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Authors: Kottmeier, Sebastian
Wittje, Philipp
Klinkner, Sabine
Essmann, Olaf
Suhr, Birgit
Kirchler, Jan-Luca
Ho, Tra-Mi
Title: Smart ground support equipment : the design and demonstration of robotic ground support equipment for small spacecraft integration and verification
Issue Date: 2024 Zeitschriftenartikel 29 Aerospace 11 (2024), No. 279
ISSN: 2226-4310
Abstract: In order to reduce the costs of integration and verification processes and to optimize the assembly, integration and verification (AIV) flow in the prototype development of small- and medium-sized spacecrafts, an industrial six-axis robot was used as a universal mechanical ground support equipment instead of a tailored prototype specific ground support equipment (GSE). In particular, a robotic platform offers the possibility of embedding verification steps such as mass property determination into the integration process while offering a wider range of ergonomic adaption due to the enhanced number of degrees of freedom compared to a classical static Mechanical GSE (MGSE). This reduces development costs for projects and enhances the flexibility and ergonomics of primarily mechanical AIV operations. In this paper, the robotic MGSE system is described, the operational prospects for in-line verification are elaborated and an example is given showing the possibilities and challenges of its operational use as well as its in-line mass determination capabilities. For this purpose, a method has been developed that allows for the precise measurement of the spacecraft mass using the robot’s existing technology without the need for additional hardware. Subsequent work will extend this to determine the center of gravity and the moments of inertia of the payload on the robotic MGSE.
Appears in Collections:06 Fakultät Luft- und Raumfahrttechnik und Geodäsie

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