At the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11, the Moon is back to the scene of scientific and commercial space exploration interests. During the next decade, the establishment of a Gateway in cislunar non-Keplerian orbits will open the space frontiers to sustainable manned and robotic missions on and around the Moon. Such infrastructure will require several logistic operations for its assembly and maintenance, which lean on rendezvous and docking capabilities. Even if few missions have flown on non-Keplerian orbits, Rendezvous and Docking (RV&D) operations have not been performed but in Low Earth Orbit (LEO). Investigations about 6 Degrees Of Freedom (DOF) relative dynamics in non-Keplerian environment are now mandatory to highlight criticalities in the design of the cislunar gateway and to translate RV&D protocols, consolidated in LEO for the International Space Station (ISS), to the new non-Keplerian environment. In this direction, the paper analyses the 6DOF natural orbit-attitude dynamics within the Circular Restricted Three-Body Problem (CR3BP) framework. A novel perspective of the dynamical structures, constituting 6DOF manifolds, allows to better characterise the natural relative dynamics in proximity of non-Keplerian orbits. The importance of orbit-attitude manifolds exploitation is underlined for designing reliable and efficient rendezvous trajectories, enhanced by natural cislunar dynamics. Then, an ephemeris cislunar dynamical model is exploited to address guidance laws for proximity operations. The control capability is included in the dynamics of a chaser vehicle, which is employed to solve the 6DOF guidance problem in proximity of a target spacecraft. The results obtained with the controlled dynamics are compared to those available thanks to natural motion, discussing the energetic and time costs to complete the manoeuvres. A control parametrisation to solve the optimal energy rendezvous problem is proposed. Finally, a feasible operational rendezvous scenario is discussed about the identified favourable locations along the non-Keplerian orbit to perform complex proximity operations. Significant relations between RV&D time and non-Keplerian orbit’s period are discussed as well.
|Titolo:||Characterisation of 6DOF natural and controlled relative dynamics in cislunar space|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2021|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01.1 Articolo in Rivista|