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Spacecraft dynamics near a binary asteroid

Pages: 297 - 306, Issue Special, August 2005

 Abstract        Full Text (876.0K)              

F. Gabern - Control and Dynamical Systems, California Institute of Technology, 107-81, 1200 E. California Boulevard, Pasadena, CA 91125, United States (email)
W.S. Koon - Control and Dynamical Systems, California Institute of Technology, 107-81, 1200 E. California Boulevard, Pasadena, CA 91125, United States (email)
Jerrold E. Marsden - Control and Dynamical Systems 107-81, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, United States (email)

Abstract: We study a simple model for an asteroid pair, namely a planar system consisting of a rigid body and a sphere. This model is interesting because it is one of the simplest that captures the coupling between rotational and translational dynamics. By assuming that the binary is in a relative equilibria of the system, we construct a model for the motion of a spacecraft about this asteroid pair without affecting its motion (that is, we consider a restricted problem). This model can be studied as a perturbation of the standard Restricted Three Body Problem (RTBP). We use the stable zones near the triangular relative equilibrium points of the binary and a normal form of the Hamiltonian to compute stable periodic and quasi-periodic orbits for the spacecraft, which enable it to observe the binary while the binary orbits around the Sun.

Keywords:  Binary asteroids, normal forms, spacecraft dynamics.
Mathematics Subject Classification:  37N05,70F07.

Received: September 2004;      Revised: May 2005;      Published: September 2005.