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Control of a Thrust Alignment Table for Modeling the Coning Dynamics of a Spinning Spacecraft with a Follower ForceThis document presents a system controlling the motion of a spherical air bearing used in the modeling of spacecraft dynamics and controls in a laboratory environment. The system is part of the Spinning Rocket Simulator (SRS), used to simulate the coning of spacecraft during a thrusting stage. The reaction force at the spherical air bearing supporting the spacecraft model must coincide with the thrust axis of the model for proper simulation. Therefore, the bearing is translated in a circular path to introduce a centrifugal force. This horizontal force along with the gravitational reaction force at the bearing combines to simulate the direction of the spacecraft's thrust force. The control system receives attitude information from the spacecraft model via a laser beam embedded in the model that impinges on a photosensitive array. The non-linear system is controlled using high-speed lookup tables and digital techniques. A vector-controlled motor and a stepper motor are given the necessary signals to accurately control the turntable and platform supporting the air bearing. Preliminary performance data is presented. Mechanical elements of the table and platform are described in detail. A wireless (RF) data path for all devices on the spacecraft model to an off-table command computer is also described.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Goddard Space Flight Center
Document Type
Conference Paper
Halsmer, Dominic
(Oral Roberts Univ. Tulsa, OK United States)
Bennett, J. Damon
(Oral Roberts Univ. Tulsa, OK United States)
DeHaven, Max
(Oral Roberts Univ. Tulsa, OK United States)
Ligard, Vidar
(Oral Roberts Univ. Tulsa, OK United States)
Date Acquired
August 19, 2013
Publication Date
May 1, 1999
Publication Information
Publication: 1999 Flight Mechanics Symposium
Subject Category
Spacecraft Design, Testing And Performance
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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