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Trajectory Optimization and Following for a Three Degrees of Freedom Overactuated Floating Platform

Anton Bredenbeck; Shubham Vyas; Martin Zwick; Dorit Borrmann; Miguel A. Olivares-Mendez; Andreas Nuechter
In: IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) 2022. IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS-2022), October 23-27, Kyoto, Japan, IEEE, 11/2022.


Space robotics applications, such as Active Space Debris Removal (ASDR), require representative testing before launch. A commonly used approach to emulate the microgravity environment in space is air-bearing based platforms on flat- floors, such as the European Space Agency’s Orbital Robotics and GNC Lab (ORGL). This work proposes a control architecture for a floating platform at the ORGL, equipped with eight solenoid-valve-based thrusters and one reaction wheel. The control architecture consists of two main components: a trajectory planner that finds optimal trajectories connecting two states and a trajectory follower that follows any physically feasible trajectory. The controller is first evaluated within an introduced simulation, achieving a 100% success rate at finding and following trajectories to the origin within a Monte-Carlo test. Individual trajectories are also successfully followed by the physical system. In this work, we showcase the ability of the controller to reject disturbances and follow a straight-line trajectory within tens of centimeters.