Design and testing of mechanical gripping tools for On Orbit assembling
Editors: 13th EASN International Conference Proceedings
In Journal of Physics: Conference Series, IOPscience, volume 2526, pages _-_, 2023.
On-orbit servicing, assembly and manufacturing (OSAM) opens a new frontier for robotic
systems. A gripping tool for such applications must meet several requirements of modern space
mechanisms, such as universality, precision and reliability, while functioning in space conditions.
This paper presents the development cycle of such tools designed for the assembly of small
satellites on the International Space Station. Two different grippers, driven by a common
propulsion unit, are presented, conforming to a Multi-Purpose-Tool (MPT) for orbital robotic
systems and meeting the requirements of a defined OSAM mission. Both design drivers and
concepts and specific component selection are described. Proposed mechanical solutions for safe
gripping of objects including space tribology aspects are covered. To adapted to operations not
foreseen, the grippers and the drive unit can be reconfigured. The tool architecture presented
promotes modularity, scalability, reusability and convertibility of designs, thus facilitating rapid
integration in similar missions. A test campaign for critical requirements will be in place to
ensure reliable performance of the tools for use in the space environment.
space, in-orbit assembly, manufacturing, robotic, tools, gripper