Designing Optimal Spacecraft Formations
Ross, I. Michael
King, Jeffrey T.
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We present a new approach to solving a class of problems arising in the architecting of satellite swarms. A key problem addressed in this paper is the 'concurrent' design and control of orbits to achieve a swarm configuration. Although any design criterion may be used, we demonstrate our approach for fuel consumption since the premium for fuel is extraordinarily high for spacecraft. We show how certain elements of optimal periodic control theory provide a very natural setting for this problem. Using the general-purpose dynamic optimization software, DIDO, we show how a zero-propellant formation configuration can be easily designed for satellite swarms without the use of any analytical results. If a zero-propellant configuration does not exist, the by-product of our approach automatically determines the minimum fuel and the associated controls required to maintain the configuration.
The article of record as published may be located at http://dx.doi.org/10.2514/6.2002-4635Approved for public display, distribution unlimitedProceedings of AIAA Guidance, Navigation, and Control Conference ; Paper no. AIAA 2002-4635, Monterey, California, Aug. 5-8, 2002
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