Optimal orbital rendezvous using high and low thrust
Abstract
Optimal control theory is used to examine a specific class of spacecraft trajectory problems where high and lowthrust propulsion systems are utilized. These problems assume a spacecraft is in an established orbit about a planet. It is desired to execute an intercept of a predetermined position in space in a specified amount of time using an optimal highthrust program. The spacecraft then returns to the original orbit station using the lowthrust propulsion system in an optimal fashion. A minimum fuel solution is sought using the linearized equations of motion, known as the CW equations, which simplify the necessary computations. Solutions are obtained for problems with a fixed final time. However, for the timeopen case, the optimal solution is for the final time to be infinite. With a weighted function of the final time in the performance index, a limited range of optimal single impulse solutions for the time open case can also be found.
 Publication:

Astrodynamics 1989
 Pub Date:
 1990
 Bibcode:
 1990asdy.conf..513P
 Keywords:

 High Thrust;
 Low Thrust;
 Orbital Rendezvous;
 Trajectory Optimization;
 Optimal Control;
 Thrust Programming;
 Astrodynamics