In the narrower sense, mission analysis (e.g.,, everything that has to do with orbital mechanics and transfer orbits) is an essential part of the development work conducted from the very start of missions and system designs. It is necessary at the earliest stages of design, so that feasibility can be assessed and parameters can be set. The diversity of today's missions, their boundary conditions, as well as the various propulsion methods (e.g., gravity assist, solar sail, electrical and chemical propulsion) and the types of missions (e.g., sun-synchronous orbit, interplanetary missions, stationary orbits at Lagrange points) require an extensive range of tools, which may need to be specifically adapted for a single mission, and expertise that can be applied in a specific and targeted way.
At the Institute of Space Systems, mission analysis is an important focal point, which is highly sought after for investigating new mission proposals in CE studies and for accompanying projects (such as Eu:CROPIS). Low Thrust Orbit and Gravity Assist Sequences play an important role, and have become increasingly popular. The typical aim of such missions is, for example, to study comets, near-Earth objects and Trojan asteroids, but also missions to other planets (Venus, Mercury and Jupiter).
The tasks undertaken by mission analysis can be categorised into the following three fields:
Mission analysis for concept phases, e.g.:
Mission analysis for selected missions - project support, e.g.:
Adaptation and development of methods and tools for, e.g.: