A method for classifying orbits near asteroids

Status Report From: e-Print archive
Posted: Monday, April 17, 2017


Xianyu Wang, Shengping Gong, Junfeng Li
(Submitted on 13 Apr 2017)

A method for classifying orbits near asteroids under a polyhedral gravitational field is presented, and may serve as a valuable reference for spacecraft orbit design for asteroid exploration. The orbital dynamics near asteroids are very complex. According to the variation in orbit characteristics after being affected by gravitational perturbation during the periapsis passage, orbits near an asteroid can be classified into 9 categories: (1) surroundingto-surrounding, (2) surrounding-to-surface, (3) surroundingto-infinity, (4) infinity-to-infinity, (5) infinity-to-surface, (6) infinity-to-surrounding, (7) surface-to-surface, (8) surfaceto-surrounding, and (9) surface-to- infinity. Assume that the orbital elements are constant near the periapsis, the gravitation potential is expanded into a harmonic series. Then, the influence of the gravitational perturbation on the orbit is studied analytically. The styles of orbits are dependent on the argument of periapsis, the periapsis radius, and the periapsis velocity. Given the argument of periapsis, the orbital energy before and after perturbation can be derived according to the periapsis radius and the periapsis velocity. Simulations have been performed for orbits in the gravitational field of 216 Kleopatra. The numerical results are well consistent with analytic predictions.

Comments:    26 pages, 10 figures
Subjects:    Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)
Journal reference:    Acta Mechanica Sinica 30(3), 316-325, 2014
DOI:    10.1007/s10409-014-0034-9
Cite as:    arXiv:1704.03981 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:1704.03981v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
Submission history
From: Xianyu Wang 
[v1] Thu, 13 Apr 2017 03:17:25 GMT (753kb)

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