The optimization of multi-stage orbit transfer processes by dynamic programming.

by F. T. Smith

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An outline of the derivation of a set of variation of parameter equations by the use of Lagrange's brackets, which describe the perturbed motion of a space vehicle. These equations are integrated to obtain a set of state transformation equations which are used in conjunction with the method of dynamic programming to optimize a multi-stage orbit transfer process. Three special cases of the multi-stage process are discussed: a single-stage process, a two-stage process, and a special form of performance criterion.

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