Computer-Aided Design Environment for Multi-Satellite Formation Control
The Earth Science Enterprise (ESE), formerly known as Mission to Planet Earth, is a NASA-initiated concept that uses space-, ground-, and aircraft-based measurement systems to gather scientific knowledge for understanding the Earth's climate system and its variations. The space-based components of ESE will provide a constellation of satellites to monitor Earth from space. The variety of satellites contributing to ESE investigations collectively carries different Earth observation sensors. These sensors enable ESE observations for assessment of various Earth processes: hydrologic, biochemical, atmospheric, ecological, and geophysical. Scientific investigations can benefit from complementary sensor measurements that can be fused to produce Earth Science data otherwise not attainable with single sensors. Simultaneous collection of such data from different sensors may require the coordinated flight of different satellite platforms, making it necessary to control satellites in a coordinated formation over the period of data collection. A computer-aided design (CAD) environment is proposed to include modeling, design and simulation technologies for the study of multi-satellite formation control. The CAD environment will include two major components: a configurable simulation environment with extensible modeling tools for realistic evaluation of the operation of these vehicles, and a guidance and control design environment with special emphasis on satellite formation flight.
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Optimal Synthesis Inc.
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