An analytical approach for continuous-thrust, LEO-Molniya transfers

David B. Spencer, Felix Acon-Chen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

This paper presents a comparison between an analytical approximation to a spacecraft transfer from a low Earth orbit to a highly elliptical Molniya orbit with an optimal solution. In this paper, a spacecraft is transferred from low Earth orbit to the final mission orbit by using various initial thrust accelerations ranging from 10-1 to 10-2 m/sec2. An approximate analytical method using a blended control that satisfy some basic physical constraints on the orbit transfer and comparing these results to the exact optimal case found using a well known trajectory optimization software. The comparison between the analytical data and the numerical data showed that the percent error between the two is small, there is about a 13% percent difference in propellant usage for the initial thrust acceleration of 10-1 m/sec2 and 10-2 m/sec2. The factor that affected the results of both solutions is that in the analytical method, the radius of perigee was held constant while with the numerical solution the radius of perigee was free. This difference indicates that while the analytical solution was closely related to numerical solution, it can be improved by doing another analytical analysis with the radius of perigee free.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCollection of Technical Papers - AIAA/AAS Astrodynamics Specialist Conference
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc.
Pages763-782
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)1563477149, 9781563477140
DOIs
StatePublished - 2004
EventCollection of Technical Papers - AIAA/AAS Astrodynamics Specialist Conference - Providence, RI, United States
Duration: Aug 16 2004Aug 19 2004

Publication series

NameCollection of Technical Papers - AIAA/AAS Astrodynamics Specialist Conference
Volume2

Other

OtherCollection of Technical Papers - AIAA/AAS Astrodynamics Specialist Conference
CountryUnited States
CityProvidence, RI
Period8/16/048/19/04

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)

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