On the Design of Transfers to Solar-Sail Displaced Orbits in the Earth-Moon System

Tom van den Oever, Jeannette Heiligers

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

This paper presents the design of solar-sail transfer trajectories to solar-sail displaced libration point orbits in the Earth- Moon system. The existence of families of solar-sail displaced libration point orbits in the Earth-Moon system has recently been demonstrated. These families originate from complementing the dynamics of the classical Earth-Moon circular restricted three-body problem with a solar-sail induced acceleration. Previous work has furthermore demonstrated the applicability of these orbits for high-latitude observation of the Earth and Moon. To not only demonstrate the existence and applicability of these orbits, but also their accessibility, this paper investigates the design of solar-sail transfers from Earth-bound parking orbits to a subset of these orbits. Initial guesses for the transfers are generated using reverse time propagation of the dynamics, where the control is provided by a locally optimal steering law. These initial guesses are subsequently used to initialize a 12th-order Gauss-Lobatto collocation method to satisfy a large number of constraints: departure from specific high Earth orbits, a minimum altitude with respect to the Earth and the Moon, and a maximum rotation rate of the solar sail. As an application of the developed methodology, this paper shows results for transferring two spacecraft to a constellation of displaced vertical Lyapunov orbits at the Earth-Moon L2 point. This constellation has been shown to provide continuous coverage of the lunar Aitken Basin and the lunar South Pole while maintaining a continuous line of sight with Earth. Sets of feasible trajectories for both spacecraft with identical launch conditions are produced in order for the constellation to be initiated using a single Soyuz launch. Such a Soyuz launch can deliver two 1160-kg spacecraft into the found transfer trajectories. One of the spacecraft subsequently requires a transfer time of 53.06 days to enter its constellation orbit, while the transfer of the other spacecraft takes 67.89 days. These results prove the accessibility of solar-sail displaced libration point orbits in the Earth-Moon system, thereby reaffirming the potential of solar-sail technology to enable novel scientific missions in the Earth-Moon system.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 7th International Conference on Astrodynamics Tools and Techniques
Subtitle of host publicationOberpfaffenhofen, Germany
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventICATT 2018: 7th International Conference on Astrodynamics Tools and Techniques - DLR, Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany
Duration: 6 Nov 20189 Nov 2018
Conference number: 7
https://indico.esa.int/event/224/

Conference

ConferenceICATT 2018: 7th International Conference on Astrodynamics Tools and Techniques
Abbreviated titleICATT 2018
CountryGermany
CityOberpfaffenhofen
Period6/11/189/11/18
OtherThe 7th International Conference on Astrodynamics Tools and Techniques (ICATT) is an event organized by the European Space Agency (ESA), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), the Deutsches Zentrum für Luft und Raumfahrt (DLR), the Centre National d’Études Spatiales (CNES) of France, the Agenzia Spaziale Italiana (ASI), the Tsentralniy Aerogidrodinamicheskiy Institut (TsAGI) of Russia, the United Kingdom Space Agency (UKSA), and the Romanian Space Agency (ROSA).
Internet address

Keywords

  • Solar sailing
  • libration points
  • Earth-Moon system
  • locally optimal steering laws
  • collocation

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