Space Robot Dynamics and Control: To Orbit, From Orbit, and Future
The Engineering Test Satellite VII (ETS-VII), launched by National Space Development Agency of Japan (NASDA) on November 1997, has been successfully flown and carried out a lot of interesting orbital robotics experiments with a 2 meter-long, 6 DOF manipulator arm mounted on this un-manned spacecraft. The ETS-VII should be noted as one of remarkable outcomes of research effort on space robots, particularly characterized as a orbital free-flying robot which concept was brought in early 80s. This paper provides overview and summarize the ideas around dynamics and control proposed for such a free-flying space robot and what has been recently tested and verified on ETS-VII. The ETS-VII flight mission is an important milestone, but not a goal. The goal will be robotic service to satellites in orbits, including an emerging number of communication satellites spreading out to the low-earth orbital networks or constellations. Which aspect of technology is now verified and which is left over for future satellite servicing are also discussed.
KeywordsFlight Data Space Robot Reaction Wheel Target Satellite Kinematic Calibration
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