Multi-Objective Online Initialization of Spacecraft FormationsThis paper extends a previously developed method for finding spacecraft initial conditions (ICs) that minimize the drift resulting from J2 disturbances while also minimizing the fuel required to attain those ICs. It generalizes the single spacecraft optimization to a formation-wide optimization valid for an arbitrary number of vehicles. Additionally, the desired locations of the spacecraft, separate from the starting location, can be specified, either with respect to a reference orbit, or relative to the other spacecraft in the formation. The three objectives (minimize drift, minimize fuel, and maintain a geometric template) are expressed as competing costs in a linear optimization, and are traded against one another through the use of scalar weights. By carefully selecting these weights and re-initializing the formation at regular intervals, a closed-loop, formation-wide control system is created. This control system can be used to reconfigure the formations on the fly, and creates fuel-efficient plans by placing the spacecraft in semi-invariant orbits. The overall approach is demonstrated through nonlinear simulations for two formations a GEO orbit, and an elliptical orbit.
Jeffrey, Matthew (Massachusetts Inst. of Tech. Cambridge, MA, United States)
Breger, Louis (Massachusetts Inst. of Tech. Cambridge, MA, United States)
How, Jonathan P. (Massachusetts Inst. of Tech. Cambridge, MA, United States)
August 24, 2013
September 24, 2007
Publication: Proceedings of the 20th International Symposium on Space Flight Dynamics