Optimal Control for Proximity Operations and Docking


This paper proposes optimal control techniques for determining translational and rotational maneuvers that facilitate proximity operations and docking. Two candidate controllers that provide translational motion are compared: A state-dependent Riccati equation controller is formulated from the nonlinear relative motion dynamics, and a linear quadratic tracking controller is formulated from the linearized relative motion. A linear quadratic Gaussian controller using star trackers to provide quaternion measurements is designed for precision attitude maneuvering. The attitude maneuvers are evaluated for different final axis alignment geometries depending on the approach distance. A six degree-of-freedom simulation demonstrates that the controllers perform proximity operations and docking successfully.

Meeting Name

AAS/AIAA Astrodynamics Specialist Conference


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Attitude Maeuver; Axis Alignment; Candidate Controllers; Linear Quadratic Gaussian Controllers; Linear Quadratic Tracking; Optimal Control Technique; Optimal Controls; Proximity Operations; Relative Motion; Relative Motion Dynamics; Six Degree-Of-Freedom; State-Dependent Riccati Equation; Translational Motions

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 2010 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2010

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