Relative Motion Guidance, Navigation and Control for Autonomous Orbital Rendezvous


  • Mohamed Okasha Mohamed Okasha, PhD. Assistant Professor Department of Mechanical Engineering Faculty of Engineering International Islamic University Malaysia, Jalan Gombak, P.O. Box 10, 50728 Kuala Lumpur Malaysia Cell : +6 01123154202 Office: +603 6196 4537 Fax: +603 6196 4537
  • Brett Newman Dr. Brett Newman, Ph.D., P.E. Professor Aerospace Engineering Old Dominion University Norfolk, Virginia 23529 Voice: (757) 683-5860 Fax: (757) 683-3200 Email: Web:


Satellite relative motion, Orbital rendezvous.


In this paper, the dynamics of the relative motion problem in a perturbed orbital environment are exploited based on Gauss’ variational equations. The relative coordinate frame (Hill frame) is studied to describe the relative motion. A linear high fidelity model is developed to describe the relative motion. This model takes into account primary gravitational and atmospheric drag perturbations. In addition, this model is used in the design of a control, guidance, and navigation system of a chaser vehicle to approach towards and to depart from a target vehicle in proximity operations. Relative navigation uses an extended Kalman filter based on this relative model to estimate the relative position and velocity of the chaser vehicle with respect to the target vehicle and the chaser attitude and gyros biases. This filter uses the range and angle measurements of the target relative to the chaser from a simulated Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) system, along with the star tracker and gyro measurements of the chaser. The corresponding measurement models, process noise matrix and other filter parameters are provided. Numerical simulations are performed to assess the precision of this model with respect to the full nonlinear model.The analyses include the navigations errors, trajectory dispersions, and attitude dispersions.






Original Papers