Adaptive neural control of deep-space formation flying

Pini Gurfil, Moshe Idan, N. Jeremy Kasdin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

101 Scopus citations


A novel nonlinear adaptive neural control methodology is presented for the challenging problem of deep-space spacecraft formation flying. When the framework of the circular restricted three-body problem with the sun and Earth as the primary gravitational bodies is utilized, a nonlinear model is developed that describes the relative formation dynamics. This model is not confined to the vicinity of the Lagrangian libration points but rather constitutes the most general nonlinear formulation. Then, a relative position controller is designed that consists of an approximate dynamic model inversion, linear compensation of the ideal feedback linearized model, and an adaptive neural-network-based element designed to compensate for the model inversion errors. The nominal dynamic inversion includes the gravitational forces, whereas the model inversion errors are assumed to stem from disturbances such as fourth-body gravitational effects and solar radiation pressure. The approach is illustrated by simulations, which confirm that the suggested methodology yields excellent tracking and disturbance rejection, thus, permitting submillimeter formation keeping precision.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)491-501
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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