The objective of this work is to measure the amount of radiation received by a spacecraft when leaving the Earth in a low thrust spiral and then reaching the Moon. Then the swing-by maneuver is then performed, in which the lunar gravity is used to gain speed. During this trajectory, the spacecraft will sometimes pass through the Van Allen belt, where particles such as protons and electrons can damage the satellite's electronic equipment. By mathematically modeling the particle density of the belt, it is possible to integrate it over the time and thus compute the total dose of energy received by the spacecraft according to the trajectory chosen. Thus, it is possible to optimize the space trajectory according to the following parameters: duration of the mission, fuel consumption, time inside the Van Allen belt and total amount of energy received by the spacecraft.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: