Mission Analysis, Trajectory Design, and Maneuver Planning


Our branch is the world leader in innovative mission analysis, trajectory design, and maneuver planning expertise. As the branch’s operational arm, the FDF utilizes these technologies and vast flight operations experience to support missions using a wide variety of trajectory and orbit concepts. Combined with an in-depth knowledge of network capability, the FDF offers expertise with a multitude of operations concepts, trajectory design, and maneuver planning strategies covering all mission phases from concept formulation through end-of-life.

We provide unparalleled analysis, mission design, and orbit maneuver support for missions such as the high-energy, multiple lunar swing-by WIND mission, as well as LRO, THEMIS, and ARTEMIS. They also include the high-energy, Sun-Earth libration point halo and Lissajous orbit missions such as ACE and SOHO, a class of mission types pioneered at Goddard. We have also successfully supported multiple payload constellations such as ST-5, STEREO, and THEMIS, trajectory redesigns such as the ARTEMIS mission, optimized transfer trajectories, and stationkeeping. We can help you research, plan and fly your mission, and our team of highly capable analysts and engineers will employ innovative approaches to meet your unique mission requirements and goals.

The FDF provides maneuver predictions utilizing high-fidelity propulsion system modeling and targeting techniques to derive predicted post-maneuver states for mission planning, and network scheduling and acquisition. We can support missions utilizing monopropellant hydrazine, hypergolic, and low- thrust technologies. In addition, FDF provides post-maneuver definitive orbit determination solutions for science data processing as well as calibration of the propulsion system and monitoring propellant usage. The FDF supports over 250 orbit maneuvers each year.