Optimal trajectories to Jupiter in view of possible of temporary cutoff of the electric propulsion

Space technics and technology


Konstantinov M. S.*, Nguyen D. N.**

Moscow Aviation Institute (National Research University), 4, Volokolamskoe shosse, Moscow, А-80, GSP-3, 125993, Russia

*e-mail: mkonst@bk.ru
**e-mail: bauman252@mail.ru



The interplanetary trajectory of spacecraft (SC) with electric propulsion


Design of trajectory of spacecraft with electric propulsion (EP) to Jupiter using Earth’s swing-by with the ability to reject disturbances associated with temporary cutoff of the electric propulsion.


  1. Analysis of the ballistic possibilities for rejection of disturbances connected with the temporary contingency cutoff of the electric propulsion.
  2. Development of determination method for a new nominal trajectory, which allows to have the long duration of contingency cutoff of the electric propulsion at any point of the SC trajectory


The trajectory optimization problem is formulated by using the Pontryagin’s maximum principle.

Optimality conditions of gravity assistance are used.

The continuation method along parameter is used to solve the boundary value problem.


The novelty of this study is related to the formulation of the problem as well as to the development of method for finding such a nominal trajectory, at the implementation of which a large duration of contingency cutoff of the EP at any point of the flight trajectory is allowed


Estimates of the permissible duration of abnormal cutoff of electric propulsion for the considered program trajectories are obtained.

A method of the design of an interplanetary trajectory with the need to reject the perturbations caused by temporary cutoff of electric propulsion.

Practical implications

The interplanetary missions of spacecraft with electric propulsion.


In this paper we propose an approach to designing of the interplanetary trajectory of SC with EP with the need to reject the perturbations caused with temporary cutoff of electric propulsion at a point of the transfer trajectory.

Estimates of the permissible duration of the supernumerary cutoff of the EP for the several program trajectories are obtained. The nominal trajectories need to be corrected to increase the allowable time of abnormal cutoff of engine

Two ways to correct the nominal trajectories are proposed. The first way is based on the increase of the duration of the coasting segment of the terminal phase of the heliocentric trajectory. The second way is based on the introduction of one or several additional coasting segments.

For the considered transport problem the determination of a new (corrected) nominal interplanetary spacecraft trajectory gave a possibility to increase the allowable duration of unintended cutoff of electric propulsion up to 2.75 days in any point of the trajectory of flight.


spacecraft, Jupiter, optimal trajectory, gravity assist trajectory, temporary cutoff of the electric propulsion


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