EAP Showcase: Development and Experimental Validation of Two-point Optimal Guidance for Spacecraft Formations

The Educational Alliance Program (EAP) team is always interested in showcasing how our students and educators are using Systems Tool Kit (STK). We are happy to present another exciting project done by Yazan Chihabi and Steve Ulrich. In their paper, “Development and Experimental Validation of Two-point Optimal Guidance for Spacecraft Formations”, they present “a new method that allows for the closed-loop testing of guidance, navigation and control systems with realistic software models of GPS receivers and RADAR systems for on-board relative navigation.”

As activity in the space domain increases, the rise in distributed space systems — or, formation flying — also increases, since this method reduces costs and improves efficiency. It is important to consider the guidance, navigation, and control systems (GN&C) of these missions. The solution presented in the work is “a simple, yet effective, method for the calculation of two-point optimal trajectories...” and uses STK as a “test-bed to test guidance and control systems with navigation sensors.” Using STK, you can model “GPS constellation and receiver, and on-board RADAR” with custom properties and calculate important metrics for your mission.

Verifying and validating a proposed solution to a real-world problem is one of the many reasons we provide STK for educational use. We hope this demonstration of solving a real-world problem inspires you to turn to STK for your own solutions

Learn more about Yazan Chihabi and Steve Ulrich's solution in their full paper or by watching the supporting STK video. To learn more about the EAP, visit or email us at

Systems Tool Kit (STK)

Modeling and simulation software for digital mission engineering and systems analysis.