Development and experimentation of LQR/APF guidance and control for autonomous proximity maneuvers of multiple spacecraft
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This work introduces a novel control algorithm for close proximity multiple spacecraft autonomous maneuvers, based on hybrid linear quadratic regulator/artificial potential function (LQR/APF), for applications including autonomous docking, on-orbit assembly and spacecraft servicing. Both theoretical developments and experimental validation of the proposed approach are presented. Fuel consumption is sub-optimized in real-time through re-computation of the LQR at each sample time, while performing collision avoidance through the APF and a high level decisional logic. The underlying LQR/APF controller is integrated with a customized wall-following technique and a decision logic, overcoming problems such as local minima. The algorithm is experimentally tested on a four spacecraft simulators test bed at the Spacecraft Robotics Laboratory of the NAval Postgraduate School. The metrics to evaluate the control algorithm are: autonomy of the system in making decisions, successful completion of the maneuver, required time, and propellant consumption.
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