Dr Stuart Grey

Angles-only navigation of a formation in the proximity of a binary system

Jan 1, 2018

Francesco Torre and Romain Serra and Stuart Grey and Massimiliano Vasile

Download Full Paper

The paper will focus, on the navigation and station keeping of one or more spacecraft around the dynamic equivalent of the Lagrange points L4 and L5 of a binary asteroid system. In a recent work by one of the authors (thiry2016) it was demonstrated that this location can be conveniently used by a spacecraft equipped with a small scale laser to demonstrate laser ablation as a viable asteroid deflection technology.Furthermore, it was shown that the set of periodic solutions around L4 and L5 can be of particular interest for the exploration of a binary system and to extract and analyse surface and subsurface material. Binary asteroids are systems composed of two asteroids orbiting around their common barycentre. Some of them are part of the Near Earth Object population, like 2000 DP107, or 65803 Didymos (1996 GT),an Apollo asteroid discovered on April 11, 1996, that is the target of the DART mission. Navigating in the proximity of an asteroid is in itself a challenging task due to the complex dynamics induced by the irregular gravity field of the asteroid, the gravity of the Sun and solar radiation pressure. Even more challenging is to navigate a formation of spacecraft. Recent work by one of the authors demonstrated the possibility to autonomously navigate a formation of spacecraft in the proximity of a single asteroid with a distributed fault-tolerant autonomous system (vetrisano2016b).The complexity increases even further in the case of a binary due the interaction between the primary and the secondary. However, a combination of optical and laser ranging measurement was shown to be sufficient to maintain one or more spacecraft at L4 of the Didymos system (torre2017).Different from Torre et al. 2017 (torre2017) this paper proposes an approach using optical navigation only and exploiting the knowledge of the dynamics of the secondary asteroid around the primary. The dynamical model includes the gravity of the two asteroids, the gravity of the Sun and solar radiation pressure. Each spacecraft is equipped with only a camera, a good attitude determination and control system and an inter satellite link that allows sharing information with other spacecraft in the formation and provides a complete spacecraft-to-spacecraft position vector.Two scenarios will be considered in this study: one in which one single spacecraft uses only information from the camera on both the primary and the secondary asteroid, the other in which a small formation of spacecraft autonomously navigates with cameras and inter-satellite link only. Measurements and dynamics are processed in a form of Unscented H-infinity Filter that can effectively estimate the state of the system and allows maintaining the formation at L4.


Other Articles

Engineering the Future for Girls 2018 Jun 18, 2018

More VR Space Debris for the Scottish Space School 2018 Jun 12, 2018

Strathclyde Teaching Excellence Awards 2018 May 11, 2018

Fast solar radiation pressure modelling with ray tracing and multiple reflections May 1, 2018

Reflecting Space Symposium Feb 2, 2018

Young Weir-Wise: Discovering Engineering with S2 Girls Jan 29, 2018

Autonomous orbit determination for formations of cubesats beyond LEO Jan 1, 2018

Angles-only navigation of a formation in the proximity of a binary system Jan 1, 2018

The Naked Scientists - Question of the Week Dec 12, 2017

Uncertainty treatment in the GOCE re-entry Nov 1, 2017

2,000,000 YouTube Views! Aug 5, 2017

Glasgow Science Festival: My Favourite Doomsday Talk Jun 14, 2017

Scottish Space School VR Space Debris Workshops Jun 14, 2017

Space Debris Workshops for P6/7 students at SmartSTEMS Jun 7, 2017

Autonomous orbit determination and navigation for formations of CubeSats beyond LEO Jun 1, 2017

Autonomous navigation of a formation of spacecraft in the proximity of a binary asteroid Jun 1, 2017

Sunlight illumination models for spacecraft surface charging May 1, 2017

Deformation of Space Debris due to Solar and Earth Radiation Fluxes - 7th European Conference on Space Debris 2017 Presentation Apr 17, 2017

Deformation of space debris and subsequent changes in orbit during eclipse due to solar and earth radiation fluxes Apr 1, 2017

Contributing to the 3rd Istanbul Design Biennial 22 October – 20 November 2016 Oct 9, 2016

Contributing to Natures Weirdest Events - Series 5, Episode 1, BBC2 Sep 29, 2016

Video: Watch this Space - Episode 2 Jun 25, 2016

Video: Watch this Space - Episode 1 Jun 11, 2016

Space Debris Wallpapers - May 2016 Jun 6, 2016

Talking Space Debris with BBC Radio Bristol Jun 1, 2016

Modelling spacecraft illumination and the effect of specular, diffuse and multiple reflection on photoelectron emission Apr 1, 2016

Space debris talk at the Royal Institution Mar 11, 2016

Launch of the UCL Aerospace Engineering Minor Jan 20, 2016

When space debris goes viral... Jan 1, 2016

Video: Space Debris 1957-2015 Dec 22, 2015

Royal Institution Advent Calendar: A History of Space Debris Dec 7, 2015

Future London 2015 Nov 5, 2015

Spark Festival 2015 Aug 31, 2015

St Pauls Way Science Summer School 2015 Aug 26, 2015

Creating a 4K Time-Lapse Video using Open-Source, Cross-Platform Tools Jul 28, 2015

Video: Time-lapse of Building a 3D Printer Jul 26, 2015

2015 Student Choice Teaching Awards Nomination May 7, 2015

Aviation Xtended interview on my space debris research and new aerospace course at UCL Mar 6, 2015

NT12–230 Discrimination via Extremely High Accuracy Trajectory Modelling Mar 1, 2015

My appearance on episode 1 of "Keeping it Civil", the new podcast from CEGE at UCL Feb 11, 2015

Slides from "Describing the World in 3D: Matrices and Vectors" Nov 25, 2014

AIAA/AAS Astrodynamics Specialist Conference 2014 Presentation: Developments in High Fidelity Surface Force Models and their Relative Effects on Orbit Prediction Aug 4, 2014

Non-conservative torque and attitude modelling for enhanced space situational awareness Aug 1, 2014

Geomagnetic Lorentz force modeling for orbit prediction- methods and initial results Aug 1, 2014

Developments in high fidelity surface force models and their relative effects on orbit prediction Aug 1, 2014

2014 "How to Change the World" Course Jul 10, 2014

Spacecraft Charging Technology Conference 2014 Presentation: High Fidelity Modelling of the Photoelectric Effect on Spacecraft Jun 28, 2014

My PhD Thesis - "Distributed Agents for Autonomous Spacecraft" May 10, 2014

2014 Student Choice Teaching Awards Nomination Apr 30, 2014

Scoping study on ballistic missile and countermeasures trajectory evolution modeling and tracking Aug 1, 2012