Using drones and rovers for Mars exploration simulation

Skypersonic – a division of Red Cat Holdings – has been hired by NASA to provide technology for simulated Mars mission.

Skypersonic, signed a five-year contract with NASA to provide drone and rover software, hardware, and support to NASA’s simulated Mars mission, has validated its software and hardware on Mt. Etna, an active volcano in Sicily where the landscape is similar to Martian geology.

Skypersonic’s “Skycopter” drone can be piloted virtually anywhere, from virtually anywhere, as the Skypersonic team demonstrated on Mt. Etna during a 15-day test. Using Skypersonic’s ground-breaking Long Range Real-Time Remote Piloting System, the drone and rover on the active volcano in Italy were controlled by personnel in Houston, Texas, in real time. Most drones can’t be piloted without connecting to the GPS network, but Skycopter uses technology to control and track drones in locations such as Mars where GPS isn’t available.

“This was a grueling test that we passed with flying colors,” says Skypersonic CEO Giuseppe Santangelo. “We look forward to the ultimate test on Earth when our technology will be used during NASA’s upcoming yearlong simulated Mars mission. We’re confident of also passing this test. During the simulated Mars mission, four crew members living and working in a 1,700-square-foot module on Earth, called Mars Dune Alpha, will carry out missions including remotely guided exploration and collection of specimens from rugged terrain elsewhere on Earth, up to thousands of miles away.”