Trajectory design and guidance for landing on Phobos

Eric Joffre*, Mattia Zamaro, Nuno Silva, Andrés Marcos, Pedro Simplício

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
321 Downloads (Pure)


While common Descent and Landing strategies involve extended periods of forced motion, significant fuel savings could be achieved by exploiting the natural dynamics in the vicinity of the target. However, small bodies are characterised by perturbed and poorly known dynamics environments, calling for robust autonomous guidance, navigation and control. Airbus Defence and Space and the University of Bristol have been contracted by the UK Space Agency to investigate the optimisation of landing trajectories, including novel approaches from the dynamical systems theory, and robust nonlinear control techniques, with an application to the case of a landing on the Martian moon Phobos.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)389-400
Number of pages12
JournalActa Astronautica
Early online date18 Jun 2018
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018


  • Landing
  • Small bodies
  • Libration point orbits
  • Invariant manifolds
  • Trajectory design
  • Guidance


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