A Numerical Study of Frozen Polar Orbits About Ellipsoidal Shaped Bodies
Asteroids and comets have become popular objects of study in recent years. Computations of orbits about these bodies must, of course, take higher-order gravity terms and other perturbations into account. In this study, the asteroid is modeled as an ellipsoidal shape with no other perturbations included. The expression for the potential is a function of elliptic integrals, used with the intent of finding frozen polar orbits suitable for scientific spacecraft. Analytic methods using Lagrange's Planetary Equations are discussed. Corresponding numerical solutions are also generated. Candidate orbits suitable for asteroid mission design have been identified and are detailed.
H. J. Pernicka and T. A. Becker, "A Numerical Study of Frozen Polar Orbits About Ellipsoidal Shaped Bodies," Advances in the Astronautical Sciences, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), Jan 1997.
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Article - Conference proceedings
© 1997 American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), All rights reserved.