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Raumfahrt - ISS-ALLtag: Dextre Deployable Vision System” (DDVS) Roboter-Scanner für Internationalen Raumstation

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Ottawa firm to design robot scanner for International Space Station

An Ottawa company has won the bid to design a robotic scanner which will make life safer for astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS).
If things go as planned, the tool will eventually be wielded by a robot, controlled from earth, and will help detect problems with the exterior of the aging ISS.
The federal government gave Neptec the green light on the $1.7-million contract to finalize the design. It was announced by Navdeep Bains, the federal minister for innovation, science and economic development,
Though it’s still in the development stage, the “Dextre Deployable Vision System” (DDVS) will be like the “Swiss Army Knife of sensors”, according to Mike Kearns, space systems department head of the Ottawa-based space exploration company.
“One of the benefits is that it will reduce the number of space walks astronauts have to make,” Kearns explained. “Rather than them going out and doing a visual inspection for damage or wear and tear, this camera will be able to do it. But it will also be able to be controlled (in near real-time) from the ground.”
Space junk and tiny meteorites are known to collide with the ISS and cause issues not readily detected with the naked eye, such as small leaks.
One of the space station’s Canadian-made robotic arms, Dextre, may be able to wield the DDVS as early as 2020, according to Kearns.
The system — about the size of a microwave — will be compromised of three sensors; a 3D laser and two cameras, one high-definition and one infra-red.
Depending on the application, each sensor will be able to detect different types of problems, such as leaking steam.
“It can also pick up if there’s a problem just under the skin of the ISS,” he said.
Though his company has been selected to create the final design, it will have to make a separate bid to actually build the device. That contract will come later and will be a competitive bidding process, Kearns said.
“If we win the contract, we would build here (in Ottawa),” he said. “This phase isn’t for building ... it’s to finalize the design. And then, once that’s done, the following contract would be for building.”
BRINGING SPACE BIZ BACK TO EARTH
In the future, Neptec plans to use its sensor technology for stuff we can use on Earth.
“The thing about space is you don’t sell a lot of a particular product,” said Mike Kearns, space systems department head of the Ottawa-based space exploration company.
“We’ll sell one of this system; so we’re always looking for spin-outs of that technology in the commercial world.”
While it’s a bit early in the game, Kearns suggested the technology could be put to use by consumers and industries alike.
“Some of the technology involves autonomous navigation, which would be applicable to self driving cars. We do have potential applications for autonomous navigation.”
Kearns mentioned the mining industry as a possible avenue to explore with autonomous navigation “whether it be a big truck or a vehicle going into a mine, using this technology to guide them...it’s a bit further down the road.”
The company foresees the installation of their product, the DDVS, to be fully complete by 2020 if all goes as planned.
Right now the $1.7 million contract is only to finalize the design rather than the actual construction of the device.
Quelle: OTTAWA SUN
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Ottawa firm Neptec gets $1.7M contract to design International Space Station sensors

An Ottawa space flight engineering firm will be responsible for developing sensors to help monitor the condition of the aging International Space Station.
Neptec Design Group Ltd. has been awarded a $1.7-million contract to design an "advanced space vision system" that will both keep an eye on the ISS's aging infrastructure and help spacecraft successfully dock there, the Canadian Space Agency announced Thursday.
The space station has been orbiting earth since 1998.
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Roughly the size of a microwave oven, the system will use a combination of three different sensors — a high-definition camera, an infrared camera, and a 3D laser — and will be mounted on Dextre, the space agency's robotic helper on board the ISS.
Dextre will use Neptec's forthcoming system to inspect the toll that the harsh environment of space takes upon the station, which is regularly hit by small meteorites and other debris, the agency said in a news release.
The new sensors are expected to be in place by 2020, and the images they capture will be viewable by the public, said the agency.
It's not the first time Neptec has been asked to develop technology to benefit the International Space Station.
In 2014, an unmanned spaceship traveling to the ISS tested the Ottawa firm's TriDAR sensor system, an automated guidance system designed to help ships dock properly.
Quelle: CBC NEWS
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The Government of Canada announces a new vision system to support the inspection and maintenance of the International Space Station

LONGUEUIL, QC, Jan. 7, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - A contract to develop a new advanced space vision system that will be mounted on Dextre was announced today by the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). Minister Bains was joined by Greg Fergus, Parliamentary Secretary, and Sherry Romanado, Member of Parliament for Longueuil—Charles-LeMoyne. The contract, worth $1.7 million, was awarded to Neptec Design Group Ltd. of Ottawa, Ontario, to develop the design for the system, which will be launched in 2020.hip au cœur du développement économique du Québec
The vision system will use a combination of three sensors—a 3D laser, a high‑definition camera and an infrared camera—to support the inspection and maintenance of the ageing infrastructure of the International Space Station (ISS). The vision system can also assist in docking of spacecraft visiting the Station.
Dextre, the CSA's robotic helper on board the ISS, will use the system to inspect the Station's external surfaces and sleuth out signs of damage. The harsh environment of space takes its toll on the Station: in addition to the natural ageing of the orbiting lab's materials, the Station is regularly hit by small meteorites and orbital debris. Roughly the size of a microwave oven, the new vision system will reveal damage that in some cases remains hidden to the naked eye, or that is located in places that are hard to reach or difficult to see.
This investment in space technology ensures Canada remains a world-class innovator at the forefront of space activities and a reliable international partner in space exploration. It furthers innovation and technology development that will have benefits for Canadians on Earth.
Quick facts
This technology builds upon a legacy of a long line of Neptec vision systems, including a laser camera system on Canadarm2 that was used to inspect the tiles of the US Space Shuttle. Rendezvous and docking sensors were also used on board each of Orbital ATK Cygnus spacecraft to assist the resupply ship in docking with the ISS.
Regular inspections are crucial for keeping the ISS healthy and operational. Today, this is done either by cameras on Canadarm2 and Dextre,
crew photos taken from inside the ISS or by sending astronauts out on spacewalks to take close-up photos, which is always risky.
Dextre's new vision system will be operated by mission controllers on the ground at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, or at the CSA's headquarters in St-Hubert, Quebec.
The system's imagery will be available to the public, who will see the ISS as they have never seen it before.
Quotes
"Designing and developing technology for the International Space Station has allowed Canadian space companies to become world leaders in space robotics and optics. The Government of Canada is pleased to contribute this new technology that combines these strengths, while giving the world a new vantage point on the International Space Station."
The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development
"This exciting innovation in space technology that will show us the International Space Station in unprecedented detail. I look forward to seeing how both the images and the technology inspire the next generation of Canadian space scientists and engineers."
Sherry Romanado, MP for Longueuil—Charles-LeMoyne
"Neptec is pleased to have this opportunity to adapt our world-class 3D LIDAR and infrared camera technologies to enhance the safe operation of the International Space Station and support future space exploration. Spin-offs from the technology will give us an edge in world markets for Earth applications such as increased mining productivity, safer operation of subsea oil and gas infrastructure, and guiding self-driving vehicles."
Quelle: CNW

The Government of Canada announces a new vision system to support the inspection and maintenance of the International Space Station

January 7, 2016 - Longueuil, Quebec - Canadian Space Agency
A contract to develop a new advanced space vision system that will be mounted on Dextre was announced today by the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Canadian Space Agency (CSA). Minister Bains was joined by Greg Fergus, Parliamentary Secretary, and Sherry Romanado, Member of Parliament for Longueuil—Charles-LeMoyne. The contract, worth $1.7 million, was awarded to Neptec Design Group Ltd. of Ottawa, Ontario, to develop the design for the system, which will be launched in 2020.
The vision system will use a combination of three sensors—a 3D laser, a high-definition camera and an infrared camera—to support the inspection and maintenance of the ageing infrastructure of the International Space Station (ISS). The vision system can also assist in docking of spacecraft visiting the Station.
Dextre, the CSA's robotic helper on board the ISS, will use the system to inspect the Station's external surfaces and sleuth out signs of damage. The harsh environment of space takes its toll on the Station: in addition to the natural ageing of the orbiting lab's materials, the Station is regularly hit by small meteorites and orbital debris. Roughly the size of a microwave oven, the new vision system will reveal damage that in some cases remains hidden to the naked eye, or that is located in places that are hard to reach or difficult to see.
This investment in space technology ensures Canada remains a world-class innovator at the forefront of space activities and a reliable international partner in space exploration. It furthers innovation and technology development that will have benefits for Canadians on Earth.
Quick facts
This technology builds upon a legacy of a long line of Neptec vision systems, including a laser camera system on Canadarm2 that was used to inspect the tiles of the US Space Shuttle. Rendezvous and docking sensors were also used on board each of Orbital ATK Cygnus spacecraft to assist the resupply ship in docking with the ISS.
Regular inspections are crucial for keeping the ISS healthy and operational. Today, this is done either by cameras on Canadarm2 and Dextre, crew photos taken from inside the ISS or by sending astronauts out on spacewalks to take close-up photos, which is always risky.
Dextre's new vision system will be operated by mission controllers on the ground at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, or at the CSA's headquarters in St-Hubert, Quebec.
The system's imagery will be available to the public, who will see the ISS as they have never seen it before.
Quotes
"Designing and developing technology for the International Space Station has allowed Canadian space companies to become world leaders in space robotics and optics. The Government of Canada is pleased to contribute this new technology that combines these strengths, while giving the world a new vantage point on the International Space Station."
- The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development
"This exciting innovation in space technology that will show us the International Space Station in unprecedented detail. I look forward to seeing how both the images and the technology inspire the next generation of Canadian space scientists and engineers."
- Sherry Romanado, MP for Longueuil—Charles-LeMoyne
"Neptec is pleased to have this opportunity to adapt our world-class 3D LIDAR and infrared camera technologies to enhance the safe operation of the International Space Station and support future space exploration. Spin-offs from the technology will give us an edge in world markets for Earth applications such as increased mining productivity, safer operation of subsea oil and gas infrastructure, and guiding self-driving vehicles."
Quelle: Government of Canada
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