Conception of Sub-Optimal Solution for Spacecraft Rendezvous Near an Elliptic Orbit

This document presents a part of work which aims to find sub-optimal strategy for the orbital rendezvous between an active chaser spacecraft and a passive target satellite which is moving in a known elliptic orbit around the Earth. The Yamanaka-Ankersen model of motion is considered. The variable-mass chaser spacecraft is equipped with a variable-thrust propulsion. The essence of the problem is to find a control resulting in a quasi-optimal rendezvous trajectory. This work approaches the problem of rendezvous of spacecraft using model predictive control. A proposal of solution is based on a version of Quasi Time-Optimal Receding Horizon Control (QTO-RHC) algorithm. This method is noise resistant and able to effectively handle with various constraints. The problem includes constraints on amount of used fuel, thrust magnitude and approach velocity. In this paper a conception of solution is presented. The paper contains also results for simplified case.