NASA Small Business Innovation Research: 2017 Phase I Award
RFID Applicator for Astrobee Robotic Free Flyer
Metis is currently designing an RFID applicator payload that is designed as a payload module which is installed into the Astrobee platform’s lower payload bay. The design incorporates a telescoping feature which allow Astrobee close proximity while retaining some distance and freedom of movement, after target placement the unit is withdrawn back into Astrobee’s native domain for the stowed configuration. The applicator will utilize Alien Technologies RFID adhesive backed labels which are the present labels used by REALM team housekeeping tasks.
Operational use consists of three major elements, finding a viable target, maneuvering into position, and commanding the unit to apply the label. Current and future missions are dependent on the use of RFID based logistics and that results in direct application of physical tags. Any task that can be offset by robot systems is fiscally beneficial as well as scientifically valuable as more astronaut time can be dedicated to operational science.