RAMST - Robotically Assembled Modular Space Telescope

THE Robotically Assembled Modular Space Telescope (RAMST) is new concept in space telescope design making use of a modular structure and an assembly robot.


(RAMST)

The robotically assembled modular space telescope (RAMST) design is described by Nicolas Lee and his colleagues at the California Institute of Technology and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in an article published this week by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, in the Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems (JATIS).

Ground-based telescopes are limited by atmospheric effects and by their fixed location on the Earth.

Space-based telescopes do not have those disadvantages but have other limits, such as overall launch vehicle volume and mass capacity.

Design of a modular space telescope that overcomes restrictions on volume and mass could allow telescope components to be launched incrementally, enabling the design and deployment of extremely large space telescopes.

The design detailed by Lee and his colleagues in “Architecture for in-space robotic assembly of a modular space telescope,” focuses primarily on a robotic system to perform tasks in which astronaut fatigue would be a problem.

Science fiction writers imagined robotic space spiders and their uses a quarter-century ago. In 1978, Arthur C. Clarke wrote about a spider used to test the cables of a space elevator in The Fountains of Paradise. Spinnerettes were used to handle and dispense continuous pseudo one-dimensional diamond crystal in building the cables.

Author Charles Sheffield also wrote about a machine he called a Spider in his 1979 novel The Web Between the Worlds; these devices were able to extrude cable in a manner similar to the way real spiders spin their webs.

Via Deepstuff.

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