Design Engineering

Canadarm2 gets a new “hand” courtesy of SpaceX

By DE Staff   

General Aerospace

MDA's Latching End Effector allows Canadarm2 to hold onto the ISS and "catch" docking space craft.

A spare Latching End Effector (LEE), or “robotic hand”. The LEE anchors the Canadarm2 to the space station at one end. At the other end, robotic hand “catches” docking space ships and helps unload cargo.

In late June, a SpaceX Dragon spacecraft delivered a spare “hand” to the Canadarm2 aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Called the Latching End Effector (LEE), the robotic hand allows the Canadarm2 to anchor to the ISS at one end and perform operations at the other end. In the fall of 2017, astronauts replaced both LEEs that had been in service for nearly 10 years with spares on board the ISS.

Shortly after deployment, one of the replacement LEE hands malfunctioned, leading NASA to believe that the replacements would have be swapped again for the originals until new effectors could be delivered. However, engineers at the Canadian Space Agency and and the LEE’s designer, Macdonald Dettwiler & Associates, were able to upload a software patch that fixed the problem. As a result, the LEE delivered in June 2018 is a resupply of new effector spares.



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