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Optimum thrust programming for low thrust devices


Smithey, William John Henry (1964) Optimum thrust programming for low thrust devices. Engineer's thesis, California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/FGHG-HF41.


The use of low thrust devices with continuous and discontinuous thrust programs is investigated to determine whether or not a discontinuous thrust program will provide a greater payload and structure mass fraction, where the program must impart a specified amount of energy to the satellite in a specified total time, starting from a circular parking orbit. A discontinuous thrust program is developed, based on the elliptic orbit, using a perturbation analysis, and a series solution is obtained which permits investigation of this program up to angles of one radian either side of the perigee of the elliptic orbit. These results are compared with a continuous thrust program which gave a spiral orbit. Under certain conditions, where storage batteries must be carried as part of the payload but are available for use during the thrust program, the discontinuous thrust program is found to provide a greater payload and structure mass fraction. Further investigation at angles greater than one radian either side of perigee appears to be warranted.

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):
  • Unknown, Unknown
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:1 January 1964
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-10102002-083146
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:4003
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:11 Oct 2002
Last Modified:20 Dec 2019 19:45

Thesis Files

PDF (Smithey_w_1964.pdf) - Final Version
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