Rock West Composites completed the design as part of its Contract with Canadian space company MDA
SAN DIEGO—Rock West Composites (RWC) reported earlier this year that it completed the design of the development model for Canadarm3 as part of its contract with MDA, a Canadian space company.
The collaborative team will design, analyze, manufacture, and test the two primary boom structures and supporting spare units for Canadarm3, Canada’s next-generation robotic arm for the lunar Gateway Program, according to a release from Rock West Composites. MDA is tasked with establishing the technical requirements for the program, and RWC is developing the boom structures with MDA.
“Canadarm3 will be Canada’s contribution to the U.S.-led Gateway, a lunar outpost that will enable sustainable human exploration of the Moon,” according to the Canadian Space Agency. “This highly autonomous robotic system will use cutting-edge software to perform tasks around the Moon without human intervention.”
As a critical component of the Canadarm3 system, the boom structure will be responsible for supporting the robotic arm’s operations and ensuring its stability and reliability over its more than 20-year service life. The structure must meet challenging structural and weight requirements, as well as tight dimensional tolerances. It must also operate within wide temperature ranges, and withstand radiation.
“Our collaboration with MDA builds upon our proven track record of delivering innovative solutions for the space industry,” said Jeremy Senne, the head of RWC’s Space market segment, in the release. “We are excited to contribute our expertise to this project, work alongside MDA to advance Canada’s space robotics capabilities, and support future deep space presence and exploration by mankind.”
Rock West Composites provides composite products for a variety of markets and customers. As a specialist in carbon fiber composites, RWC said it offers custom products and solutions, such as product development, engineering services, prototyping, and manufacturing. The company also offers off-the-shelf products, including tubes, plates, complementary materials, and its space-ready STRATO line.
Manufacturing processes provided by RWC include filament winding, roll wrap, resin infusion, bladder molding, modified closed mold, compression molding, autoclave cure, and precision assembly, the company said. Rock West Composites has facilities in San Diego, Salt Lake City, and Baja California, Mexico.
Canadarm is an Official Mark of His Majesty the King in Right of Canada as represented by the Ministry of Industry.