Optimal low thrust trajectories using differential inclusion concepts

Victoria Coverstone-Carroll, Steven N. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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)
Pages (from-to)379-393
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of the Astronautical Sciences
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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