2012

Multibody Simulation Software Testbed for Small-Body Exploration and Sampling

G-TAG is a software tool for the multibody simulation of a spacecraft with a robotic arm and a sampling mechanism, which performs a touch-and-go (TAG) maneuver for sampling from the surface of a small celestial body. G-TAG utilizes G- DYN, a multi-body simulation engine described in the previous article, and interfaces to controllers, estimators, and environmental forces that affect the spacecraft. G-TAG can easily be adapted for the analysis of the mission stress cases to support the design of a TAG system, as well as for comprehensive Monte Carlo simulations to analyze and evaluate a particular TAG system design.

Any future small-body mission will benefit from using G-TAG, which has already been extensively used in Comet Odyssey and Galahad Asteroid New Frontiers proposals.

This work was done by Behcet Acikmese, James C. Blackmore, and Milan Mandic of Caltech for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

This software is available for commercial licensing. Please contact Daniel Broderick of the California Institute of Technology at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. NPO-47196

This Brief includes a Technical Support Package (TSP).

Multibody Simulation Software Testbed for Small-Body Exploration and Sampling (reference NPO-47196) is currently available for download from the TSP library.

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