Accession Number : ADA188934

Title :   A Technique for Capture Analysis of Low Thrust Missions in a Planetary System.

Descriptive Note : Master's thesis,

Corporate Author : AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING

Personal Author(s) : Poole, Charles J

PDF Url : ADA188934

Report Date : Dec 1987

Pagination or Media Count : 69

Abstract : The purpose of this study was to develop a tool to analyze capture trajectories in a planetary system for a spacecraft using low thrust propulsion. The reason was to see whether or not it was possible to use a low thrust vehicle rather than a chemically propelled spacecraft to survey the moons of a planet. A single pass tool for analyzing capture trajectories about a planet's moons for a spacecraft using a low thrust propulsion system is developed. The equations of motion for the spacecraft are solved in two dimensions using Cowell's method of numerical integration. The capture analysis is developed as a series of two body problems involving first the spacecraft and planet and second target moon and spacecraft. The spacecraft's initial orbit is assumed to be of higher energy than the circular orbits of the planet's moons. The final results give several conditions which the planet and target moon must satisfy in order for there to be a capture about the moon using the program. In addition, several relationships between the initial conditions of the spacecraft's orbit and the feasibility of capture about a particular moon are presented. Keywords: Planetary survey methods.

Descriptors :   *SPACECRAFT, *TRAJECTORIES, *THRUST, CIRCULAR ORBITS, ENERGY, EQUATIONS OF MOTION, FEASIBILITY STUDIES, LOW POWER, MOON, NUMERICAL INTEGRATION, PLANETS, PROPULSION SYSTEMS, SURVEYS, TARGETS, THESES, COMPUTERIZED SIMULATION, PLANETARY SATELLITES, SPACE MISSIONS, GEOPOTENTIAL, ALGORITHMS, MASS

Subject Categories : Spacecraft Trajectories and Reentry

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE