In planetary exploration, testing under the actual mission conditions is inherently not possible. Hence, simulation campaigns complement ground test campaigns. This specially applies to surface missions that include the complex behaviour of soils under non-terrestrial gravitation. Increasingly ambitious mission goals made large simulation campaigns with very precise particle models necessary for the simulation of soil interaction. Thus, to limit the amount of time and the computation hardware needed, DLR developed the particle simulation tool 'Sir partsival'. This tool does not only speed up simulations by usage of GPU computing, but also integrates the institute's experience in modelling of soil on Earth and beyond. Using partsival it was possible to speed up simulations by more than a factor of ten and thus conduct large simulation campaigns. Two examples are shown: a large, on-going validation campaign of DEM for wheel simulations, and the completed traction optimization for the MMX rover wheel.
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