Zero, minimum and maximum relative radial acceleration for planar formation flight dynamics near triangular libration points in the Earth-Moon system
Assume a constellation of satellites is flying near a given nominal trajectory around L4 or L5 in the Earth-Moon system in such a way that there is some freedom in the selection of the geometry of the constellation. We are interested in avoiding large variations of the mutual distances between spacecraft. In this case, the existence of regions of zero and minimum relative radial acceleration with respect to the nominal trajectory will prevent from the expansion or contraction of the constellation. In the other case, the existence of regions of maximum relative radial acceleration with respect to the nominal trajectory will produce a larger expansion and contraction of the constellation. The goal of this paper is to study these regions in the scenario of the Circular Restricted Three Body Problem by means of a linearization of the equations of motion relative to the periodic orbits around L4 or L5. This study corresponds to a preliminar planar formation flight dynamics about triangular libration points in the Earth-Moon system. Additionally, the cost estimate to maintain the constellation in the regions of zero and minimum relative radial acceleration or keeping a rigid configuration is computed with the use of the residual acceleration concept. At the end, the results are compared with the dynamical behavior of the deviation of the constellation from a periodic orbit.