Design of a small space robot for on-orbit assembly missions

Jackson, L., Saaj, C., Seddaoui, A. , Whiting, C., Eckersley, S. and Ferris, M. (2019) Design of a small space robot for on-orbit assembly missions. In: 5th International Conference on Mechatronics and Robotics Engineering, February 16 - 19, 2019, Rome, Italy.

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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Paper)
Item Status:Live Archive


Intelligent robots have revolutionised terrestrial assembly and servicing processes, while low-cost small satellites have transformed the economics of space. This paper dovetails both technologies and proposes an innovative design for a small space robot that is potentially capable of assembly operations in-orbit. The drive for such missions stems from the growing commercial interests and scientific benefits offered by massive structures in space, such as the future large aperture astronomical or Earth Observation telescopes. However, limitations in the lifting capacity of launch vehicles currently impose severe restrictions on the size of the self-deployable monolithic telescope structure that can be carried. As a result, there is a growing demand for advancing the capabilities of space robots to assemble modular components in-orbit. To assess the feasibility of a small space robot for future in-space assembly missions, a detailed design is outlined and analysed in this paper. The trade-off between the manipulator configuration and its base spacecraft sizing is presented. This coherent design exercise is driven by various mission requirements that consider the constraints of a small spacecraft as well as its extreme operating environment.

Additional Information:cited By 0
Keywords:small space robot, assembly missions
Divisions:College of Science > School of Engineering
ID Code:37442
Deposited On:07 Oct 2019 13:12

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