Mark Herring

Date of Award


Access Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering Physics


Physical Sciences

Committee Chair

Dr. Katariina Nykyri

First Committee Member

Dr. Sergey Drakunov

Second Committee Member

Dr. Xuanye Ma


Accurate prediction of the solar wind properties, interplanetary magnetic field direction and various space weather phenomena becomes ever more important as our dependence on Earth orbiting spacecraft increases. Different solar wind drivers can lead both to enhancements and losses of relativistic electrons in the outer radiation belts, thus posing a major risk to satellites. To further our understanding of the Sun’s impact on the near Earth space environment, as well as to provide predictive capabilities, a mission placing monitoring satellites in key orbits in the inner Solar System is being proposed. As part of that effort, the possibility of using Libration point orbits for these monitoring satellites is investigated. Using the Circular Restricted Three Body Problem (CRTBP) as an early assessment of transfer trajectories to Libration point orbits around Earth and the other inner planets. Single and multiple shooting methods are implemented and used to find solutions to the equations of motion of the CRTBP targeting periodic orbits and transfer trajectories. Various transfer methods are discussed and Low Energy transfers using invariant manifolds are evaluated. Transfers from Earth to Sun-Earth L1 as well as Sun-Venus, and Sun-Mercury L1 are computed.