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Estimation of the amount of radiation absorbed by a spacecraft passing by the Van Allen belts in a low thrust transfer

Grant number: 18/16442-6
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2018
Effective date (End): December 31, 2019
Field of knowledge:Engineering - Aerospace Engineering - Flight Dynamics
Principal Investigator:Antônio Fernando Bertachini de Almeida Prado
Grantee:Rodrigo Nascente Schmitt
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


The objective of this work is to measure the amount of radiation received by a spacecraft when leaving the Earth in a low thrust spiral and then reaching the Moon. Then the swing-by maneuver is then performed, in which the lunar gravity is used to gain speed. During this trajectory, the spacecraft will sometimes pass through the Van Allen belt, where particles such as protons and electrons can damage the satellite's electronic equipment. By mathematically modeling the particle density of the belt, it is possible to integrate it over the time and thus compute the total dose of energy received by the spacecraft according to the trajectory chosen. Thus, it is possible to optimize the space trajectory according to the following parameters: duration of the mission, fuel consumption, time inside the Van Allen belt and total amount of energy received by the spacecraft.

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