Spacecraft maneuver on high-elliptic orbit in the area of semi-minor axis using electrojets

Dynamics, ballistics, movement control of flying vehicles


Protopopov A. P.*, Vorob'yeva Y. A.**

Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation «Energia», 4а, Lenin str., Korolev, Moscow region, 141070, Russia



The goal of the paper consists in developing an algorithm of changing an orbit inclination with low thrust electrojets. The spacecraft with eight electrojets with reaction wheels takes up a high elliptic orbit. Electrojets are necessary to control either the center of mass, or angular motion.

The system of four reaction wheels with total kinetic moment of 30 N m s realizes around of center of mass control. Several constraints are imposed on correction as follows: the change of an orbit period should be minimal; only one electrojet at a time can be in use due to energy saving restrictions; correction run time should not exceed one hour with possible allowed deviation of one minute.

Algorithm with three engine firings was developed based on equations for orbit period stability and equations for spacecraft angular movement. Equations for period deviation estimation during correction were obtained from Kepler law using eccentric anomaly. Angular momentum variation law equations include spacecraft and reaction wheels angular moments, as well as electro jet moment. The authors used the diagonal spacecraft inertia tensor.

Analytical equations for spacecraft angular momentum with reaction wheels calculation with an allowance for electrojets are obtained.

The paper presents the comparison between existing orbit correction algorithm with four firings and the developed algorithm. Numerical simulation results show that the algorithm involving three engine firings can be implemented with some restrictions for the initial angular momentum.


orbit correction, orbit period, high elliptic orbit, electrojet engines, reaction wheels, angular momentum


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