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Modular Mechatronics Infrastructure for robotic planetary exploration assets in a field operation scenario

Fonseca Prince, Andre and Vodermayer, Bernhard and Pleintinger, Benedikt and Kolb, Alexander and Franchini, Giacomo and Staudinger, Emanuel and Dietz, Enrico and Schröder, Susanne and Frohmann, Sven and Seel, Fabian and Wedler, Armin (2023) Modular Mechatronics Infrastructure for robotic planetary exploration assets in a field operation scenario. Acta Astronautica, 212, pp. 160-176. Elsevier. doi: 10.1016/j.actaastro.2023.07.037. ISSN 0094-5765.

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Official URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0094576523003909


In 2021 the Modular Mechatronics Infrastructure (MMI) was introduced as a solution to reduce weight, costs, and development time in robotic planetary missions. With standardized interfaces and multi-functional elements, this modular approach is planned to be used more often in sustainable exploration activities on the Moon and Mars. The German multi-robot research project "Autonomous Robotic Networks to Help Modern Societies (ARCHES)" has explored this concept with the use of various collaborative robotic assets which have their capabilities extended by the MMI. Different scientific payloads, engineering infrastructure modules, and specific purpose tools can be integrated to and manipulated by a robotic arm and a standardized electromechanical docking-interface. Throughout the MMI's design and implementation phase the performed preliminary tests confirmed that the different systems of the robotic cooperative team such as the Docking Interface System (DIS), the Power Management System (PMS), and the Data Communication System (DCS) functioned successfully. During the summer of 2022 a Demonstration Mission on Mount Etna (Sicily, Italy) was carried out as part of the ARCHES Project. This field scenario allowed the validation of the robotics systems in an analogue harsh environment and the confirmation of enhanced operations with the application of this modular method. Among the numerous activities performed in this volcanic terrain there are the efficient assembling of the Low Frequency Array (LOFAR) network, the energy-saving and reduced complexity of a detached Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) module, and the uninterrupted powered operation between modules when switching between different power sources. The field data collected during this analogue campaign provided important outcomes for the modular robotics application. Modular and autonomous robots certainly benefit from their versatility, re-usability, less complex systems, reduced requirements for space qualification, and lower risks for the mission. These characteristics will ensure that long duration and complex robotic planetary endeavours are not as challenging as they used to be in the past.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/198082/
Document Type:Article
Additional Information:The research has been supported by the Helmholtz Association, Germany project ARCHES (contract number ZT-0033).
Title:Modular Mechatronics Infrastructure for robotic planetary exploration assets in a field operation scenario
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iDORCID Put Code
Fonseca Prince, AndreUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-6820-3689144333114
Staudinger, EmanuelUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-9601-2887UNSPECIFIED
Schröder, SusanneUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0003-1870-3663UNSPECIFIED
Seel, FabianUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0002-8627-9967UNSPECIFIED
Wedler, ArminUNSPECIFIEDhttps://orcid.org/0000-0001-8641-0163UNSPECIFIED
Date:1 August 2023
Journal or Publication Title:Acta Astronautica
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:Yes
Page Range:pp. 160-176
Series Name:Elsevier Acta Astronautica
Keywords:mechatronics, robotics, modularity, exploration, operations
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport
HGF - Program:Space
HGF - Program Themes:Robotics
DLR - Research area:Raumfahrt
DLR - Program:R RO - Robotics
DLR - Research theme (Project):R - Mechatronics [RO], R - Planetary Exploration
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics (since 2013)
Institute of Communication and Navigation
Institute of Optical Sensor Systems
Deposited By: Fonseca Prince, Andre
Deposited On:13 Oct 2023 10:31
Last Modified:13 Oct 2023 10:31

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