Pattern transition in spacecraft formation flying using bifurcating potential field

Derek James Bennet, Colin McInnes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Many new and exciting space mission concepts have developed around
spacecraft formation flying, allowing for autonomous distributed systems that
can be robust, scalable and flexible. This paper considers the development of
a new methodology for the control of multiple spacecraft. Based on the artificial
potential function method, research in this area is extended by considering
the new approach of using bifurcation theory as a means of controlling
the transition between different formations. For real, safety or mission critical
applications it is important to ensure that desired behaviours will occur.
Through dynamical systems theory, this paper also aims to provide a step
in replacing traditional algorithm validation with mathematical proof, supported
through simulation. This is achieved by determining the non-linear
stability properties of the system, thus proving the existence or not of desired
behaviours. Practical considerations such as the issue of actuator saturation
and communication limitations are addressed, with the development of a new
bounded control law based on bifurcating potential fields providing the key
contribution of this paper. To illustrate spacecraft formation flying using
the new methodology formation patterns are considered in low-Earth-orbit
utilising the Clohessy-Wiltshire relative linearised equations of motion. It is
shown that a formation of spacecraft can be driven safely onto equally spaced
projected circular orbits, autonomously reconfiguring between them, whilst
satisfying constraints made regarding each spacecraft.
LanguageEnglish
Pages250-262
JournalAerospace Science and Technology
Volume23
Issue number1
Early online date4 Aug 2011
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012

Fingerprint

Spacecraft
System theory
Equations of motion
Dynamical systems
Orbits
Actuators
Earth (planet)
Communication

Keywords

  • spacecraft formation flying
  • bifurcating potential fields

Cite this

Bennet, Derek James ; McInnes, Colin. / Pattern transition in spacecraft formation flying using bifurcating potential field. In: Aerospace Science and Technology. 2012 ; Vol. 23, No. 1. pp. 250-262.
@article{f7d8c3bc629b430888e01939f71aadd5,
title = "Pattern transition in spacecraft formation flying using bifurcating potential field",
abstract = "Many new and exciting space mission concepts have developed aroundspacecraft formation flying, allowing for autonomous distributed systems thatcan be robust, scalable and flexible. This paper considers the development ofa new methodology for the control of multiple spacecraft. Based on the artificialpotential function method, research in this area is extended by consideringthe new approach of using bifurcation theory as a means of controllingthe transition between different formations. For real, safety or mission criticalapplications it is important to ensure that desired behaviours will occur.Through dynamical systems theory, this paper also aims to provide a stepin replacing traditional algorithm validation with mathematical proof, supportedthrough simulation. This is achieved by determining the non-linearstability properties of the system, thus proving the existence or not of desiredbehaviours. Practical considerations such as the issue of actuator saturationand communication limitations are addressed, with the development of a newbounded control law based on bifurcating potential fields providing the keycontribution of this paper. To illustrate spacecraft formation flying usingthe new methodology formation patterns are considered in low-Earth-orbitutilising the Clohessy-Wiltshire relative linearised equations of motion. It isshown that a formation of spacecraft can be driven safely onto equally spacedprojected circular orbits, autonomously reconfiguring between them, whilstsatisfying constraints made regarding each spacecraft.",
keywords = "spacecraft formation flying, bifurcating potential fields",
author = "Bennet, {Derek James} and Colin McInnes",
year = "2012",
month = "12",
doi = "10.1016/j.ast.2011.07.013",
language = "English",
volume = "23",
pages = "250--262",
journal = "Aerospace Science and Technology",
issn = "1270-9638",
number = "1",

}

Pattern transition in spacecraft formation flying using bifurcating potential field. / Bennet, Derek James; McInnes, Colin.

In: Aerospace Science and Technology, Vol. 23, No. 1, 12.2012, p. 250-262.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Pattern transition in spacecraft formation flying using bifurcating potential field

AU - Bennet, Derek James

AU - McInnes, Colin

PY - 2012/12

Y1 - 2012/12

N2 - Many new and exciting space mission concepts have developed aroundspacecraft formation flying, allowing for autonomous distributed systems thatcan be robust, scalable and flexible. This paper considers the development ofa new methodology for the control of multiple spacecraft. Based on the artificialpotential function method, research in this area is extended by consideringthe new approach of using bifurcation theory as a means of controllingthe transition between different formations. For real, safety or mission criticalapplications it is important to ensure that desired behaviours will occur.Through dynamical systems theory, this paper also aims to provide a stepin replacing traditional algorithm validation with mathematical proof, supportedthrough simulation. This is achieved by determining the non-linearstability properties of the system, thus proving the existence or not of desiredbehaviours. Practical considerations such as the issue of actuator saturationand communication limitations are addressed, with the development of a newbounded control law based on bifurcating potential fields providing the keycontribution of this paper. To illustrate spacecraft formation flying usingthe new methodology formation patterns are considered in low-Earth-orbitutilising the Clohessy-Wiltshire relative linearised equations of motion. It isshown that a formation of spacecraft can be driven safely onto equally spacedprojected circular orbits, autonomously reconfiguring between them, whilstsatisfying constraints made regarding each spacecraft.

AB - Many new and exciting space mission concepts have developed aroundspacecraft formation flying, allowing for autonomous distributed systems thatcan be robust, scalable and flexible. This paper considers the development ofa new methodology for the control of multiple spacecraft. Based on the artificialpotential function method, research in this area is extended by consideringthe new approach of using bifurcation theory as a means of controllingthe transition between different formations. For real, safety or mission criticalapplications it is important to ensure that desired behaviours will occur.Through dynamical systems theory, this paper also aims to provide a stepin replacing traditional algorithm validation with mathematical proof, supportedthrough simulation. This is achieved by determining the non-linearstability properties of the system, thus proving the existence or not of desiredbehaviours. Practical considerations such as the issue of actuator saturationand communication limitations are addressed, with the development of a newbounded control law based on bifurcating potential fields providing the keycontribution of this paper. To illustrate spacecraft formation flying usingthe new methodology formation patterns are considered in low-Earth-orbitutilising the Clohessy-Wiltshire relative linearised equations of motion. It isshown that a formation of spacecraft can be driven safely onto equally spacedprojected circular orbits, autonomously reconfiguring between them, whilstsatisfying constraints made regarding each spacecraft.

KW - spacecraft formation flying

KW - bifurcating potential fields

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84869509777&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1270963811001210

U2 - 10.1016/j.ast.2011.07.013

DO - 10.1016/j.ast.2011.07.013

M3 - Article

VL - 23

SP - 250

EP - 262

JO - Aerospace Science and Technology

T2 - Aerospace Science and Technology

JF - Aerospace Science and Technology

SN - 1270-9638

IS - 1

ER -