### Abstract

The development of new mission concepts requires efficient methodologies to analyze, design, and simulate the concepts before implementation. New mission concepts are increasingly considering the use of ion thrusters for fuel-efficient navigation in deep space. This paper presents parallel, evolutionary computing methods to design trajectories of spacecraft propelled by ion thrusters and assesses the trade-off between delivered payload mass and required flight time. The developed methods utilize a distributed computing environment in order to speed up computation, and use evolutionary algorithms to find globally Paretooptimal solutions. The methods are coupled with two main traditional trajectory design approaches, which are called direct and indirect. In the direct approach, thrust control is discretized in either arc time or arc length, and the resulting discrete thrust vectors are optimized. In the indirect approach, the thrust control problem is transformed into a co-state control problem and the initial values of the co-state vector are optimized. The developed methods are applied to two problems: 1) an orbit transfer around the Earth and 2) a transfer between two distance retrograde orbits around Europa, the icy Galilean moon closest to Jupiter. The optimal solutions found with the present methods are comparable to other state-of-the-art trajectory optimizers, while the required computation time is often several orders of magnitude less thanks to an intelligent design of control vector discretization, advanced algorithmic parameterization, and parallel computing.

Original language | English (US) |
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Title of host publication | Collection of Technical Papers - AIAA Space 2005 Conference and Exposition |

Pages | 1775-1782 |

Number of pages | 8 |

State | Published - Dec 1 2005 |

Externally published | Yes |

Event | AIAA Space 2005 Conference and Exposition - Long Beach, CA, United States Duration: Aug 30 2005 → Sep 1 2005 |

### Publication series

Name | Collection of Technical Papers - AIAA Space 2005 Conference and Exposition |
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Volume | 3 |

### Other

Other | AIAA Space 2005 Conference and Exposition |
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Country | United States |

City | Long Beach, CA |

Period | 8/30/05 → 9/1/05 |

### ASJC Scopus subject areas

- Engineering(all)

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## Cite this

*Collection of Technical Papers - AIAA Space 2005 Conference and Exposition*(pp. 1775-1782). (Collection of Technical Papers - AIAA Space 2005 Conference and Exposition; Vol. 3).