Scanning and Additive Manufacturing End Effector
The ability to service spacecraft gives an undeniable advantage to increase mission longevity and to maximize the benefits of assets in space. Utilizing automated additive manufacturing and scanning technologies can increase the options for any maintenance or repair missions that are achievable for spacecraft. The capability of scanners to diagnose and analyze the specified areas of the target vehicle and the ability to additively manufacture attachment points, repair structures and shielding can prove to be an immensely beneficial technology.
The Made In Space Scan and Additive Manufacturing End Effector (SAMEE) enables the capability of examining a target spacecraft exposed surfaces and then to construct structures on or repair one of more surfaces. This is done through the use of two primary hardware components; the Scanning Evaluation System (SES) and the Additive Manufacturing Extruder (AME).
SES is capable of scanning the surface of a spacecraft and autonomously determining the topography.
Software determines a manufacturing solution (including approach and materials for manufacturing) based on the mission application. The solution is then communicated to the AME which builds the solution on the surface of the vehicle.