Crawling Robots on Large Web in Rocket Experiment on Furoshiki Deployment

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N. Kaya; M. Iwashita; S. Nakasuka; L. Summerer; J. Mankins (2005), JBIS, 58, 403-406

Refcode: 2005.58.403
Keywords: Furoshiki deployment, Space large structure, Solar Power Satellite, Microwave power transmission, Retrodirective antenna

It is one of the most important and critical issues to develop a technology to construct space huge transmitting antenna such as the Solar Power Satellite. The huge antenna have many useful applications in space, for example, telecommunication antennas for cellular phones, radars for remote sensing, navigation and observation, and so on. We are proposing to apply the Furoshiki satellite with robots to construct the huge structures. After a large web is deployed using the Furoshiki satellite in the same size of the huge antenna, all of the antenna elements crawl on the web with their own legs toward their allocated locations in order to realize a huge antenna. The micro-gravity experiment is planned using a sounding rocket of ISAS in order to demonstrate the feasibility of the deployment of the large web and the phased array performance. Three daughter satellites are being separated from the mother satellite with weak springs, and the daughter satellites deploy the Furoshiki web to a triangular shape at the size of about 20-40m. The dynamics of the daughter satellites and the web is observed by several cameras installed on the mother and daughter satellites during the deployment, while the performance of the phased array antenna using the retrodirective method will simultaneously be measured at the ground station. Finally two micro robots crawl from the mother satellite to the certain points on the web to demonstrate one promising way to construct RF transmitter panels. The robots are internationally being developed by NASA, ESTEC and Kobe University. There are many various ideas for the robots to crawl on the web in the micro-gravity. Each organization is independently developing a different type of the robots. Kobe University is trying to develop wheels to run on the web by pinching the strings of the web. It can successfully run on the web, though the issue is found to tangle the strings.

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