Analytic approximation for fixed-angle low-thrust trajectories via linear perturbation theory

Guanwei He, Robert G. Melton

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


This paper presents an analytic perturbation solution to the equations of a spacecraft moving in a single plane under constant, fixed-angle, low-level thrust, and influenced by an inverse-square gravitational field. The solution is derived by using linear perturbation theory, which treats the motion of spacecraft as a linear combination of Keplerian motion and perturbed motion caused by the low thrust. Comparisons with direct numerical integration show relatively low errors and advantages in calculating speed for the approximate solution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAAS/AIAA Astrodynamics Specialist Conference, 2019
EditorsKenneth R. Horneman, Christopher Scott, Brian W. Hansen, Islam I. Hussein
PublisherUnivelt Inc.
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9780877036654
StatePublished - 2020
EventAAS/AIAA Astrodynamics Specialist Conference, 2019 - Portland, United States
Duration: Aug 11 2019Aug 15 2019

Publication series

NameAdvances in the Astronautical Sciences
ISSN (Print)0065-3438


ConferenceAAS/AIAA Astrodynamics Specialist Conference, 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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