The LRM showing its locomtion capabilities
The development of the Lunar Rover Mockup (LRM) has been initiated at the time in which ESA was considering a robotic mission to the moon.

The LRM was developed to provide a Lunar-like rover platform for mounting robotics payloads. Although not representative of any real Lunar rover it has fairly advanced locomotion capabilities (articulated suspension, 4xwheel drive, 4xwheel steer and sand-compatible wheels).

The development of the LRM has been carried out by ROVER Company (RU) and VNIITRANSMASH (RU) under ESA contract. The rover is an element of the Planetary Utilisation Testbed (PUTB) at ESTEC.
Possible motion of wheels and chassis articulation in the LRM
LRM utilisation
The LRM was developed to:
  • serve as a platform to test and demonstrate various payload developments (e.g. sensors, instruments)
  • demonstrate and promote the typical Lunar rover tasks (exploration, accommodation and support of the RRP and scientific instruments) in the context of a mission level testbed

LRM Characteristics
Size1200 x 900 mm
Mass120 Kg
Payload Mass60 Kg
Wheels4 traction/steering elastic titanium wheels
Nominal Speed440 .. 480 m/h
Payload Mounting Platform dimensions1000 x 760 mm
chassis articulation systempassive
Powerwo 12V lead-acid batteries 103 Ah
The LRM has been over the years an effective platform for testing payloads.

It has been used to evaluate the following payloads:
  • RRP (Rover Robotic Payload) [1]
    • operational mockup, 5 degrees of freedom robotic arm, with instruments/tools carrousel at tip
    • designed for Moon and Mars missions by VNII Transmash
    • mass of the arm: 4.8 kg, can carry up to 1.5 kg payload under 1g
  • GINGER-TD (Guidance and INto the Ground Exploration Radar Technology Demonstrator) [2], [3]
    • radar for speed measurement, obstacle detection and soil traversability monitoring
    • technology demonstrator for verification and demonstration of functions (more functionality than necessary for a flight unit)
    • developed by RST (St. Gallen, CH) under ESA TRP contract
  • ASIS (Active Surface Imaging System) [4]
    • laser range finder, range 100 m
    • developed by Riegl GmbH (A) under ESA TRP contract

  1. Planet Rover Manipulator for Investigation of Moon’s and Planets Surfaces, M. Malenkov, P. Putz, ASTRA ’96
  2. Ginger - A Guidance and Into-the Ground Exploration Radar, H.-M. Braun et al, ASTRA ‘96
  3. Testing the Guidance and Into-the Ground Exploration Radar ‘Ginger’ in GEROMS and the Borth Salt Mine, H.-M. Braun et al, ASTRA ‘98
  4. Active Surface Imaging System ASIS, R. Flatscher et al, ASTRA ‘98

Last update: 21 September 2006