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Reachable domain of spacecraft with a single normal impulse

Junhua Zhang (School of Astronautics, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi’an, China)
Jianping Yuan (School of Astronautics, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi’an, China)
Wei Wang (School of Astronautics, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi’an, China)
Jiao Wang (School of Astronautics, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi’an, China)

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology

ISSN: 0002-2667

Article publication date: 3 January 2019

Issue publication date: 15 August 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to obtain the reachable domain (RD) for spacecraft with a single normal impulse while considering both time and impulse constraints.

Design/methodology/approach

The problem of RD is addressed in an analytical approach by analyzing for either the initial maneuver point or the impulse magnitude being arbitrary. The trajectories are considered lying in the intersection of a plane and an ellipsoid of revolution, whose family can be determined analytically. Moreover, the impulse and time constraints are considered while formulating the problem. The upper bound of impulse magnitude, “high consumption areas” and the change of semi-major axis and eccentricity are discussed.

Findings

The equations of RD with a single normal impulse are analytically obtained. The equations of three scenarios are obtained. If normal impulse is too large, the RD cannot be obtained. The change of the semi-major axis and eccentricity with large normal impulse is more obvious. For long-term missions, the change of semi-major axis and eccentricity leaded by multiple normal impulses should be considered.

Practical implications

The RD gives the pre-defined region (all positions accessible) for a spacecraft under a given initial orbit and a normal impulse with certain magnitude.

Originality/value

The RD for spacecraft with normal impulse can be used for non-coplanar orbital transfers, emergency evacuation after failure of rendezvous and docking and collision avoidance.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This work was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 11472213) and Open Research Foundation of Science and Technology in Aerospace Flight Dynamics Laboratory of China (No. 2015afdl016).

Citation

Zhang, J., Yuan, J., Wang, W. and Wang, J. (2019), "Reachable domain of spacecraft with a single normal impulse", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 91 No. 7, pp. 977-986. https://doi.org/10.1108/AEAT-03-2017-0079

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited