A space mission automaton using hybrid optimal control

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


A modern space mission is usually composed of several events such as impulsive maneuvers, thrust arcs, and flybys. Traditionally, a mission planner would develop a structure for the mission using categorical variables, and then find the best spacecraft trajectory solving a continuous optimal control problem. A problem of this type involving categorical and continuous variables in the formulation is known as a hybrid optimal control (HOC) problem. A recent approach to solving HOC problems has the potential to automate the mission planning process by minimizing human intervention in the loop. The method uses two nested loops: an outer-loop which handles the finite dynamics and finds a solution sequence in terms of the categorical variables, and an inner-loop which performs the optimization of the continuous-time dynamical system and obtains the required control law. In this work, we introduce genetic algorithms and Runge-Kutta parallel-shooting with nonlinear programming as methods of solution for the outer-loop and inner-loop problems respectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAmerican Astronautical Society - Space Flight Mechanics 2007 - Advances in the Astronautical Sciences, Proceedings of the AAS/AIAA Space Flight Mechanics Meeting
Number of pages18
StatePublished - Dec 1 2007
Event17th Annual Space Flight Mechanics Meeting - Sedona, AZ, United States
Duration: Jan 28 2007Feb 1 2007

Publication series

NameAdvances in the Astronautical Sciences
Volume127 PART 1
ISSN (Print)0065-3438


Other17th Annual Space Flight Mechanics Meeting
CountryUnited States
CitySedona, AZ

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science

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