Project Geryon

Low-Energy Astronautics Group
Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research (CCAR)

Notice: This site is for archival purposes only. This research group is no longer active.


Research Objectives
The Low-Energy Astronautics Group "Project Geryon" is developing new mission designs and navigation techniques that take advantage of "low-energy" trajectories in the solar system. Much of the work is focused on the Earth-Moon system. Some examples include:
  • The construction of trajectories to/from orbits about the Lagrange Points. These could be Lagrange Points in the Sun-Earth system, the Earth-Moon system, Mars-Phobos, Jupiter-Europa, etc. The orbits may be Halo orbits, Lyapunov orbits, Lissajous orbits, or any other type.
  • The construction of low-energy transfers from one orbit to another, such as that used by the ARTEMIS mission.
  • Designing low-energy transfers between the Earth and the Moon, such as those employed by GRAIL and ARTEMIS.
  • Evaluation of station-keeping requirements for low-energy orbits and transfers.
  • Building rendezvous trajectories on libration orbits.
  • Deploying a constellation of satellites using a single launch.
  • Evaluating navigation requirements on low-energy trajectories.
  • Applying the LiAISON (Linked, Autonomous, Interplanetary Satellite Orbit Navigation) technique to missions at the Earth, Moon, libration orbits, and beyond.
The information below provides more information on several studies performed by researchers in this group.

Geryon Geryon, "The Three-Bodied Problem"
Geryon (GAIR-ee-un, JAIR-ee-un) was a warrior in Greek mythology with three bodies and vast wealth. In battle he was undefeated and his wealth was locked away. Hercules found the solution to that "three-body problem" by dipping an arrow in the blood of Hydra and using it to defeat Geryon.

Although the astrodynamical Three-body Problem has no analytical solution, Project Geryon is unlocking the wealth of its unique dynamics to create innovative new possibilities for space exploration.

Lunar Nav/Comm Project Geryon researchers are discovering ways of establishing and operating constellations and formations in libration point orbits. The first goal of Project Geryon is to support the return to the Moon by researching low-cost ways of providing communication and navigation for the poles and the far side of the Moon.
[Slide Presentation]

[White Paper] [Keystone Paper] [Keystone Movie Directory]
(To download the Keystone paper animation, click the movie directory link, then right click on a movie (.wmv) of the desired size. Select 'save target as' or 'save link as' and save it to your computer) Contact Keric Hill for movies with a soundtrack.



Lunar Nav/Comm The LUCIS project is a lunar navigation and communication relay constellation which combines different areas of research at CCAR. LUCIS is a highly evolvable, low-cost constellation designed using small satellites in libration point orbits. The initial constellation was designed to provide continuous coverage of the South pole and to have the capability to expand to provide global coverage of the lunar surface. Information on the constellation may be found by downloading the pdf slides or the powerpoint presentation. The corresponding annimations are also provided.
[LUCIS Presentation of PDF slides]
[LUCIS Powerpoint Presentation]

[LUCIS Movie Directory]
The animations may download automatically at a mouse click, or it may be necessary to right click on the animation and select 'save link as' to save it to your computer. Contact Kate Hamera for more information on the LUCIS project.