Sustainable Living – Sustaining Life: Final Frontiers in Space

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Areas mainly addressed: Autonomy, Collaborative Robots and cloud robotics, space robotics 


Juha Röning University of Oulu

Jari Joutsenvaara Kerttu Saalasti Institute University of Oulu

Rauno Heikkilä University of Oulu

Objective and expected outcome

Space is the final frontier for humankind. This workshop will focus on the technical and non- technical requirements for robotics and autonomous systems for the future Lunar Lunar settlements. Multidisciplinary International Moon Assessment Group and Callio SpaceLab are working on the possible locations for the moon base(s) and testing the technologies in an Analogue Lunar environment.

The Lunar settlers heavily rely on robotics and autonomous machinery to utilise the resources on the moon to build the shelters shielding from the harsh environment, build and maintain the infrastructure and life-support systems, and interact naturally with the settlers. As the moon is a rather remote testing ground, all these, including the human-machine interaction, need to be trained in safe analogue environments here on Earth.

The workshop takes a real-world application-oriented approach, inviting presenters from industry and academia with practical applications and facilitating open discussion.

The results of the workshop can be used for planning research programs, finding partnerships to solve identified problems and gaps and to produce development roadmaps for research and development.


15:55-16:00 Juha Röning, Professor, University of Oulu Introduction to the workshop

16:00-16:15, Piero D’Incecco, planetary geologist, Arctic Planetary Science Institute Space research and missions

16:15-16:30, Marc Heemskerk, exogeologist, ICEE.Space Experiences from analogue environments

16:30-16:45 Giuseppe Calabrese, Senior Engineer, IRSPS
Design principles and considerations from earth for surface structures on Mars.

16:45-16:55 Ignacy Kraciuk, Mechanical Engineer at PIAP Space, From In Orbit Robotics to Lunar Colonisation by PIAP Space

16:55-17:15 Interactive workshop session on three topics (Open café)
1) Robotics are widely adapted here on Earth on various tasks. From your field of expertise, what could be the biggest possibilities in integration robots into space settlements? What could be the biggest risks?
2) What are the biggest advances in robotics still needed for safe, socially acceptable robots for space exploration? How far we are from full integration of robotics cooperation with human explorers?
3) Would you be interested in pushing forward with your expertise to bring the space exploration into reality?

Intro of speakers and topic

Juha Röning, Introduction to the workshop, University of Oulu

Piero D’Incecco, Planetary geologist, Arctic Planetary Science Institute Space research and missions

Marc Heemskerk, Exogeologist, ICEE.Space Experiences from analogue environments

Marc is an exogeologist from the Netherlands, specializing in Moon and Mars In-Situ-Resource- Utilization (ISRU) and analogue astronautic field campaigns. During his BSc. in Earth Sciences, Marc constructed concrete building blocks from lunar and Martian analogue soils. These blocks have proven to be extremely weather-resistant and yield compressive strengths large enough to support multi-story houses, even under Earth’s gravity. After his experience as one of the two Dutch student coordinators for the pilot of IGLUNA, he was selected as the Lead Scientist for the EMMIHS-III mission at the HI-SEAS base in Hawaii. Here, he used a revolutionary technique to find and explore lava tubes, without having to descend into them.

Since 2018, Marc has been working on prototyping analogue mission inside Icelandic lava tubes and other subsurface spaces. As a co-founder of the space start-up ICEE.Space, Marc has now successfully led 3 analogue missions in two CHILL-ICE campaigns, which saw crews of 3 astronauts survive inside a portable habitat, deployed completely in-simulation, inside a lava tube. The goal of these missions is to investigate the research potential and see to what degree these natural caves form the ‘ideal protection’ often expected from them.

With his research projects in space-analogue environments, he aims to aid lunar human habitation from an ISRU-perspective in a safe, efficient, and innovative manner. From into the Earth, to into the universe!

Giuseppe Calabrese, Senior Engineer, IRSPS
Design principles and considerations from earth for surface structures on Mars.

Giuseppe Calabrese is currently a senior engineer at IRSPS and a PhD student in Earth & Planetary Sciences at the University of ‘G.d’Annunzio’ Pescara in Italy, he has recently completed ISU SHSSP22 sponsored by ASI Agenzia Spaziale Italiana and is a recent winner of the Mars City Design 2020 Challenge Urban Farming for Extreme Environments sponsored by NASA and ESA. His formation was as an architect and has worked extensively on earth buildings in Saudi Arabia publishing on the subject of earth. ESA is evaluating his latest proposal for science activities on the Moon. He is currently working on his PhD studying habitats for the Moon and Mars and the possibility of utilizing the in-situ resources for shelter together with growing interiors with bio materials.

In terms of the talk: Design principles and considerations from earth for surface structures on Mars. I’d start with illustrations from our earthbuildings on earth go through some considerations of Mars’ environment up to considerations for building on Mars. Then illustrate a 3 minute animation of the competition and go into the technical drawing

Ignacy Kraciuk, Mechanical Engineer at PIAP Space,
From In Orbit Robotics to Lunar Colonisation by PIAP Space

Ignacy is developing the Multipurpose Gripper for In Orbit Servicing. The device is intended to be mounted as end effector on a robotic manipulator and provides main activities needed for satellite repairs. The gripper is equipped with gripping claws and set of interchangeable end tools which increase the repair capabilities. The development is carried on under the project “Orbita” funded by The National Centre for Research and Development.

PIAP Space is an aerospace company dedicated to space-related industry activities that have been ESA contractor since its conception. Currently, the company specialises in development of robotic solutions for space applications, especially on-orbit satellite servicing, active debris removal and human-robot interaction. Its product portfolio includes manipulators, end- effectors, vision systems and mechanical ground support equipment. The development strategy aims also for lunar robotics. PIAP Space products verified and tested in orbit will be adapted to the planetary environment.

Event Timeslots (1)

Room 207 – Floor 2
15 March - Specific operating environments
Juha Röning