Guidance algorithms for proximity to target spacecraft

Wu, S., Sun, Z., Radice, G. and Wu, X. (2011) Guidance algorithms for proximity to target spacecraft. Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, 83(3), pp. 146-153. (doi: 10.1108/00022661111131230)

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Purpose – One of the primary problems in the field of on‐orbit service and space conflict is related to the approach to the target. The development of guidance algorithms is one of the main research areas in this field. The objective of this paper is to address the guidance problem for autonomous proximity manoeuvres of a chase‐spacecraft approaching a target spacecraft. Design/methodology/approach – The process of autonomous proximity is divided into three phases: proximity manoeuvre, fly‐around manoeuvre, and final approach. The characteristics of the three phases are analyzed. Considering the time factor of autonomous proximity, different orbits for the three phases are planned. Different guidance algorithms, which are based on multi‐pulse manoeuvres, are then devised. Findings – This paper proposes three phases of autonomous proximity and then designs a guidance method, which hinges on a multi‐pulse algorithm and different orbits for the three phases; in addition, a method of impulse selection is devised. Practical implications – An easy methodology for the analysis and design of autonomous proximity manoeuvres is proposed, which could also be considered for other space applications such as formation flying deployment and reconfiguration. Originality/value – Based on this guidance method, the manoeuvre‐flight period of the chase‐spacecraft can be set in accordance with the mission requirements; the constraints on fuel mass and manoeuvre time are both considered and satisfied. Consequently, this proposed guidance method can effectively deal with the problem of proximity approach to a target spacecraft.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Radice, Dr Gianmarco and Wu, Dr Shunan
Authors: Wu, S., Sun, Z., Radice, G., and Wu, X.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Autonomous Systems and Connectivity
Journal Name:Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology

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