47,097 research outputs found

### Low-energy particle radiation environment at synchronous altitude

The degradation of thermal control coatings of satellites due to the effects of low energy charged particles in the space environment is discussed. Data obtained from ATS-5 satellite measurement of proton and electron fluxes are presented. The variations in electron density, proton density, and magnetic activity are presented to show correlations which exist between these space factors

### On testing global optimization algorithms for space trajectory design

In this paper we discuss the procedures to test a global search algorithm applied to a space trajectory design problem. Then, we present some performance indexes that can
be used to evaluate the effectiveness of global optimization algorithms. The performance
indexes are then compared highlighting the actual significance of each one of them. A number of global optimization algorithms are tested on four typical space trajectory design problems. From the results of the proposed testing procedure we infer for each pair
algorithm-problem the relation between the heuristics implemented in the solution algorithm and the main characteristics of the problem under investigation. From this analysis we derive a novel interpretation of some evolutionary heuristics, based on dynamical system
theory and we significantly improve the performance of one of the tested algorithms

### Analytical, circle-to-circle low-thrust transfer trajectories with plane change

Orbit averaging techniques are used to develop analytical approximations of circle-to-circle low-thrust trajectory transfers with plane-change about the Sun. Separate expressions are developed for constant acceleration, or thrust, electric propulsion, solar sail propulsion and combined, or hybrid electric (constant acceleration or thrust) / solar sail propulsion. The analytical expressions uniquely allow the structure of circle-to-circle low-thrust trajectory transfers with plane-change about the Sun to be understood, and the optimal trajectory structure is analytically derived for each propulsion system considered. It is found that the optimal fixed thrust electric propulsion transfer reduces the orbit radius with no plane change and then performs the plane-change, while the optimal solar sail and hybrid transfers combine the reduction of orbit radius with some plane change, before then completing the plane change. The optimal level of plane change during the reduction of orbit radius is derived and it is found the analytically-derived minimum time solar sail transfer is within 1% of the numerically-derived optimal transfer. It is also found that, under the conditions considered, a sail characteristic acceleration of less than 0.5 mm/s2 can, in 5-years, attain a solar orbit that maintains the observer-to-solar pole zenith angle below 40 degrees for 25 days; the approximate sidereal rotation period of the Sun. However, a sail characteristic acceleration of more than 0.5 mm/s2 is required to attain an observer-to-solar pole zenith angle below 30 degrees for 25 days within 5-years of launch. Finally, it was found that the hybridization of electric propulsion and solar sail propulsion was, typically, of more benefit when the system was thrust constrained than when it was mass constrained

### Combustion instabilities: mating dance of chemical, combustion, and combustor dynamics

Combustion instabilities exist as consequences of
interactions among three classes of phenomena: chemistry and chemical dynamics; combustion dynamics; and combustor dynamics. These dynamical processes take place simultaneously in widely different spatial scales characterized by lengths roughly in the ratios (10^(-3)
- 10^(-6)):1:(10^3-10^6). However, due to the wide differences in the associated characteristic velocities, the corresponding time scales are all close. The instabilities in question are observed as oscillations having a time scale in the range of natural acoustic oscillations. The apparent dominance of that single macroscopic time scale must not be permitted to obscure the fact that the relevant physical processes occur on three disparate length scales. Hence, understanding combustion instabilities at the practical level of design and successful operation is ultimately based on understanding three distinct sorts of dynamics

### Fast Mesh Refinement in Pseudospectral Optimal Control

Mesh refinement in pseudospectral (PS) optimal control is embarrassingly easy
--- simply increase the order $N$ of the Lagrange interpolating polynomial and
the mathematics of convergence automates the distribution of the grid points.
Unfortunately, as $N$ increases, the condition number of the resulting linear
algebra increases as $N^2$; hence, spectral efficiency and accuracy are lost in
practice. In this paper, we advance Birkhoff interpolation concepts over an
arbitrary grid to generate well-conditioned PS optimal control discretizations.
We show that the condition number increases only as $\sqrt{N}$ in general, but
is independent of $N$ for the special case of one of the boundary points being
fixed. Hence, spectral accuracy and efficiency are maintained as $N$ increases.
The effectiveness of the resulting fast mesh refinement strategy is
demonstrated by using \underline{polynomials of over a thousandth order} to
solve a low-thrust, long-duration orbit transfer problem.Comment: 27 pages, 12 figures, JGCD April 201

### An earth pole-sitter using hybrid propulsion

In this paper we investigate optimal pole-sitter orbits using hybrid solar sail and solar electric propulsion (SEP). A pole-sitter is a spacecraft that is constantly above one of the Earth's poles, by means of a continuous thrust. Optimal orbits, that minimize propellant mass consumption, are found both through a shape-based approach, and solving an optimal control problem, using a direct method based on pseudo-spectral techniques. Both the pure SEP case and the hybrid case are investigated and compared. It is found that the hybrid spacecraft allows consistent savings on propellant mass fraction. Finally, is it shown that for sufficiently long missions (more than 8 years), a hybrid spacecraft, based on mid-term technology, enables a consistent reduction in the launch mass for a given payload, with respect to a pure SEP spacecraft

### Theoretical analysis of perching and hovering maneuvers

Unsteady aerodynamic phenomena are encountered in a large number of modern aerospace and non-aerospace applications. Leading edge vortices (LEVs) are of particular interest because of their large impact on the forces and performance. In rotorcraft applications, they cause large vibrations and torsional loads (dynamic stall), affecting the performance adversely. In insect
flight however, they contribute positively by enabling high-lift flight. Identifying the conditions that result in LEV formation and modeling their effects on the flow is an important ongoing challenge. Perching (airfoil decelerates to rest) and hovering (zero freestream velocity) maneuvers are of special interest. In earlier work by the authors, a Leading Edge Suction Parameter (LESP) was developed to predict LEV formation for airfoils undergoing arbitrary variation in pitch and plunge at a constant freestream velocity. In this research, the LESP criterion is extended to situations where the freestream velocity is varying or zero. A point-vortex model based on this criterion is developed and results from the model are compared against those from a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) method. Abstractions of perching and hovering maneuvers are used to validate the low-order model's performance in highly unsteady vortex-dominated flows, where the time-varying freestream/translational velocity is small in magnitude compared to the other contributions to the velocity experienced by the leading edge region of the airfoil. Time instants of LEV formation, flow topologies and force coefficient histories for the various motion kinematics from the low-order model and CFD are obtained and compared. The LESP criterion is seen to be successful in predicting the start of LEV formation and the point-vortex method is effective in modeling the flow development and forces on the airfoil. Typical run-times for the low-order method are between 30-40 seconds, making it a potentially convenient tool for control/design applications

### Sun-synchronous highly elliptical orbits using low-thrust propulsion

Due to restrictions within the current architecture of the global observing system (GOS), space-based remote sensing of Earth suffers from an acute data-deficit over the critical polar-regions. Currently, observation of high-latitude regions is conducted using composite images from spacecraft in geostationary (GEO) and low-Earth orbits (LEOs) [1]. However, the oblique viewing geometry from GEO-based systems to latitudes above around 55 deg [2] and the insufficient temporal resolution of spacecraft in LEO means there is currently no source of continuous imagery for polar-regions obtained with a data refresh rate of less than 15 minutes, as is typically available elsewhere for meteorological observations

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