Facility for validating technologies for the autonomous space rendezvous and docking to uncooperative targets

Facility for validating technologies for the autonomous space rendezvous and docking to uncooperative targets

M. Sabatini, G.B. Palmerini, P. Gasbarri, F. Angeletti

download PDF

Abstract. We present the latest advancements in the air-bearing facility installed at La Sapienza’s GN Lab in the School of Aerospace Engineering. This facility has been utilized in recent times to validate robust control laws for simultaneous attitude control and vibration active damping. The instrumentation and testbed have been restructured and enhanced to enable simulations of close proximity operations. Relative pose determination, accomplished through visual navigation as either an auxiliary or standalone system, is the first building block. Leveraging the acquired knowledge, optimal guidance and control algorithms can be tested for contactless operations (e.g. on-orbit inspection), as well as berthing and docking tasks.

Autonomous Proximity Operations, Relative Navigation, Free-Floating Platforms

Published online 11/1/2023, 7 pages
Copyright © 2023 by the author(s)
Published under license by Materials Research Forum LLC., Millersville PA, USA

Citation: M. Sabatini, G.B. Palmerini, P. Gasbarri, F. Angeletti, Facility for validating technologies for the autonomous space rendezvous and docking to uncooperative targets, Materials Research Proceedings, Vol. 37, pp 458-464, 2023

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21741/9781644902813-101

The article was published as article 101 of the book Aeronautics and Astronautics

Content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI.

[1] C. Bonnal, J.-M. Ruault, M.-C. Desjean, “Active debris removal: Recent progress and current trends” Acta Astronautica 85 (2013) pp. 51–60. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actaastro.2012.11.009
[2] G. Gaias and J.-S. Ardaens, “Flight Demonstration of Autonomous Noncooperative Rendezvous in Low Earth Orbit”, Journal Of Guidance, Control, And Dynamics Vol. 41, No. 6, June 2018. https://doi.org/10.2514/1.G003239
[3] J. Forshaw, S. Iizuka, C. Blackerby, and N. Okada, ” ELSA-d – A novel end-of-life debris removal mission: mission overview, CONOPS, and launch preparations”, First Int’l. Orbital Debris Conf. (2019)
[4] R. Zappulla II, H. Park, J. Virgili-Llop and M. Romano, “Experiments on Autonomous Spacecraft Rendezvous and Docking Using an Adaptive Artificial Potential Field Approach”, AAS 16-459
[5] Z. Wei, H. Wen, H. Hu, D. Jin, “Ground experiment on rendezvous and docking with aspinning target using multistage control strategy” Aerospace Science and Technology 104 (2020) 105967. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ast.2020.105967
[6] T. Mahendrakar et al., “Autonomous Rendezvous with Non-Cooperative Target Objects with Swarm Chasers And Observers”, AAS 23-423
[7] R. Opromolla, G.Fasano, G. Rufino, M. Grassi, “A review of cooperative and uncooperative spacecraft pose determination techniques for close-proximity operations”, Progress in Aerospace Sciences 93 (2017) 53–72. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paerosci.2017.07.001
[8] M. Sabatini, M. Farnocchia, G. Palmerini, “Design and Tests of a Frictionless 2D Platform for Studying Space Navigation and Control Subsystems”, paper7.1406, IEEE Aerospace Conference 2012, BigSky, Montana, USA. https://doi.org/10.1109/AERO.2012.6187259
[9] M. Sabatini, G. B. Palmerini, P. Gasbarri, “Synergetic approach in attitude control of very flexible satellites by means of thrusters and PZT devices”, Aerospace Science and Technology, Volume 96, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ast.2019.105541
[10] M. Sabatini, P. Gasbarri, G. B. Palmerini, Coordinated control of a space manipulator tested by means of an air bearing free floating platform, Acta Astronautica, Volume 139, October 2017, Pages 296-305. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actaastro.2017.07.015
[11] M. Sabatini, G. B. Palmerini, P. Gasbarri, “A Testbed For Visual Based Navigation And Control During Space Rendezvous Operations”, Acta Astronautica, Volume 117, 1 December 2015, Pages 184-196. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actaastro.2015.07.026
[12] A. Nocerino et al., “Experimental validation of inertia parameters and attitude estimation of uncooperative space targets using solid state LIDAR”, Article in press, ttps://doi.org/10.1016/j.actaastro.2023.02.010
[13] M. Sabatini, P. Gasbarri, G. B. Palmerini, “Design, realization and characterization of a free-floating platform for flexible satellite control experiments”, Acta Astronautica, 2023, in press. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actaastro.2023.05.007
[14] R. Volpe et al., “Testing and Validation of an Image-Based, Pose and Shape Reconstruction Algorithm for Didymos Mission”, Aerotec. Missili Spaz. 99, 17–32 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s42496-020-00034-6