Two-stage path planning approach for solving multiple spacecraft reconfiguration maneuvers
Aoude, GeorgesS, et al. (2008). "Two-stage path planning approach for solving multiple spacecraft reconfiguration maneuvers." The Journal of the Astronautical Sciences 56 4: 515-544
The paper presents a two-stage approach for designing optimal reconfiguration maneuvers for multiple spacecraft in close proximity. These maneuvers involve well-coordinated and highly-coupled motions of the entire fleet of spacecraft while satisfying an arbitrary number of constraints. This problem is complicated by the nonlinearity of the attitude dynamics, the non-convexity of some of the constraints, and the coupling that exists in some of the constraints between the positions and attitudes of all spacecraft. While there has been significant research to solve for the translation and/or rotation trajectories for the multiple spacecraft reconfiguration problem, the approach presented in this paper is more general and on a larger scale than the problems considered previously. The essential feature of the solution approach is the separation into two stages, the first using a simplified planning approach to obtain a feasible solution, which is then significantly improved using a smoothing stage. The first stage is solved using a bidirectional Rapidly-exploring Random Tree (RRT) planner. Then the second step optimizes the trajectories by solving an optimal control problem using the Gauss pseudospectral method (GPM). Several examples are presented to demonstrate the effectiveness of the approach for designing spacecraft reconfiguration maneuvers.