Optimal continuous thrust maneuvers for solving 3d orbit transfer problems

Robyn M. Woollands, Ahmad Bani Younes, Brent Macomber, Xiaoli Bai, John L. Junkins

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

Abstract

We simulate hybrid thrust transfers to rendezvous with space debris in orbit about the Earth. The hybrid thrust transfer consists of a two-impulse maneuver at the terminal boundaries, which is augmented with continuous low-thrust that is sustained for the duration of the flight. This optimal control problem is formulated using the path approximation numerical integration method, Modified Chebyshev Picard Iteration, which converges over a domain of about 1/3 of an orbit. This method differs from traditional two-point boundary value solvers in that it is not a shooting method. We make use of a "warm start" computed by using the two-impulse solution. We find that when continuous thrust is "turned off", the solution to the optimal control formulation reduces to the two-impulse two-point boundary value problem, with zero thrust coast. This study seeks to determine which thrust method is best suited for a specific transfer: Two-impulsive or hybrid? For some transfers we observe a reduced terminal ?V cost for the hybrid thrust relative to the two-impulse, and for others it may be increased. This depends on the relative orbits and the initial phasing of the satellites. Extremal field maps are generated for distinguishing globally optimal from infeasible and sub-optimal orbit maneuver regions. The computations in this paper were done via serial computation, however the structure of the algorithms is ideally suited for parallel algorithms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationGuidance, Navigation and Control 2015 - Advances in the Astronautical Sciences
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 38th Annual AAS Rocky Mountain Section Guidance and Control Conference
EditorsIan J. Gravseth
PublisherUnivelt Inc.
Pages513-524
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9780877036210
StatePublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes
Event38th Annual AAS Rocky Mountain Section Guidance and Control Conference, GNandC 2015 - Breckenridge, United States
Duration: Jan 30 2015Feb 4 2015

Publication series

NameAdvances in the Astronautical Sciences
Volume154
ISSN (Print)0065-3438

Conference

Conference38th Annual AAS Rocky Mountain Section Guidance and Control Conference, GNandC 2015
CountryUnited States
CityBreckenridge
Period1/30/152/4/15

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science

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