Guidance Navigation and Control for Autonomous Multiple Spacecraft Assembly: Analysis and Experimentation
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This work introduces theoretical developments and experimental verification for Guidance, Navigation, and Control of autonomous multiple spacecraft assembly. We here address the in-plane orbital assembly case, where two translational and one rotational degrees of freedom are considered. Each spacecraft involved in the assembly is both chaser and target at the same time. The guidance and control strategies are LQR-based, designed to take into account the evolving shape and mass properties of the assembling spacecraft. Each spacecraft runs symmetric algorithms. The relative navigation is based on augmenting the target’s state vector by introducing, as extra state components, the target’s control inputs. By using the proposed navigation method, a chaser spacecraft can estimate the relative position, the attitude and the control inputs of a target spacecraft, flying in its proximity. The proposed approaches are successfully validated via hardware-in-the-loop experimentation, using four autonomous three-degree- of-freedom robotic spacecraft simulators, floating on a flat floor.
International Journal of Aerospace Engineering, Volume 2011, Article ID 308245, 18 pages, doi:10.1155/2011/308245.
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