We investigate the conceptual design and in-orbit assembly mission planning problem of a large space telescope (LST). The segmented mirror design has been proposed, and the robotic assembly concept considering the manipulator work space coverage is developed. To reduce the in-orbit assembly period and protect the fragile mirror structure, the assembly paths of the robots are optimized by several new algorithms. First, a mapping between the assembly path and the assembled piece number is established to rapidly generate the candidate solution to the optimization problem. Second, the two-level hybrid optimization framework that combines the ant-colony-inspired algorithm and the genetic algorithm is proposed. The hybrid optimization method is designed to be able to converge rapidly to a solution that is close to the global optimal point. The proposed models and algorithms are verified by simulation, and the results show that the methods developed can dramatically increase the in-orbit assembly mission efficiency of an LST.
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