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Spacecraft motion around artificial equilibrium points

Grant number: 18/07377-6
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): October 01, 2018
Effective date (End): September 30, 2022
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Aerospace Engineering - Flight Dynamics
Principal Investigator:Antônio Fernando Bertachini de Almeida Prado
Grantee:Allan Kardec de Almeida Junior
Host Institution: Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (INPE). Ministério da Ciência, Tecnologia e Inovações (Brasil). São José dos Campos , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:16/24561-0 - On the relevance of small bodies in orbital dynamics, AP.TEM
Associated scholarship(s):19/18480-5 - Solutions for motion around artificial equilibrium points, BE.EP.PD


An artificial equilibrium point is a point that would not be in equilibrium in the absence of artificial forces added in the system. They are points created based on space technology, whose objective is to obtain points that can have applications in space missions where nature does not offer options. The work proposed here aims to obtain points of this nature, as well as to study the orbital motion of a space vehicle around them. The restricted problem of three bodies is used as the basic model, with the addition of other forces to shift the equilibrium point. The problem is complex, due to the large number of options available for other auxiliary forces. The stability of these equilibrium points will also be analyzed in different ways, to be defined during the work. After these considerations, orbits will be searched around these points that may have applications of interest, such as communication, observation of astronomical phenomena and celestial bodies, location, etc. In addition to natural trajectories, orbital maneuvers will be considered for the maintenance of these orbits, as well as to move the spacecraft between two of these orbits. Applications will be studied in various systems, such as Sun-Earth-Moon and small bodies, such as asteroids and dwarf planets. These bodies have great interest in current research on various types of problems, such as asteroid mining, scientific research and even the development of techniques for diverting asteroid routes that may be at risk of collision with Earth.

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
DE ALMEIDA JUNIOR, ALLAN K.; JOHNSTON, HUNTER; LEAKE, CARL; MORTARI, DANIELE. Fast 2-impulse non-Keplerian orbit transfer using the Theory of Functional Connections. EUROPEAN PHYSICAL JOURNAL PLUS, v. 136, n. 2, . (18/07377-6, 16/24561-0, 19/18480-5)
DE ALMEIDA JR, ALLAN KARDEC; MURCIA PINEROS, JHONATHAN ORLANDO; BERTACHINI DE ALMEIDA PRADO, ANTONIO FERNANDO. On the use of a continuous thrust to find bounded planar trajectories at given altitudes in Low Earth Orbits. SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, v. 10, n. 1, . (16/24561-0, 19/18480-5, 18/07377-6)
DE ALMEIDA JR, ALLAN KARDEC; COUTO OLIVEIRA, GERALDO MAGELA; BERTACHINI DE ALMEIDA PRADO, ANTONIO FERNANDO. Artificial equilibrium points and bi-impulsive maneuvers to observe 243 Ida. CHINESE JOURNAL OF AERONAUTICS, v. 34, n. 1, p. 410-423, . (18/07377-6, 19/18480-5, 16/24561-0)

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