Architecture and First Achievements of a Simulation for the Approach of an Uncooperative Target

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S. Peters et al. (2017), JBIS, 70, pp.134-142

Refcode: 2017.70.134
Keywords: Uncooperative target, simulation, approach

With space debris becoming more and more a concern for satellite operators, efforts need to be initiated to sustain a safe space environment and stop the permanent increase of debris. One of many is the active removal of large objects - 5 to 15 per year. The present paper introduces a concept based on a kit-chaser system: A chaser satellite will attach kits to multiple targets. The kit-target set-up will de-orbit controlled, while the chaser proceeds with capturing targets to equip them with a kit. For testing purposes, a simulation is derived for this concept. The paper presents the multiple modules the simulation is built on. The approach starts at a distance of about 11 m in close vicinity. The method of capture is a robotic arm. Future developments can focus on various modules to be added and/or existing ones to be adjusted to further requirements or specifications. The implementation of self-awareness for the chaser to react to unexpected situations or failures without the need for a signal from the ground-station.

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