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Aerospace Movable Platform Test Bed

Precision Epoxy's Aerospace Test Bed applications for air bearing equipped Robotic Space Craft flight simulations have developed over the years to become an irreplaceable component in space laboratories conducting research and development towards the future of satellite technologies and deployment procedures. This has created the need for an alternative to our permanent floor mounted test bed. Our newest test bed, designed with movable capabilities, allows for laboratory design changes as needed to suit current and future testing scenarios.
Contact Precision Epoxy for more information.




Precision Epoxy Products
a division of : Rock Art, Ltd.
4279 Midway Drive
Douglasville, Georgia 30134
Phone : (770) 489-0340



Thinking about using Granite for your test bed surface ?
You may find it is not the best choice !


Article posted by the Carlton University , Ottawa Canada, Spacecraft Robotics and Control Laboratory on August 20, 2014

The Spacecraft Robotics and Control Laboratory recently acquired a 20,000 pound air bearing table made from a single slab of solid impala black granite. Quarried in Graniteville, Vermont, the 12 feet by 8 feet, 13″ thick air bearing table arrived at Carleton University in Ottawa (ON), on June 27, 2014. While tables of similar sizes currently exist at NASA Ames Research Center, Stanford University, MIT, Naval Postgraduate School and German Aerospace Centre (DLR), Carleton’s 10-ton table is thought to be the largest, single slab, precision granite table in Canada.

Honed by Rock-of-Ages Corporation to U.S. federal ‘A’ specifications, the granite slab is within +/- 0.0007 inches flat across its surface. Being the centerpiece of the newly-established Spacecraft Robotics and Control Laboratory, this equipment will emulate the dynamics of space by making use of compressed air to float spacecraft platforms on a flat, smooth, frictionless, large surface area (similar to an inverted air hockey table). This precision air bearing table will allow graduate student researchers to develop and experimentally validate advanced guidance, navigation, and control systems and associated sensors that enable autonomous spacecraft proximity operations, such as rendezvous and docking, inspection maneuvers, and robotic capture of space debris or free-flying satellites.

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Our comments made on this article were:

Precision Epoxy Products
We just completed my newest addition to our Product Line on September 3rd, 2016, the Aerospace Test Bed Movable Platform at the NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton Virginia. The Aerospace Test Bed Movable Platform has retractable casters with adjustable feet to allow for re-leveling every time it is moved. The test bed is used to float air bearing equipped robotic spacecraft to test various scenarios. The Statement of Work in our contract from NASA for the 10 ft x 16 ft table called for the following:
1) Surface Level – The flat surface table shall be level to gravity to within 2 arcseconds.
2) Surface Finish – The surface table shall have a surface finish of 16 micron rms or better.
3) Surface Local Flatness – The flat surface table shall have a local flatness not exceeding 2.5 microns per 40 mm.
4) Table Flatness – The flat surface table shall be flat over the entire area to within 0.001 inches or better.
The installation, as per usual, was made more difficult than expected due to weather related (tropical storm) problems. Also, the contractor constructing the building that was to house the new laboratory where the test bed was to be used was way behind schedule to the point that we had to do pre-assembly in one location then move the table to the new location and then do the epoxy applications. This resulted in two trips to Virginia 3 weeks apart instead of doing the entire project in one trip as originally planned.
The good news is that I was notified on Friday that NASA had completed all their inspection and measurement work of the test bed to confirm it met the acceptance criteria. The project passed with flying colors and everyone is extremely happy.
Our 10 ft x 16 ft Aerospace Test Bed table application weighed 3750 lbs which results in far less structural considerations of the substrate in the laboratory. Everything to construct our test bed table can be brought into the lab through a standard 36″ wide doorway making the logistics far easier. The Aerospace Test Bed Movable Platform from Precision Epoxy is, in most cases, about 1/10th +or- the cost of granite. I just thought you should know there are other options available. 

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In October 2004, we were contacted by Professor Marcello Romano of the Naval Postgraduate School's Department of Mechanical & Astronautical Engineering in Monterey, California to help with the design and installation of a variation of our Epoxy Surface Plate used in the Motor Sports Industry to replace the granite table mentioned above. Our research and development has lead to the Aerospace Epoxy Test Bed that we offer today. In late July 2005 we completed our development and installed the new Epoxy Test Bed at NPS's Spacecraft Servicing and Robotics Laboratory.

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In addition, our epoxy test bed surface provides a far less porous surface than that of granite. Before we completed the Epoxy Test Bed at Georgia Institute of Technology, a granite table top surface was being used as the test bed surface. The simulator's lower unit had to use 60 psi of air to create a large enough air gap between the air bearings and the granite surface to function properly. During their first test on our Epoxy Test Bed, it was discovered they would be able to properly float their simulator using only 10 psi of air. The excitement in the lab upon this discovery resembled mission control after a successful space launch. The self contained air supply would be lasting six times longer than before simply by installing the proper test bed surface.

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Contact Precision Epoxy for more information
Phone: (770) 489-0340
email: mramy@netzero.net

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Precision Epoxy Products
4279 Midway Drive
Douglasville, Georgia 30134
Mike Ramy
(770) 489-0340

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