The rover




The Challenge

The first challenge of Team Polar is focused on Antarctica. There is an extreme amount of untapped potential research that can be done on Antarctica. But, at the moment, this is not being realized. The problem behind this is that the infrastructure is not suitable to meet the requests of the researchers, because it is too expensive and inefficient. Team Polar provides an alternative solution to this infrastructure: A new, innovative rover for Antarctica. A vehicle which can meet the needs of the researchers and start to extract the untapped potential , while also making the infrastructure cheaper. 

Functionality

The Antarctic rover will be made according to the three principles of Team Polar, making it sustainable, autonomous and affordable. Furthermore, the rover will also use research equipment to generate the necessary data which researchers can use to answer important questions. Lastly, the rover will also use a ground penetrating radar (GPR) to detect crevasses in the ice. This is necessary in order to drive autonomously and it will give the possibility to map routes on the Antarctic for research to become more efficient and cost-effective.


Engineering on the rover has been split up into three technical domains: electrical, mechanical, and computationa domain. Within the domains, several students are aiming to design, prototype, and develop every aspect within their domain to insure a vehicle that can overcome the extreme conditions of Antarctica. 

Electrical domain

The electrical domain focuses on the power supply, power storage, and powertrain of the vehicle. These aspects are closely linked with the sustainable vision of the rover. The biggest challenges of the electrical domain are the cold temperatures and the limited available solar energy on the Antarctic continent.

Mechanical domain

The mechanical domain focuses on the chassis, the suspension, the tires, etc. This domain ensures that the rover can withstand conquer the extreme terrain posed by the Antarctic environment. The biggest challenge of the mechanical domain is the limited amount of knowledge available on vehicles in these conditions.

Computational Domain

The computational domain focuses on the sensors which will enable the rover to operate autonomously. Besides this, the focus is also on establishing a connection with satellites to enable data transfer. The biggest challenge for the computational domain is the limited satellite connection and the detection of crevasses.