Optimization Problems of Satellite Formation Flying Mass Exchange Control
The paper discusses the problem of formation flying relative motion control by approach which based on a mass exchange between satellites. One satellite initially carries a supplementary mass which separates from the satellite and collides inelastically with the other one. Both satellites get additional impulses applied to their centers of mass according to the momentum conservation law. The resulting relative trajectory after the mass transfer changes. This approach can be applied for a wide range formation flying reconfigurations. It was shown that one can obtain a closed relative trajectory and alter the size of it by a single mass exchange. The paper explores some of the optimization problems of the approach. The solutions of these optimization problems are demonstrated on the particular examples. The paper also studies the influence of the separation point and velocity defining errors on relative motion.
satellite formation flying, relative trajectory, mass exchange