Session

Technical Session 7: Advanced Technologies I

Location

Utah State University, Logan, UT

Abstract

In this paper we will discuss the demonstration of on-orbit servicing capabilities by a new robotic manipulator, designed from the bottom up to fit within the Size, Weight, and Power (SWaP) constraints and budget expectations of smallsat missions. There is a recognized need for extreme mobility to meet the space domain awareness goals of the U.S. government in cis-lunar space, and on orbit servicing is the key to establishing this capability. In addition, a small spacecraft profile is critical, with transportation costs particularly high beyond earth orbit. In the past, robotic systems capable of on-orbit servicing have resulted from years of expensive development and typically weighed more than 70 kg. This makes them ill-suited to the needs and constraints of small sat missions. The new Modular Robotic Manipulator (MRM) is right-sized in terms of performance, has mass in the range of 10 – 20 kg, and can be rapidly reconfigured for minimal recurring development in order to fit within smallsat mission budget constraints. In this paper, we will provide more details about the MRM, and describe our efforts to better understand its performance, and to demonstrate its ability to perform typical on-orbit servicing tasks. And finally, we will discuss the generation of manipulators beyond the MRM, and our efforts to further improve the accessibility of robotic systems.

Available for download on Saturday, August 07, 2021

Share

COinS
 
Aug 10th, 12:00 PM

Ground Demonstration of New Robotic Technologies for On Orbit Servicing to Enable Maneuver Without Regret for Small Sat Missions Beyond GEO

Utah State University, Logan, UT

In this paper we will discuss the demonstration of on-orbit servicing capabilities by a new robotic manipulator, designed from the bottom up to fit within the Size, Weight, and Power (SWaP) constraints and budget expectations of smallsat missions. There is a recognized need for extreme mobility to meet the space domain awareness goals of the U.S. government in cis-lunar space, and on orbit servicing is the key to establishing this capability. In addition, a small spacecraft profile is critical, with transportation costs particularly high beyond earth orbit. In the past, robotic systems capable of on-orbit servicing have resulted from years of expensive development and typically weighed more than 70 kg. This makes them ill-suited to the needs and constraints of small sat missions. The new Modular Robotic Manipulator (MRM) is right-sized in terms of performance, has mass in the range of 10 – 20 kg, and can be rapidly reconfigured for minimal recurring development in order to fit within smallsat mission budget constraints. In this paper, we will provide more details about the MRM, and describe our efforts to better understand its performance, and to demonstrate its ability to perform typical on-orbit servicing tasks. And finally, we will discuss the generation of manipulators beyond the MRM, and our efforts to further improve the accessibility of robotic systems.