ESA GNC Conference Papers Repository

Validation of Differential-Drag Propellantless Manoeuvres using 6 DoF Simulations and Stochastic Dynamics
Dell'Elce, L.; Kerschen, G.
Presented at:
Porto 2014
Full paper:

Differential drag is regarded as a promising technique in low-Earth orbits, since it allows to turn the often-undesired drag perturbation into a control force for relative maneuvers. Nonetheless, relevant uncertainties in drag modeling make its practical realization a challenge, especially if no other propulsive means is available to accommodate them. The main outcome of this study is the identification and characterization of the uncertainty sources affecting differential-drag-based maneuvers. This characterization is carried out by using statistical methods in conjunction with mechanical modeling considerations to infer a probabilistic model of the sources from observed data. The developments are illustrated in the framework of the QARMAN mission through high-fidelity simulations involving coupled attitude and orbital dynamics.