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Future Rendezvous and Docking Missions enabled by low-cost but safety compliant Guidance Navigation and Control (GNC) architectures

Eckersley, Steve, Saunders, Chris, Lobb, Dan, Johnston, Gavin, Baud, Tim, Sweeting, Martin, Underwood, Craig, Bridges, Christopher and Chen, Runqi (2017) Future Rendezvous and Docking Missions enabled by low-cost but safety compliant Guidance Navigation and Control (GNC) architectures In: The 15th Reinventing Space Conference, 24-26 October 2017, Glasgow, Scotland, 24-26 Oct 2017, Strathclyde University Technology & Innovation Centre, Glasgow, Scotland.

Future Rendezvous and Docking Missions enabled by low-cost but safety compliant Guidance Navigation and Control (GNC) architectures.pdf - Accepted version Manuscript

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Proximity flight systems for rendezvous-and-docking, are traditionally the domain of large, costly institutional manned missions, which require extremely robust and expensive Guidance Navigation and Control (GNC) solutions. By developing a low-cost and safety compliant GNC architecture and design methodology, low cost GNC solutions needed for future missions with proximity flight phases will have reduced development risk, and more rapid development schedules. This will enable a plethora of on-orbit services to be realised using low cost satellite technologies, and lower the cost of the services to a point where they can be offered to commercial as well as institutional entities and thereby dramatically grow the market for on-orbit construction, in-orbit servicing and active debris removal. It will enable organisations such as SSTL to compete in an area previously exclusive to large institutional players. The AAReST mission (to be launched in 2018), will demonstrate some key aspects of low cost close proximity “co-operative” rendezvous and docking (along with reconfiguration/control of multiple mirror elements) for future modular telescopes. However this is only a very small scale academic mission demonstration using cubesat technology, and is limited to very close range demonstrations. This UK National Space Technology Programme (NSTP-2) project, which is being carried out by SSTL and SSC, is due to be completed by the end of November 2017 and is co-funded by the UK Space Agency and company R&D. It is aiming to build on the AAReST ("Autonomous Assembly of a Reconfigurable Space Telescope") mission (where appropriate), and industrialise existing research, which will culminate in a representative model that can be used to develop low-cost GNC solutions for many different mission applications that involve proximity activities, such as formation flying, and rendezvous and docking. The main objectives and scope of this project are the following:  Definition of a reference mission design (based on a scenario that SSTL considers credible as a realistic scenario) and mission/system GNC requirements.  Develop a GNC architectural design for low cost missions applications that involve close proximity formation flying, rendezvous and docking (RDV&D) - i.e. “proximity activities”  Develop a low cost sensor suite suitable for use on proximity missions  Consider possible regulatory constraints that may apply to the mission The SSTL/SSC reference mission concept is a “co-operative” two-spacecraft rendezvous and docking mission demonstrator using microsatellites (an active Chaser and a passive Target), however the GNC model is generic and can be utilized for other “non-co-operative” rendezvous and docking missions. This paper presents the latest results from the study, particularly the mission analysis, GNC simulation and modelling, sensors, and key mission and spacecraft systems aspects. The results so far show that such a GNC model and mission demonstrator is feasible, and in line with anticipated UK regulatory constraints that may apply to the mission.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Conference Paper)
Divisions : Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences > Electronic Engineering
Authors :
Eckersley, Steve
Saunders, Chris
Lobb, Dan
Johnston, Gavin
Baud, Tim
Chen, Runqi
Date : 27 September 2017
Copyright Disclaimer : © 2017 The authors
Uncontrolled Keywords : Rendezvous and Docking; GNC; Mission Analysis
Related URLs :
Additional Information : Paper no. BIS-RS-2017-01
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 14 Nov 2017 15:56
Last Modified : 16 Jan 2019 19:04

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