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ID No : 974   Edit
Title: Design and Field Test of a Mass Efficient Crane for Lunar Payload Handling and Inspection: The Lunar Surface Manipulation System
Summary / Review : "Devices for lifting, translating and precisely placing payloads are critical for efficient Earth based construction operations. Both recent and past studies have demonstrated that devices with similar functionality will be needed to support lunar outpost operations. Lunar payloads include: a) prepackaged hardware and supplies which must be unloaded from landers and then accurately located at their operational site, b) sensor packages used for periodic inspection of landers, habitat surfaces, etc., and c) local materials such as regolith which require grading, excavation and placement. Although several designs have been developed for Earth based applications, these devices lack unique design characteristics necessary for transport to and use on the harsh lunar surface. These design characteristics include: a) composite components, b) compact packaging for launch, c) simple in-field reconfiguration and repair, and d) support for tele-operated or automated operations. Also, in contrast to Earth-based construction, where special purpose devices dominate a construction site, a lunar outpost will require versatile devices which provide operational benefit from initial construction through sustained operations. This paper will detail the design of a unique, high performance, versatile lifting device designed for operations on the lunar surface. The device is called the Lunar Surface Manipulation System to highlight the versatile nature of the device which supports conventional cable suspended crane operations as well as operations usually associated with a manipulator such as precise positioning where the payload is rigidly grappled by a tool attached to the tip of the device. A first generation test-bed to verify design methods and operational procedures is under development at the NASA Langley Research Center and recently completed field tests at Moses Lake Washington. The design relied on non-linear finite element analysis which is shown to correlate favorably with laboratory experiments. A key design objective, reviewed in this paper, is the device s simplicity, resulting from a focus on the minimum set of functions necessary to perform payload offload. Further development of the device has the potential for significant mass savings, with a high performance device incorporating composite elements estimated to have a mass less than 3% of the mass of the maximum lunar payload lifted at the tip. The paper will conclude with future plans for expanding the operational versatility of the device." (Author's abstract)
Author(s) : Doggett, William R.; King, Bruce D.; Jones, Thomas Carno; Dorsey, John T.; Mikulas, Martin M., [Langley Research Center]
Publication Date: 2008
Category(s) : Bases, industry and manufacturing / Construction and structures / Lunar
Bases, industry and manufacturing / Mining / Lunar
Transportation / Lunar surface
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NTRS : 20080040185
Other Ref # : LAR-17528-1
Submitted by : MEP
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