A talk for everyone: “Exploring Earth’s Moon: From Humans and Robots” by Roland Brockers

Roland Brockers has been the Endowed Professor for Modular Robot Systems at the Department of Smart Systems Technologies at the University of Klagenfurt since March 2022. He also works at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory / California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California. On Tuesday, 28 May 2024, as part of his teaching residency at the university, he held another talk for the interested public, this time on the topic of “Exploring Earth’s Moon: From Humans and Robots”.

“The Moon, Earth’s own natural satellite, has fascinated humankind since we first raised our eyes to the skies,” Roland Brockers observes. “In addition to its mystical qualities, the Moon has always been our foremost destination whenever new technologies have allowed us to take a closer look at space ­— from the development of the telescope to crewed space travel.”

In his talk, he presented the history of lunar exploration and provided answers to the question of why the Moon has recently returned to the forefront of space exploration — with a multitude of new lunar missions to come.

Roland Brockers received his doctorate in electrical engineering from the University of Paderborn in 2005 and has been conducting research in the field of image-based, autonomous navigation of robotic systems for more than 24 years. He has been working at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory / California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California, since 2007.

Brockers was involved in the development of the Guidance, Navigation and Control (GNC) control system of the Mars Helicopter Ingenuity and wrote the image processing software that Ingenuity used for navigation. He is currently leading the Surface Mobility Team of the NASA CADRE mission, which is set to send a team of mini-vehicles to the moon in late 2025 to demonstrate an autonomous exploration mission.

The English language lecture is part of the Space Exploration Lecture Series.

Brockers Roland

Roland Brockers | Foto: aau/Müller

NASA CADRE rover | Foto: NASA/JPL - Caltech

NASA CADRE rover | Foto: NASA/JPL – Caltech