Payload rate optimization for lowthrust, nearearth trajectories
Abstract
To optimize the transfer rate of payload by electric propulsion from LEO to higher orbit, the optimum in payload rate (payload/trip time) is found for a simple spacecraft composed of payload, powerplant, and propellant. Thrust time histories for constant thrust, constant acceleration and decaying acceleration are considered. The optimum spacecraft mass distribution is found to be approximately 25 percent payload and powerplant, and 50 percent propellant, for any Delta v. The optimum payload rate is found to be nearly independent of thrust history for nearearth transfers. For constant thrust, optimum Isp is about 900 seconds for Delta v = 6 km/sec typical of LEOGEO transfer.
 Publication:

AIAA, DGLR, and JSASS, 21st International Electric Propulsion Conference
 Pub Date:
 July 1990
 Bibcode:
 1990iep..confR....B
 Keywords:

 Earth Orbits;
 Geosynchronous Orbits;
 Intraorbit Transfer Vehicles;
 Low Thrust;
 Payload Transfer;
 Electric Propulsion;
 Equations Of Motion;
 Exhaust Velocity;
 High Acceleration;
 Payload Mass Ratio;
 Astrodynamics