Laboratory experiments of resident space object capture by a spacecraft-manipulator system
Drew, Jerry V.
Zappulla, Richard II
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A set of laboratory experiments are conducted to demonstrate the autonomous capture of a simulated resident space object by a simulated spacecraft equipped with a robotic manipulator. A planar air-bearing test bed provides a quasi-weightless and drag-free dynamic environment on a plane. To control the chaser’s base, floating, flying, and rotation-flying control approaches are implemented and compared. A resolved-motion-rate controller is used to control the manipulator’s joints. Using these control methods a floating object at rest is successfully captured. Furthermore, the capture of a floating and rotating object is demonstrated using a flying base control approach. The originality of these experiments comes from the remarkably high dynamic coupling of the spacecraft-manipulator system used. Emphasis is given to the guidance and control problems, with the relative navigation problem being left outside the scope of this effort.
The article of record as published may be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ast.2017.09.043
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