What services does the Robotics and Automation Laboratory offer?
Although tasks requested for ESA projects are generally given priority the Robotics and Automation Laboratory does provide services for other European space programmes and companies, including SMEs (although not in competition with commercial laboratories) that meet the criteria described below.
A candidate customer can request a quotation to perform a test by contacting Laboratory manager (contact details below). To qualify, the candidate customer (or end customer they are acting for) must be a person or body under the jurisdiction of an ESA Member State. The project in question must correspond to standard ESA Directorate of Technical and Quality Management research and development – space oriented work such as equipment testing –and must have a peaceful purpose.
The Laboratory offers the following services:
- Geometric and kinematic modelling and analysis - by simulation, of space-robot application scenarios.
- Dynamic modelling and analysis - of space-robot control systems.
- Software development and testing - of real-time image processing systems, integration and evaluation of teleoperation and robotics technology 'building blocks' (for example end effectors, controllers, ground stations, video controllers, data communications systems, image proessing systems) developed in ESA or non-ESA projects.
- Evaluation of robot/payload and payload/enviroment interfaces in terms of suitability for robotic handling.
- Integration and evaluation of payloads - (for instance microgravity or space exposure facilities) for robotic servicing scenarios or as rover payloads.
- Demonstration and promotion - of end-to-end teleoperation and robotics applications.
- Familiarisation of potential users - with technologies, systems and applications of teleoperations and robotics (for example, state-of-the-art video and imaging systems).
- Prototyping - of innovative teleoperation or robotic building blocks.
Since December 2003 the Laboratory has held ISO 9001: 2000 certification in the frame of - Automation and Robotics concepts definition, breadboarding and demonstration for ESA/ESTEC internal customers
- Project support and public relations demonstrations for external organisations.
The Laboratory has developed and set up the ARL Management System Support Software (AMSSS). The AMSSS is used by Laboratory customers in order to access and use the services provided by the Laboratory.
This web-based system allows both Laboratory customers and management to have a clear picture of the activities in progress, status of the equipment, make maintenance and procurement requests and much more. Finally the AMSSS also provides statistics and numeric performance indicators used to control and maintain the Laboratory's quality of service.
Michel Klein, Michel.Klein @ esa.int
Last update: 24 September 2009