Virtual formation method for precise autonomous absolute orbit control

De Florio, S., D’Amico, S. and Radice, G. (2014) Virtual formation method for precise autonomous absolute orbit control. Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics, 37(2), pp. 425-438. (doi: 10.2514/1.61575)

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This paper analyzes the problem of precise autonomous orbit control of a spacecraft in a low Earth orbit. Autonomous onboard orbit control means that the spacecraft maintains its ground track close to a reference trajectory, without operator intervention. The problem is formulated as a specific case of two spacecraft in formation in which one, the reference, is virtual and affected only by the Earth’s gravitational field. A new parametrization, the relative Earth-fixed elements, is introduced to describe the relative motion of the two spacecraft’s subsatellite points on the Earth surface. These relative elements enable the translation of absolute-into-relative orbit-control requirements and the straightforward use of modern control-theory techniques for orbit control. As a demonstration, linear and quadratic optimum regulators are designed and compared, by means of numerical simulations, with an analytical autonomous orbit-control algorithm that has been validated in flight. The differences of the numerical and analytical control methods are identified and discussed.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Radice, Dr Gianmarco
Authors: De Florio, S., D’Amico, S., and Radice, G.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Autonomous Systems and Connectivity
Journal Name:Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics
Publisher:American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics
ISSN (Online):1533-3884

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