Swarm of nanosatellites deployment by decentralized aerodynamic drag control with communicational constraints
The paper considers a problem of satellites swarm deployment immediately after their separation from the bus launcher. During the separation, an error in the ejection velocity is inevitable. It results in a slightly different orbital period of the satellites, so they gradually move apart along the orbit and the relative trajectories become unbounded. The differential drag-based control is considered. Each satellite is informed about the relative motion of other satellites inside certain communication area. The purpose of the control is to eliminate the relative drift between neighbor satellites. The corresponding decentralized control algorithm is developed in the paper. The clustering effect which occurs when the swarm is divided into several groups is studied. This effect depends on size of the communication area, initial conditions and control parameters. Boundary values of these parameters for twenty 3U-CubeSats swarm are investigated.
swarm of nanosatellites, decentralized control, aerodynamic drag force