Nonlinear reduced order dynamics of spacecraft relative motion for a circular chief orbit

Eric Butcher, T. Alan Lovell

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Nonlinear reduced order models are obtained for spacecraft relative motion in the case of circular chief orbits. First, a nonlinear third order extension of the CWH equations is obtained and a modal transformation is employed that decouples the linear dynamics. Then two techniques, linear-based order reduction and the methodology of nonlinear normal modes, are employed to obtain nonlinear reduced models corresponding to the three modes of the CWH equations. The resulting nonlinear models extend linear modal analysis of the CWH equations to the nonlinear regime valid for larger separation distances and allow for a geometric characterization of the nonlinear dynamics of relative motion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAstrodynamics 2015
EditorsJames D. Turner, Geoff G. Wawrzyniak, William Todd Cerven, Manoranjan Majji
PublisherUnivelt Inc.
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)9780877036296
StatePublished - 2016
EventAAS/AIAA Astrodynamics Specialist Conference, ASC 2015 - Vail, United States
Duration: Aug 9 2015Aug 13 2015

Publication series

NameAdvances in the Astronautical Sciences
ISSN (Print)0065-3438


OtherAAS/AIAA Astrodynamics Specialist Conference, ASC 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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