This web page's content and links are no longer actively maintained. It is available for reference purposes only. NASA Official: Cynthia Cheung

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ANTS: Autonomous NanoTechnology Swarm


Lunar Applications: The NASA Exploration Initiative is based on permanent return to the lunar surface as a furst step. Does it make sense to return to the Moon? What can we still learn there? Do we have the capability to explore the rugged terrains of the surface? What will Lunar Exploration lead to? Does it make sense to send humans, robots, or both?

Reasons to go: The Moon, not another space station, is the best potential testbed for developing stand-alone robotic or robotic/human exploration of deep space. Our virtually atmosphereless neighbor provides, among other things, the best location to develop in situ sensing techniques, models of electromagnetic energy interaction with surfaces, and astronomical observations. We have completed reconnaissance for only a small, relatively accessible portion of the lunar surface! The geology of the poles and farside is uncertain. As a result, our models of origin and history for the Moon, the Earth/Moon system and the solar system are very incomplete. We need to return to the surface not only to answer many of the unasnwered questions about the Moon's origin, but also to determine what in situ resources might be available to support an 'infrastructure' for exploration.

The Answer: A true infrastructure must be built to achieve much more than already achieved with the Apollo missions. This will require an investment. How can we make the most cost-effective investment? We believe the answer lies in Addressable Reconfigurable Technology as exemplified by our ALMA, ALI and LARA concepts under development. ART structures are being developed to operate in human-interface or stand-alone modes.


Movie Tetrahedral Arm, Right Click Menu for Download
Click the movie to view. Click link below for ALMA’s website.

Movie (35 KB) ALI locomotion in every terrain, Right Click Menu for Download
Click the movie to view. Click link below for ALI’s website.

Movie (27 MB) LARA Mission Simulation, Right Click Menu for Download
Click the movie to view. Click link below for LARA’s website.

Movie Help

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