Optimal pursuit/evasion spacecraft trajectories in the hill reference frame

Joan Stupik, Mauro Pontaniy, Bruce Conway

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The pursuit/evasion game for two spacecraft is significantly simplified by being described with a linearized system of equations of motion. A pursuit/evasion game is also known as a "minimax" problem, because the object of the pursuer is to minimize the time to capture, while the evader's goal is to maximize the time to capture. In this work, the minimax problem is solved in the Hill-Clohessy-Wiltshire (HCW) reference frame with Earth as the central body. The thrust-pointing direction is the control for each spacecraft. Each vehicle has a finite specific impulse and therefore the mass of each vehicle decreases as propellant is consumed. Each spacecraft uses continuous low-thrust propulsion. Due to the nature of the minimax problem, creating a traditional closed-loop feedback control is dificult. A closed-loop controller has been developed using a method called kriging. Results for both open and closed-loop trajectories are reported for a significant range of initial conditions and for different thrust accelerations of the two spacecraft.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAIAA/AAS Astrodynamics Specialist Conference 2012
PublisherAIAA International
ISBN (Print)9781624101823
StatePublished - 2012
EventAIAA/AAS Astrodynamics Specialist Conference 2012 - Minneapolis, MN, United States
Duration: Aug 13 2012Aug 16 2012

Publication series

NameAIAA/AAS Astrodynamics Specialist Conference 2012


ConferenceAIAA/AAS Astrodynamics Specialist Conference 2012
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityMinneapolis, MN

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics


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