Optimal aeroassisted orbital transfer with plane change using collocation and nonlinear programming
Abstract
The fuel optimal control problem arising in the nonplanar orbital transfer employing aeroassisted technology is addressed. The mission involves the transfer from high energy orbit (HEO) to low energy orbit (LEO) with orbital plane change. The basic strategy here is to employ a combination of propulsive maneuvers in space and aerodynamic maneuvers in the atmosphere. The basic sequence of events for the aeroassisted HEO to LEO transfer consists of three phases. In the first phase, the orbital transfer begins with a deorbit impulse at HEO which injects the vehicle into an elliptic transfer orbit with perigee inside the atmosphere. In the second phase, the vehicle is optimally controlled by lift and bank angle modulations to perform the desired orbital plane change and to satisfy heating constraints. Because of the energy loss during the turn, an impulse is required to initiate the third phase to boost the vehicle back to the desired LEO orbital altitude. The third impulse is then used to circularize the orbit at LEO. The problem is solved by a direct optimization technique which uses piecewise polynomial representation for the state and control variables and collocation to satisfy the differential equations. This technique converts the optimal control problem into a nonlinear programming problem which is solved numerically. Solutions were obtained for cases with and without heat constraints and for cases of different orbital inclination changes. The method appears to be more powerful and robust than other optimization methods. In addition, the method can handle complex dynamical constraints.
 Publication:

Flight Mechanics/Estimation Theory Symposium, 1990
 Pub Date:
 December 1990
 Bibcode:
 1990fmet.symp..471S
 Keywords:

 Aeroassist;
 Collocation;
 Energy Dissipation;
 Fuel Control;
 Nonlinear Programming;
 Orbit Calculation;
 Orbital Maneuvers;
 Space Shuttle Missions;
 Transfer Orbits;
 Altitude;
 Differential Equations;
 Heating;
 Impulses;
 Optimal Control;
 Optimization;
 Perigees;
 Polynomials;
 Astrodynamics