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Micro-G emulation system using constant-tension suspension for a space manipulator

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7 Author(s)
Sato, Y. ; Fujitsu Lab. Ltd., Kawasaki, Japan ; Ejiri, A. ; Iida, Y. ; Kanda, S.
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A hardware system for emulating microgravity for an on-the-ground space manipulator is described. The manipulator is suspended by wires, kept vertical by the suspension arms controlled to follow the manipulator's motion. The manipulator base is supported by a six-degree-of-freedom mechanism, with which free floating is emulated based on the numerical integration of the dynamic and kinematic equations for the manipulator. The gravitational force acting on the manipulator is thus canceled by the combination of the contact force on the base and the upward tensile forces through the wires. Optimizing the manipulator's suspension keeps the values of individual tensions acting on it constant, whatever the manipulator's attitude. Experiments show that the suspension system is sensitive enough to emulate the vertical free-floating motion of a suspended object, and can be tuned to initiate a microgravity environment of at least 0.01 g under restricted conditions

Published in:

Robotics and Automation, 1991. Proceedings., 1991 IEEE International Conference on

Date of Conference:

9-11 Apr 1991