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Safe rendezvous scenario design for geostationary satellites with collocation constraints

A Correction to this article was published on 11 February 2022

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Rendezvous on the geostationary orbit (GEO) is much more complex than that on the low earth orbit and has a higher critical requirement for safety performance. This paper presents a safe scenario design method for GEO rendezvous proximity missions where the safety constraint of a collocated satellite is considered. A recently proposed quantitative index considering trajectory uncertainty is introduced to analyze the safety performance of the scenario parameters including the V-bar keeping positions and the fly-by trajectory radius. Furthermore, an exhaustive analysis is performed to find the dangerous regions of the V-bar keeping positions and the appropriate semi-major axis of the fly-by ellipse, considering the safety requirements of both the target and the collocated satellite. A geometry method is then developed for designing a feasible and suboptimal safe rendezvous scenario. The method is tested by designing four rendezvous scenarios with ±V-bar approach directions respectively in the situations with and without one collocated satellite. Safety performance and velocity increments of the scenarios are compared and a conclusion is reached that the collocated satellite has a significant influence on the scenario design.

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This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 11572345 and 11402257) and the National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program, Grant No. 2013CB733100).

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Correspondence to Ya-Zhong Luo.

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Ya-Zhong Luo received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in aerospace engineering from National University of Defense Technology (NUDT), Hunan, China, in 2001, 2003, and 2007, respectively. Since December 2013, he has been a professor in the College of Aerospace Science and Engineering, NUDT. His current research interests include manned spaceflight mission planning, spacecraft dynamics and control, and evolutionary computation. He was the recipient of the 2010 National Top 100 Doctoral Dissertation Award, the 2012 National Excellent Young Scholars Science Foundation, and the 2014-2016 Most Cited Chinese Researchers (Elsevier).

Zhen-Jiang Sun received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in aerospace engineering from National University of Defense Technology (NUDT), Hunan, China, in 2012 and 2014, respectively. He is now pursuing his Ph.D. degree in aerospace engineering under the supervision of Prof. Ya-Zhong Luo. His current research interests include spacecraft dynamics and control, collision probability, and trajectory optimization.

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Luo, YZ., Sun, ZJ. Safe rendezvous scenario design for geostationary satellites with collocation constraints. Astrodyn 1, 71–83 (2017).

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  • geostationary orbit (GEO)
  • rendezvous and docking (RVD)
  • safety performance
  • satellite collocation