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Robotic manipulators carried by future spacecraft are expected to perform important tasks in space, like servicing satellites. Such applications will encounter problems due to the dynamic coupling between the manipulator and the spacecraft. A Virtual Manipulator (VM) concept has been developed recently for the modelling of manipulators working in space. This paper shows that the VM facilitates planning and control of the motions of manipulators mounted on spacecraft, that minimizes the degrading consequences of manipulator/vehicle dynamic interactions. The VM is a new theoretical approach for the design and development of future space manipulator systems.