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Towards passive object on-orbit manipulation by cooperating free-flying robots

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2 Author(s)
Rekleitis, Georgios ; Dept. of Mech. Eng., Nat. Tech. Univ. of Athens, Athens, Greece ; Papadopoulos, E.

Space exploitation will require efficient techniques for manipulating passive objects on orbit. This work presents a manipulation concept that utilizes both the on-off thrusters and manipulator proportional forces to manipulate passive objects on orbit more efficiently. The system dynamics arising from the unilateral constraints and the on-off thrusting are discussed. The manipulation concept is illustrated using a simplified one-dimensional model. A novel controller based on backstepping and Lyapunov stability is presented and its performance, stability and robustness are discussed. The performance of this system is compared to that of a standard using on-off thrusters only, and is shown to use less fuel.

Published in:

Robotics and Automation (ICRA), 2010 IEEE International Conference on

Date of Conference:

3-7 May 2010