The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has partnered with the Naval Research Laboratory to build and evaluate payload technology for DARPA’s Robotic Servicing of Geosynchronous Satellites initiative.
NRL’s Naval Center for Space Technology will act as the lead payload developer for the RSGS program that aims to facilitate autonomous inspection, repositioning, repair and maintenance of satellites in orbit, the laboratory said Monday.
A team of NRL engineers has produced and demonstrated robotics control software, spacecraft payload control electronics and spaceflight robotic arm prototypes as part of the Front-end Robotics Enabling Near-term Demonstration project that DARPA launched in the early 2000s.
The lab aims to help mature these systems to support geosynchronous Earth orbit satellites.
“NRL and DARPA are well on the way to having this mission’s core technologies validated for spaceflight, and we look forward to working with a commercial partner to fully realize this capability on-orbit,” noted Bill Vincent, RSGS program manager at NRL.
DARPA said in late March it seeks a commercial partner to provide spacecraft that will carry the robotic service technology as well as to help integrate the payload and manage the RSGS mission.