Satellite orbit transfer and formation reconfiguration via an attitude control analogy Academic Article uri icon


  • A control law applicable to orbit transfer as well as formation reconfiguration has been developed via a Lyapunov function similar to that used for spacecraft attitude control. It uses feedback of kinematic and kinetic error states between the current and desired orbital frames, which are parameterized by Euler parameters, orbital radius and its time derivative, and orbital angular velocities. The efficacy of the control law is demonstrated with examples, including orbit transfers and formation reconfiguration, both with low-eccentricity and high-eccentricity reference orbits, in the presence of J2 perturbations. Further simplifications in the control law are introduced and it is shown that stability is not affected. A methodology is proposed to reduce control requirement by appropriate gain selection and control initiation at predefined locations. The equivalent impulse requirements obtained for the examples compare very favorably with analytically and numerically optimized figures presented in other published works.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Sengupta, P., & Vadali, S. R.

citation count

  • 3

complete list of authors

  • Sengupta, P||Vadali, SR

publication date

  • November 2005