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Formation control strategies for a separated spacecraft interferometer

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3 Author(s)
Robertson, A. ; Stanford Univ., CA, USA ; Inalhan, G. ; How, J.P.

Formation flying of multiple spacecraft is an enabling technology for future space science missions such as separated spacecraft interferometers. Controllers designed for these multi-vehicle fleets must address many high- and low-level tasks, and will become very complicated for large fleets. As such, this work describes ongoing research to investigate the precise sensing and control of a distributed spacecraft interferometer using a layered approach based on GPS and laser metrology. In particular, it focuses on the design of low-level controllers within several candidate control architectures, and analyzes how well these controllers perform on basic formations. Initial experimental results are presented on a three vehicle formation flying testbed executing station-keeping and rigid body maneuvers

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American Control Conference, 1999. Proceedings of the 1999  (Volume:6 )

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