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  • Open Access


    Practical Optimization of Low-Thrust Minimum-Time Orbital Rendezvous in Sun-Synchronous Orbits

    Jian Ma1,2, Changxuan Wen3, Chen Zhang2,*

    CMES-Computer Modeling in Engineering & Sciences, Vol.126, No.2, pp. 617-644, 2021, DOI:10.32604/cmes.2021.014474

    Abstract High-specific-impulse electric propulsion technology is promising for future space robotic debris removal in sun-synchronous orbits. Such a prospect involves solving a class of challenging problems of low-thrust orbital rendezvous between an active spacecraft and a free-flying debris. This study focuses on computing optimal low-thrust minimum-time many-revolution trajectories, considering the effects of the Earth oblateness perturbations and null thrust in Earth shadow. Firstly, a set of mean-element orbital dynamic equations of a chaser (spacecraft) and a target (debris) are derived by using the orbital averaging technique, and specifically a slow-changing state of the mean longitude difference is proposed to accommodate to… More >

  • Open Access


    Low Thrust Minimum Time Orbit Transfer Nonlinear Optimization Using Impulse Discretization via the Modified Picard–Chebyshev Method

    Darin Koblick1,2,3, Shujing Xu4, Joshua Fogel5, Praveen Shankar1

    CMES-Computer Modeling in Engineering & Sciences, Vol.111, No.1, pp. 1-27, 2016, DOI:10.3970/cmes.2016.111.001

    Abstract The Modified Picard-Chebyshev Method (MPCM) is implemented as an orbit propagation solver for a numerical optimization method that determines minimum time orbit transfer trajectory of a satellite using a series of multiple impulses at intermediate waypoints. The waypoints correspond to instantaneous impulses that are determined using a nonlinear constrained optimization routine, SNOPT with numerical force models for both Two-Body and J2 perturbations. It is found that using the MPCM increases run-time performance of the discretized lowthrust optimization method when compared to other sequential numerical solvers, such as Adams-Bashforth-Moulton and Gauss-Jackson 8th order methods. More >

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