Optimal cooperative power-limited rendezvous

Victoria Coverstone-Carroll, John E. Prussing

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Minimum-fuel rendezvous of two power-limited low-thrust spacecraft is investigated. Both vehicles are active and provide thrust to complete the rendezvous. Total propellant consumption is minimized. Two gravitational field models are investigated: the Clohessy-Wiltshire linearized field and the inverse-square field. Analytical solutions are obtained for the linearized gravity field. A direct method using direct collocation with nonlinear programming is used for the nonlinear problem. Solutions obtained are checked against the primer vector necessary conditions for optimality. The optimal solutions depend in a complicated way on the power to mass ratios of the two spacecraft, the initial conditions, and the specified transfer time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAstrodynamics 1991
PublisherPubl by Univelt Inc
Number of pages20
Editionpt 3
ISBN (Print)0877033471
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992
Externally publishedYes
EventProceedings of the AAS/AIAA Astrodynamics Conference - Durango, CO, USA
Duration: Aug 19 1991Aug 22 1991

Publication series

NameAdvances in the Astronautical Sciences
Numberpt 3
ISSN (Print)0065-3438


OtherProceedings of the AAS/AIAA Astrodynamics Conference
CityDurango, CO, USA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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