Citation
Zondervan, Keith Peter (1983) Optimal low thrust, three burn orbit transfers with large plane changes. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechETD:etd08152005091409
Abstract
During the last twentyfive years, much attention has been devoted to the problem of optimal orbit transfer. The problem has been conveniently divided into two categories  unlimited thrust (or acceleration) orbit transfers and limited thrust (or acceleration) orbit transfers. The unlimited thrust orbit transfers use infinite thrust, zero burn time burns and hence have also come to be known as impulsive burn orbit transfers. In general it has been found that optimal (i.e., minimum fuel, timefree) solutions to these types of transfers require two or possibly three burns. The limited thrust transfers, in contrast, do not use impulsive burns but use burns which have a finite thrust level and a nonzero burn time and, hence, are also known as finite burn orbit transfers. If our attention is restricted to finite multiburn transfers which have burn times less than an orbital period, two classes of transfers emerge. These classes of transfers are either Geometrically Similar to the 2Burn Impulsive (GS2BI) transfers or Geometrically Similar to the 3Burn Impulsive (GS3BI) transfers. For example, if a 2burn impulsive solution has a perigee burn followed by an apogee burn, the GS2BI finite burn transfer would use one or more perigee burns followed by one or more apogee burns. Recentstudies have presented optimal solutions to GS2BI finite burn orbit transfers for various thrust to weight ratios. The current study presents the optimal solutions to GS3BI finite burn orbit transfers between a 28.5° inclined lowearth orbit and a series of 63.4° inclined circular orbits and a series of 63.4° inclined elliptical orbits with twelve hour periods. Also presented are optimal solutions to GS3BI finite burn orbit transfers between 97° inclined highearth orbits and a 57° inclined lowearth orbit. Optimal solutions are found to be bounded by a lower limit on the initial thrust to weight ratio. It is shown that as the final perigee altitude is increased, the GS3BI finite burn transfer degenerates to a GS2BI finite burn transfer much as it would for the impulsive case. Analysis of the optimal steering during various burns reveals a natural division of the steering strategies into two categories based on whether a burn results in a predominant change in the orbit sizeorthe orbit plane. The similarity of these optimal steering strategies to previously obtained simple "nearoptimal" steering strategies is discussed.
Item Type:  Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.)) 

Subject Keywords:  low thrust, orbit transfer, threeburn, plane change, optimal control 
Degree Grantor:  California Institute of Technology 
Division:  Engineering and Applied Science 
Major Option:  Applied Mechanics 
Thesis Availability:  Public (worldwide access) 
Research Advisor(s): 

Thesis Committee: 

Defense Date:  16 May 1983 
Record Number:  CaltechETD:etd08152005091409 
Persistent URL:  http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechETD:etd08152005091409 
Default Usage Policy:  No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided. 
ID Code:  3123 
Collection:  CaltechTHESIS 
Deposited By:  Imported from ETDdb 
Deposited On:  16 Aug 2005 
Last Modified:  26 Dec 2012 02:57 
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