METHODOLOGY FOR EVALUATING AND VALIDATING MECHANICAL RENDEZVOUS SUBSYSTEMS.
LOCKHEED-CALIFORNIA CO BURBANK
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A methodology for evaluating and validating orbital attachment, docking and latching mechanisms was determined. Primary emphasis was placed on validation facilities for systems capable of handling uncooperative, spinning, and nutating targets. Present state-of-the-art has been investigated and additional docking concepts, providing specifically for the above type of target, were developed. Analytical and physical validation methods are developed and proposed. These include ground tests in which g forces are balanced or canceled by various computer and load sensing devices with controlling sevo systems, and by flight tests under zero-g conditions. Various physical test methods for evaluating, progressively, components, mechanisms, and finally the complete docking system including the operator were established. Author