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Proceedings Paper

Precision formation delta-v requirements for distributed platforms in Earth orbit
Author(s): Daniel P. Scharf; Fred Y. Hadaegh; Scott R. Ploen
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Paper Abstract

Distributed spacecraft flying in formation can overcome the resolution limitations of monolithic, Earth-sensing systems. However, formation spacecraft must now expend fuel to counteract disturbances and the gravity gradients between spacecraft. We consider three different formation architectures and determine the delta-v required to maintain relative positions at accuracies ranging from 0.1 to 10 m (1 sigma). The three architectures considered are: (i) Leader/Follower, in which individual spacecraft controllers track with respect to a passive, leader spacecraft, (ii) Center of Formation, in which individual spacecraft controllers track with respect to the geometric center of the formation, and (iii) Iterated Virtual Structure, in which a formation template is fit each timestep and individual spacecraft controllers track with respect to the fitted template. We show that in the presence of relative and inertial sensor noise and disturbances (e.g., Earth oblateness and aerodynamic drag) relative positions can be maintained to the 10 m level for 4 mm/s/orbit.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 January 2005
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 5659, Enabling Sensor and Platform Technologies for Spaceborne Remote Sensing, (11 January 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.579053
Show Author Affiliations
Daniel P. Scharf, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Fred Y. Hadaegh, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Scott R. Ploen, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5659:
Enabling Sensor and Platform Technologies for Spaceborne Remote Sensing
George J. Komar; Jinxue Wang; Toshiyoshi Kimura, Editor(s)

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