Initial Guess for Space Trajectories

Shape-Based Approximation of Constrained Low-Thrust Space Trajectories using Fourier Series

Space mission trajectory design using the low-thrust capabilities is becoming increasingly popular. However, the optimization of the resulting trajectories is a very challenging and time-consuming task.

A Fourier series approximation for the trajectory shape is developed for rapid low-thrust rendezvous/orbit raising trajectory construction. This method has the capability of handling thrust acceleration constraints. The new flexible representation along with the constraint handling capability makes this method a suitable candidate for feasibility assessment of trajectories, given a system’s maximum thrust limitation. In addition, the provided solutions make good initial guesses for direct optimization techniques.

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