Posts Tagged ‘1960’

1960 – “Minotaur” Remote Manipulator – General Mills (American)

Mosher Industrial Manipulators x640 1960   Minotaur Remote Manipulator   General Mills (American)

 The Los Alamos Minotaur—presumably so called because of its bull-like strength and man-like arms—is an exception to the statement that electrical unilateral manipulator arms are used singly (fig. 108 below). A pair of manipulator arms plus a second pair of adjustable arms holding lights and TV cameras protrude from a sphere-like turret supported from above by a bridge-crane carriage. The Minotaur was originally built to Los Alamos specification by General Mills, Inc. A representative application is the maintenance of radioactive equipment in the shielded bay containing the Los Alamos UHTREX (Ultra High Temperature Reactor Experiment).

 The Minotaur now incorporates PaR Model 3500 with a capacity of 50 pounds in any configuration. The hand grip is adjustable between 0 and 75 pounds. Minotaur's overhead access to the working area by means of a telescoping support tube and the bridge-crane carriage is almost mandatory in the UHTREX application because the working area is a maze of large and small components, pipes, and many electrical conduits. Without an overhead mobile teleoperator with TV cameras, much of the work space would be inaccessible for months.

GenMills Minotaur x640 1960   Minotaur Remote Manipulator   General Mills (American)

minotaur 1 illustration x640 1960   Minotaur Remote Manipulator   General Mills (American)

minotaur hot 1 x640 1960   Minotaur Remote Manipulator   General Mills (American)

minotaur hot 2 x640 1960   Minotaur Remote Manipulator   General Mills (American)

minotaur in reactor x640 1960   Minotaur Remote Manipulator   General Mills (American)

The Minotaur is presumably so called because of its bull-like strength, man-like arms and because the working area is a maze of large and small components, pipes, and many electrical conduits.


minotaur 1 concept x640 1960   Minotaur Remote Manipulator   General Mills (American)

To provide a higher degree of assurance that maintenance functions can be performed, a remote maintenance machine is required, having a capability of working within the highest radiation fields expected during shutdown. The proposed device, called "Minotaur I," is illustrated in Fig. 7, and will be suspended from an overhead bridge crane on a telescoping vertical column. The machine will be equipped with TV viewing cameras and two mechanical arms, equivalent to the General Mills Model 150 manipulator.


GenMills m150 pic x640 1960   Minotaur Remote Manipulator   General Mills (American)

GenMills m150 specsc x640 1960   Minotaur Remote Manipulator   General Mills (American)

GenMills m150 specsa x640 1960   Minotaur Remote Manipulator   General Mills (American)

The Minotaur originally had General Mills Model 150 manipulator arms. The specifications can be seen above. For UHTREX (Ultra High Temperature Reactor Experiment), the Minotaur upgraded to PaR Model 3500 arms. [PaR for Programmed and Remote Systems, was the spin-off of the manipulator arms division of General Mills.]


See other early Teleoperators here.


1960 – Space Manipulators – General Mills (American)

 1960   Space Manipulators   General Mills  (American)

 1960   Space Manipulators   General Mills  (American)

 1960   Space Manipulators   General Mills  (American)

Donald F. Melton
MECHANICAL DIVISION
GENERAL MILLS. INC
MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA

INTRODUCTION
Remote-handling systems can be defined as combinations of equipment the primary purpose of which is to move items relative to each other in a controlled environment. The system is includes not only the actuators and structures required for the physical tasks to be performed, but also in viewing, sensing, control, and power systems necessary for operation. In a broad sense, this definition includes the overall vehicle system.
There undoubtedly well be complete space vehicles devoted entirely to remote-handling missions. In a more limited sense, the remote-handling system will be a subsystem integrated into  the overall system in terms of power supply, communication and control links, and compatible configuration.
The items to be handled may be separable remotely from the handling equipment — as, for example, a powered tool-or may be permantly attached to it-for example, an integrated television camera.
Remote can be considered to be any location beyond the human operator’s reach. Remote-handling required where the operational environment is not suitable for occupancy or when the objects to be handled and the distance they are to be moved are beyond the force and reach capabilities of a man.
The environmental conditions in space, as well as on the moon and most, if not all, of the planets,
are such as to make direct human contact impossible. Remote-handling equipment will be required.
The potential applications for remmoe-handling equipment in space are many, and can be said to include any of the manipulative tasks done directly by a person under normal conditions.
ARM-HAND WORK TASKS
A listing of specific space tasks would be long and would be incomplete within a short time, as new missions are determined. Instead of this detail listing, the work tasks normally done by a person’s arm and hand, which will probably be performed by remote-handling systems in space (see figures 1,2, and 3), can be categorized basically into:
a. Grasping and holding— e.g., grasping and holding one space vehicle from another (figure 1)
b. Transferring -e.g., transferring a power supply from a support vehicle to an operational vehicle (figure 2)
c. Orienting -e.g., orienting a television camera to view an approaching object (figure 2)
d. Guiding —e.g.. guiding a cutting device to gain entry into another object (figure 2)
e. Applying of forces and torques—e.g., applylng a force to insert or pull shear pins, or a torque to tighten or loosen bolts in the orbital assembly of a space station (figure 1)
f. Sensing of forces, temperature, roughness, hardness, etc. —e.g., sensing the hardness of a foreign object by means of a manipulator-held sensing device (figure 1)

ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS
The design considerations important to remote-handling equipment for use in space include careful analyses of and provision for the environmental conditions to be met in space as well as during prelaunch and launch conditions.
Temperature
The temperature at which the equipment will operate in space is determined by the radiation balance of the equipment, the vehicle on which it is mounted, the sun, and any other mass close enough and with sufficient temperature difference to be significant, as well as any heat generated within the equipment. “Hot” and “cold” radiation zones in the spherical angle surrounding the equipment can be used to advantage. Selective coating of the external surfaces can be used to control the internal temperature. Lunar- or planet-based operation imposes a more severe problem than in space because of the strong ground effect.
A directed or collimated thermal antenna can be of value in selecting desirable radiation zones. Thermal insulation is advantageous in reducing fluctuations in temperature as the radiation field changes.
With existing high- and low-temperature components and materials, and with proper design for temperature regulation, satisfactory operation can be obtained. In special cases, materials can be selected to operate satisfactorily without special temperature-control devices.
Pressure
The high-vacuum operation encountered poses a considerable design problem in providing suitable bearings and mechanisms and the lubrication for them. Three approaches to this problem are: (a) to seal the housings in which the bearings and mechanisms are contained to enable conventional lubricants to be used, (b) to use low vapor-pressure lubricants which will operate in the vacuum for the required time, and (c) to use bearings and mechanisms that require no lubricants.
High-Energy Radiation
The radiation levels as established to date do not pose serious problems.
Micrometeorite Collision
The impact and erosion levels do not appear serious. The change in emissivity of surfaces used for temperature control, due to erosion, can be anticipated and provided for.

GENERAL DESIGN PRINCIPLES
Reliability
The reliability requirement is of prime importance and is best obtained by basic simplicity. Complex designs must be avoided.
Weight and Efficiency
Because of the high cost per pound of placing a system in space, the weight must be a minimum commensurate with the high reliability required. The power required to operate the remote-handling equipment, and therefore chargeable to it, can be expressed in terms of weight, either as pounds per watt-hour in the case of energy-storing or fuel-consuming devices, or as pounds per watt-hour for regenerative supplies such as solar cells. High efficiency throughout is required to minimize the power-weight requirement.

Source: “Survey of Remote Handling in Space”, D. Frederick Baker,  USAF, 1962


In the 1950’s, General Mills, yes, the American breakfast food and cereal company, built materials handling equipment. Their success and novel designs led them to build remote-handling manipulators for the then new nuclear industry. Some senior engineers spun off this division to become Programmed and Remote Systems (PaR Systems). Their success and expertise was such that they were invited to propose space manipulators.   I will later add some posts on Gen Mills and PaR Systems regarding their still successful line of remote-handling manipulator arms.


Trivia: Image in figure 2 above seems to have been borrowed from an illustration from the children’s book “Space Flight The Coming Exploration of the Universe”, published by Golden Press, New York, 1959 seen down the bottom of this post here.


See other early Teleoperators here.

See other early Lunar and Space Robots here.


1961 – Humpty Dumpty Space Capsule – Douglas Aircraft Company (American)

 1961   Humpty Dumpty Space Capsule   Douglas Aircraft Company (American)

SANTA MONICA DIVISION
DOUGLAS AIRCRAFT COMPANY, INC.
SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA
NONANTHROPOMORPHIC SPACE SUIT
The "Humpty-Dumpty, " a nonanthropomorphic space suit (capsule), consists of an egg-shaped cylinder capable of supporting at least one man who is engaged in assembly, maintenance, or similar-type tasks in outer space (see figure 1). The capsule itself contains an ecological system capable of maintaining near ideal environmental conditions for approximately 30 hours. On the internal walls of the vehicle there are rotating panels which allow the astronaut complete monitoring of the environmental conditions of the vehicle and also afford him direct feedback as to the ongoing state of affairs of his propulsion system and many mechanical appendages. The astronaut sitting at his central control panel map at his discretion, rotate the wall panels to a position which is most advantageous to him for the direction in which he is facing. The rotating panels are necessitated by the fact that the viewport of the vehicle completely circles the astronaut. Due to radiation hazards the viewport is covered by a rotating shield which may be positioned by the astronaut to face in any direction.
Fastened to this shield are two floodlights for operations conducted in the dark. Three of the specialized mechanical arms of this "astro-tug" maybe rotated through 360 degrees around the tug and thus afford the occupant complete maneuverability without actually rotating the vehicle itself. These specialized arms have specially equipped hands composed of tools which may be utilized in outer space—e.g.,
drill, acetylene torch, paint and plastic applicator, screw driver, etc. Three fixed arms on the base of the vehicle are theoretically constructed to accomplish operations which call for powerful movements similar to those necessary for positioning two fuel tanks together, holding the astro-tug to a second vehicle while construction or maintenance is performed, and the like. Gripping is done through the use of finger-like clamps on the outer portion of the limb.

To effect propulsion and guidance of the  system, three nozzles on rotating spheres are used.
Two of these nozzles are located on the "x" center of gravity axis. These are responsable for the main propulsion of the unit. The third unit is at the bottom of the capsule and may be used to correct maneuvers conductive to tumbling or, if this vehicle is to be used in a gravity environment, this third unit may be used to suspend the capsule above the surface of the gravity environment.
While the astronaut is given complete manual control of the vehicles through the propulsion system, he may also utilize the inertial platform of the capsule to maintain any position automatically and thus free all six mechanical arms for a complex task. Control of all six mechanIcal arms is accomplished through the central control  panel via fingertip control. The arms act in response to any movement of the hand.
Two internally sealed, anthropomorphic-type arms have been included on the vehicle so that, in case there is some specialized or precise type of task to be done which is not a direct capability of the mechanical arms, the operator may insert his own arms into these flexible shieldings and perform the operation.
Access to this vehicle is obtained either through a hatch constructed in the plexiglas front or through a doubly scaled hatch on the top the capsule.

PROJECT MERCURY CONVERTED CAPSULE
A second concept for a nonantropomorphic-type space suit would essentially be constructed from off-the-shelf items. It would be possible to utilize the Project Mercury Space Capsule and re-entry body as a space suit for assembly, maintenance, or similar-type functions. To do this, the major additions to the system would merely be a translucent plastic observation port on the forward portion of the capsule and an assembly of mechanical arms to be attached in place of the parachute package. These arms could in turn be foldable into their shaft holder. Figure 2 illustrates the design configuration. Modifications of the capsule world also be necessary in that the fuel tanks for propulsion would have to be enlarged to allow maneuvers in space. The interior would have tope slightly rearranged to allow inclusion of controls and panels associated with the mechanical appendages. While there are many disadvantages to this system (e.g., provisions for stabilization of attachments to a second vehicle while accomplishing tasks are presently not considered feasible), the most immediate advantages are the decreased cost of development and the fact that this vehicle may be included in a satellite system for utilisation as an escape vehicle which is readily altered, while spaceborne, into an astro-tug.
The feasibility of a capsule of this nature must be considered in any future analysis of an extra-vehicular space suit.

Source: "Survey of Remote Handling in Space", D. Frederick Baker,  USAF, 1962


douglas humpty dumpty p145a x640 1961   Humpty Dumpty Space Capsule   Douglas Aircraft Company (American)

•    Douglas Aircraft Company Humpty Dumpty Space Capsule
The Humpty Dumpty capsule is another non-anthropomorphic concept. The craft is egg-shaped and is capable of supporting one man in space for approximately 30 hours in a self-contained environment. Three stabilizer and three manipulator arms are mounted to the outside of the craft.
There are also two anthropomorphic gloves mounted on the craft through which the astronaut may perform certain functions.
This concept (rigure 5-16) was also proposed about 1960.


See other early Teleoperators here.

See other early Lunar and Space Robots here.


1960 – Project Mercury Converted Capsule – Douglas Aircraft Corp (American)

 1960   Project Mercury Converted Capsule   Douglas Aircraft Corp (American)

PROJECT MERCURY CONVERTED CAPSULE
A second concept for a nonantropomorphic-type space suit would essentially be constructed from off-the-shelf items. It would be possible to utilize the Project Mercury Space Capsule and re-entry body as a space suit for assembly, maintenance, or similar-type functions. To do this, the major additions to the system would merely be a translucent plastic observation port on the forward portion of the capsule and an assembly of mechanical arms to be attached in place of the parachute package. These arms could in turn be foldable into their shaft holder. Figure 2 illustrates the design configuration. Modifications of the capsule world also be necessary in that the fuel tanks for propulsion would have to be enlarged to allow maneuvers in space. The interior would have tope slightly rearranged to allow inclusion of controls and panels associated with the mechanical appendages. While there are many disadvantages to this system (e.g., provisions for stabilization of attachments to a second vehicle while accomplishing tasks are presently not considered feasible), the most immediate advantages are the decreased cost of development and the fact that this vehicle may be included in a satellite system for utilisation as an escape vehicle which is readily altered, while spaceborne, into an astro-tug.
The feasibility of a capsule of this nature must be considered in any future analysis of an extra-vehicular space suit.

Source: "Survey of Remote Handling in Space", D. Frederick Baker,  USAF, 1962


mercury capsule cutaway x640 1960   Project Mercury Converted Capsule   Douglas Aircraft Corp (American)

A cutaway of the Mercury Space Capsule.


See other early Teleoperators here.

See other early Lunar and Space Robots here.


1960 – SLOMAR Space Tug – The Martin Company (American)

1970EaglehasLanded storyoflunar16 x640 1960   SLOMAR Space Tug   The Martin Company (American)

slomar shuttle and tug x640 1960   SLOMAR Space Tug   The Martin Company (American)

spacePod13 1960   SLOMAR Space Tug   The Martin Company (American)

spacePod19 1960   SLOMAR Space Tug   The Martin Company (American)

space Pod martin 2 man 1961 1960   SLOMAR Space Tug   The Martin Company (American)

 

Above: The 2-man Space Tug

Extra Images sourced from here.


Cancelled Projects: SLOMAR
By Jos Heyman
(with some help from the correspondents of the Secretprojects forum)
In 1959 the US Air Force started the Space Logistics, Operations, Maintenance and Rescue (SLOMAR) study to generate preliminary designs of crewed space vehicles that could support manned military space stations.
SLOMAR was one of ten studies that were part of the USAF’s ‘Space Development Planning Study’ that also included studies covering, amongst others, satellite interception, global surveillance, strategic orbital systems (bombardment satellites), lunar operations, and recoverable orbital launch systems.
In November 1959 a Request for Proposals was issued and ten contractors responded. Of these only Lockheed, General Dynamics, Douglas, Martin and Norair (Northrop) received further funding in June 1960 to the sum of $ 120,000 each. This was to cover studies up to June 1961. It was soon obvious to the contractors that the funding was insufficient to study all areas concerned and each contractor emphasized some aspects only.

Martin suggested a lifting body vehicle with a span of 6.65 m and length of 9.40 m with room for a crew of five.

In spite of not receiving funding, McDonnell suggested its model 15 (?) whereas Bell studies its program 7069, whereas it has been suggested that North American also conducted privately funded SLOMAR studies.
Absent from this all was Boeing but that company was already involved in the development of the X-20 Dyna Soar spacecraft.
The contractors’ submission were evaluated and led to the conclusion that it was possible to have an operational system in use by 1968 for support to orbits up to 925 km and that more than one satellite at a time had to be supported during a mission to make the system cost effective (except for the space station). Furthermore it was clear that guidance of the vehicle was to be self contained and that the total capacity of the vehicles, crew plus passenger, was to be six.
These conclusions were passed on to the Lunar Expedition Project (LUNEX), a secret USAF proposal to put a man on the Moon by 1967 and that would employ a lifting body re-entry vehicle for a crew of three. These efforts were suspended when John Kennedy ordered NASA in May 1961 to get a man on the Moon before the end of the decade.

Above SLOMAR text sourced from here.


See other early Teleoperators here.

See other early Lunar and Space Robots here.