Formation Flight Design near Sun-Earth Collinear Libration Points under the Effect of Disturbances


9th International Conference on Recent Advances in Space Technologies (RAST), İstanbul, Turkey, 11 - 14 June 2019, pp.137-144 identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • Volume:
  • Doi Number: 10.1109/rast.2019.8767804
  • City: İstanbul
  • Country: Turkey
  • Page Numbers: pp.137-144
  • Keywords: formation flight, libration points, Halo orbit, Lagrange points, restricted three body problem
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


This manuscript presents a methodology for the design of formation flight near Sun-Earth collinear libration points L1 and L2 that are located approximately 1.5 million kilometers from the Earth. The circular restricted three body problem is used for the derivation of the equations of motion. Disturbance due to solar radiation pressure and the gravitational disturbances due to the solar system planets are considered. The Halo orbits are designed for the members of the formation. The proper initial conditions are computed for each of the deputy satellites, positions and velocities that ensure the formation flight for one orbital period of time. In this study, a formation scheme having square shape is analyzed. This scheme has four deputy satellites at corners and one chief satellite at the center. The objective is to analyze the relative motion between deputies and chief regarding to the initial relative position of the deputies. The main purpose is to obtain a stable relative distance between satellites. The results show that the disturbances have important effects on the periodicity and stability of the orbit, as well as on the initial conditions computations. Required formation is maintained during one orbital period of time, year. From the analyses, it is seen that relative distance has a periodic motion; formation scheme periodically narrows and expands around the required relative distance.