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Assembly, Inspection, and Maintenance Tasks. 3D agile traversal of a truss structure ... Conduct calibration and inspection tasks. Connect power and ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Skyworker%20Assembly,%20Inspection,%20and%20Maintenance%20of%20SSP%20Facilities

SkyworkerAssembly, Inspection, and Maintenance
of SSP Facilities
William Red Whittaker Peter Staritz Chris Urmson
  • Field Robotics Center
  • December 8, 1999

Space Solar Power Assembly, Inspection, and
Maintenance (AIM)
  • Extensive structures
  • Kilometers in dimension
  • Millions of parts
  • SSP environment
  • Wide temperature range, sometimes exceeding 500K
  • Solar Proton Events
  • Galactic Cosmic Radiation
  • Microwave Radiation
  • Kilovolt buses
  • Long duration operations
  • 1 year construction
  • 30 years operation

Motivation for a Robotic Workforce
  • High, inaccessible orbit
  • Overwhelming EVA agenda
  • Millions of parts
  • 10s of Millions of Manipulations
  • Long term operations
  • Harsh environment
  • Robots are expendable and repairable
  • Lower support costs

Assembly, Inspection, and Maintenance Tasks
  • 3D agile traversal of a truss structure
  • Pick up and place payloads at arbitrary locations
    and orientations
  • Carry payloads while walking, turning, and
    transitioning planes
  • Conduct calibration and inspection tasks
  • Connect power and communications cables
  • Cooperatively carry bulky, massive payloads
  • Perform tasks that require multiple robot

Current Program
Future Work
Possible Avenues
  • Free Flying Systems
  • Require expenditure of mass to move
  • Result in tons of spare fuel
  • Risky docking operations
  • Fixed Manipulators (e.g. shuttle station)
  • Anchored to a hard point on the structure
  • Limited reach
  • Longer reach results in larger dynamic/reaction
  • Attached Mobile Manipulators (AMM)
  • No mass expenditure
  • Unlimited reach
  • Ability to walk lightly
  • Temporarily attach for working reaction forces
  • AMM is the archetype for SSP AIM

Skyworker Scope
  • Robot Prototype and Software Simulation
  • Demonstrate the viability of using robots for
    orbital construction
  • Prove the validity of using structure walkers for
    orbital AIM
  • Demonstrate SSP AIM relevant tasks using robotics
  • Simulate prospective SSP AIM robots and tasks

  • Self Contained
  • Continuous gait allows payload to move at
    constant velocity
  • Requires less energy
  • Exerts less stress on the structure (walks
  • Counterbalanced to emulate micro g
  • Onboard processor and distributed control network
  • Mass 35 kg
  • Dimensions 3 m x .5 m x .1 m
  • 11 DOF

Skyworker Simulation
  • 3D visualization of SSP AIM activity
  • Allows study of operations, and scale effects
  • Kinematic models demonstrate extended operations
  • Coordinated operations
  • Long term, large scale tasks

Results to Date
  • Skyworker developed
  • Component testing complete
  • Simulation package operational
  • Concept to operation in 99 days

  • Prototype
  • Pick up and carry a model transmitting element
    the length of the truss, turn while carrying,
    couple the element to the structure
  • Perform a mock calibration
  • Demonstrate walking lightly
  • Simulation
  • Perform prototype robot tasks
  • Perform plane transition
  • Assemble a large scale construction utilizing
    multiple robots
  • Emphasis placed on system level activity
  • Current grippers and sensors are placeholders for
    future development

Development Team
  • Skyworker has been developed by a team of staff
    and students at CMU
  • William Red Whittaker
  • Chris Gaiser
  • Oren Laskin
  • Dewitt Latimer
  • Jason Messinger
  • Jonathan Samuel
  • Sarjoun Scaff
  • Peter Staritz
  • Chris Urmson
  • Tim Warneck
  • Will Wong

Skyworker DOF