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Mirror formation control in the vicinity of an asteroid

Vasile, Massimiliano and Maddock, Christie and Radice, Gianmarco (2008) Mirror formation control in the vicinity of an asteroid. In: AIAA/AAS Astrodynamics Specialist Conference 2008, 2008-08-18 - 2008-08-21.

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Abstract

Two strategies are presented for the positioning and control of a spacecraft formation designed to focus sunlight onto a point on the surface of asteroid, thereby sublimating the material and ejecting debris creating thrust. In the first approach, the formation is located at artficial equilibrium points around the asteroid and controlled using the force from the solar radiation pressure. The second approach determines the optimal periodic formation orbits, subject to the gravitational perturbations from the asteroid, the solar radiation pressure and the control acceleration derived from a control law.