RolfePower_Thesis.pdf (49.79 MB)

Characterization of Lunar Access Relative to Cislunar Orbits

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posted on 04.12.2019, 20:32 by Rolfe J Power IV
With the growth of human interest in the Lunar region, methods of enabling Lunar access including surface and Low Lunar Orbit (LLO) from periodic orbit in the Lunar region is becoming more important. The current investigation explores the Lunar access capabilities of these periodic orbits. Impact trajectories originating from the 9:2 Lunar Synodic Resonant (LSR) Near Rectilinear Halo Orbit (NRHO) are determined through explicit propagation and mapping of initial conditions formed by applying small maneuvers at locations across the orbit. These trajectories yielding desirable Lunar impact final conditions are then used to converge impacting transfers from the NRHO to Shackleton crater near the Lunar south pole. The stability of periodic orbits in the Lunar region is analyzed through application of a stability index and time constant. The Lunar access capabilities of the Lunar region periodic orbits found to be sufficiently unstable are then analyzed through impact and periapse maps. Using the impact data, candidate periodic orbits are incorporated in the the NRHO to Shackleton crater mission design to control mission geometry. Finally, the periapse map data is used to determine periodic orbits with desirable apse conditions that are then used to design NRHO to LLO transfer trajectories.


Degree Type

Master of Science


Aeronautics and Astronautics

Campus location

West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Kathleen Howell

Additional Committee Member 2

Carolin Frueh

Additional Committee Member 3

David Spencer