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SPHERES Tethered Formation Flight Testbed: Advancements in Enabling NASA’s SPECS Mission

Chung, Soon-Jo and Adams, Danielle and Saenz-Otero, Alvar and Kong, Edmund M. and Miller, David W. and Leisawitz, David and Lorenzini, Enrico and Sell, Steve (2006) SPHERES Tethered Formation Flight Testbed: Advancements in Enabling NASA’s SPECS Mission. In: Advances in Stellar Interferometry. Proceedings of SPIE. No.6268. Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE) , Bellingham, WA, Art. No. 62680B. ISBN 0-8194-6333-7.

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This paper reports on efforts to control a tethered formation flight spacecraft array for NASA's SPECS mission using the SPHERES test-bed developed by the MIT Space Systems Laboratory. Specifically, advances in methodology and experimental results realized since the 2005 SPIE paper are emphasized. These include a new test-bed setup with a reaction wheel assembly, a novel relative attitude measurement system using force torque sensors, and modeling of non-ideal tethers to account for tether vibration modes. The nonlinear equations of motion of multi-vehicle tethered spacecraft with elastic flexible tethers are derived from Lagrange's equations. The controllability analysis indicates that both array resizing and spin-up are fully controllable by the reaction wheels and the tether motor, thereby saving thruster fuel consumption. Based upon this analysis, linear and nonlinear controllers have been successfully implemented on the tethered SPHERES testbed, and tested at the NASA MSFC's flat floor facility using two and three SPHERES configurations.

Item Type:Book Section
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URLURL TypeDescription
Chung, Soon-Jo0000-0002-6657-3907
Miller, David W.0000-0001-6099-0614
Additional Information:© 2006 International Society for Optical Engineering. The authors would like to gratefully acknowledge NASA for both financial and technical support for the MITSSL and PSI SPHERES Tether program. This work has been sponsored under NASA Phase II SBIR contract (Contract No.: NNG05CA09C).
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Subject Keywords:Stellar interferometer, space tether, formation flight
Series Name:Proceedings of SPIE
Issue or Number:6268
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20161122-120253690
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Official Citation:Soon-Jo Chung ; Danielle Adams ; Alvar Saenz-Otero ; Edmund Kong ; David W. Miller ; David Leisawitz ; Enrico Lorenzini ; Steve Sell; SPHERES tethered formation flight testbed: advancements in enabling NASA's SPECS mission. Proc. SPIE 6268, Advances in Stellar Interferometry, 62680B (June 27, 2006); doi:10.1117/12.670489.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:72246
Deposited By: Ruth Sustaita
Deposited On:22 Nov 2016 22:25
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 16:15

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