Optimal formation keeping near a general keplerian orbit under nonlinear perturbations

Kwangwon Lee, Chandeok Park, Sang Young Park, Daniel J. Scheeres

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


This study presents a semi-analytic approach for optimal spacecraft formation keeping with high precision. For a continuous-thrust propulsion system, a nonlinear optimal tracking law is derived in generic form as an explicit function of the states by employing generating functions in the theory of Hamiltonian systems. Optimal formation keeping problems are formulated with respect to a time-varying reference trajectory on a finite time span to accommodate nonlinearities more precisely. The applicability of the overall process is not affected by the complexity of dynamics and the selection of coordinates. As it allows us to design a nonlinear optimal feedback control in the Earth-centered inertial frame, a variety of nonlinear perturbations can be incorporated without complicated coordinate transformations. Numerical experiments demonstrate that the nonlinear tracking control logic results in superior tracking accuracy and cost reduction by accommodating higher-order nonlinearities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2939-2951
Number of pages13
JournalAdvances in the Astronautical Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Event23rd AAS/AIAA Space Flight Mechanics Meeting, Spaceflight Mechanics 2013 - Kauai, HI, United States
Duration: 2013 Feb 102013 Feb 14

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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