Airbus Mars Yard
11 Feb 2020



The Airbus Mars Yard was built for the ExoMars Rover project in 2013 and consists of a fully enclosed simulated Martian environment (30 x 13 m) and control room.

The Mars Yard contains 300 tonnes of sand which can be sculpted into slopes 0.3 m - 1.8 m high with slope angles of up to approximately 25°.

The visual features of the Mars Yard are representative of the Martian surface, with a light to moderate yellowish brown sand illuminated by lights close to Mars sunlight (colour temperature of 5,500K). A selection of sandstone boulders in scales from approximately 5 cm to 1 m are distributed across the surface to give a good visual impression of Martian rocks. These rocks are iron rich, and provide good locomotion test obstacles. Further rocks and boulders of approximately 20 cm in size provide a selection of obstacle textures for locomotion trials. In addition to this, 3 fibreglass hollow rocks of approximately 1m in scale allow for convenient testing of autonomous navigation systems as they can be easily moved by one person. A realistic visual texture to the Mars Yard is given by small basalt chippings scattered across the surface.​

The Airbus Mars Yard at Stevenage