Design Engineering

MDA contracted to develop Canadarm3

By DE Staff   

General Aerospace

Destined for NASA’s Gateway lunar space station, latest space robot will be highly autonomous company says.

An artist’s concept of Canadarm3, Canada’s smart robotic system, located on the exterior of the Gateway, a small space station in orbit around the Moon. (Credit: Canadian Space Agency)

MDA announced it has been awarded a contract by the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), worth $22.8 million, to develop Canadarm3, the company’s third AI-based robotic system intended for the NASA-led Lunar Gateway, a deep space outpost that will orbit the moon beginning in the mid-2020s. Canadarm3 will support both human and robotic missions to the lunar surface, serve as a science laboratory, and act as a proving ground for exploration missions into deeper space.

Canadarm3 will include the full robotics system, comprised of an eXploration Large Arm (XLA), an eXploration Dexterous Arm (XDA), specialized tools for performing maintenance and science tasks, as well as the ground control systems and AI-based control and mission planning software.

Due to delayed communication, owing to its distance from Earth, Canadarm3 will be highly autonomous, the company says, using its advanced AI-enabled systems to conduct operations without oversight. The ground planning and control operations for the system will take place exclusively in Canada, in contrast to MDA’s Canadarm and Canadarm2.

The initial Phase A of the Canadarm3 program will establish the technical requirements needed for the future design and manufacturing of the robotic system. TFollow-on phases include Phase B (preliminary design), Phase C (final design) and Phase D (manufacturing, integration and test).



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