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The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by University of Strathclyde researchers, including those from the School of Psychological Sciences & Health - but also papers by researchers based within the Faculties of Science, Engineering, Humanities & Social Sciences, and from the Strathclyde Business School.

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Preliminary design of multiple gravity-assist trajectories

Vasile, Massimiliano and De Pascale, Paolo (2006) Preliminary design of multiple gravity-assist trajectories. Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, 43 (4). pp. 794-805. ISSN 0022-4650

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Abstract

In this paper the preliminary design of multiple gravity-assist trajectories is formulated as a global optimization problem. An analysis of the structure of the solution space reveals a strong multimodality, which is strictly dependent on the complexity of the model. On the other hand it is shown how an oversimplification could prevent finding potentially interesting solutions. A trajectory model, which represents a compromise between model completeness and optimization problem complexity is then presented. The exploration of the resulting solution space is performed through a novel global search approach, which hybridizes an evolutionary based algorithm with a systematic branching strategy. This approach allows an efficient exploration of complex solution domains by automatically balancing local convergence and global search. A number of difficult multiple gravity-assist trajectory design cases demonstrates the effectiveness of the proposed methodology.