Outer-planet mission analysis using solar-electric ion propulsion

Byoungsam Woo, Victoria L. Coverstone, John W. Hartmann, Michael Cupples

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Outer-planet mission analysis was performed using three next generation solar-electric ion thruster models. Optimal trajectories are presented that maximize the delivered mass to the designated outer planet. Trajectories to Saturn and Neptune with a single Venus gravity assist are investigated. For each thruster model, the delivered mass versus flight time curve was generated to obtain thruster model performance. The effect of power to the thrusters and resonance ratio of Venutian orbital periods to spacecraft period were also studied. Multiple locally optimal trajectories to Saturn and Neptune have been discovered in different regions of the parameter search space. The characteristics of each trajectory are noted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2051-2062
Number of pages12
JournalAdvances in the Astronautical Sciences
Volume114 III
StatePublished - 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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