The recent increase in yearly spacecraft launches and the high number of planned launches have raised questions about maintaining accessibility to space for all interested parties. A key to sustaining the future of space-flight is the ability to service malfunctioning - and actively remove dysfunctional spacecraft from orbit. Robotic platforms that autonomously perform these tasks are a topic of ongoing research and thus must undergo thorough testing before launch. For representative system-level testing, the European Space Agency (ESA) uses, among other things, the Orbital Robotics and GNC Lab (ORGL), a flat-floor facility where air-bearing based platforms exhibit free-floating behavior in three Degrees of Freedom (DoF). This work introduces a representative simulation of a free-floating platform in the testing environment and a software framework for controller development. Finally, this work proposes a controller within that framework for finding and following optimal trajectories between arbitrary states, which is evaluated in simulation and reality.
|Title of host publication||16th Symposium on Advanced Space Technologies in Robotics and Automation|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jun 2022|