Multiple-impulse orbital maneuver with limited observation window

Amir Shakouri, Seid H. Pourtakdoust, Mohammad Sayanjali

This paper proposes a solution for multiple-impulse orbital maneuvers near circular orbits for special cases where orbital observations are not globally available and the spacecraft is being observed through a limited window from a ground or a space-based station. The current study is particularly useful for small private launching companies with limited access to global observations around the Earth and/or for orbital maneuvers around other planets for which the orbital observations are limited to the in situ equipment. An appropriate cost function is introduced for the sake of minimizing the total control/impulse effort as well as the orbital uncertainty. It is subsequently proved that for a circle-to-circle maneuver, the optimization problem is quasi-convex with respect to the design variables. For near circular trajectories the same cost function is minimized via a gradient based optimization algorithm in order to provide a sub-optimal solution that is efficient both with respect to energy effort and orbital uncertainty. As a relevant case study, a four-impulse orbital maneuver between circular orbits under Mars gravitation is simulated and analyzed to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed algorithm.

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