Rendezvous approach guidance for uncooperative tumbling satellites
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
Russell Sargent and Paulo Lozano.
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The development of a Rendezvous and Proximity Operations (RPO) guidance algorithm for approaching uncooperative tumbling satellites has multiple purposes including on-orbit satellite servicing, space debris removal, asteroid mining, and on-orbit assembly. This thesis develops a guidance algorithm within the framework of on-orbit satellite servicing, but is extendable to other mission scenarios. The author tests the algorithm in an RPO simulation with an uncooperative tumbling satellite near Geo-stationary Orbit (GEO) starting at a relative distance of 50 m and ending at a relative distance of 5 m. Examples of potential uncooperative tumbling clients include decommissioned satellites or satellites with malfunctioning thrusters. Due to the low Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of autonomous (RPO) missions, first missions prefer to use flight proven technologies. This thesis implements a guidance algorithm based on the flight proven Clohessy-Wiltshire (CW) and space shuttle glideslope equations which command a sequence of burns to close the distance between the servicer and client while matching the client satellite's rotation rate. The author validates the guidance algorithm through Monte Carlo (MC) analysis in a Three Degrees of Freedom (3DOF) simulation. Fuel use metrics characterize the sensitivity of the algorithm. Fuel consumption is measured by the total velocity changes, or [delta]V, needed to complete the maneuvers. Cumulative [delta]V sensitivity is measured against navigational uncertainty in the rotational axis to summarize the key requirements and trade-offs associated with implementing this algorithm.
This electronic version was submitted by the student author. The certified thesis is available in the Institute Archives and Special Collections.Thesis: S.M., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 2019Cataloged from student-submitted PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 125-136).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Aeronautics and Astronautics.