19, October 2018

ESA Open Invitation to Tender AO9557
Open Date: 15/10/2018
Closing Date: 26/11/2018 13:00:00

Status: ISSUED
Reference Nr.: 18.1MS.12
Prog. Ref.: ExPeRT MarsX
Budget Ref.: E/0116-11M – ExPeRT MarsX
Tender Type: C
Price Range: > 500 KEURO
Products: Satellites & Probes / Mechanisms / Mechanisms / Other
Techology Domains: Automation, Telepresence & Robotics / Automation & Robotics Systems / Manipulation Systems
Establishment: ESTEC
Directorate: Dir of Human & Robotic Exploration Prog.
Department: Exploration Group
Contract Officer: Ekatomati, Georgia
Industrial Policy Measure: N/A – Not apply
Last Update Date: 15/10/2018
Update Reason: Tender issue

Background:In the context of the Mars Sample Return Campaign, the STA, Sample Transfer Arm, which transfers sampletubes from the Sample Fetch Rover (or potentially directly from the Mars 2020 rover) to the MAV (MarsAscent Vehicle) located on SRL (Sample ReturnLander) has been identified as a possible contribution fromESA. The vision based robotic arm, featuring high dexterity, will need to accomplish a certain number of tasks(one being the transfer of samples) still being discussed with NASA/JPL. The present activityaims atdeveloping a concept which could pave the way toward implementation, should the ESA contribution beconfirmed.Activity description:The activity will start with two (2) parallel system studies (200 k each) which shall look at the lander, theMAV and thetwo possible sample delivering rovers in a holistic way, design a robotic arm based sampletransfer system (hereafter referred to as STABLE, being made of a robotic arm, a visual and/or force-torquecontrolled handling feedback loop, a dedicated end-effector forsample handling and autonomous control).STABLE shall address accommodation issues on the lander, servicing space limitations due to landerlimitations, operational issues, robustness and address minimisation of rover provision resources by beingtolerant to the sample pick-up location, orientation and accommodation on the rover.The follow up (remaining 800 k) activity shall produce a full-scale breadboard of STABLE and the relevantparts of the lander and the MAV as mockups all integrated in a testbed, so that the transfer between rover andMAV can be evaluated. The STABLE system shall include an event based autonomous sample transfer controlsoftware with an onboard fault management.The activity may build upon European developments in high performance space robot arms developmentsincluding ESAs: past DEXARM and ongoing DELIAN activities (DEXARM is a shaker and TVAC at jointlevel only tested robot arm with integrated motion electronics and force/torque sensing; DELIAN is an aboutto-finish activity on a light weight robotic arm for exploration tasks, such as sample handling). Alternativesolutions can be proposed if the end TRL is demonstrated.The STABLE systemshall be functionally tested in a Martian analogue (w.r.t. soil, rocks, lighting slopes)both for validation and for overall characterisation of performance metrics (w.r.t. stability, robustness, resourcesof operational scenarios, etc.)Programme of work:1. Parallel system study phase:a. requirement coordination with respect to SFR Phase A study and MSR overall campaignb. system study on the STABLE system within the MSR mission in a holistic wayc. preliminary design of the robot system architecture including the needed autonomous operationand a high level FDIR (Fault Detection Isolation and Recovery) strategyd. closeout and design handover toPhase 22. Single activity for design, prototyping and testinga. System and interface requirement coordination with the SFR phase A/B1study prime(s) andw.r.t. overall MSR campaignb. preliminary design of the robotic arm system including the dedicated sample handling endeffector,the autonomous operations software and the lander, rover samples storage rack andMAV mockupc. detailed designof the robotic arm system including the dedicated sample handling end-effector,the autonomous operations software with a full system FDIR strategy and the lander and MAVmockup and any other necessary hardware and softwared. manufacturing, assembly and unit testinge. component-level testing in relevant environmentf. system-level testing in analogue environmentg. preliminary development plan up to flight modelh. closeout

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