Satellite formation design in orbits of high eccentricity with performance constraints specified over a region of interest: MMS phase II Academic Article uri icon


  • The formation design problem for Phase II of the Magnetospheric Multiscale (MMS) mission is addressed using differential mean orbital elements as design variables and the Gim-Alfriend state transition matrix for relative motion propagation. The MMS mission requires a formation of four satellites in a nearly regular tetrahedron throughout a Region of Interest (RoI), defined near apogee of a highly eccentric orbit. Previous papers have addressed the problem of formation design with performance constraints specified over a RoI, and these methods are now applied to the present problem. In addition, the use of a modified along-track drift condition as a constraint to ensure long-term formation stability is investigated. The performance of the designed formations in the presence of differential semimajor axis errors is also examined. Finally, the results are verified using the NASA General Mission Analysis Tool. 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Roscoe, C., Vadali, S. R., Alfriend, K. T., & Desai, U. P.

citation count

  • 18

complete list of authors

  • Roscoe, Christopher WT||Vadali, Srinivas R||Alfriend, Kyle T||Desai, Uri P

publication date

  • January 2013