Chapter 5, by Generoso Aliasi, Giovanni Mengali and Alessandro A. Quarta, deals with an advanced scientific mission concept in which the existence of suitable positions for the observation and the measurement of the Mercury’s magnetotail are investigated. The scientific mission is based on the use of artificial equilibrium points in the elliptic three-body system, constituted by the Sun, Mercury, and a spacecraft, which is modeled as a massless point. The spacecraft motion in the Sun–Mercury system is first discussed under the assumption that the propulsion system provides a radial continuous thrust with respect to the Sun. In particular, the spacecraft is assumed to have a generalized sail as its primary propulsion system. A generalized sail models the performance of different types of advanced propulsion systems, including a (photonic) solar sail, an electric solar wind sail and an electric thruster, by simply modifying the value of a thrusting parameter. The location of the artificial equilibrium points is derived, and their stability is also investigated. It is shown that that collinear artificial equilibrium points are always unstable, except for a range of L2-type points which are placed far away from Mercury. A similar result is obtained for triangular equilibrium points. A control strategy is introduced to maintain the spacecraft in the neighborhood of an artificial equilibrium point. In this context, a simple and effective way to actively control the spacecraft dynamics is by means of a Proportional-Integral-Derivative feedback control law. The latter control law is finally employed in the magnetotail mission scenario, whose fundamental idea is to continuously and slowly displacing the artificial equilibrium point along the Sun–Mercury direction. Numerical simulations show the effectiveness of the proposed mission strategy.

Special Orbits for Mercury Observation

MENGALI, GIOVANNI;QUARTA, ALESSANDRO ANTONIO
2015

Abstract

Chapter 5, by Generoso Aliasi, Giovanni Mengali and Alessandro A. Quarta, deals with an advanced scientific mission concept in which the existence of suitable positions for the observation and the measurement of the Mercury’s magnetotail are investigated. The scientific mission is based on the use of artificial equilibrium points in the elliptic three-body system, constituted by the Sun, Mercury, and a spacecraft, which is modeled as a massless point. The spacecraft motion in the Sun–Mercury system is first discussed under the assumption that the propulsion system provides a radial continuous thrust with respect to the Sun. In particular, the spacecraft is assumed to have a generalized sail as its primary propulsion system. A generalized sail models the performance of different types of advanced propulsion systems, including a (photonic) solar sail, an electric solar wind sail and an electric thruster, by simply modifying the value of a thrusting parameter. The location of the artificial equilibrium points is derived, and their stability is also investigated. It is shown that that collinear artificial equilibrium points are always unstable, except for a range of L2-type points which are placed far away from Mercury. A similar result is obtained for triangular equilibrium points. A control strategy is introduced to maintain the spacecraft in the neighborhood of an artificial equilibrium point. In this context, a simple and effective way to actively control the spacecraft dynamics is by means of a Proportional-Integral-Derivative feedback control law. The latter control law is finally employed in the magnetotail mission scenario, whose fundamental idea is to continuously and slowly displacing the artificial equilibrium point along the Sun–Mercury direction. Numerical simulations show the effectiveness of the proposed mission strategy.
Aliasi, G.; Mengali, Giovanni; Quarta, ALESSANDRO ANTONIO
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11568/750473
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