Francesca Scala has presented part of her research work at the 2022 AIAA SciTech Forum and Exposition held in San Diego (CA), USA.
She gave a talk on the analyses performed for the guidance, navigation, and control (GNC) design for multiple satellites formation flying missions. The high-fidelity simulator includes the main perturbing effects of the Low Earth Orbit region, and the nutation and precession terms. The GNC is based on GNSS single frequency navigation, to achieve centimeter level accuracy in the onboard relative position knowledge. The approach was applied to a new mission study developed in collaboration with Airbus Space and Defense, under an European Space Agency project. The mission concept consists of a triangular formation of three satellites flying at close distance, with the aim of improving the performances of combined interferometry. The satellites equip an L-band interferometer and they were developed as a follow-up concept of the SMOS ESA mission. The GNC analysis for the main scientific operative phases, including the payload calibration, was presented at the Forum.