Date of Award

6-2016

Degree Name

MS in Aerospace Engineering

Department

Aerospace Engineering

Advisor

Kira Abercromby

Abstract

This thesis is a brief look at a new solution to a problem that has been approached in many different ways in the past - the N body problem. By focusing on planetary systems, satellite dynamics can be modeled in a fashion similar to the Circular Restricted Three Body Problem (CR3BP) with the Circular Restricted N Body Problem (CRNBP). It was found that this new formulation of the dynamics can then utilize the tools created from all the research into the CR3BP to reassess the possibility of different complex trajectories in systems where there are more than just two large gravitational bodies affecting the dynamics, namely periodic and semi-periodic orbits, halo orbits, and low energy transfers It was also found that not only system dynamics, but models of the Jacobi constant could also be formulated similarly to the CR3BP. Validating the authenticity of these new sets of equations, the CRNBP dynamics are applied to a satellite in the Earth-Moon system and compared to a simulation of the CR3BP under identical circumstances. This test verified the dynamics of the CRNBP, showing that the two systems created almost identical results with relatively small deviations over time and with essentially identical path trends. In the Jovian system, it was found the mass ratio required to validated the assumptions required to integrate the equations of motion was around .1$\%$. Once the mass ratio grew past that limit, trajectories propagated with the CRNBP showed significant deviation from trajectories propagated with a higher fidelity model of Newtonian motion. The results from the derivation of the Jacobi constant are consistent with the 3 body system, but they are fairly standalone.

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