Precise Model for Small-Body Thermal Radiation Pressure Acting on Spacecraft

Hesar, Siamak G.; Scheeres, Daniel J.; McMahon, Jay W. and Rozitis, Benjamin (2017). Precise Model for Small-Body Thermal Radiation Pressure Acting on Spacecraft. Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics, 40(10) pp. 2432–2441.



A precise representation of small-body surface thermal radiation pressure effects acting on orbiting spacecraft is discussed. The proposed framework takes advantage of a general Fourier series expansion to compute small-body surface thermal radiation pressure. Fourier series expansion has been used before for the precise representation of solar radiation pressure effects on spacecraft orbiting small bodies. This framework takes into account the geometric relationship of orbiting spacecraft with the small-body surface, surface thermal parameters of the small body, and the shape and surface properties of spacecraft allowing for the computation of thermal radiation pressure, which may also be used for the generation of precise orbit determination solutions. After presenting the general model, an example application of the model for the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft in orbit about Asteroid (101955) Bennu is provided. Simulation studies were used to evaluate the effect of mismodeling of thermal radiation pressure on the spacecraft and study the use of the proposed method for generating precise orbit determination solutions.

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