Optimal trajectory generation for multiple asteroid rendezvous
Koeppel, David M.
Ross, I. Michael
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This thesis is focused on solving one component of the proposed problem in the Global Trajectory Optimization Competition released by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in late 2006. The goal is to find an optimal spacecraft trajectory to rendezvous with an asteroid in a group of asteroids. The analysis is conducted using a MATLAB application package for dynamic optimization called DIDO. In order to verify the selection results, one-to-one transfers between Earth and several asteroids are conducted. The selection process is applied to this group of asteroids. When the initial results do not meet the expectations based on the one-to-one transfers, a more thorough search for a global minimum is necessary. The gradual cost-constrained technique is used to progress from local minima toward the global minimum. The results are checked to satisfy the constraints as well as the necessary conditions for optimality. When the results are analyzed, feasible one-to-one rendezvous trajectories are found, however a sufficient selection process is lacking. There is a great deal of work remaining on this project, including the continued development of an asteroid selection procedure.
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