Dry lubricated Harmonic Drives for space applications

Project Funding:
EU Commission, FP7 programme
Project Coordination:
AC2T, Austria
Project Partners:
AAC, Harmonic Drive AG (Germany), Fundacion
Tecnalia Research & Innovation (Spain)
36 months

In space mass equals cost, so lower mass means lower cost. The HarmLES project takes on the chal­lenge of devel­op­ing crit­ical tech­no­lo­gies aimed at bring­ing down the cost and mass of spacecraft.

When Solar Arrays or anten­nas on space­craft have to be moved into the right posi­tion, and kept there for prolonged peri­ods of time, Harmonic drives are needed. The design and compos­i­tion of these drives is para­mount for the impact they have on global space­craft mass. The trend goes for smal­ler drives, and in this respect, the devel­op­ment of new solid lubric­at­ing coat­ings are needed for harmonic drives. The HarmLES project takes on this chal­lenge. Should HarmLES prove success­ful, Europe has the poten­tial to obtain world-wide lead­er­ship in this area of crit­ical space technologies.