Chapter 9

Navigation of Orbiter from MECO to the ISS - Adaptive Conditional Feedback Control

An interesting aspect of the Shuttle and Orbiter's trip to the orbit of the International Space Station is that it not piloted along its path by one of the on-board human astronauts through much of its journey but rather by a computer program, consisting of a sequence of mainly predetermined amounts of thrust, thrust durations, elevations, and azimuth values.  It may be that some adjustments to these values are made in the early stages of the flight by an on-board inertial guidance system and in later stages by on-ground and ISS derived data sent to Orbiter via satellites.  

It appears that little factual information has been provided to the media on the navigation of Orbiter from MECO to the ISS.  As a result, navigation components in this chapter are invention. The focus of this Chapter is on navigation for that part of Orbiter's journey.

The first topic provides background information on the Shuttle, the ISS orbit, orbit descriptors, the navigation system and Orbiter's engines.

The second topic provides more about the operation of our navigation control computers and feedback control system, its usage and examples of some in-orbit maneuvers.

The third topic describes an ideal first-pass path to near rendezvous with the ISS and a description of a delayed rendezvous. The topic concludes with a summary of the attainments of Hands-On Math and an un-answered question for the viewer.

The topics of this chapter can be accessed by clicking their names.

Topic Name An Image from the Topic Brief Description
NASA's Shuttle and Orbiter - Background Orbiter - The ISS - MECO Parameters - An Astronaut's Navigation Interface - Modeling the OMS Engines and their Controls - Feedback Control
Navigation of Orbiter from MECO to the ISS - Maneuvering in Orbit - Solver Revisited
 Feedback Control Navigation Process -
 Command Design -
 Course Computer - 
Model Computer  
Navigation of Orbiter from MECO to the ISS - Rendezvous with the ISS Energy from MECO through ISS Orbit - First-Pass Rendezvous
 - Delayed 
Rendezvous - Summing UP - To Ponder 

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