Univ. Belgrade
Dr D. Marčeta
Astrodynamics and Space Missions
(S3, elective, 6 ECTS)
Learning Outcomes:The course is aimed at providing basic knowledge about the motion under the influence of gravity of one or more bodies and also advanced knowledge about disturbances of this motion due to irregular gravity field and non-gravitational influences such as atmospheric drag and solar radiation pressure. Beside this, one of the main objectives is to provide students with practical capability of solving complex astrodynamical problems using contemporary numerical tools implemented in Python libraries. Students will also acquire knowledge about main characteristics of the specific classes of space missions, such as Earth orbiting missions, lunar missions and deep space missions.
Knowledge and Understanding:
Students at the end of the semester will have acquired a detailed knowledge about the basic concepts in celestial mechanics related to the motion under the influence of one and two massive bodies. This will allow understanding of 2-body and 3-body problems and specific topics related to them such as Lambert’s problem, Hohman transfer, bi-elliptic transfer, gravity-assist maneuvers, stable and unstable orbits etc. Beside this, students will acquire knowledge about modeling of gravitational fields using spherical harmonic series for planets and polyhedron gravity model for asteroids and comets. Also, a particular focus will be given to understanding of the non-gravitational disturbances due to atmospheric drag and solar radiation pressure. Finally, students will acquire knowledge and skills about necessary numerical concepts and techniques for solving astrodynamical problems.
Applying Knowledge and Understanding:Using methods implemented in specialized Python package Poliastro, students will be capable of applying their knowledge to solve specific astrodynamical problems such as calculating orbital maneuvers, orbital rendezvous, trans-lunar and deep space transfers. They will also be able to conduct conversions between characteristic coordinate systems and to visualize different astrodynamical phenomena such as geometry of irregularly shaped bodies (asteroids, comets), their gravity fields, and also calculated orbits and orbital maneuvers and transfers.
ProgramTwo-body and three-body problem, satellite orbit definition, classification of satellite orbits (low, medium, high, geosynchronous, sunsynchronous, Tundra, Molnya…), in-plane and out of plane orbital maneuvers, orbital rendezvous, parabolic and hyperbolic orbits, Lambert’s problem, Hohman and bi-elliptic interplanetary transfer, transfers to the Moon, orbital perturbations, numerical methods in orbital dynamics (Python libraries for astrodynamics), orbiting irregularly shaped bodies, specific space missions (Earth orbital missions, orbital constellations, missions to the inner and outer planets, missions to asteroids and comets).
Description of how the course is conductedSee next point.
Description of the didactic methodsThe course is held entirely by interactive electronic presentations. Every class consists of theoretical introduction and practical implementation of the covered topics by using appropriate numerical tools implemented in Python libraries. Students conduct calculations and visualizations of the problems characteristic for the covered theoretical topics so they do not remain too abstract
Description of the evaluation methodsThe final exam is based on two independent types of learning assessment: a) Students are requested to solve Lambert’s problem, interplanetary and trans-lunar Hohman and bi-elliptic transfer and at least one orbital maneuver by using appropriate tools implemented in Python libraries. b) An oral exam whose objective is to verify that the students have achieved an adequate understanding of basic concepts in celestial mechanics and astrodynamics such as two and three-body problem, modeling of gravity field and non-gravitational perturbations.
Adopted TextbooksGerald R. Hintz, “Orbital Mechanics and Astrodynamics: Techniques and Tools for Space Missions”, Springer International Publishing Switzerland, 2015
Recommended readingsStephen Kemble, “Interplanetary Mission Analysis and Design”, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg, 2006