V.S. Aslanov, V.V. Yudintsev
Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics, 2018, March 22, 2018
Publication year: 2018

One of the most promising methods of geosynchronous debris reorbiting is touchless actuation using electrostatic force. This paper investigates the dynamics and stability of two charged spacecraft formation when both spacecraft are charged with the same sign so that the active spacecraft (space tug) pushes the passive spacecraft (debris object) to a disposal orbit. A feedback control law is presented that uses thrusters of the space tug to control the distance between objects and aligns the line connecting the two objects along the orbital velocity vector of the space tug. The control law proposed requires measurements of the angle between the orbital velocity vector of the tug and the line connecting the tug and debris as well as the distance rate between the two craft. Stability criteria of the feedback control are developed in terms of inequalities for the parameters of the control. Numerical simulation shows how the parameters affect the stability of the system and propellant mass needed for the motion control to move the debris to a geosynchronous disposal orbit.