Extreme Terrain Mobility

The NASA BIG Idea Challenge is a national competition for university teams to rapidly prototype and test technologies for the NASA Artemis missions. In 2022, the Challenge was to design, develop, and demonstrate robotic systems with alternative rover locomotion modalities for use in off-world extreme lunar terrain applications. I was selected to be a Technical Lead for the Caltech 2022 BIG Idea team. We developed LATTICE, the Lunar Architecture for Tree Traversal In-service-of Cabled Exploration. LATTICE is a self-constructing cableway system that is capable of transporting heavy payloads, such as small rovers and ISRUs, to and from lunar craters.

We were named one of seven Finalists in this Challenge and were awarded $180,000 from NASA and the National Institute for Aerospace (NIA) to build and test LATTICE. In November 2022, we were awarded the Visionary Concept Award at the 2022 BIG Idea Forum.

LATTICE Final Report and Poster submitted for the 2022 BIG Idea Forum

BIG Idea - LATTICE Final Report.pdf

Lucerne Valley Technology Demonstration and LATTICE Lunar Mission Concept Videos


LATTICE presented at the 2022 NASA BIG Idea Forum (livestream video; starts at 3:01:10)


LATTICE Mid-Project Report

This report was submitted in May 2022 to receive the second half of our funding.

Coimbra, K. M. Y., Junker C., et al., "Design of a Lunar Architecture for Tree Traversal in Service of Cabled Exploration," AIAA Region VI Student Conference (Team Category), 3 April 2022.

In this paper, we discuss the conceptualization and design of LATTICE, a novel robotic network that facilitates rapid traversal over extreme lunar terrains. This paper won 1st place in the 2022 AIAA Region VI Student Conference, and we are invited to present in the 2023 AIAA International Student Conference at the SciTech Forum in January 2023.


2022 BIG Idea Challenge Proposal Video Submission

This video was submitted in January 2022 as part of our application to be selected as a NASA BIG Idea Finalist.