Title: Design and prototyping of PROBA-3 formation flying system

Authors: Julien Peyrard; Diego Escorial Olmos; Alfredo Agenjo; Aymeric Kron; Alexander Cropp

Addresses: GMV, Calle Isaac Newton 11, 28760, Tres Cantos, Madrid, Spain ' GMV, Calle Isaac Newton 11, 28760, Tres Cantos, Madrid, Spain ' SENER Ingeniería y Sistemas, Calle Severo Ochoa 4, 28760, Tres Cantos, Madrid, Spain ' NGC Aerospace Ltd., 1650, rue King Ouest, Bureau 202, Sherbrooke (Québec), J1J 2C3, Canada ' ESA\ESTEC, Keplerlaan 1, 2201 AZ Noordwijk Zh, The Netherlands

Abstract: This article describes the formation flying system of PROBA-3 as it has been developed and prototyped during phase B of the project. PROBA-3 will demonstrate the formation flying technology along with on-board autonomy for two spacecrafts in highly elliptical orbit around the Earth. After the presentation of the mission scenario, this article describes the architecture and the main modules of this software, showing their specificities to fulfil the mission: failure detection isolation and recovery for formation flying, GNC for formation, GNC for spacecraft, actuators manager, and formation flying manager. Finally, the integration process of the formation flying software is presented along with tests results and their analysis.

Keywords: PROBA-3; formation flying systems; GNC; formation design; prototyping autonomy; future missions; spacecraft navigation; spacecraft guidance; spacecraft control; integration tests; spacecraft formations; satellite formations; elliptical orbits; failure detection; failure isolation; failure recovery.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSPACESE.2014.060110

International Journal of Space Science and Engineering, 2014 Vol.2 No.1, pp.16 - 34

Available online: 27 Mar 2014 *

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