2011 Volume 53 Issue 182 Pages 258-266
Assuming that the sequence of the member satellites in a formation is unchanged, this paper presents a new control scheme to change the configuration of the formation from one elliptic relative trajectory (cart-wheel orbit) to another elliptic relative trajectory by using impulsive control. First, the full analytical fuel-optimal solutions of in-plane and out-of-plane orbit transfer problems using impulsive maneuver are derived, respectively. Next, the single satellite orbit reconfiguration problem is solved by using these fuel-optimal impulsive control strategies. Based on the fuel-optimal single satellite reconfiguration solutions, a new asynchronous control scheme for satellite formation reconfiguration is proposed. This new control scheme can achieve the objectives of total minimum fuel consumption of the formation, balanced fuel expenditure of the single satellite, and collision avoidance between the satellites in formation. Furthermore, this new control scheme has an analytical form, so it is simple and convenient for onboard application. The limitation of this new control scheme is that as the member satellites increases, the total reconfiguration time increases proportionally.