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Title: An equivalent soil mechanics formulation for rigid wheels in deformable terrain, with application to planetary exploration rovers
Authors: Shibly, H. 
Iagnemma, K. 
Dubowsky, S. 
Keywords: Rigid wheel mechanics;Deformable terrain;Trafficability;Mobility prediction;Planetary rovers;Space robotics
Issue Date: 2005
Abstract: A simplified, closed-form version of the basic mechanics of a driven rigid wheel on low cohesion deformable terrain is presented. This approach allows the formulation of an on-line terrain parameter estimation algorithm, which has important applications for planetary exploration rovers. Analytical comparisons of the original and simplified equations are presented, and are shown to closely agree. Experimental results from a single-wheel testbed operating in dry sand shows that the simplified equations can be used for mobility prediction with good accuracy. Methods for incorporating the simplified equations into an on-line terrain parameter algorithm are discussed
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