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Structures and Materials Division Research and Technology Directorate NASA Glenn Research Center

Tribology and mechanical Components Branch
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Tribology and Mechanical Components Branch - Facilities
Simulated Lunar Operations (SLOPE) Lab
  • The SLOPE lab has test rigs and equipment used for studying the traction and power consumption of lunar vehicles and other machines operating in soil.
  • 12m x 6m x 0.3m soil tank is used for flat surface operations.
  • 7m x 5m x 0.3m adjustable tilting (0 to 45°) soil tank is used for sloped surface operations.
  • Dedicated wheel-test vehicle can be configured to 4x4 or 6x6 mode.
  • Drawbar pull rig applies controlled pull force to a test vehicle while wheel slip is recorded.
  • Portable bevameter used to analyze the surface strength of a terrain, which facilitates modeling of the terrain-machine interactions.
Soil tank with tilt bed at 20 degree position
 
Above: Soil tank with tilt bed at 20 degree position. Here, the tank contains two different types of soils, divided by a wall.
 

Wheel-test vehicle in 6X6 configuration driving in soil tank
 
Above: Wheel-test vehicle in 6X6 configuration driving in soil tank. A cable is attached to the vehicle, which applies a controlled pull force using the drawbar pull rig.
 

Portable bevameter measuring terrain strength properties
 
Above: Portable bevameter measuring terrain strength properties.
 
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Scale model tested in the 10x10 SWT
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Last Updated: April 21, 2009