1987-11-13

Future Directions in Spacecraft Mechanisms Technology 872454

THIS PAPER PRESENTS a reflective survey of recent developments in spacecraft mechanism technology, focussing on analytical tools, precision gimbal and robotics technologies. These topical areas were highlighted because they are good indicators where new mechanism technology is emerging. Today's mechanical dynamic simulation software permits routine solution of a large class of separation mechanism problems, yielding important time dependent, joint forces and motion information. The requirements for pointing multithousand kilogram scientific pay-loads to multi-arc second levels aboard Space Station is extending gimbal technology. An innovative concept for isolating gimbal pay-loads from base motion disturbances is described. The goal of augmenting man's capability in space through robotics has virtually spawned a new industry. However the transition between industrial and space robotic systems is not a particularly easy one, as discussed in this review.

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