A new numerical optimization method based on Taylor series

Christopher S. Martin, Bruce A Conway

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


A new method to numerically solve trajectory optimization problems is developed. The method uses direct transcription to convert the continuous optimal control problem into a parameter optimization problem that can be solved with non-linear programming. A high-order Taylor series expansion about each node is used to convert the system equations into algebraic constraint equations. Automatic differentiation is used to compute the derivatives of the system equations required to keep arbitrarily many terms in the Taylor series. Several orbit transfer problems are solved to evaluate the performance of the new method.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSpaceflight Mechanics 2011 - Advances in the Astronautical Sciences
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 21st AAS/AIAA Space Flight Mechanics Meeting
Number of pages18
StatePublished - Oct 6 2011
Event21st AAS/AIAA Space Flight Mechanics Meeting - New Orleans, LA, United States
Duration: Feb 13 2011Feb 17 2011

Publication series

NameAdvances in the Astronautical Sciences
ISSN (Print)0065-3438


Other21st AAS/AIAA Space Flight Mechanics Meeting
CountryUnited States
CityNew Orleans, LA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science

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