ASTROS: A 5DOF Experimental Platform for Research in Spacecraft Proximity Operations
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In this paper we summarize the technical characteristics of the Autonomous Space-craft Testing of Robotic Operations in Space (ASTROS) facility at the School of Aerospace Engineering at Georgia Tech. The experimental facility consists of a 5DOF platform supported on hemispherical and linear air-bearings moving over an extremely flat epoxy floor, thus simulating almost friction-free conditions. The ASTROS facility can be used to support the development and testing of autonomous rendezvous and docking (ARD) and other general proximity operations (ProxOps) algorithms. A variety of on-board sensors and actuators allow the testing of most realistic scenarios one may encounter in practice. An overhead VICON system is used to provide baseline truth data for validation purposes.