ER5

Dynamic Systems
Test Branch

The Dynamic Systems Test Branch is responsible for engineering design and operation of high fidelity robotic facilities supporting NASA’s missions along with the Simplified Aid for EVA Rescue (SAFER), and Robotic Micro Conical Tool (RMCT) flight hardware. Current work includes integration of dynamic systems with NASA mission architectures to create relevant test environments further enabling NASA’s advanced exploration capabilities.












At A Glance

      

Our Expertise

●  The Dynamic Systems Test Branch is responsible for engineering design and operation of high fidelity robotic test systems supporting NASA’s missions along with the Simplified Aid for EVA Rescue (SAFER) “jetpack”, and Robotic Micro Conical Tool (RMCT) dexterous robotic flight hardware. Current work includes integration of dynamic systems to create relevant test environments further enabling NASA’s advanced exploration capabilities.
●  ER5 provides the Active Response Gravity Offload System (ARGOS), designed and built to simulate reduced gravity environments, such as Lunar, Martian, or microgravity; the Dexterous Manipulator Testbed (DMT), a robotic platform configured to simulate the International Space Station (ISS) Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator (SPDM); the Six-degree-of-freedom Dynamic Test System (SDTS), a real-time motion based platform primarily used for the simulation of docking and berthing systems; and the Air Bearing Floor (ABF) or “flat floor” is a 70’ X 98’ epoxy surface designed to support rendezvous and contact testing that require low friction movement of test articles along a flat surface. Design, development, test and evaluation of cabin habitat concepts for exploration projects.

Our Role in Flight Projects

●  The Flight Projects Laboratory (FPL) supports major Ground Support Equipment and Flight Hardware projects for current and future space flight programs. SAFER units, SAFER Test Modules, and Extravehicular Robotic tools have been assembled and tested in the lab.
●  ER5 built six SAFER flight units, two SAFER Test module flight units, and three RMCT flight units. Participated in two Class 1-E flight projects including the ER Miniaturized Exercise Device 2 (MED2) and the ES Advanced Passive Thermal Experiment (APTx).
●  Testing and training for EVA & robotic hardware and docking or berthing systems interfaces. ARGOS provides a simulated environment for testing EVA tools and crew training.

What We Need

●  Hardware to build, assemble, or test.

What Worries Us

●  Exploration missions are complex and challenging; we need dynamic systems with integrated simulation capabilities to support the development of flight tools, systems, and training.

When We Engage

●  ER5 can be engaged at any time.

Points of Contact

POC Role
David Read x42212 Branch Chief
Asher Lieberman x30076 Deputy Branch Chief
Fernando Zumbado x34676 Dynamic Systems Technical Discipline Lead
Herb Anderson x39328 SAFER Project Manager
Larry Dungan x33560 ARGOS Project Manager
LeBarian Stokes x38965 SDTS & RMCT Project Manager


Highlights



     ARGOS Unsuited Gravity Off-load     ARGOS MACES Gravity Off-load

ARGOS MACES Gravity Off-load
    

Active Response Gravity Offload System

The Active Response Gravity Offload System (ARGOS) was designed and built to simulate reduced gravity environments, such as Lunar, Martian, or microgravity. The technology is capable of supporting surface operation studies, suit and vehicle requirements development, suit and vehicle design evaluation, and crew training with both suited and shirt-sleeved subjects. The ARGOS facility is rapidly reconfigurable and allows for a quick turnaround between different tests and a variety of surface or training analogs.



    

Dexterous Manipulator Testbed

The Dexterous Manipulator Testbed (DMT) is a robotic platform configured to simulate the International Space Station (ISS) Special Purpose Dexterous Manipulator (SPDM). In the DMT, engineers can perform robotic operations to emulate the SPDM end effector and arm motions.


Operations in the DMT include testing a payload’s robotic interfaces and establishing acceptable visual cues/clearance monitoring for robotic operations. Testing, verifying and evaluating whether or not a payload performs as expected versus the design requirements for force application, accurate visual cues, and acceptable capture envelopes. The DMT can also be used for study of on-orbit anomalies related to the robotic system or to robot compatible hardware.


     Dexterous Manipulator Testbed Facility

DMT Director Console Computing Interface
    Materials ISS Experiment Flight Facility

Multi-User System for Earth Sensing


    

Robot Micro Conical Tool

The SPDM on-orbit carries two Robot Micro Conical Tools (RMCTs) to interface with external hardware which have Micro Conical Fittings (MCFs) for grasp interfaces. The RMCTs and tool holsters were developed for the ISS Program to enable the SPDM to grasp, remove, transport, and install On-orbit Replaceable Units (ORUs) and payloads equipped with an MCF. The RMCT has three functional modes: (1) grasp, soft-capture or release of the MCF; (2) extend or retract the RMCT’s 7/16 inch socket; and (3) apply torque through the RMCT’s socket to tighten or loosen standard robotically compatible bolt heads.


One spare flight RMCT and one spare holster are retained at JSC in controlled storage, available upon request of the ISS Program. The qualification unit remains a controlled item for future support, and the engineering unit is in use at the DMT. ER5 is responsible for the Sustaining Engineering support of the RMCTs and holsters.




     Six Degree of Freedom Test System

NASA Docking System Development_Unit
    

Six Degree of Freedom Dynamic Test System

The Six-degree-of-freedom Dynamic Test System (SDTS) is a real-time and short-range motion based platform.  Its primary use at NASA JSC is for the simulation of docking and berthing operations for the evaluation of docking and berthing systems.  It is a closed-loop system that can simulate the masses of two bodies and also the relative dynamics of two bodies mating together (i.e. docking or berthing) utilizing actual mechanical interfaces for testing and evaluations.  The simulation is controlled by interconnected computers running real-time simulation software.  The motion base also can be used for non-mating applications such as relative position sensor testing and evaluation.  The motion table is capable of six degrees-of-freedom with a vertical and lateral motion range of 120 inches, angular motion range of +/- 20 degrees (3 axes), and 3,000 pound payload capacity.  The SDTS provides a superstructure for mounting test articles, test sensors, and intercom network for voice communications, and a synchronized timing system for data acquisition.




    

Flight Projects Laboratory

The Flight Projects Laboratory (FPL) in the Dynamic Systems Test Branch Office of the Software, Robotics & Simulation Division (SR&SD) supports major Ground Support Equipment and Flight Hardware projects for current and future space flight programs. SAFER units, SAFER Test Modules and Extravehicular Robotic tools have been assembled and tested in the lab.




    

Air Bearing Floor

The Air Bearing Floor (ABF) or “flat floor” is a 70’ X 98’ epoxy surface designed to support rendezvous and contact testing that require low friction movement of test articles along a flat surface.


     Advanced Jetpack Technology Demonstration on Air Bearing Floor



     Robotic Motion Platform Facility with S1 Truss Payload

Robotic Motion Platform Facility with Shuttle Cargo Bay

    

Robotic Motion Platform

The Robotic Motion Platform (RMP) is a very large model following motion platform that is hydraulically actuated and computer controlled. It is designed to grapple and maneuver payloads of 500 lbs or less at the end of a 60 foot long robotic arm.