Use of Halo Orbits to Provide a Communication Link between Earth and Mars


A communication network is proposed to provide continuous communication coverage between earth and Mars for multiple Mars missions by using orbits that can be computed as solutions to the elliptic restricted three-body problem. Such a communication network could alleviate the need and lower the cost significantly for complex and cumbersome communication systems on Martian exploration vehicles. This paper describes one type of network that could provide an effective means to implement such a communication system as a relay between earth and Mars. The preliminary design of the halo orbits, transfer trajectories, stationkeeping, and communication requirements (including data rates and power requirements) is summarized.

Meeting Name

1992 AIAA/AAS Astrodynamics Conference (1992: Aug. 10-12, Hilton Head, SC)


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Communication Networks; Communication Satellites; Interplanetary Communication; Lagrangian Equilibrium Points; Orbits; Three Body Problem; Equations of Motion; Stationkeeping; Transfer Orbits

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 1992 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

12 Aug 1992

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