Low-Thrust Control of Lunar Orbits
In this paper, a technique for stationkeeping low-altitude lunar orbits using continuous low-thrust systems is presented. The method involves the use of a general performance index, which is designed to minimize the difference between the instantaneous orbital elements of a spacecraft and some desired set of orbital elements. Due to the generality of the controller design, the resultant controller can be applied to a variety of mission scenarios about various bodies in space. To minimize the designed performance index, a Sequential Quadratic Programming algorithm is used. The primary application of the general controller design in this study is the problem of generating and maintaining low-altitude, polar, Sun-synchronous orbits about the Moon. Such orbits are useful for lunar mapping missions, such as with NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) mission which began in June of 2009. Results are presented demonstrating that lunar Sunsynchronous orbits can be maintained for extended durations of time with constant low-thrust levels, even in the presence of eclipse effects.
N. Harl and H. Pernicka, "Low-Thrust Control of Lunar Orbits," Advances in the Astronautical Sciences, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), Jan 2012.
2011 AAS/AIAA Astrodynamics Specialist Conference
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Keywords and Phrases
Controller Designs; Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiters; Mapping Missions; Orbital Element; Performance Indices; Sequential Quadratic Programming Algorithm; Station-Keeping; Sun Synchronous Orbits
Article - Conference proceedings
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