Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Gravity and the robot satellite attitude problem

Date:
November 4, 2013
Source:
Inderscience Publishers
Summary:
Using an in-orbit robot to capturing a malfunctioning satellite that is tumbling out of control is currently just a theoretical idea. However, research inspired by nature could take us a small step towards making such science fiction science fact.

Using an in-orbit robot to capturing a malfunctioning satellite that is tumbling out of control is currently just a theoretical idea. However, research inspired by nature to be published in the forthcoming issue of International Journal of Mechanisms and Robotic Systems, could take us a small step towards making such science fiction science fact.

Angel Flores-Abad and Ou Ma of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, at New Mexico State University, in Las Cruces, explain that capturing a non-cooperative tumbling object in space, such as malfunctioning satellite for repairing, refueling or towing, is increasingly of interest to space agencies. Unfortunately, the nature of orbital motion and the effects of gravity obeying Newton's Laws of Motion mean that a robot attempting to reach and grab such a tumbling object will succumb to changes in its own inertia that could either damage the equipment or result in the servicing vehicle itself which is the base of the space robot going out of control.

To find a solution to this problem, the team has turned to the way animals, including humans, naturally plot an approach trajectory based on the visual observation of the moving object -- usually prey -- and capture it. Their mathematical analysis offers a naturalistic way for a robot arm to reach and capture a tumbling satellite where impact forces between the two are minimal so that neither the stability of the servicing craft is disrupted nor the robot hand damaged by the impact. The analysis also allows the connection between the robot hand and the captured object to occur in such a way that the resulting net contact force passes right through or as close as possible to the center of mass of the servicing vehicle and the robot combined system..

The team has studied their newly proposed technology using computer simulations. They simulated a rescue mission and demonstrated how capture can occur with zero relative velocity between the robot hand and tumbling satellite with a minimal contact force. They are developing a robotics test bed to experimentally investigate the new technology. Once the technology is tested in the lab with simulated space conditions, it can be proposed for demonstration in a real space mission.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Inderscience Publishers. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Angel Flores-Abad and Ou Ma. Bio-inspired approach for a space manipulator to capture a tumbling object with minimal impact force. Int. J. Mechanisms and Robotic Systems, 2013, 1, 331-348

Cite This Page:

Inderscience Publishers. "Gravity and the robot satellite attitude problem." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131104112641.htm>.
Inderscience Publishers. (2013, November 4). Gravity and the robot satellite attitude problem. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131104112641.htm
Inderscience Publishers. "Gravity and the robot satellite attitude problem." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131104112641.htm (accessed September 1, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Monday, September 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Australian Airlines Relax Phone Ban Too

Australian Airlines Relax Phone Ban Too

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 26, 2014) Qantas and Virgin say passengers can use their smartphones and tablets throughout flights after a regulator relaxed a ban on electronic devices during take-off and landing. As Hayley Platt reports the move comes as the two domestic rivals are expected to post annual net losses later this week. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hurricane Marie Brings Big Waves to California Coast

Hurricane Marie Brings Big Waves to California Coast

Reuters - US Online Video (Aug. 26, 2014) Huge waves generated by Hurricane Marie hit the Southern California coast. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chinese Researchers Might Be Creating Supersonic Submarine

Chinese Researchers Might Be Creating Supersonic Submarine

Newsy (Aug. 26, 2014) Chinese researchers have expanded on Cold War-era tech and are closer to building a submarine that could reach the speed of sound. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakingviews: India Coal Strained by Supreme Court Ruling

Breakingviews: India Coal Strained by Supreme Court Ruling

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 26, 2014) An acute coal shortage is likely to be aggravated as India's supreme court declared government coal allocations illegal, says Breakingviews' Peter Thal Larsen. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins