Optimal low-thrust reconfiguration for satellites in formation

Christopher J. Scott, David B. Spencer

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


The goal of this study is to compute and analyze the optimal reconfiguration of an n-spacecraft formation where the distances between the spacecraft are small compared to the radius of the reference orbit. An optimal low-thrust continuous transfer scheme with no upper or lower bounds on thrust acceleration is chosen to simplify the analysis. Trends and concepts of a single transfer within a projected circular formation are examined with the goal of extending this information to a general, full reconfiguration. In this analysis, effects of relative phasing, position within the absolute orbit, and transfer time are related to a chosen performance index. Also, an analytical approximation is developed to predict optimal transfers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberAAS 05-101
Pages (from-to)3-21
Number of pages19
JournalAdvances in the Astronautical Sciences
Issue numberI
StatePublished - 2005
EventAAS/AIAA Space Flight Mechaics Meeting - Spaceflight Mechanics 2005 - Copper Mountain, CO, United States
Duration: Jan 23 2005Jan 27 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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