Optimal cooperative time-fixed impulsive rendezvous

Koorosh Mirfakhrale, Bruce A. Conway, John E. Prussing

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


A method has been developed for determining optimal, i.e. minimum fuel, trajectories for the fixed-time cooperative rendezvous of two spacecraft. The method presently assumes that the vehicles perform a total of three impulsive maneuvers with each vehicle being active, that is, making at least one maneuver. The cost of a feasible "reference" trajectory is improved by an optimizer which uses an analytical gradient developed using primer vector theory and a new solution for the optimal terminal (rendezvous) maneuver. Results are presented for a large number of cases in which the initial orbits of both vehicles are circular but in which the initial positions of the vehicles and the allotted time for rendezvous are varied. In general, the cost of the cooperative rendezvous is less than that of rendezvous with one vehicle passive. Further Improvement in cost may be obtained in the future when additional, i.e. midcourse, impulses are allowed and inserted as Indicated for some cases by the primer vector histories which are generated by the program.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages11
StatePublished - 1988
EventAstrodynamics Conference, 1988 - Minneapolis, United States
Duration: Aug 15 1988Aug 17 1988


OtherAstrodynamics Conference, 1988
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics


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