B-plane and Picard-Chebyshev for trajectory optimisation in Acta Astronautica Open Access

New advances in flybys and trajectory design open access! Alessandro Masat and Camilla Colombo introduce the use of the b-plane and the Picard-Chebyshev scheme to efficiently surf complex and chaotic orbital perturbations.

The interplanetary environment features complex perturbation sources, whose effects introduce chaos and unpredictability to the orbital dynamics. This Open Access work introduces an efficient numerical framework to optimise the trajectory between two flybys, while exploiting chaotic perturbations to minimise possible artificial correction efforts.

The achieved precision matches numerical simulations with arbitrarily complete dynamical models and, if preliminary information about the flyby bodies is known, the approach is already suitable to complement a complete trajectory design strategy.

For a Solar Orbiter-like mission, few meters per second artificial Delta-v manoeuvres suffice to take full advantage of all the possible orbital perturbations in between two gravity assist events, reaching the desired entry condition that enables the forthcoming mission phases.

See the paper here