An Efficient Algorithm for Perturbed Orbit Integration Combining Analytical Continuation and Modified Chebyshev Picard Iteration Conference Paper uri icon


  • Several methods exist for integrating the motion in high order gravity fields. Some recent methods use an approximate starting orbit, and an efficient method is needed for generating warm starts that account for specific low order gravity approximations. By introducing two scalar Lagrange-like invariants and employing Leibniz product rule, the perturbed motion is integrated by a novel recursive formulation. The Lagrange-like invariants allow exact arbitrary order time derivatives. Restricting attention to the perturbations due to the zonal harmonics J2 through J6, we illustrate an idea. The recursively generated vector-valued time derivatives for the trajectory are used to develop a continuation series-based solution for propagating position and velocity. Numerical comparisons indicate performance improvements of ~ 70X over existing explicit Runge-Kutta methods while maintaining mm accuracy for the orbit predictions.

    The Modified Chebyshev Picard Iteration (MCPI) is an iterative path approximation method to solve nonlinear ordinary differential equations. The MCPI utilizes Picard iteration with orthogonal Chebyshev polynomial basis functions to recursively update the states. The key advantages of the MCPI are as follows: 1) Large segments of a trajectory can be approximated by evaluating the forcing function at multiple nodes along the current approximation during each iteration. 2) It can readily handle general gravity perturbations as well as non-conservative forces. 3) Parallel applications are possible. The Picard sequence converges to the solution over large time intervals when the forces are continuous and differentiable. According to the accuracy of the starting solutions, however, the MCPI may require significant number of iterations and function evaluations compared to other integrators.

    In this work, we provide an efficient methodology to establish good starting solutions from the continuation series method; this warm start improves the performance of the MCPI significantly and will likely be useful for other applications where efficiently computed approximate orbit solutions are needed.

published proceedings

  • Advanced Maui Optical and Space Surveillance Technologies Conference

author list (cited authors)

  • Elgohary, T., Kim, D., Turner, J., & Junkins, J.

complete list of authors

  • Elgohary, T||Kim, D||Turner, J||Junkins, J

publication date

  • September 2014