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Kontrollraum des RACOON-Labs
Mission control
Kontrollraum des RACOON-Labs
Rollenprüfstand des RACOON-Labs
Test stand with rollers
Racoon project
Repairs in outer space and disposal of space debris.
Andreas Fleischner is an engineer at the Research Centre of the Technical University of Munich. Fleischer, together with other doctoral students and students, make up the research team of the Real-Time Attitude Control and On Orbit Navigation Laboratory, in short the RACOON Lab. Over a year ago a joint research project was launched, in which all activities related to on-orbit servicing are incorporated. The RACOON Lab is a simulation system for the realistic depiction of real-timed missions in the earth orbit. Here opportunities are explored to maintain, repair and dispose of satellites by means of telepresent robotics.
The principle.
A human operator controls a satellite-based communication link from the "floor" of the robotic system in space, the teleoperator. This is equipped with cameras and gripper arms that take over the docking and the work with exchangeable tools. Perfect team work, because in this way, on the one hand, one uses the high precision, fatigue-free and easy reliability of the robotic teleoperator. On the other hand one benefits from the analytical skills, intuition and interpretation ability of man.
"They do not stand peacefully in a room and light up like a Christmas tree."
Graduate engineer Mark Wilde illustrates one of the great difficulties of on-orbit servicing: the capture of the target objects. To capture, view, and dock these safely, despite rotation,, is one of main focus areas of the research. In the testing phase subjects in the control room navigate the robot models in a darkened room with
different user interfaces and tools to dock on to target objects. Via a rail construction, the robot can be moved on several axles in six degrees of freedom and is equipped with cameras and the corresponding mechanics and sensors.
The team of RACOON Lab is interdisciplinary.
In addition to mechanics, expertise in electrical engineering, radio frequency technology and computer science are required. In addition to their teaching duties, five doctoral students together with up to 20 students are working on the exciting project. They are always participating in exchanges with German and international faculties, such as the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS) in the USA. "It is simply an interesting challenge. Our possibilities are still fairly endless and we find ourselves in largely unknown territory," Andreas Fleischner describes the personal appeal of this research.
Speed: eight kilometers per second.
1000 spacecraft are in operation. The trend is increasing. "Small separated parts can cause widespreach damage in orbit if they hit a satellite. because of their high speed and can blast off into more parts," according to Fleischner. Therefore the disposal of these parts are so important. That is another reason why norelem support the good ideas of the RACOON Lab. "The current test phase will soon be completed, the next stage of development is imminent,"Andreas Fleischner noted with excitement. norelem wishes this project success.
Kommunikationsstrecke RACOON-Projekt
The communication link, over which control commands are sent: the relay satellite in space is interposed between the transmitter and receiver, even if only a few meters below.
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