Designing, Modeling and Testing of the Flexible Space Probe-Cone Docking and Refueling Mechanism

  • Longfei HuangEmail author
  • Zhi Li
  • Jianbin Huang
  • Wenlong Wang
  • Wen Li
  • Bo Meng
  • Yujia Pang
  • Xu Han
  • Zhimin Zhang
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 11743)


According to the requirements of docking and refueling satellites for deep space exploration, the paper presents a docking and refueling mechanism under a weak impact rendezvous and docking conditions. The flexible rod is adopted in the design of the mechanism to achieve the soft connection, while the rigid peripheral rod implements the correction and the rigid locking. The damping device of the mechanism absorbs the colliding energy. Moreover, it adopts the floating gas-liquid coupling interface and the electrical interface to further realize the high-precision gas/liquid/circuit connection. The multi-body dynamics model of satellites is established by using Lagrange analytical mechanics, and the deformation of flexible components during the collision process is described by using modal superposition method, then flexible docking and refueling dynamics model of satellites is established. The multi-condition dynamic simulation test shows that the mechanism can achieve reliable docking and refueling within the range of weak impact speed of 0.25 m/s, lateral docking tolerance of 20 mm and angle tolerance of ±5°. The prototype of docking and refueling mechanism was developed and experiment was performed, and the docking performance and circuit connection test was performed in the linear motion platform, also the interface sealing and propellant transmission test was performed in dedicated refueling system. The test results show that the mechanism can achieve the desired function and performance.


Docking and refueling mechanism Flexible space probe-cone Dynamical model Weak impact docking 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Qian Xuesen Laboratory of Space TechnologyBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Beijing Institute of Spacecraft System EngineeringBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Beijing Institute of Control EngineeringBeijingPeople’s Republic of China

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