Date of Award:
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
A safety ellipse is a type of relative motion trajectory that is commonly used for unmanned rendezvous and proximity operations. As the name suggests, safety ellipses are passively safe relative motion trajectories, which means that their natural motion inherently maintains a low collision risk. The focus of this dissertation is the derivation, analysis, and application of guidance strategies that reconfigure, establish, and exit a safety ellipse. The guidance strategies consist of a set of ∆v vectors and impulse times, all written in closed form. Through applications of optimal control theory and parameter optimization, it is shown that these maneuver sequences are fuel optimal for a range of practical safety ellipse reconfiguration, establishment, and exit scenarios. It is also shown that the resulting transfer trajectories remain passively safe across the same range of scenarios.
Shuster, Simon, "Analytic Guidance Strategies for Passively Safe Rendezvous and Proximity Operations" (2020). All Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 7972.
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