Date of Award

Fall 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Aeronautics and Astronautics

First Advisor

Kathleen C. Howell

Committee Chair

Kathleen Howell

Committee Member 1

James M. Longuski

Committee Member 2

Martin J. Corless

Committee Member 3

Belinda Marchand


In this investigation, the role of higher-dimensional Poincaré maps in facilitating trajectory design is explored for a variety of applications. To begin, existing strategies to implement Poincaré maps for trajectory design applications in the spatial CR3BP are evaluated. New applications for these strategies are explored, including an analysis of the natural motion of Jupiter-family comets that experience temporary capture about Jupiter, and the search for periodic orbits in the vicinity of the primary bodies in the spatial problem. Because current strategies to represent higher-dimensional maps, generally, lead to a loss of information, new approaches to represent all information contained in higher-dimensional Poincaré maps are sought. ^ The field of data visualization offers many options to visually represent multivariate data sets, including the use of glyphs. A glyph is any graphical object whose physical attributes are determined by the variables of a data set. In this investigation, the role of glyphs in representing higher-dimensional Poincaré maps is explored, and the resulting map representations are demonstrated to search for maneuver-free and low-cost transfers between libration point orbits. A catalog of libration point orbit transfers is developed in the Earth-Moon system, and observations about the catalog solutions yields insight into the existence of these transfers. The application of Poincaré maps to compute transfers between libration point orbits in different three-body systems is additionally considered. Finally, interactive trajectory design environments that incorporate Poincaré maps into the design process are demonstrated. Such design environments offer a unique opportunity to explore the available trajectory options and to gain intuition about the solution space.

Included in

Astrodynamics Commons