Orbital Mechanics and Formation Flying book cover

Orbital Mechanics and Formation Flying

A Digital Control Perspective

Aimed at students, faculty and professionals in the aerospace field, this book provides practical information on the development, analysis, and control of a single and/or multiple spacecraft in space. This book is divided into two major sections: single and multiple satellite motion. The first section analyses the orbital mechanics, orbital perturbations, and attitude dynamics of a single satellite around the Earth. Using the knowledge of a single satellite motion, the translation of a group of satellites called formation flying or constellation is explained. Formation flying has been one of the main research topics over the last few years and this book explains different control approaches to control the satellite attitude motion and/or to maintain the constellation together. The control schemes are explained in the discrete domain such that it can be easily implemented on the computer on board the satellite. The key objective of this book is to show the reader the practical and the implementation process in the discrete domain.

Students, faculty and professionals in the aerospace field.

Hardbound, 438 Pages

Published: October 2011

Imprint: Woodhead Publishing

ISBN: 978-0-85709-054-6


  • Introduction; Two body orbital motion; Orbital perturbations in the two body motion; Frame rotations and quaternions; Rigid body motion; Environmental and actuator torques; Continuous and digital control systems; Example; Formation flying; Deployment procedure for a constellation; Reconfiguration procedure for a constellation.


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