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Low thrust trajectories using the two variable asymptotic expansion method


Stavro, William C. (1969) Low thrust trajectories using the two variable asymptotic expansion method. Engineer's thesis, California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/2DZ1-3033.


An approximate analytic solution is derived in this thesis for the variables which describe a heliocentric low-thrust trajectory. The two-variable asymptotic expansion procedure is used. It is assumed that the thrust acceleration varies as the inverse of the distance to the central body raised to an arbitrary power α. Thus the value of α = 1.4 will represent a solar-electric propulsion system, and the value of α = 0 will represent a nuclear-electric system. It is also assumed that the mass of the spacecraft remains constant and that the direction of the thrust vector is arbitrary but remains constant. The results are compared to numerical integrations and to other integrating low-thrust programs.

Item Type:Thesis (Engineer's thesis)
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Aeronautics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Stewart, Homer Joseph (advisor)
  • Wesseling, Pieter (advisor)
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:20 May 1969
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-03312009-143046
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:1232
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:31 Mar 2009
Last Modified:20 Dec 2019 19:32

Thesis Files

PDF (Stavro_w_1969.pdf) - Final Version
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