Assembly and design miniaturization of floating spacecraft simulator and its magnetic docking interface
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A detailed description of the assembly procedure of the Floating Spacecraft Simulator (FSS) has been produced for the Naval Postgraduate School's Spacecraft Robotics Laboratory. This procedure has been used to assemble an additional FSS, resulting in a total of three operational units. The second part of the research effort was devoted to the design of a miniaturized version of the FSS. Due to the finite size of the testbed, it was desirable to reduce the footprint of the FSS to increase the available space. The preliminary, yet detailed, design of the miniaturized FSS reduced its footprint by nearly 70%, from 729cm² to 225cm². The components for the design were selected from commercial-off-the-shelf sources to standardize hardware and reduce cost. A new magnetic docking interface for the miniaturized FSS has also been designed. The main features of the docking interface include an electromagnet for docking and undocking, a spring-loaded connector, and an air connection used to transfer air. Future research will build a prototype of the miniaturized simulator and its docking interface, test its capabilities, and apply upgrades as new and improved components become available.
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