Mating/Demating Device – HOTDOCK
HOTDOCK is a product line of mating interfaces for robotic manipulation providing an androgynous coupling to transfer mechanical loads, electrical power, data and (optionally) thermal loads through a single interface.
It allows assembly and reconfiguration of spacecraft and payloads on-orbit and on planetary surfaces. It is designed to support launch loads and makes it straightforward to replace failed modules, or to swap payloads and provides chainable data interfaces for multiple module configurations. Mounted on the tip of robotic manipulators, HOTDOCK performs as a quick connect/disconnect interface for end-effectors and tools.
HOTDOCK is designed in a coaxial manner to reach maximum packing density. It is equipped with a mechanism that allows to mate or de-mate using a single drive unit. Its form-fit contour supports diagonal and off-axis engagement when mating and increases the capacity for mechanical load transfer. The unique (patent pending) coupling mechanism allows to transfer mechanical loads all along the circumference reaching loads of up to 8kN pulling and 600Nm torque.
The geometry of HOTDOCK supports mating trajectories with angular aperture of up to 130 degrees. This unique feature allows simultaneous coupling of up to three orthogonal (adjacent) devices.
In its nominal configuration called Active, HOTDOCK provides an actuation mechanism for the mating. A purely Passive mechanical configuration of the device exists to reduce costs. A mating is possible between Active-Active or Active-Passive devices. HOTDOCK is designed with reliability and safety in mind such that if one of the devices in an Active-Active doubled mating is inoperable (e.g. power failure), the other device is still able to de-mate.
Mechanical Load Transfer Linear (tested) 3.0 kN Bending (tested) 300Nm
Form-Fit Guidance Tolerances Translational on 3 axes +/- 15mm Angular on 3 axes +/- 10 deg