NASA - National Aeronautics and Space Administration
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Mini AERCam

mini aercam

The Autonomous Extravehicular Robotic Camera (AERCam) is a small, free flying vehicle developed to perform inspection and viewing missions in support of human spaceflight operations. As a free flying camera platform, AERCam is intended to provide additional external views unavailable from fixed cameras. It could even be flown to areas around spacecraft unreachable by suited crewmembers.

The anticipated AERCam configuration for a future implementation is an externally based free-flyer with recharge capability. A fully operational system would support both teleoperation and autonomous control modes. For an autonomous mission, the free-flyer would self-deploy from home base, maneuver to a region of interest while avoiding obstacles, provide desired views, return to home base, dock, and recharge.

Mini AERCam is the successor to the AERCam Sprint, which was flight-tested during the STS-87 shuttle mission. The Mini AERCam technology demonstrator was developed during 2000-2002, with flight design performed during 2003-2006.

Extended description (.pdf)