A multi-satellite mission to illuminate the earth: Formation control based on impulsive maneuvers

Shamil N. Biktimirov, Danil S. Ivanov, Tagir R. Sadretdinov, Basel Omran, Dmitry A. Pritykin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study examines feasibility of impulsive control to establish and maintain spacecraft formation consisting of microsatellites equipped with large sunlight reflectors. In the appropriate lighting conditions and given right attitude of the reflecting surfaces, such formations can be visible at a point of interest on Earth as pixel images in the sky. It has been shown that any formation, which is fixed with respect to the orbital reference frame, requires continuous control by onboard thrusters resulting in excessive fuel consumption. However, setting special initial conditions for each satellite that send it along a circumference in the orbital reference frame allows all “pixels” to constitute an image that rotates as a whole almost without control. Some control action is still required for all satellites to converge to the relative trajectories after launch and maintain the formation during its lifetime. It appears that aerodynamic-based control works merely for very low orbit altitudes resulting in the shorter lifetime. Therefore, we consider impulsive control with the use of a liquid-propellant propulsion system to gather the formation deployed from a single launch vehicle with nearly the same initial conditions for all satellites and to maintain the required formation geometry during the mission lifetime.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication5th IAA Conference on UNIVERSITY SATELLITE MISSIONS AND CUBESAT WORKSHOP, 2020
EditorsFilippo Graziani
PublisherUnivelt Inc.
Pages463-474
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9780877036715
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Event5th IAA Conference on University Satellite Missions and Cubesat Workshop, 2020 - Rome, Italy
Duration: 28 Jan 202031 Jan 2020

Publication series

NameAdvances in the Astronautical Sciences
Volume173
ISSN (Print)0065-3438

Conference

Conference5th IAA Conference on University Satellite Missions and Cubesat Workshop, 2020
Country/TerritoryItaly
CityRome
Period28/01/2031/01/20

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