Planar high-thrust and low-thrust orbital transfers from Earth to Europa

Hans Seywald, Carlos M. Roithmayr, Daniel D. Mazanek, Frederic H. Stillwagen, Patrick A. Troutman, Sang Young Park

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

We review analytical formulae for low-thrust orbital transfers from a circular initial orbit to a circular target orbit and to escape, using constant thrust applied in the same direction as the velocity vector, or in the opposite direction. The formulae give approximations for the maneuver time, final mass fraction, and evolution of the semimajor axis. For comparison, the associated results for high-thrust Hohmann and Oberth transfers are summarized. A simple computer program employing the aforementioned relationships is a useful tool for analysis of planar planetary and interplanetary space missions. This implementation yields fast and reasonably accurate approximations to trajectory performance boundaries. Consequently, the approach can provide trajectory analysis for each spacecraft configuration during the conceptual space mission design phase. As an example, a mission from Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) to Jupiter's moon Europa is analyzed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)421-439
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of the Astronautical Sciences
Volume52
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Oct 1

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high thrust
low thrust
transfer orbits
Orbital transfer
Europa
space missions
spacecraft configurations
Orbits
thrust
Earth (planet)
trajectory analysis
orbits
interplanetary space
low Earth orbits
maneuvers
natural satellites
approximation
Jupiter (planet)
trajectory
Trajectories

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

Seywald, H., Roithmayr, C. M., Mazanek, D. D., Stillwagen, F. H., Troutman, P. A., & Park, S. Y. (2004). Planar high-thrust and low-thrust orbital transfers from Earth to Europa. Journal of the Astronautical Sciences, 52(4), 421-439.
Seywald, Hans ; Roithmayr, Carlos M. ; Mazanek, Daniel D. ; Stillwagen, Frederic H. ; Troutman, Patrick A. ; Park, Sang Young. / Planar high-thrust and low-thrust orbital transfers from Earth to Europa. In: Journal of the Astronautical Sciences. 2004 ; Vol. 52, No. 4. pp. 421-439.
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Seywald, H, Roithmayr, CM, Mazanek, DD, Stillwagen, FH, Troutman, PA & Park, SY 2004, 'Planar high-thrust and low-thrust orbital transfers from Earth to Europa', Journal of the Astronautical Sciences, vol. 52, no. 4, pp. 421-439.

Planar high-thrust and low-thrust orbital transfers from Earth to Europa. / Seywald, Hans; Roithmayr, Carlos M.; Mazanek, Daniel D.; Stillwagen, Frederic H.; Troutman, Patrick A.; Park, Sang Young.

In: Journal of the Astronautical Sciences, Vol. 52, No. 4, 01.10.2004, p. 421-439.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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AU - Park, Sang Young

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Seywald H, Roithmayr CM, Mazanek DD, Stillwagen FH, Troutman PA, Park SY. Planar high-thrust and low-thrust orbital transfers from Earth to Europa. Journal of the Astronautical Sciences. 2004 Oct 1;52(4):421-439.