Spacecraft Trajectory Design and Optimization

A special issue of Aerospace (ISSN 2226-4310). This special issue belongs to the section "Astronautics & Space Science".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 September 2021) | Viewed by 11047

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Department of Aerospace Engineering, Tamkang University, 151 Ying-zhuan Rd., Tamsui, New Taipei 25137, Taiwan
Interests: astrodynamics; dynamics and control of UAVs; application of computer vision

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Space has been one of the fields that has attracted public attention for the past few years. Various space missions have been executed or proposed, such as lunar missions, interplanetary missions, asteroid missions, small/cubic satellite missions, debris removal, space situational awareness, and so on. The success of these missions highly relies on trajectory design, navigation, guidance, and control. For small-sized spacecrafts, such as micro-satellites or CubeSats, optimization of trajectory control is even crucial. Novel algorithms and newly developed tools such as artificial intelligence have greatly increased capacities and brought innovated the field. Development, however, brings with it challenging problems to solve.

This Special Issue focuses on the recent advances and novel algorithms of spacecraft-trajectory-related research. Research on the trajectory of small-sized probes or on deep space exploration is encouraged. Authors are invited to submit full research articles and review manuscripts addressing (but not limited to) the following topics:

  • Spacecraft trajectory design in deep space missions;
  • Navigation, guidance and control of spacecraft trajectory;
  • Optimization of spacecraft trajectory control;
  • Application of AI to spacecraft trajectory;
  • Trajectory design and control of small-sized spacecraft;
  • Space situation awareness;
  • Continuous low-thrust trajectory;
  • Spacecraft trajectory with novel propulsion system;
  • Formation flight.

Prof. Fu-yuen Hsiao
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Aerospace is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

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Keywords

  • Spacecraft trajectory design
  • Navigation, guidance, and control of spacecraft trajectory
  • Spacecraft trajectory optimization
  • Artificial intelligence in spacecraft trajectory
  • Deep space missions
  • Novel algorithms

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

28 pages, 1500 KiB  
Article
Variation of Osculating Orbit Elements Using Low-Thrust Photonic Laser Propulsion in the Two-Body Problem
by Fu-Yuen Hsiao
Aerospace 2022, 9(2), 75; https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace9020075 - 30 Jan 2022
Viewed by 2051
Abstract
This study investigated the variation of the osculating orbit elements of a spacecraft propelled by photonic laser propulsion (PLP) under the two-body problem assumption. The PLP thrusting system can produce continuous and constant thrust. This paper first reviewed its basics and then studied [...] Read more.
This study investigated the variation of the osculating orbit elements of a spacecraft propelled by photonic laser propulsion (PLP) under the two-body problem assumption. The PLP thrusting system can produce continuous and constant thrust. This paper first reviewed its basics and then studied its influences on the variation of osculating orbit elements given a small PLP thrust. Gauss’s equations, perturbation theory, and normalization were introduced to investigate this problem. Our work approached the problem by studying the influences of small planar and out-of-plane PLP thrusts, respectively. Bounds on the variation of orbit elements were derived, and a sufficient condition that traps the mission spacecraft in the vicinity of the mother ship was also found. Numerical simulations are also presented to verify our results, including the bounds and the sufficient conditions. The results obtained in this paper are directly applicable to the usage of PLP thrust, a new type of thrusting system, in the future, and are potentially helpful to various space missions, especially interplanetary travel. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spacecraft Trajectory Design and Optimization)
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20 pages, 7212 KiB  
Article
Design of Orbit Controls for a Multiple CubeSat Mission Using Drift Rate Modulation
by Youngbum Song, Sang-Young Park, Geuk-Nam Kim and Dong-Gu Kim
Aerospace 2021, 8(11), 323; https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace8110323 - 29 Oct 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2684
Abstract
For the low-cost improvement of laser communication, which is critical for various applications such as surveillance systems, a study was conducted on relative distance control based on orbital drift rate modulations for multiple CubeSats during formation flying. The VISION mission covered in this [...] Read more.
For the low-cost improvement of laser communication, which is critical for various applications such as surveillance systems, a study was conducted on relative distance control based on orbital drift rate modulations for multiple CubeSats during formation flying. The VISION mission covered in this paper comprises two CubeSats to demonstrate laser communication technology in space. During the mission, the deputy CubeSat changes the relative distance to execute mission objectives within various scenarios. Impulsive controls decrease, maintain, and increase the relative distance between the CubeSats by changing the orbital drift rates. The simulation results indicated that the desired orbital operation can be conducted within a given ΔV budget. In addition, the errors in the orbit determination, thrust maneuvers, and time synchronization were analyzed to satisfy the mission requirements. The mass-to-area ratio should be matched to adjust the relative distance between satellites with different properties by drift rate modulation. The proposed orbit control method appropriately operated the VISION mission by adjusting the drift rate modulation. The results of this study serve as a basis for the development of complex orbit control simulations and detailed designs that reflect the characteristics of the thrust module and operational aspects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spacecraft Trajectory Design and Optimization)
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17 pages, 4286 KiB  
Article
Incomplete Information Pursuit-Evasion Game Control for a Space Non-Cooperative Target
by Ziwen Wang, Baichun Gong, Yanhua Yuan and Xin Ding
Aerospace 2021, 8(8), 211; https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace8080211 - 03 Aug 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2511
Abstract
Aiming to solve the optimal control problem for the pursuit-evasion game with a space non-cooperative target under the condition of incomplete information, a new method degenerating the game into a strong tracking problem is proposed, where the unknown target maneuver is processed as [...] Read more.
Aiming to solve the optimal control problem for the pursuit-evasion game with a space non-cooperative target under the condition of incomplete information, a new method degenerating the game into a strong tracking problem is proposed, where the unknown target maneuver is processed as colored noise. First, the relative motion is modeled in the rotating local vertical local horizontal (LVLH) frame originated at a virtual Chief based on the Hill-Clohessy-Wiltshire relative dynamics, while the measurement models for three different sensor schemes (i.e., single LOS (line-of-sight) sensor, LOS range sensor and double LOS sensor) are established and an extended Kalman Filter (EKF) is used to obtain the relative state of target. Next, under the assumption that the unknown maneuver of the target is colored noise, the game control law of chaser is derived based on the linear quadratic differential game theory. Furthermore, the optimal control law considering the thrust limitation is obtained. After that, the observability of the relative orbit state is analyzed, where the relative orbit is weakly observable in a short period of time in the case of only LOS angle measurements, fully observable in the cases of LOS range and double LOS measurement schemes. Finally, numerical simulations are conducted to verify the proposed method. The results show that by using the single LOS scheme, the chaser would firstly approach the target but then would lose the game because of the existence of the target’s unknown maneuver. Conversely, the chaser can successfully win the game in the cases of LOS range and double LOS sensor schemes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spacecraft Trajectory Design and Optimization)
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17 pages, 1948 KiB  
Article
Time-Fixed Glideslope Guidance for Approaching the Proximity of an Asteroid
by Jinlin Wang, Hai Li, Zhangjin Lin and Hong Huo
Aerospace 2021, 8(5), 137; https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace8050137 - 15 May 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1866
Abstract
The guidance and control problem of spacecraft approaching an asteroid using constant continuous thrust is studied in this work. The range of interest is from hundreds of kilometers to several kilometers, in which relative measurements of much higher accuracy than based on Earth [...] Read more.
The guidance and control problem of spacecraft approaching an asteroid using constant continuous thrust is studied in this work. The range of interest is from hundreds of kilometers to several kilometers, in which relative measurements of much higher accuracy than based on Earth can be used to facilitate further hovering or landing operations. Time-fixed glideslope guidance algorithm is improved by introducing a substitute of an existing control parameter and combined with elliptical relative orbital dynamics to rendezvous the spacecraft with a prescribed location in the proximity of a given asteroid. A vast range of values for the control parameters are explored and suitable combinations are found. To fully validate the robustness and accuracy of the proposed control algorithm, Monte Carlo simulations are done with the navigational error and implementation error considered. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spacecraft Trajectory Design and Optimization)
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