Design of low-thrust multi-gravity assist trajectories to Europa

Vasile, M. and Campagnola, S. (2009) Design of low-thrust multi-gravity assist trajectories to Europa. Journal of the British Interplanetary Society, 62(1), pp. 15-31.

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Abstract

This paper presents the design of a mission to Europa using solar electric propulsion as main source of thrust. A direct transcription method based on Finite Elements in Time was used for the design and optimisation of the entire low-thrust gravity assist transfer from the Earth to Europa. Prior to that, a global search algorithm was used to generate a set of suitable first guess solutions for the transfer to Jupiter, and for the capture in the Jovian system. In particular, a fast deterministic search algorithm was developed to find the most promising set of swing-bys to reach Jupiter A second fast search algorithm was developed to find the best sequence of swing-bys of the Jovian moons. After introducing the global search algorithms and the direct transcription through Finite Elements in Time, the paper presents a number of first guess Solutions and a fully optimised transfer from the Earth to Europa.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Vasile, Dr Massimiliano
Authors: Vasile, M., and Campagnola, S.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Aerospace Sciences
Journal Name:Journal of the British Interplanetary Society
Publisher:British Interplanetary Society
ISSN:0007-084X

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