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Real-Time Navigation of Formation-Flying Spacecraft

Leung, S. and Montenbruck, O. (2005) Real-Time Navigation of Formation-Flying Spacecraft. JOURNAL OF GUIDANCE, CONTROL, AND DYNAMICS, Vol. 28 (No. 2).

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Abstract

Spacecraft formation flying is commonly considered a key technology for advanced space missions. Compared with large individual spacecraft, the distribution of sensor systems to multiple platforms offers improved flexibility and redundancy, shorter times to mission, and the prospect of being more cost effective. The present study describes the design and prototype implementation of a navigation system that enables high-precision relative navigation of multiple formation-flying satellites in real time using representative space hardware. A fully decentralized system design has been adopted, in which each spacecraft is equipped with its own single-frequency global-positioningsystem receiver and navigation computer. A continuous exchange of raw measurements between any two satellites in the formation is achieved through a communication architecture using multichannel radio modems operated in a time-multiplexed manner. Multiple Kalman filters running concurrently on each navigation computer provide estimates of both the local spacecraft’s absolute state vector and the relative state vectors of all remote satellites in the formation. Using live global-positioning-system signals generated by a signal simulator, the proper operation of the navigation process and the communication architecture has been validated in a realistic environment. Real-time relative navigation could first be demonstrated for a formation of up to four spacecraft with an accuracy of 1.5mm (position) and 5 µm/s (velocity) over a 4-km baseline.

Document Type:Article
Additional Information: LIDO-Berichtsjahr=2005,
Title:Real-Time Navigation of Formation-Flying Spacecraft
Authors:
AuthorsInstitution or Email of Authors
Leung, S.UNSPECIFIED
Montenbruck, O.UNSPECIFIED
Date:2005
Journal or Publication Title:JOURNAL OF GUIDANCE, CONTROL, AND DYNAMICS
Refereed publication:No
In SCOPUS:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Volume:Vol. 28
Status:Published
HGF - Research field:Aeronautics, Space and Transport (old)
HGF - Program:Space (old)
HGF - Program Themes:W SY - Technik für Raumfahrtsysteme
DLR - Research area:Space
DLR - Program:W SY - Technik für Raumfahrtsysteme
DLR - Research theme (Project):UNSPECIFIED
Location: Oberpfaffenhofen
Institutes and Institutions:Space Operations and Astronaut Training > Hauptabteilung Raumflugbetrieb und Astronautenausbildung
Deposited By: Sabine Klaas
Deposited On:16 Sep 2005
Last Modified:19 Aug 2009 13:20

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