Global Trajectory Optimization


The problem of optimal design of a multi-gravity-assist space trajectory, with a free number of deep space maneuvers, poses a multimodal cost function. In the general form of the problem, the number of design variables is solution dependent. This research implements novel variable-size global optimization algorithms to solve this trajectory optimization problem.  These new methods are applied to several interplanetary trajectory design problems. These methods have the capability to determine the number of swing-bys, the planets to swing by, launch and arrival dates, and the number of deep space maneuvers, as well as their locations, magnitudes, and directions, in an optimal sense. The results presented in this paper show that solutions obtained using this tool match known solutions for complex case studies.

Global Trajectory Optimization Competition (GTOC)

GTOC is a prestigious competition among world-class orbital mechanics and trajectory design organizations to solve a complex planetary trajectory optimization problem.

GTOC website


The fifth competition was organized by the Faculty of Mechanics and Mathematics in Lomonosov Moscow State University.

Competition website

Solution of Michigan Tech University (movie created by Advanced Concepts Team in the European Space Agency).


The sixth competition was organized by NASA JPL

Competition website

Michigan Tech Solution



The seventh competition was organized by Politecnico di Torino and Universit`a di Roma “Sapienza”

Competition website

Michigan Tech Solution on youtube: