Aerocapture system options for delivery of small satellites to mars

G. Falcone, J. W. Williams, Zachary R Putnam

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

Abstract

Small satellites may provide a low-cost platform for targeted science investigations in the Mars system. With current technology, small satellites require ride shares with larger orbiters to capture into orbit, limiting the range of orbits available to small satellite mission designers. Successful development of a small satellite aerocapture capability would allow small satellite mission designers to choose the orbit most appropriate for a science investigation while enabling small satellite ride shares on any mission to Mars. A generic small satellite aerocapture system is assessed for use at Mars across a range of small satellite payloads, approach trajectories, and destinations in the Mars system. The aerocapture system uses drag modulation for trajectory control to ensure successful orbit insertion. Analyses include assessment of the sensitivity of the entry corridor size to the ballistic-coefficient ratio, the effectiveness of real-time aerocapture guidance and control algorithms, aerocapture system-level impacts of different target orbits, and development of requirements and recommendations for the development of a small satellite aerocapture system. Results indicate that a discrete drag-modulation aerocapture system may provide an orbitinsertion capability for small satellites with modest propulsion requirements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationGuidance, navigation, and control, 2018
EditorsCheryl A. H. Walker
PublisherUnivelt Inc.
Pages271-284
Number of pages14
ISBN (Print)9780877036494
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018
Event41st Annual AAS Rocky Mountain Section Guidance and Control Conference, 2018 - Breckenridge, United States
Duration: Feb 1 2018Feb 7 2018

Publication series

NameAdvances in the Astronautical Sciences
Volume164
ISSN (Print)0065-3438

Other

Other41st Annual AAS Rocky Mountain Section Guidance and Control Conference, 2018
CountryUnited States
CityBreckenridge
Period2/1/182/7/18

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science

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  • Cite this

    Falcone, G., Williams, J. W., & Putnam, Z. R. (2018). Aerocapture system options for delivery of small satellites to mars. In C. A. H. Walker (Ed.), Guidance, navigation, and control, 2018 (pp. 271-284). (Advances in the Astronautical Sciences; Vol. 164). Univelt Inc..