Optimal low thrust trajectories using differential inclusion concepts

Victoria Lynn Coverstone, Steven N. Williams

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


A direct optimization method based on differential inclusion concepts has been developed and used to compute low thrust trajectories. This new formulation removes explicit control dependence from the problem statement thereby reducing the dimension of the parameter space of the resulting nonlinear programming problem. A simple example of a two-dimensional gravity-free trajectory involving a maximum velocity transfer to a rectilinear path is discussed. Three interplanetary trajectory examples, an Earth-Mars constant specific impulse transfer, an Earth-Jupiter constant specific impulse transfer, and an Earth-Venus-Mars variable specific impulse gravity assist, are also included. An evaluation of the technique's performance is provided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAdvances in the Astronautical Sciences
EditorsJohn E.Jr. Cochran, Charles D.Jr. Edwards, Stephen J. Hoffman, Richard Holdaway
PublisherPubl by Univelt Inc
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)0877033862
StatePublished - 1994
EventProceedings of the AAS/AIAA Spaceflight Mechanics Meeting. Part 1 (of 2) - Cocoa Beach, FL, USA
Duration: Feb 14 1994Feb 16 1994

Publication series

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


OtherProceedings of the AAS/AIAA Spaceflight Mechanics Meeting. Part 1 (of 2)
CityCocoa Beach, FL, USA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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