Optimal space trajectories via particle swarm technique

Mauro Pontani, Bruce A Conway

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


The particle swarm optimization technique is a population-based stochastic method developed in recent years and successfully applied in several fields of research. It represents a very intuitive (and easy to program) methodology for global optimization, inspired by the behavior of bird flocks while searching for food. The particle swarm optimization technique attempts to take advantage from the mechanism of information sharing that affects the overall behavior of a swarm, with the intent of determining the optimal values of the unknown parameters of the problem under consideration. In this research the method is applied to a variety of space trajectory optimization problems, e.g. the determination of periodic orbits in the context of the circular restricted three-body problem, and the optimization of (impulsive and finite-thrust) orbital transfers. Despite its simplicity and intuitiveness, the particle swarm algorithm proves to be quite effective in finding the optimal solution to all of the applications considered in the paper, with great numerical accuracy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSpaceflight Mechanics 2010 - Advances in the Astronautical Sciences
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the AAS/AIAA Space Flight Mechanics Meeting
Number of pages20
StatePublished - 2010
EventAAS/AIAA Space Flight Mechanics Meeting - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Feb 14 2010Feb 17 2010


OtherAAS/AIAA Space Flight Mechanics Meeting
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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