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Near-optimal capture in the planar circular restricted Pluto-Charon system

Status Report From: arXiv.org e-Print archive
Posted: Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Euaggelos E. Zotos, Yi Qi
(Submitted on 8 Apr 2019)

In this paper, the near-optimal capture problem is numerically investigated to locate the optimal capture points around Charon using the Pluto-Charon planar circular restricted three-body problem (PCRTBP). Capture orbits are divided into the pre- and post-maneuver portions. In the pre-maneuver portion, the gravitational capture conditions are discussed by backward numerical integration. In the post-maneuver portion, the smaller alignment index (SALI) is applied to numerically investigate the orbital characters of long-term capture orbits around Charon. The initial conditions corresponding to three types of motion: (i) bounded (regular or chaotic), (ii) escaping and (iii) collisional are classified and studied. Combining results of the pre- and post-maneuver portions, the near-optimal capture method is presented to find optimal capture points by overlay figures, and then the corresponding capture orbits are constructed in the PCRTBP. The different results between the Pluto-Charon system and the Earth-Moon system are compared and analyzed. Our results obtained in this paper, including the optimal capture points and the corresponding capture orbits, could be applied in future space mission design.

Comments:    Published in Planetary and Space Science (PSS) journal
Subjects:    Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)
Journal reference:    PSS, vol. 165, 85-98 (2019)
DOI:    10.1016/j.pss.2018.11.009
Cite as:    arXiv:1904.03900 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:1904.03900v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
Submission history
From: Euaggelos E. Zotos [view email]
[v1] Mon, 8 Apr 2019 09:15:50 UTC (6,221 KB)
https://arxiv.org/abs/1904.03900

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