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Concepts of active payload modules and end-effectors suitable for Standard Interface for Robotic Manipulation of Payloads in Future Space Missions (SIROM) interface

Marko Jankovic; Wiebke Brinkmann; Sebastian Bartsch; Roberto Palazzetti; Xiu Yan
In: Proceedings of the 2018 IEEE Aerospace Conference. IEEE Aerospace Conference, March 3-10, Big Sky, Montana, USA, IEEE, 2018.


The increasing variety of space missions, combined with their increasing complexity and need for more environmentally-friendly, yet cost-effective, solutions is putting the traditional spacecraft and rover designs to the test. In fact, the majority of present-day spacecraft and planetary rovers are mostly monolithic, one-of-a-kind, single-use systems, hardly offering any possibility of their future servicing, upgrade or re-use. The H2020 EU-funded project SIROM (Standard Interface for Robotic Manipulation of Payloads in Future Space Missions), aims to bridge this gap by developing an integrated and inherently optimized multi-functional standard interface for mechanical, data, electrical and thermal connectivity. The interface, in combination with a custom end-effector and active payload modules (APMs) will allow a design of modular and reconfigurable systems that could be serviced and upgraded easier than they are now via a dedicated in-orbit or planetary robotic system. With respect to the existing state-of-the-art, the interface and modules in SIROM are being developed considering the need for scalability, reusability, compatibility with robotic manipulation and suitability for both in-orbit and planetary environments. Within this context, this paper aims at analyzing the feasibility of APM and end-effector concepts within the system requirements of the project in order to identify the most suitable baseline concepts for the preliminary design of APMs and end-effector. The analysis is performed in terms of functionalities and architecture, and in case of APMs considers a remote sensing and power storage system as payloads for orbital and planetary scenarios, respectively. The methodology used for the evaluation and selection of APM concepts and end-effectors is a top-down methodology generally used for the design and sizing of payloads of space missions. It consists of: (a) a definition of payload objectives and its desired capabilities, (b) identification of candidates, (c) estimation of their characteristics based on analogy, scaling or component budgeting, (d) evaluation and selection of a baseline. Moreover, in case of end-effector analysis its possible interactions and configurations with APM concepts were also taken into consideration. The results of the analysis point out the feasibility of APM and end-effector concepts within the system requirements of the project and outline baseline concepts that could be used in future steps of the project as a guideline in the detailed design of the reference implementation of APMs and end-effector.


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