Using the Circular Restricted Three-Body Problem to Design an Earth-Moon Orbit Architecture for Asteroid Mining

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Virginia Tech


Engineering and technical challenges exist with the material transport of natural resources in space. One aspect of this transport problem is the design of an orbit architecture in the Earth-Moon system (EMS) that facilitates these resources through the mining cycle. In this thesis, it is proposed to use the Circular Restricted 3-Body Problem (CR3BP) to design an orbit architecture composed of L3 Lyapunov orbits, hyperbolic invariant stable and unstable manifolds, and geosynchronous (GEO) orbits. A single shooting method (SSM) and natural parameter continuation (NPC) numerical algorithm is used to compute a family of L3 Lyapunov orbits. Invariant Manifold Theory (IMT) is leveraged to find the set of feasible hyperbolic invariant stable and unstable manifolds associated with a L3 Lyapunov orbit. Ideal L3 Lyapunov orbits are chosen to construct an orbit architecture based off favorable metrics like orbital period, Jacobi Constant, and stability index. Manifolds that enter the GEO and xGEO (beyond GEO) volumes are identified. Finally, a ∆V analysis for GEO to manifold transfer is conducted. An achievement of this study is the computation of stable L3 Lyapunov orbits. The primary contribution of this paper lies in its modeling of a L3 Lyapunov orbit architecture using the CR3BP.



3 Body Problem, 3BP, Circular Restricted 3-Body Problem, CR3BP, L3, Lyapunov orbit, GEO, xGEO, asteroid mining, orbit architecture, manifolds