ESAHomeSpace EngineeringMechanical
About us
Automation & Robotics
Automation and Robotics in Space
Applications in Earth OrbitApplications for Planetary Exploration
Core Activities
Research and Development
Support to ESA Programmes
Other activities
Conferences and SymposiaTraining
Planetary Utilisation TestbedThe EUROBOT TestbedInternal Automation and Robotics TestbedComputer ToolsMeasurement SystemsISO 9001:2000
Contact us
Article Images
Support to ESA Programmes
Breadboard of Biolab's Handling Mechanism. The mechanism is in fact a 5 degree-of-freedom robot capable of handling syringes.
  The ERASMUS Recording Binoculars
The Erasmus Recording Binoculars (ERB) is a stereo video camera capable of recording films for viewing in 3D. The ERB camera was launched with the Progress 22P from Baikonur, Kazakhstan to the International Space Station on the on the 24th of June 2006. The camera will primarily be used by German astronaut Thomas Reiter during his Long Duration Mission in 2006. The ERB will stay onboard the Space Station during its 3 years lifetime.
  The FOTON missions
The FOTON Telescience Support Unit (TSU), an avionics system capable to:
  • acquire, process, store and transmit data and video images to the ground
  • receive, interpret and execute commands uplinked to the spacecraft
  The European Robot Arm (ERA)
The European Robot Arm (ERA) at ESTEC Large Solar Simulator (LSS). The ERA, standing on its basic end effectors, is visible through the open hatch.
Animation of the EUROBOT: The robot walks on the handrails of an ISS module. Credits ESA/Alcatel Alenia Space Italy
  Exploration Programme (ExoMars and Lunar exploration)
Artist's impression of the ExoMars rover. Credits: ESA - AOES Medialab
The Imaging System for BepiColombo MSE is basically composed of a stereo camera pair with associated mechatronics and optics subsystems. The mechatronics provides a stable structure for camera mounting and mechanisms for mast deployment and 360° azimuth rotation. The camera pair is equipped with a fixed focus wide-angle optics and a large scale Active Pixel Sensors to take images with high resolution over a large field of view. To demonstrate the technological feasibility and performance of the design a breadboard (in the picture) has been manufactured and tested by vH&S, Jena Optronik and DLR-Berlin under contract to ESA.
  Geostationary Servicing Vehicle
Animation of ESA's Geostationary Servicing Vehicle. In the movie the GSV approaches atarget satellite (Olympus) following a series of Hohman manouvres. Then the GSV robot prepares the spacecraft by erecting the docking/rigidisation structure. Next the GSV approaches from behind Olympus and captures it by its main engine nozzle. This is done by the robot handling a dedicated capture tool. Since in this case Olympus spins, the GSV spins up to the same speed along the same axis. The stinger of the capture tool is inserted via the nozzle in the combustion chamber and expanded to prevent the target from escaping. During insertion, the robot continuously adjusts its motion based upon distance and contact force measurements. After latching, the tumbling motions is gradually eliminated by the robot arm and the capture tool, followed by berthing and docking of the two spacecraft. The robot arm then berths the spacecraft to the GSV by latching the (other end of the) capture tool into its fixed position. The robot arm is now released and picks up a tool from its toolbox. Next the robot reaches for the stuck solar array, releases it and deploys it into its operational position.
CX-OLEV docking to a target spacecraft. Credits ESA/Dutch Space
  Last update: 30 November 2006 

   Copyright 2000 - 2015 © European Space Agency. All rights reserved.