Application of a quaternion-based formulation to the electric orbit-raising of GEO satellites from high-inclination injection orbits

Paola Libraro, N. Jeremy Kasdin, Atri Dutta, Edgar Y. Choueiri

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The general electric propulsion orbit-raising maneuver of a spacecraft must contend with four main limiting factors: the longer time of ight, multiple eclipses prohibiting continuous thrusting, long exposure to radiation from the Van Allen belt and high power requirement of the electric engines. In order to optimize a low-thrust transfer with respect to these challenges, the choice of coordinates and corresponding equations of motion used to describe the kinematical and dynamical behavior of the satellite is of critical importance. This choice can potentially afiect the numerical optimization process as well as limit the set of mission scenarios that can be investigated. To increase the ability to determine the feasible set of mission scenarios able to address the challenges of an all-electric orbit-raising, a set of equations free of any singularities is required to consider a completely arbitrary injection orbit. For this purpose we developed a new quaternion-based formulation of a spacecraft translational dynamics that is globally nonsingular. In this paper we consider the minimum-time low-thrust transfer of a GEO satellite and include the new set of equations of motion inside a direct optimization scheme implemented using an AMPL model and LOQO as NLP solver. Our goal here is to investigate the applicability of the new quaternion-based formulation to the low-thrust orbit-raising problem and compare the new methodology to previous approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAIAA/AAS Astrodynamics Specialist Conference 2014
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc.
ISBN (Print)9781624103087
StatePublished - 2014
EventAIAA/AAS Astrodynamics Specialist Conference 2014 - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Aug 4 2014Aug 7 2014

Publication series

NameAIAA/AAS Astrodynamics Specialist Conference 2014


OtherAIAA/AAS Astrodynamics Specialist Conference 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics


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