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Books on orbital transfers, satellite control theory, dynamical systems etc

  1. Dec 13, 2011 #1
    Hey folks wondering if anyone knows some good books on the following subjects...

    Orbital transfers, specifically to Lagrange points with information on stable/unstable manifolds.

    Control theory of satellites, new to control theory so perhaps I should be looking at a general control theory book first. Ultimately I'd like to learn how satellites orbits are controlled and move on to solar sail control theory (for which I will be looking at "Solar sailing: technology, dynamics, and mission applications" by Colin McInnes)

    Numerical integration, specifically symplectic integration.

    Any other books that give detailed descriptions of how satellite orbits are calculated, modelled, etc.

  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 18, 2011 #2
    Should now say, I've narrowed it down to 2 books which are a bit more general than my specs in the OP but both look like good buys.

    Orbital Mechanics by Prussing and Conway.

    Fundamentals of astrodynamics and applications by Vallado.

    Anyone have any input on which one is better for my interests? Vallados book is 5x longer and has a lot of programming applications which is very useful. Prussings book is quite short but does start from first principals which is important. I would like both but ultimately can only afford one for now...

    Edit: Actually I'm not even sure I can get a copy of Vallados book within my budget, the cheaper ones I saw are all shipped from US so going to cost a fortune in shipping.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2011
  4. Dec 30, 2011 #3
    Here is a 17 Mb online textbook: Dynamical Systems, The Three-Body Problem, and Space Mission Design
  5. Dec 31, 2011 #4

    D H

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    Vallado is pretty standard as a senior level undergrad / first year graduate course on astrodynamics. Vallado, even in paperback form, is rather expensive. You can probably buy a used 2nd edition for fairly cheap.

    With regard to control theory, you really do need to start with the undergrad systems and signals class. There are a lot of texts called either "[Linear] Systems and Signals" or "Signals and [Linear] Systems". If you haven't taken the undergrad control theory classes you are jumping a bit ahead of yourself.

    Once you get past that, there are a number of specialized texts for spacecraft control theory. One huge gotcha with regard to spacecraft control theory: It is concerned with position, velocity, orientation, and rotation rate. This is a 12 dimensional, non-Abelian phase space. Most separate it into translation control and attitude control.

    With regard to symplectic integration, that's a bit old hat. The in thing nowadays is geometric integration. But -- why? Your concern is spacecraft. The driving concerns here are precision and accuracy, not long-term stability. Stability, precision, and accuracy are competing goals. Pick one, maybe two, you can't have all three. Symplectic and geometric integration are useful when the integration interval is very long (e.g., thousands or even millions of years). Note that not one of the three best planetary ephemerides available (Development Ephemerides (JPL), Ephemerides of the Planets and the Moon (Russian Institute of Applied Astronomy), INPOP (Observatoire de Paris)) use a symplectic or geometric integrator. They use Adams type integrators.

    That said, here's an online text on geometric integrators: http://www.math.wustl.edu/~sk/books/root.pdf

    One last concern: You might be biting off a whole lot more than you can chew. Mission planning, control theory, and numerical orbit determination are rather disparate fields. Mission planners don't care about the details of how the vehicle controls work or how orbits are determined/propagated, control theory specialists don't care about the details of the mission plan or how orbits are determined/propagated, and orbit determination specialists don't care about the details of the mission plan or how the vehicle is kept on-plan. It is important to know a whole lot about one of these topics, but that means you will only have time to learn enough to be dangerous about the other two topics.
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