nro10_200301

nro10_200301 - Electromagnetic Formation Flight Progress...

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Electromagnetic Formation Flight Progress Report: January 2003 Submitted to: Lt. Col. John Comtois Technical Scientific Officer National Reconnaissance Office Contract Number: NRO-000-02-C0387-CLIN0001 MIT WBS Element: 6893087 Submitted by: Prof. David W. Miller Space Systems Laboratory Massachusetts Institute of Technology
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O VERVIEW Description of the Effort The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Space Systems Lab (MIT SSL) and the Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology Center (ATC) are collaborating to explore the potential for an Electro-Magnetic Formation Flight (EMFF) system applicable to Earth-orbiting satellites flying in close formation. Progress Overview At MIT, work on EMFF has been pursued on two fronts: the MIT conceive, design, implement and operate (CDIO) class, and the MIT SSL research group. While all of the progress reports to date have focused on the work completed at MIT, this report summarizes recent progress made at the Lockheed Martin ATC.
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INTRODUCTION The possibility of controlling the relative positions and orientations of a number of satellites flying in close formation by means of applied magnetic fields has been addressed by the Space Systems Product Development Class, Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, MIT, under the direction of Professor David Miller. We at the Lockheed Martin Advanced Technology center have been working with the MIT group under contract (ATC Project KQ8) to support this effort. In particular, we were tasked with examining control options for satellite formations, studying the feasibility of magnetic control in general, and producing simulations of particular magnetic control scenarios. This report details our efforts in these areas. The reasons for looking at this type of technology, its possible applications, its advantages and drawbacks, are presented in MIT’s Preliminary Design Review of May 7, 2002, entitled Electro Magnetic Formation Flight of Rotating Clustered Entities. This document also discusses generic requirements for a possible Electro Magnetic Formation Flight (EMFF) implementation and presents a plan for further study. Of more immediate interest to us, for the purposes of this report, are the technical results that are presented. These include trade studies between different dipole configurations, the design of a magnetic control system, analytical results obtained on sample two- and three-satellite constellations, and a simple hardware validation demonstration. All this provided an excellent starting point for our own investigations into the subjects. APPROACH We decided to use our own tools (AUTOLEV and ANIMAKE) to reproduce MIT’s results to date on formation dynamics and then to continue from there. There were two reasons for choosing this approach: the first was frankly didactic; we felt it was the quickest way for us to catch up to MIT’s level of expertise in the field and start making our own contributions. The second was a desire, shared by MIT, to independently
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nro10_200301 - Electromagnetic Formation Flight Progress...

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