Low-thrust trajectory optimization procedure for gravity-assist, outer-planet missions

Byoungsam Woo, Victoria L. Coverstone, Michael Cupples

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


A hybrid trajectory optimization procedure for a class of solar-electric-propulsion, gravity-assist, outer-planet missions is presented. The parameter space of a target mission is often nonconvex and a calculus-of-variations-based optimization algorithm suffers difficulties efficiently exploring this space. A hybrid procedure using a genetic algorithm to drive a calculus-of-variations program is developed to automate searching over a reduced parameter space. Employing the hybrid procedure, the delivered mass profiles of a Uranus and Pluto mission are generated more quickly than by using the calculus-of-variations optimization algorithm alone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-129
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Spacecraft and Rockets
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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