APPROXIMATE ANALYSIS OF OPTIMUM LOW THRUST TRANSFER BETWEEN COPLANAR HYPERBOLIC ORBITS.
Scientific rept. no. 2,
TRAINING CENTER FOR EXPERIMENTAL AERODYNAMICS RHODE-SAINT-GENESE (BELGIUM)
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Optimization of low thrust transfer between coplanar hyperbolic orbits was analyzed on the basis of an approximate analytical solution, in the case of constant thrust set at a constant angle to the velocity vector. The investigation bears upon minimization of fuel consumption and selection of an ideal initial orbit. For given initial and final orbits it is shown that optimum conditions can be obtained with tangential thrust. Further refinement consists of a proper selection of the angular momentum of the initial orbit, so as to either initiate or terminate low thrust propulsion as close as possible to perigee, depending upon the direction of transfer. Author