How can the DSTE software from a.i. solutions be used in conjunction with Ballistic Lunar Transfers?
In the coming years, numerous commercial companies and government agencies plan to expand their presence in cislunar space. Subsequently, an understanding of the cislunar gravitational environment is crucial to the success of these programs. Development of tools to effectively leverage natural dynamical structures helps streamline the trajectory design process. In this investigation, the functionality of the JavaFX-based Deep Space Trajectory Explorer (DSTE) is extended to construct ballistic lunar transfers to libration point orbits in the vicinity of the Moon.
In 2020, NASA released the agency’s lunar exploration program overview, providing Artemis and Gateway status reports as well as plans for additional extended lunar missions.1 To enable such endeavors, an understanding of the cislunar gravitational environment is crucial to the success of the program. However, given the chaotic nature of a multi-body system, preliminary path planning in this environment is challenging. To meet these challenges, development of tools to streamline the preliminary trajectory design process that leverage dynamical structures in cislunar space is critical.
Several tools have previously been developed to facilitate the early design process in this multibody regime. The Adaptive Trajectory Design (ATD) software facilitates construction of arcs in the circular restricted three-body problem (CR3BP) model to supply an initial guess to an ephemeris differential corrections process.2, 3 The Poincare package was developed in JPL’s MONTE software to aide in construction of itineraries in multi-body systems.4 Additionally, Generator and LTool have previously been used for multi-body trajectory design.5, 6 The Deep Space Trajectory Explorer
(DSTE) was developed as a JavaFX-based tool to aid in preliminary trajectory design in multi-body systems using interactive visualization techniques.7–10 In this investigation, the functionality of DSTE is extended to construct ballistic lunar transfers (BLTs) to cislunar libration point orbits.
Several previous, current, and planned missions are leveraging ballistic lunar transfer trajectories to reach the vicinity of the Moon. JAXA’s Hiten spacecraft, KARI’s KPLO mission, and NASA’s GRAIL and CAPSTONE missions exploited BLT paths to successfully access to the lunar region, as well as ispace’s HAKUTO-R mission, which is currently leveraging a BLT.11–15 This type of transfer offers a reduced propellant cost as an alternative to direct lunar transfer trajectories, but typically requires a longer time of flight. Construction and characterization of BLTs have been investigated by several researchers previously. Parker and Anderson explore ballistic lunar transfers using dynamical systems and numerical methods within the context of a patched three-body model as well as an ephemeris model.16 Whitley et al. initially examined BLTs for uncrewed missions to the lunar Gateway.17 Parrish et al. survey ballistic lunar transfer options to NRHOs completely within the context of an ephemeris model18 and examined operation considerations for BLTs to NRHOs.19 Additionally, McCarthy and Howell as well as Scheuerle and Howell investigate ballistic lunar transfers to periodic and quasi-periodic orbits within the context of a four-body model.20, 21 This investigation leverages methodologies developed by previous researchers implemented in the DSTE to facilitate rapid construction of ballistic lunar transfers.
Click the image below to download the white paper.
 National Aeronautics and Space Administration, “NASA’s Lunar Exploration Program Overview,” NP2020-05-2853-HQ, Sept. 2020.
 A. Haapala, M. Vaquero, T. Pavlak, K. Howell, and D. Folta, “Trajectory Selection Strategy for Tours in the Earth-Moon System,” AAS/AIAA Astrodynamics Specialist Conference, Hilton Head, South Carolina, Aug. 2013.
 D. Guzzetti, N. Bosanac, A. Haapala, K. Howell, and D. Folta, “Rapid Trajectory Design in the Earth Moon Ephemeris System via an Interactive Catalog of Periodic and Quasi-Periodic Orbits,” 66th International Astronautical Congress, Jerusalem, Israel, Oct. 2015.
 M. Vaquero and J. Senent, “Poincare: A Multi-Body, Multi-System Trajectory Design Tool in MONTE,” 7th International Conference on Astrodynamics Tools and Techniques (ICATT), Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany, Nov. 2018.
 K. Howell and J. P. Anderson, “Generator User’s Guide, Version 3.0.2,” techreport IOM AAE-0140-012, July 2001.
 M. Lo, “LTool Version 1.0G Delivery,” techreport, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Sept. 2000.
 D. C. Davis, S. M. Phillips, and B. P. McCarthy, “Periapsis Poincare Maps for Preliminary Trajectory Design in Planet-Moon Systems,” AAS/AIAA Astrodynamics Specialist Conference, Vail, Colorado, Aug. 2015.
 D. C. Davis, S. M. Phillips, and B. P. McCarthy, “Multi-Body Mission Design Using the Deep Space Trajectory Explorer,” 26th AAS/AIAA Spaceflight Mechanics Meeting, Napa, California, Feb. 2016.
 D. C. Davis, S. M. Phillips, and B. P. McCarthy, “Trajectory Design for Saturnian Ocean Worlds Orbiters Using Multidimensional Poincare Maps,”Acta Astronautica, Vol. 143, Feb. 2018, pp. 16–28.
 S. M. Phillips, “JavaFX 3D: Advanced Application Development,” JavaOne Conference, San Francisco, California, Sept. 2014.
 E. A. Belbruno and J. K. Miller, “Sun-Perturbed Earth-to-Moon Transfers with Ballistic Capture,” Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics, Vol. 16, No. 4, 1993, pp. 770–775.
 R. B. Roncoli and K. K. Fujii, “Mission Design Overview for the Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboraotry (GRAIL) Mission,” AAA/AIAA Astrodynamics Specialist Conference, Toronto, Ontario, Aug.2010.
 T. Gardner, B. Cheetham, A. Forsman, C. Meek, E. Kayser, J. Parker, M. Thompson, T. Latchu,R. Rogers, B. Bryant, and T. Svitek, “CAPSTONE: A CubeSat Pathfinder for the Lunar Gateway Ecosystem,” AIAA/USU Small Satellite Conference, North Logan, Utah, July 2021.
 Y.-J. Song, Y.-R. Kim, J. Bae, J. i. Park, S. Hong, D. Lee, and D.-K. Kim, “Overview of the Flight Dynamics Subsystem for the Korea Pathfinder Lunar Orbiter Mission,” Aerospace, Vol. 8, Aug. 2021.
 J. Foust, “Japan’s ispace updates design of lunar lander,” https://spacenews.com/japans-ispace-updatesdesign-of-lunar-lander/, Aug. 2020.
J. S. Parker and R. L. Anderson, Low-Energy Lunar Trajectory Design. Deep Space Communications and Navigation Series, Pasadena, California: Jet Propulsion Laboratory, July 2013.
 R. J. Whitley, D. C. Davis, L. M. Burke, B. P. McCarthy, R. J. Power, M. J. McGuire, and K. C. Howell, “Earth-Moon Near Rectilinear Halo and Butterfly Orbits for Lunar Surface Exploration,” AAS/AIAA Astrodynamics Specialist Conference, Snowbird, Utah, Aug. 2018.
 N. L. Parrish, E. Kayser, S. Udupa, J. S. Parker, B. W. Cheetham, and D. C. Davis, “Survey of Ballistic Lunar Transfers to Near Rectilinear Halo Orbit,” AAS/AIAA Astrodynamics Specialist Conference, Portland, Maine, Aug. 2019.
 N. L. Parrish, E. Kayser, S. Udupa, J. S. Parker, B. W. Cheetham, and D. C. Davis, “Ballistic Lunar Transfers to Near Rectilinear Halo Orbit: Operation Considerations,” AIAA SciTech 2020 Forum, Orlando, Florida, Jan. 2020.
 S. Scheuerle and K. Howell, “Tidal Attributes of Low-energy Transfers in the Earth-Moon-Sun System,” AAS/AIAA Astrodynamics Specialist Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina, Aug. 2022.
 B. McCarthy and K. Howell, “Four-body cislunar quasi-periodic orbits and their application to ballistic lunar transfer design,” Advances in Space Research, Vol. 71, Jan. 2023.
 V. Szebehely, The Theory of Orbits: The Restricted Problem of Three Bodies. New York, New York: Academic Press, Inc, 1967.
 S. S. Huang, “Very Restricted Four-Body Problem,” techreport NASA TN D-501, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Sept. 1960.
 K. K. Boudad, “Disposal Dynamics From the Vicinity of Near Rectilinear Halo Orbits in the EarthMoon-Sun System,” MS Thesis, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, Dec. 2018.
 S. T. Scheuerle, B. P. McCarthy, and K. C. Howell, “Construction of Ballistic Lunar Transfers Leveraging Dynamical Systems Techniques,” AAS/AIAA Astrodynamics Specialist Virtual Conference, Lake Tahoe, California, Aug. 2020.
 A. Batcha, J. Williams, T. F. Dawn, J. P. Gutkowski, M. Widner, S. L. Smallwood, B. J. Killeen, E. C. Williams, and R. E. Harpold, “Artemis 1 Trajectory Design and Optimization,” AAS/AIAA Astrodynamics Specialist Conference, Virtual, Aug. 2020.
 C. A. Ocampo, “An Architecture for a Generalized Trajectory Design and Optimization System,” International Conference on Libration Points and Missions, Aiguablava, Spain, June 2002.
 S. P. Hughes, R. H. Qureshi, S. D. Cooley, and J. J. Parker, “Verification and Validation of the General Mission Analysis Tool (GMAT),” AIAA SPACE Forum, San Diego, California, Aug. 2014.
 a. solutions, “Freeflyer Version 7.8.0,” Nov. 2022.
 C. R. Short, L. Kay-Bunnell, D. Cather, and N. Kinzly, “Revisiting Trajectory Design with STK Astrogator, Part 2,” AAS/AIAA Astrodynamics Specialist Conference, Virtual, Aug. 2021
 J. Englander, “Rapid Preliminary Design of Interplanetary Trajectories Using the Evolutionary Mission Trajectory Generator,” Interational Conference on Astrodynamics Tools and Techniques, Darmstadt, Germany, Mar. 2016.
 D. C. Folta, C. M. Webster, N. Bosanac, A. D. Cox, D. Guzzetti, and K. C. Howell, “Trajectory Design Tools for Libration and Cislunar Environments,” International Conference on Astrodynamics Tools and Techniques, Darmstadt, Germany, Mar. 2016.
 B. P. McCarthy, “Transitioning Cislunar Trajectories to a Higher-Fidelity Model Using FreeFlyer,” FreeFlyer Winter Expo, Virtual, Dec. 2022‘.
 K. Boudad, Trajectory Design Between Cislunar Space and Sun-Earth Libration Points in a Four-Body Model. Ph.D. Dissertation, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, May 2022.
 C. H. Acton, Ancillary Data Services of NASA’s Navigation and Ancillary Information Facility, Jan. 1996. https://naif.jpl.nasa.gov/naif/.