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Published September 2017 | Published
Book Section - Chapter Open

Distributed Spatiotemporal Motion Planning for Spacecraft Swarms in Cluttered Environments


This paper focuses on trajectory planning for spacecraft swarms in cluttered environments, like debris fields or the asteroid belt. Our objective is to reconfigure the spacecraft swarm to a desired formation in a distributed manner while minimizing fuel and avoiding collisions among themselves and with the obstacles. In our prior work we proposed a novel distributed guidance algorithm for spacecraft swarms in static environments. In this paper, we present the Multi-Agent Moving-Obstacles Spherical Expansion and Sequential Convex Programming (MAMO SE-SCP) algorithm that extends our prior work to include spatiotemporal constraints such as time-varying, moving obstacles and desired time-varying terminal positions. In the MAMO SE-SCP algorithm, each agent uses a spherical-expansion-based sampling algorithm to cooperatively explore the time-varying environment, a distributed assignment algorithm to agree on the terminal position for each agent, and a sequential-convex-programming-based optimization step to compute the locally-optimal trajectories from the current location to the assigned time-varying terminal position while avoiding collision with other agent and the moving obstacles. Simulations results demonstrate that the proposed distributed algorithm can be used by a spacecraft swarm to achieve a time-varying, desired formation around an object of interest in a dynamic environment with many moving and tumbling obstacles.

Additional Information

© 2017 by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc. This work was supported by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Research and Technology Development (R&TD) program. Part of the research was carried out at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under a contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. © 2017 California Institute of Technology. Government sponsorship acknowledged.

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August 19, 2023
August 19, 2023