Measurement of simulated lunar soil information using rutting images

Hongwei Gao, Yuqi Zhou, Yueqiu Jiang, Jiahui Yu, Zhaojie Ju*, Jinguo Liu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Research on lunar soil has great value, and soil hardness is one of the essentialparameters to be measured. Currently, the existing method involves contact measurement using special instruments. To reduce the self-weight and increase the scientific payloads of lunar rovers, a reanalysis of the data obtained from existing sensors provides a great solution for achieving different tasks. Therefore, a vision-based and noncontact method based on rutting images is proposed to estimate soil hardness. The overall approach includes two parts: rutting depth measurement and soil hardness measurement. To simulate a complex lunar environment, a variety of simulated lunar soil preparation schemes to achieve different soil states are designed in this paper. More importantly, this paper summarizes the empirical formulas of the simulated lunar soil in different states and the judgment conditions for defining the soil states based on the rutting depth. Finally, the accuracy, feasibility, and applicability of this method are verified. Experiments show the capability of the method we proposed to estimate soil hardness in simulated environments, as well as in the real lunar environment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)130281-130292
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Access
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2020


  • rutting images
  • stereo vision
  • soil hardness
  • data reanalysis
  • simulated lunar soil


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