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Semi-analytical estimation of the probability of capture into ground-track resonances of Dawn around Vesta

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conference contribution
posted on 2023-11-20, 11:32 authored by Wail Boumchita, Jinglang Feng, Anatoly NeishtadtAnatoly Neishtadt

This paper presents a semi-analytical methodology to estimate the probability of capture into different ground-track resonances of a low-thrust spacecraft around an asteroid. The system dynamics are described by a Hamiltonian model that considers the perturbations from the irregular gravitational field up to the second order and degree, and the continuous low thrust that remains constant in magnitude and is always in the direction opposite to the spacecraft’s velocity. The model focuses on the equatorial case of the 1:1 and 2:3 ground-track resonances. Due to the chaotic layer around each resonance region, which influences the orbit evolution, estimating the probability of capture into resonance is necessary. A fourth-order polynomial is used to numerically approximate the separatrices of the resonance region, while the change of the system’s energy balance when the trajectory crosses the separatrices is determined with a global adaptive quadrature method. Subsequently, the probability of capture into resonance is estimated from the energy change as the trajectory crosses the separatrices, and the accuracy of the results is verified by comparing them to numerical simulations based on the perturbed Hamilton’s equations of motion. This research makes a significant contribution to the field of astrodynamics by systematically and efficiently analyzing the probability of low-thrust spacecraft capture into different ground-track resonance around asteroids.


ESA OSIP with project title ”Resonance Capture of Low-Thrust Spacecraft Around a Small Body”

John Anderson Research Award Studentship



  • Science


  • Mathematical Sciences

Published in

IAC 2023 Congress Proceedings, 74th International Astronautical Congress (IAC), Baku, Azerbaijan


74th International Astronautical Congress 2023 (IAC 2023)


International Astronautical Federation (IAF)


  • VoR (Version of Record)

Rights holder

© Wail Boumchita, Jinglang Feng and Anatoly Neishtadt

Publisher statement

This manuscript was presented at the 74th International Astronautical Congress 2023 (IAC 2023), 2nd - 6th October 2023, Baku, Azerbaijan, Paper ID 76806.

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  • en


Baku, Azerbaijan

Event dates

2nd October 2023 - 6th October 2023


Prof Anatoly Neishtadt. Deposit date: 17 November 2023

Article number

IAC-23-C1.9.8 76806

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