CONSTRAINED N-IMPULSE PERIODIC CLOSE ENCOUNTERS
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An n-impulse orbit strategy to perform Periodic Close Encounters (PCE) of satellites (or debris) has been previously proposed. Motivations come from the need to perform space surveillance missions for periodic observations of targets, for debris removal missions, and for space missions to repair damaged, expensive, strategic, or extremely useful space assets. The close encounter periodicity is achieved by finding an orbit sufficiently close (in term of Δvtot distance) and compatible with the assigned target orbit, intersecting the target orbit such that a minimum prescribed observation time (expressed in minutes/day) is guaranteed. The optimal solution consists of a set of n-impulse maneuvers that are admissible, that is, generating no Earth-impacting or hyperbolic trajectories. The new features of the current PCE version includes the capability to specify: a) time constraints, b) minimum illumination angle, c) minimum encounter distance, d) minimum perigee altitude, e) maximum repetition time, and f) maximum encounter time. The current PCE version, that uses a Learning Adaptive optimization technique, is finally validated by several numerical examples.
author list (cited authors)
Mortari, D., Davis, J. J., & Denton, R. D.