This paper presents an algorithm that can provide initial conditions for formation flying at the beginning of a region of interest to maximize scientific mission goals in the case of a tetrahedral satellite formation. The performance measure is to maximize the quality factor that affects scientific measurement performance. Several path constraints and periodicity conditions at the beginning of the region of interest are identified. The optimization problem is solved numerically using a direct transcription method. Our numerical results indicate that there exist an optimal configuration and states of a tetrahedral satellite formation. Furthermore, the initial states and algorithm presented here may be used for reconfiguration maneuvers and fuel balancing problems.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)