LASR A UNIVERSITY-BASED NATIONAL TESTBED FOR SPACE PROXIMITY OPERATIONS IN AN OPERATIONALLY RELEVANT ENVIRONMENT
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This paper describes a unique research facility at Texas A&M University, the Land, Air, and Space Robotics (LASR) laboratory. LASR provides a capability for high fidelity six degree of freedom relative motion of multiple controlled or uncontrolled platforms. LASR is a testbed intended for experimental research in sensing and control whereby selected sub-systems hardware and softwarein- the-loop can be tested in a high-fidelity way, driven by our best simulation of (say) on-orbit dynamics and control systems for a full-up spacecraft, but with selective elements in the simulation replaced by actual hardware and data from live sensing. A main focus is upon sensing systems and the associated algorithms for extracting real-time information for use in real-time control. The thesis underlying LASR is that the "information front end" of many challenging control problems is where the greatest robustness challenges lie, and there is a need for a new kind of laboratory that enables inexpensive advanced research and development to retire risk. LASR is a versatile, highly reconfigurable laboratory where iteration between concepts, algorithms and physical realizations can be performed to find new solutions to difficult problems and enhance maturity/robustness of critical subsystems in a ground-based facility. The current stage of development and recent research thrusts in LASR are discussed.
author list (cited authors)
Turner, J. D., Junkins, J. L., & Hurtado, J. E.