MAG SOAR presents the new generation of magnetic gears in ESA

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MAG SOAR presents the new generation of magnetic gears in ESA

The technical director of MAG SOAR, Dr. Ignacio Valiente, presented Optimagdrive project final results in 2017 Mechanisms Final Presentation Days workshop. The project main objective was to demonstrate the potential capacity of magnetic gearboxes.

Magnetic gears have proven to be a better solution than conventional gears in applications where the extreme temperature or the maximum precision required implies serious problems for conventional mechanical gearing. For instance, robotics or space actuators.

The prototypes developed by MAG SOAR have been specially optimized for space requirements. Therefore, the minimum weight and the maximum reduction ratio have been considered the main priorities. Although the technology is recently making significant advances, up to now, the state of art still reflects some important limitations such as poor density torques and reduction ratios, magnetic contamination and overheating due to Foucault currents, undesired oscillations caused by high ripple torques… “We had the challenge of demonstrating a better performance in terms of torque with a very much higher reduction ratio”, explained Dr. Valiente.

As there were different points to validate, three different prototypes were developed in parallel to demonstrate some critical points in each one. The first and smallest one, with a diameter of 34mm, demonstrated a very high reduction ratio at one single stage with very low ripple torque. The second one fulfilled an optimal efficiency at high temperatures and significantly low magnetic pollution. Finally, the third prototype demonstrated a reduction ratio as high as 1:75.

In a nutshell, MAG SOAR has laid the foundations for a new coming generation of magnetic gears specially optimized for obtaining a maximum precision, efficiency and speed control at reduced weight. Dimensions, accuracy and torque parameters can be customized to meet different operational requirements.


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Robotic-interfaces-space

MAG SOAR in charge of SIROM thermal interface

SIROM is a European Commission H2020 project with the objective of developing a standard set of connections that allow coupling of payload to the manipulators and payloads to other payloads. These robotic manipulators or robot arms are increasingly being used in complex in-orbit infrastructures or space exploration due to its effectiveness and optimum performance in space conditions. However, there are still some problems due to the dynamic coupling between the manipulators and the spacecraft.

 

These connections will be integrated by mechanical interfaces in order to put together the blocks, electrical interfaces for power transmission, thermal interfaces for heat regulation and interfaces to transmit data throughout the satellite.

 

SIROM standardized model will be crucial for on-orbit servicing missions such as docking, berthing, re-fueling, repairing, upgrading, transporting, rescuing, and orbital debris removal. Besides, it will be also key for the future of planetary robotic exploration, currently depending on a range of robotic assets such as lander and rovers and on the interaction between them and the additional payload elements.  

 

MAG SOAR is in charge of the design, development, and manufacturing of the thermal interface, one of the main pieces of this robotic puzzle leaded by SENER.

Robotic-interfaces-space