Project Highlight: Free Flyer Space Robotics MPC Controller

In past years, the Stanford Autonomous Systems Lab (ASL) developed a space robotics testbed platform to hardware experiments validating algorithms for spacecraft autonomy: the Free Flyers. Previously, a PWM-based PD controller was used for low-level waypoint tracking, but in practice the controller's sub-optimal performance led to excessive fuel usage, freezing of fuel tanks and rapid degradation of performance over time. To address this, I developed an optimization-based MPC for low-level waypoint tracking, which reducing fuel consumption, thereby enabling significantly higher mileage during hardware experiments.

Collaborated with Alvin Sun, Rohan Sinha, Chris Agia, Joshua Lee

ODROID Controller (top) and two CO2 thrusters (underneath)

Hardware Specifications

Controller Selection/Tuning

Hardware Experiments

Video Demo

Free Flyer Demo HD Cropped.mp4