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Implementation of Satellite Formation Flight Algorithms Using SPHERES Aboard the International Space StationThe MIT's Space Systems Laboratory developed the Synchronized Position Hold Engage and Reorient Experimental Satellites (SPHERES) as a risk-tolerant spaceborne facility to develop and mature control, estimation, and autonomy algorithms for distributed satellite systems for applications such as satellite formation flight. Tests performed study interferometric mission-type formation flight maneuvers in deep space. These tests consist of having the satellites trace a coordinated trajectory under tight control that would allow simulated apertures to constructively interfere observed light and measure the resulting increase in angular resolution. This paper focuses on formation initialization (establishment of a formation using limited field of view relative sensors), formation coordination (synchronization of the different satellite s motion) and fuel-balancing among the different satellites.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Mandy, Christophe P.
(Massachusetts Inst. of Tech. Cambridge, MA, United States)
Sakamoto, Hiraku
(Nihon Univ. Chiba, Japan)
Saenz-Otero, Alvar
(Massachusetts Inst. of Tech. Cambridge, MA, United States)
Miller, David W.
(Massachusetts Inst. of Tech. Cambridge, MA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 24, 2013
Publication Date
September 24, 2007
Publication Information
Publication: Proceedings of the 20th International Symposium on Space Flight Dynamics
Subject Category
Spacecraft Design, Testing And Performance
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.
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