The era of satellite-repairing robots is here
The Pentagon’s research arm plans to send robots to repair and upgrade satellites in geosynchronous Earth orbit.
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) considers space robots the best option for servicing vehicles located at an altitude of 36 km. Under the program «Robotic servicing of geosynchronous satellites» The Pentagon will work with several engineering teams. Together they will be engaged in the creation of automated devices and a special spacecraft for their movement in open space.
Once deployed, the system will periodically approach telecommunications, military, meteorological satellites and, as necessary, maintain or upgrade them in orbit. Each will be able to complete dozens of missions over several years.
Satellites are difficult to repair, so they have a lot of backup systems that are activated when a malfunction occurs. This increases the weight, cost and complexity of the apparatus. The possibility of servicing directly in space will partially eliminate the need for additional devices, which will make them more affordable.
Robotic systems will also improve the reliability of the orbital infrastructure. It is estimated that it will take five years to develop the devices and the ship. DARPA will begin accepting applications from contractors on May 22.
We also reported that The Pentagon will spend $ 2 billion on the introduction of artificial intelligence in weapons systems.
text: Ilya Bauer, photo: orig13.deviantart