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Optimal design for a NEO tracking spacecraft formation

Maddock, Christie and Vasile, Massimiliano (2007) Optimal design for a NEO tracking spacecraft formation. In: IEEE Congress on Evolutionary Computing. IEEE, Paper 1728. ISBN 978-1-4244-1339-3

Maddock_C_Vasile_M_Pure_Optimal_design_for_a_NEO_tracking_spacecraft_formation.pdf - Preprint

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The following paper presents the design and methodology for developing an optimal set of spacecraft orbits for a NEO tracking mission. The spacecraft is designed to fly in close formation with the asteroid, avoiding the nonlinear gravity field produced by the asteroid. A periodic orbit is developed, and the initial conditions are optimized by use of a global optimizer for constrained nonlinear problems. The asteroid Apophis (NEO 2004 MN4) was used as the case study due the potential impact with Earth in 2036, and the need for more accurate ephemerides.