Aerospace Engineering Department
BS in Aerospace Engineering
When a 3-body gravitational system is modeled using a rotating coordinate frame, interesting applications become apparent. This frame, otherwise known as a barycentric coordinate system, rotates about the system’s center of mass. Five unique points known as Lagrange points rotate with the system and have numerous applications for spacecraft operations. The goal of the Matlab GUI was to allow easy manipulation of trajectories in a barycentric coordinate system to achieve one of two end goals: a free-return trajectory or a Lagrange point rendezvous. Through graphical user input and an iterative solver, the GUI is capable of calculating and optimizing both of these trajectory types for all of our solar system’s planets. Its inputs are inertial state vectors, a date and time, and the number of propagation days. The user can then graphically manipulate the resulting trajectories by increasing the spacecraft velocity and propagation start time. It outputs the resulting ΔV vectors and magnitudes as well as a graphical representation of the desired orbital path.