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Applications of solar radiation pressure dominated highly non-Keplerian trajectories around minor bodies

Garcia Yarnoz, Daniel and Sanchez Cuartielles, Joan-Pau and McInnes, Colin (2013) Applications of solar radiation pressure dominated highly non-Keplerian trajectories around minor bodies. In: 64th International Astronautical Congress 2013, 2013-09-23 - 2013-09-27.

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Abstract

With the growing interest in the exploration and possible exploitation of small minor bodies, demonstrator missions to asteroids and comets are a trending topic in the research community. Various strategies appearing in literature for the characterisation and proximity operations of small asteroids have limited coverage of the sunlit side of an asteroid. This paper proposes the use of highly non-Keplerian trajectories enabled by solar radiation pressure to map and characterize the region around the sub-solar point of small asteroids. Strategies involving a combination of retrograde and prograde orbits together with inversions of the orbit direction by either manoeuvres or exploiting the natural dynamics are presented and analysed in detail. Additional orbits of interest for hopper spacecraft are also discussed.