A Caltech Library Service

Coordinated Motion Planning for On-Orbit Satellite Inspection using a Swarm of Small-Spacecraft

Bernhard, Benjamin and Choi, Changrak and Rahmani, Amir and Chung, Soon-Jo and Hadaegh, Fred (2020) Coordinated Motion Planning for On-Orbit Satellite Inspection using a Swarm of Small-Spacecraft. In: 2020 IEEE Aerospace Conference. IEEE , Piscataway, NJ, pp. 1-13. ISBN 9781728127347.

[img] PDF - Published Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


This paper addresses the problem of how to plan optimal motion for a swarm of on-orbit servicing (OOS) small-spacecraft remotely inspecting a non-cooperative client spacecraft in Earth orbit. With the goal being to maximize the information gathered from the coordinated inspection, we present an integrated motion planning methodology that is a) fuel-efficient to ensure extended operation time and b) computationally-tractable to make possible on-board re-planning for improved exploration. Our method is decoupled into first offline selection of optimal orbits, followed by online coordinated attitude planning. In the orbit selection stage, we numerically evaluate the upper and lower bounds of the information gain for a discretized set of passive relative orbits (PRO). The algorithm then sequentially assigns orbits to each spacecraft using greedy heuristics. For the attitude planning stage, we propose a dynamic programming (DP) based attitude planner capable of addressing vehicle and sensor constraints such as attitude control system specifications, sensor field of view, sensing duration, and sensing angle. Finally, we validate the performance of the proposed algorithms through simulation of a design reference mission involving 3U CubeSats inspecting a satellite in low Earth orbit.

Item Type:Book Section
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Chung, Soon-Jo0000-0002-6657-3907
Additional Information:© 2020 IEEE. This research was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (80NM0018D0004). We would like to thank Yashwanth Nakka and Wolfgang Hoenig for their valuable feedback on the work and also MichaelWolf for reviewing the manuscript. © 2019 California Institute of Technology. All rights reserved.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200831-132647262
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:B. Bernhard, C. Choi, A. Rahmani, S. Chung and F. Hadaegh, "Coordinated Motion Planning for On-Orbit Satellite Inspection using a Swarm of Small-Spacecraft," 2020 IEEE Aerospace Conference, Big Sky, MT, USA, 2020, pp. 1-13, doi: 10.1109/AERO47225.2020.9172747
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:105174
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:09 Sep 2020 00:04
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 18:40

Repository Staff Only: item control page