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Realtime interlinked software for distributed Non-latent N-DOF operations


OBJECTIVE: Create and link a nationally distributed network of very low cost space-simulated N-degree of freedom (DOF) test beds using a common open source set of real-time software. DESCRIPTION: The US has more independent multi-DOF test beds that support various robotic or free-flying demonstration spaces for space systems than anywhere in the world. However, they are each independent and geographically disparate, and each location develops its own methodology to simulate the space environment based on the numbers of degree of freedom"s the facility has at its disposal. The problem to solve is a common set of simulation software that is able to link each of these various N-DOF"s together into a real-time 6-DOF simulation that could run concurrent test operations at a fraction of the cost of flying similar systems in space. Goal is to develop a nationally linked test and operations methodology that can train, increase the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) and demonstrate low cost space technology using the high number of separated multi-DOF test beds around the nation. The objectives is to link in 3-D visualization technology with test beds for full scale DOF flight operations and methodologies, demonstrated using various N-DOF geographically distributed test beds that concentrate on robotic dynamics, orbital contact dynamics and 1-G contact dynamics. Relevance to DoD/DARPA will include a never before demonstrated methodology to train multiple personnel (from students to professional engineers) on upcoming techniques for rendezvous proximity operations in space, and to develop a methodology to test both hardware and techniques in terrestrial test beds at a cost point that has here-to-fore never been achieved except by going into space. Terrestrial laboratories and hardware can be tested, modified, re-tested in the course of hours or days, whereas a space test, even on the International Space Station (ISS), takes years of planning and then has no capacity to be modified to re-test. PHASE I: Investigate and develop the basic concept behind a common architecture set of simulation software that would interlink multiple DOF test beds. This would include identifying a basic set of inertial matrices that could be used no matter the DOF"s available at each location; identify methodology for latency compensation due to internet communication breaks that would affect real-time operations; and identify appropriate and realistic DOF fusion that could occur to address various disparate test facility differences in X, Y and Z axes such that combinations of 2 or more could provide full real-time 6DOF simulations. PHASE II: Deliver an open source based set of software standards and algorithms that can be used by various test facilities around the country that can integrated multiple DOF"s. An actual demonstration of fusion into 6 DOF will be shown by selecting at least two facilities and implementing the software into the test facilities robotic platforms. The software deliverable at the end of Phase 2 should be fully realizable in an open source language, and have the ability to interconnect various simulation systems specific to DOF test facilities through internet accessible languages and protocols. PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: The vision for Phase III is a full complement of software and modules that can be used by the DoD laboratories associated with space applications, and civilian research and organizations worldwide that support space systems development through N-DOF tests. This would potentially apply to any and all spacecraft hardware that to-date has not been able to be tested in full 6-DOF capability without going to space, and expanded to new hardware and systems concepts for upcoming activities in spacecraft servicing and advanced rendezvous and proximity maneuvering operations for on-orbit assembly, salvage, repair and maintenance of satellite and space based platforms. REFERENCES: 1)"Development and Operation of a Micro-satellite Dynamic Test Facility for Distributed Flight Operations", D. Barnhart, J. Tim Barrett, J. Sachs, and P. Will, USC, for AIAA Space 2009, Pasadena CA. 2)"Demonstration of Technologies for Autonomous Micro-Satellite Assembly", W. Bezouska, M. Aherne, J.Tim Barrett, and S. Schultz, USC, for AIAA Space 2009, Pasadena CA. 3)"Flat-Floor facilities in support of configurable space structures", Z. Pronk, P.Th.L.M. van Woerkom, National Aerospace Laboratory NLR, Space Division, P.O. Box 90502, 1006 BM, Amsterdam The Netherlands, Acta Astronautica, Volume 38, Issues 4-8, Feburary-April 1996, Pages 277-288. 4)"ZERO-Robotics: A Student Competition aboard the International Space Station", A. Saenz-Otero, J. Katz, S. Mohan and D. Miller, MIT Space Systems Lab; G. Chamitoff, NASA JSC, for IEEE Paper 2009.
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