Orbit Visualization Project
Visualization Project Home Page
Undergraduate Research Project By:
Chris Sinclair University of Arizona
Molly Megraw University of Washington
Our project is motivated by current research interests at the
Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
The basic ideas behind these interests include:
- Finding convenient locations in space for gathering data
(such as collection of solar dust particles) using unmanned spacecraft
- Finding fuel-efficient ways of reaching these locations and returning to earth
There are two major components to our work:
- Using the Circular Restricted Three-Body Problem to model the sun-earth-spacecraft
system, we search for orbits around the fixed points of the system. These
orbits are ideal destinations for gathering the desired data.
- We search for the stable and unstable manifolds of these orbits; spacecraft trajectories
on the manifolds provide efficient paths for travelling from the earch to the orbits and back.
A major contribution of our project is to provide a software tool for visualizing and studying the behavior
of system fixed points, families of orbits, and manifolds.
Orbit Visualization Project Table of Contents
- Essential background information on the
Circular Restricted Three-Body Problem Model
- Project Presentation: an outline of the mathematical fundamentals
- Computation of the libration points and approximating the orbits
- Computation of actual orbits and their stable and unstable manifolds
- Tutorial display of our software tool for system computation and visualization
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