Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Astronautical Engineering


Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

First Advisor

Christopher D. Geisel, PhD.


The circular restricted three-body problem (CR3BP) is a simplified dynamical model for a satellite under the gravitational influence of both the Earth and the Moon, maintaining closer fidelity to the gravitational environment experienced by a high-altitude Earth-orbiting spacecraft than modeling in the Earth-satellite two-body problem. Resonant orbit arcs are used to determine an initial guess to input into an algorithm that computes a trajectory solution with specific design requirements and constraints. A test case uses this method to compute a lunar fly-by transfer solution requiring less than two-body transfer methods and offers an unusual pathway that adds an unpredictability element to the design. Multiple-shooting and pseudo-arc length continuation methods are used to target trajectories and compute periodic orbits in the CR3BP to within a satisfactory tolerance. Invariant manifolds from an unstable periodic orbit around a libration point in the Earth-Moon system are used as unpredictable transfer pathways when traveling from one Earth orbit to another, utilizing a map-based design process. Periapsis Poincare maps are also constructed to characterize the observed behaviors of orbits in the Earth-Moon system for a specified time, demonstrating utility for both designing trajectories with desired end characteristics and predicting an unknown spacecraft's future behavior.

AFIT Designator


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