The design of formations of spacecraft in a three-body environment represents one of the most promising challenges for future space missions. Two or more cooperating spacecraft can greatly answer some very complex mission goals, not achievable by a single spacecraft. The dynamical properties of a low acceleration environment such as the vicinity of libration points associated to a three-body system, can be effectively exploited to design spacecraft configurations able of satisfying tight relative position and velocity requirements. This work studies the evolution of an uncontrolled formation orbiting in the proximity of periodic orbits about collinear libration points under the Circular and Elliptic Restricted Three-Body Problems. A three spacecraft triangularly-shaped formation is assumed as a representative geometry to be investigated. The study identifies initial configurations that provide good performance in terms of formation keeping, and investigates key parameters that control the relative dynamics between the spacecraft within the three-body system. Formation keeping performance is quantified by monitoring shape and size changes of the triangular formation. The analysis has been performed under five degrees of freedom to define the geometry, the orientation and the location of the triangle in the synodic rotating frame.

Suitable configurations for triangular formation flying about collinear libration points under the circular and elliptic restricted three-body problems

FERRARI, FABIO;LAVAGNA, MICHÈLE
2018

Abstract

The design of formations of spacecraft in a three-body environment represents one of the most promising challenges for future space missions. Two or more cooperating spacecraft can greatly answer some very complex mission goals, not achievable by a single spacecraft. The dynamical properties of a low acceleration environment such as the vicinity of libration points associated to a three-body system, can be effectively exploited to design spacecraft configurations able of satisfying tight relative position and velocity requirements. This work studies the evolution of an uncontrolled formation orbiting in the proximity of periodic orbits about collinear libration points under the Circular and Elliptic Restricted Three-Body Problems. A three spacecraft triangularly-shaped formation is assumed as a representative geometry to be investigated. The study identifies initial configurations that provide good performance in terms of formation keeping, and investigates key parameters that control the relative dynamics between the spacecraft within the three-body system. Formation keeping performance is quantified by monitoring shape and size changes of the triangular formation. The analysis has been performed under five degrees of freedom to define the geometry, the orientation and the location of the triangle in the synodic rotating frame.
CR3BP; ER3BP; Relative dynamics; Formation flying; Triangular formation; Multi-body dynamics
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/999083
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