Journal of Astronautics ›› 2015, Vol. 36 ›› Issue (1): 47-57.doi: 10.3873/j.issn.1000-1328.2015.01.007

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Control for Rendezvous and Docking with a Tumbling Target Spacecraft

HU Yong, XU Li jia, XIE Yong chun   

  1. Science and Technology on Space Intelligent Control Laboratory, Beijing Institute of Control Engineering, Beijing 100190, China
  • Received:2014-07-02 Revised:2014-09-09 Online:2015-01-15 Published:2015-01-25


This paper investigates rendezvous and docking of two spacecrafts, one of which is a controlled chaser and the other is considered to be a passively tumbling target. Controllers for relative position tracking and attitude synchronization are developed by introducing a characteristic model based method. More practical difficulties and constraints, such as uncertain time delay caused by communication or sensing, unknown dynamic parameters, and flexible dynamics of solar array are taken into account. Finally, an example of rendezvous and docking with a tumbling target spacecraft is given to illustrate the efficiency of the proposed approach by using a series of numerical simulations.

Key words: Characteristic model, Rendezvous and docking, Flexible spacecraft, Uncertainty, Time delay

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