrital Environments) is a NASA-funded project to study Mars-like volcanic sand environments in Iceland, in advance of NASA’s Mars 2020 rover mission. The study will help NASA prepare for scientific studies of areas on Mars and determine if new exploration strategies, including increased rover autonomy, would benefit future missions. The test site is in the outflow of a glacier, where the SAND-E scientists are particularly interested in the changes in physical and chemical properties of the geological material as it is transported downstream by water (fluvial) and wind (Aeolian) processes.
Our teams have arrived in Iceland and have commenced the testing campaign. Please follow along our social media channels and the hashtag #SANDE to keep up!
We are excited to share that we have been awarded funding under CSA’s STDP AO5.2! 🎉
Rovers are expected to play an important role in commercial exploration of the Moon. However, current rover technology is expensive and requires continuous management by operators back on Earth.
Using rovers can be more cost-effective if they are able to perform more tasks autonomously, with more flexible options for the operators that manage them. This project will allow us to continue developing easy-to-use mission control software to support ongoing low-cost rover operations and to allow rovers to navigate and carry out tasks more independently.
Mission Control Software is a cloud-based software and will enable commercial space companies, mission operators, and researchers to operate frequent, short-duration lunar missions from anywhere on Earth. MCS will help lower the cost of lunar rover missions, making space exploration more accessible a to wider range of Canadian companies, eventually allowing non-experts, including students and members of the Canadian public, to engage in lunar and planetary exploration missions!
Read our press release here