The exploration of NEA (Near Earth Asteroids) is characterized by many problematics such as collision risks, irregular gravity fields and, in case of binary systems, multibody gravity perturbations, whose negative effects on mission design could be mitigated by the exploitation of multiple spacecraft in formation, with lower weights, dimensions and costs. Nanosatellite fully meet these needs, however, the poor control capabilities, and the strict requirements on relative dynamics to ensure the same performances of a single heavy spacecraft, request an efficient strategy to determine the suitable trajectories in this chaotic environment. The paper proposes a simple technique, based on orbit sampling and local optimization, to define a set of suitable configurations for a two-nanosatellite formation. After a quick review on the orbits determination and combination in binary asteroid environments, and the presentation of the objectives derived from the conceptual mission AIM (Asteroid Impact Mission), the local optimization algorithm is explained, paying attention to the selection of the method and its modification to best adapt to the specific problem. Then, results are presented, showing the strength and weakness points of the overall procedure, for the definition of future improvements.

Optimal Configurations for Nanosatellite Formation Flying in Binary Asteroid Environment

Capannolo, A.;LAVAGNA, MICHÈLE;FERRARI, FABIO;LUNGHI, PAOLO
2017

Abstract

The exploration of NEA (Near Earth Asteroids) is characterized by many problematics such as collision risks, irregular gravity fields and, in case of binary systems, multibody gravity perturbations, whose negative effects on mission design could be mitigated by the exploitation of multiple spacecraft in formation, with lower weights, dimensions and costs. Nanosatellite fully meet these needs, however, the poor control capabilities, and the strict requirements on relative dynamics to ensure the same performances of a single heavy spacecraft, request an efficient strategy to determine the suitable trajectories in this chaotic environment. The paper proposes a simple technique, based on orbit sampling and local optimization, to define a set of suitable configurations for a two-nanosatellite formation. After a quick review on the orbits determination and combination in binary asteroid environments, and the presentation of the objectives derived from the conceptual mission AIM (Asteroid Impact Mission), the local optimization algorithm is explained, paying attention to the selection of the method and its modification to best adapt to the specific problem. Then, results are presented, showing the strength and weakness points of the overall procedure, for the definition of future improvements.
26th International Symposium on Space Flight Dynamics
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11311/1034756
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