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Proceedings Paper

SPHERES: a platform for formation-flight research
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Paper Abstract

New space missions, such as the Terrestrial Planet Finder (TPF) and Darwin programs, call for the use of spacecraft which maintain precise formation to achieve the effective aperture of a much larger spacecraft. Achieving this requires the development of several new space technologies. The SPHERES program was specifically designed to develop a wide range of algorithms in support of formation flight systems. Specifically, SPHERES allows the incremental development of metrology, control, autonomy, artificial intelligence, and communications algorithms. To achieve this, SPHERES exhibits a wide array of features to 1) facilitate the iterative research process, 2) support experiments, 3) support multiple scientists, and 4) enable reconfiguration and modularity. The effectiveness of these aspects of the facility have been demonstrated by several programs including development of system identification routines, coarse formation flight control algorithms, and demonstration of tethered systems.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 August 2005
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 5899, UV/Optical/IR Space Telescopes: Innovative Technologies and Concepts II, 58990O (24 August 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.615966
Show Author Affiliations
Alvar Saenz-Otero, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)
David W. Miller, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5899:
UV/Optical/IR Space Telescopes: Innovative Technologies and Concepts II
Howard A. MacEwen, Editor(s)

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