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On-orbit Cooperating Space Robotic Servicers Handling a Passive Object

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A planning and control methodology is developed for manipulating passive objects by cooperating orbital free-flying servicers in zero gravity. Both on-off base thrusters and manipulator continuous forces are used in handling on-orbit passive objects and eliminating the effects of on-off control on them. For two different contact types, the system dynamics are presented. Using a two-layer optimization process, a planning strategy for the trajectory tracking motion of a passive object including optimal end-effector contact point selection, is developed. A model-based controller adapted to the special characteristics of the system such as the unilateral constraints and the on-off thrusting, is presented and its response is discussed, for both contact cases. The manipulation strategy is illustrated using a 3D task. For the cases studied, the system performance exhibits desirable response characteristics, such as remarkable positioning accuracy and reduced thruster fuel consumption.

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Georgios Rekleitis

Field of Interest

“The field of interest shall be the organization, systems engineering, design, development, integration, and operation of complex systems for space, air, ocean, or ground environments. These systems include but are not limited to navigation, avionics, mobile electric power and electronics, radar, sonar, telemetry, military, law-enforcement, automatic test, simulators, and command and control."

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