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The objective of the project is to develop a Flight Dynamics target product able to optimize the transfer trajectory of satellites using electric propulsion, from separation from launcher to GEO window insertion. The target product is integrated in GMV’s commercial focusleop product (part of GMV’s focussuite Flight Dynamics System for ground control of commercial satellites). The development is applicable for both mission analysis as well as for operations.
OPEPOR is thought of being a product born from the experience gained with the help of EPTOS (a previous ARTES 5.1 and 5.2 EOR prototype). However, it uses an adapted hybrid optimization method in order to have both benefits from direct and indirect methods without including their drawbacks. Furthermore, the hybrid method retains the high flexibility of the direct approach, hence additional operational constraints as well as orbital perturbation can be added to the system without altering the mathematical foundation.
The hybrid optimization also gives the possibility of optimizing transfer time or mass consumption. Mass consumption optimization can be achieved by introducing coasting arcs in the convenient areas of the trajectory. Moreover, both time and mass can be optimized at the same time under user request thanks to the possibility to combine different criteria in the objective cost function.
The biggest challenge of OPEPOR is the development of an Electric Propelled Optimizer, capable of being both fast and accurate, computing the orbit raising for long time of flights, taking into account different operational constraints. OPEPOR gives the user the opportunity to:
GMV in collaboration with ESA has contacted an alpha customer which is involved in the project by according support not only for the requirements definition, but also for software validation. By this mean, the project risks are lowered, furthermore ensuring todays’ actual market needs.
This project includes the integration of OPEPOR module in the existing focusleop product as an additional function thanks to the flexibility provided by this GMV’s flight dynamics solution. . Additionally, a smart modular design makes OPEPOR suitable for both mission analysis and operations. OPEPOR:
OPEPOR is designed as a new component inside the modular structure of the GMV’s flight dynamics solution for LEOP, called focusleop. Thanks to this modularity, the only addition of OPEPOR element is enough to extend the target product capabilities to fully support LEOP for both chemical and electrical propulsion satellites.
The computation of the trajectory by OPEPOR is the initial step for the electrical orbit raising mission analysis and operations. Once this module provides the prediction of the orbit, attitude and mass evolution, other already existing modules will continue with the rest of the computations as shown in the graphics below:
OPEPOR is a project scheduled for 18 months and consists of the following milestones:
The project has successfully passed the TRR milestone.
OPEPOR has shown great performance and stability in various GTO-GEO transfer scenarios, allowing for a high degree of customizability regarding the complexity of the problem. From problems that do not use a perturbation model, with no operational constraints, for quick analyses, to very demanding scenarios, with a realistic perturbations model, OPEPOR has provided great flexibility and very good transfer solutions, in line with relevant bibliography.
The verification phase has ended successfully with the software fulfilling all requirements. The next and final milestone is the Acceptance Review.