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About this book

This book introduces readers to the navigation, guidance and control technologies involved in single-spacecraft, double-spacecraft, and multiple-spacecraft tasks in elliptical orbits. It comprehensively covers the key technologies of guidance, navigation and control (GNC) system design for spacecraft in elliptical orbits, including the orbit design, formation configuration design and maintenance, autonomous navigation technology and relative navigation technology, as well as autonomous rendezvous technology. The methods that this book introduces are very close to actual practical engineering applications and presented in an accessible style.

The book can serve as reference teaching material for senior undergraduates and postgraduates with space navigation related majors, while also providing essential information and guidance for research personnel and engineering technical personnel engaged in the development of GNC systems for spacecraft.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Introduction

The distance between spacecraft operating on elliptical orbit and the earth changes constantly within an orbit cycle, that is, the eccentricity of the orbit, which the spacecraft is on is not zero, and the point with the smallest distance from spacecraft operating under this condition to the earth is called perigee, and the farthest point is called apogee.

Fucheng Liu, Shan Lu, Yue Sun

Chapter 2. Orbit Design of Spacecraft on Elliptical Orbit

The large elliptical orbit is a large-eccentricity orbit with the apogee altitude several times higher than the earth’s radius. Because of its orbital characteristics, the satellite has a slow operating velocity and long duration on the side of the apogee. With wide coverage area, it can complete various space and earth observation missions.

Fucheng Liu, Shan Lu, Yue Sun

Chapter 3. Formation Configuration Design of Elliptical Orbit

In Chap. 2, we introduced design methods of large elliptical orbit for different mission requirements with examples, which are aimed at the orbit of the single spacecraft. In this chapter, we will introduce the orbit design method of the multi-spacecraft formation in the elliptical orbit, that is, the relative configuration design method of the formation flight.

Fucheng Liu, Shan Lu, Yue Sun

Chapter 4. Autonomous Navigation Technology of Whole Space

Autonomous navigation for spacecraft in large elliptical orbit refers to that the spacecraft can determine its parameter on orbit in real time, independent on measurement and control of ground station. Once in-orbit spacecraft navigate autonomously, it decreases the dependence on ground station and greatly improves the viability. Even in such bad situation that the tracking measurement on the ground has been interrupted over a period of time, the spacecraft could keep the continuity of the tasks.

Fucheng Liu, Shan Lu, Yue Sun

Chapter 5. Autonomous Navigation Technology of Regional Constellation

Autonomous navigation technology for regional constellation means the whole regional constellation uses the inter-satellite mutual measuring communication system and autonomous measuring equipments onboard to get information without relying on ground station measurement and control and combines it with the orbit prediction information of high accuracy; then, long-term high-precision orbit parameters of the whole constellation will be obtained by information fusion optimal estimation.

Fucheng Liu, Shan Lu, Yue Sun

Chapter 6. Relative Navigation Technology

Relative navigation of spacecraft refers to determine the relative position and relative velocity between the two spacecraft (Yang et al. in Aerosp Shanghai (02):45–54 [1], Yang et al. in Aerosp Shanghai 27(2):38–45 [2], Shi et al. in Aerosp Control 28(6):43–48 [3]) by using spaceborne measuring equipment and combining with the relative motion equation and state estimation method of spacecraft.

Fucheng Liu, Shan Lu, Yue Sun

Chapter 7. Technology of Formation Configuration Maintenance on Elliptical Orbit

Autonomous formation flight has gradually become hot spot of aerospace technology research, with design of accompanying flying configuration and control of accompanying flying keeping as the necessary technical foundation.

Fucheng Liu, Shan Lu, Yue Sun

Chapter 8. Autonomous Rendezvous Technology of Elliptical Orbit

The orbit rendezvous includes the remote guidance phase, the short-range guidance phase, and the final approximation phase.

Fucheng Liu, Shan Lu, Yue Sun


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