A Theoretical Framework for the Stable Operation of Autonomous Spacecraft Formations in the Hill-Clohessy-Wiltshire Frame Conference Paper uri icon


  • The dynamic stability of a swarm is an essential consideration in the design of autonomous formation flying spacecraft. In this paper, we begin by using an illustrative example to create a geometric framework utilizing spacecraft formations in Hill-Clohessy-Wiltshire frame. We use this geometric structure to develop theoretical results to analyze swarm stability in a general three-dimensional space and show how stable swarm members can lead to instabilities. We also discuss an adaptive key-component controller as a means to regulate relative error dynamics in highly sensed swarm environments where a fixed gain controller can be difficult to design. Finally, we use a simulation to present and validate our theoretical framework for swarm stability.

name of conference

  • 2019 SoutheastCon

published proceedings

  • 2019 SoutheastCon

author list (cited authors)

  • Gehlot, V. P., & Balas, M. J.

citation count

  • 2

complete list of authors

  • Gehlot, Vinod P||Balas, Mark J

publication date

  • April 2019