UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

On the nonlinear dynamics of a space platform based mobile flexible manipulator Mah, Harry Wayne


The thesis aims at development of a rather versatile tool for studying dynamics and control of an orbiting flexible manipulator. It is motivated by the Canadian contribution, in the form of the Mobile Servicing System (MSS), to the U.S. led Space Station (Freedom) program, scheduled to be operational by the turn of the century. To begin, a relatively general dynamical formulation is developed for a large class of systems characterized by interconnected beam and/or rigid articulating members forming a chain-type geometry. As can be expected, the governing nonlinear, nonautonomous and coupled equations of motion, extremely long even in matrix notation, are not amenable to any known closed form solution. Hence the attention is focused towards development of an efficient numerical code, in a modular format to help assess relative importance of the various system parameters. Validity of the formulation and the computer code are assessed and their operational aspects demonstrated through a parametric response analysis. Emphasis throughout is on methodology and general approach leading to understanding of the multibody dynamics problem at the fundamental level.

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