An Experimental Evaluation of Space Manipulator Dynamics
Akin, David L
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The dynamics of a system define the expected loads on the system and are critical for the design and evaluation of a control strategy. This thesis aims to experimentally validate the dynamics of a free-floating or free-flying spacecraft testbed with a manipulator using the theoretical model developed by Papadopoulos. A 2-DOF manipulator was added to an existing air-bearing vehicle to serve as a testbed. Papadopoulos' dynamics model was adapted for the testbed using the simplifications afforded by a planar system. The system's physical parameters were determined, some analytically and some experimentally. Three experiments were performed using different manipulator maneuvers, and the observed accelerations were compared to the model's predicted accelerations. The experimental data followed the general trends of the model prediction, but did not align in magnitude. The observed position motions were then compared to an integrated model using a simulated controller, yielding much better results.