Preliminary Study of Geosynchronous Orbit Transfers from LEO using Invariant Manifolds
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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.
KeywordsInvariant Manifold Unstable Manifold Libration Point Halo Orbit Jacobi Constant
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