A General Approach to the Geostationary Transfer Orbit Mission RecoveryThis paper discusses recovery scenarios for geosynchronous satellites injected in a non-nominal orbit due to a launcher underperformance. The theory on minimum-fuel orbital transfers is applied to develop an operational tool capable to design a recovery mission. To obtain promising initial guesses for the recovery three complementary techniques are used: p-optimized impulse function contouring, a numerical impulse function minimization and the solutions to the switching equations. The tool evaluates the feasibility of a recovery with the on-board propellant of the spacecraft and performs the complete mission design. This design takes into account for various mission operational constraints such as e.g., the requirement of multiple finite-duration burns, third-body orbital perturbations, spacecraft attitude constraints and ground station visibility. In a final case study, we analyze the consequences of a premature breakdown of an upper rocket stage engine during injection on a geostationary transfer orbit, as well as the possible recovery solution with the satellite on-board propellant.
Faber, Nicolas (SES Astra S.A. Luxembourg, France)
Aresini, Andrea (SES Astra S.A. Luxembourg, France)