Spacecraft formation flying: Dynamics and control

Vikram Kapila, Andrew G. Sparks, James M. Buffington, Qiguo Yan

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


A novel concept of a distributed array of small, low-cost, cooperative, and highly coordinated micro-spacecraft is vigorously being pursued for several future space missions. Implementation of the distributed coordinated spacecraft concept will require tight control of the relative distances and phases between the participating spacecraft. In this paper, we review nonlinear and linear spacecraft relative position modeling techniques. In addition, we develop a mathematically rigorous control design framework for linear control of spacecraft relative position dynamics with guaranteed closed-loop stability. Finally, illustrative numerical simulations are provided to demonstrate the efficacy of the proposed approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the American Control Conference
Number of pages5
StatePublished - 1999
EventProceedings of the 1999 American Control Conference (99ACC) - San Diego, CA, USA
Duration: Jun 2 1999Jun 4 1999


OtherProceedings of the 1999 American Control Conference (99ACC)
CitySan Diego, CA, USA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering


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