PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to obtain the reachable domain (RD) for spacecraft with a single normal impulse while considering both time and impulse constraints.Design/methodology/approachThe problem of RD is addressed in an analytical approach by analyzing for either the initial maneuver point or the impulse magnitude being arbitrary. The trajectories are considered lying in the intersection of a plane and an ellipsoid of revolution, whose family can be determined analytically. Moreover, the impulse and time constraints are considered while formulating the problem. The upper bound of impulse magnitude, “high consumption areas” and the change of semi-major axis and eccentricity are discussed.FindingsThe equations of RD with a single normal impulse are analytically obtained. The equations of three scenarios are obtained. If normal impulse is too large, the RD cannot be obtained. The change of the semi-major axis and eccentricity with large normal impulse is more obvious. For long-term missions, the change of semi-major axis and eccentricity leaded by multiple normal impulses should be considered.Practical implicationsThe RD gives the pre-defined region (all positions accessible) for a spacecraft under a given initial orbit and a normal impulse with certain magnitude.Originality/valueThe RD for spacecraft with normal impulse can be used for non-coplanar orbital transfers, emergency evacuation after failure of rendezvous and docking and collision avoidance.
Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jul 8, 2019
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