The Rover Speed Characterization for Lunar Exploration (RaCER) project, being realized for ESA by PIAP Space in cooperation with PIAP Institute, is strictly connected with the SME long-range surface exploration tasks. The main objective of the RaCER project is to determine the realistically achievable maximum speed of the teleoperated rover for lunar exploration through a number of controlled tests conducted in a lunar analogue environment.
The Test Campaign in the Basalt Quarry lasted 3 weeks (including FTS preparations). During 10 test days and nights, 90 registered test drives have been executed by 3 Operators. Series of tests conducted during the Main Field Test Campaign were focused on verification the maximum achievable speed under ideal conditions (upper bound), and investigate the impact of varying environmental conditions on the actual achieved speed. Tests were vary the following operational and environmental conditions: lighting conditions, communications bandwidth, communication latency, terrain conditions, utilized set of situation awareness tools.