Author Topic: Astrobotic  (Read 7339 times)

Offline su27k

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Astrobotic
« on: 06/19/2022 02:39 am »
Astrobotic’s Wireless Charging System for the Moon Can Survive Lunar Night

Quote
June 16, 2022, Pittsburgh, PA - A wireless charging system developed by Astrobotic and WiBotic, with assistance from Bosch, the University of Washington (UW), and the NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC), successfully passed testing to prove that it can function and provide enough power for technologies to survive the 14-Earth-day lunar night.

During testing, the lightweight, ultra-fast wireless charging system proved it can transmit power in extreme hot and cold lunar temperatures simulated at Astrobotic’s headquarters in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The analysis and final report, co-authored by NASA Glenn Research Center, maintains the wireless system out-performed its target requirements.

When on the lunar surface, the wireless system would deliver power from an Astrobotic lunar lander or Vertical Solar Array Technology (VSAT) to power rovers, habitats, in-situ resource utilization plants, and other large surface infrastructure to survive the lunar night. Power from the source is converted to wireless power by a WiBotic transmitter circuit and is sent to the device by a transmitter antenna coil. The transmitter coil, however, must be located outside the lander to be available to a wide range of battery powered devices. As a result, the coil will be exposed to lunar temperatures ranging from -180F to 220F. To test its ability to withstand these extremes, the coil was rapidly moved from a heated space into a liquid nitrogen chamber at Astrobotic while power transfer continued.

This successful test follows prior successful tests of exposing the wireless charging system to several different regolith simulants at the NASA Kennedy Space Center, where the system was covered in 4 cm of regolith and experienced no performance degradation to power transfer.

“These tests demonstrate that Astrobotic’s wireless chargers are ready to distribute power for customers on the Moon. Our chargers are now proven to transmit in extreme temperatures, harsh dust environments, and on uneven terrain - all at an 80-85% total system efficiency. This is a huge leap from lunar power systems that in the past relied on complex, heavy, and power-hungry methods. These new, vital systems can enable Artemis Program operations and commercial lunar activities,” says Jay Eckard, Senior Project Manager for Lunar Surface Systems at Astrobotic.

“Even in the worst-case scenario with a fully exposed radiator panel, our wireless charging system was equipped to provide heater power for CubeRover to survive the lunar night. And CubeRover is just the start. By enabling night survival, we’re opening to the Moon to more science activity, for much longer than ever before,” added Eckard.

The wireless charging system is slated to undergo a Preliminary Design Review in early July, with a space rated engineering model being manufactured in tandem. In the coming months the system will be subjected to a full space qualification test campaign, where it will be exposed to the launch loads of a rocket, among other challenging tests. Astrobotic is already offering the system for commercial purchase in 125w and 400w configurations.
« Last Edit: 06/19/2022 02:40 am by su27k »

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Astrobotic
« Reply #1 on: 06/19/2022 10:11 am »

Astrobotic’s Wireless Charging System for the Moon Can Survive Lunar Night

Quote
June 16, 2022, Pittsburgh, PA - A wireless charging system developed by Astrobotic and WiBotic, with assistance from Bosch, the University of Washington (UW), and the NASA Glenn Research Center (GRC), successfully passed testing to prove that it can function and provide enough power for technologies to survive the 14-Earth-day lunar night.

During testing, the lightweight, ultra-fast wireless charging system proved it can transmit power in extreme hot and cold lunar temperatures simulated at Astrobotic’s headquarters in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The analysis and final report, co-authored by NASA Glenn Research Center, maintains the wireless system out-performed its target requirements.

When on the lunar surface, the wireless system would deliver power from an Astrobotic lunar lander or Vertical Solar Array Technology (VSAT) to power rovers, habitats, in-situ resource utilization plants, and other large surface infrastructure to survive the lunar night. Power from the source is converted to wireless power by a WiBotic transmitter circuit and is sent to the device by a transmitter antenna coil. The transmitter coil, however, must be located outside the lander to be available to a wide range of battery powered devices. As a result, the coil will be exposed to lunar temperatures ranging from -180F to 220F. To test its ability to withstand these extremes, the coil was rapidly moved from a heated space into a liquid nitrogen chamber at Astrobotic while power transfer continued.

This successful test follows prior successful tests of exposing the wireless charging system to several different regolith simulants at the NASA Kennedy Space Center, where the system was covered in 4 cm of regolith and experienced no performance degradation to power transfer.

“These tests demonstrate that Astrobotic’s wireless chargers are ready to distribute power for customers on the Moon. Our chargers are now proven to transmit in extreme temperatures, harsh dust environments, and on uneven terrain - all at an 80-85% total system efficiency. This is a huge leap from lunar power systems that in the past relied on complex, heavy, and power-hungry methods. These new, vital systems can enable Artemis Program operations and commercial lunar activities,” says Jay Eckard, Senior Project Manager for Lunar Surface Systems at Astrobotic.

“Even in the worst-case scenario with a fully exposed radiator panel, our wireless charging system was equipped to provide heater power for CubeRover to survive the lunar night. And CubeRover is just the start. By enabling night survival, we’re opening to the Moon to more science activity, for much longer than ever before,” added Eckard.

The wireless charging system is slated to undergo a Preliminary Design Review in early July, with a space rated engineering model being manufactured in tandem. In the coming months the system will be subjected to a full space qualification test campaign, where it will be exposed to the launch loads of a rocket, among other challenging tests. Astrobotic is already offering the system for commercial purchase in 125w and 400w configurations.

Judging from pictures the initial product is close range where rover right next to lander. Still lot better than having to deal with electric connectors that can be contaminated with regolith.

Using larger antenna they could potentially transmit few kms. Enough for rim crater solar array to power ISRU plant inside crater. The ISRU plant would then power it's rovers with close range system.
« Last Edit: 06/23/2022 11:33 pm by zubenelgenubi »

Offline TrevorMonty

« Last Edit: 06/23/2022 11:33 pm by zubenelgenubi »

Offline su27k

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Re: Astrobotic
« Reply #3 on: 06/24/2022 01:29 am »
[Time], How Pittsburgh Is Leading the U.S. Back to the Moon

Quote from: time.com
It’s not easy to get from North Lincoln Avenue to the Lake of Death. North Lincoln Avenue is in Pittsburgh; the Lake of Death is on the moon—meaning there’s a tidy 385,000 km (over 239,000 mi.) between them. But before the end of the year, that gap should close—thanks to a modest company in a modest building just a third of a mile northwest of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Heinz Field, tucked humbly between a Wendy’s and a McDonald’s.

The building is the headquarters of Astrobotic, which—if all goes according to plan—will launch its Pittsburgh-made Peregrine spacecraft from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center in the fourth quarter of this year, landing it in the Lake of Death, high in the north lunar hemisphere. It would mark the first time the U.S. has put metal on the moon since the soft touchdown of Apollo 17, just shy of 50 years ago.
« Last Edit: 06/29/2022 04:17 pm by zubenelgenubi »

Offline AS_501

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Re: Astrobotic
« Reply #4 on: 06/24/2022 01:48 am »
Speaking of Astrobotic, the company is adding a wing to house its "Moonshot Museum".  Bit of a misnomer since the Museum  will not house any old artifacts.  Visitors will be able to look in on the main spacecraft assembly and integration room (bunny suits and all) through a floor-to-ceiling windows.  I will be serving as a Gallery Host when the 'Museum' opens this fall.  Hope to meet some NSF'ers by then.

Eric Fischer
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Launches attended:  Apollo 11, ASTP (@KSC, not Baikonur!), STS-41G, STS-125, EFT-1, Starlink G4-24, Artemis 1
Notable Spacecraft Observed:  Echo 1, Skylab/S-II, Salyuts 6&7, Mir Core/Complete, HST, ISS Zarya/Present, Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis, Dragon Demo-2, Starlink G4-14 (8 hrs. post-launch), Tiangong

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Astrobotic
« Reply #5 on: 09/19/2022 05:03 pm »
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1571907178935590915

Quote
Astrobotic, a company known for lunar landers, announced plans today to develop a commercial power system on the moon called LunaGrid. “We think that power on the moon is going to be a bigger long-term business than any of our other businesses.”

https://spacenews.com/astrobotic-announces-plans-for-lunar-power-service/

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Astrobotic
« Reply #6 on: 10/12/2022 11:51 am »
https://twitter.com/wehavemeco/status/1580160811129253891

Quote
🎙️ Today on the podcast, the @astrobotic spectacular! Two hours of conversations with a few team members of Astrobotic, talking about Peregrine, rovers, solar power grids on the lunar surface, and a bonus bit about the @MoonshotMuseum. Have a listen:

https://mainenginecutoff.com/podcast/232

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Astrobotic
« Reply #7 on: 10/13/2022 03:38 am »


https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/1571907178935590915

Quote
Astrobotic, a company known for lunar landers, announced plans today to develop a commercial power system on the moon called LunaGrid. “We think that power on the moon is going to be a bigger long-term business than any of our other businesses.”

https://spacenews.com/astrobotic-announces-plans-for-lunar-power-service/

MECO interview had bit on lunar power service. Solar masts are 10kw ROSA same as on ISS, Redwire will be supplying them. Can be pulled down to allow power rover to move to different location. Need a Griffin lander to for each rover plus few cuberovers that deploy  power cables. Customers plug into cuberover or powerrover via physical connector or wireless power beaming. Didn't state wireless range but I'd hope its upto few kms to allow remote powering equipment craters.

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Astrobotic
« Reply #8 on: 11/03/2022 02:57 pm »
https://www.astrobotic.com/landing-tech-terrain-relative-navigation-validated-ready-for-spaceflight/

Quote
LANDING TECH, TERRAIN RELATIVE NAVIGATION, VALIDATED & READY FOR SPACEFLIGHT
PRESS RELEASE 11 | 03 | 22

Pittsburgh, PA – November 3, 2022 – Astrobotic announced today that its terrain relative navigation (TRN) landing suite for lunar landers, Optical Precision Autonomous Landing (OPAL), was fully validated during a week-long terrestrial flight test campaign above the mountains of the northern Mojave Desert in California. The OPAL hardware and flight software was subjected to similar conditions that it will experience during the Peregrine Mission 1 (PM1) lunar landing slated for early 2023.

During the more than 100km terrestrial flight path, the OPAL system repeatedly generated accurate, real-time location estimates by comparing captured images to onboard maps, created in advance from orbital imagery. The accuracy of these location estimates is vital for the TRN landing software to guide a spacecraft safely and precisely to a target landing site on the lunar surface where nothing like GPS is available.

“We are thrilled with the success of this challenging flight test. Our hardware and software captured hundreds of images, detected and matched features in our maps, and successfully produced valid location estimates in flight across the descent trajectories, just as it will at the Moon,” said Dr. Andrew Horchler, Chief Research Scientist at Astrobotic and principal investigator for OPAL.

Throughout this test, OPAL flew aboard a King Air B200 aircraft up to 9km in altitude. The pitch angle and trajectory mimicked Peregrine’s powered descent to the Moon, over a landscape that approximates lunar terrain. During the tests, an Astrobotic engineer rode along to monitor real-time telemetry from OPAL with additional engineers at the test site to analyze and troubleshoot data on the ground.

“This test bolstered our confidence in the accuracy of our OPAL technology. The data obtained in flight suggests that our algorithms have robust functionality even during off-nominal conditions. We see great potential not only in space applications, but also in civil and defense terrestrial GPS-denied applications,” said Horchler.

Lessons learned from this flight test are being implemented into the OPAL system to improve performance for operation during the Astrobotic PM1 mission. OPAL will then be used as part of the precision landing and hazard detection sensor suite for Astrobotic’s Griffin Mission One carrying NASA’s water-hunting VIPER rover to the Moon in late 2024.

Second photo caption:

Quote
Pictured: Dr. Andrew Horchler takes a photo looking up at the OPAL system through a window in the belly of the plane.

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Astrobotic
« Reply #9 on: 11/03/2022 03:59 pm »
Sounds like potential military market for their OPAL system for guiding aircraft, drones and missiles. Not sure if big defense contractors have something like this.

Offline edzieba

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Re: Astrobotic
« Reply #10 on: 11/03/2022 04:44 pm »
Sounds like potential military market for their OPAL system for guiding aircraft, drones and missiles. Not sure if big defense contractors have something like this.
TERCOM has been in operational use for ~70 years.

Offline AS_501

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Re: Astrobotic
« Reply #11 on: 11/08/2022 04:35 pm »
Those of us working in the Moonshot Museum (next door to Astrobotic) are hearing that the lander will leave the plant Nov. 21.  But no word yet on where the static fire tests will take place, nor the space environment tests.  Best guess here is that the environment testing will be conducted at the Neil Armstrong Test Facility (formerly Plum Brook) since it's relatively close to Pittsburgh.  Hope to hear from any NSF'ers who have better info on this.
Launches attended:  Apollo 11, ASTP (@KSC, not Baikonur!), STS-41G, STS-125, EFT-1, Starlink G4-24, Artemis 1
Notable Spacecraft Observed:  Echo 1, Skylab/S-II, Salyuts 6&7, Mir Core/Complete, HST, ISS Zarya/Present, Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis, Dragon Demo-2, Starlink G4-14 (8 hrs. post-launch), Tiangong

Offline TrevorMonty

Re: Astrobotic
« Reply #12 on: 12/22/2022 08:41 am »
Lot of information in this FISO webcast, definitely worth listening to. I'm most excited about their power systems

https://fiso.spiritastro.net/telecon/Provenzano_11-30-22/

Offline Foximus

Re: Astrobotic
« Reply #13 on: 12/22/2022 02:33 pm »
Astrobotic also appears to be spinning up hiring for increased operations in both Pittsburgh and Mojave facilities.

Online mandrewa

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Re: Astrobotic
« Reply #14 on: 01/25/2023 03:57 pm »

Online yg1968

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« Last Edit: 07/26/2023 01:43 pm by yg1968 »

Offline FutureSpaceTourist

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Re: Astrobotic
« Reply #16 on: 09/06/2023 01:21 pm »
https://twitter.com/astrobotic/status/1699409994951577895

Quote
Our Propulsion & Test team has commenced two @NASA contracts to investigate rocket plumes🚀and their interaction with the lunar surface🌕#moon #lunar #mojave #floatinator #PSICHIC

https://www.astrobotic.com/astrobotic-commences-two-nasa-contracts-to-investigate-rocket-plumes-and-their-interaction-with-the-lunar-surface/

Quote
ASTROBOTIC COMMENCES TWO NASA CONTRACTS TO INVESTIGATE ROCKET PLUMES AND THEIR INTERACTION WITH THE LUNAR SURFACE
PRESS RELEASE 09 | 06 | 23

Pittsburgh, PA – September 6, 2023 – Astrobotic has begun work on two NASA Small Business Innovation Research contracts that will further research on lunar plume-surface interactions (PSI), a key area of risk and uncertainty for lunar landing. This testing will generate valuable new data about how lunar dust stirred up by a lander’s rocket plumes will affect landing systems, onboard payloads, landing sites, and nearby surface infrastructure on upcoming missions.

The first project, called ‘Floatinator’, will control and eliminate a major testing variable – namely, Earth gravity – that has limited ground-based lunar PSI tests to date. Astrobotic, in collaboration with Phil Metzger of the University of Central Florida, will design and build a hot-fire test apparatus capable of being dropped at a controlled acceleration to simulate lunar gravity. 

“As different spacecraft land on the Moon and other celestial bodies, what happens to the surfaces they land on? To the spacecrafts themselves?” says Camille Arnn, Project Management Lead for Astrobotic’s Propulsion and Test department. “To lift off successfully and repeatedly from the same point, we need to understand the effects a rocket plume will have on the vehicle and the planetary surface it approaches. Floatinator is intended to do just that – it will help us approximate landing on another planetary body by replicating different gravities and landing descent patterns.”

“Essentially, our existing test stand called ‘Dropinator’ drops a rocket engine in a controlled way to simulate landing and to test plume-surface interactions, such as ejecta behavior and deep cratering. This new addition, ‘Floatinator’, will outfit the test stand with a box of regolith simulant that will drop, along with the rocket, at five-sixths the acceleration of Earth gravity. This calibrated downward acceleration creates an accurate reduced gravity simulation that can be tuned for the Moon, Mars, asteroids, and other celestial bodies,” said Travis Vazansky, Senior Project Manager for Astrobotic’s Propulsion and Test department. “This new equipment compliments our deep understanding of PSI from our 600-plus vertical takeoff vertical landing flights, hundreds of test stand firings, and analysis work across multiple lunar lander missions. We’re excited to offer PSI services to the larger space exploration community.” 


Astrobotic’s second project complements the Floatinator project and builds on a legacy of low-SWaP sensor systems with on board processing. The team will develop a novel imaging sensor, called the Plume-Surface Interaction Combined Hot-fire Imaging Camera (PSICHIC), that combines the capabilities of a high-speed camera, a thermal camera, and an event camera, a novel imaging sensor which measures hyper-rapid changes in brightness, into a single, compact system designed to be used in stereo.

“PSICHIC will capture new data from hot-fire testing, including data not readily observed by the human eye or high-speed cameras,” according to Vazansky, “These contracts in tandem enable us to advance both PSI simulations through Floatinator, and the ability to record those tests with higher fidelity through PSICHIC. We are excited to continue our years of work with event cameras for space applications.”

The PSICHIC system can be readily paired with existing Astrobotic PSI test infrastructure to provide new optical and thermal data concerning ejecta physics and the behavior of regolith during lunar and planetary landings. Astrobotic also plans to mature PSICHIC as an onboard sensor that will fly on future Astrobotic landers to capture actual PSI data on the Moon.

PSI effects are a major area of interest and concern in the space industry: displaced lunar dust, called “ejecta”, can spray out at over 2,000 meters per second and cause serious problems for spacecraft and the surrounding environment. NASA’s Apollo 12 landing demonstrated the hazardous effects of ejecta when its lunar module sandblasted the Surveyor 3 probe located 200 meters from the landing site. Floatinator and PSICHIC will seek to better observe and characterize lunar PSI in preparation for Astrobotic’s upcoming lunar missions as well as the return of astronauts to the Moon with NASA’s Artemis missions.

First photo caption:

Quote
Astrobotic’s ‘Dropinator’ test apparatus in Mojave, CA

Online catdlr

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Re: Astrobotic
« Reply #17 on: 10/31/2023 11:21 pm »
Xodiac Takes Flight - Tests UCF’s Ejecta STORM laser

Quote
Oct 10, 2023
Astrobotic successfully completed a flight test campaign for the University of Central Florida (UCF) last week at the company’s facility in Mojave, CA. The campaign consisted of four flights aboard Astrobotic’s Xodiac vertical-takeoff, vertical-landing (VTVL) rocket to test UCF’s Ejecta STORM laser sensor, which was developed by Dr. Phil Metzger to study plume-surface interactions (PSI) between a rocket plume and lunar regolith. The dust cloud you see in this video is lunar regolith simulant designed to simulate ejecta during a lunar landing.

This test campaign will provide valuable data for researchers, including Dr. Metzger, as they seek to better understand PSI for humanity’s return to the Moon under NASA’s Artemis program.

Tony De La Rosa, ...I'm no Feline Dealer!! I move mountains.  but I'm better known for "I think it's highly sexual." Japanese to English Translation.

Offline Ben Baley

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Re: Astrobotic
« Reply #18 on: 11/07/2023 03:14 am »
Peregrine has arrived:

Quote
Peregrine has arrived safely in Florida!The spacecraft was unloaded at @AstrotechSpace facilities to be integrated with the @ULAlaunch’s #VulcanRocket for launch on Dec. 24, 2023. 📸: @ulalaunch

https://twitter.com/astrobotic/status/1719383992586194960

How come DAL'S logo is on the spacecraft, did they sponsor it or something? I saw they used a DHL trailer to transport it but that doesn't seem like enough of a reason to slap their logo on Peregrine.

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Re: Astrobotic
« Reply #19 on: 11/07/2023 03:38 am »
Quote
How come DAL'S logo is on the spacecraft, did they sponsor it or something? I saw they used a DHL trailer to transport it but that doesn't seem like enough of a reason to slap their logo on Peregrine.


Maybe this:

https://www.astrobotic.com/dhl-and-airbus-defence-and-space-support-astrobotic-to-develop-lunar-delivery-service/
« Last Edit: 11/07/2023 03:44 am by catdlr »
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Offline edzieba

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Re: Astrobotic
« Reply #20 on: 11/08/2023 01:06 pm »
Plus the whole 'DHL Moonbox' marketing stunt.

Online yg1968

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Re: Astrobotic
« Reply #21 on: 02/27/2024 09:52 am »
This is from a few months ago (November 2023) but I don't think that this has been posted before.

Astrobotic acquires vacant building for Pittsburgh expansion:
https://www.cbsnews.com/pittsburgh/news/astrobotic-plans-expansion-acquire-vacant-building-north-shore/

Because of their acquisition in September 2022, we should probably also provide a link in this thread to posts on the Masten acquisition in the Masten thread:
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=13206.msg2407682#msg2407682

Here is a link to the Peregrine January 2024 mission:
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43448.0
« Last Edit: 02/27/2024 10:18 am by yg1968 »

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