Spacecraft Formation Flying

Author: Kyle Alfriend
Publisher: Elsevier
ISBN: 0080559654
Release Date: 2009-11-16
Genre: Technology & Engineering

Space agencies are now realizing that much of what has previously been achieved using hugely complex and costly single platform projects—large unmanned and manned satellites (including the present International Space Station)—can be replaced by a number of smaller satellites networked together. The key challenge of this approach, namely ensuring the proper formation flying of multiple craft, is the topic of this second volume in Elsevier’s Astrodynamics Series, Spacecraft Formation Flying: Dynamics, control and navigation. In this unique text, authors Alfriend et al. provide a coherent discussion of spacecraft relative motion, both in the unperturbed and perturbed settings, explain the main control approaches for regulating relative satellite dynamics, using both impulsive and continuous maneuvers, and present the main constituents required for relative navigation. The early chapters provide a foundation upon which later discussions are built, making this a complete, standalone offering. Intended for graduate students, professors and academic researchers in the fields of aerospace and mechanical engineering, mathematics, astronomy and astrophysics, Spacecraft Formation Flying is a technical yet accessible, forward-thinking guide to this critical area of astrodynamics. The first book dedicated to spacecraft formation flying, written by leading researchers and professors in the field Develops the theory from an astrodynamical viewpoint, emphasizing modeling, control and navigation of formation flying satellites on Earth orbits Examples used to illustrate the main developments, with a sample simulation of a formation flying mission included to illustrate high fidelity modeling, control and relative navigation

Continuing Kepler s Quest

Author: Committee for the Assessment of the U.S. Air Force's Astrodynamic Standards
Publisher: National Academies Press
ISBN: 9780309261425
Release Date: 2012-09-06
Genre: Science

In February 2009, the commercial communications satellite Iridium 33 collided with the Russian military communications satellite Cosmos 2251. The collision, which was not the first recorded between two satellites in orbit--but the most recent and alarming--produced thousands of pieces of debris, only a small percentage of which could be tracked by sensors located around the world. In early 2007, China tested a kinetic anti-satellite weapon against one of its own satellites, which also generated substantial amounts of space debris. These collisions highlighted the importance of maintaining accurate knowledge, and the associated uncertainty, of the orbit of each object in space. These data are needed to predict close approaches of space objects and to compute the probability of collision so that owners/operators can decide whether or not to make a collision avoidance maneuver by a spacecraft with such capability. The space object catalog currently contains more than 20,000 objects, and when the planned space fence radar becomes operational this number is expected to exceed 100,000. A key task is to determine if objects might come closer to each other, an event known as "conjunction," and the probability that they might collide. The U.S. Air Force is the primary U.S. government organization tasked with maintaining the space object catalog and data on all space objects. This is a complicated task, involving collecting data from a multitude of different sensors-many of which were not specifically designed to track orbiting objects-and fusing the tracking data along with other data, such as data from atmospheric models, to provide predictions of where objects will be in the future. The Committee for the Assessment of the U.S. Air Force's Astrodynamic Standards collected data and heard from numerous people involved in developing and maintaining the current astrodynamics standards for the Air Force Space Command (AFSPC), as well as representatives of the user community, such as NASA and commercial satellite owners and operators. Preventing collisions of space objects, regardless of their ownership, is in the national security interested of the United States. Continuing Kepler's Quest makes recommendations to the AFSPC in order for it to create and expand research programs, design and develop hardware and software, as well as determine which organizations to work with to achieve its goals.

Protecting the Space Shuttle from Meteoroids and Orbital Debris

Author: Committee on Space Shuttle Meteoroid/Debris Risk Management
Publisher: National Academies Press
ISBN: 9780309059886
Release Date: 1997-12-09
Genre: Science

The space shuttle orbiter has already been struck many times by small meteoroids and orbital debris, but it has not been damaged severely. There is a real risk, however, that a meteoroid or debris impact could one day force the crew to abort a mission or might result in loss of life or loss of the shuttle itself. Protecting the Space Shuttle from Meteoroids and Orbital Debris assesses the magnitude of the problem and suggests changes that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration can make to reduce the risk to the shuttle and its crew. December

Summary of the Workshop to Identify Gaps and Possible Directions for NASA s Meteoroid and Orbital Debris Programs

Author: Committee for the Assessment of NASA's Orbital Debris Programs
Publisher: National Academies Press
ISBN: 9780309215169
Release Date: 2011-09-08
Genre: Science

A Summary of the Workshop to Identify the Gaps and Possible Directions for NASA's Meteoroid and Orbital Debris Programs summarizes the two-day workshop held on March 9-10, 2011, where various stakeholders presented diverse perspectives on matters concerning NASA Micrometeoroid and Orbital Debris (MMOD) programs, NASA mission operators, the role and relationships of NASA MMOD programs to other federal agencies, MMOD and the commercial industry, and orbital debris retrieval and removal. The report assesses NASA's existing efforts, policies, and organizations with regard to orbital debris and micrometeoroids by creating advisory dialogue on potential opportunities for program enhancement and maintenance practices.

Limiting Future Collision Risk to Spacecraft

Author: Committee for the Assessment of NASA's Orbital Debris Programs
Publisher: National Academies Press
ISBN: 9780309219747
Release Date: 2011-11-16
Genre: Science

Derelict satellites, equipment and other debris orbiting Earth (aka space junk) have been accumulating for many decades and could damage or even possibly destroy satellites and human spacecraft if they collide. During the past 50 years, various National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) communities have contributed significantly to maturing meteoroid and orbital debris (MMOD) programs to their current state. Satellites have been redesigned to protect critical components from MMOD damage by moving critical components from exterior surfaces to deep inside a satellite's structure. Orbits are monitored and altered to minimize the risk of collision with tracked orbital debris. MMOD shielding added to the International Space Station (ISS) protects critical components and astronauts from potentially catastrophic damage that might result from smaller, untracked debris and meteoroid impacts. Limiting Future Collision Risk to Spacecraft: An Assessment of NASA's Meteoroid and Orbital Debris Program examines NASA's efforts to understand the meteoroid and orbital debris environment, identifies what NASA is and is not doing to mitigate the risks posed by this threat, and makes recommendations as to how they can improve their programs. While the report identified many positive aspects of NASA's MMOD programs and efforts including responsible use of resources, it recommends that the agency develop a formal strategic plan that provides the basis for prioritizing the allocation of funds and effort over various MMOD program needs. Other necessary steps include improvements in long-term modeling, better measurements, more regular updates of the debris environmental models, and other actions to better characterize the long-term evolution of the debris environment.

Review of the Future of the U S Aerospace Infrastructure and Aerospace Engineering Disciplines to Meet the Needs of the Air Force and the Department of Defense

Author: Air Force Science and Technology Board
Publisher: National Academies Press
ISBN: 9780309076067
Release Date: 2001-09-27
Genre: Technology & Engineering

The Principal Deputy to the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition requested that the National Research Council (NRC) review the Air Force's planned acquisition programs to determine if, given its scale, the highly talented scientific, technical, and engineering personnel base could be maintained, to identify issues affecting the engineering and science work force, and to identify issues affecting the aerospace industry's leadership in technology development, innovation, and product quality, as well as its ability to support Air Force missions.