Nov 6 – 9, 2018
DLR Oberpfaffenhofen, Germany
Europe/Amsterdam timezone

ROSSONERO: a tool for preliminary rendezvous mission design in the restricted three-body problem

Nov 8, 2018, 10:00 AM
Single 107

Single 107

Building 135
Oral presentation at the conference 06: On-orbit servicing and proximity On-orbit servicing and proximity #1


Giordana Bucchioni (University of Pisa, Department of Information Engineering)


Extended abstract

The present international cooperation scenario for robotic and human space exploration is focusing on mission architectures that revolve around building and exploiting a crew-tended cis-lunar space station, known as Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway. Candidate orbits for this vehicle are the near rectilinear halo orbits (NRHO). Therefore, the capability to inject in NRHO and perform rendezvous and docking or berthing maneuvers with a station in NRHO is key to many future exploration missions.

The aim of ROSSONERO (Rendezvous Operations Simulation Software on Near Rectilinear Orbit) is to provide a tool for preliminary design and assessment of rendezvous trajectory in NRHO and, more in general, in restricted three-body problem scenarios. The tool is developed in MATLAB\Simulink and dynamics simulation is based on the equations of relative motion proposed in 1. Unlike other sets of equations proposed in the past for relative motion in the restricted three-body problem, the equations describe the dynamics of chaser spacecraft with respect to a target in the local-vertical local-horizon (LVLH), a local frame centered on the target generally adopted for rendezvous analysis [2]. For completeness, in last version of the tool, the rotational dynamic has been added based on the equation proposed in [4].

ROSSONERO rendezvous mission description is based on the definition of a set of waypoints in the LVLH, that the chaser must reach during its approach to the target. Two types of maneuver can be used for transferring from a waypoint to the next one: impulsive or continuous thrust. Maneuvers computation is performed by integration of linear equations of relative motion derived in 1 and in [3]. In these References, two different sets of linear equations are presented, obtained by linearizing the exact relative dynamics and using two different assumptions for the primary bodies motion: elliptic and circular restricted three-body problem. ROSSONERO allows the user to choose between these two sets for maneuver computation at each transfer arc. Overall mission analysis is then performed by means of key performance indexes such as maneuver execution error and propellant consumption. Plots showing the trajectory in the LVLH frame and control evolution are provided as well. An example of the output provided by the tool is shown in Figure 1 and in Figure 2 (see attached document).


This work was partially supported by the European Space Agency under contract No. 000121575/17/NL/hh. The view expressed herein can in no way be taken to reflect the official opinion of the European Space Agency.


  1. G. Franzini, M. Innocenti, “Relative Motion Equations in the Local-Vertical Local-Horizon Frame for Rendezvous in Lunar Orbits”, in Proc. 2017 AAS/AIAA Astrodynamics Specialist Conference, Stevenson, WA, USA, Aug. 2017.
  2. W. Fehse, “Automated Rendezvous and Docking of Spacecraft”, Cambridge University Press, 2003.
  3. G. Franzini, “Relative motion dynamics and control in the two-body and in the restricted three-body problems”, Ph.D. Thesis, University of Pisa, 2018.
  4. F. Ankersen, “Guidance, Navigation, Control and Relative Dynamics for spacecraft proximity Maneuvers”, Ph. D. Thesis, Aalborg University, 2011.

Primary authors

Giovanni Franzini (University of Pisa, Department of Information Engineering) Giordana Bucchioni (University of Pisa, Department of Information Engineering) Mario Innocenti (University of Pisa, Department of Information Engineering) Massimo Casasco (European Space Agency)

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