Autonomous Path Planning for On-Orbit Servicing Vehicles

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C.R. McInnes (2001), JBIS, 53, 26-38

Refcode: 2001.53.26

On-orbit servicing has long been considered as a means of reducing mission costs. While automated on-orbit servicing of satellites in LEO and GEO has yet to be realised, the International Space Station (ISS) will require servicing in a number of forms for re-supply, external visual inspection and maintenance. This paper will discuss a unified approach to path planning for such servicing vehicles using artificial potential field methods. In particular, path constrained rendezvous and docking of the ESA Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV) at the ISS will be investigated as will mission and path planning tools for the Daimler-Chrysler Aerospace ISS Inspector free-flying camera. Future applications for free-flying microcameras and co-operative control between multiple free-flyers for on-orbit assembly will also be considered.

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