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Orbital Propagation and Formation Flying of CubeSats within QB50 Constellation
2011 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

QB50 project is an initiative of Von Karman Institute, Belgium, which will use an international network of 50 CubeSats for multi-point, in-situ measurements in the lower thermosphere (90-320 km) and re-entry research. University of Liege (ULg) will participate in QB50 project and implement the formation flying of CubeSats within the QB50 constellation using the differential drag, along with the other mission objectives. The present thesis contributes to satellite propagation in space, formation flying of satellites and rendezvous between two satellites. A satellite orbital propagator is developed in Matlab/Simulink to estimate the time varying position of satellite in space. This orbital propagator is based on Two-Body equation; J2 and drag effects are added to increase the fidelity of the propagator. Formation flying is implemented using linearized, unperturbed Hill-Clohessy-Wiltshire (CW) equations and formation design based on these equations is described. A Formation flying simulator using orbital elements as initial relative states; is developed in Matlab/Simulink which takes into account the J2 and drag orbital perturbations. Velocity changes required for rendezvous maneuver between two satellites based on CW equations and Hohmann transfer concept are estimated. The results of the Orbital propagator, linearized unperturbed CW equations and Formation flying simulator are validated using AGI STK.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 148 p.
Keyword [en]
Technology, orbital propagation, formation flying, QB50 constellation, clohessy wiltshire equations, satellite rendezvous
Keyword [sv]
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-57589Local ID: e3d0777d-babe-4a07-9a79-8ff0d48933f1OAI: diva2:1030977
Subject / course
Student thesis, at least 30 credits
Educational program
Space Engineering, master's level
Validerat; 20111023 (anonymous)Available from: 2016-10-04 Created: 2016-10-04Bibliographically approved

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