Trajectory generation method for robotic free-ﬂoating capture of a non-cooperative, tumbling target
In Stardust Final Conference: Advances in Asteroids and Space Debris Engineering and Science, 31.10.-03.11.2016, Noordwijk, Springer International Publishing AG, series Astrophysics and Space Science Proceedings Series, volume 52, Feb/2018. ISBN: 978-3-319-69955-4.
The paper illustrates a trajectory generation method for a free-floating
robot to capture a non-cooperative, tumbling target. The goal of the method is to
generate an optimal trajectory for the manipulator to approach a non-cooperative
target while minimizing the overall angular momentum of the entire system (chaser
plus target). The method is formulated as an optimal control problem (OCP) and
solved via an orthogonal collocation method that transforms the OCP into a nonlinear
programming problem (NLP). This way the dynamical coupling between the
base and manipulator is actively used to reach the optimum capturing conditions.
No synchronization of the relative motion between the target and chaser is necessary
prior to the maneuver. Therefore, there is an inherent propellant advantage of
the method when compared with the standard ones. The method is applied in 2D
simulation using representative targets, such as a Vega 3rd stage rocket body, in a
flat spin. The results of simulations prove that the developed method could to be a
viable alternative or a complement to existing free-flying methods, within the mechanical
limitations of the considered space manipulator. The study of the capture
and stabilization phases was outside the scope of the present paper and represents
future work that needs to be performed to analyze the operational applicability of
the developed method.
Space debris, active debris removal, space robotics, free-floating trajectory generation, capture of non-cooperative target, optimal control, nonlinear programming.