Accommodating measurement uncertainty in the optimization of space flight trajectories

Alan Zorn, Matt West

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


Equality constraints in trajectory optimization are typically handled as exact in space flight optimization. Frequently, however, the constraints are not known exactly, perhaps due to measurement uncertainty. In this paper, it is shown how this inexactness can be accommodated in a natural way by solving the deterministic optimization problem as a maximum a posteriori estimation problem. An example illustrating the approach is given in which an optimal two-impulse Lambert control law is developed which maintains a satellite in a desired Earth orbit. By accommodating uncertainty in this manner, the approach might improve cost performance, facilitate implementation, and reveal new relationships.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSpaceflight Mechanics 2017
EditorsJon A. Sims, Frederick A. Leve, Jay W. McMahon, Yanping Guo
PublisherUnivelt Inc.
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9780877036371
StatePublished - 2017
Event27th AAS/AIAA Space Flight Mechanics Meeting, 2017 - San Antonio, United States
Duration: Feb 5 2017Feb 9 2017

Publication series

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


Other27th AAS/AIAA Space Flight Mechanics Meeting, 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Antonio

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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