Fuel Efficiency of Fully and Underconstrained Coulomb Formations in Slightly Elliptic Reference Orbits

Muhammad Wasif Memon, Morad Nazari, Dongeun Seo, Eric A. Butcher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Coulomb formation in slightly elliptic reference orbits for two different two-craft formation geometries is studied. The fully constrained formation requires both spacecraft to be aligned along the nadir direction. The underconstrained formation only requires the spacecraft to maintain a constant separation distance allowing each spacecraft to rotate freely on the surface of a sphere. The Udwadia-Kalaba (U-K) equations of constrained motion are applied along with a constraint stabilization method to obtain the minimum integrated control effort required for formation maintenance in both scenarios, where a logic is introduced to determine the maximum Coulomb force. In addition, two nonlinear optimal control strategies are applied for formation achievement and maintenance. For each formation geometry, the fuel efficiency as measured by the integrated control effort of the thrusters obtained using the U-K formulation is compared to that obtained using nonlinear optimal control strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4171-4187
Number of pages17
JournalIEEE Transactions on Aerospace and Electronic Systems
Volume57
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021

Keywords

  • Coulomb formation
  • constrained motion analysis and control
  • elliptic reference orbit
  • fuel efficiency
  • fully and underconstrained formations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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