6. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

The goal of the work presented in this thesis was to develop a vehicle that could be used for realistic simulation of space operations. This thesis focuses primarily on the development and testing of the vehicle flight system. Its main purpose is to provide Ranger NBV with the ability to specify and track trajectories that allow it to behave as if it were in space. Eventually, it should lead to full scale simulation of proximity operations including relative spacecraft motion, rendezvous and docking. The work presented here represents a first step toward this goal. This work has focused on development and testing of the systems necessary to support attitude control. In order to simulate full scale proximity operations, rendezvous, and docking operations, Ranger NBV must be able to measure its position as well as its attitude. Once the hardware for full 6-DOF state estimation is in place, this work should be extended to include vehicle position estimation and control.