NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory California Institute of Technology JPL HOME EARTH SOLAR SYSTEM STARS & GALAXIES SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY JPL Email News RSS Mobile Video
Follow this link to skip to the main content
JPL banner - links to JPL and CalTech
left nav graphic Overview Science Technology The Mission People Spotlights Events Multimedia All Mars
Mars for Kids
Mars for Students
Mars for Educators
Mars for Press
+ Mars Home
+ Rovers Home
the word technology as an image linking to the technology page
image link to summary
Technologies of Broad Benefit
In-situ Exploration and Sample Return
Entry, Descent, and Landing
Autonomous Planetary Mobility
Technologies for Severe Environments
Sample Return Technologies
Planetary Protection Technologies
Science Instruments
In-situ Exploration and Sample Return: Autonomous Planetary Mobility

Return to the Autonomous Planetary Mobility Page

A virtual rover is pictured on a three-dimensional map made from real Mars imagery.  This image represents the rovers' ability to use its auto-navigation system to drive itself.  The topography of the scene is reflected in a succession of bumps and flat areas that are color-coded to identify their inherent threat to the rovers.

In order to drive themselves the rovers take stereo images, from which 3-D terrain maps are generated automatically by the rover software. Traversability and safety is then determined from the height and density of rocks or steps, excessive tilts and roughness of the terrain. Dozens of possible paths are considered before the rover chooses the shortest, safest path toward the programmed geographical goal.

USA.gov
PRIVACY    |     FAQ    |     SITEMAP    |     CREDITS