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The autonomous configuration of satellite formations using generic potential functions

McQuade, F. and Ward, R. and Ortix, F. and McInnes, C.R. (2003) The autonomous configuration of satellite formations using generic potential functions. In: Proceedings of the 3rd International Workshop on Satellite Constellations and Formation-Flying. International Astronautical Federation.

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Abstract

A path-planning tool has been developed to generate safe trajectories from initial docking release to a specified observation point and back to docking for a small free-flying robot camera manoeuvring in proximity to the international space station (ISS). This work was partly supported by Daimler-Chrysler GmbH (now part of the Astrium group) for the ISS Inspector free-flying camera. The tool makes use of ellipse of safety (EOS) trajectories to enforce long-term passive safety requirements in the presence of differential air drag during the fly around phases of the manoeuvre, while transferring between the docking port and observation point.