Astrobotic has been awarded two contracts by NASA to support the development of payloads for future delivery on its 4U and 6U CubeRovers— presented as the world’s first line of commercial lunar rovers. CubeRovers are standardized and scalable, providing planetary surface mobility services that support a variety of scientific and commercial missions.
The first $741,000 contract will fuel work on a novel ultra-wide, non-contact Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) antenna co-developed by Astrobotic and The Ohio State University. The antenna will integrate with a prototype of Astrobotic’s 6U CubeRover, the largest of the CubeRover family, and then test its use on the ground.
Useful for both Earth and planetary science applications, the single antenna can be integrated with diverse mobile platforms to better support lightweight, affordable, subsurface science investigations. GPR tech at this small, lightweight scale is nonexistent in the space market and could enable simple and reliable characterization of lunar lava tubes, subsurface water-ice, and the location of planetary ore deposits.