Space Trajectory Optimization & Mission Design


Any space mission with a propulsion system (e.g., chemical engine, ion engine, solar sail, etc) cannot fly without designing optimal trajectories under the action of orbit controls. The trajectory optimization process must take into account the nonlinear effect of orbital mechanics and perturbations, leading to nonlinear, non-convex optimal control problems. This research thrust develops techniques, algorithms, and tools for optimizing space trajectories for space exploration and sciences, including cislunar space, interplanetary space, outer planets, and asteroids/comets.

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