Design and control of libration point satellite formations Conference Paper uri icon


  • As a part of the Origins program, NASA is planning to support multiple missions requiring distributed space-based interferometry. One of the common elements of the proposed missions is formation flying of numerous sub-apertures distributed around a collector, which may be placed in a periodic orbit (halo) or quasi-periodic (Lissajous) trajectory around the libration points. This paper discusses the construction of specific relative orbits between two satellites near the trans-terrestrial libration point (L2) and presents fuel requirement budgets based on the model of the circular restricted three-body problem. A unified framework for designing control laws for formation maintenance, reconfiguration, and slewing, using the input feedback linearization technique are presented and an example, using a model distributed Fizeau interferometer problem is treated. An architecture for reconfiguring the sub-apertures in a formation to minimize the average fuel cost per satellite as well as balance the fuel consumption among the sub-apertures, is also presented.

published proceedings

  • Spaceflight Mechanics 2004, Vol 119, Pt 1-3

author list (cited authors)

  • Vadali, S. R., Bae, H. W., & Alfriend, K. T.

complete list of authors

  • Vadali, SR||Bae, HW||Alfriend, KT

publication date

  • August 2005