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Trajectory Versus Line-of-Sight Space Rendezvous Using Out-of-Window Visual Cues

Report Number: AMRL TR 65-10
Author: Clark, Herbert J.
Corporate Author: Behavioral Sciences Laboratory
Laboratory: Behavioral Sciences Laboratory
Date of Publication: 1965-02
Pages: 68
Contract: Laboratory Research - No Contract
Project: 7184
Task: 718401
AD Number: AD0615157

Seven trained subjects flew simulated short range coplanar orbital rendezvous maneuvers, using direct visual cues only. Two rendezvous techniques were compared: line-of-sight and trajectory. In the former, the subject could control up-down and fore-aft thrust only; in the latter, he could, in addition, control pitch. Using either technique, all subjects were able to maneuver successfully to a position 100 ft directly in front of the target at a terminal velocity of less than 5 ft/sec. Significantly, less fuel was expended in performing the trajectory maneuver. The principal man-machine performance factors in the line-of-sight maneuver were tentatively described as (1) the ability to conserve fuel used for longitudinal and vertical translation, (2) the ability to conserve mission time, and (3) the ability to proficiently close with the target. The principal factors for the trajectory maneuver were tentatively described as (1) the ability to conserve fuel for longitudinal translation, (2) the ability to conserve mission time, (3) the ability to effectively apply longitudinal thrusts and conserve fuel used for vertical translation, and (4) the ability to match the trajectory path of a minimum fuel two impulse maneuver. Computer diagrams fully describing the analog simulation are included.

RAF Centre of Aviation Medicine
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