Small spacecraft formation using potential functions

Badawy, A. and McInnes, C. R. (2009) Small spacecraft formation using potential functions. Acta Astronautica, 65(11-12), pp. 1783-1788. (doi: 10.1016/j.actaastro.2009.05.002)

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A group of small spacecraft able to change its orbital formation through using the potential function is discussed. Spacecraft shapes, sizes, and maneuvering capabilities in general are not identical. All objects are assumed to maneuver under discrete thruster effects. A hyperbolic form of attractive potential function is then used to reduce the control intervention by using the natural orbital motion for approaching goal configuration. A superquadric repulsive potential with 3D rigid object representation is then used to have more accurate mutual sensing between objects. As spacecraft start away from their goals, the original parabolic attractive potential becomes inefficient as the continuous control force increases with distance linearly. The hyperbolic attractive potential offers good representation of the control force independent of the distance to goal, ensuring global stability as well.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:McInnes, Professor Colin
Authors: Badawy, A., and McInnes, C. R.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Systems Power and Energy
Journal Name:Acta Astronautica
ISSN (Online):1879-2030

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