Decentralized consensus control of a rigid-body spacecraft formation with communication delay

Morad Nazari, Eric A. Butcher, Tansel Yucelen, Amit K. Sanyal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

107 Scopus citations


The decentralized consensus control of a formation of rigid-body spacecraft is studied in the framework of geometric mechanics while accounting for a constant communication time delay between spacecraft. The relative position and attitude (relative pose) are represented on the Lie group SE(3) and the communication topology is modeled as a digraph. The consensus problem is converted into a local stabilization problem of the error dynamics associated with the Lie algebra se3 in the form of linear time-invariant delay differential equations with a single discrete delay in the case of a circular orbit, whereas it is in the form of linear time-periodic delay differential equations in the case of an elliptic orbit, in which the stability may be assessed using infinite-dimensional Floquet theory. The proposed technique is applied to the consensus control of four spacecraft in the vicinity of a Molniya orbit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)838-851
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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