Low-Thrust Orbit Transfer Trajectory Optimization Software
Orbit transfers using electric propulsion and therefore low-thrust accelerations present an interesting field for trajectory optimization. One typical application is the transfer trajectory optimization of a telecommunication satellite from the launcher injection orbit to the geosynchronous equatorial orbit (GEO), where the injection orbit could be geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) or low Earth orbit (LEO). Since 2003 Astos Solutions provides trajectory optimization and mission analysis for this application worldwide – both to space agencies and to companies – but only after the recent increased interest for this topic the way for the creation of a COTS solution was paved.
LOTOS is an advanced tool for trajectory optimization and analysis of electric orbit-raising scenarios and hybrid transfers, where the chemical orbit-raising is followed by an electric orbit-raising. It allows simulation, optimization, verification and analysis of orbit transfer trajectories with electric (low-thrust) propulsion. For preparation and support of the spacecraft operations during the orbit transfer, LOTOS features the re-optimization of pre-computed attitude histories and optimal trajectories which has to be performed after an update of the spacecraft state by means of orbit determination. Since initial and final orbit are user defined, the tool is not just limited to typical GTO-GEO transfers of telecommunication satellites but offers a wide range of possible applications for low-thrust transfers such as constellation deployment and graveyarding. LOTOS facilitates: