1. INTRODUCTION

In the future, the demand for space operations is projected to increase dramatically, requiring the development of innovative ways to accomplish work in space. One method under consideration to meet this demand is the use of free flying robotic systems, with capabilities ranging from simple teleoperation to complete autonomy. The Ranger Neutral Buoyancy Vehicle is designed to demonstrate the ability of a free flying telerobotic system to perform many required operational tasks including on-orbit refueling, instrumentation package replacement, and large scale on-orbit construction. By combining current robotic technology with a free-flying vehicle, Ranger NBV is designed to simulate a new class of highly capable free flying space vehicles that will help meet the demand for future space operations. This thesis focuses on the design, implementation and operation of the Ranger NBV flight control system; a precision tool for high fidelity simulation of space operations.