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Responsive Space Structures: Modular, re-configurable tiles for microgravity self-assembly

Paper presented at 70th International Astronautical Congress 2019, 21-25 October 2019, Washington, D.C., USA
: Ekblaw, Ariel; Dilworth, Peter; Knaian, Ara; Milliken, Jamie; Venkatapathy, Aswin Karthik Ramachandran; Ten Hompel, Michael; Paradiso, Joseph

2019, Paper IAC-19-F1.2.3, 9 S.
International Astronautical Congress (IAC) <70, 2019, Washington/DC>
Fraunhofer IML ()
space structures; self-assembly; autonomy; robotics; distributed systems
Anfrage beim Institut / Available on request from the institute

To achieve autonomous self-assembly of large scale space structures in orbit, we propose and are executing on a technology development roadmap where responsive sensing augments the physical shell material of modular space structures to guide tile navigation and neighbor-neighbor bonding. This facilitates decentralized, guided space structure construction independent of astronaut EVAs (extra-vehicular activities) and robotic agents, and robust to single part failure via a system of RF-enabled “smart assembly nodes.” This paper will describe the TESSERAE platform (Tessellated Electromagnetic Space Structures for the Exploration of Reconfigurable, Adaptive Environments) and present results from a 2019 testing campaign across microgravity parabolas and a suborbital rocket launch.