The STEPS programme is one of the three activities part of the “Piedmont Aerospace District” subject of the request for proposal issued by the Regione Piemonte under the funding for Research and Innovation. STEPS is focused on the horizon of the exploration – robotic and human – of the Universe and is intended to produce a series of technological demonstrators (both virtual and physical) finalized to the development of systems for soft landing (Lander) and surface mobility (Rover) applicable to both robotic and human missions. STEPS foresees also the realization and utilization of a set of laboratories equipped for tele-operations, of tools for concurrent design, simulation and virtual reality and of Moon and Mars simulated environments. The following picture provides a schematic view of development process from conceptual design up to the demonstrators’ development.


Two technological reference scenarios are proposed to set a working framework for the STEPS technologies roadmaps: 

  • A human mission to the Moon – to perform extensive surface exploration moving from a fixed base
  • An automated return mission from Mars – to validate the required technologies to enable human missions to the red planet.

The ALTEC activities are mainly addressed to the following topics : 

  • Contribution to the development of technologies for ambient reconnaissance including 3D software reconstruction
  • Contribution to the development of technologies for navigation and control
  • Contribution to the development of infrastructure for the ambient modeling
  • Contribution to the development of human machine interface approach
  • Contribution to the physical demonstrators

In the frame of STEPS project, a Mars Moon Terrain Simulator has been developed. This terrain simulator will be used to perform testing and verification activities of the developed elements in particular for the pressurized rover.


PHOTO CREDITS; ESA/Thales Alenia Space