On-orbit demonstration of target marker for space robotics (ExHAM-Array Mark) - 05.02.18

Overview | Description | Applications | Operations | Results | Publications | Imagery

ISS Science for Everyone

Science Objectives for Everyone
In space, making delicate repairs, completing spacecraft launch procedures, and docking are all easier when an X — or some other identifying target — marks the spot. On-orbit demonstration of target marker for space robotics (ExHAM-Array Mark) studies the space hardiness of a new visual target marker called Array Mark. The investigation uses the JEM Robotic Manipulator System (Main Arm and Small Fine Arm) to demonstrate Array Mark’s practicality and ability to withstand the harsh radiation, temperature changes and micro-meteoroid hazards of space.
Science Results for Everyone
Initiation of this investigation has been affected by the loss of the Orbital-3 launch vehicle and mission in October 2014.

The following content was provided by Yusuke Matsumura, and is maintained in a database by the ISS Program Science Office.
Information provided courtesy of the Japan Aerospace and Exploration Agency (JAXA).
Experiment Details


Principal Investigator(s)
Hitoshi Morimoto, United States

Information Pending

Tsukuba Space Center, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan

Sponsoring Space Agency
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA)

Sponsoring Organization
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency

Research Benefits
Earth Benefits, Space Exploration

ISS Expedition Duration
September 2014 - March 2015; September 2015 - March 2016

Expeditions Assigned

Previous Missions
Information Pending

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Experiment Description

Research Overview

The research is needed for the following purposes:
  1. Evaluation of the space environmental effects on the Array Mark material: It is already known that the Array Mark material deteriorates in the space environment. On the other hand, the material is covered with a special coating that improves the resistance to space environment. This experiment verifies that Array Mark, with the special coating, can be used in space applications.
  2. Demonstration of Array Mark for space robotic operations: Array Mark’s capability as a visual target marker has been already verified by ground testing; however,it is necessary to demonstrate how its operability is affected (sunlight conditions, thermal environment etc.) in the actual space environment.
This research provides basic data, which is necessary in order to use the Array Mark material for space applications.
Useful knowledge and information in imaging system for space robotics is obtained from the data. In the future, Array Mark is expected to be applied to human space activity support missions, including future exploration missions.

Information Pending

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Space Applications

Array Mark is small, flat and easy to mount on various locations on the ISS exterior, where it would improve the robotic arms’ range of motion. Previous research demonstrated that material used in Array Mark deteriorates in space, where it is subjected to radiation, extreme temperatures, and bombardment by space dust, but a special coating improves its hardiness. Array Mark is expected to be used for a variety of robotic space tasks, including docking and on-orbit servicing.

Earth Applications
Ex-HAM Array Mark uses sophisticated image processing software, which translates to improved image-recognition processes on Earth. The Array Mark material can also be used to correctly guide robots on Earth, including in homes and medical settings where robots serve as personal assistants.

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Operational Requirements and Protocols
Information Pending

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Decadal Survey Recommendations

Information Pending

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Results/More Information

Information Pending

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Related Websites

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