Exploiting Unstable Periodic Orbits of a Chaotic Invariant Set for Spacecraft Control

Author: Macau, Elbert E. N.

Source: Celestial Mechanics and Dynamical Astronomy, Volume 87, Number 3, November 2003 , pp. 291-305(15)

Publisher: Springer

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The purpose of this work is to show that chaos control techniques (OGY, in special) can be used to efficiently keep a spacecraft around another body performing elaborate orbits. We consider a satellite and a spacecraft moving initially in coplanar and circular orbits, with slightly different radii, around a heavy central planet. The spacecraft, which is the inner body, has a slightly larger angular velocity than the satellite so that, after some time, they eventually go to a situation in which the distance between them becomes sufficiently small, so that they start to interact with one another. This situation is called as an encounter. In previous work we have shown that this scenario is a typical situation of a chaotic scattering for some well-defined range of parameters. Considering this scenario, we first show how it is possible to find the unstable periodic orbits that are located in the chaotic invariant set. From the set of unstable periodic orbits, we select the ones that can be combined to provide the desired elaborate orbit. Then, chaos control technique based on the OGY method is used to keep the spacecraft in the desired orbit. Finally, we analyze the results and make considerations regarding a realistic scenario of space exploration.

Keywords: OGY; chaos; control; encounter; periodic orbits

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais – INPE, Caixa Postal 515, 12227-010 São José dos Campos, SP, Brazil, Email: elbert@lit.inpe.br

Publication date: November 1, 2003

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