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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

ARACMO: Advanced Regolith Anchoring for Cable-assisted Mobility, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

To enable future robotic exploration systems to have greater mobility capabilities on difficult terrain such as craters, cliffs, gullies, and skylights, Tethers Unlimited proposes to develop the "Advanced Regolith Anchoring for Cable-assisted Mobility" (ARACMO) Anchor. This device can launch hundreds of meters from a rover vehicle, self-right, autonomously anchor, and support high loads through the attached tether. This will enable the rover to rappel, climb, or maneuver over otherwise insurmountable terrain utilizing the stability that a strong anchoring point affords. The proposed technology is part of the ARACMO System (developed in future efforts) which in addition to the aforementioned ARACMO Anchor, may include a launcher, winch, and gimbal. The unique design of the orbital winch accomplishes cable winding and deployment without rotating the spool, thereby minimizing mass and power consumption, while eliminating the need for electrical and optical slip-rings, which are a major risk in dusty environments. The launcher can be incorporated into the design of the which, keeping mass and volume at a minimum. This technology will enable dozens of new applications for planetary exploration. More »

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