A convex programming based guidance algorithm to capture a tumbling object on orbit using a spacecraft equipped with a robotic manipulator
Zappulla, Richard II
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An algorithm to guide the capture of a tumbling resident space object by a spacecraft equipped with a robotic manipulator is presented. A solution to the guidance problem is found by solving a collection of convex programming problems. As convex programming offers deterministic convergence properties, this algorithm is suitable for onboard implementation and real-time use. A set of hardware-in-the-loop experiments substantiates this claim. To cast the guidance problem as a collection of convex programming problems, the capture maneuver is divided into two simultaneously occurring sub-maneuvers: a system-wide translation and an internal re-configuration. These two sub- maneuvers are optimized in two consecutive steps. A sequential convex programming procedure, overcoming the presence of non-convex constraints and nonlinear dynamics, is used on both optimization steps. A proof of convergence is offered for the system-wide translation, while a set of structured heuristics—trust regions—is used for the optimization of the internal re-configuration sub-maneuver. Videos of the numerically simulated and experimentally demonstrated maneuvers are included as supplementary material.
Preprint accepted to appear in the International Journal of Robotics Research.
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