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Analytical Equations for Orbital Transfer Maneuvers of a Vehicle Using Constant Low Thrust

Report Number: AFIT/GA/AA/81D-3
Author: Domino, Samuel J., Jr.
Laboratory: Air Force Institute of Technology
Date of Publication: 1981-12
Pages: 43
AD Number: ADA111142
Original AD Number: ADA111142

The object of this study is to derive a set of equations which predict the results of orbital maneuvers of vehicles using constant low thrust. These equations are developed by simplifying the problem to circular orbits in a two-body dynamic system. The results are presented in three parts. The first part solves for the equation of the coplanar radius change problem. The second finds the equation for the minimum fuel inclination change problem. The third part of this study puts the equations from the first two parts together to solve a minimum fuel transfer problem involving both radius and inclination changes. The solution of the minimum fuel transfer problem is not to perform the total radius change and then perform the total inclination change. Instead, the solution is to perform both radius and inclination changes on a per orbit basis.

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