Low-Thrust Control of a Lunar Mapping OrbitA method is presented for generating and maintaining a lunar mapping orbit using continuous low-thrust hardware. Optimal control theory is used to maintain a lunar orbit that is low-altitude, near-polar, and Sun-synchronous; three typical requirements for a successful lunar mapping mission. The analysis of the optimal control problem leads to the commonly seen two-point boundary value problem, which is solved using a simple indirect shooting algorithm. Simulations are presented for a 50-day mapping duration, in which it is shown that a very tight control is achieved with thrust levels below 1 N for a 1000 kg spacecraft. A straightforward approach for using the method presented to compute missions of any duration is also discussed.
Harl, Nathan (Missouri Univ. Rolla, MO, United States)
Pernicka, Henry J. (Missouri Univ. Rolla, MO, United States)
August 24, 2013
September 24, 2007
Publication: Proceedings of the 20th International Symposium on Space Flight Dynamics