A parametric analysis of endoatmospheric low-Earth-orbit maintenance.
Wilsey, Mark S.
Ross, I. Michael
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With the advent of long term low Earth-orbiting satellites comes the requirement to maintain a specified orbital radial band. Optimal control theory suggests that periodic thrusting is more efficient than forced Keplerian motion in obital maintenance through the use of Primer vectoring. This thesis examined the efficiency of fixed-angle transverse thrusting as an alternative to Primer vectoring. Numerical analysis shows that a thrust angle of 65-70 degrees is feasible for radial band control for a wide range of parameters. Fuel usage can be minimized through the proper selection of radial bandwidth, thruster size, and thrust angle. This thesis shov/s that forced Keplerian motion is always superior to fixed-angle transverse thrusting from a fuel usage standpoint, and hence that thrust vectoring must be utilized.
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