A Homotopy-Based Method for Optimization of Hybrid High-Low Thrust Trajectories

Sullo, N. and Ceriotti, M. (2014) A Homotopy-Based Method for Optimization of Hybrid High-Low Thrust Trajectories. In: 65th International Astronautical Congress, Toronto, ON, Canada, 29 Sep - 3 Oct 2014,

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Publisher's URL: http://www.iafastro.org/events/iac/iac-2014/


Space missions require increasingly more efficient trajectories to provide payload transport and mission goals by means of lowest fuel consumption, a strategic mission design key-point. Recent works demonstrated that the combined (or hybrid) use of chemical and electrical propulsion can give important advantages in terms of fuel consumption, without losing the ability to reach other mission objectives: as an example the Hohmann Spiral Transfer, applied in the case of a transfer to GEO orbit, demonstrated a fuel mass saving between 5-10% of the spacecraft wet mass, whilst satisfying a pre-set boundary constraint for the time of flight. Nevertheless, methods specifically developed for optimizing space trajectories considering the use of hybrid high-low thrust propulsion systems have not been extensively developed, basically because of the intrinsic complexity in the solution of optimal problem equations with existent numerical methods. The study undertaken and presented in this paper develops a numerical strategy for the optimization of hybrid high-low thrust space trajectories. An indirect optimization method has been developed, which makes use of a homotopic approach for numerical convergence improvement. The adoption of a homotopic approach provides a relaxation to the optimal problem, transforming it into a simplest problem to solve in which the optimal problem presents smoother equations and the shooting function acquires an increased convergence radius: the original optimal problem is then reached through a homotopy parameter continuation. Moreover, the use of homotopy can make possible to include a high thrust impulse (treated as velocity discontinuity) to the low thrust optimal control obtained from the indirect method. The impulse magnitude, location and direction are obtained following from a numerical continuation in order to minimize the problem cost function. The initial study carried out in this paper is finally correlated with particular test cases, in order to validate the work developed and to start investigating in which cases the effectiveness of hybrid-thrust propulsion subsists.

Item Type:Conference Proceedings
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Ceriotti, Dr Matteo and Sullo, Nicola
Authors: Sullo, N., and Ceriotti, M.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Systems Power and Energy
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2014 N. Sullo and M. Ceriotti
Publisher Policy:Reproduced with the permission of the authors

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