Control laws for minimum orbital changes - The satellite retrieval problem, part 2

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

On a number of occasions, upper stage failures have left satellites stranded in low Earth orbit. In order for a safe retrieval by the space shuttle, firing the engine may be necessary to remove unused propellants. If the satellite is already in a shuttle-type orbit, then the thrust must be controlled to minimize changes in semi-major axis, eccentricity, and inclination. The accepted strategy has been to vary the thrust direction to only modulate the inclination. This paper uses a set of blended extremal controls that minimizes changes in semi-major axis, eccentricity, and inclination. This requires the solution of a nonlinear programming problem using a set of optimization variables to blend the contributions of the extremal controls. A number of fully three-dimensional cases are examined and the solutions found do not include inclination modulation. A set of realistic thrust directions is presented along with the effects of the maneuver on the orbital elements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages540-546
Number of pages7
StatePublished - Dec 1 2000
EventAstrodynamics Specialist Conference 2000 - Dever, CO, United States
Duration: Aug 14 2000Aug 17 2000

Other

OtherAstrodynamics Specialist Conference 2000
CountryUnited States
CityDever, CO
Period8/14/008/17/00

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics

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    Cichan, T., Melton, R. G., & Spencer, D. B. (2000). Control laws for minimum orbital changes - The satellite retrieval problem, part 2. 540-546. Paper presented at Astrodynamics Specialist Conference 2000, Dever, CO, United States.