Audi Lunar Quattro has been designed and developed as part of Google Lunar XPRIZE competition. A group of German engineers in Part-Time Scientists team have come up with unmanned rover for “mission to the moon”, Audi supports this team with its know-how in different fields of technology such as Quattro all-wheel drive, lightweight construction, electric mobility, to piloted driving.
This $30 million competition challenges and inspires engineers and entrepreneurs around the world to develop low-cost methods of robotic space exploration. It’s interesting to see privately financed mission to the moon can come to fruition. In order to win this competition, a privately funded team has to be successfully place a robot on the moon’s surface and be able to explore at least 500meters and transmit hi-definition video and images back to Earth.
Designer : Audi
As a coorperating partner, Audi also provides wide-ranging assistance in testing, trials, and quality assurance. The lunar vehicle along with Audi Lunar Quattro would be launched into space in 2017 and would travel more than 380,000km to the moon. This is a 5-day trip where the target landing is north of the moon’s equator, pretty near to the landing site of Apollo 17, NASA’s last manned mission to the moon. The temperatures around this area fluctuate by up to 300-degrees Celsius.
Audi Lunar Quattro is largely constructed of aluminum, during various rounds of testing, it’s been taken to different locations such as Austrian Alps and Tenerife. There’s an adjustable solar panel that captures sunlight and directs it back to the lithium-ion battery that powers 4 electric wheel hub motors. The head of this vehicle carries 2 stereoscopic cameras and a scientific camera to examine materials. Theoretically, this rover can achieve a maximum speed of 3.6km/h but the design focuses more on the ability of this vehicle to move on the rugged surface of the moon for safe orientation.