Elliptical Orbit Proximity Operations Differential Games

Authored by: Eric R. Prince , Joshuah A. Hess , Richard G. Cobb , Ryan W. Carr

Handbook of Scholarly Publications from the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT), Volume 1, 2000–2020

Print publication date:  December  2022
Online publication date:  December  2022

Print ISBN: 9781032116679
eBook ISBN: 9781003220978
Adobe ISBN:


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In this research a satellite inspection conducted by an inspector satellite operating nearby a resident space object (RSO) in an elliptical orbit is analyzed by formulating and solving differential games. Indirect heuristic methods are used where each game corresponds to an inspection goal of the inspector satellite: 1) intercept;2) rendezvous;3) obtain sun vector; 4) match energy; 5) obtain sun vector and match energy; and 6) match energy and remain in close proximity during the ensuing orbit. Worst-case scenarios that may inform requirements for future satellites are devised.

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