An Unmanned Tracked Vehicle for Snow Research Applications
Lightweight robotic vehicles can be designed for over-snow mobility to carry out a variety of snow and glacier related studies like carrying out GPR survey of cracks & crevasses over ice crusts that cannot support foot travel, for collecting snow samples and carrying out sub-surface experiments with penetrometers on terrain that are dangerous for human, GPS mapping of avalanche debris etc. Sinkage, resistance to snow compaction, loss of traction and ingestion of snow into the driving system are some of the challenges that an unmanned lightweight tracked vehicle faces in snowbound terrain. In present work, a lightweight and unmanned remotely operated vehicle (ROV) is conceptualized and developed as a technological solution. In this paper design and features of this vehicle, named HimBot, are presented along with the results obtained from tests carried over snow at Solang Nullah field observatory of SASE in February 2013. The outcome of this work will help in developing an optimized design of an ROV for over snow mobility for a variety of applications.
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