Orbits in a generalized two-body problem

C.R. McInnes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)
344 Downloads (Pure)


The two-body problem is a well-known case of the general central force problem with an attractive, inverse square force. However, there are forms of spacecraft propulsion, such as solar sails and minimagnetospheric plasmapropulsion, which generate a repulsive, inverse square force. Because this force can be modulated, a more general central force problem is then formed. Such a problem is investigated and the families of orbits available using both forward integration and an inverse approach are explored. Both are used to explore various modes of transfer between circular coplanar orbits and to determine strategies for escape.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)743-749
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Guidance, Control and Dynamics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • guidance systems
  • orbits
  • space travel
  • solar sails


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