Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering


Aerospace Engineering

Committee Chair

Dr. Troy A. Henderson

First Committee Member

Dr. Richard Prazenica

Second Committee Member

Dr. Morad Nazari


An air bearing is being designed as a spacecraft rotational motion simulator, featuring the Sawyer Robot and its control box. The objective is to maneuver the robot as desired, performing operations specific to on-orbit servicing operations while maintaining stability of the system. Before the control can be designed, the dynamics of the platform and the robot must be modeled. The dynamics of the robot can be derived utilizing a Newton-Euler recursive approach. By beginning with a simple pendulum, then adding links (degrees of freedom) to more closely resemble the Sawyer arm, the equations of motion for the robot can be developed. After the equations of motion for the robot are derived, the next step is to model the dynamics of the entire platform, which adds three more degrees of freedom to the system. The Newton-Euler recursive approach is not compatible with the system with the addition of the spherical joint; therefore a new approach is adopted to model the attitude dynamics in terms of Euler angles. Once the dynamics are modeled, control design can take place, where an incremental non-linear dynamic inversion controller is designed to reject the disturbances of the robot performing its maneuver, while also actuating the platform to a desired attitude.