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Design and Implementation of the Automated Rendezvous Targeting Algorithms for OrionThe Orion vehicle will be designed to perform several rendezvous missions: rendezvous with the ISS in Low Earth Orbit (LEO), rendezvous with the EDS/Altair in LEO, a contingency rendezvous with the ascent stage of the Altair in Low Lunar Orbit (LLO) and a contingency rendezvous in LLO with the ascent and descent stage in the case of an aborted lunar landing. Therefore, it is not difficult to realize that each of these scenarios imposes different operational, timing, and performance constraints on the GNC system. To this end, a suite of on-board guidance and targeting algorithms have been designed to meet the requirement to perform the rendezvous independent of communications with the ground. This capability is particularly relevant for the lunar missions, some of which may occur on the far side of the moon. This paper will describe these algorithms which are designed to be structured and arranged in such a way so as to be flexible and able to safely perform a wide variety of rendezvous trajectories. The goal of the algorithms is not to merely fly one specific type of canned rendezvous profile. Conversely, it was designed from the start to be general enough such that any type of trajectory profile can be flown.(i.e. a coelliptic profile, a stable orbit rendezvous profile, and a expedited LLO rendezvous profile, etc) all using the same rendezvous suite of algorithms. Each of these profiles makes use of maneuver types which have been designed with dual goals of robustness and performance. They are designed to converge quickly under dispersed conditions and they are designed to perform many of the functions performed on the ground today. The targeting algorithms consist of a phasing maneuver (NC), an altitude adjust maneuver (NH), and plane change maneuver (NPC), a coelliptic maneuver (NSR), a Lambert targeted maneuver, and several multiple-burn targeted maneuvers which combine one of more of these algorithms. The derivation and implementation of each of these algorithms will be discussed in detail, as well and the Rendezvous Targeting "wrapper" which will sequentially tie them all together into a single onboard targeting tool which can produce a final integrated rendezvous trajectory. In a similar fashion, the various guidance modes available for flying out each of these maneuvers will be discussed as well. This paradigm of having the onboard guidance & targeting capability described above is different than the way the Space Shuttle has operated thus far. As a result, a discussion of these differences in terms of operations and ground and crew intervention will also be discussed. However, the general framework of how the mission designers on the ground first perform all mission design and planning functions, and then uplink that burn plan to the vehicle ensures that the ground will be involved to ensure safety and reliability. The only real difference is which of these functions will be done onboard vs. on the ground as done currently. Finally, this paper will describe the performance of each of these algorithms individually as well as the entire suite of algorithms as applied to the Orion ISS and EDS/Altair rendezvous missions in LEO. These algorithms have been incorporated in both a Linear Covariance environment and a Monte Carlo environment and the results of these dispersion analyses will be presented in the paper as well.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
DSouza, Christopher (NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Weeks, Michael (NASA Johnson Space Center Houston, TX, United States)
Date Acquired
August 25, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2010
Subject Category
Space Communications, Spacecraft Communications, Command and Tracking
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
AIAA Guidance Navigation and Control Conference(Toronto, Ontario)
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 644423.
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.