Study of Autonomous Capture and Detumble of Non-Cooperative Target by a Free-Flying Space Manipulator Using an Air-Bearing Platform
Santaguida, Lucas Francesco
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This thesis developed a 3-DOF satellite simulator with an attached 3-DOF manipulator to capture and detumble a target satellite simulator. Existing systems are heavily dependent on external systems to compute the position and orientation of the chaser and target satellite simulators. Using external sensors and high-power computers allows their systems to have high accuracy and high sampling frequencies. This approach is not reflective of the challenges faced by an on-orbit servicing spacecraft as all positioning of the space vehicle is computed on-board. In addition, their systems use the same external sensors to determine the position and orientation of the target simulator and transmit it to the chaser. A true on-orbit servicing vehicle would need to sense and compute the target simulators position and orientation relative to itself. The simulator developed in this thesis addresses these issues by computing its own position using a star-tracking system and computes the relative position and orientation of the target simulator using a monocular camera. The simulator was developed to act as a testbed for on-orbit servicing technologies. Different sensors, path planning and control algorithms can be implemented to test their effectiveness before implementation on a servicing vehicle. To demonstrate this, a PD controller as well as an adaptive controller were implemented. Fuzzy logic was used to perform gain scheduling on the PD controller to improve its performance.