"Recently, both DoD and NASA have demonstrated increased interest in the development of close proximity operations for space systems. AFRL's Advanced Sciences and Technology Research Institute for Astrodynamics (ASTRIA) has defined several key research topics relevant to military priorities, with one area of critical importance being the inspection and observation of low Earth orbit resident space objects (RSOs). This study investigates the feasibility of using a low-thrust cold-gas propulsion system to effectively and accurately facilitate resident space object inspection. Specifically, this study focuses on the Missouri S&T Satellite mission (M-SAT) as a means to demonstrate autonomous RSO inspection. This paper describes the mission requirements and outlines a mission plan for spacecraft separation, formation stabilization, and RSO circumnavigation over a 1.5 orbital period time frame. Autonomous guidance path design and comparisons of multiple feedback control systems are developed as a preliminary investigation in support of the M-SAT mission. The effects of data corruption with measurement and process noise on the mission success criteria are also investigated to determine the performance requirements of the onboard state sensors. The results presented provide a basis for simulating the M-SAT mission from separation to extended mission operations. Velocity change and fuel consumption rates are provided for future mission design and requirement verification"--Abstract, page iii.
Balakrishnan, S. N.
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
M.S. in Aerospace Engineering
21st Century Systems Inc.
Missouri Space Grant Consortium
Missouri University of Science and Technology
x, 49 pages
© 2011 James Harris Meub, All rights reserved.
Thesis - Open Access
Artificial satellites -- Orbits -- Mathematical models
Control theory -- Mathematical models
Rocket engines -- Thrust
Space vehicles -- Propulsion systems
Print OCLC #
Electronic OCLC #
Link to Catalog Record
Meub, James Harris, "Continuous low thrust for small spacecraft proximity operations" (2011). Masters Theses. 6793.