Formation Flying through Geodesic Motion and the Different Geometrical Requirements
ROMANIAN ACADEMY OF SCIENCES INSTITUTE FOR SPACE SCIENCES
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We investigated the possibility of preserving a preset plane flying formation through geodesic free motion around an attractive center. After a series of approximations, we obtained a first order solution for this problem the small parameter of the approximation series is set by the characteristic length of the formation and by an eccentricity-like factor, which is related to the trajectory of the geometrical center of the formation. Such a solution consists in a collection of Keplerian solutions with the same period. The free movement of these bodies creates the impression of a united motion like in a rigid body motion, at least in the first order of approximation. The instantaneous plane described by the formation experience a precessional motion with respect to a fixed direction, in the same way we know from the kinematics of the LISA mission. We calculated the relative errors for a regular hexagonal formation, for different side lengths, for one period of time.
- Spacecraft Trajectories and Reentry