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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