SMURRF - A Robotic Facility for Space Based Science Operations
Automation of space-based scientific operations minimizes the crew time needs for experiments while increasing the efficiency and quality of science operations. ORBITEC has completed the development of a space qualifiable prototype of a Shared Multi-Use Remote Robotics Facility (SMURRF). SMURRF, sized for a Middeck Locker (MDL) application, provides a simple, flexible, and functional manipulator to assist space operations, in manned or unmanned modes, carried out in lockers or racks onboard the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station (ISS). It will be primarily operated in an automated mode with additional remote command/control capability from the ground or from space. Ground trials have demonstrated that many operations can be autonomously performed without the presence of a human operator.