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Preliminary GN&C Design for the On-Orbit Autonomous Assembly of Nanosatellite Demonstration MissionSmall spacecraft autonomous rendezvous and docking (ARD) is an essential technology for future space structure assembly missions. The On-orbit Autonomous Assembly of Nanosatellites (OAAN) team at NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC) intends to demonstrate the technology to autonomously dock two nanosatellites to form an integrated system. The team has developed a novel magnetic capture and latching mechanism that allows for docking of two CubeSats without precise sensors and actuators. The proposed magnetic docking hardware not only provides the means to latch the CubeSats, but it also significantly increases the likelihood of successful docking in the presence of relative attitude and position errors. The simplicity of the design allows it to be implemented on many CubeSat rendezvous missions. Prior to demonstrating the docking subsystem capabilities on orbit, the GN&C subsystem should have a robust design such that it is capable of bringing the CubeSats from an arbitrary initial separation distance of as many as a few thousand kilometers down to a few meters. The main OAAN Mission can be separated into the following phases: 1) Launch, checkout, and drift, 2) Far-Field Rendezvous or Drift Recovery, 3) Proximity Operations, 4) Docking. This paper discusses the preliminary GN&C design and simulation results for each phase of the mission.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Pei, Jing
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Walsh, Matt
(Cornell Univ. Ithaca, NY, United States)
Roithmayr, Carlos
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Karlgaard, Chris
(Analytical Mechanics Associates, Inc. Hampton, VA, United States)
Peck, Mason
(Cornell Univ. Ithaca, NY, United States)
Murchison, Luke
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Date Acquired
September 18, 2017
Publication Date
August 20, 2017
Subject Category
Spacecraft Design, Testing And Performance
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
AAS/AIAA Astrodynamics Specialist Conference(Stevenson, WA)
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 717848.04.07.01
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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