Relative navigation

Nadjim Horri, Phil Palmer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Satellite formations are being considered for a large variety of current and future space missions including in-orbit inspection, SAR interferometry, magnetospheric observation and gravimetry. In the case of cooperative satellite formations, differential GPS, radiofrequency and optical navigation techniques have been demonstrated as viable approaches for relative navigation on a number of recent space missions. Future challenges include accurate relative navigation and positioning in six degrees of freedom, with the limited power and computational resources of small satellites. This article explains the relative navigation requirements and their dependency on the space applications. The software and hardware challenges on relative navigation for future satellite formations are also described.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDistributed Space Missions for Earth System Monitoring
EditorsMarco D'Errico
PublisherSpringer New York LLC
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781461445418
ISBN (Print)9781461445401
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013


  • Global Position System
  • Orbit Determination
  • Global Position System Receiver
  • Differential Global Position System
  • Relative Orbit

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)


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