34th Meeting of the AAS Division on Dynamical Astronomy, May 2003
7 Space Missions, Astrometry, and Observables
Oral, Tuesday, May 6, 2003, 8:30-10:50am,

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[7.06] A Nonlinear Model for the Relative Motion of Satellites

K.T. Alfriend, H. Yan (Texas A&M U.)

Swarms of small satellites flying in formation is a concept currently being pursued by NASA and the USAF. Most of the studies for identifying potential relative motion orbits for these formations have assumed that the equations of motion in the rotating reference frame centered at the chief or reference satellite can be linearized. The basis for the linearization is the ratio of the satellite separation distance to the orbit radius. There are some formations being for which the separations are too large for the linearization to be valid. In this paper we present a new approach for large formations and introduce a modeling error index for comparing various relative motion theories.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35 #4
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.