Published May 3, 2022 | Version v1
Conference paper Open

Cooperative Platooning and Servicing for Spacecraft Formation Flying using Model Predictive Control

  • 1. NOVA School of Science and Technology, DEEC, 2829-516, Caparica, Portugal.
  • 2. NOVA School of Science and Technology, DEEC and CTS/Uninova
  • 3. GMV, GNC Division, Space Segment and Robotics BU


This paper addresses two complementary problems of spacecraft formation flying, namely spacecraft
platooning and on-orbit spacecraft servicing, using Model Predictive Control (MPC). With
the proposed solutions, these space formation scenarios can be regarded as a cooperative system
composed of several spacecraft with a common goal, which may have clear advantages relative to
other approaches.
For each application scenario, a different optimization problem and MPC design is presented,
including relevant constraints to deal with physical limitations, visibility problems, and also to
guarantee a collision-free trajectory from other spacecraft or obstacles.
The proposed methods are validated with realistic simulation results, showing that all vehicles
demonstrate reliable performance following a given trajectory or goal in a formation, while
satisfying all the considered constraints.


This work was partially funded by FCT project REPLACE (PTDC/EEIAUT/32107/2017) which includes Lisboa 2020 and PIDDAC funds, project CAPTURE (PTDC/EEIAUT/1732/2020), and also projects CTS (UIDB/00066/2020) and LARSYS (UIDB/50009/2020).


Pereira et al_2022_Cooperative Platooning and Servicing for Spacecraft Formation Flying using.pdf