Vision based closed-loop control system for satellite rendezvous with model-in-the-loop validation and testing
du~Bois, J. L.
Thomas, Peter R.
Richardson, T. S.
A relative motion robotic facility has been developed at the University of Bristol which allows model in the loop testing of Matlab and Simulink based models. Automated rendezvous is highly desirable for space debris collection and satellite on-orbit servicing missions, both of which could require rendezvous with a tumbling object or satellite. For the purposes of this paper, a simple 6 DoF closed loop satellite model was run in real-time with a 1.3m scale satellite model mounted on one robot, tracked from the second. Successful closed loop tracking and rendezvous are demonstrated for selected configurations, using a single real sensor and real-time vision tracking software. Key details of the RMR robotic facility are also given, in particular with reference to the real-time interface implementation.