Session

Pre-Conference Workshop Session IV: Advanced Concepts II

Location

Utah State University, Logan, UT

Abstract

As small and nano-satellite operations become more complex and increase in functionality, the need to validate new concepts prior to deployment in a low-cost and time efficient manner has further increased. While computer simulations have traditionally provided acceptable results for guidance navigation and control (GNC) algorithms, more complex actions such as rendezvous and proximity operations and docking (RPOD) require alternative methods, which often require ground-based platforms. The concept of on-orbit autonomous docking of small satellites has grown in popularity due to its broad range of applications. However, most existing ground testing platforms (GTP) are expensive due to the technologies used and large physical space required. Due to the importance of RPOD to nano-satellites specifically, the development of a low-profile GTP is a crucial component in the testing and validation of small satellite concepts. The Space Engineering Research Center (SERC) at the University of Southern California (USC) has designed and manufactured a GTP capable of validating various unique nano-satellite operations in a cost-effective and space-efficient manner. This paper will focus on the design and architecture of a three degree of freedom (3DoF) near-frictionless testbed for ground validation of RPOD in a microgravity environment and its use with various small satellite applications.

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Aug 1st, 12:00 AM

Cellular Based Aggregated Satellite System: The Design and Architecture of a Three Degree of Freedom Near-Frictionless Testbed for Ground Validation of CubeSat Operations

Utah State University, Logan, UT

As small and nano-satellite operations become more complex and increase in functionality, the need to validate new concepts prior to deployment in a low-cost and time efficient manner has further increased. While computer simulations have traditionally provided acceptable results for guidance navigation and control (GNC) algorithms, more complex actions such as rendezvous and proximity operations and docking (RPOD) require alternative methods, which often require ground-based platforms. The concept of on-orbit autonomous docking of small satellites has grown in popularity due to its broad range of applications. However, most existing ground testing platforms (GTP) are expensive due to the technologies used and large physical space required. Due to the importance of RPOD to nano-satellites specifically, the development of a low-profile GTP is a crucial component in the testing and validation of small satellite concepts. The Space Engineering Research Center (SERC) at the University of Southern California (USC) has designed and manufactured a GTP capable of validating various unique nano-satellite operations in a cost-effective and space-efficient manner. This paper will focus on the design and architecture of a three degree of freedom (3DoF) near-frictionless testbed for ground validation of RPOD in a microgravity environment and its use with various small satellite applications.