NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover is about to embark on its grand mission to find traces of ancient life on Mars. The crater in which NASA’s Martian rover will explore was once a large lake. Billions of years ago, the Red Planet was wetter than it is today. During this research, the Mars rover will control the navigation itself using Perseverance AutoNav. AutoNav is a smart algorithm that allows the rover to 3D map the surroundings as it travels and find the most precise path.
Rover will decide for himself the path
In a NASA statement, senior engineer Vandi Verma, who was part of the rover’s team, said the rover also has the ability to think while driving. According to him, the rover has to constantly think about its automatic drive when the wheels are moving. For this, a special computer was installed inside the rover. However, the rover cannot be left to AutoNav alone for this mission.
Creating a 3D map will show the rover the right path
NASA said scientists associated with the rover’s team have prepared draft instructions for the rover to follow when planning the navigation route. It is a very difficult task, but the scientists at NASA have made it possible. Scientists cannot control the rover with a joystick due to the delay in the radio signal between Mars and Earth. This is where AutoNav comes in handy.
Why is it difficult to control the rover on Mars?
A joystick is like a handle. Thanks to this, the remote controls can give commands to any drone, vehicle or robot. However, this would only be possible if there was no interference with the radio signal between the object and the command center. If the radio signal breaks, it can also cause the command center to lose control of its object.
Rover will run at a speed of 120 meters per hour
The Perseverance rover is capable of traveling at a speed of 120 mph on the surface of Mars. Previously, NASA had sent the Curiosity rover to Mars, whose speed was only 20 meters per hour. Curiosity is also equipped with AutoNav, although its version is much older. The Perseverance rover’s navigation is more advanced than that of Curiosity, not only in speed, but also in terms of treading on rough surfaces. It can protect itself from sharp and pointed stones of Mars.