European Robotic Arm

European Robotic Arm

A robotic servicing system, which will be used to assemble and service the Russian segment of the International Space Station

The European Robotic Arm (ERA) will work with the new Russian airlock, to transfer small payloads directly from inside to outside the International Space Station. This will reduce the set-up time for astronauts on a spacewalk and allow ERA to work alongside astronauts.

Another task for ERA is to transport astronauts like a cherry-picker crane to a position where they can work on the exterior of the Space Station, or from one external location to another. This again saves time and effort during spacewalks.

ERA will use infrared cameras to inspect exterior surfaces of the Space Station.

Once ERA reaches the International Space Station, the Russian Multipurpose Laboratory Module will be the home base from which it operates.

The arm consists of two end-effectors, two wrists, two limbs and one elbow joint together with electronics and cameras. Both ends act as either a 'hand' for the robot, or the base from which it can operate.

Launch configuration: Launched in a so called "Charlie Chaplin" configuration with power off 
Launch vehicle: Proton
Launch site: Baikonur Cosmodrome
Launch date: Under review
Orbit configuration: Attached to different locations on the Russian Multipurpose Laboratory Module
Dimensions
Length: 11 300 mm
Reach: 9 700 mm
Tip position accuracy: 5 mm
Maximum tip speed: 100 mm/s
Mass budget
Launch mass: 630 kg
Handling capability: 8 000 kg
Communications infrastructure
Power, data and video signals cabling and special fixtures on End Effector and Base point.
Electrical power
Average operation power: 475 W (120 V dc)
Peak operation power: 800 W (120 V dc)
Main construction materials
Limb: Carbon fibre tube and aluminum interfaces
Wrist, Elbow and End Effector: Composed of many different materials
Thermal Protection: Beta Cloth Blankets
Main contractor
Dutch Space (Leiden, The Netherlands), leading a consortium of many subcontractors

Last update: 17 April 2014

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