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Space Technology Hall of Fame: a satellite-based SAR system and image-guided surgical robot

By: Joe S
I was recently honored to be asked to serve as a judge for the Space Foundation’s 2014 Space Technology Hall of Fame. As I’m sure everyone in the industry already knows, technologies developed for space applications have a long and illustrious history contributing to our life on Earth. Past honorees include commercial Earth-imaging satellites for disaster recovery, tactical mobile robots for high-risk law enforcement operations and of course, LASIK laser vision correction. The 2014 inductees are no less exceptional. The Cospas-Sarsat Global Satellite System is a global, satellite-based search-and-rescue system that is operated and managed by more than 40 countries. NeuroArm technologies has created an image-guided MR-compatible robot for microsurgery based off of technology used to build and construct the International Space Station (ISS). Both quite impressive pedigrees. Cospas-Sarsat Global Satellite System In 1979, the United States, France, Canada and the Soviet Union collaborated to create a global search-and-rescue system based on satellite technology. The system, Cospas-Sarsat, became fully operational in 1985 and has rescued more than 32,000 people since its inception. With each generation of Cospas-Sarsat technology, commercial partners have contributed hardware and technology to support development and ongoing operations. Today, 41 countries participate in Cospas-Sarsat’s operation and management. New ground stations and satellites are being added all of the time to ensure dependable redundancy and improved response to the more than 1 million worldwide beacons. NeuroArm Canada’s MacDonald , Dettwiler and Associates (MDA), along with various other contractors and government, partnered with NASA in the late ‘60s to build a Shuttle Remote Manipulator System (SRMS). CanadaArm and subsequent systems accomplished more than 90 robotic missions. Following redesign and improvements, Canadarm2 was used to build and construct the International Space Station. In 2001, Endeavour delivered Canadarm2 to ISS, starting a legacy that to date has moved hundreds of tons of supplies, equipment and astronauts in support of nearly 100 spacewalks. Using this successful technology, MDA helped develop NeuroArm, an image-guided MR-compatible robot for microsurgery and stereotaxy. NeuroArm provides surgeons with near-real-time visibility of the brain and the surgical tools in relationship. The selection criteria for determining Space Tech Hall of Fame inductees included Economic Benefit, Public/Private Partnership Investment, Public Awareness, Societal Benefit and Longevity. Cospas-Sarsat and NeuroArm will be inducted during the Space Foundation’s 30th Space Symposium, being held at The Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs May 19-22. AGI salutes this year’s inductees, and we look forward to honoring them at Space Symposium!
Posted: 5/8/2014 6:33:26 PM