About this Research Topic
Robotic on-orbit servicing and space debris removal has the potential to be transformational to the way spacecraft are designed, built, and operated. The scope of these activities ranges from on-orbit inspection over refueling, repair and upgrade or removal to full-scale in-orbit construction of spacecraft and space structures. The availability of an operational on-orbit servicing and space debris removal infrastructure can reduce the risk of space missions, increase their capability and lifetime, and thus increase the return-on-investment for entrepreneurs and operators.
The challenges are manifold. They include developing robust and reliable control algorithms and control systems for autonomous or telerobotic rendezvous, capture, and manipulation of non-cooperative space objects; and developing space situational awareness and debris environment models to facilitate target selection and mission planning. To achieve an operational infrastructure, all these challenges must be tackled in unison.
This Research Topic encourages researchers in the fields of spacecraft robotics theory, space systems technology, space situational awareness, and space debris to share their research results.
We welcome submissions of original articles on research, reviews, descriptions of missions and technologies, descriptions of methods and procedures in:
- autonomous and teleoperated spacecraft formation flight, rendezvous, and capture;
- autonomous and teleoperated robotic manipulation in space;
- telepresence in space;
- space situational awareness;
- modelling and simulation of the debris environment.
The focus should clearly be on the challenges of creating an operational on-orbit servicing and space debris removal infrastructure.
Keywords: Space robotics, autonomous rendezvous and docking, space situational awareness, spacecraft maintenance, telerobotics