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Space Factory 4.0 - New processes for the robotic assembly of modular satellites on an in-orbit platform based on „Industrie 4.0” approach

Weber Martins, Thiago and Pereira, Aaron and Hulin, Thomas and Ruf, Oliver and Kugler, Stefan and Giordano, Alessandro and Balachandran, Ribin and Benedikt, Fabian and Lewis, John and Anderl, Reiner and Schilling, Klaus and Albu-Schäffer, Alin (2018):
Space Factory 4.0 - New processes for the robotic assembly of modular satellites on an in-orbit platform based on „Industrie 4.0” approach.
In: 69th International Astronautical Congress (IAC), Bremen, 1.-5. Oktober 2018, [Conference or Workshop Item]

Abstract

Manufacturing in Space is fast becoming a reality, with the commercialization of space operations - the so-called NewSpace - leading to a sea-change in the space industry and the emergence of new business models. Inspired by the new opportunities related to NewSpace, the project Space Factory 4.0 has been founded with the objective of establishing new processes and technologies for rapid satellite assembly on an in-orbit platform. To make a significant step towards reaching this visionary goal, this paper discusses: (i) the establishment of new processes based on an Industrie 4.0 approach, (ii) the design of highly modular satellites, and (iii) their robotic assembly.

The basics of Industrie 4.0 relies on cyber-physical systems with the objective to enable flexibility, modularity, and adaptability of production systems. Based on these promising capabilities, an overall process for Space Factory 4.0 is proposed. Although the specific case of robotic assembly of modular satellites is focused, this approach is applied to abstract new business models. One of the key features of the overall process is the seamless use of the Digital Twin approach which provides detailed models representing the actual state of its physical counterpart. Use-cases such as test and digital product documentation are described to discuss the benefits of such technology. Implementing fast development cycles and modern manufacturing concepts requires modular systems that enable automated integration and verification processes. Space Factory 4.0 aims at establishing a highly modular design for small satellites that increases efficiency and scalability during production and testing. Based on this design, automated integration and verification of small satellites will be demonstrated and prepared for a future in-orbit factory. Although autonomous integration and assembly are clear long-term goals, currently the possibilities for visual tracking and for modeling the physical interaction between the satellite components, the platform and the robotic manipulators are limited and this in turn affects the reliability of autonomous systems. As an alternative solution, Space Factory 4.0 aims at developing a bilateral controller which allows for teleoperation of the assembly robot by a human operator using a Human-Machine-Interface (HMI), providing force feedback with the support of virtual fixtures. The paper discusses a concept of such a haptic telerobotic system, which aims at combining the capabilities for reaching remote environments with human intelligence. This paper outlines the methods and the results obtained within Space Factory 4.0 and draws conclusions to discuss its benefits and potentials for the space industry.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item
Erschienen: 2018
Creators: Weber Martins, Thiago and Pereira, Aaron and Hulin, Thomas and Ruf, Oliver and Kugler, Stefan and Giordano, Alessandro and Balachandran, Ribin and Benedikt, Fabian and Lewis, John and Anderl, Reiner and Schilling, Klaus and Albu-Schäffer, Alin
Title: Space Factory 4.0 - New processes for the robotic assembly of modular satellites on an in-orbit platform based on „Industrie 4.0” approach
Language: English
Abstract:

Manufacturing in Space is fast becoming a reality, with the commercialization of space operations - the so-called NewSpace - leading to a sea-change in the space industry and the emergence of new business models. Inspired by the new opportunities related to NewSpace, the project Space Factory 4.0 has been founded with the objective of establishing new processes and technologies for rapid satellite assembly on an in-orbit platform. To make a significant step towards reaching this visionary goal, this paper discusses: (i) the establishment of new processes based on an Industrie 4.0 approach, (ii) the design of highly modular satellites, and (iii) their robotic assembly.

The basics of Industrie 4.0 relies on cyber-physical systems with the objective to enable flexibility, modularity, and adaptability of production systems. Based on these promising capabilities, an overall process for Space Factory 4.0 is proposed. Although the specific case of robotic assembly of modular satellites is focused, this approach is applied to abstract new business models. One of the key features of the overall process is the seamless use of the Digital Twin approach which provides detailed models representing the actual state of its physical counterpart. Use-cases such as test and digital product documentation are described to discuss the benefits of such technology. Implementing fast development cycles and modern manufacturing concepts requires modular systems that enable automated integration and verification processes. Space Factory 4.0 aims at establishing a highly modular design for small satellites that increases efficiency and scalability during production and testing. Based on this design, automated integration and verification of small satellites will be demonstrated and prepared for a future in-orbit factory. Although autonomous integration and assembly are clear long-term goals, currently the possibilities for visual tracking and for modeling the physical interaction between the satellite components, the platform and the robotic manipulators are limited and this in turn affects the reliability of autonomous systems. As an alternative solution, Space Factory 4.0 aims at developing a bilateral controller which allows for teleoperation of the assembly robot by a human operator using a Human-Machine-Interface (HMI), providing force feedback with the support of virtual fixtures. The paper discusses a concept of such a haptic telerobotic system, which aims at combining the capabilities for reaching remote environments with human intelligence. This paper outlines the methods and the results obtained within Space Factory 4.0 and draws conclusions to discuss its benefits and potentials for the space industry.

Divisions: 16 Department of Mechanical Engineering
16 Department of Mechanical Engineering > Department of Computer Integrated Design (DiK)
Event Title: 69th International Astronautical Congress (IAC)
Event Location: Bremen
Event Dates: 1.-5. Oktober 2018
Date Deposited: 27 Nov 2018 15:14
Alternative Abstract:
Alternative abstract Language
Die Fertigung im Weltraum wird schnell Realität, mit der Kommerzialisierung von Raumfahrtbetrieben - dem so genannten NewSpace -, die zu einem tiefgreifenden Wandel in der Raumfahrtindustrie und der Entstehung neuer Geschäftsmodelle führt. Inspiriert von den neuen Möglichkeiten im Zusammenhang mit NewSpace wurde das Projekt Space Factory 4.0 mit dem Ziel gegründet, neue Prozesse und Technologien für die schnelle Satellitenmontage auf einer In-Orbit-Plattform zu etablieren. Um einen wichtigen Schritt zur Erreichung dieses visionären Ziels zu machen, wird in diesem Papier diskutiert: (i) die Etablierung neuer Prozesse auf der Grundlage eines Industrie 4.0-Ansatzes, (ii) das Design hochmodularer Satelliten und (iii) deren Roboteranordnung. Die Grundlagen von Industrie 4.0 basieren auf cyberphysikalischen Systemen mit dem Ziel, Flexibilität, Modularität und Anpassungsfähigkeit von Produktionssystemen zu ermöglichen. Basierend auf diesen vielversprechenden Fähigkeiten wird ein Gesamtprozess für Space Factory 4.0 vorgeschlagen. Obwohl der spezifische Fall der robotergestützten Montage modularer Satelliten fokussiert ist, wird dieser Ansatz auf abstrakte neue Geschäftsmodelle angewendet. Eines der Hauptmerkmale des Gesamtprozesses ist die nahtlose Anwendung des Digital Twin-Ansatzes, der detaillierte Modelle liefert, die den tatsächlichen Zustand des physischen Gegenstücks darstellen. Anwendungsfälle wie Test und digitale Produktdokumentation werden beschrieben, um die Vorteile einer solchen Technologie zu diskutieren. Die Umsetzung schneller Entwicklungszyklen und moderner Fertigungskonzepte erfordert modulare Systeme, die automatisierte Integrations- und Verifikationsprozesse ermöglichen. Space Factory 4.0 zielt darauf ab, ein hochmodulares Design für Kleinsatelliten zu etablieren, das die Effizienz und Skalierbarkeit während der Produktion und des Tests erhöht. Basierend auf diesem Design wird die automatisierte Integration und Verifikation von Kleinsatelliten demonstriert und für eine zukünftige In-Orbit-Fabrik vorbereitet. Obwohl die autonome Integration und Montage klare langfristige Ziele sind, sind die Möglichkeiten der visuellen Verfolgung und der Modellierung der physikalischen Interaktion zwischen den Satellitenkomponenten, der Plattform und den robotischen Manipulatoren derzeit begrenzt, was wiederum die Zuverlässigkeit autonomer Systeme beeinträchtigt. Als alternative Lösung zielt Space Factory 4.0 auf die Entwicklung einer bilateralen Steuerung ab, die die Fernsteuerung des Montageroboters durch einen menschlichen Bediener über eine Mensch-Maschine-Schnittstelle (HMI) ermöglicht und mit Unterstützung virtueller Vorrichtungen eine Kraftrückmeldung ermöglicht. Das Papier diskutiert ein Konzept eines solchen haptischen telerobotischen Systems, das darauf abzielt, die Fähigkeiten, entfernte Umgebungen zu erreichen, mit menschlicher Intelligenz zu kombinieren. Dieses Papier beschreibt die Methoden und Ergebnisse von Space Factory 4.0 und zieht Schlussfolgerungen, um deren Nutzen und Potenziale für die Raumfahrtindustrie zu diskutieren.German
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