Session 8- Suspension Systems!!

Let’s Review what we did Last Week

You built the 4 bar linkage system that linked Levers together at a distance

We Linked Levers together to make a Scissor Lift

When we push in on the bottom brick the lift goes up!

We reviewed that all Levers have an ELF

Not this type of ELF but… Effort, Load, and Fulcrum

Today we are going to Learn about Suspension systems!!

Particularly on Mars Rovers, but in general too!

Here are the 4 generations of Mars Rovers. The Curiosity is still researching Mars now! Look how the wheels connect to the chassis in all of them. That is the suspension system.

What is a suspension system?????

Suspend what????? SUS-PEN-SION. Have you ever heard of suspend…Well of course it comes from Latin…. The word breaks apart to SUB and PENDERE

Can you think of a word that use “SUB” Is it underneath anything
Can you think of a word that use “PEND” that is a fancy old-time necklace?

A suspension system hangs below the chassis for support and to provide space for the wheel to travel so the chassis isn’t bounced so much or tip over. Point to Chassis and Suspension parts.

The Mars Rovers also had to have a special suspension system. Point to the Chassis and suspension systems.

Sojourner is the smallest rover and first rover to land on Mars. Sojourner means Traveler.  The middle sized rovers are twins and were called Spirit and Opportunity.

The Opportunity or “Oppy” as it was called by NASA was only suppose to last 90 sols. But last over 5,352 sols due to it’s rechargeable solar batteries. It was recently retired.

What’s a SOL?  Not a Soul….  That brings us to our first video:

Sol is the Latin name for the Sun and, hence, the Solar system in astronomy takes its name from it: i.e., Sol-ar system.

The term sol is used by planetary scientists to refer to the duration of a solar day on Mars which a little longer than Earth’s.  

Let’s look at some comparison of Mars and Earth regarding the sol….

1 year on Earth = 365 days, 1 year on Mars = 687 Earth Days
1 day on Earth = 24 hours, 1 day on Mars = 24 hours and 40 minutes
21 % Oxygen 0.13% Oxygen

So since the “day” in longer on Mars, the martian days are called Sols

The Opportunity Mars Rover that landed in 2004 was planned to only last 90 sols (92.5 Earth days) But actually lasted 5,352 sols (5498 Earth days from landing to mission end; 15 Earth years or 8 Martian years)

Here is a close up of the Suspension system on the Curiosity Rover. What do you notice about it?

Eric Aguilar order 111211 Group photos in Mars Yard MER DTM, Marie Curie, MSL DTM photog: Dutch Slager

The suspension system is made up of a Rocker and then an Extra Linked wheel called a Bogie the( Blue wheel)

This method allows the rover to keep the chassis stable while going over difficult terrain on Mars. When the front wheel goes up over rocks, it pushes the back wheels down.

But not all terrain…..

One way to think of the Rocker Bogie system is to think of two triangles connected.

Your Challenge today is to Build a Rocker Bogie Suspension system. Think of it as two pivoting triangles. Here are some examples.   Once you have built the Suspension system, build a chassis to attach it to and a terrain.  Take Pictures!


Official Building Instructions of the Rocker Bogie of Curiosity Rover

Here is a link to the full building instructions:

https://bricksafe.com/files/nathan/rebrickable-mocs/MOC-0271/LEGO-MSL-Instructions-20120723.pdf

Here are the instructions of just the Rocker Bogie:

Rocker Bogie Suspension for Curiosity Rover

Now you have completed one side of the Rocker Bogie Suspension system. Team up with another group to combine and place on a chassis.

Here are pictures from the Wednesday Group! Take Pictures!

https://mars.nasa.gov/msl/mission/whereistherovernow/