HOME  |  NEWS  |  BLOGS  |  MESSAGES  |  FEATURES  |  VIDEOS  |  WEBINARS  |  INDUSTRIES  |  FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
  |  REGISTER  |  LOGIN  |  HELP
Blogs
Blog

Video: Robots to Recycle Space Junk

NO RATINGS
View Comments: Newest First|Oldest First|Threaded View
Page 1/4  >  >>
Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Cleaning up space
Ann R. Thryft   8/22/2012 12:42:02 PM
NO RATINGS
There are a few polymer-eating bacteria, although so far I don't believe any have been corralled to harvest plastic from the oceans. I'd love to find out differently. Anyone know?

Dave Palmer
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Cleaning up space
Dave Palmer   8/21/2012 10:33:35 AM
NO RATINGS
@sbkenn: On the subject of plastic contamination in the oceans, Donovan Hohn's book Moby Duck is a fascinating read.  He tried to track the journey of 28,800 bath toys that fell off a container ship.  I highly recommend it.

sbkenn
User Rank
Gold
Re: Cleaning up space
sbkenn   8/21/2012 6:26:48 AM
NO RATINGS
@Beth, it is said that a teaspoonfull of sediment, from any bit of sea floor on the planet, will contain visible pieces of plastic.  A shocking reflection of our habits IMO.

I know that there are bacteria that consume iron(very slowly), and oil, but not sure about polymers.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: SPACE JUNK
Charles Murray   8/20/2012 8:47:31 PM
NO RATINGS
Great stats, bobjengr. I had no idea there were so many little pieces of debris. 

Rob Spiegel
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Cleaning up space
Rob Spiegel   8/20/2012 5:43:05 PM
NO RATINGS
I like your plug and play idea, Ralphy Boy. And if that fails, I'd opt for the duct tape. There are very few things duct tape won't fix -- except a leak in a swamp cooler hose, as I found out recently.

Ralphy Boy
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Cleaning up space
Ralphy Boy   8/20/2012 5:20:50 PM
NO RATINGS
I didn't get to see the video yet (at work), but I am wondering how easy or hard it is for parts to be scavenged from one sat and then applied to another.

Even on sats of the same type there could be hardware and alignment issues. We make small changes to print packs all the time. I'd hate to see a bot going from one out of service sat to another searching for a hole/pin alignment match. Or filing out a hole to get a fit... ; )

Also, a lot of things might be potted in place, or otherwise hard to remove. Perhaps a tile knife, some outer space approved duct-tape, and a spool of bailing wire would be a handy addition to the tool box.

On the other hand, if it hasn't already happened... a plug and play, snap in place assembly line-one size fits all design regimen in the future could insure a high rate of retro-booting.

We made 100+ battery packs for a sat network some years back. They were all identical. If some of those are bricks, and other sats have been shut down for other reasons but the batteries might still be good... that might be a worthwhile swap depending on how the 2kg packs were installed.

 

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: SPACE JUNK
Ann R. Thryft   8/20/2012 11:38:48 AM
NO RATINGS
bob, thanks for quoting that info from NASA's site on space junk. It's amazing how many small particles there are, but scary how many large ones weighing more than 200 lbs are flying around.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Cleaning up space
Ann R. Thryft   8/20/2012 11:32:41 AM
NO RATINGS
I agree, that sounds like a great idea. I wonder if DARPA is working on that?

Beth Stackpole
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Cleaning up space
Beth Stackpole   8/20/2012 9:48:34 AM
NO RATINGS
@Shane: Love to hear more about robots cleaning up the junk on the ocean floor as well. My guess is there's probably more stuff to clean up in the deep waters than out in space.

j-allen
User Rank
Gold
Re: Space Junk- The final frontier?
j-allen   8/19/2012 6:02:21 PM
Cute exercise in Gallilean relativity, but why did you add all those velocities as scalar quantities?  Unless thye are all in the same direction, you need to add them vectorially.   Still, what's the point?  For the space junk problem what counts is the velocity of a piece ralative to a satellite with which it might collide. 

Page 1/4  >  >>
Partner Zone
More Blogs
From wearables to design changes to rumors of a car, Apple has multiple things cooking up in its kitchen. Here are six possibilities from Apple next week, with likely more than one coming to light.
The key to the success of alt energy is advanced automation, which is still relatively new to the energy scene.
New fastening and joining methods are making it possible to join multiple materials and thinner sheets in consumer and medical portable electronics, as well as automotive and aviation systems.
An upcoming Digi-Key Continuing Education Center class on designing motor control using MCUs and FPGAs will show you how to choose the best hardware and tools to speed up your development time.
It won't be too much longer and hardware design, as we used to know it, will be remembered alongside the slide rule and the Karnaugh map. You will need to move beyond those familiar bits and bytes into the new world of software centric design.
Design News Webinar Series
2/25/2015 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
12/11/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
12/10/2014 8:00 a.m. California / 11:00 a.m. New York
11/19/2014 11:00 a.m. California / 2:00 p.m. New York
Quick Poll
The Continuing Education Center offers engineers an entirely new way to get the education they need to formulate next-generation solutions.
Mar 9 - 13, Implementing Motor Control Designs with MCUs and FPGAs: An Introduction and Update
SEMESTERS: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  67


Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.
Learn More   |   Login   |   Archived Classes
Twitter Feed
Design News Twitter Feed
Like Us on Facebook

Sponsored Content

Technology Marketplace

Copyright © 2015 UBM Canon, A UBM company, All rights reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service