Audi’s Quattro System Eyes To Conquer The Moon
The Quattro name has been associated with Audi cars since the year 1980. The legendary all-wheel drive system has helped the company’s cars perform well in different terrains ranging from racetracks, dirt, gravel, snow and normal streets as well. Now, the all-wheel-drive system is all set to aid a moon rover to travel on the surface of the moon.
The German car maker has become a technical support partner for the Part-Time Scientists team that is competing for Google’s Lunar XPrize. The winner of the XPrize will get a $30 million cash prize for sending a rover to the moon. That’s not it, the robotic rover will also be covering 500 meters while broadcasting a high-definition video feed back to Earth as it goes around the lunar surface. The basic aim for this competition is to give a unique opportunity to scientists and engineers all over the world for developing low cost robotic techniques for exploring space.
The complete operation will be funded privately and Audi will be lending their expertise in using lightweight construction materials along with electric vehicle mobility and piloted driving. Having got the official name as the Audi Lunar Quattro, the rover is made from aluminium along with a solar-charged lithium-ion battery which feeds power to four electric wheel hub motors (Quattro). Navigation will be aided by two front-facing stereoscopic cameras, while a third high-resolution camera will be used to analyse scientific specimens. The theoretical top speed of the vehicle is just 3.6 km/hr.
The Google Lunar XPrize had started off with more than 25 teams competing for the cash prize and is currently in its final round. 15 teams in the competition have come from different countries including Brazil, Canada, Hungary, Italy, Chile, Israel, Japan, Malaysia and the United States.
Numerous research institutions and companies such as NVIDIA, Austrian Space Forum (OeWF), Technical University of Berlin and the German Aerospace Center (DLR) are supporting the group in addition to Audi. The lunar rover is planned to launch from Earth in 2017 through the help of a launching rocket and will travel more than 380,000 kilometres to reach the moon, over a period of five days. The landing site is north or the moon’s equator, near to the landing site of the 1972 Apollo 17. The temperature is expected to fluctuate by almost 300 degrees Celsius.