2018.A.1.4. Parallel High-fidelity Trajectory Optimization with Application to CubeSat Deployment in an Earth-moon Halo Orbit


Hongru Chen (1)
Mickaël Gastineau (1)
Daniel Hestroffer (1)
Vishnu Viswanathan (1)

  1. IMCCE, Observatoire de Paris, France




Trajectory Optimization, Parallel Computation, Interplanetary CubeSats


The application of CubeSats to interplanetary missions is currently being exploited. However, trajectories of interplanetary CubeSats are greatly constrained by the very limited propulsion capacity. Electric propulsion systems that enjoy a high Isp as well as a high Δv budget is promising to CubeSats. However, the low thrust of electric systems may not work for some trajectories needing for quick response. In addition to propulsion, the ephemeris and gravity of celestial bodies can exert positive or negative influence on CubeSat trajectories, which results in significant Δv saving or loss to the CubeSat. CubeSat trajectories should be designed as well as verified in a high-fidelity model accommodating the ephemeris and gravity of celestial bodies, and specifications of the CubeSat and the propulsion system. A parallel high-fidelity trajectory optimization tool, PHITO, is presented in this paper. How PHITO can be applied to trajectory analysis and propulsion system sizing is discussed through a case study of the phasing trajectory of an Earth-moon halo orbit. The result of Δv reveals the generally positive effect of the full-ephemeris n-body dynamics.


  • Download slides in PDF format here (2MB)


  • The paper can be downloaded in pdf format here (2MB)

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