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Satellite-Repairing Robots

DARPA's Robotic Servicing Vehicle Can Repair Satellites In Orbit

— March 27, 2016 — Tech
Satellite repair is tricky business when you're dealing with extremely technologically advanced and expensive creations orbiting tens of thousands of kilometers above the earth, which is why DARPA is using a robotic servicing vehicle as part of a broader satellite servicing project.

The robotic service vehicle is the centerpiece of DARPA's Robotic Servicing of Geosynchronous Satellites project. The vehicle itself looks a lot like a satellite itself, although it is equipped with robotic arms and sockets that enable it to work with different kinds of tools and servicing kits. When deployed, the robotic service vehicle is capable of matching its orbit with that of the satellite it is supposed to be servicing, before collecting data and images that can be downloaded to Earth for assessment. The robot can then execute a servicing plan developed by mission control.

Considering that there are over 400 geosynchronous satellites out there, it's important to have a reliable way to be able to service and fix them, which is why the robotic servicing vehicle is set to have a huge impact in the space industry.
Trend Themes
1. Satellite Repair Technology - The use of robotic servicing vehicles for satellite repair presents opportunities for disruptive innovation in the field of space technology.
2. Automation in Space Industry - The development of robotic arms and sockets for satellite servicing opens up possibilities for disruptive innovation in automating various tasks in the space industry.
3. Geosynchronous Satellites Maintenance - The need for a reliable and efficient method of servicing and maintaining geosynchronous satellites highlights the potential for disruptive innovation in satellite maintenance technologies.
Industry Implications
1. Space Technology - The use of robotic servicing vehicles in satellite repair has a significant impact on the space technology industry, paving the way for disruptive innovation in satellite maintenance and exploration.
2. Robotics and Automation - The development of robotic arms and sockets for satellite repair offers disruptive innovation opportunities in the field of robotics and automation.
3. Aerospace Engineering - The utilization of robotic servicing vehicles in satellite maintenance creates disruptive innovation prospects in aerospace engineering, particularly in the area of satellite servicing and technology advancement.
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