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Non-cooperative spacecraft proximity control considering target behavior uncertainty


The significant characteristics of space non-cooperative targets include the uncertainties of dynamic parameters and behaviors. Herein, a hybrid proximity control strategy adapted to the behavior uncertainty of a non-cooperative target is presented. First, the relative motion dynamics between the chaser and target is established in the geocentric inertial coordinate system and transcribed based on the chaser spacecraft body coordinate system. Subsequently, to facilitate proximity control under uncertain conditions, an extended state observer is designed to estimate and compensate for the total uncertainty in the relative motion dynamics. Finally, an event-triggered sliding mode control law is designed to track the target with behavior uncertainty and realize synchronization. Numerical simulations demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed proximity control strategy for both tumbling and maneuvering targets.

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This study was supported by the Qian Xuesen Laboratory of Space Technology, CAST (Grant No. GZZKFJJ2020001), the Open Funding of the National Defense Science and Technology Key Laboratory of Space Intelligent Control Technology (Grant No. 6142208200304), and the Postdoctoral Research Foundation of Sichuan University. The authors appreciate the financial support provided.

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Correspondence to Xiuqiang Jiang.

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The authors have no competing interests to declare that are relevant to the content of this article.

Guanjie Sun received his M.E. degree in electronic and communication engineering from University of Electronic Science and Technology of China, in 2016. He is currently working as an engineer at China Academy of Space Technology. His area of expertise is in spacecraft system design and information technology. E-mail:

Mengqi Zhou received her B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from Southwest Petroleum University, China, in 2019. She is currently pursuing her M.E. degree in aerospace science and technology at Sichuan University, China. Her research interest is spacecraft dynamics. E-mail:

Xiuqiang Jiang received his Ph.D. degree from the College of Astronautics at Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, China, in 2019, and was a visiting scholar of the University of Arizona, USA, in 2017 and 2018. After graduation, he joined Sichuan University, China, as an assistant research professor. His area of expertise is in space flight dynamics and guidance technology. His current research interest is space orbital game. E-mail:

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Sun, G., Zhou, M. & Jiang, X. Non-cooperative spacecraft proximity control considering target behavior uncertainty. Astrodyn (2022).

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  • non-cooperative target spacecraft
  • proximity control
  • extended state observer
  • event-triggered sliding mode control