Fast initial trajectory design for low-thrust restricted-three-body problems

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Copyright © 2015 by the authors. Published by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc., with permission. This paper presents an approach to generate initial trajectories in a three-body dynamical framework, assuming the use of a low-thrust propulsion system. Finite Fourier series were previously implemented successfully in approximating two-dimensional continuous-thrust trajectories in two-body dynamic models. In this paper, Finite Fourier series are implemented in a dual-level-solver strategy for low-thrust trajectory approximation, in the presence of thrust acceleration constraints, in the three-body dynamic model. This approximation enables the feasibility assessment of low-thrust trajectories, especially in the presence of thrust level constraint. The developed method demonstrates capability in generating trajectories using a fully automated procedure for various levels of thrust acceleration with a moderate to high number of revolutions. The suitability of using the approximated trajectories as initial guesses for high-fidelity solvers is demonstrated.

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Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics