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Article
Publication date: 23 January 2019

Huang Jianbin, Li Zhi, Huang Longfei, Meng Bo, Han Xu and Pang Yujia

According to the requirements of servicing and deorbiting the failure satellites, especially the tumbling ones on geosynchronous orbit, this paper aims to design a docking…

Abstract

Purpose

According to the requirements of servicing and deorbiting the failure satellites, especially the tumbling ones on geosynchronous orbit, this paper aims to design a docking mechanism to capture these tumbling satellites in orbit, to analyze the dynamics of the docking system and to develop a new collision force-limited control method in various docking speeds.

Design/methodology/approach

The mechanism includes a cone-rod mechanism which captures the apogee engine with a full consideration of despinning and damping characteristics and a locking and releasing mechanism which rigidly connects the international standard interface ring (Marman rings, such as 937B, 1194 and 1194A mechanical interface). The docking mechanism was designed under-actuated, aimed to greatly reduce the difficulty of control and ensure the continuity, synchronization and force uniformity under the process of repeatedly capturing, despinning, locking and releasing the tumbling satellite. The dynamic model of docking mechanism was established, and the impact force was analyzed in the docking process. Furthermore, a collision detection and compliance control method is proposed by using the active force-limited Cartesian impedance control and passive damping mechanism design.

Findings

A variety of conditions were set for the docking kinematics and dynamics simulation. The simulation and low-speed docking experiment results showed that the force translation in the docking phase was stable, the mechanism design scheme was reasonable and feasible and the proposed force-limited Cartesian impedance control could detect the collision and keep the external force within the desired value.

Originality/value

The paper presents a universal docking mechanism and force-limited Cartesian impedance control approach to capture the tumbling non-cooperative satellite. The docking mechanism was designed under-actuated to greatly reduce the difficulty of control and ensure the continuity, synchronization and force uniformity. The dynamic model of docking mechanism was established. The impact force was controlled within desired value by using a combination of active force-limited control approach and passive damping mechanism.

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Article
Publication date: 19 October 2018

Karol Seweryn and Jurek Z. Sasiadek

This paper aims to present a novel method for identification and classification of rotational motion for uncontrolled satellites. These processes are shown in context of…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present a novel method for identification and classification of rotational motion for uncontrolled satellites. These processes are shown in context of close proximity orbital operations. In particular, it includes a manipulator arm mounted on chaser satellite and used to capture target satellites. In such situations, a precise extrapolation of the target’s docking port position is needed to determine the manipulator arm motion. The outcome of this analysis might be used in future debris removal or servicing space missions.

Design/methodology/approach

Nonlinear, and in some special cases, chaotic nature of satellite rotational motion was considered. Four parameters were defined: range of motion toward docking port, dominant frequencies, fractal dimension of the motion and its time dependencies.

Findings

The qualitative analysis was performed for presented cases of spacecraft rotational motion and for each case the respective parameters were calculated. The analysis shows that it is possible to detect the type of rotational motion.

Originality/value

A novel procedure allowing to estimate the type of satellite rotational motion based on fractal approach was proposed.

Details

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, vol. 91 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1748-8842

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 15 May 2017

Zhenyu Li, Bin Wang, Haitao Yang and Hong Liu

Rapid satellite capture by a free-floating space robot is a challenge problem because of no-fixed base and time-delay issues. This paper aims to present a modified target…

Abstract

Purpose

Rapid satellite capture by a free-floating space robot is a challenge problem because of no-fixed base and time-delay issues. This paper aims to present a modified target capturing control scheme for improving the control performance.

Design/methodology/approach

For handling such control problem including time delay, the modified scheme is achieved by adding a delay calibration algorithm into the visual servoing loop. To identify end-effector motions in real time, a motion predictor is developed by partly linearizing the space robot kinematics equation. By this approach, only ground-fixed robot kinematics are involved in the predicting computation excluding the complex space robot kinematics calculations. With the newly developed predictor, a delay compensator is designed to take error control into account. For determining the compensation parameters, the asymptotic stability condition of the proposed compensation algorithm is also presented.

Findings

The proposed method is conducted by a credible three-dimensional ground experimental system, and the experimental results illustrate the effectiveness of the proposed method.

Practical implications

Because the delayed camera signals are compensated with only ground-fixed robot kinematics, this proposed satellite capturing scheme is particularly suitable for commercial on-orbit services with cheaper on-board computers.

Originality/value

This paper is original as an attempt trying to compensate the time delay by taking both space robot motion predictions and compensation error control into consideration and is valuable for rapid and accurate satellite capture tasks.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 44 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 1959

G.V.E. Thompson

The present stage of development of vehicles for space exploration corresponds to some degree to that of the aeroplane in 1905. The programme of the U.S. National…

Abstract

The present stage of development of vehicles for space exploration corresponds to some degree to that of the aeroplane in 1905. The programme of the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration in the fields of space science research, applications of Earth satellites, manned exploration of space, and vehicle development are reviewed. International co‐operation in space exploration is desirable, particularly as regards exchange of information, exchanges of scientists, co‐ordination of national programmes, and institution of co‐operative programmes.

Details

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, vol. 31 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0002-2667

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1961

The Boeing Aero‐Space Research Division, Seattle, 24, Washington, U.S.A., has recently developed an extremely accurate resonant cavity X‐band dielectrometer for measuring…

Abstract

The Boeing Aero‐Space Research Division, Seattle, 24, Washington, U.S.A., has recently developed an extremely accurate resonant cavity X‐band dielectrometer for measuring the electrical behaviour of radomes and antennae covering materials at temperatures up to 2,700 deg. F. This new device, a third‐generation version of two earlier similar instruments, measures dielectric constant to within 1 per cent, and can also measure loss tangent. Temperature limits for continuous exposure of most current refractory dielectrics without serious electrical degradation are generally in the neighbourhood of 1,500 deg. F.

Details

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, vol. 33 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0002-2667

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Article
Publication date: 4 January 2016

Yue Zhang, Cheng Wei, Dong Pan and Yang Zhao

– The purpose of this paper is to provide an accurate dynamic model for the flexible cable capture mechanism and to analyze the dynamic characteristics in the capturing process.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide an accurate dynamic model for the flexible cable capture mechanism and to analyze the dynamic characteristics in the capturing process.

Design/methodology/approach

The absolute nodal coordinate formulation (ANCF) that based on the continuum mechanics approach is applied in the capture task using flexible cables. An ANCF cable element in which axial and bending strain energy are taken into account is presented to model the flexible cables. The generalized coordinates of ANCF are absolute displacements and slopes and make no small deformation assumptions; therefore, this element has a remarkable superiority in the large rotation and deformation analysis of flexible cables compared to the conventional floating frame of reference formulation (FFRF). The mass matrix of the cable element is constant, which will reduce the degree of non-linearity of the dynamic equations. The contact force between the steel cables and capture rod is calculated by the non-linear contact dynamic model, in which material and geometry properties of contact bodies are considered.

Findings

The stress distribution of steel cables is investigated in the numerical studies which show that the closer to the ends of the cable, the larger axial forces and smaller bending moments they will be. The reduction of grasping velocity will lead to a decrease in the contact force and the oversize peak value of contact force is more likely to be avoided when reducing the elastic modulus of steel cables to obtain a greater soft capture capability.

Practical implications

The work shows a practical possibility to improve modeling accuracy of the capture mechanism. Results of the analyses can provide references for the design and analysis of the capture task.

Originality/value

The ANCF is first used in the analysis of the capture task with flexible cables, and some useful results which have not been published before are obtained.

Details

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology: An International Journal, vol. 88 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0002-2667

Keywords

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Expert briefing
Publication date: 29 April 2020

The Nur satellite was lifted by the two-stage Qased satellite launch vehicle (SLV) into orbit 425 kilometres from earth. This followed a second failed launch in February…

Details

DOI: 10.1108/OXAN-DB252251

ISSN: 2633-304X

Keywords

Geographic
Topical
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Article
Publication date: 12 June 2020

Amirreza Kosari, Alireza Sharifi, Alireza Ahmadi and Masoud Khoshsima

Attitude determination and control subsystem (ADCS) is a vital part of earth observation satellites (EO-Satellites) that governs the satellite’s rotational motion and…

Abstract

Purpose

Attitude determination and control subsystem (ADCS) is a vital part of earth observation satellites (EO-Satellites) that governs the satellite’s rotational motion and pointing. In designing such a complicated sub-system, many parameters including mission, system and performance requirements (PRs), as well as system design parameters (DPs), should be considered. Design cycles which prolong the time-duration and consequently increase the cost of the design process are due to the dependence of these parameters to each other. This paper aims to describe a rapid-sizing method based on the design for performance strategy, which could minimize the design cycles imposed by conventional methods.

Design/methodology/approach

The proposed technique is an adaptation from that used in the aircraft industries for aircraft design and provides a ball-park figure with little engineering man-hours. The authors have shown how such a design technique could be generalized to cover the EO-satellites platform ADCS. The authors divided the system requirements into five categories, including maneuverability, agility, accuracy, stability and durability. These requirements have been formulated as functions of spatial resolution that is the highest level of EO-missions PRs. To size, the ADCS main components, parametric characteristics of the matching diagram were determined by means of the design drivers.

Findings

Integrating the design boundaries based on the PRs in critical phases of the mission allowed selecting the best point in the design space as the baseline design with only two iterations. The ADCS of an operational agile EO-satellite is sized using the proposed method. The results show that the proposed method can significantly reduce the complexity and time duration of the performance sizing process of ADCS in EO-satellites with an acceptable level of accuracy.

Originality/value

Rapid performance sizing of EO-satellites ADCS using matching diagram technique and consequently, a drastic reduction in design time via minimization of design cycles makes this study novel and represents a valuable contribution in this field.

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Article
Publication date: 20 October 2014

Haitao Yang, Minghe Jin, Zongwu Xie, Kui Sun and Hong Liu

The purpose of this paper is to solve the ground verification and test method for space robot system capturing the target satellite based on visual servoing with…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to solve the ground verification and test method for space robot system capturing the target satellite based on visual servoing with time-delay in 3-dimensional space prior to space robot being launched.

Design/methodology/approach

To implement the approaching and capturing task, a motion planning method for visual servoing the space manipulator to capture a moving target is presented. This is mainly used to solve the time-delay problem of the visual servoing control system and the motion uncertainty of the target satellite. To verify and test the feasibility and reliability of the method in three-dimensional (3D) operating space, a set of ground hardware-in-the-loop simulation verification systems is developed, which adopts the end-tip kinematics equivalence and dynamics simulation method.

Findings

The results of the ground hardware-in-the-loop simulation experiment validate the reliability of the eye-in-hand visual system in the 3D operating space and prove the validity of the visual servoing motion planning method with time-delay compensation. At the same time, owing to the dynamics simulator of the space robot added in the ground hardware-in-the-loop verification system, the base disturbance can be considered during the approaching and capturing procedure, which makes the ground verification system realistic and credible.

Originality/value

The ground verification experiment system includes the real controller of space manipulator, the eye-in-hand camera and the dynamics simulator, which can veritably simulate the capturing process based on the visual servoing in space and consider the effect of time delay and the free-floating base disturbance.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 41 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2000

Zhaowei Sun, Yanping Cheng, Yunhai Geng and Xibin Cao

The HITSAT‐1 is the first small satellite developed by Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT) whose mission objective is to test several pivotal techniques. In the initial…

Abstract

The HITSAT‐1 is the first small satellite developed by Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT) whose mission objective is to test several pivotal techniques. In the initial orbit period, the satellite is likely to tumble as the result of separating from the rocket. How to capture it promptly with finite magnetic torque is an important problem. In this paper, considering the restrictive conditions of the magnetic field, the variable structure control theory is used to cope with the magnetic torque. Because of using the reaction wheels and magnetorquers as the control actuators, the combination control algorithm has been adopted in the initial orbit period. The results of the computer simulation indicated that the algorithm has excellent robustness and can be designed and realized easily.

Details

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, vol. 72 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0002-2667

Keywords

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