Floating Spacecraft Simulator Test Bed for the Experimental Testing of Autonomous Guidance, Navigation, and Control of Spacecraft Proximity Maneuvers and Operations
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Ground-based test beds are critical to develop and test different elements of spacecraft guidance, navigation and control subsystems. This paper provides an in-detail description of the state-of-the-art NPS POSEIDYN air bearing test bed used to develop, in a simulated weightless and frictionless enviornment, guidance, navigation and control methods for close proximity operations. Test vehicles, representing spacecraft, use air bearings to float on top of a horizontally leveled granite monolith. This set-up achieves a quasi-frictionless and low residual acceleration dynamic environment. The test bed experimental set-up as well as the vehicles hardware and software architectures are discussed in detail. Characterization of different test bed elements is provided. Finally, a test campaign is used to showcase its capabilities and to illustrate the test bed operations.
AIAA/AAS Astrodynamics Specialist Conference, Long Beach, CA. The article of record may be found at: http://arc.aiaa.org | DOI: 10.2514/6.2016-5268
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