Autonomous Science Target Recognition and Analysis (ASTRA) is a mission to construct a rover capable of autonomous navigation and remote scientific testing for the presence of life. The team’s current goal is to construct a rover for the international University Rover Challenge (URC) that takes place each year at the Mars Desert Research Station in Utah. This competition’s four missions align with ASTRA’s long-term goal of developing a rover capable of identifying, observing, testing, and analyzing points of scientific interest autonomously. The competition missions include a life detection mission, an extreme retrieval and delivery mission, an equipment servicing mission, and an autonomous navigation mission. In order to compete, the rover must feature a sophisticated robot arm capable of lifting heavy weights while also having the dexterity to use items such as keyboards and screwdrivers. We hope to participate in this challenge in May 2021.
In order to achieve our goals, ASTRA is divided into four subteams: Mechanical, Electrical, Software, and Science. Personnel from each subteam are assigned to work on submodules together in order to tackle each unique engineering challenge we come across. If you’re looking for a project to enrich your engineering experience and expose you to a wide range of challenges, ASTRA is the team for you!
Contact: Shelby Tull