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Robotic Spacecraft Hopping: Application And Analysis

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Naval Postgraduate School Monterey United States

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This thesis will explore the hopping mobility approach for robotic vehicles used in Intra-Vehicular Activities IVA as an alternative mobility in space for small spacecraft equipped with robotic manipulators. A hopping maneuver uses the robotic manipulator to hop between two locations inside the host spacecraft. The maneuver is defined as three distinct phases push, free-flying coast, and soft landing. Maneuvers such as hopping will be used to quickly move from one part of the host spacecraft to another, with little to no fuel consumption compared to zero-g climbing and propulsive free-flying. This thesis answers the question, Is there an ideal mobility for use in space that uses zero propellant The concept of an IVA hopping maneuver was explored, analyzed and experimentally demonstrated in simulation. Simulation results of such a maneuver validate hopping as a mobility approach in space. Future work includes ground testing of the hopping maneuver and implementation onboard the International Space Station to demonstrate an on orbithopping maneuver.

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Approved For Public Release;

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