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New families of Sun-centred non-Keplerian orbits over cylinders and spheres

Heiligers, Jeannette and McInnes, Colin (2014) New families of Sun-centred non-Keplerian orbits over cylinders and spheres. Celestial Mechanics and Dynamical Astronomy, 120 (2). pp. 163-194. ISSN 0923-2958

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This paper introduces new families of Sun-centered non-Keplerian orbits (NKOs) that are constrained to a three-dimensional, cylindrical or spherical surface. As such, they are an extension to the well-known families of displaced NKOs that are confined to a two-dimensional plane. The cylindrical and spherical orbits are found by investigating the geometrically constrained spacecraft dynamics. By imposing further constraints on the orbit's angular velocity and propulsive acceleration, the set of feasible orbits is defined. Additionally, the phase spaces of the orbits are explored and a numerical analysis is developed to find periodic orbits. The richness of the problem is further enhanced by considering both an inverse square acceleration law (mimicking solar electric propulsion) and a solar sail acceleration law to maintain the spacecraft on the three-dimensional surface. The wealth of orbits that these new families of NKOs generate allows for a range of novel space applications.