Research on a Hierarchical and Simultaneous Gravity Unloading Method for Antenna Pointing Mechanism
Abstract. This paper presents a hierarchical and simultaneous gravity unloading method. An air bearing gravity unloading facility for two-orthogonal-axis antenna pointing mechanism (APM) is designed based on this method. This method is proposed based on the characteristics analysis of the two-orthogonal-axis APM and air bearings. The mechanism of the hierarchical and simultaneous gravity unloading method is described in detail. It solves the coupling problem of two axes and unloads the gravity of both joints hierarchically and simultaneously. The air bearing gravity unloading facility which is a structure mechanism with two layers based on this method is designed with planar air bearing and air spindle. The structure of the facility is described in detail. The dynamic models of the APM with its load in space environment and on the air bearing gravity unloading facility are derived respectively. With the analysing of the driving torques and vertical forces of the APM joints in both models, the results demonstrate that the gravity unloading facility can simulate the microgravity environment successfully. This conclusion is also proved by the dynamic simulation with ADAMS software. The simulation also provides some optimization targets for the gravity unloading facility. At last, the gravity unloading facility is established and some experiments are done. The dynamic models, the simulation results and the experiments all show the effectiveness of the hierarchical and simultaneous gravity unloading method.