A Review of Robotics Technologies for On-Orbit Services
AIR FORCE RESEARCH LAB KIRTLAND AFB NM SPACE VEHICLES DIRECTORATE
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Space robotics has been considered one of the most promising approaches for on-orbit services OOS such as docking, berthing, refueling, repairing, upgrading, transporting, rescuing, and orbit cleanup. Many enabling techniques have been developed recently and several technology demonstration missions have been completed. Several manned servicing missions were also successfully accomplished but unmanned real servicing missions have not been done yet. All of the accomplished unmanned technology demonstration missions were designed to service perfectly known and cooperative targets only. Servicing a non-cooperative satellite in orbit by a robotic system is still an untested mission facing many technical challenges. One of the largest challenges would be how to ensure the servicing spacecraft and the robot to safely and reliably dock with or capture the target satellite and stabilizing it for subsequent servicing, especially if the serviced target is unknown regarding its motion and kinematicsdynamics properties. Obviously, further research and development of the enabling technologies are needed. To facilitate such further research and development, this paper provides a literature review of the recently developed technologies related to the kinematics, dynamics, control and verification of space robotic systems for manned and unmanned on-orbit servicing missions.