Displaced geostationary orbits using hybrid low-thrust propulsion

Heiligers, J., McInnes, C.R. , Biggs, J.D. and Ceriotti, M. (2012) Displaced geostationary orbits using hybrid low-thrust propulsion. Acta Astronautica, 71, pp. 51-67. (doi:10.1016/j.actaastro.2011.08.012)

Heiligers, J., McInnes, C.R. , Biggs, J.D. and Ceriotti, M. (2012) Displaced geostationary orbits using hybrid low-thrust propulsion. Acta Astronautica, 71, pp. 51-67. (doi:10.1016/j.actaastro.2011.08.012)

[img]
Preview
Text
68858.pdf - Accepted Version

1MB

Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.actaastro.2011.08.012

Abstract

In this paper, displaced geostationary orbits using hybrid low-thrust propulsion, a complementary combination of Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP) and solar sailing, are investigated to increase the capacity of the geostationary ring that is starting to become congested. The SEP propellant consumption is minimized in order to maximize the mission lifetime by deriving semi-analytical formulae for the optimal steering laws for the SEP and solar sail accelerations. By considering the spacecraft mass budget, the performance is also expressed in terms of payload mass capacity. The analyses are performed both for the use of pure SEP and hybrid low-thrust propulsion to allow for a comparison. It is found that hybrid low-thrust control outperforms the pure SEP case both in terms of payload mass capacity and mission lifetime for all displacements considered. Hybrid low-thrust propulsion enables payloads of 255–487 kg to be maintained in a 35 km displaced orbit for 10–15 years. Adding the influence of the J<sub>2</sub> and J<sub>2,2</sub> terms of the Earth's gravity field has a small effect on this lifetime, which becomes almost negligible for small values of the sail lightness number. Finally, two SEP transfers that allow for an improvement in the performance of hybrid low-thrust control are optimized for the propellant consumption by solving the accompanying optimal control problem using a direct pseudospectral method. The first type of transfer enables a transit between orbits displaced above and below the equatorial plane, while the second type of transfer enables customized service for which a spacecraft is transferred to a Keplerian parking orbit when geostationary coverage is not needed. While the latter requires a modest propellant budget, the first type of transfer comes at the cost of an almost negligible SEP propellant consumption.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Ceriotti, Dr Matteo and McInnes, Professor Colin
Authors: Heiligers, J., McInnes, C.R., Biggs, J.D., and Ceriotti, M.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Systems Power and Energy
Journal Name:Acta Astronautica
ISSN:0094-5765
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2012 Elsevier
First Published:First published in Acta Astronautica 71:57-67
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record