Spacecraft formation-flying using potential functions

Ahmed Badawy, Colin R. McInnes

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

1 Citation (Scopus)
51 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

A group of small spacecraft able to change their relative position and attitude through the use of the potential function method is discussed. The spacecraft shapes, sizes and manoeuvring capabilities are not identical, although all are assumed to manoeuvre using continuous thrusters. A hyperbolic form of the attractive potential function is used to reduce actuator effort by using natural orbital motion to approaching the goal configuration. A superquadric repulsive potential with 3D a rigid object representation is then used to provide an accurate representation of the shape of spacecraft in the potential function. As the spacecraft start away from their goal, a parabolic attractive potential is inefficient as the control force increases with distance from the goal. Using a hyperbolic attractive potential, the control force is independent of the distance to goal, ensuring smooth manoeuvring towards the goal with a bound actuator effort.
Original languageEnglish
PagesIAC-08
Publication statusPublished - 29 Sep 2008
Event59th International Astronautical Congress - Glasgow, Scotland
Duration: 29 Sep 20083 Oct 2008

Conference

Conference59th International Astronautical Congress
CityGlasgow, Scotland
Period29/09/083/10/08

Keywords

  • small spacecraft
  • formation flying
  • potential functions
  • solar sails

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