Demonstration of Electromagnetic Formation Flight and Wireless Power Transfer
Porter, Allison K., et al. (2014). "Demonstration of Electromagnetic Formation Flight and Wireless Power Transfer." Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets 51 6: 1914-1923
The Resonant Inductive Near-Field Generation System uses a single set of hardware to perform both electromagnetic formation flight and wireless power transfer operations in a six-degree-of-freedom microgravity environment. The system serves primarily as a test bed for control algorithms, and operation onboard the International Space Station allows for more complicated and realistic algorithms to be tested. This offers an advantage compared with the restrictive, dynamic environment of flat floor facilities on the ground or the limited duration of reduced-gravity flights. The hardware attaches to the formation flight-test facility inside the International Space Station referred to as the Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites. Design and development of the support hardware and electronics, as well as some test results from ground testing, a parabolic flight campaign, and preliminary test sessions on the International Space Station are presented. Ground tests and the parabolic flight campaign results include preliminary inertia and thruster characterization of the combined Resonant Inductive Near-field Generation System/Synchronized Position Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites assembly. Preliminary on-orbit test results include data demonstrating wireless power transfer of approximately 30% and qualitative observations of electromagnetic formation flight with one Resonant Inductive Near-Field Generation System unit restrained and the other unit free floating.