Approximate analytic representations for low-thrust trajectories

D. J. Stewart, Robert Graham Melton

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

5 Scopus citations


This paper presents a multivariable perturbation solution to the equations of a vehicle moving under the influence of constant low-level thrust, using a fixed-angle steering law, and moving in an inverse-square gravitational field, in a single plane. Comparisons with direct numerical integration show relatively low errors and sizable advantages in speed for the analytic approximation. Introducing a rectification step provides a means of error control for very large numbers of revolutions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAstrodynamics 1991
PublisherPubl by Univelt Inc
Number of pages13
Editionpt 2
ISBN (Print)0877033471
Publication statusPublished - 1992
EventProceedings of the AAS/AIAA Astrodynamics Conference - Durango, CO, USA
Duration: Aug 19 1991Aug 22 1991


OtherProceedings of the AAS/AIAA Astrodynamics Conference
CityDurango, CO, USA


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering

Cite this

Stewart, D. J., & Melton, R. G. (1992). Approximate analytic representations for low-thrust trajectories. In Astrodynamics 1991 (pt 2 ed., Vol. 76, pp. 1455-1467). Publ by Univelt Inc.