Orbit transfers to lower altitude orbits using aerobraking

Byoungsam Woo, Victoria L. Coverstone

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

Abstract

A strategy to obtain a temporary low altitude orbit (150 ∼ 200 km at periapse) from a nominal higher altitude circular orbit while minimizing propellant consumption is developed. In order to minimize propellant consumption, an aerobraking orbit transfer is considered. The results are intuitive and show that the total delta-V is minimized when the orbital velocity of the satellite at the periapse on the transfer orbit is identical to the periapse velocity of the lower altitude mission orbit. Additionally, the general relation between transfer angle and the velocity at periapse on the transfer orbit is formed from numerical simulations. The developed strategy is employed for test cases of a low earth orbit remote sensing satellite and a Mars mission. In each case, a linear relation of the transfer angle and the velocity at periapse on the transfer orbit is generated. A staircase-pattern relation between the transfer angle that minimizes total delta-V and the desired apoapse altitude of lower altitude mission orbit is generated for both Earth and Mars test cases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-195
Number of pages9
JournalAdvances in the Astronautical Sciences
Volume112 I
StatePublished - Dec 1 2002
EventSpaceflight Mechanics 2002 - San Antonio, TX, United States
Duration: Jan 27 2002Jan 30 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science

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