Closed-loop control and release mechanism development for microgravity free flyer

Jake Reher, Joan Yule, Eric Fritz, Max Wheeler, Carl A. Nelson, Larry K. Dungan

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

As human exploration into our solar system expands, the necessity for robotic assistance increases. A free-flying robotic apparatus would be beneficial for space exploration missions to aid humans in small programmed tasks as well as remote planetary or asteroid exploration. The design of these drones would need to account for the fact that much of their time would be spent in a microgravity environment. As this complicates the design, a method for simulating exposure to microgravity was developed by NASA Johnson Space Center: the Active Response Gravity Offload System (ARGOS). ARGOS has been confirmed as accurate for gravity compensation of large payloads, but its reliability is less certain for small-scale loads. To test the accuracy of ARGOS on small-scale devices, a free-flying octocopter was developed and flown both on ARGOS and in a reduced-gravity aircraft to compare the reduced gravity effects. This testing helped identify the need for an improved control system and a release mechanism to provide consistent initial conditions, which were subsequently added to the system. This paper describes the robotic flyer design, control, and release mechanism, along with results of reduced-gravity testing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication38th Mechanisms and Robotics Conference
PublisherAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
ISBN (Electronic)9780791846377
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014
EventASME 2014 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, IDETC/CIE 2014 - Buffalo, United States
Duration: Aug 17 2014Aug 20 2014

Publication series

NameProceedings of the ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference
Volume5B

Other

OtherASME 2014 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, IDETC/CIE 2014
CountryUnited States
CityBuffalo
Period8/17/148/20/14

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design

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  • Cite this

    Reher, J., Yule, J., Fritz, E., Wheeler, M., Nelson, C. A., & Dungan, L. K. (2014). Closed-loop control and release mechanism development for microgravity free flyer. In 38th Mechanisms and Robotics Conference (Proceedings of the ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference; Vol. 5B). American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). https://doi.org/10.1115/DETC201435286