A Computational Procedure for Optimizing Interpletary Trajectories

by Yu-Chi Ho

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A computational procedure for optimizing dynamical system trajectories by a method of successive approximations. The procedure may be applied to a large class of control problems that are described by nonlinear differential equations. The performance criterion that is minimized by the process is the weighted sum of the squares of the terminal errors in the system state variables, subject to certain constraints on the control variables. The method is applied to the optimization of a low-thrust trajectory from Earth to Mars.

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