A hybrid motion planning algorithm for safe and efficient close proximity, autonomous spacecraft missions

Lawrence J. Digirolamo, Andrew H. Hoskins, Kurt A. Hacker, David Bradley Spencer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

5 Scopus citations


As the International Space Station and Earth orbiting satellites age well past their originally planned operational lifespan, improved monitoring of these spacecraft's integrity will be critical to the safety of any crew on board and continued functionality. A small autonomous free flying spacecraft could have the ability to monitor for structural instabilities without the need for astronaut intervention. An offline motion planner has been developed that plans a fuel efficient trajectory between user specified waypoints for the purpose of inspection, given an inspection vehicle's dynamics model, a thruster model and the obstacle field the vehicle operates in. The algorithm developed is shown to find trajectories superior to its predecessor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAIAA/AAS Astrodynamics Specialist Conference 2014
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc.
ISBN (Print)9781624103087
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
EventAIAA/AAS Astrodynamics Specialist Conference 2014 - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Aug 4 2014Aug 7 2014

Publication series

NameAIAA/AAS Astrodynamics Specialist Conference 2014


OtherAIAA/AAS Astrodynamics Specialist Conference 2014
CountryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics

Cite this

Digirolamo, L. J., Hoskins, A. H., Hacker, K. A., & Spencer, D. B. (2014). A hybrid motion planning algorithm for safe and efficient close proximity, autonomous spacecraft missions. In AIAA/AAS Astrodynamics Specialist Conference 2014 (AIAA/AAS Astrodynamics Specialist Conference 2014). American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc..