Geometric formations using relative orbital elements and artificial potential functions

Sylvain Renevey, David A. Spencer

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


In this paper, geometric relative orbit formations are established using a control algorithm based on relative orbital elements and artificial potential functions. Numerical simulations are presented to illustrate the effectiveness of the control algorithm. The first case study is that of a triangular lattice composed of ten spacecraft distributed onto two circular relative orbits. Then, the design and establishment of a thirty-seven spacecraft formation composed of two hexagonal lattices is presented. Finally, the algorithm is extended to a different set of relative orbital elements and is illustrated with the design of a helix trajectory for on-orbit inspection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAAS/AIAA Astrodynamics Specialist Conference, 2019
EditorsKenneth R. Horneman, Christopher Scott, Brian W. Hansen, Islam I. Hussein
PublisherUnivelt Inc.
Number of pages22
ISBN (Print)9780877036654
StatePublished - 2020
EventAAS/AIAA Astrodynamics Specialist Conference, 2019 - Portland, United States
Duration: Aug 11 2019Aug 15 2019

Publication series

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


ConferenceAAS/AIAA Astrodynamics Specialist Conference, 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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