A manipulator mounted on a satellite is often used to perform active debris removal missions. The space manipulator control system needs to take the dynamic model of the satellite-manipulator system into account because of the influence of the manipulator motion on the position and attitude of the satellite. Therefore, precise modeling of the space manipulator dynamics as well as parameter identification are needed to improve the credibility of the simulation tools. In this paper, we presented the identification of the flexible-joint space manipulator model based on dynamic equations of motion. Experiments were performed in an emulated microgravity environment using planar air bearings. The arbitrarily selected joint-space trajectory was performed by the manipulator’s control system. The experiments were repeated multiple times in order to analyze the identification method sensitivity. The identification is based on the Simulink SimMechanics model. Thus, the procedure can be used for any space manipulator without the need to obtain analytical relations for dynamic equations each time. Including joint flexibility and spring viscous damping in the dynamic model allowed it to reflect the experimental measurements better than the reference model could. Identified parameters of the flexible joint have values of the same magnitude as corresponding real system parameters.

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