SMARTER: Space Manufacturing, Assembly and Repair Technology Exploration and Realisation.
Manufacturing in space has the potential to positively affect human spaceflight operations by enabling the in-orbit manufacture of replacement parts and tools, which could reduce existing logistics requirements for the International Space Station (ISS) and future long-duration human space missions. In-space manufacturing could enable space-based construction of large structures and, perhaps someday, in the future, entire spacecraft. In-space manufacturing can also help to reimagine a new space architecture that is not constrained by the design and manufacturing confines of gravity, current manufacturing processes, and launch-related structural stresses.
The SMARTER project investigated the technical feasibility of intelligent automated reconfigurable systems for manufacturing, assembly and repair operations in space.
Project Ref: IUK 104057
Build on the results of the EPSRC Evolvable Assembly Systems project concepts.
Feasibility study around the application of the EAS “digital approach” to in-space manufacturing.
Conduct a study on the conceptual approach, context awareness, and manufacturing system integration.
Work with the consortium to develop use cases and products for manufacture and repair in space.
Capture requirements, identify suitable technologies and assess limitations.
Design concepts for a future physical manufacturing system in space.
Requirements for utilisation of manufacturing processes in space.
A conceptual framework and reference architecture.
Detailed design concepts for an integrated intelligent manufacturing system deployable in space.
A manufacturing system integration plan to support realisation.