Journal of Astronautics ›› 2022, Vol. 43 ›› Issue (8): 1088-1096.doi: 10.3873/j.issn.1000-1328.2022.08.011

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Range only Relative Navigation for Spacecraft Formation in Low Earth Orbit

GONG Baichun, WANG Sha, ZHANG Weifu, ZHOU Liang, LI Shuang   

  1. 1. College of Astronautics, Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Nanjing 210016, China;2.Shanghai Institute of Satellite Engineering, Shanghai 201109, China;3. CASIC Space Engineering Development Co., Ltd., Beijing 100039, China
  • Received:2022-02-28 Revised:2022-04-27 Online:2022-08-15 Published:2022-08-15

Abstract: Aiming at the autonomous relative navigation problem for spacecraft formation in medium and high earth orbit in the case of satellite navigation signals are not available or reliable, a new method of spacecraft relative navigation based on range only spaceborne data link is proposed. Firstly, under the condition of non spherical gravitational perturbation J2, a linearized relative motion dynamics model for elliptical orbit and a time of flight ranging model based on spaceborne data link are established. Then, through the combination of theoretical derivation and numerical simulation, the observability of the range only relative navigation system is analyzed, and the conclusion is drawn that there are at least three mirror ambiguous orbits. After that, a constraint model based on geometric topology is established to improve the observability of the system, and a distributed estimation strategy based on consensus based unscented Kalman filter is designed, and the corresponding relative navigation error propagation law is studied. Finally, the proposed algorithm is simulated and verified by standard Monte Carlo shooting method. The simulation results show that compared with the Tschauner Hempel (TH) dynamic model, the relative dynamics model considering J2 perturbation can achieve higher range only relative navigation accuracy, and the consensus based unscented Kalman filter algorithm can also effectively improve the observability of relative navigation system.

Key words: Spacecraft formation, Range only navigation, Observability analysis, Consensus algorithm

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