Low-thrust flyby guidance and an extended optimal spacing rule

Jun'ichiro Kawaguchi, Hiroki Matsuo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


A new extended spacing law governing midcourse correction points is given for electrically propelled interplanetary missions. The use of electric propulsion is inappropriate for guidance of flyby missions because little time is available to guide the spacecraft, especially when it is within close range of the target. Therefore, some chemical fuel is inevitably required onboard the spacecraft. The problem treated here is to determine how much chemical fuel is required to cancel out the potential electric and impulsive correction errors. A generalized spacing rule that determines the optimal correction points is derived. In addition, a simple analytical fuel estimate is presented. Numerical illustrations include a Monte Carlo simulation as well as the return flight from the asteroid back to Earth with rigorous ephemerides and time system, demonstrating the newly developed spacing rule.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)347-354
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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