RoboCrane is a project carried out between the University of Oviedo, University of Vigo and Alén Space. It consists of a mechanical, power and communications support system for the descent and recovery of moon cave explorers. It is made up of a mast, a balancing system, a carrying head and for the connection of power and communications repeater, control computer, positioning sensors, visualization, thermal measurement, power terminals and converters, and communications terminals.
The University of Vigo has developed the Systems Engineering of Phase 0, and the Systems Engineering and Thermal Control for the CDF (Concurrent Design Facility) of the ESA (European Space Agency), framed in the initiative “ESA Sysnova Lunar Caves initiative”, of the crane subsystem in the lunar rover belonging to the OSIP LUNAR project. The work consists of technical support and development in the fields of systems engineering during Phase 0, and systems engineering and thermal control during the feasibility review (CDF) of the OSIP Lunar Caves project. The user, system and subsystem requirements were specified, as well as the creation of the concept of operations, the functional architecture, the product tree and the interfaces for the future ESA mission with the objective of exploring a cave in the lunar equatorial zone.
Likewise, the different budgets and system analyses to be carried out in this phase were defined and coordinated, including the mass budget, link, power and data analysis. These analyses were carried out parametrically through the development of a tool that allows different iterations to be carried out with experts from ESA and Daedalus (the other participating CDF project), to assess the possible crane concepts compatible with different configurations of the lunar lander and the rover that will transport the crane. On the other hand, RoboCrane thermal control analysis work was also performed, and the thermal control review of the complete system carried out together with the thermal experts from ESA.