### Abstract

The problem of determining high-accuracy minimum-time Earth-orbit transfers using low-thrust propulsion is considered. The optimal orbital transfer problem is posed as a constrained nonlinear optimal control problem and is solved using a variable-order Legendre-Gauss-Radau quadrature orthogonal collocation method. Initial guesses for the optimal control problem are obtained by solving a sequence of modified optimal control problems where the final true longitude is constrained and the mean square difference between the specified terminal boundary conditions and the computed terminal conditions is minimized. It is found that solutions to the minimumtime low-thrust optimal control problem are only locally optimal, in that the solution has essentially the same number of orbital revolutions as that of the initial guess. A search method is then devised that enables computation of solutions with an even lower cost where the final true longitude is constrained to be different from that obtained in the original locally optimal solution. A numerical optimization study is then performed to determine optimal trajectories and control inputs for a range of initial thrust accelerations and constant specific impulses. The key features of the solutions are then determined, and relationships are obtained between the optimal transfer time and the optimal final true longitude as a function of the initial thrust acceleration and specific impulse. Finally, a detailed postoptimality analysis is performed to verify the close proximity of the numerical solutions to the true optimal solution.

Original language | English (US) |
---|---|

Pages (from-to) | 711-727 |

Number of pages | 17 |

Journal | Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets |

Volume | 52 |

Issue number | 3 |

DOIs | |

State | Published - Jan 1 2015 |

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### All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

- Aerospace Engineering
- Space and Planetary Science

### Cite this

*Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets*,

*52*(3), 711-727. https://doi.org/10.2514/1.A33187

}

*Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets*, vol. 52, no. 3, pp. 711-727. https://doi.org/10.2514/1.A33187

**Minimum-time trajectory optimization of multiple revolution low-thrust Earth-orbit transfers.** / Graham, Kathryn F.; Rao, Anil V.; Spencer, D.

Research output: Contribution to journal › Article

TY - JOUR

T1 - Minimum-time trajectory optimization of multiple revolution low-thrust Earth-orbit transfers

AU - Graham, Kathryn F.

AU - Rao, Anil V.

AU - Spencer, D.

PY - 2015/1/1

Y1 - 2015/1/1

N2 - The problem of determining high-accuracy minimum-time Earth-orbit transfers using low-thrust propulsion is considered. The optimal orbital transfer problem is posed as a constrained nonlinear optimal control problem and is solved using a variable-order Legendre-Gauss-Radau quadrature orthogonal collocation method. Initial guesses for the optimal control problem are obtained by solving a sequence of modified optimal control problems where the final true longitude is constrained and the mean square difference between the specified terminal boundary conditions and the computed terminal conditions is minimized. It is found that solutions to the minimumtime low-thrust optimal control problem are only locally optimal, in that the solution has essentially the same number of orbital revolutions as that of the initial guess. A search method is then devised that enables computation of solutions with an even lower cost where the final true longitude is constrained to be different from that obtained in the original locally optimal solution. A numerical optimization study is then performed to determine optimal trajectories and control inputs for a range of initial thrust accelerations and constant specific impulses. The key features of the solutions are then determined, and relationships are obtained between the optimal transfer time and the optimal final true longitude as a function of the initial thrust acceleration and specific impulse. Finally, a detailed postoptimality analysis is performed to verify the close proximity of the numerical solutions to the true optimal solution.

AB - The problem of determining high-accuracy minimum-time Earth-orbit transfers using low-thrust propulsion is considered. The optimal orbital transfer problem is posed as a constrained nonlinear optimal control problem and is solved using a variable-order Legendre-Gauss-Radau quadrature orthogonal collocation method. Initial guesses for the optimal control problem are obtained by solving a sequence of modified optimal control problems where the final true longitude is constrained and the mean square difference between the specified terminal boundary conditions and the computed terminal conditions is minimized. It is found that solutions to the minimumtime low-thrust optimal control problem are only locally optimal, in that the solution has essentially the same number of orbital revolutions as that of the initial guess. A search method is then devised that enables computation of solutions with an even lower cost where the final true longitude is constrained to be different from that obtained in the original locally optimal solution. A numerical optimization study is then performed to determine optimal trajectories and control inputs for a range of initial thrust accelerations and constant specific impulses. The key features of the solutions are then determined, and relationships are obtained between the optimal transfer time and the optimal final true longitude as a function of the initial thrust acceleration and specific impulse. Finally, a detailed postoptimality analysis is performed to verify the close proximity of the numerical solutions to the true optimal solution.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84930146891&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84930146891&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.2514/1.A33187

DO - 10.2514/1.A33187

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:84930146891

VL - 52

SP - 711

EP - 727

JO - Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets

JF - Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets

SN - 0022-4650

IS - 3

ER -