Journal of Astronautics ›› 2019, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (5): 518-526.doi: 10.3873/j.issn.1000-1328.2019.05.004

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Research on Deep Space Maneuver for Earth to Mars Trajectory Design of Long March Launch Vehicle

GENG Guang you, WANG Jue, ZHANG Zhi guo, WANG Jian ming, TIAN Ji chao   

  1. 1.School of Astronautics, Beihang University, Beijing 100191, China; 2. Beijing Institute of Astronautical Systems Engineering, Beijing 100076, China; 3. China Academy of Launch Vehicle Technology, Beijing 100076, China
  • Received:2018-09-21 Revised:2019-02-28 Online:2019-05-15 Published:2019-05-25


In order to resolve the problems of extending the effective launch periods, resulting from the Earth-to-Mars trajectory design of a Long March (LM) launch vehicle constrained by the longest coasting phase and tracking & telecommunication, the primer vector theory and sequence quadratic program (SQP) are used to study the influence of the deep space maneuver (DSM) of a Mars probe on the optimization of the launch vehicle’s Earth-to-Mars trajectory. A brief analysis on the direct Earth-to-Mars trajectory design is given firstly, then details of the algorithm on how to get the optimal initial guess values on DSM through the primer vector theory are studied, including the flight phases inside each gravitational sphere of influence (SOI). Furthermore, with SQP, the launch trajectories via DSM are optimized using the final orbital parameters of the Mars probe directly. The research based on different optimal aims including the design constraints shows that DSM is highly effective to lower the overall launch energy of the Earth-to-Mars transfer trajectory, and to extend the launch periods under the restriction of the longest coasting phase during the parking orbit of the LM launch vehicle. The algorithm has been used in engineering.

Key words:  Launch trajectory, Earth to Mars trajectory, Deep space maneuver (DSM), Primer vector, Sequence quadratic program (SQP)

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