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30 August 2004 Advancements in design of an autonomous satellite docking system
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Abstract
The past five years has witnessed a significant increase in the attention given to on-orbit satellite docking and servicing. Recent world events have proven how we have come to rely on our space assets, especially during times of crisis. It has become abundantly clear that the ability to autonomously rendezvous, dock, inspect and service both military and civilian assets is no longer a nicety, but a necessity. Reconnaissance and communications satellites, even the space shuttle and International Space Station, could benefit from this capability. Michigan Aerospace Corporation, with funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), has been refining a compact, light, compliant soft-docking system. Earlier prototypes have been tested on the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) flat-floor as well as on the Johnson Space Flight Center (JSC) KC-135 micro-gravity aircraft. Over the past year, refinements have been made to the mechanism based on the lessons learned from these tests. This paper discusses the optimal design that has resulted.
© (2004) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Anthony B. Hays, Peter Tchoryk Jr., Jane C. Pavlich, Greg A. Ritter, and Gregory J. Wassick "Advancements in design of an autonomous satellite docking system", Proc. SPIE 5419, Spacecraft Platforms and Infrastructure, (30 August 2004); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.537767
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