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Information-Based Guidance and Control Architecture for Multi-Spacecraft On-Orbit Inspection

Nakka, Yashwanth Kumar K. and Hönig, Wolfgang and Choi, Changrak and Harvard, Alexei and Rahmani, Amir and Chung, Soon-Jo (2022) Information-Based Guidance and Control Architecture for Multi-Spacecraft On-Orbit Inspection. Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics, 45 (7). pp. 1184-1201. ISSN 0731-5090. doi:10.2514/1.g006278.

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Inspection or mapping of a target spacecraft in a low Earth orbit using multiple observer spacecraft in stable passive relative orbits (PROs) is a key enabling technology for future space missions. Our guidance and control architecture uses an information gain approach to directly consider the tradeoff between gathered data and fuel/energy cost. The architecture has four components: information estimation, spacecraft’s absolute and relative state estimation, motion planning for relative orbit initialization and reconfiguration, and relative orbit control. The information estimation quantifies the information gain during inspection of a spacecraft, given past and potential future poses of all spacecraft. The estimated information gain is a crucial input to the motion planner, which computes PROs and reconfiguration strategies for each observer to maximize the information gain from distributed observations of the target spacecraft. The resulting motion trajectories jointly consider observational coverage of the target spacecraft and fuel/energy cost. For the PRO trajectories, a fuel-optimal attitude trajectory that minimizes rest-to-rest energy for each observer to inspect the target spacecraft is designed. The validation on a mission simulation to visually inspect the target spacecraft and on a three-degree-of-freedom robotic spacecraft dynamics simulator testbed demonstrates the effectiveness and versatility of our approach.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription ItemConference Paper
Nakka, Yashwanth Kumar K.0000-0001-7897-3644
Hönig, Wolfgang0000-0002-0773-028X
Chung, Soon-Jo0000-0002-6657-3907
Additional Information:© 2022 by The Authors. Published by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc., with permission. Received 17 June 2021. Accepted 27 March 2022. Published online 15 May 2022. Part of this work was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with NASA. This work was in part funded by the JPL-CAST Swarm Autonomy project and the David and Catherine Thompson Graduate Fellowship Fund for Space. The authors thank Fred Y. Hadaegh for technical discussions.
Group:GALCIT, Center for Autonomous Systems and Technologies (CAST)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
David and Catherine Thompson Graduate Fellowship Fund for SpaceUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:7
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20220517-496840000
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Official Citation:Information-Based Guidance and Control Architecture for Multi-Spacecraft On-Orbit Inspection Yashwanth Kumar Nakka, Wolfgang Hönig, Changrak Choi, Alexei Harvard, Amir Rahmani, and Soon-Jo Chung Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics 2022 45:7, 1184-1201. doi:10.2514/1.G006278
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:114771
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:17 May 2022 20:03
Last Modified:14 Jun 2022 19:58

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