Artificial equilibrium points near irregular-shaped asteroids with continuous thrust

Hongwei Yang, Xiaoli Bai, Shuang Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


Artificial equilibrium points near irregular-shaped asteroids are generated by using continuous thrust to enlarge the feasible regions of body-fixed hovering missions. The dynamics of artificial equilibrium points and feasible sets with constraints of the control magnitude and direction are investigated. The linearized motion near artificial equilibrium points is derived with the generalized effective potential for analysis of topological classification, bifurcations, and stability. Collision and annihilation of equilibrium points and Hopf bifurcation are found during numerical continuation. A parametric study is conducted to investigate the influence of the control magnitude on the sets of artificial equilibrium points. The linearly stable regions are obtained by a grid searching. Moreover, a method based on the polyhedral model of asteroids is proposed to solve the feasible artificial equilibrium points with constraints of the control direction and observation. The observable area at feasible artificial equilibrium points is also obtained by the proposed method. In numerical simulations, 433 Eros is selected as a representative irregular-shaped asteroid to validate the effectiveness of the methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1308-1319
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics

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