This paper proposes the use of pseudospectral methods to solve the nonlinear trajectory planning problem for free-floating robots. Specifically, three different optimization tools are analyzed. Using each tool, simulations are performed, and it is shown that each solver is capable of finding a deployment trajectory that minimizes the final attitude of a free-floating robot. Each solution is then validated using Pontryagin's minimum principle and Bellman's principle of optimality, as well as by propagating the control torques using a numerical integrator and the dynamics model. Experimental validation is performed at Carleton University's Spacecraft Robotics and Control Laboratory to further investigate the solutions obtained from each tool. Ultimately, it was determined that all solutions resulted in a reduced attitude disturbance at the end of the robotic deployment maneuver.
Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Crain, A. (Alexander), & Ulrich, S. (2019). Experimental validation of pseudospectral-based optimal trajectory planning for free-floating robots. Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics, 42(8), 1726–1742. doi:10.2514/1.G003528