On the fundamental frequencies of satellite relative motion and control of formations Conference Paper uri icon


  • An analysis of the fundamental natural frequencies associated with J 2-perturbed relative motion of satellites in near-circular orbits is presented. Special values of the orbit inclination, dependent on initial conditions, are obtained for which the in-plane and out-of-plane fundamental frequencies remain equal to each other, over an extended period of time. This result validates and generalizes a previously reported finding by other researchers, based on numerical work, on the existence of inclinations for which the relative orbits do not precess. The analysis is extended to the developments of accurate prediction and control models for fuel-optimal formation maintenance and intersatellite fuel-balancing. Numerical simulation results are presented to demonstrate the accuracy of the developed models.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Vadali, S. R., Sengupta, P., Yan, H., & Alfriend, K. T.

complete list of authors

  • Vadali, SR||Sengupta, P||Yan, H||Alfriend, KT

publication date

  • December 2008