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Relative orbit design tool

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1 Author(s)
Tollefson, M.V. ; Dynacs, Inc., Albuquerque, NM, USA

A software tool was developed to facilitate the design of sets of satellite orbits such that the satellites always remain in close proximity to one another. The group of satellites is typically referred to as a cluster, and the close proximity motions are often termed formation flying. Such relative motion is well understood only for near-circular orbits, and no method existed to easily and rapidly design a cluster and compute the orbital parameters for the individual satellites. This tool provides that functionality with a graphical user interface to allow almost anyone to easily design and analyze relative orbits. The tool has several additional capabilities. It displays close-approach information for collision detection. It displays the relative orbits using a two-body orbit propagator so the effects of elliptical orbits can be studied. It exports the orbital data in several formats to facilitate further analysis

Published in:

Aerospace Conference, 2001, IEEE Proceedings.  (Volume:7 )

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