Moon-Mars outdoor test site opened in Oberpfaffenhofen

The fact that the moon is now omnipresent at DLR was demonstrated on 26 September: in Oberpfaffenhofen, the Institute for Robotics and Mechatronics opened its outdoor test site, where a wide variety of scenarios for the use of robots for planetary exploration are available on 1500 square metres. About two-thirds of the surface is modelled as the surface of the moon, one-third as the surface of Mars.

The importance of such systems was emphasised in the official speeches, and in a recorded message Matthias Maurer also mentioned LUNA as a complementary analogue system.

The outdoor test site in Oberpfaffenhofen particularly focuses on challenging terrain features for robotic systems, including rocks, craters, caves or lava tubes, and will allow fast testing and demonstration with the research at the DLR Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics. The LUNA facility emphasises the lunar terrain with regolith simulant and the operational aspects around human-robotic lunar exploration.

The Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics is also involved in LUNA and is currently developing both a rover for the regolith test bed and a robotic assistant for the EDEN LUNA greenhouse, which is currently being refitted in Bremen.