Optimal cooperative power-limited rendezvous between neighboring circular orbits

Victoria Coverstone-Carroll, John E. Trussing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A minimum-fuel rendezvous of two power-limited spacecraft is investigated. Both vehicles are active and provide thrust to complete the rendezvous. Total propellant consumption is minimized. Analytical solutions are obtained for cooperative rendezvous in the linearized Hill-Clohessy-Wiltshire gravity field. The optimal solutions depend in a complicated way on the power-to-mass ratios of the spacecraft, the initial orbits, and the specified transfer time. For comparison purposes, analytical solutions for active-passive rendezvous in the linearized gravity field are also determined. Cooperative rendezvous requires smaller total propellant consumption, resulting in greater payload capability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1045-1054
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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