Pulse-based periodic control for spacecraft formation flying

Qiguo Yan, Vikram Kapila, Andrew G. Sparks

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Distributed spacecraft formation flying has been identified as an enabling technology by NASA and the U.S. Air Force for several future space missions. Implementation of the distributed spacecraft formation flying concept requires tight, autonomous, cooperative, real-time control of the relative distance and attitude between the participating spacecraft. In this paper, we develop a pulse-based, periodic gain, linear control design frame-work, which uses only an intermittent control action and yields guaranteed closed-loop stability. The proposed framework is utilized to design linear controllers for the linearized spacecraft relative motion dynamics viz., Hill's equations. Illustrative numerical simulations are developed for formation maintenance in ideal, naturally attractive, relative orbits, to demonstrate the efficacy of the proposed approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)374-378
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the American Control Conference
StatePublished - 2000
Event2000 American Control Conference - Chicago, IL, USA
Duration: Jun 28 2000Jun 30 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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