Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2007 (2007), Article ID 98532, 9 pages
Research Article

Orbital Maneuvers Using Low Thrust to Place a Satellite in a Constellation

Vivian Martins Gomes, Antonio Fernando Bertachini de Almeida Prado, and Helio Koiti Kuga

Division of Space Dynamics and Control, Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas Espaciais (INPE), Avenue dos Astronautas, 1758 Jardim da Granja, São José dos Campos 12227-010, SP, Brazil

Received 19 April 2006; Revised 20 September 2006; Accepted 19 October 2006

Academic Editor: José Manoel Balthazar

Copyright © 2007 Vivian Martins Gomes et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


This paper considers the problem of low thrust suboptimal maneuvers to insert a satellite in a constellation. It is assumed that a satellite constellation is given with all the Keplerian elements of the satellite members having known values. Then, it is necessary to maneuver a new satellite from a parking orbit to its position in the constellation. The control available to perform this maneuver is the application of a low thrust to the satellite and the objective is to perform this maneuver with minimum fuel consumption.