Optimal pulse strategies for relative orbit transfer along a circular orbit

Ryo Jifuku, Akira Ichikawa, Mai Bando

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


This paperisconcerned withafuel-optimal relative orbit transfer problem for Hill-Clohessy-Wiltshire equations. The input is of the pulse type and the performance index is the total velocity change required for a transfer. For the in-plane motion, the existence of optimal three-pulse strategies is shown and the minimum total velocity change is explicitly given under the condition that the difference of orbit size is relatively larger than that of drift velocity. For the out-of-plane motion, the existence of optimal single-pulse strategies is shown. The orbit transfer problem covers formation reconfiguration problem as a special case. Midpoints of the optimal pulses coincide with those points at which the velocity along the radial direction is zero. Using this information and null controllability with vanishing energy of the Hill-Clohessy-Wiltshire equations, suboptimal feedback controllers are designed. Simulation results with optimal open-loop strategies and feedback controls are given for two formation reconfiguration problems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1329-1341
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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