Development of Space Environment Preservation System Using Robot
Kazuo Machida*, and Toshiaki Iwata**
*The University of Tokyo, 4-6-1 Komaba, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 153-8904, Japan
**AIST, 1-1-1 Umezono, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8568, Japan
We propose the concept of a robot-oriented space system called the “Space Environment Preservation System” that maintains a satellite constellation and orbit, and develop the basic technologies. A space maintenance vehicle carries and assembles modularized satellites, and places them in orbit. It captures and diagnoses them and replaces malfunctioning modules, to increase the reliability and life of the satellite constellation. It also collects, disassembles and removes satellites from orbit at the end of a mission, helping to preserve the space environment. In order to realize the system, the modularized satellite that can be easily assembled, maintained and disassembled by a robot must be devised. We developed the ground model of such a satellite, as well as the multifunctional space maintenance vehicle that functions as an in-orbit satellite assembly plant, diagnostic station, and satellite captor. These functions were demonstrated on a space simulated testbed.
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