A review of the application of cable drive mechanism in the field of aerospace engineering

January 2023,Professor Tang Xiaoqiang’s team at Tsinghua University and Beijing Institute of Space ElectromechanicsAcademic journals hosted by Tsinghua University《Experimental Technology and Management》A review article entitled “Review of the Application of Cable Drive Mechanism in the Field of Aerospace Engineering” was published.

becauseCable drive mechanismhaveLarge working space, strong load carrying capacity and light weight, it has been widely used in the field of aerospace engineering. Its application can be divided into two main areas:Applications for spacecraft and applications for astronauts。 Before the spacecraft is launched, it needs to conduct a large number of verification tests on the ground, some of which are requiredSimulates the low-gravity environment of space or extraterrestrial objects。 The cable-driven mechanism can provide a wide range of motion and can unload part of the spacecraft’s gravity by actively applying the cable. With the help of low-gravity environment, spacecraft can better carry out space docking, extraterrestrial object landing, surface travel, surface leap, takeoff and other verification tests. In order to adapt to the space environment, astronauts need to carry out a series of training on the ground before performing the mission, such as spacecraft operation, gravity environment adaptation, operation training in the space station, extraterrestrial surface walking training, etc. In terms of astronaut training, a cable drive mechanism can also be used to simulate a low-gravity environment. Also, due to the ropeFlexibleandLight weightcharacteristics, when interacting with people, compared to rigid robot safety performance. In addition to simulating low-gravity environments, cable drive mechanisms are also availableUsed to simulate the motion characteristics of virtual objects in the space station, thus facilitating astronauts to train in the internal operation of the space station, as wellProvides additional pulling forceIt is convenient for astronauts to carry out physical training and other purposes.

Figure 1: An example of the application of cable drive mechanism in the field of aerospace engineering

In this paper, the cable drive mechanism is systematically reviewed from two categories: applications for spacecraft ground verification tests (such as Figure 1(a)(b)) and applications for astronaut training (such as Figure 1(c)(d)). Related applications for spacecraft can be divided intoSingle cable mechanism, single cable plus two-dimensional follow-up mechanism, multi-cable parallel hanging mechanism and multi-cable non-parallel parallel mechanism。 Related applications for astronauts can be divided into:Low-gravity environment adaptation training, lunar environment comprehensive adaptation training, space station operation trainingandWeightlessness rehabilitation training, etc

Finally, this paper looks forward to the application of cable drive mechanism in the aerospace field.

(1) It is used for extraterrestrial takeoff simulation test.With the development of aerospace engineering, the need for spacecraft sampling return gradually emerged. Compared with landing, the takeoff test has more simulation methods, greater acceleration, and more requirements for the cable drive system.

(2) Application of large-scale test sites.The existing applications mainly develop the cable drive mechanism separately for the experimental space and gravity simulation requirements required by different spacecraft. In the future, a large-scale test site based on a cable-driven mechanism can be developed, so that different spacecraft and different mission requirements can be tested on a common platform.

(3) Multi-technology integration.In addition to simply using the cable drive mechanism for the simulation of the gravity environment, the integration of other technologies such as VR and AR to increase the simulation of vision, hearing and other perceptions can be more complete simulation of the extraterrestrial environment and achieve better training results.

Paper Information:

TANG Xiaoqiang, WANG Yuheng, HOU Senhao, et al. Review of the application of cable drive mechanism in the field of aerospace engineering[J]. Journal of Experimental Technology and Management, 2023, 40(1): 001-014.

TANG X Q, WANG Y H, HOU S H, et al. Overview of the application for cable-driven mechanism in aerospace engineering [J]. Experimental Technology and Management, 2023, 40(1): 001-014. (in Chinese)

《Experimental Technology and Management》Founded in 1963, it is the first journal for laboratory work in colleges and universities in China, and is the journal of the Laboratory Management Branch of the China Association of Higher Education and the core journal of Chinese. This journal is aimed at colleges and universities and scientific research institutes across the country, based on serving front-line teachers and researchers, emphasizing the unity of experimental theory and practice, and is committed to running a representative and high-level journal of the domestic laboratory system. The journal will continue to strive to promote the innovation and development of experimental technology and methods, focus on the construction of major national scientific infrastructure, pay attention to the independent research and development of instruments and equipment, introduce high-level laboratory construction and management experience, and timely launch the comprehensive experimental design of teaching combined with cutting-edge hot spots, in order to show the latest achievements of experiments (rooms) in related fields for front-line experimental teams.

Competent unit: Ministry of Education of the People’s Republic of China

Organizer: Tsinghua University

Chief Editor: Lui Zhigang

Publisher: Tsinghua University Press Co., Ltd

Publication cycle: Monthly

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