Applied Mathematics and Mechanics

, Volume 29, Issue 1, pp 43–50 | Cite as

Orbit and attitude control of spacecraft formation flying

  • Zhang Zhi-guo  (张治国)Email author
  • Li Jun-feng  (李俊峰)


Formation flying is a novel concept of distributing the functionality of large spacecraft among several smaller, less expensive, cooperative satellites. Some applications require that a controllable satellite keeps relative position and attitude to observe a specific surface of another satellite among the cluster. Specially, the target space vehicle is malfunctioning. The present paper focuses on the problem that how to control a chaser satellite to fly around an out-of-work target satellite closely in earth orbit and to track a specific surface. Relative attitude and first approximate relative orbital dynamics equations are presented. Control strategy is derived based on feedback linearization and Lyapunov theory of stability. Further, considering the uncertainty of inertia, an adaptive control method is developed to obtain the correct inertial ratio. The numerical simulation is given to verify the validity of proposed control scheme.

Key words

satellite formation flying orbit attitude dynamics and control 

Chinese Library Classification


2000 Mathematics Subject Classification



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Copyright information

© Editorial Committee of Appl. Math. Mech. and Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhang Zhi-guo  (张治国)
    • 1
    Email author
  • Li Jun-feng  (李俊峰)
    • 1
  1. 1.School of AerospaceTsinghua UniversityBeijingP. R. China

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