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The Canadarm

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Winnie Situ

on 7 May 2014

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Transcript of The Canadarm

International recognition
for Canada.
Opened the golden doors to
new industries and opportunities
(i.e. now well known in the robotics industry).
Helped create and maintain the ISS,
allowing for research and experiments
to be safely performed in space.

Maintenance of satellites
keeps people on Earth safe and happy (satellites can continue monitoring natural disasters and the polar icecaps; communication links and GPS are running; weather is monitored).
Astronauts were safer
on spacecrafts (due to maintenance) and when spacewalking.
Cargo could be easily transported
in space (saves time, money, and possibly lives).
An attachment to the IBA added in 2005.
Wide angle, high-speed, high-precision, laser scanner can further inspect the bellies of spacecrafts.
Can also track/calculate the position of things.
Results in the ability to guide space robots and space craft.
Can create 3D data and is unaffected by changing light conditions (important because the sun’s position is constantly changing in space due to orbit).
An invention-it was the first robotic space arm created, used to aid humans in the harsh environment of space.
Developed by DSMA Atcon, Spar Aerospace, and CAE Electronic at the time (now known as MacDonald Dettwiler & Associates).
Main development facility was located in Toronto, Ontario.
Beginning 1974, the Canadarm was launched in 1981.
What It Is
The Specs
15.2 m (50 ft.)
38 cm (15 in.)
Weight on Earth
: 410 kg (905 lbs.)
Speed of movement
: unloaded-60 cm a second, loaded-6 cm a second
Could lift
over 30,000 kilograms––up to 266,000 kg in the weightlessness of space.

Setting satelites into orbit.
Retrieving and fixing satellites.
Aiding in space construction (i.e. the International Space Station).
Supporting and helping astronauts on spacewalks.
Inspecting the spacecraft using its cameras.
Documenting experience of outer space using two IMAX cameras.
Transporting cargo.
Maintaining the spacecraft's exterior (i.e. loosening jammed panels, removing ice).
An attachment for the arm created after the Columbia Shuttle Accident in 2003 (shuttle fell apart upon entering Earth, killing seven astronauts because some foam had damaged a wing).
Can inspect the bottom of spacecrafts by interacting with sensors to check on the ship’s thermal protection system.

by Winnie Situ
The Canadian Invention that changed our country
In the early 1970's, NASA challenged other organizations to help in the creation of the Space Shuttle.
DSMA Atcon, Spar Aerospace, and CAE Electronic decided that they'd build a remote manipulator system (later renamed the Canadarm) that would transport cargo to and from the the shuttle's payload bay.
Canada agreed to fund this project.
Starting from scratch. There were no blueprints, components, or guidelines for robots that could function in the harsh environment of space.
NASA was very picky about weight, dexterity, manual and automatic operations, versatility, precision of movement, safety, and reliability.
Arm needed to function as well as a human arm.
Canadarm could not be tested due to Earth's gravity.
Use of aerospace materials such as titanium, stainless steel and graphite epoxy.
Insulated blanket with thermostatically controlled heaters battled low temperatures.
Rotating joints let the Canadarm function like a human arm.
A special test room that had a more space like environment was constructed.
Have joint one-degree-of-freedom or JODs which are motor-driven gearboxes that give the Canadarm human like dexterity.
The motors have brakes and joint motor speed control as well as an encoder that measures joint angles.
Two JODs in the shoulder joint: allows pitch (up/down motion) and yaw (side-to-side motion) of the entire arm.
JOD in the elbow joint: allows the lower arm to pitch.
Three JODs in the wrist joint: allows the hand to pitch, yaw and roll (rotate).
An upper and lower boom made of graphite-epoxy.
Protected with a Kevlar bumper that prevents dents or scratches.
End Effector
Cylindrical and acts like a hand by capturing payloads.
Large capture envelope able to carefully dock and hold payloads rigid against the effector's rim.
Wiring Harness
Transports electrical power to all the joints and the end effector.
Also transports data, commands, and feedback to and from the joints.
Runs from the Canadarm to the cabin of the space craft where astronauts can control the arm.
Closed-Circuit Televisions
Astronauts use cameras and lights on the Canadarm and in the cargo bay to transmit pictures in order to the help them.
SRMS Control System
General-purpose computer (GPC) in the cabin controls the Canadarm.
Hand controllers relay the astonaut's commands to the computer.
Built-in software studies the commands and calculates everything: the joints to move, the direction to move them in, how fast to move them and what angle to move to.
Updated commands are re-examined and recalculated as well before being sent out to the joints.
SRMS Control System Cont.
The control system monitors each joint every 80 milliseconds.
If there is a malfunction/failure, the GPC would automatically apply the brakes to all joints and report the failure to the astronaut.
Joint rates and speeds are provided on the monitors on the flight deck.
Astronaut could operate the joints individually from the flight deck if the GPC were overridden.
MacDonald Dettwiler & Associates
Previously separate organizations that created the Canadarm.
Later merged into one corporation.
Currently specialize in surveillance and intelligence; communication; and advanced technology.
Very innovative with a strong aptitude for information and communication technology.
What's the Big Deal?
Easy transportation of cargo. Could move fast or slow to carefully pick up a large or small object.
An easy method of deploying, retrieving, and fixing satelites at last!
Results in saving materials, information, and money.
Less broken satelites= less space debris.
People on Earth are safer because satellites are functioning properly.
Astronauts are safe when spacewalking.
Spacecraft can be maintained without putting astronauts at risk.
Neptec's Laser Camera System (LCS)
Inspection Boom Assembly (IBA)
Related Developments
Robot arms used for servicing nuclear power stations, repairing pipelines on the ocean floor, cleaning hazardous wastes, etc.

Can perform surgery using mini tools within an MRI machine--very beneficial because real-time images of the brain can be consulted.
Can also perform soft tissue manipulation, needle insertion, suturing, and cauterization.
A surgeon was able to perform surgeries while hundreds of kilometres away from the patients using an operating console.
KidsArm for pediatric surgery is now being developed.
A robot that will be used for early detection and treatment of breast cancer is also being developed.
The Greatest Canadian Invention
A new and improved Canadarm.
Stays in space on the ISS and is repaired there as well.
Moves end-over-end and is not fixed to the ISS.
Has a sense of touch.
More dexterity and cameras.
Longer, heavier, thicker, and faster.
Coming soon is the Next Generation Canadarm (NGC)
Other Impacts
Canada is recognized as a leader in advanced technology, advanced manipulator systems, and robotics.
NASA bought four more Canadarms and agreed to pay for maintenance as well.
Began selling many robot parts to Japan and Europe.
Began selling simulators and helping create robotic systems to make nuclear industry safer and more efficient.
What Does the Future Hold?
Space tourism: A special space arm may be developed to carry people around a spacecraft, giving them a fun ride and incredible views.
Space robotic technology may be used to create arms for submarines that can perform well in deep sea environments.
Brain controlled technologies may allow astronauts to efficiently control future robotic arms. Commands must still be calculated and examined by a computer though.
The Inspection Boom Assembly (IBA) can be modified and used to examine the exterior of vehicles such as planes before departure.
"Canadarm." Canadian Space Agency. Government of
Canada, 3 June 2013. Web. 15 Apr. 2014. <http://www.asc-csa.gc.ca/eng/canadarm/>.
"Canadarm." The Canadian Encyclopedia. The
Canadian Encyclopedia, n.d. Web. 28 Apr. 2014. <http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/canadarm/#h3_jump_1>.
Dave, Eddie. "The Canadarm." 101 Things Canadians
Should Know About Canada. Citizenship and Immigration Canada, 1 July 2008. Web. 28 Apr. 2014. <http://www.101things.ca/topten.php?item=5>.
"MDA Corporation." MDA Corporation. MDA Corporation, n.d. Web. 29
Apr. 2014. <http://www.mdacorporation.com/corporate/about_us/>.
Skaar, Steven B., and Carl F. Ruoff. "Teleoperation and
Robotics in Space." Google Books. AIAA, n.d. Web. 26 Apr. 2014. <http://books.google.ca/books?id=YqXYKzKktwwC&pg=PA385&lpg=PA385&dq=SRMS+control+system&source=bl&ots=aH8hAmu4QU&sig=weXe64rAMePsjGUPF-_JBmwT9a4&hl=en&sa=X&ei=uZ9ZU6LHM4-_2QXPy4GgDQ&ved=0CEAQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q&f=false>.
The Canadian Space Agency. “The Canadarm: Celebrating 30 Years of
Success.” Online video. YouTube. YouTube, Nov 14, 2011. Web. May 4th, 2014.
The Canadian Space Agency. “The Next-Generation Canadarm.” Online
video. YouTube. YouTube, July 5th, 2013. Web. May 5th, 2014.
NeuroArm. “NEUROARM & iMRI: The Future of Neurosurgery.” Online
video. YouTube. YouTube, Apr 17, 2013. Web. May 4th, 2014.
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