VISIT OUR NETWORK:

tech track papers

Categories: 2019, Mission Space

NASA’s Dragonfly Program: Commercialized Robotics – Enabling a New Generation of Evolvable, Resilient Assets in Orbit

Commercialized, affordable robotics for in space assembly of large platforms and structures are being prepared for flight in 2021. Integrating easily with standard GEO and LEO satellite command and control architectures, these automation systems enable a new operating paradigm for on-orbit assets – one that includes incremental growth, on demand payload refresh to match user needs, and in-situ warehousing for rapid expansion, augmentation or dispersion on a timeline independent of launch. The Dragonfly Robotic System developed first as a DARPA seedling and then maturing through the NASA Tipping Point Program, successfully completed a ground demonstration in late 2017 and its Critical Design Review in 2018. Ultra-lightweight and affordable, the Dragonfly Robotic System is purposely designed to fit into existing satellite C&DH and low rate command/telemetry links for inexpensive integration – it behaves like any other satellite subsystem. The supervised autonomous operating concept facilitates command and control from a standard Mission Operations Center. Current satellite operations personnel can plan and execute robotic operations with only minor additional training. Dragonfly represents the first ‘commercialized’ robotic system – affordable and accessible to satellite owners without the risk of infrastructure changes. In-space assembly opens a range of new opportunities for in-space architectures and operations. Large structures such as platforms and apertures are no longer confined by the volume limitations of the rocket fairing. Sensitive instruments may be launched in a soft environment, removing the need to survive traditional launch vibration environments, then installed on orbit and refreshed at a cadence appropriate to the mission need. The in-space logistics paradigm can be transformed to match terrestrial models. In–space warehousing on robotic platforms enables on-demand assembly and dispensing of assets on a timeline that is independent of launch schedule.

Downloads

Author: John Lymer
Topic: Mission Space

  • Paper Lymer, John - NASA’s Dragonfly Program Commercialized Robotics - Enabling a New Generation of Evolvable, Resilient Assets in Orbit.pdf

    Download File
  • Presentation Lymer, John - NASA’s Dragonfly Program Commercialized Robotics - Enabling a New Generation of Evolvable, Resilient Assets in Orbit.pdf

    Download File