Orbital Mechanics and Formation Flying

Orbital Mechanics and Formation Flying, 1st Edition

A Digital Control Perspective

Orbital Mechanics and Formation Flying, 1st Edition,P A Capó-Lugo,P M Bainum,ISBN9780857090546


Woodhead Publishing




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Key Features

  • Explains the orbital motion and principal perturbations affecting the satellite
  • Uses the Ares V rocket as an example to explain the attitude motion of a space vehicle
  • Presents the practical approach for different control actuators that can be used in a satellite


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.

P A Capó-Lugo

Dr Pedro A. Capó-Lugo works as an Aerospace Engineer in the guidance, navigation, and control analysis and design group at NASA George C. Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. He has worked in the analysis of control systems of the Ares rockets in the Constellation program, and has analyzed and developed control systems for different satellite missions which include nano and cube satellites. One of his main research interests is formation flying.

Affiliations and Expertise

George C. Marshall Space Flight Center (NASA)

P M Bainum

Dr Peter M. Bainum has 50 years industrial and academic experience. His research in aerospace systems dynamics and control resulted in 220 authored/co-authored publications. His current research interests include: formation flying and dynamics; and control of large flexible space structures. Honours include Fellow AIAA, AAS, AAAS, BIS; Honorary Member Japanese Rocket Society (JRS); IAA Member, and recipient of AIAA International Cooperation, IAF Malina Education, AAS Dirk Brouwer and Sen. Spark Matsunaga International Cooperation Awards. His experience includes participation in the Gemini mission, Apollo program proposal, Department of Defense Gravity Experiment Satellite, Small Astronomy Dual Spin Spacecraft, the Shuttle-Tethered-Subsatellite program, and the NASA proposed Cluster Formation Flying program. Dr. Bainum holds the position of Distinguished Professor of Aerospace Engineering, Emeritus, Howard University, Washington, DC, USA.

Affiliations and Expertise

Howard University, USA

Orbital Mechanics and Formation Flying, 1st Edition

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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