This year METECS went into production mode on our Orion and ISS Hand Controllers. METECS had previously delivered three sets of Orion hand controllers in 2020. This year we produced seven sets of these Orion hand controllers (a set being one translational HC and one rotational HC) and six of these sets were delivered to NASA. In April we also started design on the ISS variant of the hand controllers and by the end of July we delivered our first two sets of them to NASA. Overall, we also produced seven sets of the ISS variant this year and delivered six sets to NASA.
As part of this project, we also developed two test rigs (one for each HC type) to document deflection/force curves for each HC unit that is delivered. In September we were asked by NASA to build one of these rigs for use on the Orion program to test actual engineering HC units against flight specifications. At the time, testing turnaround on the HCs was impeding the schedule and our test rig helped to reduce that time and speed up test iterations.
It is also worth noting that this summer our interns designed a test rig to facilitate some materials testing research to determine the most suitable 3D printed material to be used in production of the hand controllers. We really appreciate their contribution to this project!