NTRS - NASA Technical Reports Server

Back to Results
Enhanced Formation Flying for the Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) New Millennium MissionWith scientific objectives for Earth observation programs becoming more ambitious and spacecraft becoming more autonomous, the need for new technical approaches on the feasibility of achieving and maintaining formations of spacecraft has come to the forefront. The trend to develop small low cost spacecraft has led many scientists to recognize the advantage of flying several spacecraft in formation, an example of which is shown in the figure below, to achieve the correlated instrument measurements formerly possible only by flying many instruments on a single large platform. Yet, formation flying imposes additional complications on orbit maintenance, especially when each spacecraft has its own orbit requirements. However, advances in automation proposed by GSFC Codes 550 and 712 allow more of the burden in maneuver planning and execution to be placed onboard the spacecraft, mitigating some of the associated operational concerns. The purpose of this analysis is to develop the fundamentals of formation flying mechanics, concepts for understanding the relative motion of free flying spacecraft, and an operational control theory for formation maintenance of the Earth Observing-1 (EO-l) spacecraft that is part of the New Millennium. Results of this development can be used to determine the appropriateness of formation flying for a particular case as well as the operational impacts. Applications to the Mission to Planet Earth (MTPE) Earth Observing System (EOS) and New Millennium (NM) were highly considered in analysis and applications. This paper presents the proposed methods for the guidance and control of the EO-1 spacecraft to formation fly with the Landsat-7 spacecraft using an autonomous closed loop three axis navigation control, GPS, and Cross link navigation support. Simulation results using various fidelity levels of modeling, algorithms developed and implemented in MATLAB, and autonomous 'fuzzy logic' control using AutoCon will be presented. The results of these analysis on the ability to meet mission and formation flying requirements will be presented.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Goddard Space Flight Center
Document Type
Folta, David
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Quinn, David
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD United States)
Date Acquired
August 17, 2013
Publication Date
May 1, 1997
Publication Information
Publication: Flight Mechanics Symposium 1997
Subject Category
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

Available Downloads

There are no available downloads for this record.
No Preview Available