Faculty Advisor

Blandino, John J.


Through analysis and simulation, previously designed Earth orbiting satellite formations are revisited with the inclusion of orbital perturbations, mainly J and lunar gravity, in an effort to assess the effects on formation stability. By imposing constraints on the classical orbital elements, relative spacecraft motion that is nearly invariant to J perturbations is demonstrated for three different formations. In addition, a period correction technique is developed and applied to the case of a projected circle formation. By incorporating these constraints in the design of the formation, it should be possible to reduce the overall control requirements to maintain stability of the formation. Finally, the concept of bounded relative motion is applied to the case of the Solar Imaging Radio Array formation in order to achieve stability of the formation over an extended period of time. These results are presented and discussed.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

January 2004


Mechanical Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project


Restricted-WPI community only

Advisor Department

Mechanical Engineering