5 August 2003 Dynamic simulation and validation of a satellite docking system
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Abstract
In recent years, Michigan Aerospace has approached the problem of gentle autonomous spacecraft rendezvous and docking using a flexible soft-dock cable that is extended from the docking spacecraft to the target spacecraft. Because of the nature of a soft-dock cable, testing and validation of the technology is difficult in normal gravity. To properly emulate the behavior of this soft-dock cable, we have performed dynamic computer simulations so that the effects of micro-gravity could be simulated. The Autonomous Satellite Docking System (ASDS) was initially prototyped and tested at Marshall Space Flight Center’s air-bearing floor facility. The test data was compared to the simulations and used to validate the model. Once a good correlation between the simulation’s predicted results and the actual data was shown, the model was used to predict future performance of the ASDS mechanism on several potential spacecraft for the Orbital Express program. A new dynamic simulation model was created and compared to test data from a recent KC-135 flight test to further validate the modeling approach used. This paper will describe the methodology used in modeling and simulating the ASDS mechanism. Correlation between the models and the test data will be discussed.
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Anthony B. Hays, Anthony B. Hays, Peter Tchoryk, Peter Tchoryk, Jane C. Pavlich, Jane C. Pavlich, Gregory Wassick, Gregory Wassick, } "Dynamic simulation and validation of a satellite docking system", Proc. SPIE 5088, Space Systems Technology and Operations, (5 August 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.497150; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.497150
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