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SBIR/STTR

Scalable Gravity Offload System, Phase II

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Scalable Gravity Offload System, Phase II
The proposed innovation is a scalable gravity off-load system that enables controlled integrated testing of Surface System elements such as rovers, habitats, and space suits in planet-relevant gravity which addresses T6-02 in the direct solicitation of a gravity off-load system. Phase I delivers a nominal design in the form of a final report, Phase II builds this design and delivers hardware, and Phase III commercializes the gravity off-load system as a commercial product/service of Astrobotic A scalable gravity offload device simulates reduced gravity for the testing of various surface system elements such as mobile robots, excavators, habitats, and deployables in a relevant environment. The device is capable of simulating reduced gravity over an arbitrary terrain including such features as slopes, obstacles, and varying surface concavity. The device consists of a linear movement system, a 2 degree-of-freedom manipulator, a passive force application mechanism, and a position tracking mechanism. The manipulator travels along the linear movement system and is positioned perpendicular to the linear movement system's direction of travel. The result is a rectangular working area whereby the gravity offload device can simulate reduced gravity in the area defined by the length of the linear movement system by the width (reach) of the 2 degree-of-freedom manipulator. The force application mechanism is principled upon precision maintenance of a pressure in an air cylinder. Precision regulation of supply pressure enables constant force over the throw of the air cylinder. Varying the regulator supply pressure to the air cylinder(s) modifies the force experienced by the test article and therefore enables a gravity offload device to simulate a range of gravity fields proportional to the ability to regulate pressure. More »

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A final report document may be available for this project. If you would like to request it, please contact us.

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