Title: Real-time terminal guidance for autonomous spacecraft capture of free floating objects using model predictive control

Authors: Peng Li; Xiaokui Yue; Honghua Dai; Xianbin Chi

Addresses: National Key Laboratory of Aerospace Flight Dynamics, School of Astronautics, Northwestern Polytechnical University, West Youyi Road, Beilin District, Xi'an, Shaanxi, 710072, China ' National Key Laboratory of Aerospace Flight Dynamics, School of Astronautics, Northwestern Polytechnical University, West Youyi Road, Beilin District, Xi'an, Shaanxi, 710072, China ' National Key Laboratory of Aerospace Flight Dynamics, School of Astronautics, Northwestern Polytechnical University, West Youyi Road, Beilin District, Xi'an, Shaanxi, 710072, China ' National Key Laboratory of Aerospace Flight Dynamics, School of Astronautics, Northwestern Polytechnical University, West Youyi Road, Beilin District, Xi'an, Shaanxi, 710072, China

Abstract: This paper investigates the optimal rendezvous with collision avoidance constraint. The classic Hill-Clohessy-Wiltshire (HCW) dynamic model is applied here to effectively describe the relative translation motion. Collisions are prevented through setting a safety sphere centred at the mass centre of the target. The rendezvous scenario of approaching with a three-axis attitude stabilised target is considered in this paper. A light-of-sight (LOS) tetrahedral path constraint is imposed for vision-based sensing and safety considerations. Then, the optimal-fuel rendezvous is transformed into a quadratic programming problem (QPP) using the model predictive control (MPC). Numerical simulations demonstrate that the proposed method can guarantee the safety of the autonomous rendezvous and to minimise the fuel consumption. In addition, this algorithm can be numerically solved rapidly.

Keywords: optimal rendezvous; online trajectory planning; model predictive control; MPC; real-time guidance; terminal guidance; autonomous spacecraft capture; free floating objects; collision avoidance; dynamic modelling; relative translation motion; vision based sensing; safety; quadratic programming problem; QPP; numerical simulation; fuel consumption; spacecraft rendezvous.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSPACESE.2014.060607

International Journal of Space Science and Engineering, 2014 Vol.2 No.2, pp.190 - 204

Received: 10 Aug 2013
Accepted: 28 Oct 2013

Published online: 22 Apr 2014 *

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