An investigation of satellite maneuvering and orientation strategies using an air bearing table

Kuhn, Eckhardt (2005-12)

Thesis (MScEng (Electrical and Electronic Engineering))--University of Stellenbosch, 2005.


In this thesis, the maneuvering and orientation of an inspection/service satellite is investigated. This thesis will demonstrate a simplified satellite maneuver around another satellite (for docking purposes). This is illustrated with a cart on an air bearing table (frictionless environment) which simplifies the problem to two dimensions. A mathematical model of the system was designed and simulated (Matlab) for this maneuver. With the simulation, different strategies were considered to maneuver the cart in a circle around another object. The conclusion was made that approximating the circle with segments would conserve propellant. This strategy was implemented on the air bearing table.

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