The ESS (Experimental Servicing Satellite) – Study and Lab Demonstrator
The manipulator of ESS, equipped with a capturing tool, must follow the residual movements of a selected object on the target (e.g. the main thruster) by means of an image processing system whose data are passed through an extended Kalman filtering process.
To simulate the dynamic behavior of the chaser during robot motions, we have arranged two KUKA robots as shown below. Robot B is used to carry out the capturing task, Robot A emulates the entire dynamic relation between the chaser and the target satellite, where the dynamic coupling with the AOCS is included.
After capturing the target satellite, the ensemble is stabilised and reoriented. To free the manipulator for servicing activities and to provide a stiff mechanical coupling, the target satellite is grasped by means of a docking mechanism.