The Journal of the Astronautical Sciences

, Volume 58, Issue 3, pp 295–310 | Cite as

Preliminary Study of Geosynchronous Orbit Transfers from LEO using Invariant Manifolds

  • Kathryn E. Davis
  • Rodney L. Anderson
  • George H. Born


The invariant manifolds of libration point orbits (LPOs) in the Sun-Earth/Moon system are used to construct low-energy transfers from Low Earth Orbits (LEOs) to geosynchronous orbits. A maneuver is performed in LEO to insert onto a stable manifold trajectory of an LPO. The spacecraft travels to the host LPO and then follows an unstable manifold trajectory back to a geosynchronous orbit, where an orbit insertion maneuver is performed. The gravitational effects of the Sun-Earth/Moon three-body system act in such a way that large plane changes between the initial and final orbits at Earth may be realized without the execution of any plane change maneuvers. The maneuver costs of the transfers that employ invariant manifolds are compared to those using traditional techniques. The transfers that employ manifold trajectories can lower the cost of traditional Hohmann transfers by up to 3.15 km/s for transfers involving large differences in initial and final inclinations. The decrease in fuel expenditure is accompanied by an increase in time of flight; transfer durations are slightly over one year.


Invariant Manifold Unstable Manifold Libration Point Halo Orbit Jacobi Constant 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© American Astronautical Society, Inc. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kathryn E. Davis
    • 1
  • Rodney L. Anderson
    • 2
  • George H. Born
    • 1
  1. 1.The Colorado Center for Astrodynamics ResearchUniversity of ColoradoBoulderUSA
  2. 2.The Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research, Aerospace Engineering SciencesUniversity of ColoradoBoulderUSA

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