Space Rover (sometimes referred to as a Spacebot Cowboy)
Recently while listening to news describing how space junk was threatening the Space Station I thought of how I used to use an R/C power boat to corral balls that had gone into the water while playing beach volleyball. I found a boat that was semi pontoon style with two hulls instead of one, like most boats. Once I had put the boat into the water and essentially driven it remotely to go to the ball, I could align the ball between the two hulls and push the ball into shore, all under remote control. Now, corralling a piece of space junk is obviously more difficult than doing the same on water with a ball, but perhaps still doable. Of course, instead of two projections at the front there would need be three, since it must control the corralled object (which we will refer to as CO for the rest of this document) in 3 dimensions instead of just two. It must have propulsion to enable it to approach the CO and to change the trajectory of the CO as desired, whether the CO is a piece of space junk which needs be directed on a course away from something like the Space Station or an some other item needing to be retrieved which may have drifted away from the space station (or other space vehicle or object).
The Space Rover would be remotely controllable, possibly with some integrated intelligence to help it find home with loss of controlling signal or even to achieve object retrieval without remote control. There would be three radar antennae to aid in location and some form of stereo camera system, all for obvious control reasons. Some form of collar would allow for docking for refueling and repairs. A main thrust nozzle would do the main pushing and 6 positioning nozzles would do the fine positioning.
While much space junk could be coming at high rates of speed, such a Space Rover could conceivably intercept and push most out of a harmful trajectory and help retrieve other lost objects.
ABOUT THE ENTRANT
Name: Michael Kelley
Type of entry: individual
Number of times previously entering contest:1
Michael's favorite design and analysis
Autodesk Inventor, Altium Designer, Circuitmaker, CorelPaint,
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Invention & Design
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When I was around 6 my mother said "we" should watch the refrigerator repairman so that we could fix it the next time. That message stuck, big time. One patent and hopefully more to come.
Patent status: none