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Semi-analytical acquisition algorithm for repeat-groundtrack orbit maintenance


In this paper, the orbit acquisition and maintenance strategies for the repeat-groundtrack orbit are investigated to maintain the ground track of the satellite within a certain range. Two kinds of orbital dynamics models are introduced to calculate the on-orbit state of satellite. One is the orbital propagation model which is of high fidelity and can approximately express the forces acting on the satellite. The other is the design model which is of low fidelity and utilized by the semi-analytical acquisition algorithm to yield the reference repeatgroundtrack orbit. Combining the differential correction and analytical expressions, the results computed by the semi-analytical acquisition algorithm are of relatively high precision compared with the genetic algorithm. At the same time, the computational burden of the semi-analytical acquisition algorithm is far less than the genetic algorithm. Based on the reference orbit, two orbit maintenance strategies which are designed for chemical and electric engines are put forward to correct the orbit in order to make the ground track of satellite shift in a certain range. The application to the Chinese-French Oceanic Satellite mission has well validated the feasibility of these two strategies. Simulation results have shown that the strategy designed for chemical engine can keep the ground track displacement within 200 m, while all the orbit points can possess sub-meter repeat distance through adopting the strategy designed for the electric engine, which satisfies the requirements of the Chinese-French Oceanic Satellite mission.

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The research is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 11772024 and 11432001), and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities.

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Correspondence to Ming Xu.

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Chuan Liao received his B.S. degree from School of Aerospace Engineering, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing, China, in 2016. He is currently completing his M.S. degree in spacecraft design and engineering at Beihang University, Beijing, China. His research interests include orbital dynamics and control, the application of big data mining in orbit design, and the application of artificial intelligence in orbit control.

Ming Xu received his B.S. and Ph.D. degrees in aerospace engineering from Beihang University, Beijing, China, in 2003 and 2008, respectively. He served as an engineer of orbital design and operation in DFH Satellite Co., Ltd., China Academy of Space Technology, Beijing, China, until 2010. Then, he joined in Beihang University as an assistant professor and then was promoted as an associate professor in 2012. His current research interests include the applications of dynamical system theory into astrodynamics and orbital control. Dr. Xu serves as associate editors for the journals of Astrodynamics and Advances in Aircraft and Spacecraft Science. Dr. Xu received National Top 100 Excellent Doctoral Dissertation Award nomination in 2010 and Third Class Prizes of the National Defense Technology Invention Award in 2016. He has 50 publications in journals, books, and proceedings.

Xianghua Jia received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from School of Astronautics, Beihang University, Beijing, China, in 2014 and 2017, respectively. His research interests include orbital dynamics and control, orbit design and optimization, and system modeling and simulation for spacecraft.

Yunfeng Dong is a professor and vice-dean of School of Astronautics, Beihang University, Beijing, China. He was enrolled at Beihang University in 1983, and began to work for School of Astronautics in 1990. His research interests include spacecraft design technology, spacecraft dynamics and control technology, and spacecraft dynamic simulation technology.

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Liao, C., Xu, M., Jia, X. et al. Semi-analytical acquisition algorithm for repeat-groundtrack orbit maintenance. Astrodyn 2, 161–173 (2018).

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  • repeat-groundtrack orbit
  • orbit acquisition
  • orbit maintenance
  • semi-analytical acquisition
  • algorithm