What innovations does Mechatronics and Optics involve?
R&D activities are performed in the field of robotics and automation, including remote manipulation, sensing and control of rovers and experiments, motion autonomy, and Telerobotics & Haptics technologies for advanced human-machine interaction, extending the human sense of touch to space and planetary environments.
Advanced instruments are developed to support physical (e.g. furnaces) and life sciences in the ISS for robotic exploration, and to support physiological and medical aspects in space (e.g. crew health and telemedicine, for astronauts but as well for Telecom Integrated Applications) Optical devices such as lasers and lidars and opto-electronic devices such as detectors and spectrometers are developed. Ground breaking experiments in the fields of laser telecommunication and entangled photons secure communications are performed.
In the field of life support, technologies for regenerative life support systems are being developed in the frame of the MELiSSA project (Micro Ecological Life Support System Alternative), including a pilot plant in Barcelona to prove the concept of this technology approach.
Technologies for the monitoring of the chemical and biological contamination are being developed and have already proven their validity on-board the space station.
Specialised design and engineering tools for all these projects are defined and employed as needed (e.g. setting up the ALISSE system level model of a closed loop system).
Last update: 4 February 2015