Analysis and design of parameters in soft docking of micro/small satellites

Abstract

Although substantial research has been conducted on the soft docking problem, the design of the docking mechanism is always conducted using experience. The challenge for conducting factor analysis and design lies in an accurate theoretical model, and the evaluation criteria of a successful docking. In this paper, the soft docking model of micro/small satellites is proposed using an analytical method and validated using a commercial FE package. The evaluation criterion of a successful docking is defined by considering the operational principle of the capturing mechanism used in micro (or small) paired satellites. The effect of the parameters on the soft docking result is discussed and their value domains are designed based on our proposed criteria of a successful docking.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 91216201, 51205403, 11404405).

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Correspondence to Xiang Zhang.

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Zhang, X., Huang, Y. & Chen, X. Analysis and design of parameters in soft docking of micro/small satellites. Sci. China Inf. Sci. 60, 050204 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11432-016-9034-7

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Keywords

  • soft docking
  • micro/small satellite
  • flexible beam
  • analytical method
  • analysis
  • design