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Aerospace & Defense

Model and test complex systems such as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), space robotics, and aircraft dynamics. System Modeler enables system- and component-level design and continuous testing and verification.

Hohmann Transfer Orbit

Space missions often adjust orbital paths for fuel efficiency, solar power optimization or avoiding hazards, using strategically applied force pulses. This example demonstrates the calibration of such thrusts using the SystemModelCalibrate function.
Animation of the Hohmann Transfer Orbit.

Modeling Spacecraft

A spacecraft is modeled on a designated orbit and its trajectory is changed by using thrust generated from burning fuel, which is represented as thrust forces (boosts).

Model of the spacecraft.

Simulating Different Thrusts

For an effective orbital maneuver, two key burns are essential: one to leave the current orbit and another to achieve the new orbit’s stable velocity. Let’s explore the spacecraft’s orbital patterns while applying one-second thrust forces, denoted as f1 and f2 applied at t=0 s and t=4200 s. Simulating this with different thrust levels reveals the spacecraft’s potential trajectories.

Even if the trajectories look smooth, there are significant fluctuations in orbital displacements, leading to variations in gravitational forces.

Calibration of Boost Forces

Applying thrust forces strategically is crucial for smoothly positioning the spacecraft in its desired orbit, minimizing fluctuations. Use the SystemModelCalibrate function to fine-tune the thrusts for the planned orbital maneuver.

Interactive SystemModelCalibrate function.
Simulation results after the thrust calibration.

Model Calibration in Space Missions