GEO Robotic Servicer Trajectory Optimization
Western Michigan University
Robotic servicing of satellites could soon enable many new capabilities in space. Robotic servicing vehicles (servicers) would have the ability to visit multiple clients in geosynchronous Earth orbit (GEO) and perform a variety of functions, including on-orbit inspection, repositioning, end-of-life transport to disposal orbit, and deployment anomaly correction. Efficient propulsion systems and versatile robotic components would allow a single servicer to perform several servicing operations in one mission. To date, the problem of how to design multi-client servicing missions, including selecting customer satellites and mission trajectories, is largely unexplored.
This talk will discuss trajectory optimization strategies for robotic satellite servicing. First, economic valuation of servicing mission sequences will be discussed, including potential revenues, time delays, and risk considerations. Next, a genetic algorithm approach and results for optimal mission sequences will be presented. Both impulsive and continuous propulsion systems will be considered, and low-thrust trajectory optimization for maneuvers between GEO client satellites will be discussed.
This research is being developed with funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The views, opinions and/or findings expressed are those of the author(s) and should not be interpreted as representing the official views or policies of the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government.
Jennifer Hudson is an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Western Michigan University. She received a B.S in mechanical engineering from Cornell University in 2003 and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in 2007 and 2010, respectively, in aerospace engineering from the University of Michigan. Dr. Hudson’s research focuses on space flight dynamics and control, including low-thrust trajectory optimization, small satellite control, and on-orbit diagnostics and robotic servicing. Her current research interests also include automotive powertrain control and the integration of propulsion systems and control strategies in nanosatellites.