Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation


Low Thrust Transfers Between Periodic Orbits in the Earth-Moon Circular Restricted Three-Body Problem Public Deposited

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  • With growing interest in cislunar exploration, the importance of trajectory design in this environment has become prevalent. The Circular Restricted Three Body Problem (CR3BP) offers a useful dynamical model to incorporate the gravitational influence from the Earth and Moon in this regime. Several fundamental solutions exist in this model that are beneficial for trajectory design. One type of motion is periodic orbits that are repeating with respect to the motion of the Earth and Moon about the system barycenter. A wide variety of stable and unstable periodic orbits have been identified around equilibrium points and both celestial bodies. Transfers between periodic orbits can help facilitate cislunar exploration objectives for human spaceflight, space domain awareness, and science missions. Thus, this thesis focuses on designing transfers for low thrust spacecraft between periodic orbits in the Earth-Moon CR3BP.

    Insights of the dynamics are leveraged along with strategies to form initial guess transfer paths between two periodic orbits. Shooting schemes are employed to produce continuous transfers for each initial guess, and continuation is used compute potentially many transfers of interest. Finally, direct optimization is used to compute locally fuel-optimal transfers. The process of identifying potential initial guess paths, recovering a continuous solution, and ultimately an optimal trajectory is shown to be an effective method to find transfers between periodic orbits. Example cases are demonstrated between subsets of the L1 and L2 halo periodic orbit family and a near rectilinear halo orbit (NRHO) to a distant retrograde orbit (DRO) in the Earth-Moon system.

Date Issued
  • 2023-04-24
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  • 2024-01-18
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