Advanced Robotic Testbed for testing of space missions
GMV inaugurates in its Madrid office platform-art©, an Advanced Robotic Testbed for testing of space missions and systems
The inauguration was chaired by Ignacio González, President of the Comunidad de Madrid (Madrid Regional Authority) together with Mónica Martínez Walter, President of GMV. Other notable attendees were Franco Ongaro, Director of Technical and Quality Management of the European Space Agency (ESA) and Enrique Osorio, Consejero de Economía (Regional Economics Minister) of the Comunidad de Madrid.
In the first part of the ceremony the Presidente de la Comunidad unveiled the commemorative plaque, officially inaugurating the testbed. This was followed by a demonstration of the type of validation tests that can be conducted on this advanced testbed, including simulation of the real dynamic of a space-debris collection mission.
Measuring 20 x 6 x 5, the testbed harnesses state-of-the-art mobile robotics technology. It is unique in Europe in terms of performance features; its design and conception is 100% GMV. Fuelled by an investment of close to €1 million and a 50-strong team, platform-art© makes GMV a benchmark at European level and, in particular, within the context of the European Space Agency (ESA). This testbed wins GMV pole position for the development and validation of complete spacecraft guidance, navigation and control systems (GNC). GMV will also offer the testbed to other sector firms inside and outside Spain for use as a flexible validation system for a wide range of space missions: space-debris capture missions, formation flying missions, missions for the exploration of the surface of other planets and moon landings, among others.
By their very nature space missions call for the most thoroughgoing ground validation, since in-flight validation (for example in a moon landing mission) is rarely feasible due to the high cost and few flight opportunities. The usual situation is therefore for guidance, navigation and control systems to fly for the first time on the very one-off mission whose success depends directly on the system’s performance. This is where ground simulation systems come into their own, emulating space conditions as accurately as possible and guaranteeing that the test results are as closely applicable as possible to the real mission.
This is precisely the object of the platform-art© testbed, which GMV has inaugurated today. The testbed is the only facility for testing, improving and validating guidance, navigation and control (GNC) systems related to a wide range of space missions.