Spacecraft formation flying using bifurcating potential fields

Derek Bennet, Colin R. McInnes

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
94 Downloads (Pure)


The distributed control of spacecraft flying in formation has been shown to have advantages over conventional single spacecraft systems. These include scalability, flexibility and robustness to failures. This paper considers the real problem of actuator saturation and shows how bound control laws can be developed that allow pattern formation and reconfigurability in a formation of spacecraft using bifurcating potential fields. In addition the stability of the system is ensured mathematically through dynamical systems theory.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2008
Event59th International Astronautical Congress - Glasgow, Scotland
Duration: 29 Sept 20083 Oct 2008


Conference59th International Astronautical Congress
CityGlasgow, Scotland


  • spacecraft
  • space travel
  • bifurcation
  • actuator saturation
  • dynamical systems theory


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