Flexible multi-body spacecraft simulator: design, construction, and experiments
Atwood, Adam L.
Ross, I. Michael
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The aim of this thesis was to develop and construct a flexible multi-body spacecraft simulator for use in testing optimal control-based slew and maneuver designs. The simulator is modified from an earlier prototype, which had a flexible arm and actuated robotic arm on an aluminum plate atop an air bearing. The new simulator features enhanced capabilities, with an improved passive flexible appendage, a commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) robotic arm, a reaction wheel momentum control system, a wireless flight control system, and a battery-powered electrical distribution system. The COTS robotic arm was modified to function with either flexible or rigid joints, and was used as a basis for initial experimentation. The simulator's purpose is to test agile cooperative maneuvers designed using optimal control theory. A specific maneuver was developed and tested for the robotic arm in its flexible joint configuration. It is shown experimentally that maneuver time could be reduced by 50% as compared to a baseline (standard) maneuver, and that the optimal control-based solution significantly reduced post-maneuver vibrations.
RightsThis publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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