A study of low-thrust trajectories for low orbit multiple cubesat missions

Alexander Robin Mercantini Ghosh, Victoria Coverstone

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


This work discusses the usage of a low-thrust micro-cavity discharge thruster on 3 kg cubesats. Based on a case study of a two-satellite system, the required trajectories, and control use is determined to allow the cubesats to recover from disturbances, and extended their usable lifetime by a factor of at least 10. The approach uses a direct transcription method that employs multiple-shooting of a 4th order Runge-Kutta forward-integration of the state and control defects. It also lays the groundwork for future study into problems regarding cubesat formation phasing with larger numbers of spacecraft.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSpaceflight Mechanics 2010 - Advances in the Astronautical Sciences
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the AAS/AIAA Space Flight Mechanics Meeting
Number of pages17
StatePublished - 2010
EventAAS/AIAA Space Flight Mechanics Meeting - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Feb 14 2010Feb 17 2010

Publication series

NameAdvances in the Astronautical Sciences
ISSN (Print)0065-3438


OtherAAS/AIAA Space Flight Mechanics Meeting
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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