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On-Orbit Manoeuvring Using Superquadric Potential Fields

Badawy, Ahmed (2007) On-Orbit Manoeuvring Using Superquadric Potential Fields. PhD thesis, University Of Strathclyde.

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Abstract

On-orbit manoeuvring represents an essential process in many space missions such as orbital assembly, servicing and reconfiguration. A new methodology, based on the potential field method along with superquadric repulsive potentials, is discussed in this thesis. The methodology allows motion in a cluttered environment by combining translation and rotation in order to avoid collisions. This combination reduces the manoeuvring cost and duration, while allowing collision avoidance through combinations of rotation and translation. Different attractive potential fields are discussed: parabolic, conic, and a new hyperbolic potential. The superquadric model is used to represent the repulsive potential with several enhancements. These enhancements are: accuracy of separation distance estimation, modifying the model to be suitable for moving obstacles, and adding the effect of obstacle rotation through quaternions. Adding dynamic parameters such as object translational velocity and angular velocity to the potential field can lead to unbounded actuator control force. This problem is overcome in this thesis through combining parabolic and conic functions to form an attractive potential or through using a hyperbolic function. The global stability and convergence of the solution is guaranteed through the appropriate choice of the control laws based on Lyapunov's theorem. Several on-orbit manoeuvring problems are then conducted such as on-orbit assembly using impulsive and continuous strategies, structure disassembly and reconfiguration and free-flyer manoeuvring near a space station. Such examples demonstrate the accuracy and robustness of the method for on-orbit motion planning.