Successful Visual Inspection of the Space Station Robot Arm
Case Study 18
Micrometeoroid and orbital debris, known throughout the space community as MMOD, is a constant threat for orbiting satellites. These tiny natural or manmade items, shooting through the space environment at speeds that can exceed 20,000 mph, can damage spacecraft, puncture instruments and disrupt operations.
On Oct. 9., 2015, NASA used the non browning zoom lens** on their Visual Inspection Poseable Invertebrate Robot (VIPIR), a new inspection space tool, to examine an unexplained discoloration on the SSRMS, the Space Station Remote Manipulator System.
“The results from VIPIR were phenomenal,” said Ron Ticker of NASA. “From a distance of approximately eight inches, VIPIR was able to resolve details as small as three-thousandths of an inch (.003″) – about ten times thinner than the thickness of a credit card. From VIPIR’s footage, we were able to discern that the black mark was in fact a raised mass at the inspection site.”
To read the complete story please visit www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/VIPR.
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