Author Topic: Robotic Servicing of Geosynchronous Satellites (RSGS)  (Read 2291 times)

Offline catdlr

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Robotic Servicing of Geosynchronous Satellites (RSGS) Concept Video

Published on Mar 25, 2016
DARPA’s new Robotic Servicing of Geosynchronous Satellites (RSGS) program seeks to develop technologies that would enable cooperative inspection and servicing in geosynchronous Earth orbit (GEO) and demonstrate those technologies on orbit within the next five years. Under the RSGS vision, that DARPA-developed toolkit module, including hardware and software, would attach to a privately developed spacecraft to create a commercially owned and operated robotic servicing vehicle (RSV) that could make house calls in space. If successful, the effort could radically lower the risk and cost of operating in GEO.



Tony De La Rosa

Online savuporo

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Re: Robotic Servicing of Geosynchronous Satellites (RSGS)
« Reply #1 on: 09/24/2016 01:35 AM »
http://sslmda.com/html/pressreleases/pr20160721.html

Quote
PALO ALTO, Calif. – July 21, 2016 — Space Systems Loral (SSL), a leading provider of innovative satellites and spacecraft systems, today announced it has received $20.7 million from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to design and build robotic arm flight hardware for the agency’s Robotic Servicing of Geosynchronous Satellites (RSGS) program. SSL is receiving the funds through MDA US Systems, a division of MDA managed by SSL, and is working with the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), which is managing the robotic arm contract for the RSGS program. 

The contract is for two complete robotic arm systems, which would be able to carefully capture and berth with satellites that were not previously designed for docking. The robotic arms would each have multiple joints enabling dexterous movement and could carry and use multiple generic and mission-specific tools. Building on contracts announced in both 2012 and 2013 for prior DARPA research into space robotics, the total contract value awarded now stands at over $40 million, and could grow further if all remaining options are exercised. 
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Offline synchrotron

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Re: Robotic Servicing of Geosynchronous Satellites (RSGS)
« Reply #3 on: 01/27/2017 02:10 PM »
DARPA satellite-servicing project comes under congressional fire
http://spacenews.com/darpa-satellite-servicing-project-comes-under-congressional-fire/


Offline Hop_David

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Re: Robotic Servicing of Geosynchronous Satellites (RSGS)
« Reply #4 on: 02/05/2017 10:37 AM »
DARPA satellite-servicing project comes under congressional fire
http://spacenews.com/darpa-satellite-servicing-project-comes-under-congressional-fire/


Here's Dennis Wingo's take on Bridenstine vs DARPA on orbital servicing bots.

How many sats can a bot rendezvous with? Each rendezvous takes some delta V and a bot has constraints on how much propellent it can carry.

If we had an extra-terrestrial propellent source, orbital servicing bots would be more interesting. They could rendezvous with an unlimited number of sats. Two possible sources of extra-terrestrial propellent are the lunar poles and near earth carbonaceous ivunas.

Such bots are potential anti sat weapons. Unlike the kinetic anti-sat weapon the Chinese tested, they wouldn't generate a huge amount of orbital debris. They could turn an enemy asset into a friendly asset.
« Last Edit: 02/05/2017 10:39 AM by Hop_David »

Online savuporo

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Re: Robotic Servicing of Geosynchronous Satellites (RSGS)
« Reply #5 on: 02/05/2017 04:52 PM »
If we had an extra-terrestrial propellent source, orbital servicing bots would be more interesting. They could rendezvous with an unlimited number of sats. Two possible sources of extra-terrestrial propellent are the lunar poles and near earth carbonaceous ivunas.
Sat's are fueled with hydrazine and xenon.

You could resupply a RSGS-like vehicle with fairly cheap launches, effectively an upper stage carrying a large hydrazine tank to GEO. Briz-M would do it.


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Offline Darkseraph

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Re: Robotic Servicing of Geosynchronous Satellites (RSGS)
« Reply #7 on: 02/10/2017 01:19 PM »
Orbital servicing is still a very interesting technology without extraterrestrial propellant factories. The ability to repair faults in multi-million dollar spacecraft rather than leaving them stranded and useless would be of interest to all kinds of stakeholders be it military, space science or commercial. It even opens up the potential to upgrade future satellites over their lifecycle as technology improves rather than wait to replace the whole outdated system every 15-20 years. Robotic servicing is probably a more near term capability than the expensive prospect of building propellant factories on the Moon or asteroids. I fully expect resupply from Earth along with robotic repair to happen first.
"For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled." R.P.Feynman

Online TrevorMonty

Robotic servicing is first small step to large scale space industry.
 1) service, refuel using earth supplied parts/fuel.
2) in orbit Assembly, eg attach solar panels and antenna dish.
3) in orbit manufacturing (3d print)of simple structures. eg booms for payloads, large antenna dishes.
4) satellites start switching to H2O as fuel as now readily available in orbit, earth supplied.
5) Mining companies now have market in GEO for water and 3D printer feed stock.
6) GEO transport system, using space tugs. Enables satellites to become simpler as LV/ tugs deliver direct to GEO.
7) Large GEO platforms appear hosting multiple payloads. Traditional satellite companies only need to provide payload.
8) with raw materials and manufacturing available larger structures become possible. Telescopes, space solar power satellites.
9) large scale manufacturing requires humans onsite resulting in space stations. These can be partially construction from materials sourced in space.

It is space solar power that will drive manufacturing on massive scale. 10s of Terawatt stations are needed to meet earth energy demands.

Offline synchrotron

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Re: Robotic Servicing of Geosynchronous Satellites (RSGS)
« Reply #9 on: 03/23/2017 08:38 PM »
A new lawsuit - but in the other direction:

http://spacenews.com/ssl-sues-orbital-atk-over-confidential-data-breach/

Unfortunately these lawsuits will set both parties back.

Offline synchrotron

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Re: Robotic Servicing of Geosynchronous Satellites (RSGS)
« Reply #10 on: 04/18/2017 06:57 PM »
An Op-Ed from Michael Griffin in which he pushes back on the Orbital ATK lawsuit:

http://spacenews.com/op-ed-winning-the-battle-in-space-in-defense-of-darpas-robotic-servicing-of-geosynchronous-satellites-program/

Note that Mike used to work for Orbital Sciences Corp. earlier in his career.

Offline synchrotron

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Re: Robotic Servicing of Geosynchronous Satellites (RSGS)
« Reply #11 on: 05/19/2017 05:10 PM »
Bradford Tousley, the director of the Tactical Technology Office at DARPA, discusses his agency's agreement with SSL to work on a satellite servicing program: