Vol. 4, No. 5, 2009

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ISSN: 1559-3959
Deployment procedure for the Tetrahedron Constellation

Pedro A. Capó-Lugo and Peter M. Bainum

Vol. 4 (2009), No. 5, 837–854
Abstract

The NASA Benchmark Tetrahedron Constellation is a four-satellite formation that requires a nominal separation distance at every apogee point. The deployment procedure of a tetrahedron constellation is complex and depends on the separation distance between any pair of satellites within the constellation. In this paper, the deployment procedure of the tetrahedron constellation will be divided into two stages: the deployment from a circular parking orbit to an elliptical orbit, and the correction of the separation distance between pairs of satellites within the constellation. The solution of this problem will be implemented with a combination of Hohmann transfer maneuvers and the digital linear quadratic regulator control scheme showing a minimum consumption of fuel. In summary, the combination of these two techniques will provide a different approach to the deployment procedure of the NASA benchmark tetrahedron constellation.

Keywords
discrete linear quadratic regulator, impulse maneuvers, deployment procedure, tetrahedron constellation
Milestones
Received: 11 March 2008
Revised: 13 May 2009
Accepted: 17 May 2009
Published: 5 September 2009
Authors
Pedro A. Capó-Lugo
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Howard University
2300 Sixth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20059
United States
EV41
Guidance, Navigation and Control Systems Design and Analysis Branch
NASA Marshall Space Flight Center
Huntsville, AL 35812
United States
Peter M. Bainum
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Howard University
2300 Sixth Street, NW
Washington, DC 20059
United States