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Game Changing Development

Cooperative Autonomous Distributed Robotic Exploration (CADRE)

Completed Technology Project

Project Description

Computer-aided design of the Cooperative Autonomous Distributed Robotic Exploration (CADRE) robot concept. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech

CADRE (Cooperative Autonomous Distributed Robotic Exploration) is a new robotic technology designed to demonstrate collaborative, autonomous exploration and formation sensing by navigating, communicating, computing, perceiving and decision-making without human interaction.

To demonstrate the CADRE technology, NASA/JPL is developing multiple small rovers, capable of surviving the daytime Lunar environment and carrying a micro-payload. The systems is designed so that agents (Rovers and a Basestation) share data among the team and make cooperative decisions about the execution of tasks in the workspace. The rovers will autonomously travel in formation and cooperatively explore the local Lunar surface, generate a digital elevation map and perform a distributed measurement with the micro-payload.

CADRE is funded out of the Space Technology Mission Directorate of NASA, under the Game Changing Development program and manifested as a payload on CP11, a Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) mission, targeting a late 2023 launch, landing in the equatorial region of the Moon, near Reiner Gamma. Although CADRE is a technology demonstration, the Reiner Gamma region holds particular scientific interest due to the presence of magnetic anomalies that produces visual swirls on the lunar surface.

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