Perhaps some of you have seen the documentary 'Tank on the Moon'.
In it, Lunokhod chassis engineer Pavel Sologub is talking about the wheels versus tracks decision. In the English translation he says this:
"I quickly understood that it would be extremely difficult to use tracks, because the electrical energy required to operate the motors was only around 300 watts. Can you imagine? Itís the energy of a light bulb. Itís very very weak. The energy of a light bulb was supposed to power the Lunokhod under the extreme conditions on the moon."
That comes across (to me) as a slightly confusing statement.
We'll recall that the original Lunokhod plan involved a much heavier rover launched on the N11. As such, TransMash figured they'd have all the power they needed. Then the booster downsized to Proton, and the team was going to have to deal with a drastically reduced weight and power budget.
So - if I read Sologub's statement carefully, I understand it to mean that the locomotion motors of the new, lighter design had an energy budget of only 300 watts. So that is to say the WHEELS had to operate off of 300 watts. (If I have my facts correct, the entirety of the Lunokhod rover had to operate on less than one kilowatt in total.)
I've been trying to find some technical documentation on the power consumption of the flight Lunokhod wheel motors and can't find it.
Does anyone happen to know whether he's talking about 300 watts for the WHEEL motors, or for the original, never-flown CRAWLER-TRACK motors?
I've also been trying to find Sologub himself and have had no luck. So, thought I'd post it here!
Thank you very much!