Long term and safe relative orbit design for heterogeneous spacecraft clusters

Yaglioglu, Burak
Tekinalp, Ozan
The problem of obtaining long term relative orbit configurations for spacecraft clusters with realistic operational considerations such as safety, station keeping and inter-spacecraft distances is addressed. Two different approaches are developed for station keeping and safety objectives. In the first approach, relative orbit configurations, or relative TLEs, are found minimizing deviations from reference mean orbit which would maximize the station-keeping objective. In second one, relative configurations are found from a reference initial condition by minimizing probability of collision, hence maximizing the safety objective, between the spacecraft in the cluster which are propagated numerically through a high precision orbit propagator. For the design optimization, a derivative free algorithm is proposed. Effectiveness of the approaches is demonstrated through simulations. Using this design framework, several configurations can be found by exploring the limits of the clusters in terms of spacecraft number, distance bounds and probabilities of collision for long time intervals.
Advances in Space Research


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Citation Formats
B. Yaglioglu and O. Tekinalp, “Long term and safe relative orbit design for heterogeneous spacecraft clusters,” Advances in Space Research, pp. 3546–3558, 2021, Accessed: 00, 2021. [Online]. Available: https://www.scopus.com/inward/record.uri?partnerID=HzOxMe3b&scp=85088958221&origin=inward.