Attitude dynamics in the circular restricted three-body problem

Abstract

This document reflects the effort of constructing a basis for understanding attitude motion within a multi-body problem with application to spacecraft flight dynamics. The circular restricted three-body problem (CR3BP) is employed as a model for the orbital motion. Then, attitude dynamics is discussed within the CR3BP. Conditions for bounded attitude librations and techniques for the identification of such behavior are presented: initially for a spacecraft fixed at an orbital equilibrium point, and later for a vehicle that moves on non-linear periodic orbit. While previous works focus on specific challenges, this analysis serves to create a more general framework for attitude dynamics within the CR3BP. A larger framework enables additional observations. For example, a linkage is noted between regions of bounded motion that may appear on an attitude grid search map and families of periodic attitude solutions. Finally, coupling effects between attitude and orbit dynamics within the CR3BP, ones that enable new options for trajectory design, are considered an important opportunity, and should be included in a general framework. As a proof of that concept, sailcraft trajectories are generated within a coupled orbit-attitude model only using a sequence of constant commands for the attitude actuators.

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Acknowledgements

This work was completed at Tsinghua University with the support of the 2015 Chinese National Postdoctoral International Exchange Program. The investigations as a Ph.D. student at Purdue University added greatly to the first author's insight and understanding. Finally, the authors are grateful to NASA and its members that actively contributed to the discussion on multi-body dynamics.

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Correspondence to Davide Guzzetti.

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Davide Guzzetti is a young researcher in astrodynamics. Dr. Guzzetti began his professional career at Politecnico di Milano, where he studied from 2006 to 2012, graduating with a M.S. degree in space engineering. During the later years at Politecnico di Milano, he was a member of the honor society Alta Scuola Politecnica. In August 2012, Dr. Guzzetti formally joined professor K. C. Howell's research group, and worked at Purdue University, until after the completion of a doctoral degree, in 2016. During the years at Purdue University, he had the opportunity to lecture for the graduate course Advanced Orbital Dynamics" and to collaborate at different projects for the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and the NASA Johnson Space Center. Dr. Guzzetti's contribution to a better understanding and utilization of multi-body regimes includes studies on attitude dynamics, solar sailing, rapid and intuitive trajectory design, and stationkeeping techniques for manned vehicles in vicinity of the Moon. In January 2016, he was selected for the Chinese National Post-doctoral International Exchange Program to continue his career at Tsinghua University.

Kathleen Connor Howell is presently the Hsu Lo Distinguished Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics in the College of Engineering at Purdue University. She earned her B.S. degree in aerospace engineering from Iowa State University; her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in aeronautical and astronautical sciences are from Stanford University. Professor Howell's technical research focus is astrodynamics in complex gravitational environments. She has successfully applied these methodologies to numerous NASA missions. As a principal investigator, she has obtained numerous grants and received various awards related to her research program as well as in recognition as an engineering educator. Currently, as the Editor-in-Chief for Journal of the Astronautical Sciences, she is also a member of other editorial boards. Professor Howell is a member of the NAE and AAAS as well as a Fellow of both AIAA and AAS. She is involved with various other organizations within the international aerospace and astrodynamics community.

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Guzzetti, D., Howell, K.C. Attitude dynamics in the circular restricted three-body problem. Astrodyn 2, 87–119 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s42064-017-0012-7

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Keywords

  • three-body problem
  • orbit-attitude dynamics
  • bounded attitude librations
  • turn and hold model