Date of Award

5-2011

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Major

Aerospace Engineering

Major Professor

Evans Lyne

Committee Members

Kivanc Ekici, Vasilios Alexiades

Abstract

Several targeting algorithms are developed and analyzed for possible future use onboard a spacecraft. Each targeter is designed to determine the appropriate propulsive burn for translunar injection to obtain desired orbital parameters upon arrival at the moon. Primary design objectives are to minimize the computational requirements for each algorithm but also to ensure reasonable accuracy, so that the algorithm’s errors do not force the craft to conduct large mid-course corrections. Several levels of accuracy for dynamical models are explored, the convergence range and speed of each algorithm are compared, and the possible benefits of the Broyden and trust-region targeters are evaluated. These targeters provide a proof of concept for the feasibility of a translunar injection targeting algorithm. Anticipating some future improvements, these algorithms could serve as a viable alternative to uploading ground-based targeting solutions and bypass the problems of delays and disruptions in communication, enabling the craft to conduct a translunar injection burn autonomously.

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