Design of a Four Degree_of_Freedom Manipulator for Northern Light Mars Mission
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Northern Light is a Canadian mission to Mars, currently developed by a team of engineers, scientists and industrial organizations. The mission objectives include scientific goals such as the search for life and water, preparation for a sample return and engineering goals including the demonstration of interplanetary travel, an entry, descent and landing system, a rover design, a manipulator/drilling system, and semi-autonomous control in remote operations. The Northern Light team at York University is developing a four degree-of-freedom manipulator system, specifically for this remote operation. The Northern Light manipulator system will be mounted directly on the lander (not on the rover), providing an opportunity to perform scientific missions directly from the lander. The drilling instrument, to be mounted on the manipulator, is currently under development by Dr. Tze Chuen Ng now with the help of Hong Kong’s Polytechnics University. The operation concept is based on a “single command cycle” approach. The operation plans are designed to handle exceptions, failures and unforeseen events using local intelligence and a contingency planner.
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