Space Trajectory Planning

A special issue of Aerospace (ISSN 2226-4310). This special issue belongs to the section "Astronautics & Space Science".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2023) | Viewed by 4949

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
School of Aerospace Engineering, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing 100081, China
Interests: spacecraft dynamics; attitude control; vibration suppression and orbit guidance; navigation and control with application to spacecraft on-orbit service and space debris

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Aerospace Engineering, Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing 100081, China
Interests: spacecraft dynamics; attitude control; orbit control; multibody dynamics with application to spacecraft on-orbit service and space debris

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to announce a new open access Special Issue in “Aerospace” dedicated to space trajectory planning. As an application branch of the dynamics and control discipline, space trajectory planning aims to develop effective alternatives to obtain available spacecraft trajectories with various constraints.

Space trajectory planning has a clear application background and distinctive interdisciplinary characteristics. It plays an important role in giving the desired path to the controller, in order to achieve good performance. Additionally, nowadays, space tasks tend to be more complicated with higher requirements. Specifically, with multiple constraints and objectives, trajectory planning is quite challenging

This feature topic solicits papers focusing on the role space trajectory planning will play in advancing human exploration in the near-earth region as well as deep space, endeavouring to identify critical issues and provide feasible solutions in this field. Areas of interest include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • spacecraft trajectory planning
  • space trajectory optimization
  • orbit dynamics and control
  • dynamic trajectory planning
  • multi-objective optimization
  • space manipulator trajectory planning

Prof. Dr. Jingrui Zhang
Dr. Keying Yang
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Aerospace is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • trajectory/path planning
  • trajectory/path control
  • optimization
  • multi-objective
  • dynamic constraint
  • kinematics
  • actuator

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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21 pages, 1286 KiB  
Article
Simplified Maneuvering Strategies for Rendezvous in Near-Circular Earth Orbits
by Davide Costigliola and Lorenzo Casalino
Aerospace 2023, 10(12), 1027; https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace10121027 - 12 Dec 2023
Viewed by 886
Abstract
The development of autonomous guidance control and navigation systems for spacecraft would greatly benefit applications such as debris removals or on-orbit servicing, where human intervention is not practical. Within this context, inspired by Autonomous Vision Approach Navigation and Target Identification (AVANTI) demonstration, this [...] Read more.
The development of autonomous guidance control and navigation systems for spacecraft would greatly benefit applications such as debris removals or on-orbit servicing, where human intervention is not practical. Within this context, inspired by Autonomous Vision Approach Navigation and Target Identification (AVANTI) demonstration, this work presents new guidance algorithms for rendezvous and proximity operations missions. Analytical laws are adopted and preferred over numerical methods, and mean relative orbital elements are chosen as state variables. Application times, magnitudes and directions of impulsive controls are sought to minimize propellant consumption for the planar reconfiguration of the relative motion between a passive target spacecraft and an active chaser one. In addition, simple and effective algorithms to evaluate the benefit of combining in-plane and out-of-plane maneuvers are introduced to deal with 3D problems. The proposed new strategies focus on maneuvers with a dominant change in the relative mean longitude (rarely addressed in the literature), but they can also deal with transfers where other relative orbital elements exhibit the most significant variations. A comprehensive parametric analysis compares the proposed new strategies with those employed in AVANTI and with the global optimum, numerically found for each test case. Results are similar to the AVANTI solutions when variations of the relative eccentricity vector dominate. Instead, in scenarios requiring predominant changes in the relative mean longitude, the required ΔV exhibits a 49.88% reduction (on average) when compared to the original methods. In all the test cases, the proposed solutions are within 3.5% of the global optimum in terms of ΔV. The practical accuracy of the presented guidance algorithms is also tested with numerical integration of equations of motion with J2 perturbation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Space Trajectory Planning)
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25 pages, 15025 KiB  
Article
Analysis of Preliminary Impulsive Trajectory Design for Near-Earth Asteroid Missions under Approaching Phase Constraints
by Pureum Kim and Sang-Young Park
Aerospace 2023, 10(10), 855; https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace10100855 - 29 Sep 2023
Viewed by 739
Abstract
This study investigates the preliminary trajectory design for high-thrust missions to near-Earth asteroids (NEAs), considering distance and phase angle constraints during the approaching phase to enable pre-rendezvous optical navigation and the scientific identification of asteroids. A global optimization algorithm called monotonic basin hopping [...] Read more.
This study investigates the preliminary trajectory design for high-thrust missions to near-Earth asteroids (NEAs), considering distance and phase angle constraints during the approaching phase to enable pre-rendezvous optical navigation and the scientific identification of asteroids. A global optimization algorithm called monotonic basin hopping is used to design Δv-optimal impulsive trajectories both with and without constraints. Comparisons reveal that extending the final leg of the unconstrained reference trajectory and incorporating a few deep-space maneuvers in that final leg can yield a constrained trajectory with a Δv increase of only a few percent. The effects of the phase angle and minimum distance constraint on Δv are also examined. The results indicate that in Δv-optimal constrained trajectories, an additional deep-space maneuver enables the redistribution of maneuvers in the last leg to ideally insert the spacecraft into the constraint cone. However, additional small maneuvers may be necessary at times to ensure that the spacecraft remains within the cone. Based on these findings, we present a two-step approach for the preliminary design of constrained trajectories for NEA missions based on global optimization algorithms. This approach serves as a valuable tool for initial mission design and trade-off analyses involving constraints, fuel usage, and transfer durations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Space Trajectory Planning)
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23 pages, 6917 KiB  
Article
An hp-Legendre Pseudospectral Convex Method for 6-Degree-of-Freedom Powered Landing Problem
by Jun Huang and Yidong Zeng
Aerospace 2023, 10(10), 849; https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace10100849 - 28 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 663
Abstract
This paper presents a fast trajectory optimization method combining the hp-Legendre pseudospectral method and convex optimization for the 6-Degree-of-Freedom rocket-powered landing problem. To accelerate calculations, this paper combines the Legendre pseudospectral method with a linearization method for convexification, and an hp method that [...] Read more.
This paper presents a fast trajectory optimization method combining the hp-Legendre pseudospectral method and convex optimization for the 6-Degree-of-Freedom rocket-powered landing problem. To accelerate calculations, this paper combines the Legendre pseudospectral method with a linearization method for convexification, and an hp method that can divide the mesh is introduced to reduce the computational workload. In terms of accuracy, a trust region update strategy that can control the solution process is presented to approximate the original problem iteratively. Convergence analysis is provided as evidence, substantiating that any solution produced by the hp-Legendre pseudospectral convex method is not only feasible but potentially optimal for the original problem. The effectiveness of the proposed method is demonstrated by numerical experiments. When compared, the proposed method achieves higher calculation accuracy in solving the 6-Degree-of-Freedom rocket-powered landing trajectory problem, while taking into account rocket attitude control. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Space Trajectory Planning)
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Review

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28 pages, 3615 KiB  
Review
Methods for the Calculation and Control of Launch Vehicle Drop Regions
by Yury Kapelyushin, Roman Lazorak, Ruslan Peshkov and Evgeny Trofimov
Aerospace 2023, 10(5), 424; https://doi.org/10.3390/aerospace10050424 - 30 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1866
Abstract
The article aims at reviewing the drop regions (DR) of the launch vehicles (LV) separating parts (SP) and methods of their determination. The DRs include sea and land areas; going beyond them is associated with a number of environmental, economic, and political factors. [...] Read more.
The article aims at reviewing the drop regions (DR) of the launch vehicles (LV) separating parts (SP) and methods of their determination. The DRs include sea and land areas; going beyond them is associated with a number of environmental, economic, and political factors. Their combination dictates the need to ensure the safety of the people, transport, infrastructure, and environment from the negative impact of LV SPs and fuel residues. The Monte Carlo method is mostly used to determine the impact areas. It enables an estimation of the probability of the SPs of LVs falling in certain areas, constituting the DRs. These points are varied according to a set of different initial parameters. The methods of controlling the impact areas are contingently divided into engineering (based on a change in the design appearance of the LV), mathematical (which includes the changes in or optimization of the LV’s trajectory or its SP), and “soft landing” (implying the return of the LV’s to the spaceport or to a certain prepared area). The present analysis can be used as a starting point when choosing a method for determining and controlling the projected LVs and the SPs’ area of impact. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Space Trajectory Planning)
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