, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp 217–231 | Cite as

Angles-only initial relative orbit determination algorithm for non-cooperative spacecraft proximity operations

  • Baichun Gong
  • Wendan Li
  • Shuang LiEmail author
  • Weihua Ma
  • Lili Zheng
Research Article


This research furthers the development of a closed-form solution to the angles-only initial relative orbit determination problem for non-cooperative target close-in proximity operations when the camera offset from the vehicle center-of-mass allows for range observability. In previous work, the solution to this problem had been shown to be non-global optimal in the sense of least square and had only been discussed in the context of Clohessy-Wiltshire. In this paper, the emphasis is placed on developing a more compact and improved solution to the problem by using state augmentation least square method in the context of the Clohessy-Wiltshire and Tschauner-Hempel dynamics, derivation of corresponding error covariance, and performance analysis for typical rendezvous missions. A two-body Monte Carlo simulation system is used to evaluate the performance of the solution. The sensitivity of the solution accuracy to camera offset, observation period, and the number of observations are presented and discussed.


initial relative orbit determination angles-only navigation proximity operations rendezvous 


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The authors would like to thank Dr. David Geller from Utah State University for his great help in making this work possible. And this work is supported in part by the National Postdoctoral Program for Innovative Talents (No. BX201700304), the Foundation of Science and Technology on Aerospace Flight Dynamics Laboratory (No. 61422100306707).


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Copyright information

© Tsinghua University Press 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Baichun Gong
    • 1
  • Wendan Li
    • 1
  • Shuang Li
    • 1
    Email author
  • Weihua Ma
    • 2
  • Lili Zheng
    • 3
  1. 1.Advanced Space TechnologyNanjing University of Aeronautics and AstronauticsNanjingChina
  2. 2.National Key Laboratory of Aerospace Flight DynamicsNorthwestern Polytechnical UniversityXi’anChina
  3. 3.Beijing Institute of Aerospace System EngineeringBeijingChina

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