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Mechanical design of a modular experiment carrier for a terrestrial analog demo mission and its potential for future space exploration

Jahnke, Stephan Siegfried and Lange, Caroline and Mierheim, Olaf and Ksenik, Eugen and Rosta, Roland and Witte, Lars (2017) Mechanical design of a modular experiment carrier for a terrestrial analog demo mission and its potential for future space exploration. In: Proceedings of the International Astronautical Congress, IAC. 68th International Astronautical Congress (IAC), 25.-29. Sep. 2017, Adelaide, Australien.

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The ROBEX (Robotic Exploration under Extreme Conditions) alliance formed by the German Helmholtz Association has the aim to find and use areas of overlapping competencies between institutions involved with the exploration of deep sea and space environment. To demonstrate the developed systems and technologies two test campaigns are conducted, one for the deep sea in the area of Svalbard, Norway and one on the volcano Mt. Etna in Sicily, Italy as an Moon environment analog test ground. The objective of the volcano mission is to demonstrate seismic experiments built-up and conducted autonomously by robotic elements. It shall serve as scientific benchmark to validate concepts reproducing and extending experiments from the Apollo program and at the same time demonstrate robotic capabilities to do so without direct human interaction. The overall test infrastructure consisting of a stationary lander, a mobile element and instrument carriers has been developed within the ROBEX alliance. The modular instrument carrier, referred to as Remote Unit (RU), is deployed and positioned by a robotic system and supplies the payload, in this case the seismometer, with power, data-handling and communication. It also provides mechanical interfaces to the lander and a grapple interface for robotic handling. The RU’s primary structure is a differential carbon-fiber-reinforced-plastic (CFRP) framework with a dedicated payload and bus compartment. Two types of RUs have been developed: one basic version that complies with a mass limitation of 3 kg (RU3) and one extended version of 10 kg (RU10). While the basic version has a fixed seismometer as well as limited lifetime due to the lack of photovoltaics, the extended version is equipped with a self-levelling seismometer, photovoltaics and an inductive power/data interface for unit charging and telemetry/telecommand (TT&C). Both designs use the identical main structure to meet the envisaged modularity approach. Even though the hardware was never meant to enter the space environment, the design approach for the units was always driven by principles which could be functional under space conditions while respecting the peculiarities and the financial framework of this terrestrial demonstration. This paper presents the functionalities of the RU with a special focus on the overall configuration, structural concept as well as included mechanisms. Moreover, starting with the baseline design for the terrestrial application, it analyses the differences and derives necessary changes and modifications to further develop the system towards a usage in an actual Moon mission.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/114486/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Title:Mechanical design of a modular experiment carrier for a terrestrial analog demo mission and its potential for future space exploration
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Jahnke, Stephan Siegfriedstephan.jahnke (at) dlr.dehttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-1678-4332
Lange, Carolinecaroline.lange (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Mierheim, Olafolaf.mierheim (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Ksenik, Eugendlr-bremen, eugen.ksenik (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Rosta, Rolandroland.rosta (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Witte, Larsdlr-bremen, lars.witte (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Date:25 September 2017
Journal or Publication Title:Proceedings of the International Astronautical Congress, IAC
Refereed publication:No
Open Access:Yes
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Keywords:ROBEX Remote Unit Moon Robotic Payload Structure
Event Title:68th International Astronautical Congress (IAC)
Event Location:Adelaide, Australien
Event Type:international Conference
Event Dates:25.-29. Sep. 2017
Organizer:International Astronautical Federation (IAF)
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Space System Technology
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R SY - Space System Technology
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Systemanalyse Raumsegment (old)
Location: Bremen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Space Systems > System Analysis Space Segment
Institute of Space Systems > Land and Exploration Technology
Institute of Composite Structures and Adaptive Systems > Functional Lightweight Structures
Deposited By: Jahnke, Stephan Siegfried
Deposited On:04 Oct 2017 12:45
Last Modified:31 Jul 2019 20:11

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